Friday, 9 October 2009


So, I have been back at work for 3.5 months and have learned many things.

I like working and I like my job much more than I thought I did. I loved being with my son for the first year, but I am generally much less stressed being at work than being home all the time. I like using my brain to solve detailed technical problems. I like spending time with adults and discussing systems, processes, politics, etc.

I need and want more me time, but can survive without it. I have always spent a lot of time alone, and liked it. Prior to Baby, I had alone time, since Husband & I have always worked different schedules. Since Baby, I don't have alone time, maybe once a month I get a couple of hours. I do have the subway ride to and from work, which is about half an hour alone in the middle of a sea of people. I still miss having more alone time, but it isn't killing me.

I really am a clean freak, even though my home is a disaster (my opinion that it is a disaster, not everyone agrees with me). There is never time to do the cleaning, evenings are so busy and short and I can't vacuum after Baby goes to sleep. Husband works on Saturdays, so it is me and Baby alone, and near impossible to get anything done. Sundays are the only day we have together as a family, so we want to spend time together instead of doing chores. There are so many times when I hate my home, it makes me cringe how bad it is (to me).

I don't have to work brutal hours to do a good job and receive props. Before Baby, I used to work really long hours during projects to make sure everything got done. Since being back at work, I have been leading a team working on a huge very important project. I leave work before 5:15pm every day, now I am also in earlier than I ever was before, but still, I am putting in less hours in the office. Things are getting done, I am prioritizing better, spending less time gossiping and doing a better job of delegating instead of doing everything.

I don't think that work is the most important thing and it doesn't define who I am, even though it is a big part of my life. Just like being a mom isn't the only thing I am, it is a part of me. I am able to balance work & the rest of my life much better than I was expecting.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Back at Work & OK

So I have been back at work for about a month, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I am quite happy being at work, but do feel guilty about feeling that way.

Prior to Baby being born, I thought that I would have a hard time being at home for a year, and thought that I would want to go back early.  Once Baby was born, I didn't think or care about work at all.  As my return date neared, I really dreaded going back and leaving Baby to be cared  for by others,  but for financial reasons there was no choice.

The hardest time was probably the few weeks prior to returning to the office when I was taking Baby to daycare to gradually get him used to it.  When I was out alone during those days, I felt like I was only half of myself.  I had gotten so used to him being with me all the time that I didn't feel whole without him.  When I realized this, it was really unnerving.  Who had I become that I wasn't o.k. by myself.  I am one of those people who like being alone, I have eaten in restaurants, gone to movies, travelled all by myself (I have gone to bars by myself, but I was always meeting someone so that doesn't count), and now I was feeling weird going to Starbucks or  Timmy's alone.  

Once I was back at work, I actually felt happier and less tired, although I am still tired, it is a different tired.  

Baby is doing great at daycare.  We were  really lucky that we were able to  get into a very good daycare not to far from home (2 subway stops & a 5 minute walk).  He really seems to like it there and amazingly he sleeps really well.  On the nights that he is at daycare he is down by 8 and stays down until around 5 in the morning.  Now, if only I could get to sleep earlier, although I would miss Husband if I went to bed earlier.

Another great thing is Husband has totally stepped up.  He is doing the mornings with Baby, giving him breakfast, getting him dressed and dropping him off at daycare so that I can get to work early enough to leave in time to get him from daycare.  Although it was hard last Saturday when Baby cried because Husband was going into work and leaving him alone with Mom.

So except for the guilt (which is slowing ebbing away), going back to work seems to be the best thing for our family.  Baby is happy, making friends, and learning tons of  stuff.  Husband is spending more time with Baby and their relationship is flourishing.  I am more content and a lot less frazzled.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

A Big Week - Lots of Firsts

Wow, so much has happened this week;
- Baby's First Birthday Party
- My first evening outing without Baby (My first time drinking since Baby)
- Baby's First Birthday 
- Baby's first time walking by himself
- Baby registered for Daycare
- Baby is starting to eat real food

The birthday party was great, it was a small gathering of family sharing their love for my little one.  Baby received lots of lovely gifts, nice clothes, fun toys that he really likes.  The best thing by far was his first cake.  We had both chocolate and vanilla - his first time having cake, why assume that he would prefer one over the other - and he loved it.  His face was hilarious, kind of like 'this is the best thing in the world ever, Mom, Dad, why have you not given this to me before????'.  I did miss a lot of it as I was in the kitchen dishing out cake for others, but it was awesome.

Husband & Girlfriend made arrangements for a night out for me, the first one since I became pregnant.   I wasn't nervous about Baby, although was nervous for Husband, this was the first time Baby was going to be without the Boob for bed-time.  The thing I was most nervous about was over-doing it, I knew that Husband was telling Girlfriend to get me drunk and to bring me home very late.  Instead we had a great time, went to 3 different bars, had dinner and talked for hours.  I did drink but did not get out of control.  It was a great night for me.  I don't think Husband's night was so great, but he did a great job.

Baby's actual birthday was a quiet day - I was pretty tired from being out on the town the night before.  I did tell him the story of his birth and the days after until he came home from the hospital.  I explained how much we loved him and were so happy that we had him.  I  also sang happy birthday while he ate his sweet potatoes.

The day after his birthday, Baby walked.  Baby has been standing & pulling himself into a stand forever.  Before he started to really crawl, he would take steps if you held his hands but as soon as he was crawling, he refused.  (He is very independent and would prefer to crawl on his own then walk with help.)  He has been cruising for about two months and for about the last month lots of people have been saying 'oh he is going to be walking any day now' but he didn't.  Then suddenly he just took two steps by himself.  I couldn't believe it, I made all kinds of exclamations and did a little happy dance.  I grabbed the camera and kept asking him to do it again, and he did, he took about 5 steps across the kitchen and I managed to get it on video. The funniest thing was that Baby's expression was 'why is Mom so excited? I am just walking'. Husband was very sad that he missed it, but Baby did walk for him 2 days later.  It reminds me that for all the crap stuff that Husband misses, he also misses good stuff.  Seeing how sad Husband was, makes me think about how sad I will be when I miss stuff once I am back at work.

So one of the day-cares that we were wait-listed for called and advised they had a spot opening next month.  Although this day-care is not in the perfect location for us, they do have a really good rating with the city and I did like the place a lot so I jumped on the opening and we are now registered for day-care and will have a few weeks to transition Baby in.  One less thing for Husband to worry about.

Up until this week Baby has only eaten pureed foods, except for cereal and cake.  Every once in a while I would give him other stuff but he wouldn't even put it in his mouth.  This week for both his lunch and dinner I gave him solids.  Finally today, he started eating it, he didn't have a lot and most of it ended up in his bib or on the floor (he feeds the dog).  

So, lots of new stuff.  I was thinking how as adults our world doesn't change constantly, things are pretty stable especially compared to how quickly a baby's world changes.  Even when the surroundings don't change the baby's perspective changes since their own bodies are constantly changing and growing.  Baby's seem to deal with change so much better than adults, I hope that Baby will always handle change so nonchalantly as he handled his first steps.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Profile Pic - the Week-end Brother & I Bonded as Adults

My new profile picture is one I just love.  It was taken by my brother of me walking on the Brooklyn Bridge.  I love it for many reasons;   It is a cool picture, and  I looked really cute that day.  Mostly though it is because that was a really special week-end.

At the time I was traveling a lot for work (about 75% of the time), I loved it but did not spend much time with loved ones.  My brother was going through a rough time with his family and really needed a break, so I took him to New York for the week-end.  

It was great in so many ways, I felt like I was doing a good thing helping my brother briefly get away from his troubles, it gave my brother some space & fun, and it was really the first time that we bonded as adults.

Growing up we had a love/hate relationship.  We used to fight like cats and dogs, I thought he was lazy, selfish, rude, self-centered, he thought I was a little witch (his word was actually not that nice).  At the same time,  we relied on each other a huge amount and would always back each other up to Mom or Dad.  I think that this dynamic is pretty common for children of divorce, your sibling is going through the same thing you are and  is a constant in the back and forth between parents.

For years prior to this trip we had been getting along fine,  but in general we didn't hang out together, just family occasions.

On this trip we were together for a whole week-end and it was good.  We did touristy stuff  (Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square), we shopped (normally I shop shoes, but we shopped a lot of sports stores), ate at diners, we walked and walked and walked. My Brother is a huge basketball guy and we were able to get tickets into a March Madness game in Madison Square Gardens.

It was fun, but the best part was seeing my Brother happy & excited.  He called our Dad from the Brooklyn Bridge to say Hey - I am smoking a stogie on the Brooklyn Bridge and called his buddies from the game, even though you couldn't hear a thing.    

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Baby is on Twitter

Children are so much more technologically advanced than their parents.  Baby set himself up on Twitter before I set myself up.  His tweets are pretty funny, and interesting as I sometimes have a different point of view about the same event.  Also a bit scary knowing that he is following Stewie Griffin from Family Guy.

Here is one of his tweets:
"I'm freakin hilarious.  During diaper change got poop on my foot, wiped it off on Mom's arm, dog helped - tried to steal dirty diaper, hahaha"

That diaper change was not hilarious, I got poop on my arm and the dog almost took off with the dirty diaper, Baby was squirming like crazy trying to escape.

He does seem to think that the whole poop on Mom thing is much funnier than I do, he puts up lots of tweets regarding this topic.

Also interesting that he seems to think that taking the books and movies off the shelves is helping Husband & I re-organize, whereas to me it is just a pain in the butt where things get destroyed and I need to put stuff away.

Just hoping that his techno-savvy pays off and he finds a legitimate way to make tons of money on the internet while sleeping.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Beautiful Jewelry

This is not a paid advertisement.

The jewelry from Loophole Jewelry is beautiful.  I have a few pieces myself and always receive tons of comments & compliments when I wear them.  The pieces  are unique and wonderful.

This is an excerpt from her bio:
Her ultimate goal is evoking humor, whimsy and rare imagination through the use of striking color and inventive design in each of her pieces, which is what gives Cheray her signature look.

Check out the site:

Friday, 8 May 2009

Daycare Should Not Be This Hard to Find

I am supposed to be back at work in 7 weeks and we don't have day care for Baby yet.  I should be panicking but I am pretty relaxed about it, Husband however is not relaxed at all.

When I was pregnant a couple of people made comments about getting the unborn Baby on waiting lists for day care.  I thought they were joking.  They were not.  For the first bunch of months after Baby, there was no way I was doing anything other than keeping him alive so no day care searching.  The next bunch of months I was in denial about having to ever leave Baby, so of course I didn't do anything about day care.  

Reality finally did settle in and I started searching.  I went to the Provincial web site for child services and searched for licensed day care in our area.  I then created a spreadsheet to track the information and started calling.  Everywhere I called had waiting lists of one to two years.  I asked to be placed on the waiting lists.  I then started waiting.  Meanwhile, Husband kept bringing me names & phone numbers of home care givers that he was picking off of bulletin boards.  I didn't call any of them - I really wanted Baby in a Day Care, not in home care.  

A mom at the library group we go to advised me to visit/call frequently as she believed that if the Director likes you and has you top of mind, you might get bumped up the list.  So, I started re-calling all the places, checking our status on the list and requesting tours/interviews.  Bunches of places will only give tours once you have a placement otherwise they are spending all their time giving tours.  I did go to my number two choice day care and fell in love with them.  Baby was on his best behavior and was flirty and charming with the Director & staff and did not hit or bite any of the other babies as requested by me (I was thinking maybe they would love Baby so much that they would want him to have the next spot).

It is still looking like a long shot for the day cares, so I started to call agencies that manage home care providers.  It is a compromise, in that the agencies are licensed by the government and oversee the care providers, checking on them once a month plus doing things like background checks.   After my first visit/interview with a possible home care provider, I am thinking about trying to bribe the day care Director.  The lady was very nice, but I just feel that a day care will be a better option for Baby.  

We have another interview this afternoon, and regardless of what I think of this one, it will probably not be a valid option.  Husband is very uncomfortable with the neighborhood and doesn't want me and Baby in that area, especially at night.

Hopefully something will happen, hopefully I am feeling calm about this as some sort of omen that everything will work out to the best.  Maybe the calmness is a premonition that we will win the lottery this week-end and I won't need to go back to work, and Baby can stay home with mom where he really belongs.

Below are links to articles about the sorry state of day care in Canada:

On the 4th Day Everything Changes

It seems like whenever Baby is on a good run, it lasts for 3 days and then on the 4th everything changes.  This has happened numerous times over the past 50 weeks, and this week was one of them.

For the first 3 days this week, Baby has napped twice a day for a total of 3.5-4.5 hours and has slept pretty well at night.  I was starting to think that we were getting somewhere.  A lot of the naps were not in my arms, which was great because  I needed phone time to follow up on all the day care waiting lists we are on.  I was still going to sleep too late to take real advantage of his better night sleeping, but was feeling more energized nonetheless.  

Yesterday - Day 4 - the naps were much shorter.  The dog woke Baby up with useless barking (why does the dog need to bark when mail/flyers are dropped off) and I was not able to get him back down even though I was pretty sure he was still tired.  So, during the evening he was cranky and clingy but I was able to get him off to bed before 8pm.  

Up again at 12:08am, I managed to crawl back into bed about 1:30, but was up again at 2:30.  I then spent the rest of the night sitting up in Baby's room with both of us in and out of sleep until 5:40 when he was up for good.  Interesting that he seemed to be really feeding a lot during the night (most nights he seems to be sucking while not really feeding).  I am wondering if I am not feeding him enough during the day even though he is getting 3 solid meals a day.  (Cannot wait until he can communicate hunger separate from everything else).

So of course, since he was up at 5:40 am, he ended up going down for a nap at 9:30 am the morning we have 'Ready for Reading' at the library.  We did not make it.  Probably sadder for me since this is the one time a week I get to interact with other moms.

He is currently sleeping in his stroller, hopefully for another hour or two.

I wonder if this means that 2 days from now he will be sleeping well again........

Monday, 27 April 2009

10 minutes in bed for me

I swear that Baby's sleep pattern is worsening by the day/night.  It feels like he is sleeping less and less and will only sleep with a nipple in his mouth.  I was cutting him some slack as he was teething, however the teething appears to have stopped and things have not improved at all.

For a couple of weeks now, during the day, the longest he will nap in his crib is 20 minutes.  If I lay down with him, then he will nap for a couple of hours, however at least half of that time my nipple will be in his mouth.  

This habit appears to be moving into the night.  In addition my ability to get him into his crib when he is asleep appears to be diminishing.

Yesterday, we were at my in-laws for a visit.  A visit to the in-laws is always stressful for Husband and very exciting for Baby.  Normally Baby would have napped during the time that we were there, but the environment is so exciting (why don't grandparents & Aunts like babies to sleep?) that he won't nap.  He will only nurse enough to keep his energy up, not as thoroughly as at home.  

He did nap for about 20 minutes on the drive home, which seemed to be enough to give him his second wind, so that when we arrived home he was all happy and awake.   

Around 6pm, Baby had a bath and then had his p.j.s put on.  I was planning on giving him a quick dinner and then starting the bed-time wind down, but while I was putting his p.j.s on, he latched on.  I nursed him and surprisingly he fell asleep.  He went down in his crib no problem.  Husband and I started to take advantage of the free time, however Baby woke up about 20 minutes after going down, so that didn't happen.  I nursed him down again, and this time he was down for a few hours.

I put myself to bed at 11pm and fell right to sleep.  Unbeknownst to me, Dog woke up Baby when Husband and him returned from his night time walk.  Husband spent an hour trying to get Baby back to sleep with no luck.

At first trying to nurse him was like trying to corral a hurricane, he was making noise and trying to escape but at the same time trying to nurse.  Finally he nursed himself and I to sleep.  

At some point I transferred him to his crib - he was asleep - I then crawled into bed with Husband, checking the time.  10 minutes later  Baby was crying.  I repeated process - nurse, wait till Baby is really asleep, transfer to crib, hold hand on Baby's chest until he is settled, pull up side of crib, creep away, crawl into bed with Husband:  10 minutes later Baby is crying.

For the rest of the night I nursed and dozed with Baby in the nursing chair in his room.  There were times when he was asleep but still sucking, so I would unlatch him, as soon as I did he would just latch right back on.  There were a couple of times when he wasn't latched on and was asleep so I tried to put him in his crib, but as soon as his body touched the mattress he was crying.

I spent 20 minutes in bed with Husband last night.

I am really feeling at the end of the rope.  I am not getting enough uninterrupted sleep.  My body is aching from not getting the requisite time for restoration.  (I had a check-up with my Doctor this week, and I have actually shrunk half an inch)  Baby is much grouchier and clumsier than he should be.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

What I Love

What I love:
  • Husband
  • Baby
  • Dog (not all the time, but he still makes the list)
  • Trees (don't know why but I have always been very attracted to trees - not sexually)
  • Bodies of water
  • Husband's body in water
  • Sleep (this has been added to my list only since Baby)
  • The Girls (my two best girl friends, we have been friends since 9th grade)
  • Flying in the window seat
  • The way the sun makes rivers look like liquid gold when you are looking down from a plane
  • Dancing
  • Singing while driving alone
  • Driving fast
  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce, garlic bread, Cesear salad, and a glass of red wine
  • Shoes
  • Purses
  • Walking in the woods
  • Floating in the ocean
  • Really long showers 
  • Days when my idea of make-up is more than sunglasses and my idea of a hair-do is not a hat

Things I Haven't Done

Prior to Baby, I thought I was going to get so much accomplished during my maternity leave.  Well, tomorrow Baby & I have been on mat leave for 11 months and here are all the things I was planning on doing but still haven't.  (note, some of these were supposed to be done before Baby arrived, but since he was 5 & 1/2 weeks early they didn't happen):

- paint the hallway to the bedrooms
- paint Baby's bedroom
- get Husband to finish his son's Spiderman mural
- finish step-daughter's Dora mural
- re-organize kitchen cupboard's & drawers (I did do a couple of cupboards but that was it)
- sell maternity clothes on e-bay (I did give them to Girlfriend's sister who is now pregnant so it is kind of done, at least from a de-clutter point of view)
-  sell various unused things from around the home on e-bay (did post a bunch of stuff, but did not complete any sales)
- rewire antique floor  lamp
- make baby clothes
- make nursing clothes (did try to revamp an old t-shirt into a nursing top but it looks so terrible that it has only been worn to sleep, so I don't think that counts)
- knit baby blankets for Baby's cousins also born this year
- paint mine and Husband's bedroom
- put up blind in Baby's bed-room (did try but the plaster came down when I tried drilling)
- hem the curtains in Baby's room (right now the extra length is just piled on the window sill)
- create a catalogue of all my books (got about halfway through putting them on Goodreads but never finished)
- figure out a way to bring in enough money that I would not have to go back to work
- work-out regularly (maybe I have done this, I do wear a 22 pound baby to walk the dog every day)
- learn Spanish
- learn and teach the baby sign language

Nurtured a life.
Fell in love with my son.
Become a completely different person, who so far I am liking.

Latches During Diaper Change

Baby will not lay down for a diaper change anymore, I have gotten pretty good at changing him standing up, but not so great if he is crawling.

For the last week, Baby has not been eating much solid food (teething) and has been nursing like crazy - not just drinking but sucking for soothing (due to lack of solid food, increase in baby-sitting in prep for day-care & stroller instead of carrier in prep for day-care).  A couple of times yesterday he just crawled up, nudged my tank top out of the way and latched on.    

This morning, he had a full breakfast of solid food, so of course shortly after there was a rather lovely diaper full of poop, that required an impromptu bath.  With a loaded diaper, I try to get him to lay down but he squirmed so much that he ended up with both a foot and a hand in the dirtiness.  I sometimes think he does this on purpose because he has so much fun in the tub.

After the bath, he was standing in his crib while I put his diaper on him.  While I was leaned over and with my hands busy with the diaper he just latched on.  Once I had the diaper on, I pulled out and went to get his clothes.  While trying to put his shirt on, he latched on again.  It was a very weird feeling and I felt kind of stuck.  I couldn't stand there leaning over like that for him to nurse and he wouldn't unlatch.  I ended up picking him up and  carrying him to our nursing spot while he stayed latched on.

When he was smaller and nursed every 15 minutes, I tried to carry him while he was nursing but it never worked, he wouldn't stay latched on.  It is so interesting how things change so quickly with babies and as many times as I tell myself not to get used to things, I am still surprised when he does something new.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Separation Anxiety???

As I have written before, we have been worried about Baby's separation anxiety and my return to work which will require Baby to go to DayCare.

Last week-end Grandma made another attempt at baby-sitting the Baby while I went out briefly to pick up a car rental.  So, as usual  Grandma was late, although luckily Baby and I were napping so I didn't know she was late until she was here, which meant that I didn't stress about missing the car rental.  As soon as Baby saw Grandma he  started to cry, he was wailing and I had about 5 minutes to get out if I was going to get to the rental location before they closed.  Grandma offered to drive instead of me taking the subway which I declined. (I assumed that the offer was to save me time, however taking the subway is about twice as fast as putting the car seat in Grandma's car, getting Baby dressed and then driving)  (It only occurred to me after I left that maybe that was her way of saying that I shouldn't leave her alone with the crier.)  I did ask if she was sure it was o.k. for me to leave him with her like that and she said to go, so I went.  I was only gone for about an hour, and he was o.k. but did cry off and on. 

On Sunday we were at Grandpa's for Easter Dinner.  At various  times during the afternoon Baby would be in a different room than I and would be fine, unless I came into the room.  Whenever I came into the room, he would start whining and come directly to me for some clinging on.  

Today, Baby and I went to a toilet training seminar at our local Early Years Centre.  Baby was a bit distracted and did not want to just sit and listen to the session about the potty.  He is currently teething and I was unsure how he was going to be.  He played in the middle of the group for a while but decided to crawl off to the play areas.  I followed him and brought him back but he wanted none of that.  The next time he crawled off and I went to follow, one of the staff suggested that I just leave him and he would probably come back to me.  I tried it, he did not come back, instead he ended up playing for about 1/2 hour with one of the volunteers without even a glance at me.   The only reason he came back to me was that he was really wanting to nurse and nap.

So I don't know if he really has separation anxiety.  Bad baby-sit with Grandma, Good baby-sit with Grandpa, middle of the road baby-sit with Grandma, o.k. without mom in room, play with total stranger while ignoring mom.  I am starting to think that he will probably be o.k. with day care.  He seems fine with strangers and he likes to play and interact with others whether I am with him or not.  I am hoping anyway, because it is breaking my heart already that I am going to have to leave him with others to take care of.  It will break so much more if I know that he is having a bad time.

Grandma Retires & We Party

My mother is retiring from work and moving out of town.  It will be very strange on both, my mom has been working since I was about 7 and I have always thought of her as a very busy, active woman.  On top of retiring she is moving out of town, which is a bit sad for me.  I grew up in Toronto but slowly most of my family has moved away, my mom was the last one left and she  decided to move the year that my son was born.

Her work put on a lovely  retirement luncheon for her and invited my brother and I as surprise guests.  She was very surprised and happy to see us, especially her newest grand-child.  The gathering was slightly different than anything that Baby had been to before.  There was a large crowd of adults who were noisy and made lots of clapping noises, which seemed to scare him a bit.  

It was interesting how he was totally o.k. with strangers talking to him while mom was holding him, but he would not let anyone hold him except for mom and Uncle.  He would laugh and giggle and smile (and sometimes give his shy/flirty face) to people but if they held their arms out to hold him he  would turn away.  It was interesting to note how many strangers wanted to hold him - that generally doesn't happen when we are out shopping.

Eating lunch was fun, I had to hold Baby in my arms and all he wanted to do was grab everything from the table.  He had bread for the first time, which was great, I gave him a chunk of a roll and this stopped him from grabbing - until the cake came out.  

I felt bad for Grandma.  This was the first time that Baby had seen her since the baby-sitting incident and he obviously remembered.  He wouldn't let her hold him the entire time we were there even though previous to the baby-sit, she was his favorite relative.

After lunch I let him crawl around and he had great fun trying to pull all the power cords and network cables out of the wall or trying to pull up on table clothes.

All in all, a good experience and I hope that my mom has a great retirement and that we still see her just as much even though she is moving away.  

(Although another reason that I need to get a car.)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Grandpa Rocks, or, Baby only Loves Husband

On Saturday Grandpa came to baby-sit the Baby since I will be going back to work fairly soon and we were quite worried that Baby would freak out.  Grandma had watched him the previous week and it did not go well.

Baby and Grandpa had a great time together, they played there was no crying, Baby was fine.

So, maybe Baby has just decided he doesn't like Grandma.   Then I realize, no, it is not Grandma, it is just that Baby has separation anxiety about Husband.  The day Grandma baby-sat, Husband & I went out together, this was the first time since Baby was born.  The entire week after Grandma baby-sat, Baby was super-clingy with Husband in the morning when he left for work and at night when he got home.  

When Grandpa was here, Husband had left for work hours earlier, so it was just me leaving and there were no problems.  Now, I have been away from Baby previously, but Baby was always with Husband when I wasn't there (except for the once when my Brother watched him and I think that bad experience was because Baby was nursing every 10 minutes at that time and we hadn't found a bottle that he would take yet).  The day after Grandpa baby-sat, I went out and Baby was home with Husband - No Problems.

So, I have concluded that either Grandpa is the best or the Baby only cares about Husband.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

I am a Baby Wearer

When Baby was first born, we had a stroller and we used it.  I didn't like it.  It was a barely used hand-me-down, that saved us shopping and money, which was great.  The stroller is totally functional for going for a walk, but not great for taking into the small shops and cafes in our neighborhood.

A few weeks after Baby was born, Grandma got us a Snugli, mostly for me for taking the Dog out.  At first it was great, Baby seemed to like it and I like carrying him.  But fairly quickly I was finding that my shoulders were killing me - when Baby reached about 12 pounds.  I then bought an Ergo carrier and it was amazing.  It felt so much better and best of all, Husband could put it on and put Baby in it without any assistance (with the Snugli, he always needed help).

Since obtaining the new carrier, I haven't used the stroller until today. 7 months of no stroller.  So many people have been telling me that I won't be able to carry him much longer and that if I don't like our stroller  I need to get a new one.

It was a beautiful day out today so I decided to take Baby and Dog for a long walk in the park including a visit to the park's zoo.  I thought maybe I would try using the stroller because Baby might have a better view of the animals and if we decided to hit the swings, it might be easier to get Baby out of the stroller.

I did not like it, and I don't think Baby did either.  With Baby in the stroller he faces away from me so I cannot see how he is doing, I needed to stop walk around to check on him.  When I spoke to him, I don't know if he was hearing me because I couldn't see his reaction unless I stopped to kneel down by him.  Every time I did, he looked bored - almost angry.  He didn't babble to me the way he normally does.

When he is in the carrier, I can see his face, I can see his reaction to what is around him.  I can also check his temperature just by reaching my hand up.  When I  took him out of the stroller at the playground, he hugged me like I had been away for a couple of hours.  He was also needing to nurse more than usual tonight - a sign that he did not get enough cuddling during the day.  That is one of the great things about carrying vs pushing, you get where you need to go and you get to cuddle at the same time.

I know that I  won't be wearing him when he is a teenager, but for now I will keep wearing him as long as my back will let me, I don't care what all those people say.

I had an Afternoon to Myself at Home

A week ago, Husband needed to go visit his parents for an obligatory but he offered to take Baby and let me stay home.

This was the longest time that I have had to myself at home since Baby.  Previous alone time had really only consisted of Baby being taken for a walk,  so up to an hour.  I get free time from the Baby, but normally I go out and Baby stays home with Husband.

Prior to Husband, I lived by  myself and loved it.  Prior to Baby, I used to get lots of free time at home due to different schedules that Husband and I had.  I used to miss Husband when we didn't see each other much but still really appreciated the alone time to do what ever I wanted, to just be without having anyone around.  

Since Baby, I have a lot of time with just Baby and me, and even when Baby is sleeping, it is not the same as being alone.  Baby could wake up at any minute and interrupt what ever it is that I am doing.

So, when Husband suggested that he take Baby and leave me at home, I was so excited that I didn't know what to do.
- I could just take a really long bath, give myself a pedicure
- I could take a nap
- I could read
- I could catch up on my blog
- I could cook my favorite food just for me
So many choices....

So, what did I do?  I cleaned the apartment and took a really long shower.  I know that this sounds like such a waste.  Couldn't I clean anytime?  Don't I take a shower regularly?  Yes to both but this was different.  I didn't need to worry about the vacuum waking up or scaring Baby.  I was able to temporarily put things on the floor to dust surfaces without worrying about Baby eating them.  I took a shower without having to sing or play peek-a-boo.  It was a great afternoon.

I really appreciated Husband for  the afternoon.  I also felt sorry for Husband, as apparently visiting with Baby without me wasn't so much fun.  It made me feel a little bit good that his time wasn't that great, a little bit of reality for him.

Husband & I go on a Date - Woopee!!!!!

On Sunday for the first time since Baby arrived, husband and I went on a date - without Baby -  it was the best day ever!!!

Grandma came over to watch Baby while we went out to a restaurant.  It was the most rejuvenating thing I have done in ages.  I wasn't sure how well Grandma would do, she is Baby's favourite family member, however it has been a long time since she has taken care of a baby.  Grandma was great!!  About half-way through our meal, Husband started to think that maybe we should call since he was worried that we hadn't received any phone calls.  There was an interesting conversation about getting home and finding Grandma passed out on the floor and Baby sitting in the middle of a pile of books eating them (Baby loves to pull books off the shelves so that he can ingest knowledge).

Prior to Grandma's babysitting, Baby had only been without either Husband or I once.  My Brother watched the Baby with his son while I was out wedding dress shopping with my future sister-in-law.  Brother lasted 45 minutes before making the emergency call.  Since we were close by, it ended up that Brother watched Baby for 1 hour - 55 minutes of which consisted of Baby crying his eyes out, loudly.

Grandma lasted until we got home - probably about 3 hours.  Baby did cry for the first hour approximately and then was just cranky and sad.  Happily though Baby was fine after we got home - no grudges held against any of us, although he has been extra clingy with Husband when he goes into work in the morning.

After this, we have decided to try to increase the amount of time that Baby is without us, in the hopes that it will help him with the transition to day care when I go back to work.

Grandpa is lined up for this week-end - we will see how it goes.

By the way, I think that the date Husband and I went on was the best date ever.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Arrgh - missed Lost - darn Daddy lovin Baby

I love the show Lost, it makes me crazy, I often yell at the t.v. at the end of the show, but I am addicted to it.

I missed it last night.

For the last week or so, I have been diligently nursing the baby in his room instead of in front of the t.v. in an attempt to get him to feed enough during the day that he won't wake up every hour (he is distracted from nursing by everything including "Brand Power" commercials) and to try to get him sleeping in the crib instead of my lap (much easier to transfer him 2 feet then down a hall).

So, last night I was nursing the baby, he had just dozed off and I was waiting for him to fall into deep sleep before transferring him to the crib.  I knew that husband would be home soon and wanted the baby down before that happened.  So I had just put the baby down, knowing that he was lightly asleep but figuring chances were better that he would continue sleeping if when husband got home, he wouldn't go into the room to say hi.  Husband got home right then, I was still in the room plugging in the monitor, baby wakes up.  It took another 45 minutes to get him back to sleep.  

Very frustrating!!  For a while, I was waiting until after Husband came home to put the baby down, but then he was going to sleep too late and was cranky and didn't sleep as well.  I am tempted to ask husband to not come home, except I can't because I miss him, plus this is his home.

Need to figure this out.  Need to see if I can see Lost on On Demand.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I do all the work - Husband & dog get all the admiration

It has been almost a month since I have been able to sit down and write, and I have accomplished very little during that time.  I have been trying to baby proof, which has meant re-organizing closets, moving furniture, moving stuff into storage, installing all kinds of safety hardware, etc.  I have also been working on the baby's sleeping (using the "No Cry...Solution" books) and have seen some success, but the baby is not sleeping consistently yet.

With the sleeping, I have found that what works when husband is at work does not work when he is home.  Last week, everyday that husband was at work the baby napped (not the same amount or at the same time, but slept during the day and not in my lap), on the week-end when husband was home - no napping.  It kills me that every evening, I sit there just hoping and hoping that the baby will go to sleep before husband gets home (Husband gets home at 9pm or 11pm dependent on day).  I feel guilty, I want husband and baby to spend lots of time together, but if the baby is awake when husband gets home, it adds at least an hour until I get baby in his crib.  Normally if baby wakes in the evening, it takes me maximum 20 minutes from the wake-up to back in the crib.  Last Thursday baby had woken up about 2 minutes before husband got home.  Husband came in and gave baby  kisses and very quietly talked to him for a couple of minutes then left the room to go eat dinner.   An hour and a half later the baby was back in his crib asleep.  The baby just adores his daddy so much that he can't calm down.

The baby also adores the dog.  He calls the dog and talks to the dog and tries to play with the dog.  The other night, the dog was in the living room instead of baby's room while I was nursing him to sleep.  The baby kept unlatching to look around for the dog and calling him.  I finally had to call the dog into the room so that the baby would nurse.

One week-end afternoon, the baby was sitting on my lap with husband to my right, and the dog to my left.  The baby would turn to his dad and smile, turn to the dog and smile, turn to his dad and laugh, turn to the dog and laugh.  He did not once stop in the middle to give mom even a glance.  Every day I feed the baby, change the baby, hug the baby, play with the baby, carry the baby, encourage him in his development, help him get to sleep, and most of all keep him alive.  Very frustrating that Dad gets the big laughs, the shy smiles, the giggles and the adoration while I get the crying.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Horror, The Horror of poops

Prior to starting baby on solid foods, I had read a book about how you don't need to wait until your child is 3/4 to potty train them.  Everything in the book sounded great, baby could be toilet trained by 18 months without us all going crazy.

Have you ever seen baby poops - I cannot imagine cleaning a potty with that in it!  

It gets everywhere, on his legs, up his back, on his feet (he refuses to lie still during a change).  He tries to crawl away as soon as I open the diaper, so it is always a battle to keep him lying still while I am desperately trying to wipe all the poop away without it getting everywhere.

I go through about half a container of baby wipes each time (slight exaggeration).  It is just insane how much of the smelly smeary goo comes out of him.  Where is he keeping all this, he is just a little guy.  

By the time I am done, I am sweating.  If I suspect poop before I start, I remove all loose clothing so that I don't end up with poop on my sweater or house-coat.  Although one day this week I did end up with poop on the breast part of my tank top.  

And how come he never poops when Dad is home from work or when Grandma or Grandpa are visiting?  Completely unfair.

Friday, 13 February 2009

My Husband Wants his Wife Back - I Want my Life Back

I walk around like a zombie, I am exhausted all the time, I prioritize the baby over everything/everyone else (even my self).  I waited a long time to find the right man for me and am so grateful that I did wait.  Husband and I were made for each other and love each other so much.  In so many ways we are different from each other, but we just go together.  

We both love baby to death but the strain on our relationship has been hard, and I didn't know until recently that it was so big for husband.  I knew I was feeling strain and my strain was all about practical stuff (practical to me).  I was trying to do everything during the day around the baby's schedule and then up a lot during the night.  Husband works hard and a lot (he is gone for work 12 hours/day 3-4 days a week and 14 hours/day 2 days a week - that's right, he works 6 days/week every other week) and I was feeling like I was getting all the crap and that Husband was getting only the good stuff with baby.

It turns out though that Husband was feeling strain as well, just different.  I  wasn't paying as much attention to him, I was spending most of the night in the baby's room, I wasn't talking as much (too tired + baby brain not helping with conversational skills).  

Things have been much better since we talked it through, but this is still really hard.  I am still tired, I still want more help, I still wish Husband was home more.  I am working on appreciating Husband more for what he does do instead of focusing on what he doesn't do and he is trying to remember that not every thing is about him. (He used to assume that if I was angry/frustrated after a rough day with the baby that I was blaming him, when really I was just frustrated).

But still, do I ever get my life back?  Do I get to sleep all night some time?  Do I get to take off whenever I want to go visit friends without having to worry about baby's nap time?   Do I get to go buy new shoes without thinking about the fact that 4 inch heels are not practical when carrying a 25 pound baby?  When I go back to work do I get to work until 8pm because the project timelines are under pressure without having to figure out what to do with baby?  Can I  make a phone call without worrying about the baby screaming and not hearing if girlfriend's blind date was a jerk or a doll?

I don't thing I will ever get my old life back, but maybe that is o.k.  Maybe my new life will be better.  Maybe the cuddles and the first smile, and the giggling, and the first step, and watching the world being explored by my son are more than worth what I am giving up.   So far, I think it is, I just need to remember that.

Have baby - suddenly need car

I drive but I do not have a car.  My husband does not drive.  For a few years when I was single I had a car, but after 3 years had less than 17,000KM on the car and decided I really did not need it.  I actually feel  proud of not having a car, I take public transit to and from work and for most trips where I cannot walk.  The odd time I would take a cab or rent a car (the car rentals were mostly on holidays for visiting out of town family).

Along comes baby and now I feel the need for a car more than ever, and can afford it less than ever.  Most of the time baby and I walk or take transit where we need to go, however with the baby there are more and more places that we need to go that are not easy to get to.  So many of the places I want to shop for baby stuff are out in the burbs in places designed for the driver not for transit.  

Before baby, taking an impromptu cab was no issue.  Sometimes I would walk to the store and end up buying way more than I planned (and could carry) so I would  grab a cab home.  Sometimes a trip would be part subway part cab (both my husband and I like the subway but hate buses).  Now with the baby both of these are a pain.  If baby and I walk to the store, baby will be in his lovely Ergo carrier and therefore I can't get a cab because I won't have his car seat with me.  The car seat is a pain in the but unless it is on the stroller, but taking the stroller on the subway is a pain in the but, so the combo subway/cab trip is no longer done.

I really don't want the extra expense of a car, plus I worry that if I have a car, husband will want to be chauffeured to and from work everyday, especially while I am on mat leave.  Plus I know that I will get less exercise, I will be creating more pollution and I will feel less urban, more suburban, less cool than ever.

For the short term, a car is not an option financially so I don't have to worry about it, but at some point I will be back at work and the money argument won't win.  Some day I will be a soccer mom with a mini-van, so sad.

Product Review - Safety 1st monitors & UPS

So, we live in a 2-bedroom apartment and while pregnant I thought that there was no way we would need a baby monitor - how could we not hear the baby in a place so tiny?  For the first few months I was right, the baby was always in the same room as us and no problems hearing him.  Eventually though, he began to sleep in his crib and  I decided we really needed a baby monitor, how could I live without one? The layout of the apartment is such that the kitchen and the baby's room are at opposite ends of the universe, and if the water is running in the kitchen (like when I am doing dishes for the hundredth time a day) I cannot hear the baby if he is in his room - unless he is screaming bloody murder.  So we got some monitors - Safety 1st.

The monitor worked well - no issues for months but then the receiver stopped working if it was plugged into the recharger and since you can't run it off of regular batteries, it stopped working completely.  The store would not do an exchange since it had been purchased over 3 months prior, therefore I had to go through the manufacturer.  

The customer service I received from Safety 1st was great.  The person on the phone was polite, understanding and efficient.  I received a letter and instructions on the return procedure quickly.  Outside of UPS, everything with Safety 1st went well and we now have monitors working again.

UPS though is a pain in the but.  I live in an  apartment where the buzzer is hooked into the phone.   The first delivery attempt was made while I was in the baby's room feeding him.  I did not know that a delivery was going to be coming and was surprised when I checked the phone to see  that someone had buzzed from the lobby.  The 'sorry we missed you' left by UPS indicated that they would be trying the next day, but with no time specified.  The next day, they attempted to deliver again, but of course we were out walking the dog.  The second 'sorry we missed you' indicated that they would be trying the next day either 10:30am-3pm or 3pm-5pm.  So by 5pm the next day they were still not here.  I tried to track the package on the UPS website as per the delivery note instruction, but could only see the previous attempts.  I then called UPS and the best they could do was "they should not have indicated 2 time periods and based on the previous attempts it looks like it will be after 5."  Thanks!  The dog needed to go out but if I missed this delivery attempt, I would have to go to the UPS depot to pick up the package, and even though I live in a major city, the depot is in some small town outside of the city.

So, in summary;
Safety 1st = good
UPS = sucks.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Today was one of those days, the morning went o.k., baby was not cranky and took a nap that miraculously was in his crib for almost an entire hour.  The afternoon was crappy, the biggest yuckiest poopiest diaper yet (down to his ankles and up to his shoulder blades), fussy and moody for a couple of hours and then crying/screaming/feeding for an hour.

Finally he fell asleep in my hours for a couple of hours.  Of course I don't even try to move him, because I really want him to sleep, even though I need to go to the washroom, the phone is ringing and not being answered because it is out of reach, and the dog is whining because it is his dinner/walk time.  I am also thinking that it is so late for him to nap that tonight will be another late night.

After feeding and walking the dog, the baby graze nurses for a while and then he is happy, not just happy but giggling, laughing huge smiles happy. 

So now I am happy, I feel lighter, more joyful,  just down right better.  This is what makes all the frustration and exhaustion worth it.  It is the best feeling in the world to know that simply pretending to eat my son's hands will bring such joy to both him and I.

I don't often get the giggling.  My husband can get baby to laugh and giggle so easily, while it takes so much more for me.  It totally makes my day when I hear/see him so happy with his dad, but it is even better when it is the result of something that I do.  I know that I shouldn't be jealous, but it is hard.  I am alone with the baby for so long (12 hours a day, 5/6 days a week depending on husband's schedule), so  I generally end up with much more of the bad moods than my husband gets.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Terrified - Is everyone terrified by their 8 month old?

My son terrifies me!
Sometimes when he does something new it is truly just exciting & happy - like when he started to say mom.  Sometimes when he does something new it is exciting & happy & very scary. He is now standing and starting to walk, but he still has no clue about where he is & what can happen when he falls.  He is stubborn and when he wants something he will keep trying until he gets it.  He would launch himself off the couch at the rectangular glass topped coffee table to get the remote (he is obsessed with remotes) if I didn't hold him back - doesn't he know that this is dangerous.

Husband and I have gone over many baby-proofing ideas; lock baby in a box (not gonna do it, seems like it might hamper his development), straight jackets (can't find one small enough),  attaching his  sleeper to his sheets, etc.

After doing some research it seems that we are not the only ones thinking about this, found some tents and sleep systems that are designed to keep him in his crib, hoping that we can find something that will let us feel good, will keep him safe but not curb his enthusiasm.  I would hate to turn him into the lazy kid who just sits like a lump, he already has a bad influence in his couch potato Dad.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Why won't my child sleep?

Why won't he sleep all night?

Why will he sleep in my arms but as soon as I put him down in his bed he wakes up?

I know I just asked a bunch of questions, but they are rhetorical.  I have/am trying all kinds of things to make the sleep situation better but they haven't worked.  We have gone through various times off and on through his 8 months where he has slept through the night & napped during the day, but those times have never lasted more than a week.

Don't tell me to just put him down and let him cry.
1.  If my son is put down in his crib and is not asleep, he doesn't just lay there and cry, he crawls or pulls himself into a stand - often falling down and banging his head on the crib slats.
2.  Why is it o.k. to ignore his need for comfort in this situation but not in others.
3.  I won't be able to ignore his cries for long enough to do this, so there doesn't seem to be a point in starting.
4.  For me it feels selfish to do this.
5.  It doesn't always work, and doesn't always work in 3 nights as the trainers would have you believe.  (I have read other's blogs where they have gone months and their baby is still crying and not putting themselves to sleep.)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Advice & criticism

Throughout life you get lots of unsolicited advice (don't call him let him call you, ask for a bigger raise, that colour is all wrong for you).  When you get married you get lots more advice (flowers are important, you need a bigger cake....).  When you are pregnant, even more (don't eat peanut butter, get lots of sleep now, don't buy anything you will get tons at the shower).  Nothing compares to what you get when you have a baby.

There is so much info and so much of it is conflicting, I often find it difficult to filter.  

Dress Code:
- wear pajamas all day that way you are comfy and visitors won't expect you to serve them
- get showered and dressed every day - you will feel better and get more done

- when the baby is sleeping you should be sleeping
- do your chores/phone calls, etc when the baby is napping so that you  are paying full attention to the baby

Baby's Crib:
- don't use bumper pads they are dangerous > baby can suffocate use for climbing
- use bumper pads, they keep baby safe > keep baby from bruising if they bump head on crib, keep babies limbs safe if they stick out of the rails

It goes on and on.  I have one person in my life who has been the best with no unsolicited advice, who will give advice when asked, and does not give criticism masking as advice, and I will always love this person for that.

The hidden criticism/judgement is the worst.  How can it not be a criticism if every time you talk to someone they ask the same question, and then give the same advice which you have already told them you are not going to do.  Obviously they disagree with what you are doing.

My First Post Ever

This is my first posting to my blog.

Baby has been asleep for about 15 minutes and miraculously, he is in his crib and not in my lap.  I may only have a few more minutes before he wakes up crying for mam, so this might be short.

I have never been so continuously exhausted in my life.

I have an eight month old baby boy, who is a beautiful joy.  He has enriched my life and changed how I see pretty much everything, mostly sleep.  I have a wonderful husband who I love to death, and is great with baby.  Husband also works huge hours with a too long commute which leaves me alone with baby a lot.

During my pregnancy, I was constantly amazed at how I was losing control over my life, and people  kept telling  me that this was training for how little control I would have once the baby was born, what an understatement.  I know that there are lots of parents who are in control, they set the babies schedule (feed at 11am for 15 minutes, nap at 11:30 for 1 hour, etc) but this hasn't happened for me and my baby.   People say "well just put him in the crib when he is tired and leave him"  I tried that this morning and each time I lay him down on his back, he instantly flipped over to crawl around.  So, instead of sleeping, he stood up in his crib for the first time this morning.

Uh oh, there is moaning & crying coming from the other room, gotta go......