Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mourning summer

{A small housekeeping note - pardon the late photo additions as of late - Shutterfly seems to be down all the time. Bear with me.}

Anyway. For those of you who follow the comments I get (which I love to get, and which come all too infrequently given the number of people who claim to check in almost daily - maybe I should add a ticker to my screen so I can keep track of you), you will have noticed a comment I got yesterday from my cousin Kelly. Kelly has a beautiful and happy looking little daughter named Sydney who is roughly six or seven months older than Liam. And if you read her comments about sleeping, you'll remember that she was anxious for Sydney to have her nap so they could then go swimming.


In my BL life (before Liam - as opposed to AL), back when I thought babies came out of the womb ready to sing songs and play pat-a-cake, I had envisioned this wonderful summer for Liam and myself. We were going to go to the beach and visit flea markets and pick blueberries and swim in the municipal pool and go for walks and eat Dairy Queen and... and... and...

Well, the walking part is true. But only if I get out of the house before it turns hotter than hell at 10 a.m.

I am at the point now where Liam can come with me and do things for an extended time, as long as I can have some privacy every few hours to feed him. And now that I'm ready for them, I am realizing how few of my plans can actually materialize. He can't wear sunscreen or bug repellent which means staying out of the sun and bug-infested areas. He can't sit up (no shots of him building sandcastles this summer.) He can't eat ice cream (well, I was just kidding about that one, really), and he can't hold his head up enough to use the backpack carrier yet... So none of these plans are in the cards, at least for today.

Hopefully by the end of the summer, some of them will happen. Blueberry season is August so that still gives us a couple of months for him to work on that neck strength - maybe by then he will be able to go in the carrier. Maybe we'll take him for a dunk in Cory & Megan's pool sometime. Next week we are pseduo-camping in Bruce and Dana's trailer at Rondeau for a few nights, and then at the end of August we're planning to take him up to a cottage Steph and Mike are renting. So we will fit in a few summer-ish activities this year. He won't be flying off the tire swing into the lake, but maybe he can sit around a campfire with us...

He's the perfect baby who was born at the perfect time of year, don't get me wrong. I'm just figuring out that this summer will be fun in different ways than what I had originally expected. And by next summer, we'll be totally ready for all of that.

Enjoy the swimming, Kelly and Sydney... I'm jealous!!! For now we will stick with some more of our favourite indoor activities, like checking out our reflections in the mirror. That's a big one these days!...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sleep talking

I know I cannot sustain too many readers here with Liam’s daily sleep diary. It may not be the most interesting fodder for the rest of the world, but since his sleep dictates my sleep, it is endlessly fascinating to me. And I have a proud little boast to make. On Saturday night Liam slept for a record seven straight hours. I was only up once to feed him, around 3 a.m., and was shocked when I checked my watch that it was not only 1 a.m. Then on Sunday, when we were out at the birthday party and his schedule was thrown off a little, he slept a shorter spurt – 5 hours – but followed that up with another almost-five-hours stretch so that again, I was only up once. This was previously unheard of and the fact that it happened two nights in a row really gave me hope for the days to come. Chad will admit that he then dropped the ball – on Monday night I was at the gym and he let Liam fall asleep in his clothes and without a bath, so that I had to wake him/change him/feed him when I came home, and he was up every 3 hours again all night. By morning I had let Chad have it and I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of that again! And last night – get this – Liam slept a solid eight hours, from 7 til 3 a.m. I woke up when he started to cry and noticed right away that my boobs were huge (meaning, for the uninitiated, that they hadn’t been used in an extra long while). Normally not a great feeling to have, but in this case it was heavenly! He then slept through again til 6:15 a.m. Now if only I could find it in myself to also go to bed at 7 p.m., I could have my first solid night’s sleep in months…

A funny thing about babies too – it’s like they’ve got some sort of sixth sense. I often feel like Liam knows all my secrets and I can’t get away with anything with him. Once when we were having a particularly trying day early on, I set him down for a few minutes and grabbed a magazine – I just needed a break from him. I had only been reading for a few minutes when I looked up and saw the look on his face. He wasn’t crying, but he just gave me this look that said, You shouldn’t be doing that… you should be with me. And I put the magazine down and haven’t done it again. He totally keeps me accountable and honest. If I ever drop him on his head, I’m sure he will find a way to let the world know it. And sometimes I have nightmares that doing the tiniest little thing wrong these days will scar him for life because he’ll never forget… Anyway, there is a positive flip side to this. When he woke up after the eight-hour stretch last night he was a grinning fool. He was lying there on the change table with this look on his face that said Hey mom, aren’t you proud of me?? He could not stop smiling. Way too cute.

I’ve added a link to another blog I recently discovered – This is another motherhood-themed blog, but it’s written by a woman who openly admits, with great hostility, that she hates being a mom. Yowzers. It makes me feel like I’m a saint. It’s wickedly funny but man, her poor kid. Not only that – she was also fired from her job for writing about her employer in the blog (and given the general tone of her writing, I’m sure it’s obvious that what she wrote about them was none too kind, hence the firing.) Go check it out if you’re up for a good read.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


No, not the store (although I suppose that could logically be a baby-themed blog entry, too. Maybe if I ever get out to a real mall again in this lifetime, that will happen!) I’m talking about the gym. I've been a Goodlife member for three years or so. Before I got pregnant I was a pretty active class attendee. I went to Bodypump and Bodyflow religiously, three times a week each. The classes run back to back two nights a week, which made it convenient. Then, when I was pregnant, I was pretty lucky – I had a really easy pregnancy and didn’t change a thing – kept up all my usual activities right until the end, going out for my last run the day before I woke up with labour contractions. And I kind of psyched myself up, thinking if I could still go run a few miles or lift weights while toting around a basketball for a belly then I should easily be able to keep it up after the baby came.

Of course, I cut myself a little slack. My new goal was to hit each class twice a week, and fit some running into the schedule somewhere. I knew I wouldn’t be able to piggyback the classes anymore (easily, anyway) if I was breastfeeding and had to be available to Liam every three hours. This should be doable, right?

I was back at the gym six days after Liam was born and went for a run a couple of days later. I felt good. I had my doctor’s blessing. Maybe I was high on the sense of accomplishment (I have to admit I got a perverse satisfaction from walking into that first class at the gym after Liam was born, and seeing the instructor’s jaw hit the floor, and having her ask had she blanked out and missed a few weeks - when the heck had I dropped that kid???)

Unfortunately, the routine quickly became, well, routine again. Boooooooring. And although getting to six classes a week had been easy, getting to four was now a struggle. I don’t mean because of baby issues. Yes, in the early weeks I missed several because Liam needed me at the wrong times, or because I wasn’t sure what to expect from him and didn’t want to leave him just in case. But then I started skipping one here… skipping one there… gee, I’m tired today… this despite the fact too that Megan was now attending all the classes that I used to… and you know how they say that knowing someone else will be there is incentive enough to get yourself out the door… well, not always. I am really trying these days to get out of my gym funk. (As you can see from today's picture... Liam uses his gym now... he's setting a good example for me!)

Now I’m also training for a half marathon that is less than three months away. Yegads – what am I thinking???? Chad wrote me up a schedule and it’s posted on the kitchen wall where I see it multiple times a day and can’t ignore it. This past weekend I ran an 8 miler and it was pretty easy and comfortable. Felt good. Chad is training for a full marathon, and despite the number of miles we’re trying to log between us on a weekend morning, we are both doing well. He has a training partner and they go out together early, like 6:30 a.m. – they are back after a couple of hours and then I can still get out before the heat of the day really kicks in – and we can nap in the afternoon if need be. It’s working out OK thus far. During the week, my scheduled runs are shorter, and I can usually crank them out on the treadmill now when Liam is sleeping. Sometimes he wakes up unexpectedly and cuts me short, but that’s OK, I’m not letting it get to me. I miss going outside (I really dislike the treadmill) but making sacrifices is what motherhood is all about, right???

Lately I’ve been thinking about what it will be like trying to do all this once I go back to work. (Once a planner, always a planner…) If I think things are tight now, just wait til I layer in a 40 hour work week and schlepping a baby back and forth to daycare. If we drop Liam off in the morning and don’t see him again til 5 p.m., and he’s in bed by 7 or 8 p.m., I’m not going to be making it to a 6 p.m. class – I’m going to want to spend that time with him. Will I make it to the 6 a.m. classes instead? I’m not sure – right now, despite my tiredness, early morning is totally my favourite time to be with him. Thinking about this just frustrates me (and makes me think, why bother getting back into the swing of the class thing now if I’ll just have to give it up down the road? A lazy cop-out to excuse myself from the next 9 months of classes, no doubt.) Up until 2 years ago I had never attended a class. Now I think they’re the greatest thing going and if I can’t go to one, the idea of going to the gym at all seems like a waste.

A new Goodlife is scheduled to open in town in September. Maybe that’s what I need – a change of scenery to perk me up. The bad news is that’s opening in the new Loblaw’s store. So every time I think I’m going to work out, I’ll have to muster up the strength to pass the snack aisle en route and go hit the gym.

Monday, June 27, 2005

You will not hurt my feelings

A funny thing about having a kid is the number of compliments you get on him and the amount of doubt you cast upon the comment giver. Case in point, yesterday we were at a birthday party (where this picture was taken), and as the birthday boy was just 2 years old, it was a family affair and Liam came with us. And of course, every time we go out with him, people always want to know how old he is, what his name is and inevitably they end with, “He’s just beautiful! What a good looking kid!” etc. etc.

Well, we think he’s beautiful. We think he’s the best looking kid on this planet. But we’re kind of biased. I really don’t expect the rest of the world to think that my kid is all that and a bag of chips. I know they reserve those sentiments for their own kids. So that being said, why even say it? When Chad and I first got together I remember seeing his baby pictures and thinking about what a hilarious-looking kid he was. Huge fat cheeks, bulging eyes, eyebrows that extended way past the outer corners of his eyes. Now I have a kid that looks like that and wouldn’t you know it – I think he is just perfection. It must be the hormones or something that makes you think your own genetics are somehow supermodel worthy, no matter how funny-looking the rest of the world likely thinks they are.

Chad has red hair and as the world knows, I had also hoped to have red headed kids. Liam was born with dark brown hair that has, over the last 2.5 months, slowly lightened up. His eyebrows are quite red now and the rest of him is slowly following suit, though I don't know if he'll ever be a 'flaming redhead' like his dad (pardon the terminology, I just don't know how else to put it.) I think people try to cushion the blow for me by remarking about the red hair, when I know, deep down, it's not THAT red. Come on, people, I'm a big girl, I can take it - and I'll love Liam just the same if he has mousy brown hair like me. :) Thanks though - it's nice of you to pretend for me.

Today my parents came for a visit - trying to squeeze in some quality Liam time before the trek to Maui:

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More playtime

So yesterday we did two things for fun that we haven't done before. Number one, it was a nice day, but kind of overcast and not terribly hot. So we went outside and spread a blanket on the ground and hung out out there for a while (pictured above). This served multiple purposes: it made Liam happy, it made Captain happy (he came with us) and it got us out of the house, which seems to get dirtier and dirtier the more time we spend in it, and I don't know when I will ever be able to clean it again!

Two, we took a drive out to see our friends Pierrette and Alexis. Alexis is five weeks younger than Liam. Although she was premature, she now weighs about a pound more than Liam did when we was born, but... I cannot for the life of me believe that Liam was ever that small. When I look at his earliest pictures it's hard to tell exactly how big he is, relatively speaking, because he's either swaddled in huge blankets or he's on his own with nothing to relate to, size-wise. I know everyone always says you'll be amazed by babies smaller than your own, but it's really a shock when it happens.

Last night we were up four times... sigh. Though, I have to give Liam credit for two things. Number one, he was up once because he had wet through his diaper (a disposable I'd only put him in an hour earlier), his PJs and his crib sheet. Arrgh. And two, twice when I put him back down, he wasn't 100% asleep yet, and he settled himself. I am glad to see that sometimes I go in his room to check on him when he's sleeping, and he's lying wide awake in his crib, happily. I know the dreaded time will come around the four month mark when we're supposed to start putting him to sleep awake and letting him cry it out if he's unhappy. I'm hoping if he can pick up some good self-soothing habits now, at a young age, it will be easier on us all when that time comes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

At play

I am really starting to use my camera's manual mode more often. I've finally learned enough to be able to do so. When my pictures turn out well, they turn out really well. But when I forget to change a setting (as I did with the ISO here), well, they're not so good. Megan's family came over on Sunday for a little photo shoot and I forgot to change the settings again after we were done. I really like this picture and will probably try to duplicate it sometime, with better settings (and it wouldn't hurt if I were a bit more dressed up too, not in my just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-in-my-workout-gear look.)

Last night Liam did really well. Slept for a five hour stretch followed by a four hour stretch. That's my boy!! I couldn't find standard 7W bulbs yesterday for the lamp in his room, but I did find 15W, and I really think it helped. I still got the 5:30 a.m. wakeup call though. He went back down at 7 and then I dozed off, and by the time I got my running clothes on and was drinking some juice about to hit the treadmill - he was up again. I managed to hold off eating breakfast and was ready to go when he went down for his second nap at 9:30. I got my three mile interval workout in, a complete shower, breakfast, looked something up in a magazine and now even an email check - and he's still not up. It's the inconsistency that drives me batty. Sometimes I have a ton to do and no time to do it; sometimes he gives me way more free time than I expect, and when it's over I wish I had known I was going to have so much because I would have planned on doing something even bigger and better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ups 'n' downs

Well, Liam went longer between wakings last night, but was also up longer each time (like an hour and a half at one point). Sometimes he barely wakes up enough to eat, and others he's Mr. Life of the Party at 3 a.m. I have started to only change him once at night, when he first wakes up after his 5-hour stretch, and then put a disposable diaper on him to carry him through til morning. On Amanda's advice I don't use any sort of wipe on him at the time either (nothing too cold on the bum to startle him). (Luckily he no longer poops at night so it's not too much of a concern. Sorry, world, if that's TMI for you.) Despite all this he's still often bright eyed and bushy tailed. I only turn on one lamp with a 40W bulb in it during the diaper change - the rest of the time it's dark - but I wonder if that's still too bright. (I do have a nightlight in his room, but it's across the room and behind the chair, and there's just not enough light to do a diaper change with it.) This morning I heard that you can buy 7W lightbulbs. Once he wakes up we're going to go out and look for some. If not a 7W then I'm sure at least I could find a 25W - anything dimmer in that lamp can only help.

My back is killing me today - I think I pulled something during my Pump class last night and then pacing the floor with 15 lbs of baby at 3 a.m. didn't help!...

On the bright side, the batteries ran out on the swing today before I even got in the shower, and he made it through with no tears!...

Monday, June 20, 2005

I speak too soon

...why is it that as soon as I say something about Liam, he proves me wrong??

Yesterday was a bad nap day. We fell off track early and never recovered. Partly this is due to a difference in napping philosophy between Chad and myself (though I think that after yesterday's outcome, Chad agrees with me more.) I am more of a by-the-book, put-him-down-regularly-in-his-own-crib person. I've seen that it works. Chad is more of a let-him-drift-off-in-my-arms type. And if he wakes up in ten minutes time then he must not be sleepy. (Whereas I'd be getting him right back to sleep, in spite of whatever protests may arise.)

So by the time bedtime rolled around, it took a good five tries to put him down. I'd get him to sleep, put him down, and ten minutes later he'd be crying. Arrgh. Finally, finally, he went to sleep... but... then he had me up five times in six hours. I kid you not - he wasn't even up that much as a newborn. And this was in spite of my new swaddling trick. And then, by 5 a.m. he was up for the day.

So. Needless to say I have been busy napping all day, and making sure I get his butt down for regular naps too! I have no intention of reliving that little drama again tonight! Dr. Weissbluth has me totally convinced that sleep begets sleep. I don't know how the pendulum could have swung so drastically, but today I'm mourning the loss of my short-lived good sleeper.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Well rested part 2, a.k.a. I'm not a father but the gift is for me, a.k.a. Why I love the internet

So yesterday I logged back into my pregnancy buddy group (April Moms) for the first time in a looooong time. Figured if I didn't do it soon then a whole new batch of April moms would be posting there and I'd lose touch with some of them.

Anyway, among the discussions being held was the wonders of the Miracle Blanket. This, I learned, is a straitjacket-like contraption that swaddles your babe by basically strapping down his arms with velcro before you do the burrito thing. And everyone was extolling the virtues of it -- how long their babies were sleeping while swaddled in it, etc.

I can't remember when or why I stopped swaddling Liam but I know it's been so stinking hot the last couple of weeks that he's been going completely blanketless. But this week it's cooled down and he's under cover again. So on a whim, I swaddled him again last night (in a regular blanket, no Miracle Blanket here) after his midnight feeding.

To my utter surprise and delight, I woke up a little after 5 a.m. wondering if he was still alive. (Well, that wasn't a delightful thought, but you know what I mean.) He had slept through for the first time EVER. Normally he'll sleep a five hour stretch from 7 pm til midnight and then is up every two or three hours after that. Last night he slept the night through in just two chunks, 7-12 and 12-5. After being up for a little more than an hour in the morning he then went back to sleep and mercifully let me sleep til almost 9 a.m.

Oh happy day! Now, if only I can figure out how to keep this up once it turns hot again. Even with the AC on, we live in one of those houses with a 30-degree difference between the basement and the upstairs. It gets hot up there in the summer. So how can I keep swaddling him? Not sure, but where there's a will there's a way...

And, yes, he still sucks his thumb when he gets hungry. And I still think it's cute.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Chad is the Fasjah

...which probably only makes sense if you have seen Austin Powers - Goldmember. (If you're struggling, it's the same scene as shmoke and a pancake/cigar and a flapjack/bong and a blintz...) It's supposed to be father with a really poor Dutch accent.

So where are all the mothers in movies? I mean, where is Luke and Leia's mother while Darth Vader is running around saying Luke... I'm your Father!! (No, I have not seen Episode 3 yet and yes, I assume this is where Queen Amidala comes in but please don't spoil it for me.)

So this is part of the gift I made (Liam made?) for Chad for Father's Day. I don't think Chad keeps up with this blog so I feel OK posting it. Anyway he's not in the office today so if he sees this it won't likely be til Monday. Just a little photo collage of he & Liam for his desk at work. We also got him a couple of shirts (the Typical Father's Day Gift) and also this thing we found in the toy department at Canadian Tire back when Liam was still just a wee speck. It's a set of three balls - football, basketball and soccer ball. Made out of the same materials etc. as the real deal, but tiny in size. Sure, I could have gotten it for Liam for a birthday or Christmas present, but let's be honest about who they REALLY make that stuff for, shall we?? Chad has been talking about this little sporting set for almost a year now. For $10, it's time he got it.

Happy Father's Day to both Chad and Dad... we love you both!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A couple things

Chad is home again from a golf jaunt with some customers. Phew... it's a total load off having another adult in the house. We're glad he's home!!

A couple things...

Was over at the Martha Stewart bulletin boards today, reading comments from someone with a baby just a couple of weeks older than Liam. She was talking about how much her baby loves the Baby Einstein DVDs. Thinking about getting one. Not wanting to turn the TV into the babysitter but if it's another buys-me-fifteen-minutes tricks, I'm all for it. Though I'm a little surprised that a two/three month old would pay attention to the TV??...

And speaking of DVDs, I'm also thinking of CDs. Lately I've been thinking of picking up There's a Hippo in My Tub by Anne Murray. Steph and I had this when we were little and I used to love it - I can still sing a lot of the songs from memory. Would like to have it again.

I'm looking for more ideas for stuff to do with Liam. Ideas, anyone? My repertoire is really limited and I feel like I should be doing more. I sing to him, although I really need to learn the words to more songs. Old MacDonald only has a limited number of verses, after all. I read to him, which he doesn't hate but he seems pretty indifferent. I talk to him when dressing him etc., explaining what I'm doing, telling him the difference between his right leg and left leg. I show him rattles and blocks and stacking rings. He hates lying on his back so the Gymini is out right now. He likes being propped up sitting but only for a certain length of time. Sometimes I can move him to another position or room for a change of scenery but sometimes he's just bored with it altogether. He likes standing on my lap, again, only for a certain length of time. All of this together only takes an hour or so and I'm trying to fill several hours of the day. What else can we do? We go for walks too but he usually falls asleep...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My son, the blob

Before having Liam, I’ll admit I didn’t know much about child development. Yes, I knew they didn’t come out of the womb ready to tap-dance, but in terms of what milestones occurred when I was kind of clueless. I knew not to expect the walking and talking for a good year but that was about it. And I’ll also admit that since having Liam, I’ve been kind of surprised by how long things take to happen.

Liam still can’t hold anything in his hand and from what I’ve read, it will probably be another month before he can. I can shake a rattle for him but he can’t do it himself. I originally thought that by now he’d be stacking blocks and squeaking toys and doing all sorts of adorable baby activities. And sitting up? I had no idea it would be a good six months before that happens. I originally thought it might happen around 3. Every day he seems a little more clued in but at times the progress seems agonizingly slow.

Once you start reading about all these milestones, of course, you start to brag when your kid beats them and worry when he’s behind. From what I’ve read, Liam shouldn’t be supporting any of his own weight on his legs until five months. Well, he’s been supporting almost all of it for several weeks now – it seems like it’s only his balance that’s keeping him from walking out the door. He’d rather stand on our laps than do just about anything else. On the flip side, he is also supposed to be able to lift his head to a 90 degree angle when placed on his stomach by the end of this month. Here’s a picture from yesterday showing the extent of his ability in that department – if he can get his nose off the ground to get some air in, he’s lucky. Despite all the advice to give your kid plenty of tummy time when they’re this little, I’ll admit that we don’t. I get thirty seconds of peace and then he’s screaming to be sitting up or standing or generally doing just about anything else. Having said that, he’s got no flathead issues, and he’s good at holding his head up when he’s sitting or standing, so I don’t think I’m doing him any harm by skipping the drama in this department.

Right now I’m reading Jenny McCarthy’s book, “Baby Laughs”. She referred to her son at this age as The Blob since he just kind of lied there (layed there? See, no adult contact anymore, and I can’t even remember how to speak!) in a puddle and didn’t do much. So that’s somewhat reassuring, to know that Liam is not alone. Of course, she also had to get her son a $15,000 helmet to wear when his head did flatten out alarmingly in the back. So maybe Jenny McCarthy shouldn’t be my role model in this department.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A few from the lake

...not that you can tell we're at the lake. We didn't go near the water or anything. All in due time! Just sat out on the patio, ate a lot and looked at wedding pictures that Darin and Jenn brought with them. Liam enjoyed being outside and it was quite an overcast day so we didn't need to worry as much about keeping him in the shade. Now that the eye crossing has mostly fixed itself, I can enjoy it when it happens much more. It's only cute when you don't have to worry about it being a permanent affliction!

He seems to have recovered from the trauma of getting the shots yesterday. On today's agenda I am currently waiting for him to wake up - then we're going to spend a bit of time sans clothes kicking on a blanket on the floor, and then we're walking down to Aunt Deb's office to return a book to her. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. A good book, but if you've read The Da Vinci Code, this book is nothing new.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Two months

The trip to the lake yesterday went well, and I will probably comment more on that tomorrow. Today Liam is two months old, which means several things. (a) I’m trying to take a good picture of him for the “Second Month” page in his scrapbook. But, (b) we had a doctor’s appointment for him this morning. And (b) is interfering with (a).

His checkup started off well. He weighed in at 13 lbs 11 oz (so his growth is slowing) and 24.5 inches (4 more than his birth length). Doing well in all areas. But then, of course, two months is when you start the official vaccination program. So Dr. Bailey bid us farewell and sailed out of the room, and the nurse came back with two ginormous needles.

So Liam goes back up on the table, and the nurse explains to me that she’s going to stick one in each thigh and she needs me to hold his knee joint and not let him move when he gets stuck. OK, sure. She also assures me that at two months, the kid won’t even react to having been poked. Well, she sticks that first needle in and Liam lets out a scream to rival anything Janet Leigh could do. My poor little guy, he took it awfully hard. She pulls the needle out and there is blood dripping all over the place. She gives me a cotton ball and tells me to press it on the wound on leg #1 and hold onto leg #2 because she’s raring to take a go at that one, too.

I have to say, I totally don’t think it should be the mother’s job to be involved in all of this. She sticks him in leg #2, he starts crying even harder, and then she’s telling me I’m not holding him still enough, hold him still, hold him still! I am so frazzled, between the crying and the blood still coming out of leg #1, how am I supposed to focus on leg #2? And then she’s telling me to pick him up already, don’t just let him lie there crying, the sooner I pick him up the better. I was still trying to hold him still. One of those things where your head is just in this fog. I was so distressed by his distress that I had no clue what was going on.

He’s been awfully sleepy since the vaccinations (can't blame him for not being able to sleep through such torture, can I??) so maybe taking a good two-month shot isn’t in the cards for today. I did get this one, but I was hoping for more of a full body job, something that represents who he is as a whole person today, not just a mug shot.

Anyway, here's what I wrote for his second month spread. The photo will come soon enough.

When you were about six weeks old, something clicked. I don’t know if you changed or if I just finally figured you out. Suddenly I knew what to expect from you – when you would cry, and how to stop it; when you would sleep, and how you would behave if you got overtired; when you were hungry as opposed to just nursing for comfort; when you’d be sociable and when you’d be OK on your own. I knew how you wanted to be handled, even if that’s not how I would have chosen to handle you, and as I adapted you became visibly happier. It was so empowering to think that I was doing a better job of meeting your needs. Once we hit this milestone together, I got much more comfortable taking you out and including you in my everyday activities, rather than waiting until you were asleep to attempt anything. We went further from home for longer periods of time. During your second month we went to Darin and Jennifer’s two weddings, made a trip to Stratford and went out to the trailer at Rondeau. We spent social time visiting friends and I also got out of the house on my own a couple of times, leaving you with capable babysitters (your aunt Amy and Grandma Cook) for the first time. We established a weekday routine with fairly consistent times for naps, a daily walk, errand running, chores, and baby time – reading stories, singing songs, and other things that you don’t seem to care about yet, but I’m sure they must be good for you! You outgrew a bunch more outfits and we had to put away many warm things even though they still fit when the weather turned hot almost overnight. You became much more vocal, you were finally content to be set down to watch what we were doing, and you could support your entire weight on your strong little legs if only your balance were good enough. The hair you were born with fell out from the crown forward, and is just now starting to grow back (and it looks like it’s coming in red!) And, there’s no question now that your eyes are brown. We look at Chad’s baby pictures and can’t believe how interchangeable the two of you are at this age. You may still occasionally be a little devil, but you’re a devil I know. It’s so much fun watching you grow.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Fitting it in

How funny is it that, for me anyway, the weekends are becoming more stressful/challenging than my weekdays? Despite the fact that Chad is around to help out with the kiddo. I am just starting training for a half marathon and Chad has been training for a full marathon for several weeks now. Sunday mornings we both have long runs scheduled. And, we live where it is bloody stinking hot at this time of year. The heat is only going to get worse and our mileage is only going to increase from here. This morning between the two of us we had to fit in eighteen miles – by the end of August, we’ll be up over thirty. And of course, when I run is dictated by when Liam needs to eat, so every time we go through this it’s on the fly. If I wake up early to feed him then I try to get out the door right afterwards so that Chad can go when I return. If Chad wakes up first then he’ll go out before me since I’ll need to feed Liam before I go anyway. I don’t like to eat before I run, but Chad likes to eat first but then lets it settle for an hour. There’s a multitude of ways it can all play out…

This afternoon we are heading out to the lake. Chad’s parents have been after us to bring Liam out since day 1 so there’s no more stalling! We’ll go out mid-afternoon for dinner, but probably won’t do too much else – it’s really hot out, and we’ll see how Liam takes to it. Plus, we’ll have to make sure he stays in the shade. Luckily the mosquitoes shouldn’t be a problem since the trailer is on a waterfront lot.

I am really looking forward to doing some beach pictures of Liam sometime. Unfortunately, by the time he’s able to sit on his own, this summer will be over. So it may not be this year. Maybe I can nab someone else’s kid to practise on… I am really itching to get out and shoot at the beach! In the meantime, here’s one from this morning – not sure Liam is really up for the trip to the lake after all. Or maybe he's just upset because his hat is three sizes too big. (Hey, it's all I could find!...)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Turf war

So, true to my word, yesterday was a very good day. The very good days really do outweigh the bad ones (I need to stop losing sight of that when in the midst of a bad one!) Liam was a joy all day. Social time in the morning, then chores (I did them and he enjoyed watching), then a walk and a trip to the grocery store, then we baked a cake and made a big dinner. And we also had an appointment with Canadian Baby Photographers.

Now, I don't plan on having many portraits of Liam done. Frankly, I think I can do a better job, and do them in a style that's more to my taste. We will not be heading for the Sears Portrait Studio all that often. But, Canadian Baby Photographers bring this portable studio to your house. There's no sitting fee and you get one free 8x10, even if you don't buy anything. And the quality is at least a little better than the Sears or Wal Mart specials. (I expect the prices will reflect that, too. You'll notice they don't list prices anywhere on their website or in any of their promotional material. The photographer comes to do the sitting and then ten days later, a sales rep makes an appointment to come back with the proofs and the sales pitch.) So I put aside my photography snobbery and make an appointment for today.

I just want to get my one 8x10, thinking, I'm not going to like it, but it's free and I have time (and thankfully, Liam was cooperative) so why not? And then the guy comes, and sets up the backdrop and lights and tripod, and I'm still thinking, I can do better than this myself. He does the standard baby-leaning-on-his-elbows pose. OK, boring, but kind of cute. Then he starts pulling the costumes out of his bag. First there's a baseball cap. And although neither Chad nor I are really baseball fans, and although it's probably the most over-used boy prop in the world, he puts that cap on Liam's head and suddenly it is JUST the cutest thing I have ever seen. Next comes one of those floppy fishing hats with lures dangling from it. Then there's a nerdy pair of glasses. And then, I kid you not, a Scottish tam. Each outfit is cuter than the last - when it's my kid who's wearing it. It progressed in this manner to the grand finale. The second-to-last outfit was a little Tarzan getup, complete with a stuffed monkey, foliage backdrop and leopard print outfit. And the very last outfit - there's Liam sitting in a basket full of vegetables, with carrots and asparagus and eggplants all around, and he's wearing this cabbage leaf hat on his head. You know where this is going, right? I am *totally* sold. I am the sucker who is going to wind up buying the biggest, most expensive package they have... all because of my free 8x10.

In other news. Entries for the "Gee You Look Like Your Dad" photo contest close today. I tried, really I did. But this is the closest pose I could get. Pardon the drool... that's a new thing this week.



Thursday, June 09, 2005

Where did I go wrong??

A disclaimer before I start. I love my little gaffer, really I do. I wouldn't trade him for anything. And the good far outweighs the bad.

Having said that:

I hate it when all I can smell is puke, because he won't stop spitting up, and it's on his clothes and my clothes and in my hair and on his breath and I can't stop carrying him around to get away from the puke breath because he won't stop crying. I hate it when I think I have established a bedtime for him at 7 and am celebrating this small success and then suddenly he won't go to bed before 10. And worse, I've made plans for how to spend those hours after he's in bed, and then I'm upset because those plans go out the window. I hate that this is the first week that I am supposedly training for a half marathon in September, and it's Thursday already and I haven't run once this week. No wait, I did. I ran half a mile on the treadmill yesterday - just over five minutes, and then he was awake and crying for me again. I hate that when I put him to sleep I spend the next half hour hanging around outside his room listening for any little twitch that means he's not really asleep yet and is about to cry, and then when it finally happens I am mad at myself for not having done something with that half hour while I had the chance. I hate it when he pulls my hair and his fist is clenched so tight that he's nearly cutting off his own circulation. I hate when he cries with his eyes squeezed shut and doesn't even realize that I've done something to fix the crying (like moving him so he can see something) because he won't open them again. I hate changing his clothes because he hates having them changed and screams when I do it. I hate that almost every single time I lower him into his crib, having spent the last half hour rocking and singing and carrying him around even though my right shoulder is throbbing by the end of the day, his eyes fly open and it's back to square one again. I hate that even though I am on maternity leave and this is supposed to be my day's work, I wish I were getting other things done too and am mad when they don't happen. I hate when Chad comes home and Liam is in a great mood and it looks like everything has been easy-peasy lemon squeezy when really I've had an awful day with him up til that point. Chad never says anything but I sometimes feel like I have to justify why I am so worn out when everything appears hunky dory. I hate it when I practically forget that I have a cat that I used to spoil rotten, and now I sometimes forget to feed him on time or leave him outside for too long because I've forgotten he's there. I hate that after being away for three days, Chad comes home and breezes past me having barely said hello on his beeline way up to Liam's room. (Well... actually, I guess that's kind of cute.) And I hate that after complaining about all of this, today is probably going to be a wonderful day when Liam is smiling and learning and growing, and I am going to look back on having written this and feel like such a heel for having felt this way.

(Picture is from about two weeks ago.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Making the most of it

We miss Chad and are looking forward to him coming home tonight. Having said that, I've indulged in one guilty pleasure since he's been gone. Liam is normally up sometime around 5 a.m. for a feeding and about half an hour of really social time (his most talkative time of day) before he goes back down for a couple of hours. Unfortunately for him, 5 a.m. is my worst time of day, as that's when the sleep deprivation hits its peak. I am in no mood for playtime at 5 a.m.! Something that helps me get through it is bringing Liam back to our bed after this early morning feeding. If I dump him back in his crib before he gets his social fix, he cries, but I can usually bring him to our bed and let him think he's babbling to us while really we're sleeping. (I can't believe I'm admitting this. Aren't I awful? I know I'm supposed to be interacting with him and stimulating him and helping him learn, but really, at 5 a.m. -- that's asking a little too much!!) And then he'll fall asleep on his own for a few more hours. The problem is that sometimes it's hard to sleep through his babbling because it's so loud. Well, that's not 'the' problem, that's Chad's problem. After I've been up all night I can sleep through just about anything! So anyway, long story short, I try not to do this too often on a workday when Chad's sleep will be affected (sometimes if I'm tired enough I think 'Chad be damned' and do it anyway, or sometimes I'll take Liam to the spare bedroom with me), but with Chad gone this week Liam has been spending his mornings in bed with me while I catch some extra zzz's. So here he is this morning, snoozing beside me. Doesn't bother me in the least now that his snurgle is gone...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The finished project

This has to be super quick. Chad is in Toronto for a few days on business. Right now I have a wriggling baby on my lap, a cat walking on my keyboard trying to get attention (it's time to feed him), and a project I'm working on right now spread out on the desk that I'm trying to protect from both the baby AND the cat. I have less than two hours to feed the cat, feed myself, feed Liam and bath him, and get to a card making class Gina invited me to. Grandma Cook is on her way over to babysit.

But... I thought I would share the finished shadowbox. Well, it may not be entirely finished. I can rearrange and re-pin as needed. So far I am liking it. The hat and onesie are the first things Liam wore. The booties too. I've also included his ID bracelet, ribbon from one of his gifts and a card, and the butterfly doodad that came in a flower arrangement. The wooden letter L was meant to go in also but I ran out of room...

Monday, June 06, 2005

A catch-22

In addition to the wedding this past weekend, we also visited my family. Both social events invovled (a) a long car ride out of town and (b) multiple hours of visiting, both of which were firsts for us. So I had no idea how they would go.

As I reported earlier, the wedding was perfect. Liam didn't cry once, he didn't mind being passed around, he wasn't bothered by the loud music, he slept both ways in the car, etc. Couldn't have been better.

The next day was the visit. And he was OK. Not great, mind you, but OK. He cried a few times. We were always able to settle him, but he certainly did have his cranky pants on now and then.

I should mention here that Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a huge advocate of multiple daytime naps for a little one. I started implementing this as soon as I got the book and couldn't believe how happy it made the little guy. What a great trick. Well, of course the wedding threw the nap schedule off, and then the following day it got even worse with the visiting, right? Another day with nary a nap to be seen (the car rides excepted). I know he looks like he's sleeping in the last picture here, but don't believe it - that was one of his nod-off-for-a-few-then-BOOM-wider-awake-than-ever moments.

Fast forward to yesterday: The Day From Hell. He was so desperately tired, and yet he wouldn't sleep. Couldn't sleep. Cried all day. Was rubbing his eyes and yawning like a fiend, giving off every drowsy cue in the book, but was so overtired that he just couldn't do it.

So, it's a catch-22. I can take the little man out, but I pay for it the next day. So from now on I'll have to judge whether the event is worth it (like Elaine and her sponge-worthy test): do I want to attend your party badly enough to be willing to put up with a little monster the next day?

Sorry your face isn't showing here Katrina, but I LOVE this picture. Look how red his hair looks!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dum dum da dum - part 2

This weekend was the second leg of Darin and Jennifer's wedding. (Third leg for them I suppose, since it all started in Mexico. Jennifer has gotten more mileage out of her wedding dress than any other bride I've known!) We went to Colasanti's Tropical Gardens for a big dinner reception (I would guess around 130 people?) and dance. Weddings really speak for themselves - not much more for me to add - so here instead are a few pictures...

Entering the reception:

Liam wore this super cute outfit from Renee. It's still a little too big but boy, was he stylish (and Megan couldn't complain about ANOTHER appearance in blue stripes or his PJs!) Amy brought the shoes home from Dubai - a great last-minute addition to the outfit.

The music was SO loud, and there were SO many people passing Liam around, I thought he would throw a fit. But he was completely well behaved all night. That's my guy! Partying with Megan:

And of course, the reason we were there: for Jennifer...

...and the groom, my brother in law Darin! I always have a hard time taking pictures of the bride and groom at weddings - I feel like I'm imposing (since there are usually 100+ other people also trying to take pictures, including a professional that the couple has hired - anyway - here is one of the few shots I did get of Darin and Jennifer together.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Afghanistan Amy

Well, she looks good. Surprisingly tan for someone who probably spends most of her time hiding out in an underground bunker. Resplendent with all sorts of high-end finery (sunglasses and iPods and digicams, oh my) that one can afford when living on an army base and pocketing a year's salary... yes, Amy rolled into town today on the Via train. After feigning a little too much worldliness ("When you've lived all over the world as I have, of COURSE you don't remember where Queen St is..." -- this after she spent 10 years living in Chatham, which is a small town (insert eye roll here)) -- she settled in and greeted her new little nephew. Helped bath him even, while I made it to my first gym class in too many days. And Liam looks none the worse for wear for it - no scald marks, no trauma so far as I can tell. I am off for a little pampering tomorrow and Amy may even watch the babe while I go. *sniff* My irresponsible little sister is growing up!! Tomorrow night is Darin's Wedding Part 2 - the big family reception. Amy has found true love in Afghanistan, with an American solider no less. Despite only knowing each other for a couple of months they are talking marriage. GACK. That's my response. No offense Adam, but really... are you sure? Amy can start to wear on you after a while. :) Amy insists that when it's right, you "just know." Well, I didn't. I went to university to look around and THEN came back to Chad after exploring all my options. And look at us now, happy as can be with our own little family!! Anyway, the wedding tomorrow will be interesting... no doubt all evening I'll be thinking, next time I hear the wedding march, or the glasses clinking, or whatnot... it could be my lil' sis!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Inconceivable!, A major score, and Pork chop part 4

We saw Dr. Bailey this afternoon. All is well with me – Liam (he’s wiggling around here on my lap as I write this) didn’t do any permanent damage. So that’s good. She wrote me a prescription for the pill and sent me on my way. Now, the irony of the situation did not escape me. How strange it is that a year ago I was pumping myself full of drugs in a desperate attempt to get pregnant – and now I have to do the same thing to stop it? Are we talking about the same person here? The first time I got pregnant, it happened really easily, so I know that’s the way it’s ‘supposed’ to work – Liam just gave us grief for some reason. A lot can change in a year – he’s living proof of that – so I guess I’m back on the pill.

After the appointment we went to the grocery store where I made a major score. Shadow box frames for ten bucks. And they’re beautiful. About an inch deep, magnetic closure, 11x18, complete with pins. So I picked up two. After all… if we’re lucky, we may have another baby someday. How cute would that be to have two hanging side by side on the wall, one in pink and one in blue? Although if I had to make a prediction today… I’d bet on another boy.

Ah yes, and a Pork Chop update. I asked Dr. Bailey to weigh him for me. 13 pounds, 4 ounces. We were the topic of conversation for the entire office!!

Well rested

Last night I had the sort of night I have maybe once every couple of weeks - the sleep deprivation catches up with me and I completely crash. Went to bed practically right after dinner. Put Liam down at 7 and he slept til 12:30 - 5.5 hours - a record. Now if only we could shift the time so that long block of sleep occurs during the night! Anyway, I feel much better today. This is a busy week for us. Yesterday Melissa and Taylor came over for a while, this afternoon we're off to see Dr. Bailey, tomorrow Gina and Lauren are coming in the morning and Dana is coming in the afternoon to help me make some desserts for the reception on Friday, and now my sister Amy, who's home from Afghanistan for a visit, is coming for a few days as well. This is her first time to meet Liam. I have a hair and makeup session booked at Form & Function on Friday morning (a gift from Chad from a few months ago that I am now using) - Dana was originally scheduled to babysit but now that Amy is coming, I guess I could let her off the hook. The trouble is, I know Dana will be disappointed, and I'm not sure I trust Amy with my precious child!! :)