There are about a hundred different ways he could have caught a cold this week and I cursed every single one all night long. The most obvious? His less than animated baby signing teacher showed up on Monday and apologized for her poor signing voice because she had a cold. Who comes to teach a class full of infants with a COLD?! Ugh. I should have just walked out. Instead we stayed and learned the signs for cat and grandpa. BAD MOVE.
Yesterday it started with some coughing and sneezing and by bedtime it had escalated into congestion and a low fever. It took some extra time to get him to sleep, but then he would cry every time we tried to put him down. It was like having a newborn all over again. Except now he weighs 17 lbs. and doesn't fit as neatly on my chest to sleep. Anyway, Papa Hero (a.k.a. Kris) stayed up most of the night with him because I am a total nightmare to deal with after 10pm and our agreement to take shifts with Kale quickly turned into Kris doing double shifts. Don't feel too bad for Kris though - he will receive payment in the form of delicious steak taco's tonight for dinner.
Having a sick baby is the total pits.
I seriously cringe with embarrassment when I remember saying things like this. How naive was I??!
Kale is now four months and I've left him a very small handful of times. When he was a tiny newborn I left him with my mom and Kris's mom to run 20 minute errands while he slept once or twice. Last Thursday I had no choice but to leave him in the middle of his epic meltdown with Kris's mom while I went to get my dress fitted for the wedding (although I totally needed the 20 minutes it took to collect my sanity). I've left him with Kris for a couple hours here and there for hair appointments and Kris has taken him out for a couple hours to visit friends and family. But overnight? Not a chance. So - Kale was coming to the wedding. Which isn't a big deal at all - the big deal was the fact that I was going to have to be away from him all day long while I got ready with the rest of the bridal party.
Let's just say that I was a tiny bit stressed about this for a week or two (or maybe three) leading up to the big day. I was worried about the drive there (2 hours away), whether he'd take a bottle for the whole day or not, if he was going to have an epic meltdown for Kris, if he'd scream during the wedding. Honestly, the list was nearly endless.
But....we drove up Friday evening and he slept most of the way. We checked into the hotel and I went to Lisa's and Kris put him to bed without any problems. Then I left Saturday morning at 7:30am and we planned to stay in touch throughout the day and meet up a few times if Kale needed to nurse. But.... he took bottles all day without any problems. Kris and Kale went to visit their Aunt and Cousin, went to the mall to buy shoes, took a swim in the hotel pool, and had zero meltdowns. They came to the reception around 5pm and Kale was on his best behaviour during dinner, the speeches and the dancing. At 9pm Kris, Kale and I hit the dance floor to get the party started and then made a quiet exit. Kale was fast asleep in a matter of minutes and Kris and I stayed up, drank a 6 pack, ate Burger King and watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It was the closest thing to a "date night" we've had since Kale was born and it was utterly awesome.
I guess it just goes to show that when I stress out and worry about Kale in a certain situation, he tends to pull through and be the best baby ever.
It was a great weekend. It was fun to get all dressed up and hang out with friends and be a part of one of the biggest days of their lives. I do love a good wedding.
- thank and link back to the person who gave you the award - Done and done! Make sure you check out AmyLee's blog out. She's mom to the adorable Parker and she works out (what's that??).
- share 7 things about yourself - there is no way I can think of 7 things about me that anyone would be interested in. I'm going to mix it up and share 7 things about our week. What? I'm being versatile! That's why I got this award...right?
- pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous - AmyLee did 5 so that's what I'm doing.
- contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award.... ok.
7 Random Things About This Week:
- Ok, technically this was last week, but Kale ROLLED. Ok, he half-rolled. He can roll from his back to his belly, but has only managed to get from his belly to his back once (and I didn't see this so for all I know the cat pushed him).
- Kale is a certified sitter-upper. For those that have never heard of this, what I mean is that Kale can sit up on his own now. He started doing in about two days after the rolling so don't be surprised if I tell you he's crawling next week. Apparently he likes to tick off the milestones quickly. From what I hear, four months is pretty early for a baby to be sitting up on their own. I don't know if I should be proud because my baby is obviously a genius, or terrified because he's going to hit all the milestones early (I am not ready for a mover).
- Yesterday Kale had a full-on, mama-needs-some-vodka, FREAKOUT. It lasted for HOURS. Teething? Who knows. He's been drooling up a storm for over a month now and we've yet to see the presence of a tooth (or even a tooth bump). There was no fever, the little guy was just having a bad day. Kris's mom came over to watch him while I did a quick errand and I think he scarred her for life with his excessive screaming.
- We think his hair is turning green from the chlorine. Kale's hair colour is a little odd to start with. Sometimes it looks totally blond and other days it just looks brown. My neighbour once described it as taupe. He has taupe hair. The colour of Kim Jong-il's wardrobe. Anyway, maybe it's just the compact florescent bulbs that Kris insisted we put in our bathroom, but the other night we were bathing Kale and noticed that his hair has taken on a tinge of green. Awesome.
- We had a blast at music class again this week. I put on my big girl pants and made an effort to talk to every mom there before they left. This meant that I showed up half an hour early so I could catch a few before class and I may or may not have blocked the door after class to corner one mom, but I got to them all. And they were nice. And Kale had so much fun. Music class is a winner.
- Salsa class & baby signing are not winners. Salsa class was a total fail because Kale decided he HATES the carrier at the exact moment that class started. Why they hold classes for babies in concrete rooms I'll never know, but the sound of his screams bouncing off the walls were enough to get the stink eye from more than one mom. Thankfully the teacher had an emergency and Kale and I scooted out early. Not sure if we'll be going back to that one. Signing class wasn't much fun either. The teacher was not every animated (I know. How can someone doing sign not be animated?) and Kale quickly got bored of her. She's teaching us real sign language instead of baby signing so this week I'm already expected to learn the alphabet and 20 different popular signs. Baby class with homework? I don't think so.
- I started a photography class last week. It's my attempt to create some balance in my life and do something non-baby related. Of course Kale is my muse and so all my photo's are of him, but I do get 2.5 hours of adult time in class each week.
5 Other Blogs I Recently Discovered and Think Are Fabulous:
- Our Little Lifesicle
- 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back
- Not Your Average Ferris Wheel
- Adventures of the Stay at Home Mom
- Gregarious Peach
Thanks again to AmyLee for the award :) This was a good way to update everyone on some of the things going on these days. We're heading out of town very shortly for the weekend to a wedding (I'm a bridesmaid!!), so updates will be scarce again until we're back. In the meantime, this cuteness will have to hold you over:
So here's the thing - I know that I'm incredibly lucky that one of my best friends has a baby boy that is so close in age to Kale. I realize I'm even luckier that Lexy and I have very similar parenting styles and that we've developed a strong supportive relationship as mom's. I have no idea how I would have survived to this point without her. Don't get me wrong - Kris is amazing*** but he's never given birth, dealt with nipple pain, been sleep deprived from nursing all hours of the night, etc., etc.
If I didn't have Lexy as such a close friend perhaps I would have been more active in seeking out other mom's, but I haven't. I've definitely been open to meeting other mom's, but it's been way more challenging than I ever thought it would be. For example - last week Kale and I went to our first music class. I realize that we're totally priviliged to be able to take part in something like this (cost of program, transportation to get there, childcare for siblings - all challenges for some) and so I was anticipating a certain group. Kale and I got to class on time despite a mad rush to get our things together before leaving the house, but he was still wearing an outfit with a nice amount of drool on it that might have been a tad too small and he had a lovely scratch down his face because I'm really awful at cutting his nails. Still - Kale wasn't wearing pajama's, I'd even had a shower, and we were on time. Miracle, no? Apparently not. The other mom's trickled into class with their designer diaper bags (hey, mine's designer too! No one needs to know I bought it second hand), dressed to the nine's (I swear that one mom must have ironed her baby's shirt..either that or she just ripped the tags off it), and not a spot of drool in sight. It quickly became clear to me that all the other mom's in the class knew one another and despite the fact that I smiled at each mom and baby as they came in, not one said hello to us. During the class the baby beside us would roll over to Kale and try to steal his shaker's and Kale would try to eat his head and the mom kept snatching her little guy away as if Kale's drool was contagious. I told her not to worry, they looked like they were having fun. No dice. She continued to snatch. Oh well.
So we'll pause here and just note that Kale LOVED music class. The teacher started the class by singing hello to each of the babies and calling their names. Every baby would look at the teacher when she sang their name and sort of stare for a second until she moved on. When the teacher sang Kale's legs it was all I could do hold on to him as he started jumping in my arms and singing back like an owl "whoooo, whoooo." I thought this was awesome but the other mom's didn't look so impressed.
Anyway, when the class finished the mom's could not get at one another fast enough. "Is so-and-so doing this?" "My baby is doing this now," "Your outfit is so cute!" blah.blah.blah. Again, no one gave us a second look. I packed up our stuff and as Kale and I were leaving I said "bye everyone - see you all next week!" And get this (!!!) two mom's looked at me (but didn't say a thing) and the rest of them didn't even offer us that.
Ummm...rude? I think so. I could really care less because Kale loved the class and that's all that matters. I didn't go there to meet other mom's, but wanted Kale to be around other kids and to have fun and learn some music. But it was the perfect example of how breaking into a mommy circle can be next to impossible.
I want to think that this was an isolated group of snobby mom's, and that other cool mom's exist and aren't afraid of drool. Today we had signing class and the women were much friendlier and the baby beside us even had mismatched socks.
So when the woman in the video held the sign that reads "meet other mom's" I could help but scoff because it is not that easy. Also, I really don't think that the fact that I am a mom is going to make me want to be BFF's with women like the one's in the music class. And (!!!) making time for friends when you are a new mom is HARD. I have a lot of friends who are not mom's and I don't want to lose them just because I feel like my "friend time" should go to other mom's. In fact, talking to non-mom friends is really refreshing. When I talk to Lexy, 90% of our conversation is about our little guys. When I talk to Emily, she asks about Kale and then we move on to other important stuff like the sheer awesomeness of Blake Lively's body (seriously, this is a topic that comes up a lot for us). I like having BOTH conversations. And guess what? Both Lexy and Emily? Not afraid of drool.
*** Kris is amazing and in reference to the previous post in which I claimed that "When Kris google’s something for us, I usually have a complete nervous breakdown due to his sheer lack of speed," Kris would like me to note that his google skills are completely adequate. I only perceive them to be incredibly slow because I am crazy.
Last week someone shared this video with me. The maker of the video asked mother's what they would tell themselves if they could go back to before their first baby. Of course I cried watching this because I am a total sucker for the video montage (you should have seen the blubbering mess I was when the Olympics ended and it was montage mania). When you're pregnant, people LOVE to give you advice. My personal favourites were "sleep now while you can," "get the epidrual," and of course my mom's personal favourite, "HAVE THAT BABY IN A HOSPITAL!" Anyway, I think some of the advice the women offer in the video is really good and since I have a four month old and am so obviously qualified to offer my wise two cents (you're catching the sarcasm, right?), I'm going to do just that.
My favourite advice from the video (with commentary from a breastfeeding, babywearing, bedsharing and overall sleep deprived mama of the most beautiful baby boy EVER):
- "Forgive yourself" - This is such an important one. There is so much guilt that comes along with being a mom and it can really take hold of you and drag you into deep, dark places that can be really tough to get out of. I really think the only way to rid yourself from that oppressive guilt is to forgive yourself. There have been nights where I feel like I just can't do it anymore. Where I've had to put a screaming baby down and walk away to scream myself. Where I've said "I give up." And when you feel like that - when you're frustrated and helpless and just depleted - the guilt is so overpowering. The guilt that you've failed as a mom, that you can't be or do what your baby needs. And its so unfortunate that mom's don't talk about it because we've all been there and it's a lonely, lonely place. After one particularly harrowing night that involved me and Kale both crying on the kitchen floor at 4am I went on The Bump (a web forum for mom's) and saw that the overwhelming number of posts were about sleep deprivation. Yet when I read them, they all said the same thing - "My baby was up all night crying and I feel so bad for him. Poor little guy. All I could do was hold him and rock him and sing to him." And I thought, ok, it's true. I do feel bad for Kale when he's up crying and I can't figure out what's wrong. But am I the only person out there who feels bad for ME??! And then I felt guilty. But I know I'm not the only one. It's just not possible. It's entirely impossible that I'm the only person out there who has moments of sheer selfishness. And so I shut out the guilt and I FORGIVE MYSELF.
- "This too shall pass" - I remember going to the midwives office for Kale's two week appointment with a list of "symptoms" - he's gassy, he gets the hiccups all the time, his belly is always gurgling, he has bouts of inconsolable crying. I was convinced he had the dreaded REFLUX that I was reading about all.the.time on The Bump. Luckily my midwife wasn't so quick to handout a diagnosis like reflux and instead we worked on finding the cause of his discomfort (ended up being over-active letdown and a sensitivity to dairy and soy). Kris and I also struggled with the fact that Kale didn't like to sleep anywhere but in our arms. We would take turns holding him all night long and spent countless hours trying to get him to sleep anywhere else. Little did I know that all of those initial "problems" were totally normal. I think the most common post I see on The Bump from new mom's is either "Help! My baby is gassy!" or "Help! I can't get my baby to sleep anywhere but my arms!" But guess what? It passes. As Kale went from newborn to baby, he left behind his need in our arms (and now even prefers not to sometimes) and even though he's still a gas bomb, it's not nearly as bad as those first few weeks. At my discharge appointment with the midwives the gave me a handout that was a letter from a newborn to its parents and one of the requests was to allow 6 weeks of challenges. For us, it was 8 weeks before things started to get easier, but they really did. Now we have a whole new set of challenges and the thing that gets us through it? Knowing that it too shall pass...
- "Google doesn't have children" - I swear that no one knows this better than I do. I am a champion internet user. I can google faster than the best of them. When Kris google's something for us, I usually have a complete nervous breakdown due to his sheer lack of speed. I can cook an entire meal before Kris finds out whether apple cider vinegar can be used in place of red wine vinegar. You want to know something? I will google it, and I will google it FAST. However, it didn't take me long to figure out that google is the absolute nemesis of a new mom. For example, you google "baby spit up" and all of a sudden you need to do a barium swallow and put your kid on zantac. You google "bedsharing" and realize it's a miracle of life that your baby hasn't died from SIDS already. It's true - google doesn't have children. In fact, I'm now convinced that the sole purpose of google is to instill fear in new parents. *Disclaimer* - Google is also addicting and despite its downfalls I continue to use it 18,000 a day.
- "You are the expert" and "Trust your instincts" - These are my favourite bits of advice from the video. There are so many books and articles and videos out there from experts and I think that I've read them all. Yet what I realized really quickly is that while "experts" are really great for validifying your instincts, YOU know what is best for your baby. Don't worry about hitting milestones, sleeping through the night, "spoiling," or any of that. Enjoy your baby. Do what works best for your family.
- "Take time to fall in love with your baby" - Everyone told me that the second my baby was placed in my arms, I would know love like I'd never known possible. In reality, Kale kind of slid onto my chest after the most intensely physical experience of my life and I was sitting in a pool of cold, bloody water and while it all can only be described as AWESOME, I wasn't hit with that overwhelming feeling of LOVE. Instead, it took time. There was never a single moment for us, it just kind of happened. Where there short little moments when I panicked that it wasn't going to happen? That it wasn't happening fast enough? Sure. Because everyone prepared me for it to happen instantly and it didn't. It took time and guess what? I took the time. The best advice my midwife gave me was to stay in bed with my baby for the first week of his life and that's exactly what we did. And it was awesome. And I fell in love.
I have thoughts on some of the other advice offered in the video. Some which I think it totally ridiculous. But this post is already exceptionally long and I probably already sound like a know it all. So here's the kicker - the advice I would offer myself if I could go back to a time before Kale was born? Accept the fact that everything you think you know about being a mom is wrong - just let go and embrace the chaos.
Monkey. One of our midwives called him this from the get go and it just stuck. I think monkey is a pretty common nickname for a baby, but the variations we use probably aren't. Monk and Monkaroo are the ones we use the most.
Kal-eh. There is a hip hop artist Wale (pronounced Wall-eh) and he has a line in a song "my name is Wale but people call me whale." So Kris put a little spin on this and sings (because nothing he does is close to rap), "my name is Kale but people call me Kal-eh" and hence the nickname, Kal-eh. Makes total sense, right?
Mr. Winkles. This is another name that Kris takes the credit for. Honestly, I'm not even sure why he calls Kale this. I don't even want to guess. The other night I came home and Kris was reformatting the ipod and he told me he called it "Whizzle" after Kale. Umm..what? Yeah, he got confused. He meant to call it Winkles.
Grandpa Face. Yeah, saved the best one for last. We call our kid Grandpa Face. I know, totally ridiculous, BUT! he makes a killer Grandpa Face. He puffs out his cheeks and puckers his lips and looks like a grandpa who is chillin' on his porch with his dentures out. It's adorable. However, sometimes this name gets shortened to Grandpa and when you're out in public and you call your kid grandpa people tend to look at you weird.
Anyway, I can't bring myself to write a mediocre post just for the sake of a blog-a-thon commitment and so I'm throwing in the towel.
I totally miss guilty pleasures.
This morning was one of those days....it was cloudy out and we had zero plans. I just wanted to veg out in my PJ's and watch the Jersey Shore marathon that was on. People are often surprised to hear about my guilty pleasures because apparently I don't come across as the type to love terrible reality shows and overplayed pop music. When I was pregnant everyone and their brother (and their aunt, and their sister, and their grandpa) would tell me "get your sleep while you can." Instead, I wish someone would have told me "indulge in as many guilty pleasures as you can now, because they're all going to disappear."
Here are the guilty pleasures I miss since having a baby who takes up 99.9% of my time:
1. Taking my time to eat. This is BY FAR the thing I miss the most about not having a baby. I don't even think this qualifies as a guilty pleasure. It's just a common act that has been removed entirely from my life. I used to give Kris a hard time for eating too fast. I'd say, "slow down! Taste the flavour!" Little did I know that he was preparing for life with Kale. Kale can be in a deep slumber or totally into playing with a toy - but when our meal is ready he DEMANDS our attention. I burnt my tongue three times this week. THREE TIMES! Because I have to eat so fast that I can't even wait for my food to cool down. I also don't remember the last time that Kris and I ate a full meal TOGETHER. Instead we eat in shifts. Whoever is having the worst day gets to eat first. That's normally me.
2. Drinking wine with dinner. Every now and then I'll have a glass of wine with dinner, but Kris and I used to split a bottle. We'd start with a glass with our meal and then take the rest of the evening to finish off the bottle. It let us unwind from our day and sink into a slightly buzzed slumber for the night. Well since Kale is exclusively breastfed, the wine intake has been curtailed. I've taken the advice of my midwife who said that drinking is ok, but if you feel tipsy, don't breastfeed. Well, after nine + months of not drinking, it doesn't take much to feel tipsy and so I've traded wine for water which, disappointingly, does not have the same affect.
3. Coffee. Oh, coffee. My once true love. I climbed a mountain in the middle of the Peruvian highlands and rode a horse for the first time just to get to you once. I could easily knock back five cups of you by noon as you roasted in the shady co-op I worked at. I defended a thesis is your name, Coffee! Not only do I have to limit my coffee intake to one cup a day because of breastfeeding and the added caffeine that I'm getting from my diet coke addiction, but I haven't figured out how to drink a hot coffee with a baby that likes to grab everything. The other day Kale took a nap and I knew it was my only shot for a shower and so I drank my coffee in the shower. No joke.
4. Lazy Sunday's. Nothing beats a lazy Sunday. Lounging around all day in your pj's, watching marathon's of Love It or List It and bad Jennifer Lopez movies, and only getting off the couch to hit up the McDonald's drive thru and check celebrity blogs. All while being just hungover enough that you convince yourself it's in your best interest to take it easy and the laundry can wait another day. *Sigh* I miss you Lazy Sunday.
So if you're pregnant and reading this, don't worry about the sleep. You can't store up sleep in some magical sleep tank. You can, however, watch JWOW and Sammi Sweetheart get into a catfight while chugging wine and eating slowly on a Sunday. So go do that. For me. Please?
The meeting was great and I only sent about 8 text messages to check in on them (Kris said this is way less than he expected). After the meeting I called Kris and they were taking a walk so we decided to meet at the pub for lunch. When I walked in Kris was sitting at the table with a pint of beer and Kale was passed out in the sling. Let's just pause for a second and imagine if I decided to take Kale down to the pub at 11:30am and drink a pint of beer. Do you think the server's would be fawning over me like they were over Kris and Kale? Umm..NO.
Anyway - the morning apparently went great. Kale took a bottle with no problems, had a good nap, and they had taken a nice long walk downtown, stopping in to see Kris's dad and brother at work along the way. The best part though? The best part is when Kale woke up in the sling and Kris pulled him out and the child was wearing THIS:
Apparently I need to lay an outfit out before I leave the house.
The Pregnancy Book: A Month-by-Month Guide, William Sears, Martha Sears & Linda Hughey Holt
Pregnancy, Childbirth & Newborn, Penny Simkin
The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth, Sheila Kitzinger
Mayo Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, Clinic Mayo
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation, Pam England & Rob Horowitz
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin
The Birth Partner, Penny Simkin
Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method, Marie F. Mongan
Gentle Birth Choices, Barbara Harper
The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two, William Sears
The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby, William Sears
Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for your Baby & Young Child, Katie Allison Granju & Betsy Kennedy
Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected & Compassionate Children, Barbara Nicholson & Lysa Parker
Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, Jack Newman
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding, Ina May Gaskin
Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League
The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Elizabeth Pantley
The No-Cry Nap Solution, Elizabeth Pantley
Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby Love Good Food, Gill Rapley & Tracy Murkett
Unconditional Parenting: Moving From Rewards & Punishment to Love & Reason, Alfie Kohn
I'm sure I'll add to this list as I continue to parent, but think that all of these books are worth the time of new and expecting parents. Have I missed any? I love a good recommendation!
Weight: We don't have a scale in our house and while the only thing on my to-do list today was to take Kale to get weighed, he had other plans for us. So I have no idea how much he weighs, but I'm guess-timating 60 pounds. At least that's what he feels like when I'm lugging him around all day. Ok, seriously - I think he's 19lbs. Hopefully I'll get to a scale at some point this week to find out for sure, but I definitely know he's huge. I'm pretty sure Kale thinks along the same lines as body builders - pack on the pounds for months and then turn it into muscle. Don't be surprised if this kid has a 6 pack and bulging biceps on his first birthday.
Height: Again, I have no idea. Kale was not interested in being measured today. I do know that his feet touch the ground in the jumperoo now so he's definitely put on some inches. I'll find out for sure what his height is at his doctor's appointment next week.
What size of clothes is he wearing? He still fits into some of his 3-6 month clothing, but this week I've started moving him up to 6-9 month stuff.
Milestones in the past month:
- Reaching out and grabbing things. I can't believe that he just discovered his hands last month and he's already reaching out and grabbing things. Pretty much anything you have in your hands, he wants in his hands. Then when he gets it in his hands, he puts it in his mouth. Remember the airplanes that hang above his crib? He used to love laying in his crib to watch these airplanes float above. Now he likes it better if you hold him up to the airplanes so he can grab them as they go by. Then he sticks them in his mouth.
- Laughing. There is no sweeter sound than Kale's laughter. It's the most contagious giggle I've ever heard and we hear it all the time. A guaranteed way to make Kale laugh? Make farting noises. Guess who figured that one out?
- Recognizing himself. One day Kale caught sight of himself in the mirror and the look on his face was all "hello beautiful, how are you?" When Kale is feeling down and having a tough day, I prop him up on the dresser in front of the mirror and instantly he starts smiling and laughing and cooing. He's basically the opposite of humble.
- Discovery of his feet. I posted about this yesterday. Kale loves to grab onto his feet and I'm sure if he could stretch himself a little further he'd love to have those feet in his mouth.
Special outings in the last month:
- Kale helped both his grandpa's celebrate their birthday's!
- Lexy & Les's wedding
- Lisa & Dave's Buck & Doe
- Guelph Ribfest
- Guelph & District Labour Day picnic
- First time swimming in an indoor pool
What is his routine?
Kale wakes up around 7am most days and is ready for a nap by 9am. He stays awake for two hours, naps for 40 mins. REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT. After he's been awake for hour and a half, I start trying to wind him down to prepare for his nap in hopes that ease into it without having a meltdown first. This means that I spend a good portion of my day trying to get Kale to sleep. Kale doesn't seem to be able to wind down on his own so that's why I have to help guide him. He goes from happy baby to meltdown in the blink of an eye and sometimes we can avoid the tears if we spend 30 minutes reading stories, rocking and nursing. Unfortuantely it makes me a little insane to repeat the process four or five times a day and sometimes it doesn't even work.
We're still doing the nighttime routine, although some nights we start a little earlier depending on when his last nap was. We do the bath, the naked time, the massage, the nursing and then the walk. Sometimes he passes out before the walk which is a good sign because the weather is getting cooler at night and eventually we're going to have to take the walk out of the routine. Most of the time Kale is sleeping by 8pm at the absolute latest, but there are always those special nights when he decides to party until 9pm.
Kale's favourite things to do:
- Eat his hands/suck his thumb
- Grab his feet
- Put things in his mouth
- Go for walks
- Make his mama and dad CRAZY
Photo's of Kale from this month:
He LOVES holding onto his feet. He loves it so much that it's almost impossible to change his diaper or his clothes since lying on his back is the perfect position for foot grabbing. He loves holding his feet so much that when he woke up at 4am for his second feeding, he caught sight of his feet and insisted on staying up to play with them. I miss sleep SO MUCH today.
1. A belly that can be most closely related to J-E-L-L-O. When I first found out I was pregnant I ate a tremendous amount of fresh fruit and veggies and everything had to be organic. Our grocery bill doubled in an instant, but it was all in the name of the tiny creature growing inside me. That lasted about two weeks. Then it was back to eating like I normally do, which is actually pretty healthy for the most part. My appetite really didn't change that much when I was pregnant and I ended up gaining 33 pounds. I lost 17 of that almost immediately after giving birth and the rest of it hung around for a couple months. I'm not one to watch the scale and haven't been worried about losing the baby weight, but thanks to breastfeeding I'm actually less than my pre-pregnancy weight now. So why doesn't anything fit? I swear there is an extra four inches on my hips now, but the worst part is the jello belly. Standing up I look totally normal and then I sit down and *blop* - there it is. I suppose exercise would help tone things up, but who in their right mind has the time and energy to EXERCICSE with a new baby?!
2. Bigger feet. Near the end of my pregnancy my feet were killing me and I was convinced that a new pair of Birkenstock's would solve all my problems. Then a friend emailed me to ask if my feet had grown because hers did when she was pregnant. I checked it with Lexy who had just given birth and she told me that she just had to buy new shoes because her feet grew! How had I never heard of this phenomenon? Meanwhile, I was wearing slip on Birkenstock's with no backs so didn't even realize that my feet were slowly growing over the back of the shoe. Now my feet don't fit into any of my cute pre-pregnancy shoes and yesterday Kris convinced me to buy a pair of Keen's because I need pair of good walking shoes for lugging Kale around. It's true, they are great walking shoes, but I definitely wouldn't describe them as cute. So now I have HUGE, practical walking shoes. I am such a mom.
3. Dry feet. Okay, this is gross, but ever since giving birth my feet are like sandpaper. I can load half a bottle of vitamin E onto these babies and they still look like the Sahara desert. It is so uncomfortable that I've often called Kris into the nursery in the middle of the night while I'm feeding Kale to beg him to moisturize. Seriously! What is this about?!
4. Hair loss. About two weeks ago I started to lose a ridiculous amount of hair. For the record, I have super thick hair and am always leaving strands of it wherever I go. But this is a whole new level of hair loss. It actually comes out in CLUMPS in the shower. Sometimes it is coming out so fast in the shower that I'm convince I'm going to walk out of there bald. I actually have to vacuum the bathroom after I use it! I am constantly picking hair out of Kale's fingers and am terrified that he's going to become the victim of a hair tourniquet.
5. An insatiable appetite for diet coke. When I was a kid I was always getting in trouble for leaving half full cans of pop around. I could never drink a full one, but finding someone to split one with me was also impossible. Somewhere along the line I gave up drinking soda altogether. Unless it was 7Up. And it was mixed with vodka. Then I got pregnant and I got cravings and the biggest and longest lasting craving was for diet coke (in a can, please and thank you). Here it is four months after giving birth and I still crave diet coke all.the.time. I limit myself to one a day and I still get in trouble for leaving half full cans around (sometimes I get distracted!), but I just can't seem to give it up.
All of these things make me feel slightly terrible, but thankfully pregnancy left with one AWESOME thing...
Can you vote? We're falling in the rankings! It's TERRIBLE!
What all of this adds up to is a reminder that a year ago I was defending a thesis that I spent two solid years pouring myself into and was supposed to be starting my PhD. I made the decision to take a job and start a family instead, much to the disappointment of my PhD advisor and pretty much every professor I ever had. I was lucky to land a job that I enjoy and was even luckier to get pregnant so quickly and as a result of both of those factors, I never really second guessed my decision.
When I was chatting with my committee member last week she asked me what I was up to "academically." Was she kidding? I mean, she has two young children of her own - she has to know that there is no "academically" when you live with a (almost) four month old. I said that I was focusing on my family right now and that maybe one day I'd come back and do a PhD but so far I didn't really miss it and she told me "the academic world will be ready for you when you come back." As if it was my calling. As if she knew that's where I belong.
I've heard people say that when they became a mother, they realized their purpose in life. When I was pregnant and after I gave birth I had an overwhelming realization that this is what my body was made to do. I was fasinated by the way my body changed to accomodate another and completely empowered by the experience of birth. But I've never really felt like being a mother is my enough to make me complete. Instead I continue to struggle to maintain a sense of self and a sense of balance while taking on the role of mama. Granted, Kale is only (almost) four months old and I know it can take a lifetime to figure it all out, but I think the important thing is that I strive to be a good friend, a good worker, a good partner, and a good mother all at the same time.
I think that there are many differnt roads I could take in life. One of those might even involve a return to the academic world. Regardless of the road I take, I'm so thankful that I get to take it with these two:
But the words that I hate the most since having a baby? SPOILED, FUSSY & STILL.
SPOILED. - verb (used with object). To impair, damage, or harm the character or nature of (someone) by unwise treatment, excessive indulgence.
I belong to the school of thought that a baby cannot be spoiled, plain and simple. As far as I'm concerned, Kale's needs and wants are exactly the same thing at this point in his life and responding to and nurturing him does not mean I'm spoiling him. For the first 8 weeks of Kale's life, we barely put him down and for some reason people felt the need to let us know that we were spoiling him, as if he's an egg that's about to go rotten. We still hold or wear Kale a lot of the time, especially when we're in unfamiliar places or around unfamiliar people. He's totally happy and content taking in the world from his perch and we joke all the time that we can see his brain growing right before our eyes. We've also watched him develop his independence and now he spends more and more time playing on his own with us nearby. He trusts us, feels safe with us, and knows that we'll respond to him when he needs something. This is the result of "spoiling" him.
FUSSY. -adjective. Hard to satisfy or please.
I have to admit that Kris and I are guilty of using this word, but it doesn't make me hate it any less. I hate when other people are holding him and he starts to get uncomfortable or is uneasy and shows it by squirmming or crying and people say "oh, he's fussy." Umm, no - he just doesn't like the situation. Maybe he doesn't know the person well enough, maybe they smell weird, maybe he's tired. But fussy? No. Kale is the opposite of hard to satisfy or please. When Kale gets upset he either wants (a) mama's milk, (b) sleep, (c) to move around and see stuff, or (d) his mama or his dad. He can't talk yet so often crying is the only way he can let us know that he doesn't like something. That means he's fussy? I don't think so.
STILL. -adverb. at this or that time; as previously.
Still. As in "he's still sleeping in your bed?" or "he's still not sleeping through the night?" As if by four months of being out of the womb he should be acting like a full on adult. Umm, guess what? I'm 30 years old and I STILL don't sleep through the night. I can't remember the last time I put my head down to sleep and didn't wake up until the next morning. It likely involved too much alcohol or a gravol. So should we really expect a baby with an itty bitty stomach that needs to be filled regularly to sleep through the night? Hmm... Oh, and yes, he's STILL sleeping in our bed. We bedshare. Happily. So he's STILL going to be sleeping in our bed until he's ready to move on out and into his own.
*Sigh* Ok, vent over. Your turn. Do you have words you hate?