Tag Archives: baby

Another Year Older and What Do I Get?

I’m not sure which has been more exciting, sad, bittersweet, amazing: Ella turning one, or Cordelia turning one. Ella’s first birthday marked a major milestone. It meant many new things to come. But it didn’t mark the end of anything. Not really. She turned one and we had a new baby on the way. Cordelia turned one and it marks the end of so many things. As I type this, three girls stand in the kitchen helping pour, mix, and taste as they help daddy make muffins. There is no baby cuddled up on someone’s chest. There is no baby mewling to let us know what she needs. Instead we have a toddler screeching to let us know she’s excited, happy, or sad. Her words are tough to understand at times, but believe me she uses them all the time. Life is very different with a toddler, than it is with a baby.

A baby notices if it’s hungry, cold, tired…but it doesn’t notice the world around it. Cordelia notices.

She notices when her sisters run off to play without her. She notices when someone uses the iPod, explorer, remote, phone she copies. The first year is over. Time has flown and the years to come will be amazing to behold.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of her first birthday party. I didn’t really take pictures of the decorations, but maybe I will later. After all, a month later and they’re still up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Led Weaning

Whether I like it or not, it’s time to think about the dread ‘W’ word – weaning. What? Already? I know, time flies. It won’t be that long until we really do embark on the crazy journey of solids.

Of course when I say weaning, I don’t mean a complete end to our breastfeeding relationship, but rather the gradual addition of food to Cordelia’s diet. Until the first year or so it’s important that breast milk is the major source of nutrients in a baby’s diet. Food is just the icing on the cake.

Cordelia has two teeth. At just shy of five months she’s sporting a pair of chompers and she’s not afraid to use them, she’s eager to use them. Though having teeth or not is not a sign of readiness for solids. Some babies develop them earlier than others. Some are happy to gum steak at their first birthday party. Others say don’t bother cutting mine thank you very much.

There is no one sign of being ready for solids, but rather several combined. One is chronological age of older than six months, another is being able to sit upright unsupported, then there’s being able to swallow, there’s also desire to consider. If your baby can’t sit yet, then wait a few more weeks or so, the time will come. Baby can’t really swallow yet, that tongue shoves everything out of baby’s mouth? Wait. Baby is four months and the mother down the street insists that starting solids will be the cure for what ever ails you, from poor sleep to spitting too much, or I’ve even been told that starting solids will get a baby crawling sooner. Those are all false. An immature gut can’t handle solids and starting too soon is more likely to make what ever ails baby even worse.

Cordelia has a few of those signs already: she can sit, and she is very interested in what ever it is mommy, daddy, and her two big sisters do at the table every evening. And so we embark on our first adventure into baby led weaning.

This evening while we were eating we gave Cordelia her own spoon. She held it, examined it, tasted it, chewed it, whacked daddy over the head with it, threw it for daddy to fetch, and squealed with delight at the trick she taught daddy. The spoon stays.  We’ll continue giving her opportunity to try out utensils and let her practice sitting. In a month or so we’ll likely begin solids. At supper we’ll have a few pieces of soft food for her to pick up and let her practice picking stuff up, putting it in her mouth, possibly chewing it, possibly swallowing.

We won’t puree a pile of food for her, we wont sit there with a spoon shoveling it in, and we certainly won’t offer her low nutrition rice cereal. We’ll let the meal be an experience in tastes, textures, colours, sounds. She might not eat very much, and that’s okay. Moving at her own pace will help her develop good eating habits. We’ll allow her to eat what we’re eating, not offering pureed sweet potatoes three meals a day for five days in a row. Yes allergies may be a concern, but for us, having been-there-done-that, we’ll keep our stress levels low and just pay attention, not necessarily to what foods may cause a reaction, but rather to her. If there is a reaction we feel it’s most important to know it exists, then we can figure it out afterwards.

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The Life of Mamadandelion

Life is busy, as always. The exterior of our house is almost done. Once it is, the rough grade can be completed, the final grade, and GRASS! In the meantime we have clay sprinkled with rusty nails. Ella is unimpressed, to say the least. She wants to roll in the dirt. She wants to dig, she wants the freedom to do as she pleases. Unfortunately, her paranoid mommy insists she must wait until we get topsoil. At the rate we’re going that’ll be sometime in August.

While we wait for the builder to finish their work, I’m planning. Decking, fencing, patio, trees, shrubs, shed, planting area. I’ve drawn out my plan a few times and think I’ve figured most of it out. Of course it’ll take several years to get it all done, but I’m excited.

We’re also slowly getting our house in order. Ryan’s home for a few days and plans to clean out our garage enough to determine if my van will fit or not.

Ella has two more sportball classes to attend, she’ll be so sad when it’s over. On a brighter note she just started swim lessons and loves them. Our little girl willingly gets her hair wet, and puts her face in the water. This summer she has a couple camps to attend – a fairy one and groovy girls.

Pulling Homemade Taffy

Agatha’s class will be over shortly as well, though I think she’ll be much more upset than Ella is about hers. She’s loved her weekly ‘class’ where she goes off on her own to play with other kids, sing, do crafts (or at least do exactly what someone else tells her to do with the medium of choice), and run around. After her birthday she does have a couple other camps as well. A bike riding camp and a playground camp. She’s excited about them.

Mommy, Take My Picture Please.

Little miss Cordelia is wiggling everywhere and cooing up a storm. I’ve seen her roll. Nice, slow, controlled. No startling involved, however, she’s only done it twice. When on her tummy she gets her knees and elbows working and crosses the room – at least until her sisters block the way. Oh and she’ll have her first (and likely second, third, and fourth) tooth soon. Her gums are widening with the little red spots on top that indicate a tooth is just below the surface. The amount of drool coming out of this baby is amazing!

Ryan’s painting up his armies to play Warhammer, but mostly he’s working.

I’m irritable, tired, cranky. And most days feel miserable. I’ve given up all pretense of having a clean house. Instead I focus on spending happy time with the girls, or taking the time to have a tea or coffee. I’m having a tough time being present for the girl’s but we are truly blessed with little girls who know they can tell me when I’m out of line – and they do. We’re working on finding balance and I’m sure all the ladies in our new neighbourhood must think I’m nuts, but that’s okay. All my friends already know I am.

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Put A Little Love In The World

Today was a wonderfully miserable day. Or a miserable, yet wonderful day. I’m not really sure yet.

We move on Thursday, into a freshly built home. We’re all very excited. I get a gourmet kitchen, with a walk-through  pantry to the attached garage, and an office, and his and hers walk-in closets. I’m very excited : )

Ella gets her own room, so does Agatha. Plus they get an untouched basement for bikes and slides untilt he weather warms up.

Ryan will, eventually, have his ‘man cave’. But for now he’s content with his own bathroom sink, a huge soaker tub, and space. Space to do as he pleases. He’s also really looking forward to the multiple storage closets around the house that’ll allow me to hide the clutter easier.

Today, I drove the hour to the city to pay the remaining portion on our new appliances. I brought Cordelia with me. I also brought Ella.

Despite the fact that we only need to make it three more days until we’re in the new house Ella needed new clothes today. Her pants barely graced the top of her boots, and those were a good size too small. Her poor feet were cramped on all sides. Some shirts still fit her in length, but none fit her now much longer arms. Since I needed to drive to the city any way I thought it would be a good idea to buy an outfit or two to get us through the next couple days.

I also needed to buy a new microwave. Ours, the one included in the sale of our old home, died yesterday.

The first problem occurred roughly ten minutes after leaving home. Or rather before leaving home, but created an even bigger problem ten minutes down the road. Ella wanted to use her explorer in the van. However because of carseat placements and my fear of what could happen in the event of an accident Ryan and I said no to the explorer until further notice. Ella was unhappy. She cried. When I still said no, she screamed. When I didn’t give in, she shrieked. I honestly don’t think she was overly upset, her cries were forced. There were no tears. However I do believe she was upset.

Cordelia woke up. She does NOT like the van. And continued to not like the van for the next fifty minutes. I stopped, I burped her, I fed her, I changed her. Nothing satisfied her.

The drive took forever. Neither girl was happy, both girls cried. Loudly.

When we finally made it to Superstore everything improved. Except for the fact that I was wearing Cordelia and microwaves are heavy. But I managed.

When it was finally time to check out I discovered I saved ten dollars. If I had the coupon, that was ten isles over at the entrance. The lady behind us willingly to ran to get it for me. I was so relieved. I couldn’t imagine hauling a resisting Ella and Cordelia all the way to the entrance and back again.

A moment after that I also discovered I received two free clamshells of strawberries. Ella was ecstatic. All day she’d requested berries, but I said no due to cost. The problem? I needed the coupon. It was at a different entrance -plus I needed the strawberries. Cordelia started to cry. I was done. I said “thank you, but I’ll pass.” The teller took pity on me and ran to get the berries and coupon for me. I paid and started to leave. Customer service noticed me pushing a cart one handed while wearing a baby and herding Ella. She called someone to come and help.

The man pushed my cart to the van, loaded it, and then refused the tip I offered him. I’ll admit it wasn’t much, but he refused and said he was paid to push carts and load vehicles so wouldn’t take a tip.

I really couldn’t believe it. In one store, in the space of twenty minutes I met so many people willing to help out. Plus I got free strawberries.

Most days it seems as though people don’t even notice those around them. Everyone looks through everyone else. I’m sure a large part of it was the baby. Everyone loves babies. Whatever the reason it felt really good to have someone else see a person in need and help out without expecting anything in return.

I left the store in a better mood, and better equipped to remain calm with both girls.

Has someone made your day a little easier? A little brighter today? Have you done something to help someone else?

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Life vs Writing

For various reasons I’m not finding a lot of time or energy to write. A million thoughts spiral through my head, but the ability to sit and type eludes me most days.

To start with, Cordelia eats enough to have passed birth weight by a full pound at two weeks of age. The majority of that eating occurs between the hours of 2400 and 0300. The rest of the night she tends to sleep great, but she still gets up after 3.5 hrs. Perfectly normal, despite what some people may think.

During the day she’s incredibly easy going. Provided she has a full tummy and a dry bum. If she’s dry and full, we put her in the sling or wrap and off we go to chase her bigger, faster sisters.

Speaking of sisters: Agatha now weights the same as Ella. Somewhere between 5 and 10 lbs of solid toddler appeared almost overnight. Ella’s still taller, but she’d better watch out, Agatha’s about to discover she’s not really the ‘little’ sister anymore.

During the day I’m attempting to read “Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves” by Naomi Aldort and I’m planning to read “Siblings without Rivalry” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. I’ve heard countless positive reviews of both books, and since I’ve read (or tried to read) all the other parenting books recommended I thought I’d try these as well. So far I like Aldort’s book, and believe I will take a few useful suggestions from it.

We also, finally, got a possession date for our new house, which means a lot of time’s been spent trying to get things lined up to move. We’re really crossing our fingers that we find a mover since there’s no other way we’d manage. Also really hoping we sell our current home.

Ryan’s still plugging away at fixing the remnants of the leak we had in the basement the day before Cordelia was born. Almost done. But while he works I’m watching three girls on my own inevitably that means something happens.

Plus we’re still making rounds visiting people. Slowly.

But the biggest reason(s) I’m not writing very much are the sweet baby smiles and the adorable giggles. I just can’t get enough of them, and since her most alert time is when I used to write, she gets priority.

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Smile, Hon, Look at the Camera

Today we took our precious little bundle for her first set of professional pictures, courtesy of Lisa Lacroix. It was quite the adventure. First we dressed three girls, brushed hair, braided hair, and got everyone into the van on time! That in and of itself was a miracle.

Once there, Cordelia behaved beautifully. Of course by beautifully, I mean she did everything a baby should do. She ate. And ate, and ate. She peed, and pooped, all over Lisa’s blankets. She even spit down the front of Lisa’s shirt (sorry). But Lisa took it all in stride and laughed.

Ella and Agatha ran around looking for Lisa’s son, and were very upset when he wasn’t around. But they managed to contain their disappointment long enough to get a couple quick photos taken. I can hardly wait to see them! My girls all looked so beautiful today.

But we were slightly surprised to discover that the outfit Cordelia came home in, the one we brought for her photo shoot. The same sleeper that was loose on her 9 days ago, is snug. I had to stretch to get it on her.

I don’t have any pictures from today, but here is one we took a few days ago.

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Mythical? Pain-free Labour (Birth Story)

I’ve read many birth stories of women who have wonderful pain-free births. I have to say I was a bit skeptical, and a bit jealous. I’d had two fast labours with easy to manage levels of pain, but there was still pain.

But this time was different.

 

photography by Ella

I’d have to say I actually went into labour at about 10PM on February 13th. Not active, but as in first contraction. These contractions were well spaced, much farther than the braxton hicks I tended to get. But they made me take notice. I couldn’t sleep through them, but I could sleep between them. So I did.

When Ryan got up with the girls I told him to make some muffins, and guacamole for the girls. Pack snacks for them, and get everything ready to go. I tried to get some more sleep. But I was too excited. I was probably, possibly, maybe? in labour. I got out of bed. The contractions pretty much stopped. Ryan and I still continued to get everything ready to go, but I took my time.

I got down on my hands and knees to sweep the floor under the table. I had a contraction. We talked again about comfort levels of being at home vs hospital. We talked about what would happen if we showed up at the hospital and I wasn’t in labour, or  in ‘enough’ labour. We decided we’d go to the hospital anyway.

I had 3 more contractions while in the van on the hour long drive. Though they weren’t very strong. I felt silly for packing everybody up to go to the hospital, especially since our basement flooded the day before and we had a lot of work to do.

We debated whether to go to the mall to walk, or to go to the hospital.

In the end we decided on the hospital. I figured we could just walk around there and wait to see if I really was in labour or not. I thought I’d have the opportunity to leave if the contractions didn’t pick up.  I was still only have a few contractions. They were about twenty minutes apart, but not regular, and they weren’t painful.

When we arrived at the hospital we discovered that unless I actually registered I couldn’t get past the ER waiting room. So no turning back, I registered and we were off to the obstetrical assessment unit.  No walking after all.

When we arrived, 1120, the unit was overflowing. The nurses asked if I was there for a Non-Stress test. I said, no I’m here to have a baby. An induction? Nope, I think I’m in labour. The nurse rolled her eyes, but they have to check everyone. We had to wait in the hall for a few minutes. I burst into tears. No pain, no contractions. Just tears.

We were brought to a chair a few minutes later and the assessment started. I was hooked up to monitors and I sipped my Red Raspberry Leaf tea. The woman beside us kept screaming out in pain. The nurses told her she wasn’t in labour yet and she’d have to go home. I looked at my strip, the one contraction I had didn’t register.

I was moved to a bed so I could be checked. The nurse asked about me previous deliveries. I told her I was fast.

She looked at my strip and asked if I knew I’d had a couple contractions. I said sure I had a couple small ones. She smiled and checked me. She suddenly looked worried. She couldn’t find both sides of my cervix. She guessed I was about a 5. She called to get me a room upstairs.

When we arrived at the next unit, the room we’d be checked into was being cleaned. So we went to the family lounge. A couple families sat waiting for their loved ones to give birth. We waited for Ryan’s sister to arrive to help with the girls. I walked up and down the hallway, and Ryan turned on a movie for the girls.

While I walked I had a couple contractions. Enough that I noticed them. Enough that I sometimes stopped walking, but I still wasn’t sure I was in labour. Part of me was afraid they’d still try to send me home, or induce me.

The room was finally ready so we went in and the nurse went over a few things with us. Around 1PM Ryan’s sister arrived. Once the girls were comfortable with her and the nurse was finished giving orientation and asking about birth plans, Ryan and I walked. Up and down the hallway.

Fresh from the shower, 8 cm and smiling

I suddenly realized I was in labour. I felt the pressure. I knew I wasn’t ready to push, but I didn’t think it would be long. My Dr. came to the room to check me. Sometime around 2 I was about a 9.

I couldn’t stand to be in the room. I’d tried a shower earlier, but it annoyed me. I went back out into the hall. The nurse insisted I at least bring a wheelchair with me. She didn’t leave my side.  I walked passed the charge nurse. Apparently it isn’t very common for a woman in transition to be walking so much, and certainly not common to be laughing and talking so much. I was ‘encouraged’ to stay in front of my room.

A few moments later I needed to pee so I went back to the room, unfortunately just as I attempted to sit our little darling decided it was time to arrive. I was stuck. I needed a fair amount of help to get out of the bathroom. Our nurse asked what position I wanted to push in. She did mention that a mother earlier that day squatted at the side of the bed. I opted for side-lying. I was too nervous to try squatting. In hindsight I think I might have preferred it though.

My Dr arrived and gowned up before checking me. When she did check, she told the surprised nurse that babies head was ‘right there’. With roughly 10 min of pushing, Cordelia Rose joined us.

The only part of my entire labour that I would consider painful was the pushing. And I do believe that wouldn’t have been painful if I’d trusted myself, stayed upright, and had less ‘help’ from the Dr. and nurse.

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