Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

What a great new year! It's only 8:30 and I'm ready for bed, but we had an amazing meal at Ascari Enoteca. I had the scallop appetizer, snow crab pasta, and the lemon pudding (to die for!!) for dessert. Luckily for us, the grandparentals agreed to babysit, so we left little M in good hands.

It was the first time they had put her to bed by themselves, so we were a little nervous.

But it was all for naught - she fell asleep instantly in her crib. So instantly, Grandma thought something might be wrong. But no, she was just tired.

Yay for tired babies who fall asleep fast!

And may we all have a fabulous 2014 (and may we all fall asleep quickly).

Monday, December 30, 2013

Amazing Skin Cream for Baby

Poor little M has a bit of a rash on her back. I can't tell if it is extremely dry skin or eczema, but it doesn't look pretty. She doesn't seem bothered at all by it, but I still want it to go away as soon as possible. I managed to find some amazing cream for her made by episencial. It is all natural, made with neem and probiotics and seems to be really soothing and healing on her soft baby skin. It is also scent free, which is nice. I was able to find this product at my local Winners, but I am not sure where to buy it otherwise. Luckily they had a few bottles so I stocked up. What skin cream do you use to treat your baby's eczema?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Night Weaning Saga Continues

I know I know. I posted 2 months ago about night weaning. Well, M has not been night weaned. Nope. How? Why not? I wish I knew. There was some sickness, some weakness of resolve, I suppose. And now I've been back at work for 1 month and am exhausted, sick, and not having any more of it.

I am getting every cold, fever, tummy bug and bout of diarrhea that has ever existed in M's daycare. I feel my immune system is shot because I don't sleep enough. So night weaning. For reals this time.

Its going ok. She is still waking at night but my husband is going in. The first time she wakes, he is the one to sooth her to sleep. Generally, the second time she wakes is close enough to my makeup time (5:30am) that I can bring her into bed for a nursing session before I need to shower and get ready for work.

Again, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Night Weaning: The First Four Days

Well, it's been a while.

Currently, we are working on night weaning. Now, M has never slept well. And never, ever slept through the night. She is now 11 months old and I have to go back to work in 1 month. Ack! Well, I don't really want to be getting up multiple times in the night when I have to be on that bus by 6:50am to make it to work on time. So, night weaning it is.

Here's the thing. We are on vacation thousands of miles from home. But we are with my parents. Even though it is not her bed, not her time zone, with the help I get from my mother, I considered this to be an excellent idea.

The Plan: The first time she wakes up, get my mother to go in and hold her. Hold her until she stops crying. And no feeding. Any time after that she will get nursed to sleep by me. I am not a big fan of letting my baby cry alone, but I feel ok if she is crying in someone's arms. We have tried this before and it hasn't worked. But maybe this time it will (fingers crossed)

Day 1: M sleeps for 3 hours (pretty usual), then wakes up expecting a feeding. My mother goes in and holds her. It takes about 40 minutes of fussing, sleeping, fussing until she falls back asleep. She wakes again at 4am, meaning that she has gone 9 hours (9!) without eating. A record. I nurse her at 4, she falls asleep until her usual wakeup time of 6ish.

Day 2: M sleeps for 7 hours straight. This is not quite a record, her longest ever was 8 hours, one night, a long long time ago. I go in and feed her to sleep. She has none of it, and it takes 1 hour to get her back to sleep. You win some, you lose some. Once asleep, she sleeps until 6ish again. I didn't wake my mom to hold her because it was 2 in the morning... I decided if she wakes after midnight I will be the one who goes to her otherwise both my Mom and I will be zombies in the morning.

Day 3: M up again after 3 hours. Cries for 30 minutes in my moms arms, then sleeps again until 4. This is pretty much a repeat of day 1, except she sleeps in until 7:30am. I am not thrilled by the sleep in because once I start work she won't be able to do it, but hey, if it means I get some extra sleep in the morning then so be it.

Day 4: M up at 12:30 (about 5 hours of sleep). My Mom, who is still awake, goes in and tries to settle her but M is not cooperating, so finally at about 1:15 I go in, feed her for 10 minutes, and then she sleeps for the rest of the night until 6.

For some of you, this may not seem like progress, but trust me! Waking up once per night is absolutely amazing. Before this, M would be up at least 2 times, if not 3 a night wanting a nursing session. Please leave a comment if you have any further suggestions! I will keep you posted on followup days. My goal is to have her waking only once a night... Hopefully it won't take the whole month!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Flying with a Baby

So when I went to Texas with little Mun Mun she was 3 1/2 months on the way there, and 4 months on the way back. It was 4 flights in total, 2 on the way there and 2 on the way back. Each flight was relatively short (1 1/2 hours and 2 hours), with an hour layover in between.

I had read some advice before flying and took her onboard in an ergo so that my hands would be free. I chose aisle seats on the way there so that I could walk the aisles if necessary (it actually wasn't - holding her the entire time did the trick). Also, the flights were packed, so if I needed a diaper change then I could easily get to the bathroom.

And here's the thing. Nobody told me, but airplanes are a laxative. On each flight (except the final one) Mun Mun took a giant poop about 15 minutes after take off. Unluckily for me, the first one breached the diaper and I was forced to do a complete clothing change in the tiny (first class!) bathroom that didn't have a change table. The little one was screaming the entire time, balanced on the closed toilet seat lid while I wrestled her into a new sleeper. Poor thing. She did eventually fall asleep, and before that she was a little fussy, so the awesome, grandmothery type sitting in the window seat offered to hold her for a few minutes. Grateful, I handed her over and relaxed for five minutes.

The sort of low point was when the man across from me in the aisle asked the flight attendant not so quietly if he could have another seat. As the plane was packed, that wasn't an option. Not so quiet myself, I exclaimed to Mun Mun "Nobody wants to sit beside you!" and the man was very nice to me for the rest of the flight.

The high point was meeting all of the lovely people who travel. Never before have I talked with every single person on the plane within shouting distance. I swear, they all knew our story, where we were headed, how old the baby was, etc, etc. It was so different. And so nice. Everyone was really supportive and loves babies.

So now it is time to do it again. Next week: NYC.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cold Turkey - Breaking the Swaddle Habit: Night 3

I wanted to proclaim that yes, the third night was miraculous and my child slept right through the night, blissful and swaddle free, floating on an endless cloud of dreams.

At 11:30 when she first woke up, then wouldn't settle for 1 hour, I felt that proclamation slipping away, to be replaced by some defeatist nonsense about how my baby would never, ever sleep again.

And then she slept.

And woke once at 3, and I fed her.

And then she woke again. I thought "Oh Fuck", then looked at the clock. It was 6:45, time to wake up.

I honestly, finally, got more than an hour between wake ups! My husband practically slept the entire night!

However, there is a caveat. We had given her baby tylenol at about midnight because she had had two shots in the morning.

So was it the drugs? Or has she settled into her more normal routine?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cold Turkey - Breaking the Swaddle Habit Night 2

For some reason we had convinced ourselves that the second night without the swaddle would be better.

We were wrong.

The reason we had such high hopes was that little Mun Mun slept pretty well from 7-11, with only a few brief and easily soothed wakeups.

After that, it was every hour on the nose. And not just any kind of soothing would do. She wailed! She wanted the boob! Both my husband and I are starting to see the benefits of duct tape...

Well, she had her 4 month immunizations today so hopefully they will make her extra sleepy and we will get through the night with less than 7 (7!) wake ups. Can one call them a "wake up" when one didn't actually get any sleep in between???

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cold Turkey - Breaking the Swaddle Habit Night 1

Mun Mun has become an escape artist from her swaddle, to the point that she would break free at every available opportunity. At first it was just the Swaddleme, but now she can also wiggle worm her way out of the miracle blanket. While I had read about the possibility of the double swaddle, using a tensor bandage or yes, even duct tape, none of those alternatives sounded right to me or my husband so yesterday I made the executive decision to go cold turkey and plop her in a sleep sack for the night.

Of course, it was my school night, so my husband got to be the lucky one to put her to bed in her new sleeping garment.

It started out with her waking, oh, every 6 minutes or so, startling herself awake with her little scorpion hands. This settled after a while and he got a good hour out of her until I came home, the dogs barked, and she of course cried out mournfully.

There was another good section from 12-2:30, but from 2:30 to 4:30, sleep was absolutely not happening. It didn't help that her diaper was so wet and full that it started leaking and I had to change her. Mun Mun thought this meant it was time to wake up and have a conversation. Oh my.

Well, I don't feel as sleep deprived today as I should. I did manage a hard 1 hour nap in the morning, after (and this is hard to admit) losing my temper at my dog and spraying her about 70 times with the water bottle we keep for when she barks. And I may or may not have said the word "SLEEP" to my daughter a little more harshly than I should have.

But after that rough patch, today went off without a hitch and I am looking forward to tonight. Lets hope it is a little better for the three of us.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Texas Texas!

We've just been for a vacation down to Texas for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Supposedly, I had more help there via Grandma, Grandad and Great Grandma but as you can see, no blog posts got done. And I came back more exhausted than when I left!

Here's why: Old people are loud! I kept telling my mother this. Maybe they are going a little deaf. Maybe they have forgotten what it is like to have  a sleeping baby in the house, or maybe they just kept forgetting not to slam doors. In any event, getting the baby to sleep every nap time was a bit of a nightmare.

We really had a great time, though, the weather was fantastic and little Mun Mun was able to go out without lots of padding and jackets, etc.

She saw her first hummingbird, and got a whole lot of quality time with Grandad and Great Grandma, who disturbingly keeps talking about how she doesn't have much time left...

I would go back for a visit in a heartbeat, sadly we won't see them again until August. We can't wait!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Back to School with Baby

For some insane reason, I thought that I would be able to hack going to a few university classes while my baby was still a newborn.

I know why I thought this. I thought this because I had absolutely no idea what caring for a newborn would entail. In fact, I deliberately didn't read books about what things would be like after baby.

Pregnancy and birth books, I devoured like candy. But I kept myself in the dark about what it would be like, possibly imagining it would be all love and lullabies and sweetly scented soft baby hair.

Kind of like my pre-pregnancy ideas, where I'd be some sort of goddess earth mother with a perma-glow and a beaming smile for everyone.

And we know how that turned out - I was a tired, nauseous, itchy, fat, hypertensive mess who hated myself for nine months. Actually, the exact opposite of an earth mama.

And same with parenthood. It isn't glamorous and it is absolutely not a good time to take "Leadership, Management and Decision Making" or "Program Planning".

Here's why:
1. The earth shattering guilt you feel when you leave your baby with your spouse for the first, second, third, etc. time. Yes, its liberating but you feel the pull of your baby the entire busride downtown.

2. Assignments don't seem to get done. And you can't seem to care about them while changing a poopy diaper, or when baby is yowling like a fiend.

3. Not really too affordable to pay $1000 tuition when you're on EI.

4. Nowhere to pump! I had to sit on the filthy floor in the accessible washroom. Yee-uck.

5. Textbook? What textbook?

6. Lack of sleep meant that I didn't retain a single useful piece of information from any of my lectures. None at all. Even though I am passing the courses, I did not learn anything from them.

Now. Could someone please tell my husband that his egg-salad guacamole sandwich is absolutely disgusting????

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good Sleep, Bad Sleep

I am not complaining about my baby's sleep habits. More often than not, she is pretty consistent (see earlier post). Plus, I already complained about her habits (again, see earlier post).

This time I am complaining about my own sleep. Why is it, at 2am, the baby is sleeping beautifully, while I am wide eyed and tossing around my bed, mind racing, unable to relax? All I want is sleep! Blissful, dreamless slumber.

Instead I get nothing.

I have never had insomnia before in my life, but now I feel for all those people who suffer from it. It sucks, I wish I could take an Ambien.

Happily, this only happens every other night. The following night I am so exhausted that I have no choice but to sleep. C'est la vie!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

City of Toronto Fun Programs

I have never participated in one of these programs, but apparently I live very close to a community centre that offers some fun activities for moms and babies. I signed up for Mom and Baby yoga, and Me & My Baby Playtime. Not knowing how difficult it would be to get in, I signed in this morning at 7am to grab a spot in both classes. I really needn't have bothered. It is now 9am and there are still spaces available in both classes. Not that many, but I figure if you tried at some point today you could get in. Perhaps my community centre is not as well used as others. I've heard stories that you have to log in right away to get a spot, but I didn't seem to have any problem. The website requires you have a family number and a client number to register. Surprisingly, you can't get these online, you have to phone. I did that on Monday, only to be greeted by the most lacklustre telephone operator in the history of the universe. I get that you hate your job, you are tired, and you don't want to talk to people on the phone. But at least put a little bit of enthusiasm in your voice? Don't sound so defeated, I was nice, I only wanted a client number!! I was not calling to complain! I am not sure why one can't do this online as she just took down my name, age and address then gave me my numbers. Anyways, the programs start in April, so I will update on their quality then.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mommy Boot Camp

Yesterday I went to Mommy and Baby boot camp at a local gym. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now every single muscle in my body hurts. I am pretty sure I won't be going to the bathroom today because that would involve climbing stairs. And I don't think I can do it (again). I had to go down them once, and nobody wants a repeat performance. We did something called "circuits". There were three sets of three activities, done twice each. Sound confusing? Not really, but once we had gone through all three sets of three, I thought I was home free. And then what? We had to do them all again one more time... I thought I would expire at the end. Is it wrong to hope your baby cries so you can get out of doing plank rows? Mun-Mun didn't come to the rescue, and only decided to cry at the end during stretching, my actual favourite part. So last night while nursing, my tricep crunked into a hefty knot and I wasn't sure I could support my baby. I attempted stretching but that took the nipple right out of her mouth and a loud scream ensued. At least I know I have abs, because I can feel them every time I take a deep breath.

Monday, March 4, 2013

3 months and only sleeps 3 hours

Sleep is the new gin and tonic. Its what I want after a long bout of crying (from the baby), its what I want before, during and after a meal. It is something that I sit here and wish for, knowing how elusive it is and that it may never come, or if it does come, it will be disappointingly tiny. Like 5 minutes when you want 10 hours. Fortunately for me, I'm going to Texas next week and my mother will help out (a lot). I am planning to catch up on my sleep deficit while there but until then... My little 3 month old only sleeps for 3 hour stretches at night. Her sleep record was 5 hours, 38 minutes (or was that 4 hours, 38 minutes? - too tired to remember). That seems like ages ago. Now I put her down at 7:30ish, she is up at 8:30, 9:30 then will sleep until midnight or 1am. Then, every three hours more boob. This is the price I am paying for wanting a baby. Who knew it would be like this? I read tales of moms with darlings who already sleep through the night. Bully for them. This little Mun-Mun refuses and so here I sit, whining about no sleep.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

On Laziness. And Newborns.

Guess its time to dust this old blog off. I am so lazy. I was pregnant for 9 whole months and didn't blog about it once. And now I have a three month old child. I believe that for the past three months I shall be excused for my laziness. It wasn't that I didn't have time! I just didn't have inclination. Sigh. Being a parent to a newborn sucks balls. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I don't know how people have more than one child. My grandmother had eight! I couldn't do it. She was a much, much better person than I am. A saint. Newborns are difficult. Taking care of one has been the most difficult and the most boring thing that I have ever done. I have made so many friends with games on Facebook in the past few months. And I still can't distinguish between my baby's cries. Are you hungry? (give nipple...), no? Are you wet? (check diaper...), no? Are you tired? (Swaddle yowling child and place on bouncy chair...), no? etc, etc. Sometimes nothing works and I start over. Eventually one of them is right and then, back to my Facebook games if she's sleeping, and back to waving a toy over her face if she wants to play.