A Saturday quickie…

January 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

My daughter did the cutest thing today.  As I was about to put her sweater over her head this afternoon in advance of a trip to Costco, she closed her eyes in anticipation!  She’s 4 1/2 months old.  Obviously, she’s super advanced.  LOL.

Tummy time is an interesting thing isn’t it?  Sometimes she loves it.  Other times, “scream” doesn’t do the sound she makes justice.  Here are a few photos of my darling in the first scenario.

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I think you wished us naps…

January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

… because that is what Nadi is doing right now!  As she did for 2 1/2 hours yesterday morning and for another hour yesterday afternoon.  And it hasn’t been a fight!  Yesterday I rocked her for about 5 minutes after her meal and put her down.  This morning, I took her off my boob, slung her over my shoulder to get any bubbles out, walked to our room and plopped her in her bassinet.  Asleep.

The Hus says I routinely jinx things by getting overexcited about them.  I don’t disagree but I just can’t contain myself sometimes.  For the last 3 months, I have fought with my daughter over naps, sometimes spending the greater part of the day trying to get her to go down for one.  Is it the 10 minutes per boob thing?  Is she just finding a rhythm?  Am I able to better read her signs and get her down before the window closes?  I don’t know but I’m happy!

Only thing is, Nadi returned to waking up in the night last night.  After two weeks of sleeping straight through for 11 hours, she woke last night after 7 hours and wanted a drink (she only had one boob and when I put her on the second she just laid there and smiled at me so I figured she was done).  Post-drink, Miss Nadi was still really awake and in my sleepy haze, I remember fearing that she’d be up for another hour or more.  In an attempt to reverse her wakefulness, I slung her over my shoulder and did what I’ve been doing lately to put her to sleep: holding her really tight in a hug with one hand supporting her neck and rocking her medium-hard.  Within 5 minutes she was breathing heavy and in another 2, her breath had changed to the shallow kind I was listening for- the baby sleep promise land.  I put her down.

Her eyes burst open.  I patted her chest and went to get a glass of water naively hoping she’d at least look a little sleepy when I returned.  I returned.  She didn’t look sleepy.  I didn’t speak to her.  She followed me across the room with those big dark eyes of hers and watched me crawl into bed.  I heard her sucking on her tongue (the self-soothing technique she has learned from being swaddled for sleep since birth) and then grunting a bit here and there and then… silence.  I lay still waiting in suspense to see if my daughter had done the unthinkable, the amazing, the fantastic and highly coveted self-soothe to sleep.  To date, she hasn’t been able to do it… or I wouldn’t let her b/c I rush in as soon as she makes a peep for fear she’d cry (yes I have the new Momma fear-of-baby-crying syndrome).  Well I am pleased to say that she did drift off to sleep on her own and slept soundly for another 4 1/2 hours.  I’m pretty proud.

Couple that with our new napping thing and I’m beyond it!  Ok I think this officially counts as jinxing.  I should stick a sock in it.

Sock is officially inserted.

Peace out mamas, babies and all of you other people.

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!

Peace.

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.

Sleep? Who needs it!

June 24, 2010 § 5 Comments

Hi everyone.

I work full-time.  I’m growing a human being.  For the most part, I’ve found doing these two very important things simultaneously to be manageable.  I’ve been very lucky with this baby that (a.) I had very little morning sickness, (b.) I haven’t put on an obscene amount of weight which I can imagine would make life quite difficult and (c.) generally have had very little discomfort.  That said, this past week I’ve had a visitor at night.  They come just as I’m growing tired and am lying in bed preparing myself for sleep.  The visitor’s name?  Insomnia.

In the early hours of the morning as I trundle about the house alone, I’ve given this insomnia thing a great deal of thought.  It must be prep for when the baby arrives, I tell myself.  This must be happening to me so that I can prepare myself for the sleeplessness associated with a new baby and maybe I’ll be less exhausted once she comes because I’ve had this practice.  Well, here’s the thing.  I work full-time.  At a job where scatterbrains aren’t popular and afternoon naps are discouraged.  At the end of the day, I feel like a dish rag.  I feel like one of those pieces of gum you see on the sidewalk that has been stepped on so many times that it that the only difference between it and the concrete is a shade of grey.  I feel like a discarded newspaper page whipping around in the wind.

It is for these reasons that I am now heading to bed.  Yes, it is five minutes after 8 (PM).  Yes, the sun is still up.  Yes, the only ones asleep right now are small children and seniors.  Regardless I’ll be joining them very shortly and will probably be sound asleep and snoring like my Dad when the Hus comes to bed.  Good thing we have a comfortable couch.  G’nite to all the Mamas out there.  And the bellies too.

Diaper bags!

June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ok so we’re T-6 days until my tiny peanut’s party!  Next Saturday, my glorious girlfriends are throwing my peanut her baby shower so my fave women and I can celebrate the life in my belly.

One of my closest girlfriends from high school, C, can’t make it.  Boo.  After going to share in the experience that is Sex and the City 2 together the other night, C said she had my shower gift in her car.   Excitedly, I watched her pop her trunk and it came into view.  It was… a Petunia Pickle Bottom (aka PPB) diaper bag.  Sigh.   My bag isn’t really like this (it’s dark brown with gorgeous reddish pink flowers embroidered on it) but the style is the same.  C said she wanted to buy me something I wouldn’t have bought myself.  Double sigh.  I cried all the way home.

Last night, after consuming a stupendous beef stew I made I went to meet another of my besties, E, for ice cream (at Dairy Queen of course).  Before wolfing down our respective blizzards, E surprised me with another early gift- a diaper bag she’d had made especially for me at HotMama Handbags!  It looks just like this and is altogether fabulous!  At first, I have to admit, I was a bit confused as to what I should do.  E couldn’t return hers b/c it was custom but maybe C could return hers and I could get something else?  After a thorough discussion with E, it was decided that both were actually essential.  They were in totally different colour palettes and as such, would go with different outfits.  E went through two identical diaper bags in her first year of being a Mama so it was agreed I would just rotate these two beauties which would make both of them go further.  Now that’s my kind of decision!

My Mom arrived yesterday afternoon in advance of the shower.  She’s volunteered to weed my garden and plant the annuals we bought today in advance of our garden party next Saturday.  How fantastic is that?  I love my Mom.  Like a lot.

Also I feel the need to update the below stroller-related post.  After much thought, we’ve decided against the Bugaboo Chameleon and are, instead, choosing the Phil & Ted’s Vibe.  The double seat really sold us and my very practical husband really appreciated the ease with which it folded (even with the double seat attached) and the turn-on-a-dime maneuverability.   This is our final answer.

All in all, another fantastic week in the life of Rhiana.  Oh and I told my beautiful stepson today that his baby sister’s first party was next weekend.  He said: “Oh!  You got her out already?”  Heh.  Not quite little man, not quite.

Big big love to all those swollen, swaying bellies out there!

26 weeks and five days!

June 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Boy time flies when you’re growing a person! I’m 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and am pretty sure I “popped” again over the weekend. I’ve deduced this from the wide eyes of my colleagues who happened to see me semi-waddling into work this past Monday morning. I’m looking very… round… these days.

The other thing I am looking these days, according to my dear friends and the odd stranger, is radiant. For the most part, my weight gain (about 15 lbs total, give or take a bowl of ice cream…or two…here and there) has remained moderate and for the most part has been isolated to my belly, hip and thigh area. While normally I wouldn’t be thankful for weight gain, I know that it means my baby girl is getting what she needs and I am super fortunate that A-line skirts, gauchos and black dresses were invented as they make me feel significantly less… round.

Other than round and radiant, I’ve really been enjoying feeling my girl moving around in my belly. She’s very active in the morning while I’m sipping my tea on the couch and have my first snuggle of the day with the Hus and she also really loves to boogie woogie while I’m semi-horizontal and reading just before bed. In the last week or so, she’s taken to shaking a tailfeather while Mama is sleeping at night. My naive hope is that she’s just giving moon dancing a trial run and that she will eventually agree with me that nighttime is for sleeping! Realistically though, she’s probably preparing me for what is to come in just a few short months: sleeplessness! Either way, I feel so incredibly blessed to be carrying this baby and I can hardly wait to see her beautiful face.

Speaking of faces, I think mine is shrinking.  I sort of feel like my belly is sucking my head down through my neck, making it smaller and smaller each day.  Does the baby need my head too?  She’s already got my entire abdomen, my rear end, and as of today, my ankles (which are slowly becoming less separate from my calves).  Now my head??  C’mon peanut, cut Mama a break!

Well I’ve had a doozy of a week (as is indicated by that last paragraph) so I think I’ll leave the post there for today.  Sending my love to all of those beautiful bellies out there.