Fur babies vs. real babies

January 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hi all.  In perusing my blog posts of the past, I realized I hadn’t updated you on this one where I was trying to rehome my beautiful kitty Feather.  Well, Feather found a new home with the lady we called P and she says he loves nothing more than to curl up with her in her lazy boy while she watches the tellie or does some work on her computer.  How I love to hear this!  Warms my heart to hear that my Feather boy is happy in his new life.  He probably doesn’t even remember me.  Sniff sniff.

So in that old post, I also mentioned a kitty called Pauline.  Here’s a picture of her little self.  Pauline is a much more laid back beast than her pal Feather was and so I presumed that even with our Nadi on the way, we’d be able to keep Pauline and that she and Nadi could eventually be friends!

Um… they could be friends if Pauline didn’t routinely wake baby Nadi from her slumber!  Or smack at her jerky hands and legs while she plays.  Or hide under Nadi’s crib just before I’m about to put her down to sleep at night.  Or chew on Nadi’s slippers and hide them in her lair (behind our living room chair).  I’m constantly saying “No Pauline!” and “Get off Pauline!” and “Go away Pauline!!!”  I’m at my wits end with my fur baby.  I don’t think I’m a good mother to both my fur baby and my real baby.  Fur baby versus real baby?  Real baby wins hands down of course.

So on the hunt I went for a new home for our Pauline.  I posted this ad and have had two visitors and over a dozen inquiries about our girl.  In fact, I have a lady, we’ll call her N, coming in about half hour.  Pauline is being super clingy right now and I’m wondering if she knows what is happening.

In many ways, this situation makes me feel sad.  I’m losing a little creature that has been my friend for almost 4 years.  She’s cuddled with me in bed when I was sick.  She makes me laugh when she tosses her furry mice up in the air and loses them in the plants.  She’s kind and cuddly with any company we have.  She’s just a lovely little cat.  Our lives have just become so focused on Nadi that I just don’t have much energy left over for poor Pauline at the end of the day.  It’s really hard to admit this but… I don’t want the added responsibility of caring for another being right now.  I’m cared out.  😦

So wish us luck everyone…


The post with the most

January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

So… it’s been a while.  Like 5 months and a bit awhile.  What happened in these last few months you ask?  Well, I had a baby that’s what happened!  I’ve got a lot to say.  Bear with me.

My life change’s name is Nadia and as anyone whose met her will tell you, she’s darn gorgeous.  She was born Sept. 8, 2010 at 7lbs 15oz at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia.  She had her 4 month check up with Doc a few days ago (albeit almost 2 weeks late) and she was in the 75th percentile for length and for weight… wait for it… the 5th percentile 😦  Boo.  She weighs an adorably but light 11lbs4oz now.  Are there supermodel babies?  B/c I think my daughter is one.

Doc recommended we try limiting her feeds to 10 minutes per side (12 if I’m feeling really generous…which I usually am b/c I’m a SUCKER).  Structuring a baby’s feeds is highly contentious I have realized.  Actually, everything about having babies is contentious.  We Mommas take our jobs pretty darn seriously.

Couple of key reasons for this 10 minute per side thing.  One- Nadi doesn’t nap, well at least not without a pretty good fight and a sore back for Momma from rocking her for hours on end.  Doc says she might likely be able to fight off naps b/c she’s catnapping on my boob so much.  How did he know?  It’s true, I’ve been a bit lazy where trying to get her to nap is concerned.  It’s just so much darn work!  And if I let her laze at my boob, I can actually like write emails and make phone calls and stuff.  Bad.

Second, she’s quite small for her age which could mean that she’s not eating as well as she could be, again, b/c she’s lazing about at my boob for hours on end.  So…. we’ve been doing this 10 minutes thing since we got back from Doc’s office on Monday afternoon.  Today is Thursday.  So except for her last feed of the day where I let her lollygag about until she is sound asleep (Bad), I’ve been taking her off after 10-12 minutes per side.  Funny thing is, occasionally she does fuss but it only takes a small distraction before she is back to her smiley self so I’m thinking she’s not missing out on too much.  Plus, a little selfish plug here, feedings take SO MUCH LESS TIME which means I have more time for myself.  In any case, I’ll keep y’all updated as to how this goes.  We’re going in for a weigh-in on February 8th where our efforts will have either paid off or… not.  Wish us weight.  And naps.  And weight loss for Mama, heh.  Hey I can ask!

Other than that, our Nadi sleeps great at night.  Her routine just changed (babies are like the weather, don’t like what they are doing, wait a minute) and she is now going to bed between 7-8PM and sleeping until 6 or 7AM respectively.  Biggest change there?  No night feeding.  Until two weeks ago, she was waking after 5-6 hours for a feed and then going back to sleep for another 3 hours or so.  I like this new thing she’s doing much better.  Not sure my boobs do tho.  I wake up with rock boobs.  Anyone whose had milk come in knows to which I refer.  Ouch!  I can’t explain the relief once I get her on and she gets going.  It rocks.  Pardon the pun.  Apparently boobs are really smart though and will adjust to the fact that she doesn’t seem to need a night feed anymore.  Eventually.

I wasn’t joking about having a lot to say was I?

A couple of things I didn’t know before having Nadi:

1. Newborns have pooplosions.  I had to wipe yellow newborn poo off of Nadi’s nursery wall, window and ceiling, yes ceiling, after one particularly large one once.  Nadi’s poops tended to stay inside her diaper after about 10 weeks though.

2.  Cloth diapering is actually really great.  Before Nadi was born I knew I wanted to put her in cloth diapers but when we bought them, compared to the very small disposables we were using at the time, the cloth looked positively daunting.  I mean two pieces AND a liner?  Sheesh.  But we got used to it and now we’re both loving it.  Here are the diapers we have in case you’re wondering:

Jamtots Berry Plush
Stay Dry AMP
One size duo AMP

3.  Sometimes you have to wake babies up to feed them!  And waking a baby who is sleeping peacefully sucks.  A lot.  We had to wake Nadi every 4 hours for her first 8 weeks of life b/c of her weight (not that its gotten any better since we’ve been letting her sleep).  So if you’re preggo, don’t waste a prayer on eye colour or hair or even on intelligence.  Pray you have a baby who loves to eat b/c food leads to sleep and sleep, well, sleep will be a highly coveted thing very soon.  Yawn.

4.  There are a lot of baby experts.  Looking for a way to get your baby to nap?  Maybe you’d like to get them on a schedule or you’re wondering what to feed them when solids enter the picture?  You have 1,098,355 experts to choose from.  Go ahead, choose!  Goodness me.  Sometimes reading other people’s opinions (which is really what they are when it comes down to it) can be comforting, I won’t lie.  Especially when you’re up in the middle of the night again, with a baby who won’t stop crying again, unless they are attached to your boob, you got it, again.  But other times, I think reading the thoughts and feelings of others can actually separate you from your own thoughts and feelings and you gotta watch out for that.  Having said that, here are some experts I like:

Dr. Sears
Kelly Bonyata
– And while it sounds ultra-cheesy, the Baby Whisperer

5.  Getting out of the house with a baby takes practice.  Before Nadi was born, I think I thought that I’d just throw her over my shoulder and we’d head out on adventures every day.  Adventures to the grocery store, to Mum & Babe groups, to the park.  Um…. not so much!  Breastfeeding is not easy (see #6 below), at least it wasn’t for us, and while Nadi was really little, she had to eat every 90 minutes or so or she was pretty unhappy.  Try to pack your bag, get baby’s diaper changed and get some clothes on her, get the seat on the stroller, get yourself dressed and your hair combed, find your keys, grab something to eat, put your coat and shoes on, walk somewhere interesting and return home all inside 90 minutes!  It’s not easy my friends and until quite recently, I was not very comfortable nursing in public which meant Nadi and I stayed home a lot.  So I’d suggest making your home as comfortable as possible before baby is born.  Admittedly I’m probably more of a home body than most but regardless, I think it is pretty common for new moms to be home a lot more than they were pre-baby.

6.  Nursing may be one of the most natural things in the world to do but it doesn’t come as naturally as I thought it would.  The nurses at the hospital actually wake you and baby up so babe can chomp in the first day or so (which may sound annoying but was actually extremely comforting for me).  When you go home tho, you’re pretty well on your own.  Here in Canada, we have public health nurses who visit you a few days after your baby is home to weigh them, check on breastfeeding (if that was your choice) and share what mom-babe resources there are in your community.  My nurse’s name is Pamela.  She’s a very nice lady and she came a lot for the first several weeks because Nadi was so little.  In any case, she helped us through thrush (see #7), latch issues, sore nipples (yowsa!), sleepy baby syndrome and just provided general support.  Thx Pamela.  You are my public health hero.

7.  Did you know you can get a yeast infection in your nipples?  Well, you can and it’s 10000x worse than the kind you get down there.  First, your nipples don’t itch, they burn.  When your baby latches on, it feels like needles are shooting up your breast and into your armpit (the armpit pain is the telltale sign you have thrush as opposed to just sore nipples).  Not only that, the pain persists after the feed is over and ANYTHING that touches your raw, red nipple is the enemy.  Doctors prescribe meds for thrush but Nadi and I kicked it the old fashioned way.  Here’s how we did it.

I took Grapefruit Seed Extract by mouth.  I took a 50 billion probiotic each day and cut back sugar and all other white foods.  I boosted my immune system with zinc and echinacea.  I put liquid silver on my nipples after each feed and let them air dry.  Nadi took a baby probiotic (open capsule and fed to her with a wet finger which she actually really liked though it had no taste; I tried it).  And the the thing that made the real difference?  Garlic.  I take 4 capsules of Kyolic garlic every day with meals and each capsule is equivalent to… get this… 17 cloves of garlic!  Woweee.  And it didn’t make my breastmilk taste funky or if it did, Nadi likes funky.

Ok I’ll shut up now.  Stay tuned for my next post- baby items I couldn’t live without!


32 weeks, 5 days

July 29, 2010 § 3 Comments

I’ve got just over 6 weeks left of this pregnancy!  My little girl dances away in my belly much of the day, reminding me how lucky I am to have her.  I’m healthy, have put on a healthy amount of weight, feel quite comfortable most days and have a loving, supportive home to come to each evening.  And I get foot rubs!  Every night!  Life is good.

I’ve not written in a awhile.  I could say I’ve been really busy.  Which I have been.  I could say I’ve not had much free time.  Which I haven’t.  I could also say that I’ve had family visiting.  Which I have had.  But mostly, I’ve not written because the only thing I feel like writing about isn’t a very happy thing.  Maybe getting it out will make me feel better.  Here it goes.

I have two cats: Pauline and Feather.  The former furry is a fiercely independent, wily girl with nerves of steel.  Feather (shown here) on the other hand, is not as tough.  Recently my step son was visiting from Toronto- yay!  Which meant that we had a bunch more kids in the house than usual for him to play with- also yay!  Unfortunately Feather didn’t fare so well and he took to hiding under the couch.  I’m sure most cats hide under the furniture from time to time but seriously, Feather was under the couch for three weeks- except at night when the children were either gone or asleep.  He was under there so much my Mom started putting his food and some water under there.  I told her that if we continued down that road, we might as well just toss a small litter box under there and say our goodbyes.

Every afternoon when I came home from work I’d ask “Feather come out today?”  The answer was always the same- “No”- but I kept asking anyways.  My heart sank every time I heard about Feather’s choice to remain under the couch and for the first few days, I’d get my large pregnant self down on the floor to try to coax him out but it was all for not.  He just looked at me with those wide, beautiful green eyes.

One evening, I came home after a long day at work and then a Meet the Doctor’s night at the hospital to meet the group of doctors our Doc is in a maternity group with.  I was excited about all of the information I’d just absorbed and was absolutely exhausted at the same time.  The moment we stepped out of the car, I smelled animal feces.  I checked my shoes and the Hus checked his but we were clean.  Funnily, my Hus with his super duper sniffing nose couldn’t smell anything.   My olfactory sensation must have been foreshadowing for what was about to happen.

We came through the front door and I could smell it right away: cat poo.  Feather, out of sheer fear, had lodged himself under the kitchen sink and Mom thought, had been there all day.  He had pooed there as well and was sitting in it.  Mom was trying to bleach everything around him as she couldn’t get him out and my stepson was looking on curiously (which only caused Feather to try to disappear into the cupboard more).  Instinct made me pull him out and the smell made me throw him in the shower to get clean.

After his bath he was so exhausted from his ordeal that he did not retreat to beneath the couch but instead, passed out under the coffee table.  I think he was just too tired to be afraid.

Now I must preface this next statement with an admission.  I’m a crazy cat lady.  Not the kind that lives by herself at age 75 with 13 cats but the kind that thinks of her cats like furry, disobedient babies.  I do not take keeping cats (or any pets for that matter) lightly and I have spent many years up to now, absolutely abhorring people for giving away their animals when a new baby came along.  And now I’m becoming the biggest hypocrite on Planet Earth.  Yes, Rhiana A is a big fat (literally) hypocrite.  We’ve decided to find Feather a new home.

The trauma he experienced by having the children in the house surely resulted in the bizarre kitchen cupboard fiasco.  Once Jason left us to head back to Toronto, it took Feather a good week to relax back into our quiet kidless life.  I realized, after he returned to his old self, how stressed I’d been by his hiding and skittishness.  Every dart beneath a piece of furniture made me feel such guilt- guilt that I’d disturbed him, guilt that I’d adopted him from the shelter and brought him to this crazy house and most of all, guilt that I couldn’t help him to feel better.

I’ve come to realize that Feather is just not a cat that likes kids.  The speed with which they move sets him off.  Their high pitched squeals of glee send him over the edge.  Just hearing them playing in the street outside our house puts him off his dinner.  Given that the Hus and I have wanted to have a house full of kids for years now, this situation just does not seem a viable one for either Feather’s or my nerves.

About two weeks ago, I posted an ad in the local online classifieds with what I thought was a favourable write-up for the Feather boy.  I included the picture I have pasted here to show people how beautiful he is.  I pressed “Post Ad” and waited.

Before the week was out, I had some dozen inquiries.  Most were not the right fit for Feather, I could tell right away.  But then, a lovely single woman in her 60’s wrote a few days ago.  Let’s call her P.  P told me that she’d had two cats up until 2 and 4 years ago when they passed on and she’d loved them so much that she hadn’t been ready to adopt another cat until very recently.  She wrote about how beautiful Feather was and about how much she hoped we would consider letting her meet him to see how they got on.  She said that she had many couches and her bed upon which he could perch his gorgeous self and that she could offer him the peaceful, quiet life it seemed that he preferred.

We talked on the phone the other night and P and Feather have their first date on Monday afternoon.  While it absolutely breaks my heart to think of him not being with us, I can’t help but wonder how much happier he would be with someone who doesn’t have loud little rugrats running amok and who lets him sleep on whatever piece of furniture his little heart desires (we’re a no-cats-0n-the-furniture type of house).

I’ll let everyone know how it goes.  Perhaps someone out there has been in a similar situation?  I could certainly use some support with this one.  Thx everyone and nighty night to all the Mamas and the bellies and the babies out there.  Peace out.

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