Monday, October 20, 2014

Smal Victories.

I'm going to ramble on in the semi coherent way that new mom's often do, so bear with me. It's one of my goals to try to document this time as much as I can. However, it's tough to type on an iPad while nursing an active 4 month old (like seriously yo, this kid's arms are all over the place now, it's like wrestling a cat occasionally), so it's times like this, when I can sit in front of my laptop and give it my full(ish) attention that I can get all my words out. Because NAPS.

Here we go.

In the last 19 weeks, I have learned that even the smallest victories of parenthood can equal a feeling of great accomplishment.

There are some days when I feel like Supermom, who can literally do anything and everything. Then, there are other days, when I feel like I could have done more not only for Silas, but for myself. You know, like leaving the house, or having dinner prepared, or drying my hair (there is still no excuse for not having a shower in my house. Put the baby in the damn crib for 5 minutes, ladies. It won't kill them, but no one wants to smell like old breast milk or have constant bedhead, amiright?)

Luckily, these days are few and far between, and it's okay to have them. I think it's important to acknowledge that parenthood comes with a learning curve - learning that it's not about you anymore, learning to be unselfish with your personal time and space, learning that it's okay to do a little less on some days, and conversely, learning that doing too much can sometimes backfire and bite you in the ass.

Silas is 4 months old. He's become this small human, no longer a lump of newborn squishiness who will sleep all the time or lay complacently on our chests while we continue to enjoy our leisure time. He's a little boy, with a personality all of his own. He's happy, most of the time. I am so grateful for a happy baby. When he cries, which is relatively rare, it's due to being hungry, or, as I've learned, overtired. The only other time he cries is on longer trips in the car, as the car seat is a now device of torture and mire to our baby, apparently. This can usually be rectified by having one of us sit back there with him and hold his little hand, look in his eyes, and be with him as he realizes that all is well, and the car is a fine place to be lulled into sleep, for a time. There is never so sweet a sound as the silence that follows after a baby screams for any length of time. Sweet sweet silence.

I love being a stay at home mom. I will consider myself this until I have to face the day when I must go back to work. I'm not going to lie, I'm dreading this, even though it's 8 months off. I feel better about my days spent with my son than I do selling hair products. It's not that I don't enjoy, value, or appreciate my job. It's that I feel like I have a real purpose here - to shape MY human. To teach him new things, guide him and help him grow. This feels like real life, and a life I wish I could continue to have with him until he has to go off to school (sniff sniff). People often say that they were ready to go back to work after a time....I am not there yet, and I don't know if I ever will be. But I will go back, because that's the reality of living in an expensive city and having mortgage payments and a desire to travel and have nice things. We both need paycheques until we win the lottery.

I am proud of the way that I have adapted to motherhood. I feel like my learning curve, so far anyways, has been pretty excellent. This is obviously part luck of the draw - Silas was not colicky and has a nice, generally unfussy nature. I have a supportive husband who loves being a dad, and who is more than capable with his son and his own learning curve (has not referred to looking after Silas on his own as "babysitting" for example). We have supportive grandparents all dying to get their hands on the baby, and who I know would take him if I needed some time away from him. And trust me, grandparents, that time will come.

But I also know that I can pat myself on the back because I feel like I've done well. I will be the first to admit that as his birth approached, I was scared. Scared less about the birth, and more about the what was to come after. And then it happened and you just....do it. I feel like being a mother has come naturally to me (go figure, as some of my friends call me Mother Hen). The sleepless nights, the sometimes crying baby, the endless loads of laundry, the naps, the developmental milestones, etc etc etc.......I rock at this. I rock at this because I have confidence and support of my husband, family and friends. I rock at this because I just feel with my whole heart that THIS THIS THIS is what I was made for, and this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now. This little boy has made me, someone who always felt content and whole, even WHOLER.

And it's because I feel accomplished in the little things, on a daily basis. This is something I lack in my work life and my "before" life. Every single day, I feel like on some level, we have small victories. Being in sales, you have good days, and you have days where you question your existence and wonder what the hell you're doing. Being a mother, you have good days, and you have bad days, but you never question what you're doing, because you know it's all part of learning and growing. It's okay to make mistakes and to try again tomorrow. There are no sales targets, and your bonus is a smile and peaceful reflection over a cup of tea and a baby who went down gently for a nap. And I say gently because as of 19 weeks in, getting Silas to sleep is a gentle process. We don't cry it out because there is no need for it. If he is truly tired, he will sleep. It's pretty wonderful. Nighttime is a breeze in this way.

Silas is napping in his crib right now for the second time today. This is a small victory. Even though just after typing that sentence he woke up, I was able to put him down again without nursing, just some rocking. These crib naps are a recent development, as we've moved away from napping on our bed, and me side nursing him to sleep. I'm still working on consistency, but we're getting there. It's a learning curve for both of us - him learning to nap in his crib during the day, and me learning to be consistent and get ahead of his tiredness. I'm aiming for naps around 9:30ish, 12:30ish and again at 3ish. Of course, this all depends on when he wakes up and what we're doing but I'm trying to add a little routine into both of our lives because I hear that's what kids like. It's kinda tough though, because then you feel housebound, but naps can also be on the go, so a stroller nap or a wrap nap is still a nap in my books, so long as they happen. However, as the days get more drizzly and cold, I have a feeling we'll be more housebound anyways. This whole attempt at a routine probably couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks for being born in June, son!

I do feel victorious when I do get out for several hours a day, though. It's good for both of us to be in the fresh air, and/or in the company of other people and babies. These days, though more physically exerting (obviously I walk everywhere I go), are the most mentally rewarding and I feel totally "on top of it". More tiring are the days when we stay close to home, weirdly enough. Silas needs more entertaining, wants to nurse more, and I feel the need to do the chores (boooooooo). However, if we can get some good naps, and do the grocery shopping and dinner prep, it's a victory nonetheless. This is what today has looked like so far, and here I am with enough time to write a blog post. I'd say that's winning enough for a rainy Monday.







Yes, there are days when I feel frustrated and rundown and tired and annoyed. Yes, there are times when my patience is tested, and I have reacted rather than acted. I'm human, and I will have these moments of weakness, of selfishness, and impatience. However, I'm learning to rise above them, and to catch myself and love myself and give myself both time and credit and five minutes of fresh air, or a shower, or whatever I need to feel recharged. In moments of impatience, I remind myself to slow down. In moments of frustration, I remind myself to take a breath. In moments of selfishness, I remind myself to be giving. I remind myself that these moments are precious, all of the moments. There will be a day when my arms won't be wanted, when my scent can't calm, when no one calls out for me in the night. And I remind myself to be present and calm and grateful for all that I have.

And this is a victory too. To be aware of my "flaws" as a human, to simply do my best, to know that my best is enough and that I am enough and that one day I'll get a full 8 hours of sleep again.


Silas at 19 weeks: loves being tickled, being sung to, putting his hands on daddies and my face (HILARIOUS STUFF!). He is a great party date. He smiles a lot, and is learning to hate tummy time just a little bit less as the days go by. He goes to bed between 8:30 and 11, generally, and will sleep anywhere from 4 - 6 hours in a row, then another 2-3 hours in a row. I usually only have to get up once a night, but the last few days it's been twice a night (teething? A wonder week?), but these nighttime nursing sessions are down from 45 - 60 mins to 20 - 30 mins. I feel lucky that I have a pretty good sleeper on my hands, considering he is exclusively breastfed (another small victory!). He finds getting his diaper changed pretty funny sometimes. He likes looking in the mirror, and will smile at his reflection and mine. He'll play laying on his side, but hasn't rolled over yet. He's officially OUT of his swaddle and into the sleep sack (I maaaaaay have jumped the gun on buying a gimmicky thing called the Magic Merlin, which just arrived today....oh 3 am online shopping, you got me).

xh









Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Silas' First Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for being able to share Thanksgiving with my baby and my family.  We had a lovely weekend that included lots of eating (lunch at Pag's, dinner at Marion and Aren's, Tapas Bar and the real feast at my parents house...I think I made a food baby this weekend 😕). James got some surfing in, I got to relax at the mineral pools at the  Oak Bay Beach with my mom,  and we hiked Mount Doug . It was an excellent long weekend. 

Silas is starting to notice what I'm eating.  I'm excited at the prospect of giving him food at Christmas . It will be fun to watch him try new things. And maybe a bit terrifying for me.

Silas is still super into his hands - they are the tastiest! He is also into chewing on my hands aaaaaaand sometimes my face. This would maybe be gross if it wasn't my baby but I love it.

The wee man still has a case of the sniffs but seems to be okay otherwise. I try to get him down for naps during the day...these can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. No rhyme or reason. So naps are a work in progress, but nights are still going pretty well. He usually wakes up around 3 and again at 7 (give or take), so it's nice to get those 5 or 6 hour stretches followed by a 3. Ahhhhh sweet sweet sleep.

No more rolling since the two rolls a few weeks back but lots of kicking and the ability to move around a bit. He is getting stronger and stronger.  He loves to stand on his legs....I'm borrowing a jolly jumper soon that I hope he will enjoy.

What can I say? Life is busy and fun with the little apple of our eye. He's 18 weeks today!

Monday, October 06, 2014

A Very Ukee Wedding

We went to a lovely wedding up in Ucluelet this past weekend.  We were more than happy to celebrate the marriage of Marion and Aren, two friends who have become quite close with us in the past couple of years. They are a stellar couple, fun and easy to be around and we wish them all the happiness in the world. 

Silas was, as usual, an amazing wedding guest.  He slept through the ceremony and remained entirely chill, with small naps, until midnight, when we could finally convince dad to leave the party.

I explored Ucluelet on foot with Silas the next day while James surfed o lb his new board. We enjoyed breakfast at The Blue Room and a great shopping experience at Pena (where I treated myself to some new duds).

Our baby is rad.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Adventures With Silas

Here Silas is hanging with his Grandpa Gregg at Bubby's Kitchen and then a few days later at Genoa Bay Marina Cafe with Granddad Oliver. Silas is a great lunch companion, and usually lets me eat with very little trouble (who are these moms who 'don't have time to eat or shower!?'). 

                      

                     

Here's Silas' first time on the sailboat. Learning ropes, literally. We spent a lovely late summer afternoon with Nana and Grandad Oliver on their boat. We highly recommend the restaurant at the Marina.....fantastic food. 

                      

Silas proudly modeling his new sweater knit by our friend Heather. As you can see, he LOVES IT. We would like to commission one in size Heather?! 

                      

Wishing Uncle Brian a happy birthday! We had to miss the celebration in Vancouver thus weekend but we were there in spirit (probably in bed). 

                      

Silas is doing something he finds frustrating but it's very important: TUMMY TIME. We try to get in five to ten minutes of tummy time, a few times a day. He depends a lot of time in a carrier too, so that precious head of his won't get flat. He hasn't rolled over since last Monday so I wonder if that was just a fluke, but we're working on it! 

                      

                      

Tummy time is followed by playtime on his new quilt from Aunt Linda :) 

                      

His "big" sister might be warming up to him too! Pico is starting to accept Silas is a permanent resident in this house. I think she's okay with it. As long as he doesn't become competition for food scraps. I think we are safe there. 

                      

                     

All these adventures are pretty tiring, so there's also naps. Some long and some short. Silas naps best on mom and dad's big bed. He's been sleeping pretty good at night in his own room, so I don't mind these naps on our bed. I lay down with him and read my book until he falls into a deep enough sleep for me to extract myself from little legs and arms. Today I had a bubble bath while he napped! 

                      

                     

Cheers to naps! Have another Momosa! 

                      


He also had his first set of vaccinations this week! Poor man. He let out a big cry but calmed down quickly. I remained calm (impressing the nurse), but it's hard to see your baby in pain. Not looking forward to the next ones! Booooo. But, a wee shot is better than getting polio, so it's worth it. 

We went to a couple parties this weekend, where Silas was awesome as usual. He got to hang out with his best friend Theo (born to my best friend on September 10th) and his honorary older brother Felix. AND, I went to dinner and a movie without him. I had a nice time with my mom and aunt, who treated me to a delicious meal at Be Love, and then an early show of The Hundred Foot Journey. I had left two bottles for Silas with James and all was well. I missed him so much though....and I was on,y gone four hours! Love my little human. 

Hello Monday! We start Mother Goose this week. And maybe I'll finally learn some kid appropriate songs and can stop making them up. Then we're off to Uculet for a wedding! Adventures with Silas TBD. 


Saturday, September 20, 2014

14 Weeks And Counting


WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?! 

Seriously, I have sat down to update the blog several times in the past 10 days and each time either my little dude woke up from a nap, or decided he was done with his feed and wanted 100% of Mom's attention. Currently I am feeding him, so this one handed post may take a while. Which is cool because we've got nothing but time, even when it flies. 

So what have we been up to? Let me lay it down for ya. 

First up, his 3 mos check up! He weighed, as of Sept 10th, 14.2 lbs and was 25.6 inches long! That puts him in the 75th percentile for weight, and the 95th for height. He's come a long way from the 49th percentiles at 6 weeks! And that's exclusively breastfeeding. We've come so far since the first few weeks when my supply was low and I was lost in a haze of feeding, pumping and supplementing. That was so tiring, dudes. It's so nice to have come out on the other side of that successfully. I'm so happy I haven't needed to use formula since then, but OCCASIONALLY I think about how it would give me a break.

These thoughts usually come at 3 am and they pass. But the formula is in the cupboard in case I ever change my mind (I won't) or there is a medical need for it. I try to pump for ten minutes in the morning to get an ounce or 2 before feeding Silas. I've been trying to build a supply in my freezer for aforementioned breaks or outings where bf'ing might be an inconvenience. So far, I have one bag with 5 ounces in there. I used one at Feast of Fields because mommy had a little vino, so I'm working on getting a few more in there. It usually take me 3 days to fill a bag, depending on how long it's been since Silas has eaten off the side I'm pumping. I block feed on one side after 6 or 7 am so I can get hopefully get a few oz's pumped. It's good times, you guys. Gooooood times. 

                        


When I was on the mainland last week visiting my cousin and her 2 year old (fun times! My first solo trip with Silas! Felt like SuperMom),  I thought I was maybe getting the dreaded mastitis in my right boob. It started to hurt so I massaged it, but then couldn't tell it it was red because of mastitis or because I was massaging the shit out of it. I switched up my feeding positions, applied heat, and whatever was going on went away. Thank God. Because I was NOT about to let mastitis knock me on my ass and miss Feast Of Fields for James' birthday last Sunday! No way! No how! This mama wouldn't miss out on a feast or her man's birthday! 

       


We took Silas with us, obviously, so it was a little less drunken than in years past. James wore him in the Ergo, so we ran around for an hour together, hitting up some tasty booths together while Silas slept. But then it was approximately 35 degrees, and there was a Silas shaped sweat stain on the front of James, so we found a little shady spot under a tree in the orchard and took turns laying down on the blanket with wee man and stuffing our faces with food and wine. So fun! Silas was an attraction in and of himself because he is so damn cute and caused many an ovary to explode. It was a very happy birthday indeed. 

                      
                      
                      

Other than that, we've gone to boot camp (ouch! My obliques!), walks, met my mom and dad for lunch, gone to the Celtic service, and hung out. I continue to obsess about his sleep at night...still sleeping 4-5.5 hrs in the first stretch, and if I'm lucky another 2.5-3 hrs only waking for the one feed. Those are the best! He's doing all the right things a baby should be doing. He rocks at life! 

Here he is all dressed up for brunch with the girls this morning! Plummy plump! 

                    


Oh, and he might be teething. Eeeeeek! 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

My Best Man (13 Weeks)

So, I never want to go back to work. I want to spend the next five years spending the day with my boy. His smiles are the BEST part of my day, and those are only the icing on the Silas cake. I love watching him grow and change and develop. We share a deep connection, one that I never understood until I became a mother. But man, it's deeeeeep. And I never want it to end. 

This week:

- He can hold his head up just a little bit longer when in tummy time (still hates it after a couple of minutes though)

- He giggles, just a little, when tickled lightly

- He sat in his Bumbo for the first time and loved it

- He met my cousin's three kids

- He was the only baby that didn't fuss and cry at baby massage class (I mean, why fuss other babies? You're the ones getting massaged!)

- He went to his first wedding and was AWESOME

- He slept 7 hrs in a row one night! He sleeps on average 5-6 hrs stretches now (pleasekeepdoingthat)

- He entertains himself when he wakes up in the morning with little coos and noises and we get smiles when we go in to get him

- He has started paying attention and focusing on the page when I read to him (though he has a limited attention span) 

- He "sings" when I sing to him, making little extended singsongy noises 

- He's officially in size 2 diapers, but we still have a few more size 1's to use. 

- He is RADICAL and I love spending time with him 

We're taking our first solo trip together this week. We're off to see cousins on the mainland! It's only for one night, but we'll miss daddy (who will probably use his time to have a night out with the boys and get some uninterrupted sleep). 












Thursday, August 28, 2014

Milestones

Silas, my little big guy! I can only guess that he weighs around 12 or 13 lbs at this point...based soley on how he feels and by me jumping on the scale holding him. Speaking of weight, I am back to my pre-cleanse pregnancy weight. Which means I have about 20 lbs to lose....30 would be pushing my motivation but in sales that's what we call our stretch target. I'm hoping that breastfeeding, walking and eventually kicking it up a few notches will help me get there. I'm not sweating it though. I feel good. 

Back to Silas! He's 11 weeks old and is rapidly outgrowing his 3 month stuff. I'm looking forward to September 10th, which will be his 3 month check up and we'll get a better idea of weight and height etc. I can't believe it's already been nearly 3 months! I will probably say this every post. "I can't believe it's already been (insert any length of time here)!" The things that moms say, heyyy? 

He's smiling and has the early beginnings of a laugh. He has been chuckling in his sleep or at the breast pretty much from the get go, but we're waiting on a hearty giggle. He's a pretty smily guy, and responds to our smiles with glee. It's THE BEST. 

Conversely, when he's not feeling so happy, he sticks out his lower lip in THE most adorable pout. It kills me. He's so expressive. Inquisitive eye brow raises, surprise, smiles both big and small, and this ridiculous pout. So cute! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cue to 6 days later, when I finally have a chance to continue this post! Y'all life with a 12 week old is busy! He has lately decided that his afternoon nap, which was once a 1.5 to  3 hr affair is going to be more like 30-60 mins.....in fact, he is napping currently, but this is only after waking up 10 minutes into our first attempt (while I was taking a leisurely shower of course!). I swaddled him, laid him on our bed, laid down with him for 10 mins until he relaxed then moved him into his own room, rocked him and put him down. Now, that was 10 minutes ago so who knows how long we have. Babies are simple and yet so puzzling sometimes. Mostly when it comes to sleep. 

He slept 5 hrs last night, then was up every 1 hr 15 mins the rest of the night. What. The. Hell. Silas. I shouldn't complain because five hours is amazing and I'm even happy when it's four. But it's the following sleep after his middle of nye night feeding that is screwing with me. I need it to be at least 2.5 hours, okaaaaay? I think my big mistake is that I don't always unswaddle him, thinking I can get him to eat and go down all that much easier. But I guess all it means is that he is not really eating enough then because he is sleepy and not fully awake, so then he wakes up again because he's hungry? I guess? 
I already know this from previous attempts at leaving him swaddled, so I don't know why 3 am Heather is such a bonehead. Presumably, one day soon, we can stop swaddling him altogether and more to a sleep sack....but I'm kinda scared to try because I don't want to eff with MY precious block of sleep. Oh, babies! You so cray!

So I am assuming the kid needs to nap, but what do I know? I'm trying to get him to follow (very loosely at this point), the EASY routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time), and today we've had two 30 minute naps, so we'll see how this goes. Yesterday I made the mistake of blow drying my hair, and wouldn't you know it, he woke up. So right now? Quietly blogging. I am not even going to try to get dinner prep under way. Because that "Y" in the EASY stands for ME TIME and so that's what I'm trying to do. I should nap, but guess what? I don't want to. You can't make me...but I can try and make him! 

We had our first mom/babe boot camp with Hot Mama Fitness today. It was in the park around the corner, and this class is called Tummy Time because it's all about core work. Some of it was super hard...I will definitely be sore tomorrow. It was fun! Silas laid on a blanket next to me and eventually fell asleep looking up at the trees. Of course he fell asleep just as the class was coming to an end on her mats, so I had to move him. Next time I might bring my own mat for him so we can just chill if he falls asleep again. Something about that fresh air, hey? Babies love it.

PTFO: 


12 weeks! Can't believe my little guy will be three months old on the 10th. Slow down, please!!

Some pics from the past week....


God I love this kid. 













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