New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Sniffles n’ Cuddles….

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse for a parent then seeing your own child sick. Whether it’s the flu, a common cold or an ear infection you would do anything in your power to take away their pain to make them feel better. Over this last year Aud has caught a cold a couple times (fact: babies can catch up to 8 colds a year!), and there are a few key things we have used that really seem to work. I wanted to write a bit about what we experienced and what those are to help out any mums or dad’s out there who might wanna know!

For some it may be a easier to distinguish how their little one’s are feeling because they are able to communicate, tell Mommy or Daddy their tummy or head hurts. For a parent of a baby it’s definitely more of a challenge to know for sure what is bothering them. I can’t tell you how many times I took Aud to the Dr. because she pulled on her ear, or had a runny nose, or because I thought our thermometer was broken. You know it’s overkill when the receptionist and nurses know who you are without having to check in…(guilty).

The second week we were home with Aud she got sick. Can you imagine how we felt? Having a two week old newborn with whom we are just getting to know, learning how to take care of, still trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and she get’s sick. Jon had gotten sick and although I told him not to pick her up or go near her (puh-lease), she’s his brand new baby girl, how could he not?

When we took her to the Dr. unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do. He suggested saline drops and a nasal aspirator and to nurse as much as I can. Although it was a common cold (no fever) the thing with babies, especially newborns, is that there is always that risk of an illness turning into Pneumonia so extreme caution and extra extra TLC is needed!

Poor girl was so stuffed up and being that little she just did not know how or what to do about it. I don’t know about you but I really wasn’t getting anywhere with that nasal bulb so Jon, (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) being the wondering daddy that he is, literally sucked the snot out of her nose with his mouth (spitting it out immediately after). Now, if that isn’t some serious daddy love I don’t know what is.

After a few days of him doing this, I finally came across something that would be our savior this last year. The Hydra Sense Nasal Aspirator for newborns and infants. Like the bulbs you see at hospitals and in the infant medical kit you probably got at your shower, it’s purpose is to relieve nasal congestion. The difference is that like how Jon was sucking the snot right out of her nose, this traps the mucous and stops it from actually getting into your mouth! Trust me this is one product you definitely are going to want to go and get. It also comes with some saline drops which can help loosen up the mucous and make it easier to get out.

Another thing we used was Coryzalia which is by the Boiron family (same company that makes the Camilia-great product for teething relief). Coryzalia is a homeopathic medicine used to relieve symptoms such as runny rose, sneezing and nasal congestion (ages 1 month-6 years). It comes as ready to use sterile water based doses, which makes it that much easier to give your baby.

We also use the ‘kids 0-9’ cough and cold syrup, another homeopathic medicine free of dyes and sugars and helps relief mucus, congestion, fever, and coughing. She loves the taste of it so she doesn’t protest it. It seems to do it’s job!

Last but not least is TLC.  As I said earlier, the worst thing as a parent is seeing your child sick but I can say without hesitance there is one good thing that can come from it…snuggles!! Whenever Aud has been sick she is extra snuggly and cuddly, and I take it to full advantage!

So although she might be feeling under the weather and she gets up about 5 times during the night, and is cranky, and whiny and it feels like there isn’t anything I can do to make her better- the moment when she clings onto me and crawls up my legs to get in a snuggle and some extra kisses its worth the snotty noses and interrupted sleeps.

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Dinnertime with Mum-By: Baby Aud

Hey people,

I know mama complains and tells you all that I’ve become this picky eater but once I walk you through what dinnertime is like around here maybe you will sympathize with me, I mean how could you not with this face.

It all starts around 4:48 p.m…to get mama’s attention I scream my head off just so she knows I’m parked at her feet, don’t need her stepping on me. Some days if I feel like throwing in a tear or two I make it happen, on command, I’m that good.

Then to make sure she knows dinnertime is at 5 p.m. I crawl in and our of her legs (kinda like a cat), I pull on her pants and sometimes her pants come off and if she has food all over her fingers she cant pull them back up so she has to cook with no pants, (Ok that I might do for a good laugh).

I know she tells me to calm down and that it will only be another minute or two but come on women don’t you know time is of the essence around here. I gotta go meet Dumbo and Tigger at the zebra chair after dins so I can show them who’s boss. God, what is with mum and this animal print?

FINALLY, dinner is ready. She sits me in my chair and I oblige. Here comes the bib. I hate these things, they just get in the way really, but it is a fun game to play. She put’s it on, I rip it off, she put’s it on, I rip it off, she put’s it on, I rip it off, HA! I WIN! No bib, unless it’s that one with the thing attached to it, I’ll wear that one. When is she going to get it? I like the bib with the thingy. GOD. If only I could wear it as a cape, then I’d be ok with it.

Here comes my entrée. First of all, I don’t understand why I can’t eat off a plate or out of a bowl like any normal person? She just slaps my food right on my tray. Really? I am not an animal, unless I can pretend to be a dog, then I’m ok with it, I love dogs.

So my food is on my tray, no plate, no bowl. Well that just makes it easier to play this game I like to call, ‘ Throw all my food on the floor, watch mum pick it up and then throw the rest of it on the floor!” She should appreciate it, I mean she get’s some squats in there.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” Ya, I like to throw a scream or two in the mix just to make sure she’s still paying attention. I wonder what’s in that bottle mum has? Looks like some kind of red juice she’s pouring into some fancy glass…I’ll get back to that.

Here comes some more food. Oh.My.God. really mum? Carrots? You know how much I hate carrots? I don’t get why you keep giving them to me? Stick to what you know mum, stick to what you know. I am totally not eating these. Where are the peas? Where is the cheese? There she goes for that glass she has. Just get me some cheese, will ya?

I know, I’m going to squish the food in my hands and then wipe it all over my head and I wonder if this will slick my hair back? For some reason these people will not cut my hair. Something about side bangs?

I don’t understand why she keeps giving me food I will not eat. ‘Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh” maybe that will help? Ok, she’s walking away, walking away, walking away, where is she going? She better be getting me some cheese. I’m just going to throw my cup on the floor just in case she doesn’t think I’m serious.

Finally!! Cheese! That’s all I ask for, doesn’t she understand? When I say “Da, da, da, da, da” I am not calling for Daddy I’m asking for cheese, because Daddy always gives me cheese. He understands me, I bet he’ll even give me a cookie or two when he get’s home.

Ahh finally, almost a full belly. I know I get some sweet good’s coming my way. Hmm…what is she cutting up over there? ‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHH” just want to make sure she knows I’m waiting.

Now what!? Really? This is what you bring me for dessert? I thought dessert consisted of cakes and cookies? Not apples and raisons. SWIPE! Down go the apples, I will keep a couple raisons only because I do enjoy them. Here come more apples! Seriously? SWIPE. Down they go.

“Bababababababababa” that she has to understand. Banana!!

Finally, just when I think she is getting it, she comes in with a wet cloth. Um Hello? If I turn my head in protest that means I do not want a wipe down, I am perfectly ok with food stuck to my face, I’m saving it for later as they say.

Alright! Now it’s time to really throw her off her game, I know she’ll give me that cookie. ‘Mamamamamamamamama-mamamma” sad face, arms outreached, “mamamama.” SUCCESS!! Cookie in hand, and some puff’s. I musta really put on the show tonight.

And that friends, is what it’s like for me. I know, tragic isn’t it? Why can’t a baby just get some cheese and cookies for dinner? Geeze. Oh well, theres always lunch time:)

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A Day In The Life

As a Stay At Home Mum (yes-it’s a title!) I often wonder if my LO is going to be ‘on-track’ with the other toddler’s.  When I see my friends who have their kid’s in daycare I often find myself asking “so what things are they doing in daycare that are different then at home?” I’m not worried that baby girl wont be on the same track as her kiddie friends or that she is missing out, I just want to make sure she is receiving enough stimulation and eventually when she does go to daycare she isn’t the only kid still being spoon-fed.

Our day’s are pretty repetitive, which I’m sure it a-ok considering our kids thrive on routine and structure. Throughout the day she has some ‘alone’ play-time. Where she sits with her toys and plays and keeps herself busy, this can go for about 20 minutes. This is an important time of day for us, for one I get some time to drink my coffee, check my emails, browse the news, blog- and Aud learns that even though I am a TON of fun, she can figure things out on her own and have a good time doing it.

I sit from afar and watch as she chews on just about everything she touches, dumps out all her blocks and shapes and puts them in whatever holes and openings she can fit them into, give her stuffed animals hugs and kisses, walk around, crawl; and eventually play-time ends once she has this concentrated distant stare on her face when I know it’s diaper change time…

It’s funny to remember from when she was an infant she would just stare, shake, rattle, and bang her toys and now she has figured out the functions of them, stacking blocks, pushing her toy truck. It’s truly amazing what their little brains absorb in a year.

We go for a walk everyday, weather permitting. On our walk I talk and chatter about the leaves changing colors, how tall the tree’s are, the cars that drive by, the squirrel that just ran in front of us, the birds that are chirping. People who walk past us, especially teens, definitely giveme that ‘crazy lady, who is she talking too?’ look.

Seeing as I am someone who talks a lot, I chat to her about everything, and it’s not always in baby babble. They say speaking to your child as though they understand you is better then baby talk as it could hinder their vocabulary. I say mix it up- just remember to point out everything to him/her- Body parts, colors, shapes, foods, numbers, letters- it really doesn’t matter how you say it as long as your saying it.

We sing songs all day, top 40’s, nursery rhymes, country, appropriate rap, house rock… just about everything. There isn’t one style of music that she hasn’t been exposed to at this point. Some of our favorite songs to sing range from ABC’s to Old MacDonald, Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow to Madonna’s Like A Prayer, I like to think I have a pretty good vocal range and Aud completely agrees- no holding back when we belt out tunes.

At this point we are going to start really focusing on things like letters and numbers. I have made the alphabet and number’s 1-10 on cue cards (super easy) with shapes or objects that relate. Each few days we are going to focus on one letter, number or shape. I also plan to pin it on a few places around the house so she see’s it, and when we walk past it, stop and say it out loud. I know, I know you might be thinking isn’t she a little young to start that? I am not starting it so that by 2 years old she is adding and subtracting, it’s more of learning by association thing. For all I know it could be disastrous and the cue cards will be in a cupboard for the next two years, but it’s worth a try.

We also play with knob-puzzles, we build forts, we watch The Wiggles, we paint and color, we also go on lots of play dates and join different mommy/baby classes that are offered in our area; no wonder we are both exhausted by 7 p.m, let’s not forget the house work, cooking, laundry, showering, bath time,  (that I could rant about for a while)…ohh the life of a mummy.

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Well the day has finally come, it’s Halloween!! I remember this time last year my LO was only a couple weeks old, and Jon, being the guy that he is, said he was taking her out trick-or-treating to which I replied with a Hell No. A year later I wasn’t about to deny him a second time. He has been talking about it for weeks, how he was going to be out all night with her and get a whole pillowcase full. Which makes me think he is thoroughly missing his childhood days of the infamous events of today. Well I can tell you he a) wont be out all night with baby and b) he will definitely not be getting a pillow case full of candy tonight. Personally, yes I am looking forward to showing off baby girls adorable costume, and getting the “awww, she’s so cute and adorable” reactions when people open their doors, but I especially can’t wait till the next day when I go to Wal-Mart and buy all the candy and chocolate at half-price to indulge in over the next week, or two days…

We went to the pumpkin patch last week and got Aud a little wee pumpkin! I had this awesome idea that I would buy some non toxic paint and let her go nuts! Needless to say there was paint everywhere, she tried (very hard) to eat it, she was not interested in the pumpkin at all, she smeared paint all over herself… but I do believe we have a baby Picasso on our hands…so I hope you all have a great and memorable day and remember this day is not only for the kids but for us too, so enjoy!!

Here are a couple safety tips I got from http://www.safekidscanada.ca/

1. Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older child since they lack the developmental skills to cross the street on their own. This is a year-round tip that will help keep your child safe while you share good pedestrian habits and pass on a legacy of safety-minded behaviour.

2. Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic. This vital skill is especially important when children are distracted and excited. Never rely on traffic signals alone – use your eyes and ears to make sure it’s safe to cross.

3. It’s unsafe to cross between parked cars or other obstacles – always cross at crosswalks, street corners or intersections. Many injuries occur when children run out between parked cars, but even at intersections it’s vital that children practice tip #2.

4. Stay on the sidewalk or path when walking from house to house and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you. From a very young age, children can be taught that roads are for cars and sidewalks are for kids. If your community has no sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous – adult accompaniment and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.

5. Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility and choose face paint instead of masks. Masks can make it hard for your child to see properly and often restrict peripheral vision, making it difficult to check for oncoming traffic before crossing a road.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun filled ghoulish Halloween!

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Mealtime Suggestions-The Easy Ones

As I mentioned before my baby girl was always such an amazing little eater. When we started solids she would pretty much eat anything I pureed for her! From butternut squash to turnips, she would eat it with no protest. Today is a different story. Unless it has cheesy layer on top (which she still manages to find a way to only eat the cheese) or a sweet, fruity taste she absolutely refuses it. UGH.

I know I wrote a post about how I have decided not give in to the eating shenanigans, and some days it does work for us, but I thought I would share with you guys some of the things that actually do make it into her mouth and not on our floors. What I don’t get is why is she so unwilling to eat off her plate during dinnertime but if she finds a piece of it on the floor (ok, sometimes it’s hard to pick up every single crumb!) she sticks it right in her mouth? Maybe floor eating will be my next attempt at broccoli.

For breakfast we never really have a struggle, we wake up and she gets a bottle of about 6 ounces of whole organic milk. About an hour later she has her cereal with pureed fruit. This is my favourite meal of the day to give her, no mess and no fuss, and we are both satisfied after. I will sometimes venture outside the box (and if we have run out of cereal) and give a waffle or eggs, which she does enjoy just as equally.

Lunch time– Did I mention how much she loves cheese? So one staple thing we have for lunch is cheese and toast. I mean, from what I hear I think this is every kid’s favorite. I don’t only give her cheese and toast though, this is where hiding the food comes in. I often include a protein, so either Natural selects or Mayfield Natural’s turkey or white tuna in water, low sodium.

Tuna has been our newest addition. I was always a little hesitant about giving her anything from a can, but since Jon and I don’t eat any type or kind of fish I figured it couldn’t hurt. She loves it! I also mash a quarter of an avocado and spread it on under the meat, stick it in the toaster oven, and voila! She gobbles it up! Now, cut up avocado into bite size pieces and put them in front of her, no-way. It all ends up on the floor or she has become clever in hiding it beside her seat.

I decided to try out spreads with different things, spinach, broccoli, carrots, mixed veggies. Ahh, I got it, this is how I get the veggies into her. So I steamed my veggies, got out my baby bullet for the first time in a while, and pureed the veggies. Spread it on the toast, covered it with meat and cheese, it worked! It’s really hilarious the satisfaction you can get from knowing your kid just ate a bunch of veggies, I really felt it was a high five, my work here is done, kind of moment. So if your kid is like mine, try out the spreads, this has been a glorious way in making sure Aud is getting her veggies at lunch.

Snack time, we don’t really have issues. I try not to give her an afternoon snack because then she is even fussier and more difficult at dinnertime, and actually since cutting out her afternoon snack I have noticed a big difference come dinnertime.

When she does have snacks it’s usually puffs, raisins (regular or blueberry), fruit bars, cereal bars, yogurt, cheese string, baby cookie, half slice of toast with PB, cut up fruit (depending on the day as this is also something she enjoys throwing on the floor and finding later), really anything fruit related I give her.

Then comes dinnertime. I’m not going to go on and on again about how difficult this time of the day is for us. You can read about my dinnertime fun here.  Like I said, I just wanted to give some ideas to you who might be going through the same things I am.

Dinnertime– We haven’t quite got to the point yet where she eats table foods, (the same dinner as us). The reason being is because most of the week Jon usually isn’t home until around 7, Aud has dinner around 5-530 p.m. so I end up making dinner for Jon and I while Aud is having her dinner. I am starting to grow tired of making two separate meals and really don’t want to make it a habit for the future; so in the next few days I have given myself the task of creating a monthly meal plan and kitchen inventory list and will start planning out our dinners so we can all enjoy the same things, (I’m really hoping this isn’t one of those things that stay on my to-do list for the next 6 months…)

Anyways! Here are the few things I have been giving baby girl for dins:

-Whole wheat pasta using a pureed veggie sauce, topped with parmesan cheese (again, the pureeing the veggies is a great way to use as a sauce, add a little whole milk for a little more of a creamy flavor, I have also added a little bit of cream cheese)

– Cut up pieces of baked chicken in olive oil- she loves chicken-thank goodness.

– Scrambled eggs with veggies and cheese-exactly how it sounds, at times I notice she picks around the veggies but if I chop them small enough she doesn’t even notice!

– Broccoli and cheese pancakes! My newest fave to use for dinners is pancake mix!! I pretty much add anything to the batter and so far she has loved it. The other night I made a lentil, spinach and cheese pancake and she only threw the last piece on the floor because she was full! Pretty much put whatever you want in the batter!

– Chicken, rice and veggie casserole-casseroles are great because you can pretty much throw anything and everything in one dish, bake it and serve. She hasn’t yet protested one I have made…I’m pretty such it’s because I just top it with cheese as per usual.

Right now you might think her meals seem pretty standard or plain in comparisons to what you see in the baby and toddler cookbooks, but honestly some of the stuff in those books is a) time consuming b) will end up on the floor. When I have implemented our monthly meal plan her meals will change and she will start to eat more of what we do, and I’m sure you can expect my experience to be documented.

If anyone has any suggestions on cookbooks or you have a recipe to share with easy, fast, and filled with ingredients I will actually have in my cupboard then please let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

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Introducing LAM Accessories!!!!

Ok fellow mummy’s, especially those of little girls! I recently was introduced to an amazing small business called LAM Accessories. She hand-makes mostly one of a kind pieces inspired by her little girl and specializes in everything accessories from babies to adults. She not only can custom make pieces for you she also offers weekly RTS sales (ready to ship) on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/LAMaccessories?fref=ts which can go pretty quickly if you don’t act fast!

Right now if you join her Facebook page and mention that I sent you, you will be entered to win a $15 gift certificate for LAM Accessories which I can guarantee you will use without hesitation!! So hurry up, like her page and do some shopping!

LAM Accessories will be on Roger’s TV Wednesday Oct 25  demonstrating how to make a headband!! Tune in!

Visit LAM Accessories website www.lamaccessories.com

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Staging for the Play-dating

Aud and I are avid play-daters and have been since she was about 3 months old. We thoroughly enjoy meeting up with mummy and baby friends and making an afternoon of it. As I have mentioned in past posts I have a really amazing circle of mums and babes, most of which have gone back to work, but a couple who are still at home.  I live a little out of the way for a lot of them but have come up with creative ways of hosting like meeting up at the park for a picnic, or stroller walks and splash pads in the summer, mall walks in the cooler days. There are times I have hosted at my place and as I was getting ready for our play-date I couldn’t help but giggle to myself about how I ‘stage’ my home for company.

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a clean house, or that my place is a dirty, frazzled mess all the time. I actually thoroughly enjoy cleaning and organizing but since becoming a mum finding time to do a full out clean or even the daily dusting is few and far between.

So here I go, picking up toys, dusting every shelf, shining the mirrors, scrubbing the bathroom and then it dawned on me. Does my mum friend really believe this is what my place looks like everyday? Am I really fooling her to believe I make our bed every day? That my kitchen looks this immaculate? Not to mention the fresh baked cookies and pumpkin spice candle for smell. If only I was a real estate agent staging homes for a living, I think I would do pretty well.

How funny is that?  Her and I have actually had a good laugh about it before. How we try our best to impress other mums, giving off this façade of a women who keeps it all together, who’s floors are spotless and shelves are dustless. Personally I have never walked into a fellow mum’s home and thought OMG? Why hasn’t she folded the toilet paper ends in her bathroom? Or I see a spot on her mirror, doesn’t she clean? Puh-lease.

Ready for the truth? I definitely do not make my bed everyday, actually our room usually looks like a clothing bomb went off. I have this bad habit of getting out clothes, changing a million times and never putting them back. Then finally at the end of the week when I can no longer see my dresser I decide to go through it all and put it away.

I do have a habit of vacuuming a couple times a week but only because Audrina will find the smallest of smallest fluff or crumbs and eat it, (ok-do babies have x-ray vision or something?) Aud has also figured out that if she keeps her bottle tilted upside down she can paint a beautiful of milk drops and smears all over the floors…try keeping up with that 45 times a day.

Fresh baked cookies? Ok I might of gone to Tim Horton’s and bought a half dozen of cookies to put out…although I really do bake a mean batch of uh-mazing CCC’s, but who has the time? Let me know if you want my recipe…one tip melt the butter.

So why do I do it? Why do I insist on spending all evening and even during her nap cleaning and getting prepped for a play date that will only result in toys and food everywhere? I guess it’s because I really do have a feeling of satisfaction when it’s over. The feeling of knowing when they walk in they will think, wow her place smells great, or being comfortable putting their babies on my floor not worrying about them eating last nights dinner. Even though the women I am friends with are probably the least judgmental mum’s I have met, I still have this need to impress them.

So I am giving myself a challenge, the next play-date I host I will not go on a cleaning spree, I will not “bake” cookies or light a candle, and I will not pick up Aud’s toys all morning or make my bed. Do you think they will notice? Probably not…because the truth is the only one’s us mum’s need to worry about making an impression on is our kids and to be honest I think Aud would love it way better if I didn’t spend the time putting away her blocks only to have her have to find them and spill them out onto the floor for the 3rd time today thinking, “I wonder how many times she wants to play this game?”

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Moving Baby to Crib…YOU CAN DO IT!

I think over the course of new mummyhood we all struggle with that one touchy subject, transitioning baby from our rooms and beds to theirs. Jon and I had always agreed that we wouldn’t bed share with our little baby. It just made me really nervous and with so many horror stories you hear about suffocation, a parent rolling over in a deep sleep, or baby falling out of the bed, just had me feeling uneasy about it.

I will admit there was a week or two in the beginning where, like any new mum, was extremely sleep deprived and the only way Aud would sleep for more then an hour at a time was if she slept on my chest. So I would nurse her in bed and then have her fall asleep on me. It didn’t last long because one night I woke up because I had felt her roll off and ended up in the middle of Jon and I. That was the last time I brought her into to bed with us. I have seen some really amazing products out there that make bed sharing safer and easier for mum and dad, so look into them all. I would suggest reading the reviews and consumer reports to figure out which is safest for baby.

Baby girl slept in our room for about 4 months in a bassinet beside our bed. As a nursing mum it just made thing much easier to just be able to sit up, pick her up, nurse and put her back down all without having to get out of bed, even changing diapers and soothing was just that much easier with her in our room. All mums have a special code we follow that in any and all situations if there is a way to make things easier then do it, no if’s and’s or but’s!

Around 4 months is when she started to grow out of the bassinet. She was getting too long for it and she started to roll onto her side, so we decided it was time for the transition.

The one thing I would HIGHLY suggest starting the week you bring home baby is get them used to their room and crib. Read stories, rock, nurse, change diapers in their room. The more baby is familiar to their room and their surroundings the easier the transition will be. The second week home we had baby girl napping in her crib during the day whenever we could. Of course because she was the sweetest little baby ever, and I could spend hours watching her, sleeping in my arms was acceptable as well J

When we moved her into her room, I seriously considered sleeping in the rocking chair or camping out on the floor for the first couple nights. Jon just sort of gave me that, your crazy look and that was the end of that idea.

The first night she was in her room, I guess I’m not really sure what I expected. Maybe that she would be so distraught she wasn’t going to sleep, or serious separation anxiety was going to set in on both sides. Questions of, was I going to hear the monitor in the middle of the night? And what if she wakes up and doesn’t smell me beside her, how upset is she going to be? What if she moves in her sleep and gets stuck somehow? Constantly ran though my head.

I woke up that next morning thinking, wow, that was surprisingly better then expected. She not only slept for a little longer in between nursing’s but I felt better rested too. I think not being beside her and waking up periodically to watch her breathe, or wonder why she shuffled in her sleep, or being able to pick her up at the mere sound of a whimper helped us both.

So my advice would be transition baby to their crib the earlier the better, at least for their naps. Get them used to their rooms and cribs. It will really make a huge difference when you decide to fully transition.

Now Aud only really has a good sleep in her crib. When we stay over somewhere, she doesn’t sleep well in her playpen. One thing I regret is not getting her use to that as I did with the crib. If you are like me and like to stay over at cottages or friends houses and bring baby with you, set up the playpen in their room and have them sleep in it a couple times a week to really get used to it. Remember familiarity is so important with babies.

FYI: If you follow my blog you probably know that baby girl was never a great sleeper up until a month ago, BUT that I believe is because teething started and we moved, a lot of things happened at once. When you do decide to transition, remember one thing at a time, don’t throw a bunch of changes into the mix at once. Slow and steady wins race, or in this case your bed and room back.

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OVER the Mealtime Struggle!!

Since baby girl was 6 months old she has been a great eater, shoveling everything I offer her in her mouth. I’m always one to say my daughter is definitely not a picky eater. Well I must of jinxed myself because lately it’s been nothing but a struggle. My marvelous little eater turned into a picky, picky little monkey.

I spend a lot of time looking up different foods for babies, reading my recipe books, asking friends for suggestions. I get all geared up to make a delicious casserole or a great stew, buy all the ingredients, spend most of the day making it (it takes all day because with a little one can anyone actually cook in the kitchen for an hour while keeping baby entertained? The Wiggles is only 20 minute segments!)

Anyways, I make the dish put it in front of baby and within minutes most of it is on the floor, in her hair, she even goes as far as to hide it in her seat! Not to mention the melt down she has if I try to feed it to her. So I spend the majority of her dinnertime calming her down, picking up all the food off the floor (time to get a dog?), and scurrying to make something else she will hopefully actually eat.

By the end of dinner, we both look like a hot mess. I can’t believe I just struggled for an hour to get baby to eat what seems like a tablespoon of veggies, hardly any protein, all the grapes are on the floor, and pasta is in my hair. I get so worked up and worried during her meal times- she isn’t getting enough vegetables, iron, protein, dairy. The guidelines specifically state she needs half a cup of veggies a day. Ugh! She has to eat!

Yesterday I had just about had enough of the struggle, the food wasting, the mess and after talking to a fellow mummy friend, I think I had a breakthrough.

First I dissected the problem- as soon as Aud protests to a meal I make her, I give in and give her cheese and toast, yogurt or something else I know she will eat. Mostly I sit there and ask her why she isn’t eating, hoping that one day I will get some sort of feedback instead of the snarls and head turns.

So I decided that I would no longer give in. I will no longer resort to cheese, pasta, toast, or cookies as replacements for the meals she refuses, I will no longer worry so much about if one day she doesn’t have her exact servings of the food groups because she can make up for it the next day. I am going to put the food in front of her, whatever it may be, and that’s what she will have.

After making this statement out loud to her last night I think she got my point. So I attempted to make her a veggie frittata (FAIL, more like veggie scrambled eggs) with some egg noodles (weird combo?) and put it in front of her. At first she threw it on the floor, rubbed it all over her hair, whined, giggled, whined, giggled. This went on for about ten minutes. I was sitting there staring at her and thinking to myself, “Don’t give in!”

I decided I would walk away, well more like just go sit in another spot instead of right in front of her, watching her from afar. Then it happened, she picked up some of the food on her tray and put it in her mouth, a few minutes later I found myself putting more on her tray cause she was gobbling it up! She ate the whole serving and was still hungry.

So I put some grapes and milk in front of her. Same thing happened, she threw a couple on the floor, sprayed her milk everywhere but after a couple minutes started to eat them up. This was the first time in a while I felt good about dinnertime for Aud. She had her veggies, protein, dairy, and grain’s all in one meal! Who knew mealtime could be rewarding, there is nothing more satisfying then watching your child eat what you put in front of them. Here’s hoping it keeps up!

So my advice on getting your babies to eat, don’t stress about it. Put the food in front of them, let them touch it, experiment, throw it on the walls, because eventually they will be hungry enough to eat it. Don’t give in because you are worried about the food groups. I heard it takes about 15 tries for baby/toddler to come accustom to a new food. So just keep trying, give lot’s of variety, lot’s of color, texture, tastes.

If baby really doesn’t want to eat veggies, blend them, cover them with cheese, hide them in the pasta, make carrot or zucchini muffins, stuff pasta shells with spinach-put them on the tray and walk away. Trust me, your child knows that it stresses you out, nothing is more entertaining to them then watching mummy get worked up over some green beans.

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Labor Day

Well that’s it, my daughter is no longer a baby. She is officially a toddler. She turned the big o-n-e this past weekend. It is just such a bittersweet feeling. A part of me is soo excited for what’s ahead, the walking, the talking, the new discoveries but a part of me is a little sad my wee baby is no longer a wee baby.

When I think back to when I had her I can remember every single detail. The morning my water broke, the phone call to Jon, the drive to the hospital, the nurses name, the layout of the hospital room, how many times I was checked, the minute the nurse told me it was time, the emotions, the feelings, everything!  I remember being pretty calm most of the day, until the pain started. That’s the funny think about birth stories. Every women can pretty much remember every last detail of that day, whether it was a year ago or 20 years ago, it’s one of those memories you just don’t forget.

It all started on a Monday. I had been on my mat leave for a couple weeks now and was anxiously awaiting her arrival. Like most women in their last trimester I was ready, get her out. I was puffy, retaining water like a balloon, I couldn’t sleep, I was just huge. So a couple girlfriends and I had plans to go to dinner that night and on our way to the restaurant my car ran out of gas, (I’m not getting into the details of why…it happens to us all!) We are all sitting in the car waiting for Jon to come and help us out for what seems like hours, (if you know Jon, you know it takes him double time to do anything). While we were sitting in the car I started to feel crampy pain in my side, my girlfriend asked me if I was ok to which I replied, “ya I think I’m just hungry,” not knowing that it was the starting pains of labor! We all giggled in the car and joked that Aud would be here any day, (she wasn’t due for about 2 weeks). Got some gas, went to the restaurant and I ordered a delicious pizza.

Fast forward to Wednesday. I woke up and was feeling more tired then usual, and nauseous, which I hadn’t felt since the first trimester. They tell you nausea is a sign of labor but when it’s all actually happening and it wasn’t the week of our due date, I didn’t think much of it.  Come on I still had time, plus I thought first time mums are usually over due?

We had a very busy weekend ahead too! It was thanksgiving weekend coming up to which I was in charge of making the pies, we had a family wedding that I really did not want to miss, and my grandmother was ill in the hospital so we were planning on visiting. So much to do, I cannot have the baby this weekend!

So then Thursday night comes around and one of my great girlfriends told me to sit on a yoga ball and move my hips around, get baby girl to sit real low. I didn’t think much of it, I didn’t think it would really do much. So that night during an episode of Jersey Shore, I sat on the yoga ball and moved around for a few minutes. Just as I thought, I didn’t feel any different. So off to bed I went and curled up with my Snoogle pillow (best investment during pregnancy, trust me).

I remember waking up in the middle of the night and feeling a little crampy, and Aud had the hiccups so I was up from that as well but quickly fell back asleep. I woke up in the morning around 9 a.m. to a text message from my girlfriend asking if it was time, I “ugh’d” at my phone, and rolled over.

When I rolled over, I felt it. It was like a giant balloon had just popped. I shot up, and ran out of bed into the bathroom. I stood there for a second and thought about a million different things to myself; this is it, she’s coming. Do I call 911? NO, no, I’m going to call Jon. Then I will call my mom, then my sister. Who’s driving me to the hospital? Wait, I need to have a shower, I HAVE to shave. Oh sh*t, I have to finish packing my bag. I have to cancel my lunch date. Should I wash my hair? I just colored it… this is happening.

 I started the phone calls, first Jon, then my mum, then my sister.  A few minutes later mum and sis showed up, it felt like they were freaking out more then I was. I was trying to stay calm, cool, and collected. We finished packing my bag and off we went. I took a video on the way to the hospital, and I look and sound completely terrified. We check into the hospital, I tell the nurse my water broke and immediately I am checked in and brought to the 4th floor. They bring me into triage, and hook me up to a heart rate and Doppler machine.

I explain to the nurse what happened and she nods her head and tells me indeed my water broke, so I will be staying indefinitely. She tells me to press the button every time I feel a contraction, but the weird thing is I haven’t felt any yet. A few minutes go by and she comes in and asks me why I’m not pressing the button. This time I just start pressing it every few minutes because I just assume that’s when my contractions are happening.

After a while I am moved into a room. We unpack a couple things, get out the camera, our phones, Jon FINALLY arrives also looking rather terrified but excited. We bicker about what took him so long, I tell him I forgot a blanket for him. Then the Dr. comes in.

She examined me and tells me why I am not feeling the contractions that much is because my water hadn’t completely broke. So she breaks, what she explains is the second layer. Oh, so that what it should feel like. It felt like a galloon of water had just poured out of me.

About 20 minutes later the contractions started. O.M.G. So this is what it feels like, I thought. As time went on they got worse and worse, and closer together. Just like how you see in those baby shows. The nurse kept asking me if I wanted my epidural, and I kept putting it off until finally she didn’t give me much of a choice.

After I got the epidural and after some hot and cold flashes, it started to kick in. Ahhh…this feels good. I pressed the drip about every 10 minutes or so. Around 8 p.m. is when I could start to feel my contractions again, and I knew I was getting close. All of a sudden it became so real. All these thoughts going through my head- Can I do this? What if something happens? What if I can’t push? How much is this going to hurt?

Around 9 p.m. I started to push. I remember thinking it was a lot of work, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was out of breath, I felt nauseous, it was exhausting and come on, it hurt. Jon was my coach, he did a lot of yelling and telling me to keep going. The nurse looked at me at one point and said “Hockey player?” I nodded my head, yes. My mom and sister kept telling me they could see her head, and the nurse kept telling me I needed to push harder. I took a deep breath, tilted my head down and pushed as hard as I could.

 At 9:38 p.m. Audrina was here. 7 lbs 11 ounces. I cried incessantly and couldn’t wait to hold her. My eyes followed every move the nurse made with her. I had so many overwhelming feelings and emotions, my happiness and love I had for this little baby I just met was incredible.

 We were at the hospital for a couple days, asking the nurses about a million questions and gearing up for the day we went home. It’s amazing how natural motherhood comes to us isn’t it? How we can be so scared and nervous about this step in our lives but once it’s hear you can’t imagine life any other way.

I am utterly amazed watching my daughter grow in front of my eyes everyday. I couldn’t be happier and more at bliss having her in my life. She truly is my little miracle, and I can’t wait to see what else life has to offer.

So happy first birthday to my little monkey. Mama and Dada love you so much and could not imagine our lives without you in it.

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