Monday, February 28, 2011

The things people say

Remember when you were pregnant? And people would say things to you like "Sleep now because you're going to be SO SLEEP DEPRIVED once the baby comes". Which? Yes, it's true. But also - it's not like you can bank sleep... so it was kind of a dumb thing to say.

Or, my favourite was "Wow!! You're BIG. You're going to have a HUGE baby." Like it's somehow socially acceptable to tell women that they're going to have abnormally giant, mammoth babies so you better start massaging that perineum like RIGHT NOW.

Anyway. I found the interesting comments haven't stopped now that I've actually spat my mammoth baby out. (By the way, she was 5lbs. 15 oz. So it was just me that was huge. Not my child.) (Which? I'm awesome when it comes to will power. I know it.)

So here are some of my post-baby faves:

Your baby is SO (insert comment here based on the person and day and the way the wind is blowing). For example: (little) (big) (happy) (sad) (chubby) (skinny). Really - I have no idea what the general public thinks of my baby. It changes day to day.

Are you breastfeeding? (I especially love it when men ask this). I would so love to answer "Yes! Would you like to see my boob right now?" Mind you, I think that would sort of work in the opposite way I'd want with men. Guys love a boob, whether it's milk-filled or not, don't they?

You're not supposed to drink alcohol. Thank you for monitoring my intake of foods and liquids, friend. But: a) I've actually done some research on this topic already, b) I've also talked to my doctor (and midwife, and doula person I know, and friend who's a nutritionist) and asked their opinion, and c) I'm sorry, but I can't hear you properly while I'm upside down doing this keg-stand. Could you come back later?

You're not supposed to drink caffeine. Please. I beg you to meet my child who hates sleep more than anything. Then I beg you to not get a good night's sleep for OVER A YEAR. And then, and only then, will I listen to your argument about the evils of caffeine.

You're not supposed to take Advil. Oh, eff you.

Has she started doing x, y or z yet? No. But I'm glad that you're pointing out that my baby isn't hitting her milestones. She also loves it. That's why she's screaming in your face while you try to hold her.

I would never do *that* to my/with my child. (See also: I would never let MY child do that.) I really don't like smug people, but I have to be smug right now. I have to. I also have to write down what you just said you'll never do and I'd like to revisit this with you in a good 3 to 9 months. M'k?

So - what are some of your favourites?



Just... wow.

I'm exhausted today. Tired. Sluggish. Slow. In short - I'm a bucket full of sunshine.

Anna was up 3 times last night. I couldn't get my butt out of bed two of the times, so my lovely husband got up. (THANK YOU, hubby. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.)

I'm still waiting for the day that we put her into her crib and she sleeps deeply and soundly all night long - not waking until 7am. (Hell - I'd even take 6, if she would sleep all night).

I can dream, right?

All you experienced parents out there - please don't crush my dreams just yet. I'm in my happy, sleep-filled place right now.

(I'm also being a tad dramatic. It's not *that* bad.)

(But I am very tired.)

(Did I mention that I was tired?)

Friday, February 25, 2011

The one in which I refer to elbow dimples A LOT.

Hi there.

Have you met my daughter?

The cutest human being on the face of the planet?

She's very pleased to meet you. She told me herself.

Excuse her a moment while she adjusts her tutu. Very important to not have a ruffled tutu, you know. (PS: I'm aware that her tutu photos are following the post about the whole Princess Parenting debate. But, you know what? Anna's cute. And life is too short to not wear a tutu.)

Obviously, Anna agrees.

Okay, okay. I'm a tad bit biased. But... really. COME ON. Would you look at that elbow dimple?

I ask you to look at that elbow dimple and then try to tell me that you aren't melting a little bit. Are you melting?? If you're not - I don't know if we can be friends.

I only like to keep company with elbow-dimple-loving-folks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Princess parenting (Yes, this is actually a term. I'm rolling my eyes right now.)

Hello? Life balance. It's you I'm looking for..... (Sung in lovely, smooth Lionel Ritchie tune).

As we all find, I'm discovering that I need more time. I need time to make money. Time to write my blogs. Time to clean the house. Time to exercise. Time to eat. Time to sleep (ha!). Etc. Etc.

Not that I'm complaining. I chose my life. And I love it. (Okay... maybe I'm complaining a little bit... but I'm tired today. And hungry. And I have to pee. So I'm a little bit cranky, okay?) Anyway. This is why my blog may not be as updated as often as I'd like.

So, in lieu of a post today... here's an "interesting" (I don't know how else to describe it) article for Moms of girls (or boys) who are all about the princess thing. Not sure I buy into what the author's selling here.

What's your take? How do you feel? I say... let them eat pink cake. Really. What harm can it be doing?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bite me. (Actually, please don't).

Last week at Kindermusik class, one of the new Moms I met was talking about how her 9 month old son's set of 8 teeth were making it hard for her to continue nursing. (I cringed just thinking about it.)

And then she said, "They don't tell you about how that all works". Which made me think "Hey! Another thing they don't tell new Moms about... I must blog about it!"

Then I remembered that I don't really have any experience in the whole biting issue. Anna only has 2 teeth - and even with just those 2, she hasn't once bitten me. The sweet little dear.

Until last night.

(She must have known I was mentally bragging about how lovely she was.)

At 4am, my wee, sweet little buttertart needed to nurse. So I went to her, lovingly held her in my arms, sat on our comfy little glider.

And then she bit me.

3 times.

Like Cam on Modern Family once said about Lily, it was like Twilight in there.

Why on earth do babies do this? Do they know they're doing this? Do they secretly think it's funny? (This is my belief. Inside Anna's head, she was giggling at how funny it was to hear Mommy yelp. The power was all in Anna's hands... or teeth, I suppose.)

So now I have all the sympathy in the world for Moms everywhere who have been bitten.

I really don't know what you're supposed to do to discourage the biting thing. Or how to prevent them from doing it. I guess you just grin and bear it and hope for the best?

If you're one of the bitten, at least you know that my heart (and my sore nips) go out to you.

Now that's a mental picture I'm sure you'll love taking away with you today.

(You're welcome, friends.)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Is it just me or does this nice weather make you uber-giddy today?

11 degrees in February? AND it's a Friday!? Can I get a "Woop woop!"?

Anyway. If you don't feel like slaving away for The Man... why not help The Lady (me) instead? Here is my first instalment of Mommy Questions. Some of you must have been through this... or have some advice... or something... right?

Mommy Questions - The Weaning/Napping Instalment

1. When it comes to weaning - when/how do you drop the last feeding? Anna only nurses first thing in the morning now. (Usually around 4:30 or 5am). Then she sleeps for another 45 minutes to an hour, then we get up and have breakfast. How long can one's supply keep this up for? What does your morning schedule look like?

2. Associated with the last question - If you're done nursing... do you give your baby/toddler a bottle when they first wake up in place of nursing? Right now, Anna gets a bottle of milk before bed and twice in the day in place of nursing. Should I cut those out?

3. Is there anything wrong with a baby drinking milk right before bed? For how long?

4. Around what age did your wee one drop one of their naps? What time do they nap now?

5. Do your babies still need soothers for naps? I can't imagine trying to take Anna's away from her any time soon. I'm in no rush... just sort of wondering around what age they can be sneakily stolen without feeling like you've just taken away your baby's only friend in the entire universe.

I have many, many more questions... but perhaps I'll save those for a later date. I don't want to overwhelm anyone here.

But, Mamas with older kiddies - I could use a little expert advice on this lovely, lovely Friday afternoon.

Thank you kindly, in advance. *Leaves post, hoping to heck that at least one comment appears on the blog, so she doesn't feel silly - kind of like the last kid to be chosen in gym class*.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Here's something new

Hey. So this is different.

I knew my body would be all weird after having a baby. But I didn't realize just *how* weird.

For example. After having Anna - I've only had my period twice. Two times in the past year. That's it. Twice!

On the one hand: Woo hoo! This is awesome! On the other hand: Huh. I wonder if I'm pregnant this month.

Other interesting things: my boobs now fascinate me in what can only be described as a car-accident-kind-of-a-fascination. They're saggy... but they're soft. Bizarre, a tad not-so-pretty, and yet, satisfying to touch.

(Too much information for you yet???)

Also. I bruise incredibly easy now. (Is that a post-pregnancy thing? Or is that just an annoying coincidence?) I cry very easily. Like - WAY easier than before. I think my hair's still falling out more than before. Sometimes my skin is wicked-awesome clear. Other times, I look like I've reverted to a prepubescent Pimply McPimplestein.

Oh. And I pee when I laugh, sneeze or jump up and down on a trampoline. I thought this was only a joke used in movies and TV shows for cheap laughs. Turns out it's true. Which? Hurrah! I'm so excited to know that Depends are in my near future!

Am I a glowing report of the joys and beauty and wonderment of post-pregnancy or what??

Hey. At least I'm honest.

WOMEN WHO HAVE NOT HAD BABIES YET: This can happen to you.

And yet... it doesn't mean crap at all when you get to look at, hug, cuddle, smooch and just be with this every day.

Would you look at that face! That chubby arm! The hat!! I can't stand it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The one in which I go all Mama Bear on your arse

I was trying to be funny with my last post. (I've always found myself funnier than I actually am... it's one of my most endearing qualities I think...). But I got a bit of a stupid comment (not on the blog) that was basically calling my whole outlook on Motherhood into question.

So I'd just like to set the record straight.

I love being a Mom. Anna is my life now. If you're my friend on Facebook, you'll notice that for the past year, I've had a hard time talking about anything but her.

This blog isn't meant to be an outlet for me to bitch and moan about how hard Motherhood is. It's not meant to make people feel sorry for me. And it's not meant to be a place for me to talk about how I find life with my little ankle biter unbearable. Because none of that is true.

What is true is this: I created the blog because my saving grace during this INTENSELY HUGE learning curve of being a first-time Mom was having a community of other Moms around me to talk to. So I wanted to be able to pay it forward and give that to other Moms in some small way.

I wanted other Moms to read my stories, and, hopefully, be able to relate and realize that there are lots of us going through the same things.

I wanted other Moms to know that they're not alone.

When you're sleep deprived, or feeling guilty, or worried about possibly making the wrong move when it comes to this new blank-slate of a life that you're responsible for, I wanted you to know that it's okay. You're okay. We're all just doing our best. And really - that's all our babies need.

Being a Mom is absolutely the best thing I have ever done in my life. Without question. It has changed my life. But the truth is, it's really hard. And if anybody out there tries to tell you that the first year of your first baby's life is easy - they're delusional. Plain and simple.

Anyone who's reading this blog can go ahead and tell me my writing is crap. You can call my grammar into question. Heck - you can even tell me I'm incredibly unfunny (I won't believe you, of course). But don't ever, ever call who I am as a Mom into question. Or how I feel about being a Mom.

Because then I'll have go all Mama-Bear on your arse.

(PS: To my Mommy followers - thank you for reading! I hope I'm helping you out. I hope you'll continue to comment so other Moms can get great advice and support from you, too.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anna's updates

I know that every baby is different.

I know they all develop at different stages.

I know that it doesn't matter if they're one year old with only 2 teeth in their entire mouth. (Cough *Anna* Cough)

But I can't help but have an interest in hearing about where babies are, at what stage, and then silently comparing Anna to them.

Yes, yes... it's wrong. But... meh. I do it anyway.

So, if you're at all like me and would like to know if your baby is the same as (or is bizarrely different from) at least one other baby in the world... well, here's your chance.

Anna's stats:

Age: 1 year old

Teeth: Two. That's it. Two bottom teeth and the rest is ALLLLLLLLL gums.

Hair: Very little. It's growing more in the back, but if you were to look at her, she'd still be classified as a mostly bald baby.

Size: She's 20 lbs., 6 ounces. And 29 and a half inches tall. In other words - in the 25th to 50th percentile for weight and the 75th percentile for height. Long, lean baby machine!

Crawling: She's been doing it since she was 8 and a half months. And man she is FAST. She's definitely good at the crawling thing.

Cruising: Shortly after crawling, the cruising began. Anna's always loved pulling herself up and standing. So it was no surprise to me that she'd quickly find a way to make her way around the house by holding onto stuff and shimmying along.

Walking: Not quite yet. She's taken 3 steps, here and there. But she's not 100% sure that she wants to give it a real go yet. Why would she when Mom and Dad will bend over all hunchback-like so she can hold our fingers and merrily prance about the room??

Food: She has suddenly become a picky eater! In the past 3 weeks to a month, Anna will no longer eat: carrots, peas, green beans, black beans, cheerios, oatmeal, lentil mush (a recipe I've made for her that she's loved in the past) or anything that resembles something healthy. Crackers and toast are her go-to foods now. My little carb-loading baby.

Hmmm... what else? Oh yes...


Skin: Softest skin ever. I love touching her face - especially her cheeks and chin area because it's so soft and sweet and lovely.

And finally... as well all know... my favourite subject...

Sleep: Getting better. But the child refuses to sleep all night long still. She's woken up a few times tonight already. Mostly it's just once a night now. Fingers are crossed for the day this happens. Come on, sleep... come to Mama.

Anyway - I'm always interested in other babies. So - where are your little buttertarts at?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The great daycare dilemma

Yesterday's comments (thank you, readers!) lend themselves to another interesting internal debate that is constantly raging inside my head.

Daycare center vs. home daycare vs. having family take care of the wee one.

I've been thinking about this a lot... listening quietly when I hear other Moms talk very passionately about this subject. But my mind still isn't made up.

Right now, Anna's with her Nanny while I'm not at home. My hours are kind of all over the place, and I'm fortunate enough to have someone who can work with me and my effed-up schedule. But that's not the only benefit, in my opinion.

Here's how I see things.

Having family watch the baby - pros:
  • Your wee one gets to be with someone who loves them an INSANE amount. (If you could see my parents or my husband's parents with our buttertart, you would think that life did not begin until Anna came into the world).
  • Your baby will have someone's undivided attention. Think about how much a grandparent loves to hold, snuggle, pinch the cheeks of, give gum to, and overall shower their grandkid with love and attention. That can't be a bad thing.
  • Less stress. While I'm away from Anna, I can focus on what I'm doing. I'm not constantly worrying if she's standing in the middle of a room crying while nobody pays attention to her. And I'm not worried about rushing home so I don't have to pay $8000 for each nano-second I'm late picking her up.
  • Familiar environment. Yesterday was my first day away from Anna for an extended period of time. Her reaction? She slept really well, had a great big lunch, played and didn't cry once. Being in a home that she's visited before, with her doting grandparents and lots of toys helps.
  • The price is right.
Home daycare - pros:
  • Baby/toddler interaction. Your baby will be with other babies and, most likely, toddlers in varying ages as well. Which means, they'll probably learn new things faster. Mind you, this could also mean that your baby's first word could be that cool new swear word the big kids learned at school last week. (Mommy, what does @^&#*!! mean?)
  • Semi-familiar environment. 1-year olds still seem so wee to me. So, transitioning from being in their warm, cozy, lovely home to a daycare center seems kind of sudden. With a home daycare, at least they've got that cozy home setting still. (Even if it doesn't smell like home.)
  • Cheaper than daycare centers. Let's face it, daycare is ridiculously expensive. Just another indication that our country is a bit screwed up when it comes to how we take care of our young ones. Home daycare isn't cheap - but at least it's a bit more affordable.
Daycare center - pros:
  • Lots of learning. Your baby will interact with other kids. They'll learn letters and numbers and shapes and colours. They'll even learn that fun tidy-up song. (Brainwashing our kids into thinking cleaning is fun = awesome).
  • Schedules, schedules, schedules. As the Baby Whisperer likes to beat into our brains, schedules are good things for babies. They thrive with a schedule. Schedule, schedule, schedule (okay... now I'm just having fun saying it. Like this: shed-u-el.)
Maybe it's because I've been up since 3am (damn you insomnia!) but that's about all I can list off for pros of a daycare center. Actually, maybe my mind is more made up than I thought. (The pros dwindle as my list goes on, I see...)

NOT to say that if you take your baby to a home daycare of a daycare center that there's anything wrong with it, whatsoever. There are pros and cons to everything. I'm just trying to wrap my head around a subject that I know a lot of Moms struggle with.

After a year of bonding and developing and learning about your baby - the next step seems so hard. Who should be in charge of the continued health and development of your little one? Are they learning enough? Are they getting enough interaction and stimulation? Are they loved and cared for enough?

Man. This having children thing is certainly not for the faint-of-heart.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The going back to work debate

This coming week marks the first week that I will be officially leaving Anna for several days, and for more than a couple of hours at a time.

*Tries very hard not to sob while attempting to blog*

I've got a job set up that requires me to go into an office for a few days. Therefore, Anna will be without her Mama. And I will be without my Anna.

Again, the rational side of my brain is telling me that everything will be just fine. Lots of Moms do it. And their babies are happy. They're perfect. It works, and it has been working for a very long time.

Anna is going to be happy and fine and everything will be lovely. I know it will. Honest.

But I can't help but feel a bit nervous. A bit sad. And a bit torn.

I haven't officially reached that point yet where I feel like I absolutely *must* get out of the house and get some alone adult time with other grown-ups. As long as I can get out and about, and bring Anna with me, I'm just fine with the way things are working.

We're a team. We haven't been apart for very long at all yet. I haven't even been away from her over night once. And while I know it's possible, I don't really feel the need for it just yet.

(She's still so itty bitty. What if she needs her Mama?? What if she wants her Mama??)

Seriously though. I understand where Moms are coming from when they say they need to get back to work, back to a life that isn't just "Mommy", back to an environment where they use their brains in a different way.

But I'm not there yet. I like my brain just the way it is.

So, when it comes to the stay-at-home or go-back-to-work debate, where do you sit? How did you cope when you had to go back the first time? Am I being silly? Is everything going to be just fine?

Please tell me the answer is yes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Tomorrow is my daughter's first birthday.

Tomorrow is the day I sappily utter the phrase "last year at this time..." over and over.

Tomorrow is the day I get to spend with my cute, little family - Anna, my husband and me.

Tomorrow is the day I won't really be blogging.

Because tomorrow is the day I'll be staring at this as much as I possibly can...

Happy birthday, baby.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The post-baby body

From what I understand, it doesn’t seem to matter if your baby is just born, 6 months or 2 years old – the likelihood of your body being the same as it was pre-baby is pretty slim. (Unlike my tummy right now.)

Not to be all “woe is me”, but in the post-baby weight struggle, I sometimes honestly feel like I’m the only Mama dealing with this.

It’s been a year now. (12 long months). And I still have 15 pounds to lose just to get to the weight I was before getting pregnant.

Most of the Moms I’ve spoken to have lost all the baby weight LONG before their baby is a year, and didn’t really have to work super hard to get there. SIDE NOTE: If you’re one of those Mamas who had the weight just fall off – I’m sorry, but I hate you a little bit right now.

I, on the other hand, have to watch what I eat carefully, work out and take Thyroid medication just to maintain my weight. Hello?? Annoying much?

(Excuse me a minute while I dust the arrowroot cookie crumbs off my keyboard.... Thanks. And now back to my rant about how hard it is for me to lose weight...)


Oh, and for everyone who says breastfeeding makes you lose the weight easily, I respond with a hearty, full-bodied: HA!

My hips are forever changed. So my pre-pregnancy jeans will probably never be worn by me again. I have stretch marks on my tummy that are just sort of fading now. My boobs are still Nell-Carter-giant (aka: not in the good way).

So yeah. I think it’s safe to say that my body is different.

I can deal with the body changes. I really can. But the weight thing tends to get me down every now and again. Mostly because I look around at all the other Moms who have lost all their weight and wonder:

“What the heck am I doing wrong?”

But that’s pretty much the mantra for new Moms everywhere, isn’t it?

Weaning: The when and the how

I have no idea how to wean my baby from the boob.

I know it’s not mandatory to do at any specific point and time. And I know that the longer you breastfeed, the more health benefits for the baby. But I’m ready. Anna’s going to be a year on Friday. It’s time for us.

I’ve given her whole milk in a bottle twice a day for the past few days and she loves it. But she still grabs at my shirt and tries to motorboat my chest… which is my daughter’s classy way of saying “I’d still like Mama’s milk thank you very much”.

So I nurse her first thing in the morning, before bed and once in the middle of the night. And I’m not quite sure how to stop this whole process without Anna freaking out on me and without my boobs leaking all over the place.

It’s kind of like anything you try to quit, isn’t it? Do I go cold turkey? Do I just deal with Anna’s wrath? Do I start giving her milk in a bottle before bed… or could she just have water? Or nothing?

So many questions about my boobs.

I don’t know. What has your experience been? How did you wean?

Help a Mama out, yo.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sleep Issue

As many of you who know me have heard (many, many times)... my daughter Anna and I haven't figured out the whole sleep thing yet.

For the longest time, this used to embarrass me.

I was somewhat ashamed that my daughter who was 7 months old, 8 months old, 10 months old... (whatever stage we were at) wasn't sleeping through the night and was still waking to nurse.

She's still doing it. Still at almost 1 year old.

I thought I had come to terms with it and had made peace with my exhaustion. That was... until I went to a Mommy and Me sing-song class yesterday morning.

We had to go around the circle and say a "happy/sad" thing about our babies or our lives. You know... "We're happy because so-and-so is starting solids soon! We're sad because he hates his bath time!" Anyway. So it was my turn and I proudly claimed:

"We're happy because Anna's first birthday is on Friday. But we're sad because she's still not sleeping through the night". And then I waited for the nods, knowing smiles and murmurs of "I've been there" and "Tell me about it" or "Little Billy doesn't sleep well either".

Instead, I got awkward stares and the comment "That IS sad" from one Mom.

I was a bit shocked. My experience with fellow Moms so far has been almost completely positive. I haven't felt judged or like I was the only one who didn't know how to get their baby to sleep.

But yesterday I felt that embarrassment creeping back again. In my head I was thinking "That's it. I have to immediately get home and get this sleep thing under control."

So I rushed home, stood in my doorway looking at my baby smiling up at me, laughing and waving (her new favourite thing) and I realized that everything was okay.

My baby doesn't sleep well... and that's okay. She's happy and healthy and she loves her Mommy and Daddy.

We're doing just fine.

Of course, then I remembered the words of encouragement I've heard in the past from my amazing Mom friends. Things like "My kids never slept well... and the only thing that worked was to give them time to figure it out" and "We're in the same boat as you, Hez" and "I totally understand. My daughter/son didn't sleep well until she/he was 15 months old".

So I took a deep breath and picked up my baby who hates to sleep and gave her a big kiss. Then we went downstairs to play.