Thursday, October 10, 2013

Airplane travel with an infant...

Is so not fun!! Especially when you're doing it alone and the plane is tiny, and doesn't have a change table in the bathroom. Oh the joys of poop explosions at 30,000 feet. Motherhood is just so glamorous. 

Madeline and I just got back (I'm actually typing this while she naps on the plane) fr 10 days with Gramma and Grandpa (my parents!) on the east coast. Sans daddy. The first couple of days were especially trying as Madeline got used to her new surroundings. Her sleep was total crap but did eventually go almost back to normal, thank god. I don't know why I let it get to me so much, but I definitely had a few meltdowns related to her sleep. Oh well. 

We had such a lovely time with my awese and hilarious family. I haven't laughed that hard in a while! When we all get together we are pretty ridiculous. I hope Madeline develops such a wonderful sense of humor. She definitely seemed to enjoy the crazy! She is in love with her big cousin, who is completely infatuated with her. You might even use the word obsessed :)

Two of my favorite Abby moments? Madeline was in the jumperoo watching the crazy go on around her. I said to her, "yep, you really are in the nuthouse here", then Abby said to me, "excuse me aunt Sarah? That's not the nut house, that's the jumperoo!"  That kid kills me. She's 3.5 years old and wise beyond her years. 

My second favorite Abby moment. We picked her up from daycare yesterday and her teacher asked if Madeline was "Maddie". When I said yes she told me that they made a thanksgiving craft where they cut out the kids' handprints and wrote on them what they said they were thankful for. Abby had them write "my little cousin Maddie". Be still my heart. 

In the spirit of Canadian thanksgiving this weekend I'd like to say that I am thankful for my wonderful family, who can always make me smile, in particular my niece Abby. She is the second light of my life. My little stinkerdoodle. My choo choo train passenger. The most beautiful little girl around :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Heebie jeebies for DAYZZZZ...

My husband went to BBQ some steaks last night and found a NEST. Of mice. A mice nest in our BBQ! Omg gross. I couldn't even open the back door today for fear one would come in the house. 

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came over to see Madeline today and I convinced them to deal with it for me. Lol. 

I'm still so creeped out. Has this ever happened to anyone else????

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby Sleep Part 2: Dealing with an overtired newborn!

In part 1 I dispensed my greatest piece of advice about baby sleep. I truly believe that relaxing about baby sleep is the key to a less stressed out Mama and Papa, especially in the early days when you are just trying to survive. Anyways, next up I wanted to talk a little bit about the issue of an overtired newborn/infant. I'm not sure the time cap on this little bit of "advice", since things are so new, we're only 4 months in after all!!

When we started trying to get Madeline to go to sleep earlier, we started also battling a little with her actually going to sleep. My instinct told me she was overtired, which is a vicious cycle because instead of falling asleep from exhaustion, babies seem to just scream and scream and be unable to actually do the thing they need the most when they are overtired. Sleep. So I decided to implement a sleep "regime". I became obsessed. I read that little babies should not be awake more than 1-2 hours at a time before going to sleep.

My plan was to do whatever it took to get her to sleep after she had been awake no more than 2 hours. In the early days she always fell asleep in the stroller, and in the car. So, every two hours, if I couldn't get her to nap by nursing or by putting her in her swing, I suited up and got out of the house with her. I know it's hard to believe, but on day one this made putting her to bed a million times easier. She was no longer overtired! Yay! I did this for weeks, it was a little exhausting because I was still in that place where I wanted to sleep when she slept, and if I was out pushing the stroller, or driving the car, I couldn't do that. Mama sacrifices though, right?

Eventually, around 8 weeks, Madeline no longer needed the movement to go to sleep, so I could nurse her and put her down in her crib at the 2 hour mark, which was such a HUGE milestone to me. I could finally get some stuff done around the house, and nap!!! Oh sweet naps. We have been blessed with a good sleeper though, I am not sure if she really falls in the realm of normal for her age. I am so so so grateful. However, I do think that creating a good nap plan can really help every baby. I hope that this might help someone that's reading.

I gotta say though, people don't like unsolicited advice (I certainly don't either!), so writing about this here is kind of therapeutic for me. I can advise, advise, advise, and not worry that people are annoyed :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

101 in 1001 List Update!

It's about time for another list update. I've managed to cross off and start quite a bunch of things! I am kind of running out of time for some of the bigger goals, like the ones that involve doing something for a year. This list ends in December 2014 so I should really start attempting those ones now or they'll never get done. It's sad that some things just won't happen. I can't see us taking a trip to Vegas before next December, or seeing a Green Bay game. We might try to go to a Buffalo game next year, so I might call seeing an NFL game at all good enough to cross that one off! It's also going to be hard to go on a girl's weekend with my sister, but maybe we will make it happen near the end of my deadline... We will see where the next 16 months take me :) Updates to the list are in GREEN!

  • Start blogging (Started in May 2012)
  • Take a photography class
  • Take a cake decorating class (Completed in April 2012 at Michael's)
  • Blog every day for 30 days (Completed December 2012)
  • Go to NYC (Went for our 1st anniversary in May 2012)
  • Plant a vegetable garden (Planted a veggie garden with my mom in June 2012 and 2013)
  • Sell 1 item a month from our Etsy shop (My mom and I had to temporarily shut down our Etsy shop so she could sell her stuff at Christmas craft markets!!! Hopefully soon we'll be up and running again)
  • Lose 20 pounds (get to 160 lbs) (In progress! I'm about 6 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, and 21 lbs from 160 lbs)
  • Maintain weight for 6 months (see above)
  • Refinish a piece of furniture - if anyone remembers my post about the box my papa built, that's what I am planning on refinishing :)
  • Reupholster an old piece of furniture 
  • Go to Las Vegas
  • Take a knitting class
  • Knit a winter hat
  • Take one photo I am really proud of (See the photo at the end of the list! I'm breaking the "no Madeline photos on the blog" rule for this one :) )
  • Take a photograph of a rainbow (This was actually code for "get pregnant again and carry to term!" She's now 4 months old!!)
  • Say “yes” to something I wouldn’t normally
  • Host a dinner party for 8
  • Go a week without buying anything
  • Read 40 books (I am only 5 books in... Really need to ramp this up asap!!)
  • Don’t say anything negative for one day 
  • Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  • Try a sport I've never tried before (My husband and I played flag football summer 2012!)
  • Donate money to a charity
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Make spaghetti sauce from scratch - as soon as my tomatoes ripen out in the garden I'll be tackling this!!
  • Bake and decorate a birthday cake for someone (Baked my husband's birthday cake in June 2012)
  • Try a new recipe once a month for a year
  • Find out my blood type (easy! Had to do this when I got pregnant, I'm O+! August 2012)
  • Go to the gym 5 days a week for a month - probably not going to happen since I'm not renewing my membership! I think working out 5 days a week for a month will be good enough :)
  • Take a cooking class
  • Send a hand written letter
  • Spend a weekend without the internet (We did this when we went camping! August 2012)
  • Make bread without the bread maker
  • Train Leroy to come when called (HAHAHAHA. I highly doubt this is going to happen!!!!)
  • Learn how to cook fish!
  • Finish the photo wall going to the basement - just need to add a few photos of Madeline and this will be completed!
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Watch Gone With the Wind (Loved it! July 2012)
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Figure out what to do with my wedding dress (I donated it to a charity here called The Breast Dress Project which raises money for breast cancer research - October 2012)
  • Send in the paperwork and get my PEng - working on my experience diaries! Blah!
  • Have a blog post published on a well known blog
  • Have my blog redesigned to have a more personal style (Thanks to Emily at oh hello, love! this has been completed, July 14, 2012)
  • Make a meal with all ingredients bought at the farmer's market
  • Throw a surprise party for someone
  • Go on a girl's weekend with my sister
  • Have a will written
  • Try being vegetarian for one week
  • Write 100 thank you notes
  • Meet an internet friend in person
  • Go on a picnic (We went to a park downtown for a nice picnic in June 2013)
  • Go camping with the dog (We went camping in August 2012)
  • Go to trivia night
  • Be professionally fitted for a bra
  • Send at least 3 letters to the editor of our local paper
  • Move my blog to self hosted
  • Give up Facebook for a week
  • Try 10 beers I have never tried before (Rickard's White, Molson Canadian 67 Sublime, Upper Canada Lager, Prison Break Breakout Pilsner, Big Rig Gold, Flying Monkey, Propeller IPA)
  • Go to an exercise class that makes me feel awkward
  • See 45 movies in the theatre
  • Go for a ride in a helicopter
  • Get a promotion
  • Eat at 10 new restaurants (In progress - Must Wine Bar, Pocco Pazzo, Don Cherry's)
  • Host Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner (planning to do this for Thanksgiving this year (2013)!!!)
  • Make a surprise visit home to see my family
  • Spend 1 day a week television free for 6 months (Started this in July 2012, didn't complete. Starting again now, we are doing Wednesday or Saturday depending on football haha, starting August 21st, 2013)
  • De-clutter our house
  • Go to a comedy show (went to Absolute Comedy with two of my coworkers! July 2012)
  • See The Nutcracker at the NAC
  • Do something nice for someone anonymously
  • Go to a spa (Had a lovely pedicure at the March House Spa, twice! April 2013)
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers game
  • Give a 100% tip
  • Have a booth at a craft sale
  • Take a spontaneous road trip
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Finish bathroom and back room in basement (Just getting started now!)
  • Finish the fence in the backyard (Last pieces went up in May 2012!)
  • Buy a mouse pad for my desk at work (Just did this! I got a mouse pad AND a keyboard wrist rest. July 2012)
  • Learn how to use all of the applications on my Mac
  • Grow and use 3 varieties of herbs (Grew basil, oregano, and parsley, used all 3 in my roasted red pepper soup! July 2012)
  • Organize all of the documents/photos on my computer
  • Finally load up my digital picture frame... yeah this is not going to happen because I decided to get rid of the frame!
  • Go to a drive-in movie theatre
  • Have someone guest post on my blog
  • Go on a date night once a month with my husband (Edited to add a timeframe - let's go with a year! Started this in July 2012 and epically failed. Plan to restart once Madeline is taking a bottle!!!!)
  • Get 5,000 views of my blog
  • See the Best Picture Oscar winner from the last 10 years. (In progress, Argo (2012), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Million Dollar Baby (2004). I've seen some others, but don't remember them enough so will be re-watching!!!)
  • Enter a photo contest
  • Complete a crossword puzzle
  • Host a poker night (We did this recently, it was so much fun! We had about 8 people and I made homemade pizzas and had some other snacks - November 2012)
  • Buy a bigger TV for our basement den (We unexpectedly crossed this off on Black Friday 2012!)
  • Plant a tree
  • Read a novel in french
  • Make homemade jam
  • Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  • Write a list of 101 things I have already achieved in life
  • Celebrate finishing this list!

  • Madeline is pretty bored with my goals list!!

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Top 10 things I wish someone told me about breastfeeding while I was still pregnant...

    I have been reflecting a lot on my breastfeeding journey with Madeline lately. We have made it to 4 months!! Each month feels like a major accomplishment, as each month she changes so drastically. As she gets older, she has been developing more and more of her own personality, which has been changing our nursing sessions a lot. She's easily distracted. She likes to grab at things. And she has this fierce independent streak, I swear she unlatches and puts her thumb in her mouth instead in a "I don't need you mummy, I can do this MYSELF" kind of way... I digress... I wanted to take this time to list the top 10 things I wish someone had told me about breastfeeding before I was knee deep in it.

    Here it goes:

    1. It's ok for it to hurt in the beginning. Everything you read says you shouldn't feel any pain and if you do, you're doing it wrong. I call bullshit on that. Madeline had a great latch (as per my midwife) from the beginning, and it STILL hurt a lot. It takes a little bit for your boobs to get used to that kind of constant action... It's OK. By all means, make sure you're not doing something wrong, but definitely don't feel like you're a screw up just because it's painful. 
    2. The more you nurse, the more milk your body makes. I am fairly certain that the reason I have been successful thus far with nursing is that from the beginning we've nursed on demand. This meant that in the first couple of weeks I had a baby on my boob ALL. THE. TIME. It brought me to tear sometimes because I just felt like a milk machine. However, I believe that doing this caused my milk to come in fast (she was born Sunday morning and I had milk by Monday night), and it increased my supply quite a bit. This brings me to my next point...
    3. You don't produce milk right away! I did know this, but I know a lot of people who don't. Your baby's stomach is so small in the beginning, that the small amount of clearish liquid you produce (colostrum) is enough to keep the baby satisfied until your milk comes in! 
    4. Make sure you have the proper emotional and "technical" support. My midwife was instrumental in my success with nursing, she was encouraging and knowledgeable, and I could always ask her loads of questions. She got right in there and showed me how to make sure Madeline latched properly! It was awesome.
    5. Make sure you have the proper support. For your boobs. Invest in a couple of nice nursing bras as soon as you can! And avoid underwires, they can cause clogged ducts.
    6. You probably won't care who sees your boobs. I lost most of my sense of modesty in the early days. I did have some exceptions, I didn't want my dad or my father-in-law to see my boobs, icky. I did whip out my boobs for almost everyone else. I still do this with my mom and sister. Madeline hates a cover and any time I can get away with not using it, I do. 
    7. You'll probably talk about your boobs a lot. My husband and I talk about my boobs a lot, and not in the way you would have imagined before kids. I also talk about my boobs to other women who have breastfed! I can't wait until they're no longer an acceptable topic of conversation, haha.
    8. If you want to give your baby a bottle, and keep your supply up, you'll have to pump for every bottle. Madeline won't take a bottle (ugh), but I learned that every time your baby takes a bottle, you have to pump. Otherwise you risk your supply dropping because your body thinks you no longer need that nursing session. That means that if you want to leave your baby with someone for an extended period, you best be packing. Your pump, that is.
    9. Some babies just don't like bottles. Madeline acts like you're torturing her every time we try a bottle. I have a whole freezer full of milk that she won't drink. We are still trying, but I truly believe that some babies just don't take to bottles. Of course if I decided not to nurse anymore, eventually she would drink from one, she won't starve herself, but as long as my boobs are an option, she wants those. If you want your baby to take a bottle, I'd start offering one pretty early. It's hard, there is so much mixed advice out there, don't give one too early lest they get confused and don't want your boobs anymore, BUT don't give one too late or they might not take it!!! Ack. So confusing. I wonder what the magic timeline is for offering one... if anyone knows, let me know!
    10. YOU CAN DO THIS. You are awesome. Believe in yourself, your boobs, and your baby! 
    There you have it! My top 10. So it's Friday and it's a long weekend! I am so pumped! Madeline and I are headed to a play date later today, and we're in for a relaxing weekend with Daddy. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can do lots of walking with Leroy! Happy Labor Day weekend to all!

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    They fit! They fit!

    At four months postpartum my wedding rings FINALLY fit! I haven't worn them since Christmas so it's pretty exciting. I'm only about six or seven pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Pretty damn proud of that. 

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Madeline's Birth Story

    Madeline turned 4 months old on August 21st, and I am only getting around to writing about her birth now. Oops. Luckily, it's still pretty fresh in my mind, and it was a pretty simple, uncomplicated birth, so there wasn't too much to remember anyways.

    If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I ended up going 12 days overdue. During those 12 days I had two ultrasounds to look at fluid levels and placenta activity, just to make sure there was nothing going on that would require an induction. I also had two very unpleasant membrane sweeps. If you don't know what that is, and you really want to, google it. Not pleasant at all. On Saturday April 20th, at 11 days overdue, I met with my secondary midwife (my primary had gone on vacation when I was 10 days overdue!!!) and she did the second membrane sweep, around 2:30 in the afternoon. She seemed optimistic that I wouldn't need the induction, but we planned one for Monday anyways.

    Meanwhile, my parents were making the drive from Halifax. They had planned their trip thinking there was no way I would go 2 weeks late!! After I met with the midwife we went home and went for a walk to try to get things moving. Not much really happened, until, BAM, my water broke around 6:30pm. Fifteen minutes later my parents pulled in our driveway, haha! Perfect timing! Around then my midwife called to see how I was doing. I told her I thought my water had broken but I wasn't feeling any contractions yet. She told me to hold tight, get some rest, and call her when contractions were coming 4 minutes apart, or if I couldn't talk through them. Anyways, my water kind of broke in 3 stages. The first time, at 6:30, I was pretty sure it was my water breaking but not 100% confident, about 15 minutes later the same thing happened again, and then maybe 15 minutes after that I had the huge gush you see on TV. Seriously. It was a lot of fluid. And that is when my contractions started, almost immediately.

    We figured I had quite a while to wait, since we'd heard so much about early labor and how long it can go one for, so my husband went to pick up some pizza. He decided to stop in and get some beer for him and my dad with supper too. Meanwhile, back at home I was having pretty strong contractions that were about 2.5 minutes apart. I could still talk through them but they were really uncomfortable. My husband arrived back home and I tried to eat a little but really didn't feel like it. I think I managed to eat a half a slice of pizza. It was looking like all of the stuff we had learned about the different stages of labour would be completely useless to me. My labour came on fast and strong, none of this contractions every 20 minutes crap.

    When my midwife (henceforth known as Sandra :) ) called back around 8pm I was having contractions every 1.5-2.5 minutes and they were pretty strong, but I could still talk through them. She made the decision to come to our house to check me, since things were so close together. At this point my parents decided to check into a hotel, and they took Leroy over to my in-laws house where he would stay for a few days.

    Sandra arrived around 8:30pm, when she checked me she figured I was only 2-3 centimeters. Usually she would have gone home at this point and waited a little while, but since everything was coming so close together, she decided to stay at our house. I don't remember how often, but between 8:30pm and 11pm I was probably checked about 3 or 4 times. At 11pm and about 5 cm dilated, Sandra suggested we head to the hospital before the drive was excruciatingly painful for me. I quickly agreed. The drive was awful. It was very difficult to just sit in the seat during contractions. They were very very intense at this point. We got to the hospital and all checked in around 11:30pm.

    I tried so many different things to ease the pain. I got in the jetted tub. I laboured in different positions. I walked around. Nothing helped at all. Strangely, the most comfortable position for my was in the bed curled up in the fetal position. After a while I tried the tub again, no luck. I was so disappointed because I had heard such good things about labouring in water!! It did nothing for me at all. Back to the bed I went! Sometime around 12:30, Sandra talked to me about trying a shot of morphine. I had really really wanted an unmedicated birth, but she encouraged me to try this intervention because I was so tired at this point and things had been so hard and painful right from the start, she was worried I wouldn't have any energy to push the baby out. I hesitated but eventually agreed to try it. She told me it wouldn't make the pain go away, but that I'd feel kind of drunk and would be able to get a little rest. Yeah. No. It did absolutely nothing for me!!! I didn't feel drunk or any relief at all, and certainly didn't sleep.

    After it was clear that morphine wasn't going to work for me, around 3am Sandra suggested I try nitrous oxide. I was in transition at this point (at about 7 cm) and contractions were one on top of the other, no break at all. I was desperate for some kind of relief, so again I agreed. This did help a little, I think it was mostly that it forced me to focus on my breathing and it calmed me down a bit. It made me feel light headed and loopy, but didn't take the pain away at all. I liked the noise of the machine though, I found it pretty soothing. I used it until I was ready to push.

    I reached 10 cm and was ready to start pushing at 4:15am. A second midwife arrived to help with the delivery. I was so excited to get to this stage, it meant I had made it without an epidural! Yay! There were so many thoughts running through my head at this point. I could feel when I needed to push, but I couldn't tell if anything was actually happening when I did. It felt like it was taking FOREVER. I looked up at the clock and it was 4:45 am. I remember asking how much longer they thought until Madeline arrived, Sandra told me it was probably going to be about 30 minutes. That made me feel SO much better. I really do well with an end point in sight. When Sandra told me she could see her head, I asked her if she had any hair!! She said "not much!" and I remember being excited that she had any at all since both my husband and I were bald as babies. This gave me the strength I needed to finish the job :)

    I only had to push for an hour, which is apparently pretty fast for a first time mom! And Sandra was bang-on with her estimate of 30 minutes. Madeline Rose was born at 5:15am on Sunday April 21st. She was 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long. She latched on almost immediately and was so alert right away! I can hardly believe she's already 4 months old :)
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...