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.