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.