Alone Time

Day 24 – January Daily Blog Posting Month.

I sit in a pedicure chair as I write this post today. There are no kids around me. Not even the baby!! After months of being tied to my baby boy, I am only now remembering what it’s like to have some “me time”.

And you know what?

I could definitely get used to this!!

A huge thanks to my amazing husband and baby daddy for encouraging me to go out. (Actually, I’m pretty sure my feet were scratching him too much at night!). Yes, sadly, it’s been far too long since my last pedicure.

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Progress.

Day 23 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

So, baby J is now 4 months old. Sleep training has begun and is going reasonably well. Daytime naps are still pretty short but once 5pm hits he is pretty dusted and will sleep 3-4 hour stretches until 6am. He still screams bloody murder at naps but it’s getting shorter and shorter and he’s starting to soothe himself asleep. Great progress all around.

The next hurdle is the formula introduction. I tried to give him a few ounces the other day and he looked up at me with the most disgusted of expressions as if he was thinking, “Woman, WTF is this?!”

Yesterday, I delegated the task to husband and he worked his Jedi magic and the baby drank the formula.

*sniff*

Daddy milk is starting.

I plan to continue nursing for at least another month if I can. I just would like to get some more sleep, so I hope with more formula there will be less nighttime awakenings. Of course this likely means that my supply will start to take a nosedive. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

But on the plus side – more sleep for all of us!!

Just a little cray-cray.

Day 22 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

It’s -17°C today and I went out for a run.

I had to. The muffin top was out of control today.

We took the kids to the Mandarin last night. They love that place, all the food and dessert at their fingertips. But let’s be frank, it’s not at all healthy for you. There’s too much salt and most of it is fried.

So today I had to run. And I’m so glad I did. It wasn’t far or long, 3.15 km in just under 25 minutes. But psychologically it was good for me. The frigid air and bright sunshine, ah, so so good.

A Note On Sleep Training.

Day 20 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

So, I’ve started sleep training baby J.  The reason?  This:

And this:

Both are amazing and needed in the immediate newborn period; the soother because babies need to suck and it’s just not practical to be a human soother all of the time; the swaddle because the moro reflex interrupts sleep and newborns/infants need to feel tight and secure when they sleep.

But there comes a time when both become a) a hassle, and b) a crutch.

Let me explain.

The soother becomes a crutch because once baby falls asleep, if the soother falls out of the mouth, the baby wakes up and starts crying.  Mom and dad have to go back into the room, re-position the soother and baby falls asleep.  This becomes a hassle when it occurs a bajillion times a night.

The swaddle becomes a hassle when baby starts moving around and pulls the Houdini routine and you walk into the room when baby is screaming only to find the soother still in the mouth but the baby’s arms are out of the swaddle and the kid doesn’t know what to do with them.

Both of what I described above started happening on a regular basis with baby J and one exhausted morning last week, I decided it was time to stop swaddling. The soother remained, but after two return trips to the crib to replace said soother in the span of ten minutes, another decision was made.  Bye-bye soother.

What ensued next?

Yes.  Blood-curdling screaming.  Poor kid didn’t know what to do.  Arms were flailing all over the place, legs kicking up a storm and there is me, face to face with screaming and quietly doing this:

At some point though, one just has to leave the room and let the baby cry.  And cry he did.  But he stopped eventually and fell asleep, for about 20 minutes.

The the screaming started again.  I looked over at my cat who was sleeping on the couch next to me and she gave me this look:

Ah … sleep training.

Excuse me while I tend to the infant … in the time it took for me to write this post, about 20 minutes, he slept and is now awake.

 

So That’s Why It’s Called A Stroller!

Day 10 – January Daily Blog Posting Month.

I spent the day strolling through the mall with a girlfriend and her baby daughter.  Her child was born 10 days after baby J.  We opened the mall at 10am and did several laps over the course of the next 4 hours.  Some shopping was done, I won’t like, but all for the kids.  My friend said that it was the “stroller” mall and boy, she wasn’t kidding.  Every second person seemed to be a mom with a stroller. It was kind of funny, to be honest.

Before having kids, I don’t think I ever noticed a mom with a stroller.  Seriously. Wasn’t even on my radar. Yet now, it’s pretty much all I see.  There are so many different kinds of strollers nowadays.  In our mother’s day, I’d be surprised if there was more than one choice.  Now?  There are such lovely models as the Bugaboo Frog, the Quinny Buzz, the Baby Trend Expedition, the Graco Trekko, the Mountain Buggy Mini, the Peg Perego GT3 Completo.  The list goes on, and on, and on.  I remember when husband and I started looking at strollers, it was very overwhelming.  First we needed the car seat and would the car seat work with the stroller we wanted?  Was there an adapter available for that stroller?  What about a bassinet? Should the stroller we pick have a bassinet attachment? How about a stand for a second child?  Should we get a double stroller knowing we’d have more than on child?  Oy.

And then there’s the clothing stores.  Some of the outfits I saw today, while being very cute no doubt, just made me wonder who we are really dressing our kid for.  Is it to show off that we have a child?  Does a baby really need a pair of hi-tops?  Does a toddler really need a fedora?  Are our children becoming our accessories?

Having said that, I did see two adorable t-shirts that I just HAD to have.  I guess that makes me no different, right?

But you have to admit those are pretty cute shirts, right?

Mommy Guilt.

Day 6 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

First off, welcome to my new followers.  Thank you for embarking on this journey with me!  I am honoured and flattered that you are following along.

Baby J is going to be 4 months old on the 16th of this month.  I continue to exclusively breastfeed him which is a huge thing for me given how awful an experience it was with my firstborn.  I still have the emotional scars.  Baby J feels like he is gaining well and he is certainly growing!  He is already ahead on the developmental side of things – he is doing everything a 4 month old should be doing and he is only 3.5 months old.  He is laughing at us, grabbing at things and is starting to bring his knees up and pivot on his back.  He could roll over any day now.

He is napping pretty well throughout the day, it’s just his nighttime sleep which I wish would improve.  Selfishly, I admit.  I am tired.  I want to sleep more than 2-3 hour stretches at nighttime. Last night at 4am, husband got up to replace the soother as I had just fed him 45 minutes earlier.  Husband came back and said, “We should be giving him formula at night.”  The thought being that he would sleep longer.  It certainly was the case for our other kids, why not this one?

My plan all along was to introduce formula about 6 weeks before I returned to work, which would be in mid-late February.  But last night and this morning, I am seriously considering introducing it early.  Yet, the mommy guilt kicks in.  It’s only been 3.5 months.  I could do this longer, I should be doing this longer. After all, why did I extend my leave by a month?  So I could hand off the baby to be fed by a bottle, by others?

Ugh.

All of my children were given formula.  My daughter was 2 weeks old when I started supplementing; my middle son was 3 months old when I first started his transition.  By all accounts, I have done pretty well with Baby J as he has been exclusively breast-fed the longest.

So why can’t I just do it now?

Mommy guilt.

Early Mornings.

Day 5 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

The kids woke up at 6am this morning. Now, normally they are content to play in their room for the better part of an hour, sometimes more. Today was not that day.

By 7 am both kids were headed down to the basement. Rather than be the delinquent mother I normally am, I hopped out of bed mostly because we got a new piece of exercise gear from my parents and I had visions of the kids trying to play with it and disaster ensuing.  But, when I got down to the basement, they were playing with the keyboard and dancing.  Good kids they are!

Yesterday I got out for my first run of the year.  When I started out, I felt amazing and thought I could get to 5km but by 20 minutes in and my 4th or 5th 4:1 (run/walk) interval, it was pretty clear to me that 5km would not be feasible. I managed 4.15 km in 33 minutes.  Still, I noticed a big difference in my endurance and the feel of my legs after only just 4 days of the squat challenge and pilates.  Muscle memory must be real because I certainly felt stronger and if I do say so myself, I think I am  trimming down inch by blessed inch already.

The kids have been cooped up a lot this week.  Between the ice storm, Christmas, frigid cold temperatures and visiting their grandparents, they need to get out.  So, we are off this morning to do some grocery shopping and after that to the indoor park at our local mall.  I am seriously hoping I can squeeze in a nap.

Wish me luck!

January – The Month for Challenges!

Day 3 – January Daily Blog Posting Month.

So, this daily blog thing isn’t the only challenge I have set for myself.

Like most people, I made a few resolutions for January 1.

Resolution #1 – cut back on the treats.  Since getting pregnant and delivering the baby (so, yeah, the better part of a year), I have been indulging in the sweets.  Be it ice cream, cookies, chocolate, you name it, I have eaten it.  Caramel popcorn? Check.  Chocolate popcorn? Check.  Ice cream? Check. Daily dessert after dinner? Check.  I am shocked that I don’t tip the scales more than I already do. I had this notion that the sweet tooth would magically vanish after the baby was born.  Truth be told, it got worse.  A lot worse!  By the end of December, it became apparent to me that not only was I not losing the baby weight, I actually gained several pounds.  Cue the panic button.  Which leads me to….

Resolution #2 – run more frequently.  Since early November, when I started back to running, I have been only going 1-2 times a week.  Sometimes as long as 10 days between runs. Well, clearly this isn’t the way to build up my distance or my endurance, or encourage weight loss.  So, I set a new goal.  I would run 3 times a week (barring any extreme weather). And, by the end of January, I vow that I will be….

Resolution #3 –  running 5km consistently. Eventually I would like to be able to run 5km without stopping, but for now I will settle with steady 5:1 intervals.  I am already running mostly 4:1 intervals, so this should be entirely do-able.

Resolution #4 – complete two other exercise challenges.  While surfing on Pinterest, I found two challenges that I think I can master this month.  The first is a 200 squat challenge and the second is to be able to do an elbow plank for 3 minutes. I am also throwing in, for good measure, a beginners Pilates 10 minute workout.  It’s been 3 days and I can already feel the difference in my core as well as see it in my figure.  But, it hurts. Oh, does it ever hurt!

So, there you have it.  I am on a mission this month to get healthy.  While the goal is weight loss, I know I can’t realistically expect a lot while I continue to breastfeed.  So, for the time being, my goal is to eat better, exercise more, and with any luck, my clothes might just start to fit a bit better.

The Kids Are Home!

Day 2 – January Daily Blog Posting Month.

There is nothing like leaving your children with their grandparents for a few days and having a relatively quiet house.  The older two kids spent 3 days at my in-laws this week and despite the fact I still had to wake up with the baby, I slept in every day and felt relatively human again.

No doubt the kids got whatever they wanted – popsicles, freezies, cookies, crackers.  I’m sure there were some healthy choices but let’s face it, what happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s.

So the kids are back today and the reprogramming begins.  Over the past few days, they’ve apparently forgotten how to say “please” and “thank you”. “I want” is back in their vocabulary.  It’s kind of funny, actually.  The same people who, 35 years ago insisted their children have proper manners, have decided its okay that their grandchildren behave like heathens.  Boggles the mind, folks!

Still, time away from parents is a good thing.  I always enjoyed the time I spent with my grandmother precisely because I could do whatever I wanted, eat whatever I wanted and watch as much TV as I wanted.  Good times!

We had planned on taking the kids to the Museum today but it’s bitterly cold out and no one has time for that.  As I write this, the kids are watching Sleeping Beauty for the hundredth time, playing with their Christmas toys.  The house looks like a tornado came through (again!), so I best be signing off for now.

I have some exercising to do!  😉