Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This leads to my biggest fear about the idea of having Little Miss. Aside from the obvious front-running fears, like ensuring that she has ten fingers and ten toes, and never getting a good night's sleep ever again, and having this labour drag on even longer than the last, I worry about the first several months of Little Miss's life and what effect it will have on Liam: that time when everyone tries to convince him of how much fun it is to be a brother when all the while, all she does is cry and poop, keeping us tied up with her and leaving him neglected.
Even assuming that we are not doomed to have a high-maintenance baby this time around (something I feel is bound to happen, because Liam was just so good and surely the universe needs some balance), by comparison to him she will really just be a vegetable for the first six months, unable to give chase or kick a ball back or follow his instructions when he is busy bossing her around (and if he already likes to tell Chad and I where to sit to eat our dinner, surely she will soon take the brunt of his bossing behaviour).
Siblings are definitely a benefit, at least in the long term, and I will be able to stay mindful of the fact that no matter how hellish the first year may be on him, all the years after that will be better for it. Unfortunately, I don't think Liam has the understanding of time and relativity that would allow him to concur. I can only hope that because he's so young, he doesn't remember being an only for very long.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
It was funny to me to see how he interacts with other kids, and especially kids he does not know well or at all. I am used to seeing him around the group at Cindy’s but even then, I often see or hear things that surprise me. For the most part Liam is happier to do his own thing than he is to join in a group activity. Since both of his parents are like this as well, that is not the surprising part. It’s the stories about his getting involved with other kids that make me laugh. For example, there is one girl at Cindy’s who plays mother hen to Liam, often to the point of driving him crazy. This is the same girl he bit a couple of times last summer, and Cindy said both times he had simply been pushed too far and she didn’t blame him for sticking up for himself. I was surprised, then, to recently hear about how close the two of them have become. Recently, he’s even developed a new naptime routine. Liam still sucks his thumb and twirls hair when he’s sleepy. He’ll twirl my hair if we’re at home, but after getting his hair cut a couple of months ago, there wasn’t enough of his own hair left to twirl. So now when he gets tired at Cindy’s, he’ll go park himself next to his little friend, suck one thumb and twirl her hair with the other hand. And she totally lets him.
Of course, things aren’t always all rosy at Cindy’s house, either. Another thing Liam likes to do is go get everyone’s shoes for them before we head out somewhere. A few weeks ago he was doing this at Cindy’s house, when one of the kids objected and said “No, Liam, those aren’t your shoes!” as he picked them up from the boot tray by Cindy’s door. In no time at all, his lip was quivering and the tears were rolling. Little Mister was dealt his first crushing blow by some little punk who didn’t understand that he was just trying to be helpful. Every time I see this kid now, I want to knock his block off for hurting Liam’s feelings. I guess that’s the momma bear instinct coming out in me.
Monday, January 29, 2007
This past weekend was also our company social club’s trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. I think this place looks like a hoot and would have loved to go, but two things were holding me back: first, Liam may still be a bit too young to really take advantage of the facilities; and second, would I really want to be waddling around in a bathing suit in front of 100 of my coworkers in my current state? – I think not. I took Liam swimming over the Christmas break, and was mortified enough to run into a few people I knew for an hour at the community pool. It seemed safest to skip this weekend’s getaway and plan instead to go next year.
Cindy’s family did take advantage of the trip, and so she requested an early pickup on Friday afternoon. The snow began falling Friday morning and from our 5th-floor vantage at the office, it was quite a mess outside. I think my coworkers were a little suspicious that after a month of complaining about the lack of snow, I suddenly had a valid reason to take off early on the very day it finally arrived. Whatever. (Can you tell I’m in wind-down mode?) I picked Liam up, took him home, and with the benefit of a few hours to go before it would get dark, we stayed outside to play. Trouble was, he didn’t want to have anything to do with the sled. In fact, he was grumpy in general. We went for a walk, and when I started heading down the street in one direction and he wanted to go the other, he started to cry. Then he cried because he decided he didn’t want to walk after all. When I offered him the sled as an alternative, that was no good either. Ben the Golden Retriever came out from 2 doors down, and that perked Liam up a bit… right up until Ben chomped down on the stick Liam was dragging around and broke it. More tears. He was in a foul mood and nothing was going to change that.
When Chad came home I lamented Liam’s lack of interest in the sled. We took him out yesterday to try again. We conspired against him by planning to go for a walk around the block, a distance he can only half cover on his own two feet. Sure enough, by the time we got to the halfway point he started dragging. We offered him the opportunity to ride home in the sled. He protested, but we plunked him in and then Chad took off with Liam in tow. That was all it took: add some speed and a little thrill to the mix, and suddenly Liam was hooked. We didn't hear any more protesting until he protested going back inside when it got dark. (I may also have heard Chad's weary bones protesting a little as he ran laps around the yard with Liam + sled in tow, but my ears may have been deceiving me.)
We're supposed to get another 2" today. I can't wait.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I was thinking about this last night when I was in the shower. With Liam. Although we have managed to sneak the odd bath in here and there, and sponge bathe him now and then in between, he still has a major bathtub aversion. It still puzzles me that he enjoys running upstairs and getting out all the bath toys and filling up the tub so much, and then refuses to get in, instead dragging his pajamas out and asking to have them put on posthaste. Anyway, with Liam overdue for a good scrubbing last night, I decided to take Mandy up on her suggestion to try the shower instead. I think he was a bit baffled about why I was getting in the shower during his bath time, but once he was in too, he thought it was a hoot. He didn’t object at all to being hosed down and shampooed. Having water streaming down his face didn’t bug him one bit. We didn’t even make use of any toys, aside from sticking all the non-slip animals to the floor of the tub first. He found it amusing enough just to be there.
I hope this doesn’t backfire on us. I am not prepared to do this every night, especially when I have some place to go or something to do. Ideally, I would like to steer Liam back toward baths as opposed to showers. In the meantime, though, if this is what works, then this is how we’ll manage. I am all for the elimination of tears and frustration. So maybe we have the bath problem solved, at least temporarily. Now, if we could just do something about the night waking. Liam was up at 4 a.m. this morning, and we are all a little bit bleary eyed today.
(This photo was taken after the Teddy Bear Picnic at Cindy’s house this week.)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Although we have random photos scattered around the house – family stuff in the living room, our travel photos relocated to the rec room etc. – these are probably my very favourite photos of all. And it’s probably no surprise that Liam plays a significant role in each one. There is one of our wedding photos, and one of my nephew, Henry. There is one frame for which I just had a mat cut, that needs a new photo in it; the old photo you can see peeking out from behind is a collage of Liam that used to be on Chad’s desk at work. Everything else is Liam front and centre.
Of course, in a couple of months time, I will have to replace exactly half of the Liam photos around the house with pics of Little Miss in order to avoid the second child syndrome that Megan keeps telling me she suffered. The problem is, I love all these photos. I love the ledges exactly as they are. I would be sad and hard pressed to decide to take any of them down.
I just had a more recent photo of Henry printed, one that includes his parents, but I’m not sure I really want to take down the one that’s already there. I don’t know what I’ll do when I capture a new favourite of Liam, because I am out of space (at least, nearly; and I have to save that one frame for Little Miss, I have to). Before Christmas I thought I might do a mixed media shelf, have some photos on display along with a few Christmas ornaments or other seasonal items. It never happened. The photos won out; I couldn’t put any of them away, even temporarily.
It doesn’t help matters any that Chad hates the look of a wall covered in picture frames. I often don’t like the way it looks either, but it’s different when they are my photos of my family. If I had free license to never take anything down but just keep expanding… maybe that would make it easier… I just don’t think that will be the case. Sooner or later, something will have to go. I will fight it kicking and screaming the entire way.
Oh yeah, and a PS to the potential next tenants of our house after we are gone: I will leave the ledges behind for you. For one thing, they are custom made to neatly fit exactly along this wall. And for another thing, I never did get around to filling and touching up all the holes on the wall from the collage that used to hang there. You’ll need some stuff on the ledges to cover them up. It’s working out well for me.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
A few coworkers, etc. who saw the paper have commented on it, but the oddest experience came on Saturday morning when I was at my yoga class at the gym. A woman who I recognize as being a fellow classmate (though I don’t even know her name, and I wouldn’t think she knows mine) came up to me and said that must have been my son in the paper this week – she could tell because he looks exactly like me.
There are similarities between us, sure, but I still wouldn’t consider Liam to be my spitting image. The red hair, for one thing. And when I go to yoga class, it’s with raging bedhead – I don’t have the ‘fro going on like Liam has in this pic. Still, it was kind of neat to have a virtual stranger see a connection like that.
But, at Chad’s family Christmas get-together, the aunts and uncles were commenting on how seeing Liam running around took them back 30 years – doesn’t he look exactly like Chad did at that age? So I ask you – how is it possible to have it both ways?
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
As far as the teeth go, I am braced for it to be another several weeks before they come through and Liam gets some relief... though I really hope not. He's not sleeping well, he's cranky, he's got gastrointestinal issues and a fever... poor dude. Thank goodness this is the end of teething for us... well, at least for another 6-8 months.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
On the weekend we made a trip to London, and I found a few catch-all baskets with pink and green ticking liners to replace the blue hatboxes that were there when the room belonged to Liam. Stocking these baskets with Liam's old baby toys has piqued his interest in them again, and suddenly all he wants to do is stack rings and shake rattles. Another outcome of this trip was that we ordered a double stroller. It should be here in 3 or 4 weeks, which will be none too soon.
I'm still looking for some girly photo boxes, and also a new shade for the nursery lamp. If the green one here were available as a shade only (since the base is nearly identical to the one we already have), it would be on its way to our house in a heartbeat:All that's left is to decide what to do with the empty wall space - I am still undecided on ordering the prints I love versus doing a French memo board sort of thing.
Never fear, Liam is not left out. This week we finally ordered him a rug and a duvet cover for his new room, and got around to hanging a print on his wall. A memo board may work well in his room too; we can use it to corral all the artwork he brings home, if nothing else...
Friday, January 19, 2007
Despite the fact that Bath Man has been around for almost as long as Liam himself, Liam's love affair with this event has suddenly come to a grinding halt. Once upon a time, he raced up the stairs as soon as he was finished eating dinner, waited impatiently for us to start the water, enjoyed chucking anything he could find into the tub to play with (including such items as cordless phones and snow globes, items that have since hit the trash bin) and then happily stayed in the water until he was well past being pruney. I don't know what changed, but this week he has been on a full-out bath strike. Sure, he will still charge upstairs, load the tub with bubbles and toys, and act like he is getting into it. And then, if you try to get him into the water, he will strike up a bloodcurdling scream.
I could understand this if he'd recently been burned or had a near-drowning experience, but nothing like that has happened. It's seemingly out of the blue. After about 4 or 5 bathless days, I told him that last night was non-negotiable. He seemed to play along well enough, until his ankles hit the water; and then he cried like he has never cried before. I gave him the fastest scrubbing-down in the west and had him out again in under five minutes, but he cried the entire time he was in the tub. Probably not a great way to make him want to get back in again.
Maybe this is a preview of things to come; I know boys aren't supposed to like baths... I just didn't think it would happen so soon... and so suddenly. Anyway, Liam's not looking so photogenic these days, so here's a photo of my sister's cute family from last weekend to tide you over. Henry looks pretty freshly scrubbed in this picture. Enjoy it while it lasts!!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Well, on the good side, the heartbeat is still high and girly – 152 bpm – very consistent. Little Miss is head down, which is a sigh of relief. I passed the glucose test and blood pressure and weight are doing fine. It’s all sounding good, right?
Then I said something about having toes wedged in under my ribs on my right side, making me extremely uncomfortable from time to time. Dr. Bailey gave me a mildly alarmed look and said, “Really?” She did some belly manipulation, and was able to confirm that the baby’s back is on my left and legs and feet are indeed on the right. And then she said that if I was already getting toes-in-my-ribs syndrome then this baby is going to be huge. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.
When I said just that – that I’d like a nice medium-sized baby please, reasoning that bigger = more painful – she went on to say it’s nothing to worry about now that epidurals are here, and she extolled their virtues to me once more. I am still surprised that she is as pro-epidural as this. I am not against their use in some circumstances, but I definitely don’t plan to arrive at the hospital at the first twinge demanding to be hooked up.
To put this in context, I have to remember that she also initially said Liam would be gi-normous, and then revised that estimate down to pin him as a pipsqueak before he was born. And he was 7 lbs 2 oz, which I think is about as average as you can get on the baby size spectrum. There’s still lots of time left for further revisions. And, maybe Little Miss isn’t really a whopper – she could just be really, really tall. Long and skinny. Yeah, I like the sound of that.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Unfortunately this week, we have been going through some nighttime growing pains. I think Liam’s teeth might be bugging him again, but there is also the problem of the newfound freedom he’s discovered in no longer being helpless to get himself out of bed. Last night, no exaggeration, I must have put him back in bed twenty times after finding him wandering the hall. Finally I gave up and brought him into bed with me (where I was struggling to keep my own eyes open long enough to make sure he was settled for the night), let him fall asleep there (which took all of 2 minutes) and then transferred him over. Two nights ago he was up several times in the middle of the night, so I had thought he’d be tired enough to welcome the chance to go to sleep. Apparently not!
In addition to nighttime problems, we also now have morning problems. Sleeping in his crib, Liam would almost always wake up around 5:30, let out a feeble cry for 30 seconds, then go back to sleep until 7. Now, he wakes up at 5:30 and comes into our room, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to start his day. Lying down with him in his bed to get him back to sleep sometimes works, but more often doesn’t.
This may end up working out well for me, because my gym attendance has been pitiful lately, and it’s starting to take its toll. I have resolved to start getting up early again to fit it in, because I know I won’t do it at the end of the day. If Liam gets up at 5:30, he is only jumping my alarm clock by a little bit; it’s Chad who will have to be out of bed an hour earlier than planned to accommodate him.
Between last night and this morning, Liam slept 2 hours less than his normal last night. I’d be willing to bet he spends most of today at Cindy’s snoozing. I hope this isn’t becoming a habit.
Monday, January 15, 2007
When I got home at 6 p.m. last night, Liam was having his nap. It seems that he has too much fun with Dad to take his nap at 1 p.m. the way he does with Mom. Either that, or Dad is just a big pushover!! It sounds like they had a great time together, between a breakfast at McDonald’s, time at Playland there and then an afternoon of football (Liam can actually identify a football game on TV and Chad said he really did spend some time watching the screen. I think Chad is proud but me, I am not sold on this being a good thing.)
After he got up from his nap, he was out of sorts for the rest of the night – he filled the tub full of bubbles and toys and then threw a fit when we went to put him in, etc. I expect it will be an early night for him tonight which will allow me some time to sort through the aforementioned photos. There are some great shots and some absolute stinkers, which I suppose is to be expected; I actually took the time last night to write down some pointers from what I learned from the experience. Thank you to the Hamiltons, because it was at your expense! – and I should have something to show you within the next day or two.
One more Liam story for you, because I still can’t get over this: on Saturday I was rummaging through the fridge before lunch, trying to find something for Liam to eat before going out for groceries, and I wondered out loud what to fix him for lunch – and Liam, not missing a beat, said clear as day: “Grilled cheese.” Maybe I should stop being so surprised when he understands and can engage in a conversation. Maybe I sell him short sometimes. Anyway, lucky for him, there were exactly two slices of bread left; and so we split a grilled cheese sandwich before heading to the grocery store.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I made the mistake of checking out a new book the library had on display this week, one devoted exclusively to decorating nurseries, one that was published in 2006 (not 1976, which seems to be the golden era of our local little library, judging by the amount of material that dates back that far). It does make me want to go buy a whole new suite of furniture and painting supplies. I’ll fight the urge; look how short a time Liam used the room – it still seems brand-new.
Anyway, with Liam 95% gone, the time is right to launch Project Frill. I may not be picking up any paintbrushes or selecting upholstery fabrics anytime soon, but I can get my fix in other ways. First steps: checking out the complete lineup of 3M adhesives for something that will get my finished letters up on the wall without ruining the paint; and stripping off the blue flannel crib sheet, to replace it with one in pink. Captain has moved into Liam’s new room along with him (spending both day and night curled up amongst the quilt and duvet), so I don’t think I’ll have to keep chasing him out of the made-up-but-unoccupied crib like I did before Liam arrived.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Otherwise, I have 85 emails to catch up on at work. I had been dreading coming back to work - it's hard to get motivated to be involved when you have one foot out the door already - but I really do enjoy (most of) my job and in a way, it's nice to be back. Lots of interesting stuff going on.
I did, however, realize when I checked my online calendar this morning that I had a doctor's appointment last week that I missed. Oops. Seems I am now into the biweekly visits rather than monthly, and totally forgot about it. I will call up today and apologize but I'm not sure how this type of thing is handled - are they going to ding me for it? Can they do that when it's an OHIP-paid visit? (Or, as Chad asked, will they just confiscate the baby?)
Sunday, January 07, 2007
One of those things that needs to be done is getting ready for baby #2 - I mean, really getting ready. Liam has been napping in his new room for the past few days (with varying degrees of success - sometimes he goes down easily and sometimes he gets right back out of bed to carry on with his day). I think we'll start him sleeping there at night soon, too. We may go through several nights of having him get up a million times, but it's bound to happen sooner or later - might as well be sooner.
His new room is set up enough to be useable. We haven't moved over his clothes or all of his personal effects, but we're getting there. As the nursery clears out, it leaves me thinking more and more of what remains to be done for #2 once #1 is officially out. I was reading a message board I frequent last week and this very topic came up - "What's new for Baby #2?"
Here is one of the answers that was posted. Believe it or not, it read a lot like the others:
Lots of clothes
New crib bedding
Pea in a Pod Pouch
Mothership diaper bag
New cover for the infant carseat
A second swing
Ummmm... ok. What do I have new for #2? An outfit to bring her home from the hospital, a blanket for those newborn photos, and as of yesterday, a picture frame with a pink mat and a pink gingham nightlight for the nursery. Not much else. And, I don't plan to get that much else... certainly not as much as the rest of the world! Yikes! We have saved all of Liam's stuff and most of it is still in terrific shape. There are a few wants and a few needs of course... and now that we are in the home stretch... yowza, we have to get moving.First up: the double stroller. I have been going back and forth on this one. Part of me was thinking in a few more months, Liam won't want anything to do with a stroller. Then I tried to take him for a walk one day over our break, meaning I had intended for both of us to walk - and he cried and cried until I figured it out and got the stroller out. So now I am thinking we definitely do need a good double stroller, one that I intend to take out for a lengthy power walk every single day this summer, one that will serve us well on a full-day trip to the zoo. There is a total dearth of good double strollers on the market. You can get something flimsy and hard to manoeuvre, or a good solid off-roader that will cost you a fortune. I think we have decided to suck it up and go with the latter... maybe I can eBay it in a few years time??
I am also looking into a sling. We have a Snugli that Liam used just a little, but I'm thinking the whole hands-free aspect will be that much more important with #2. And, I want something girly. I am debating between this pouch sling: And this Mei Tai:
Friday, January 05, 2007
PS - this photo is for my dad, who said at Christmas that he thinks Liam is losing his red-headedness. Pictures speak louder than words. I think you're wrong.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
If I have to satisfy my shopping urge with toileting products, then so be it, because I certainly won't be satisfying it with this auction. This is the Christmas tree ornament I saw in a Pier One catalogue and had wanted to buy for Little Miss. Originally priced at $10 US, marked down to $7.50 US after the holidays, I thought for sure I could get one on eBay for cheap. Ummm... not so much. I'm not sure what makes this thing such a hot commodity, but even with a few hours left in the auction I am pretty sure I won't be making a bid.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
(Liam is sleeping on top of the quilt and underneath a duvet, which he seems to love. I might need to find a matching duvet cover and make it part of the permanent deal.)