Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My birthday (part of it) in pictures

So here’s a partial photo diary of my day yesterday.

My new showering trick:

Although he didn’t much like the swing a couple of weeks ago, now he loves it. Go figure.

Got several phone calls and a drop-in from Megan, who brought this awesome box of chocolates made by someone with a home business:

She included the business card (it’s called Sticky Business) and I’ll be sure to shop there again!

Liam and I went for a walk then:

Nowhere in particular, just to get out for an hour. And when we came home our faithful pet was waiting.

Chad came home for lunch then. And although he’d given me my birthday present on Friday, so I could use it for the wedding (a ceramic curling iron and a new purse I had my eye on), he had more! Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child it was! (We had gotten together with Derek & Amanda & Hunter & Ella on Saturday night, and Derek recommended it, too – I guess that was all the convincing Chad needed – Derek is a doctor, after all!) He also gave me the new Jenny McCarthy book, Baby Laughs. I had read her first book, Belly Laughs, when I was pregnant.

After that the day really livened up. A car hit the hydro pole right outside our house. There was a crash, and then snapping and sparking wires as a few of them fell. The car skidded onto the lawn across the street and hit a brick pillar. We lost our phone and power and the street was full of police, fire and hydro workers for the next couple of hours. The blue car is the culprit here. This isn’t the full extent of it – fire had already left when this was taken…

Liam was asleep at this point. What’s a girl to do when trapped in her house like that? Why, eat chocolates while reading one of her new books, of course! Nothing exciting for the rest of the day. Chad brought home takeout for dinner. Liam fell asleep ridiculously early and slept for almost five hours straight. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the overnight shift, but it’s progress.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Today I had one of those eureka moments. Not to say that I've figured parenthood out - I'm sure that time will never come - but I'm making progress. For the last couple of days I've felt like I am really figuring Liam out. Knowing what voice means he's genuinely hungry/cold/wet and which is just his grumbly voice meaning he's overtired. That sort of thing. It culminated in a cool way tonight. He was fussy around dinner time, which is common for him. That's the only time he will have a meltdown. Normally we'll try to feed him/entertain him/whatever when that happens, and tonight I finally figured out that it meant he was actually tired. Rocked him to sleep - only took a couple of minutes - and put him to bed. He spit up a little while later and woke up, but I rocked him again and he was back down. I don't know why it took me so long to catch on that just because he wakes up, doesn't mean he's ready to wake up, yaknow? It's a pretty cool feeling to think that I am getting much better at meeting his needs. A good way to end the day. :)

Go shorty, it's your birthday

Well, actually, it’s my birthday. And I’m 30!!! Normally I would expound on the significance of hitting such a big milestone, but frankly, these days, I just don’t have the time.

Liam did give me a little birthday gift: he was only up to eat ONCE between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. Normally he’s up twice. Dare I dream that this is the start of something? The bad news, however, is that he was up for a good hour and a half (normally we have these sessions down to 30 minutes.) So I’m not sure I really gained anything, and today I’m pooped.

An odd little Liam-happening is that yesterday he seemed to lose his voice. For some reason he cried almost in a whisper all day – like he had laryngitis. He’s not sick, he just has no voice. Today it seems to be getting back to normal. We’re going to the doctor’s office on Wednesday so if it hasn’t fully come back by then I will ask about it.

So back to the wedding, and Liam’s well-behavedness: he slept through the first half of the night, and was then quite content to be passed around among the guests:

Last night Chad and I were wrapping up the weekend, discussing what we had accomplished, and here’s a funny: he said he couldn’t believe how little he had gotten done compared to what he had wanted to. And I couldn’t believe how MUCH I had gotten done. We had played the old back-and-forth with Liam. I would watch him while Chad cut the grass, Chad would watch him while I ran errands, etc. I got a lot more done than I do when I’m home alone with him, that’s for sure. And funny enough, most of Chad’s parenting shifts (because that’s what it’s called in our house, parenting – he’s not allowed to call it ‘babysitting’ when it’s his own child!) coincided with the men’s draw at the French Open, so don’t try to tell me that he would have been busy with anything else anyway…

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Dum dum da dum

Still in the midst of a busy weekend, so I'll keep this brief. The wedding Friday evening was lovely. There was a quick renewal-of-vows ceremony, followed by a great meal. Liam was well behaved and impeccably dressed (if I do say so myself). Darin and Jennifer looked great and are truly happy together!! And, Megan was pleasant. :)

I'll share more pictures later, but for now I'm trying to make the most of the weekend. Chad and I are both trying to get stuff done and it's a constant trade-off with Liam. He's sleeping now, but will be up any minute...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Steppin' out with my baby

Today's sole project: getting both of us ready for the wedding tonight. Hope to have some good pics to post tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cancel the call to CPS

I just received an email, after today's update, pointing out that Liam has been wearing the same thing in the last three pictures and would I please change his clothes.

I just wanted to clarify that although I said in both posts the pictures were taken 'yesterday', I was wrong, they were actually taken the SAME day. The one of Megan holding him was the night before - and yes, he was wearing the same outfit then - I had JUST changed him into it after he pooped on the outfit he had been wearing earlier that day. So yes, I am guilty of recycling an outfit from one night into the following morning, but in my own defense it was still clean and I sometimes go through five outfits a day so cut me some slack. We are also at an awkward in-between phase right now where the 0-3 month stuff is mostly too small and the 3-6 month stuff is too summery (short sleeves/short pants) for the current weather.

If anyone else had the phone poised to call Child Protection Services, I hope you'll reconsider and hang up.

Ducks are good; mules, not so much

So this picture has good and bad news both wrapped up in it. The good news first: this is a picture of Liam ‘finding’ his hands. Newborns actually have no idea that their hands are part of themselves; they don’t even see them flailing about. Well, Liam finally found his hands yesterday, and was quite taken with them. This is the first step in the process of being able to do stuff. First they have to find their hands, then they have to realize that they have control over them (and this is where rattles come in handy – if you can get them to realize “I do this, I hear that” then they catch on that they are in control) and THEN they can start to do stuff with them. Katrina gave us this cute little pair of duck mittens that have rattles in them. At first I thought they were just cute but now (after reading several of Megan’s child development books) I realize how educational they are. Because Liam obviously can’t hold a rattle until he learns to have control over his hands – kind of a chicken-and-egg thing. So hopefully with the duck mittens, he will catch on that much quicker. Thanks Katrina!!

The bad news is that he is just so cross-eyed that we are embarrassed for him!! Again going back to the books – this is supposed to be normal and we still have a couple of months for it to fix itself before we should worry – but in the meantime, good grief! What’s that Cousin Eddie line from “Vacation”… “It’s the darndest thing Clark… she falls down a well, eyes go crossed… gets kicked by a mule, eyes go back.” I think we’re both secretly hoping not to have to find ourselves a mule!!

Last night’s Big Switch into Liam’s crib was definitely harder on me than it was on him. We watched the “Lost” season finale ( I think this is the best TV show I have EVER watched!) together in our bed, and he was out cold for most of it, so he didn’t even stir when we rather unceremoniously dumped him in his own bed. Oh, the heartlessness. He was up twice last night as per usual, but slept longer between wakings, unless that’s just wishful thinking or some sort of justification on my part. Chad and I slept better than we have in weeks. So it’s a change for the better, and I think I can say Liam’s bassinette days are officially over.

This afternoon we are off to the DMV to renew my licence. That’s a painful process for an adult, let alone a baby. Wish us luck!…

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sleep is a four-letter word

Today Liam is six weeks old. I should know - I was up with him at 5:08 a.m. to see the anniversary in. It's no surprise that there is a lack of sleep occurring in our house these days, and on a daily basis it's usually not too bad, but the cumulative effects are starting to show.

Today marks a turning point though. Up til now, Liam has been sleeping in a bassinette in our room. And it's been hell. He snorts and snuffles and kicks all night, and the bassinette, though beautiful, groans and creaks in the worst way. And I'm not sure what purpose this is all serving, because when I feed him at night I get up and take him to another room, anyway. So it's not like it's helping me get MORE rest, it's making both of us get LESS. Well, even before he was born I had declared six weeks the magical age at which I would be comfortable moving him into his crib in his own room. And now that the day is here, I'm not sad at all... I'm ecstatic. Yes, it will be somewhat less reassuring not being woken up six times every hour (I may be tired but at least I always know my kid is still alive.) But I think the benefits will outweigh that.

Daytime sleep is another issue. Sometimes he sleeps practically all day, sometimes not at all. And there is a high percentage of false alarms. Feed him, rock him, think he's out cold, set him down and boom - he's awake again. Was he faking? Or is it normal to sleep in shifts just shorter than the length of time it takes to get anything done? Normal occurrences at our house: Once, I was writing a thank you card, and got this far: "Dear Brenda, Bob, Adam and Nate, thank you for the baby gift for Liam. It was --" The card then sat on the counter for a couple of days before I had the time to write another five sentences and give it to Chad to mail for me. I kid you not. I am known, quite often, to fill the sink with hot soapy water, dump the dishes in, then he wakes up and I get back to a sink full of cold greasy water and scummy dishes hours and hours later. It's amazing how little ever gets done in one fell swoop, and it's unnerving because it all depends on Liam's sleep and that is just so totally random.

So this is a picture from yesterday, when he was giving me grief again. Bright idea - I will plunk him into the Snugli and take him around the house with me. Kill two birds with one stone, right? Wrong. I get him in there and THEN I think about what I have to do. I can't move the laundry from the washer to the dryer because I can't bend over with him strapped onto me like Mini-Me there. I can't start dinner because I can't dangle a baby over a hot stove (nobody has told me this before but I am pretty sure it would be wrong.) I have been telling myself all day long I will get a run in today, but well yaknow...

And then, of course, I had to wrestle him OUT of the Snugli, at which point he woke up again. It figured.

My cousin Kelly gave me a recommendation for a book called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and yesterday I put a request into the inter-library service to get it. If it doesn't show up by the time Darin quits at Chapters I may buy it outright. I think we need some sorting out in our house these days, and this looks like a good place to start.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Introducing Megan

More to come...

Introducing Megan part 2

Little gaffer may *finally* be asleep. He's been wide awake for most of the day. I took him for a long walk, much of which he was awake for, then came home and tried entertaining him - carried him in the Snugli for quite a while, then did the tummy time on a blanket on the floor thing (he's not crazy about that), played with the gym thing with him, held him in various sitting and standing positions letting him kick and support his own weight and so on... rocked and read to him... ran out of ideas and so tried to get him to sleep. (Am I terrible or what?) Only, he's not sleepy. He's stirring right now. Crap.

Yesterday we had a good social outing with him - went to Cory and Megan's for a BBQ. Of course the little stinker slept through most of the night, except (of course, of course,) for when we were eating. At that point Megan was kind enough to hold and calm him while I ate a gigantic steak (well done Cory!) Not entirely sure how the wedding(s) will go. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 23, 2005

A new project

I don't want to turn into a memorabilia whore, really I don't. That cuts a little too close to pack rat for me. But my next project is to put together a shadowbox for Liam's newborn things. I can't believe the time has come to pack this stuff away already...

I want a white frame, something like this:

Pottery Barn frame, link hopefully fixed.

The things I've collected so far to go inside: one of our favourite newborn sleepers. The hat he wore in the hospital. His booties. Some beautiful ribbon from one of his gifts, and some artwork from some of the cards he received. His ID bracelet. His monogram. Probably a small photo or two. Maybe some other stuff if I think of something I'm missing.

Now I just need to find the frame. Going to check Michael's next time I'm in London.

My baby has a snurgle

...I'm not making this up... can you believe it's even a word??

For the last week or so he's got this horrible congested breathing sound, but there's nothing in his nose and it doesn't faze him in the least. So I looked it up. And as it turns out, a snurgle is a legitimate and normal medical condition experienced by babies between four and eight weeks old - it's basically the mucus glands in the nose and throat kicking into production. So although you wouldn't have been able to call him a snotty nosed little kid up until this point, there's no guarantee for the future. Bring on the kleenex.

Poor little guy has lost most of the back and shoulder hair he was born with (which was shockingly substantial), but you can see some left here. He's going to HATE seeing this in the future!!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Another day, another diaper

...now enjoy the weekend!!

Friday, May 20, 2005

I lied

Posed it is. (Sigh.) He LOVED being naked. (HATED getting re-dressed.) And, luckily, did not pee (or worse) on my backdrop.

In a rut

What, no photo to accompany this post? I'm in a slump. Having a hard time coming up with something fresh and new. Only five weeks into this adventure and I've photographed Liam to death!! Let's face it, there are only so many pictures of his sweet little sleeping face that I can take, right? Only so many set-up shots. I'm itching for something candid to shoot (such as the bath). But really, how much candid activity does a five-week-old get into a day? And what little there has been so far, I've missed.

Today's a gorgeous day out there. I took Liam down to the baby weigh-in clinic - we walked. A long trip but well worth it (and because I let him fuss while I showered this morning, he was in a great mood.) Today we check in at 11 pounds 9 ounces. Nothing to worry about. Came home, and he continued to be in a great mood. Sat in his car seat for a while, smiling at and chattering to the toy hanging overhead. WAY too cute. I should have shot that - he's just begun the smiling and verbalizing. Fed him, changed him, played with him, and now he's sleeping on my shoulder. I have a couple hours to play with until a friend drops by... what to do... can't think of any errands that need doing (besides buying a baby card for Pierrette -- woo hoo!) ...called Anne for a visit but she's not home. We went to Gina's yesterday and had a great time. Liam was well behaved, but he slept half the time and Lauren slept the whole time, so there wasn't exactly a whole lot of baby interaction going on! I could finish a few pages in his scrapbook I guess. Not so much in the mood today though - more itching to photograph something... maybe Captain will model? He was, after all, the main subject in the house before Liam arrived. Or maybe I should just take advantage and nap along with him. We have a busy weekend in store.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Me time

Funny how sometimes I am just dying to tend to my own stuff - let me have a shower! Something to eat! Read a book! Make a phone call! Tend to the garden! Do something adult! - and sometimes I am looking at Liam while he sleeps and wishing he would wake up so we can hang out. Rarely do we get in synch. Maybe someday.

He's sleeping right now, but Chad will be home for lunch soon and will no doubt wake him. He'll need to be fed and changed. This afternoon we're going to hang out with Gina and Lauren and I want him on his best behaviour (and being clean, dry, and full helps.) This morning I made a point of getting into the shower right away despite the fact that he was awake. He cried for a few minutes and then settled. Since then we've had a great morning, running errands, doing laundry, out for a walk. I'm wondering if the key is to get that shower in no matter what. No doubt it improves my mood not to be a walking dishrag, and I imagine that rubs off on him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

There's a new superhero in town

...and he's known only as Bath Man. Slippery when wet. Fighting grime one washcloth at a time.

PS - hi Megan! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


...is the best word I can think of to describe this expression. Over and over I have heard the stories about the stunts Chad pulled as a kid. His aunt Deb continually says that she hopes Liam pulls half the crap that Chad did so he can see what it was like. Maybe we are in for an early start?? My poor little man, he's still battling the infant acne. I have half a mind to douse him with Clearasil. Not very photogenic these days!

The outfit in this photo is a gift from Anne - it's a sleeper - yup, it's too small now, too. This is the last he'll be wearing it. After all... I don't want to stunt his growth!!!!

This morning I had a dentist appointment and took Liam along. I was pretty nervous about it. We've been getting him out lots, but always in controlled situations where we can leave at a moment's notice. Like yesterday, I was shopping at Winner's, thinking of picking something up for Darin & Jenn's wedding, and he was quite content for the first 20 minutes and then kicked up a fuss. So we left, went home, had lunch, and came back a couple of hours later. No sweat. When you're strapped into the dentist's chair though, it's harder to get out. Luckily Liam was well behaved. Unfortunately I have to go back for some follow-up work - next time I will see whether Grandma feels like babysitting. (Which would have been my first inclination today, too, except that I just got the call yesterday reminding me of the appointment today, the booking for which I made a year ago. And Dana was working.) This afternoon we went out for a walk for a couple of hours. Went downtown, hit a few stores. Found a store in Chatham that sells Chip & Pepper jeans. Who'da thought?? (No, I'm not planning on buying $200 jeans while I'm unemployed!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

A new trick

Q: How do you stop a baby from crying?
A: Put him in the bathtub!!

My new favourite time of day... you can see the glee and astonishment in his face... it's just too cute!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I'm a scrapbook geek

... and I don't mind admitting it. I think I enjoy it because it combines things I love. Photography, writing, shopping for cool supplies (recollections of trips to the sticker store as a kid come to mind...) Being arts-and-crafts-y.

I was especially proud of myself yesterday for putting together this photo collage of Liam's first month. My picture hosting service cut it off and made it kind of screwy, but you get the idea. I was so pleased with myself that I had it printed 8x10 (only $3 at Zehrs and they will do it in matte - I am so mad at them for not offering matte services in smaller sizes!!) And yesterday I put together a scrapbook page about Liam's first month. Still working on it now in fact, since I am the slowest scrapbooker in the world. Everything has to be exactly right. Heaven forbid I glue something down or cut a sheet of paper and regret it later! I am pretty happy with how it's turning out except for one thing... I don't have the stickers I want to do the title. This is how most of my scrapbooking goes, in fact. Pages that are 95% complete but missing something - a title, something to fill the corner, whatever - because when I get going I always think, you know what would make this page perfect... this embellishment, that sticker, something I don't have. And I always think I will get it someday and finish the page... but I rarely do...

Megan tells me Liam won't care a whit about this book, because he's a boy. Girls love to have their baby scrapbooks and boys don't care. Well, maybe so. But in the meantime, I'm having fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Parallel universes

Today there's a great entry over at Infertility is Funny (link is to the right). This is a blog published by a woman who had infertility issues of her own and I took a lot of comfort from reading her entries. Coincidentally enough, we had our babies within a week of each other. Our lives are on some weird parallel. I could have written today's entry, called I Knew Dating an Engineer Would Come in Handy, myself (and no, it's not because of the allusion to engineering). Just about the reality of life with a baby that I thought only happened to other people - never to me.

Go read it - bookmark it - it will happen to you someday, too, if it hasn't already!

Friday, May 13, 2005

More from today

More pictures from Liam's one-month 'birthday'. He's so small and so big all at once. Totally does not look like a newborn to me anymore. These pictures are pretty much a photo diary of Liam's day: (a) Mom spends a lot of time taking silly pictures, (b) Getting my diaper changed and (c) Dad comes home and I hang out with him.

One month

A month old today. Already more than half as large again as when he was born. Studies the toy suspended over his car seat. Looks at us when we’re speaking, even if someone else is holding him. Starting to coo and make baby noises. Up just twice some nights, up all night others. Tries valiantly to hold up his head and take in the world around him. Sleeps with his mouth hanging open. Finally enjoys having a bath. Sometimes still pitches a fit during a diaper change. Loves to fall asleep snuggled into us. Follows his sneezes with a sweet little sigh in the most beautiful baby voice.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I'm cutting Liam some slack by not naming this post "Pork chop, part 4"

Today's stats:

10 lbs 12 oz
23 inches (birth length = 20.5 inches)

The nurse gave me the 'bad mommy' award by scolding me for having him in his puppy sleeper - once she took it off him, she got another half inch of length - her exact words - "He shouldn't wear this anymore, we do want him to grow."

Kind of snotty, no? I mean, he spends all day curled up in a ball still, I don't think it's hurting anything. Whatever.

Dr. Bailey redeemed the nurse though - she said, "You do realize we don't expect him to double his birth weight until six months, right?" But in a nice way, not condescending. I asked whether it's possible to overfeed at this point and she said no - he's solid, not fat - and then she said judging by the size of his feet he's just going to grow into a very tall person. She also said I had better step up what I'm eating in order to keep up with him. That's all I needed to hear - Dairy Queen, here I come. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Flip side

Blogger was down yesterday so I couldn't post about my fabulous day. About how my son (hee hee) was only up twice during the night, ate a lot during a few short sessions, allowed my friend Daylene to come visit during the morning and allowed me to take him to visit Gina and run some errands during the afternoon, watched happily while I made dinner, didn't give Chad too much grief while I went to Bodyflow at the gym, almost enjoyed his bath for the first time ever, and was out cold at 10 p.m. And then last night he was only up twice as well - at the exact same times as the night before - 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Is this the beginnings of a schedule??? Dare I dream???

Monday, May 09, 2005

Crashing down

Arrrgh. So the "life with a newborn is hell" thing finally caught up to us.

Having a rough day. Had a long and wakeful night - Liam was up much more than usual. And then, this morning, he wouldn't sleep at all. Cried a lot, even if I was holding him. Plain old wouldn't settle down. Wouldn't let me get anything done, have something to eat, change out of my PJs even. Oh, the stress. When Chad came home at lunch I was ready to pass him off and jump in the shower - then we had unexpected company drop in. (That's how you want them to see you - still in your pajamas, spit-up all over you, the baby sobbing hysterically.) So the shower never happened. Finally, around 2:30, I was ready to snap. I put Liam in his crib - still screaming - and had a shower. I could still hear him through the water and cried the entire time. Didn't wash my hair or shave my legs - basically it was the fastest hosing-off in the west. Jumped back out, threw some clothes on, and ran to pick him up. Poor little guy - still screaming.

And then, within literally about ten seconds, he was out cold.

So. Am I the worst mom in the world? Or did I just stumble across the easiest way in the world to get him to sleep?

Took this picture once he was settled. Love the ID bracelet from Megan. Almost woke Liam up trying to fit it onto his chubby wrist for the picture. Good thing I got the shot since this will be going into the memorabilia box before long, never to fit again.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Pork chop, part 3

As you can see in the 4th photo - chin #2 is well established. We're now working on chin #3.

Anatomy of a meltdown

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


We're getting a tiny fraction more sleep these days. Last night, again, Liam was only up twice... anyway, he was still plenty sleepy when I took this pic.

The other day when Liam and I came home from the baby weigh-in, there was a gift bag on the front porch. I brought it inside and opened it - inside was a little outfit and a card addressed to "The New Baby" - signed from Allen, Lynda and Adrian at such-and-such an address -- it took a bit of sleuthing to even figure out which house that was. Turns out it's the one directly opposite us. {Insert look of embarrassment here.} So tonight we took Liam over to say thanks in person and finally meet these people. They've been here for five years and have a one-year-old son, and do you think we knew any of that? Noooo. Our neighbourhood is pretty antisocial. Having said that, they seem to have tabs on us - they knew about the baby, when he was born, asked how the cat is doing etc. - from now on I will make extra sure to close the blinds when I'm doing something I wouldn't want to be made public. :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Pork chop. part 2

Yesterday I took Liam to the Baby Weigh-In Clinic. He clocked in at a staggering 9 lbs 5 oz. We are fast closing in on that magic 10 lb mark (at which point many infants start sleeping longer between feedings - here's hoping he's one of them!!) Actually, last night he was only up for feeding twice as opposed to three times, and I honestly feel like a million bucks today. It makes a huge difference.

Today has been going well. He was up and alert and content for a couple of hours this morning, then went down for a nap at 10:30. I was able to run 3 miles on the treadmill with the monitor next to me, do some laundry, clean up the kitchen and get something to eat before he woke up at 11:30. I fed him and he's been sleeping for the last hour and a half since then. I am going to wake him up at 2:30 if he's not up on his own by then... when he sleeps in long stretches during the day, I pay for it at night!! I have cranked the thermostat up to 80 degrees as I want to take a few diaper-only pics of him and I know he won't cooperate if the room is too cold. A space heater seems like a good idea at times like this - we don't need the whole house to be sweltering. Oh well... Captain, at least, is happy!...