Saturday, July 31, 2010

Maddy has been Heritaged!

Today we went to Heritage Days and walked and ate (and ate and ate). The bugs were surprisingly few and the breeze made the heat bearable. And pics were taken!


Dido teaching Maddy to drive the golf cart.


And Dada working on a Saturday! Madds was working on her beauty sleep.


Did the beauty sleep work?


I think so!

It's all awesome

Life is pretty darned good right now! Madds is great, sleep is going well, we have even gone out a few times in the evening! Although going out is a bit hard on Madds and her bedtime routine. Last night she was up twice in the night. Although dada, in his awesomeness, woke with Madds at 520am, when she wanted a feed and then was up for awhile.



Madds is getting closer to crawling. She does her flying/flappy thing and has also started to bury her head in the ground and lift her butt up, resting on her knees. She also does this fabulous leg out ballerina pose which is part of her turning routine. She's still rolling everywhere to get around. Her sitting is pretty awesome too and we're close to having it down. She's still chewing everything. EVERYTHING! She just rolled over to my foot and put my big toe in her mouth! Ick Madds! ICK!



I kept wondering how Maddy was getting the dog toys, when I thought that they were all out of her reach. Yesterday I saw how. Walter walked up to her, with a toy in his mouth, and dropped it in front of Maddy, to have her throw it to him. Well, imagine Walter's horror when instead of throwing the toy, she put it in her mouth and started chewing! The pathetic look he gave me made my heart melt. So, yes, I took the toy away from the child and handed it back to the dog. Even sweeter, when Madds has a toy Sherman wants he'll hover around her, and wait patiently until she holds it away from her body and then gently pull it out of her hand and RUN! AWAY! FAST! until he thinks he's safe to chew it.

Today we're braving the bugs and going to Heritage Days. We have bug spray (for the adults) and a mosquito net (for the stroller), we have sunscreen, and we have empty bellies, to fill with all the yummy food.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

She can fly! Kinda...

Madds has started to do the most unusual thing. At least we think it's unusual... Please tell us if this is normal (and we're weird). Madds keeps trying to fly.

video


She lifts her arms and legs off the ground and the flutters. It's obvious she wants to move forward and she gets so frustrated when she doesn't move. How do you teach her she can't fly? That she's not in water anymore? That she has it absolutely backwards? Belly UP, arms and legs DOWN?

Ah well, one day she'll have to learn!

EDIT: She also has the hiccups in the video. She gets them almost daily.

Could I do it? Could you?

In August we have a wedding in Kelowna. All three of us were planning to head down (again, leaving dogs at home with the grandparents). Ten hours there, ten hours back and three days in Kelowna. We had the trial run of Maddy in a hotel in July and it was success! All systems go! Until?

Until baba offered to take care of Maddy those 5 days and Neil and I run away as a couple. Immediate reaction? No. Not leaving my daughter for 5 days. Without her MAMA? She'll start crawling and walking and talking and driving those days and I'll miss it. Nope. No way. Then?

Then I started thinking about how much easier it would be to travel 10 plus hours in a car without Maddy along. And then we can enjoy the wedding. Maybe a wine tour? Some time at a lake? And get to spend some quality time as a couple again. But still, I couldn't leave Maddy. She's so challenging in the sleep area! Then?

Then we got the sleep thing under control right now. In fact, we laid her down for a nap at baba and dido's today (in the pack n play) and she napped for over 30 minutes! She's easy to put to bed at night (right now) and sleeps through the night (right now). She's good at entertaining herself for short periods of time, just give her floor to roll on and dog toys to chew. So?

So I am reconsidering the offer. Maybe I could leave Madds at home with the grandparents, who are amazing and patient people and love her almost as much as we do. But?

But I'd miss her. A lot. My heart aches at the thought of 5 days away from her. No smiles or giggles or hugs or slobbery open mouthed kisses... No Maddy for 5 days? Although it would be maybe nice to have the chance to miss her. To have the chance to be apart for just a bit, to recharge my Wendy battery. And have the chance to have some good quality couple time.

Could I do it? Could you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vote for Maddy?

Can anyone who reads this help a girl out? And her mom?

Can you vote for Maddy, for a photo contest? Just go to here. Make sure you are on the Baby Wisp and Others part of the page and then click on LIKE for the picture of Maddy!! Please? You have to be signed into Facebook to vote.

Thanks!

We have an omnivore

Maddy had chicken for the first time today!

I poached it, with some rosemary in the water, and pureed it finely. This morning I popped out a chicken cube and we have chicken (and peaches) for breakfast. Madds made the most adorable face of disgust the first bite. the second was better... by the third she was an old pro. And I alternated between the chicken and peaches and there were no issues at all. Wahoo Madds!!!




EDIT: Just as I hit publish post Madds rolled over to my leg, grabbed it and started sucking on it. Seriously, everything is going in her mouth right now!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crazy about colour

I have a strange issue with colour these days.

I kept making Madds' food match the bowl, which matched the spoon. What do I mean? A green bowl and a green spoon for green food (avocado, peas, green beans). I have a yellow bowl and spoon for bananas. An orange bowl for orange food. But? No orange spoon! So I use purple, which I think looks right with the orange. I have a white bowl for other food. And a blue bowl... which makes me want to give Maddy blueberries. I confessed this to Neil. He said it was weird (which I knew). So I decided to stop this little game.

Today I randomly grabbed a bowl. And then went to the freezer to grab cubes of frozen food for dinner. There was a selection to choose from and I grabbed three cubes and dinner was made! I grabbed a spoon and we went to the restaurant. I get there? It was butternut squash in the orange bowl. And I grabbed a purple spoon. Argh!

And this morning I got Madds dressed for our outing. I put her in a tee with a little skirt. Then I got her settled in the living room and went to get myself dressed. I grabbed a tank and shorts then finished getting her bag together. We were set to go! Until I looked at her. Then myself. I was in a hot pink tank , with light cream shorts. She was in a hot pink tee, with a white short skirt. We matched. And that's not the first time I put us in matching outfits.

Maddy, if you develop issues with food matching bowls or if I ever put us in matching outfits again, please forgive me!

Doctors vs. Nurses

At the community health centre Maddy is

90th percentile for weight
75th percentile for height
97th percentile for head size

At the doctor's office Maddy is:

79th percentile for weight
94th percentile for height
83rd percentile for head size

 I can't decide if I like the doc or nurse numbers more... Either way, she's healthy and meeting milestones and doing awesome!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Month Six Letter

Dear Madds,

You are six months old today. Half a year! It's the official solids time (but we started already) and it's time you can wear sunscreen, you are supposed to start drinking from cups... How can that be, already?

This month has revolved much around sleep and teaching us how to best put you to sleep. And we FINALLY worked it out! You are almost always a happy and rested child now (except of course yesterday at the church banquet that baba and dido were so excited to have you at). You go to bed pretty well, with only some crying, and when you wake you almost always wake with a smile and by playing in your bed by yourself. Your naps are short but regular. And now that you aren't overtired your joyous personality is shining through!

Your personality? It's amazing! You are so much fun! You smile so much and laugh and giggle and love to visit with people. You are so easy going for the most part. It's easy to convince you to smile (just sing) and you are almost always willing to throw out a charming little grin to whoever is around. But when it's something you really want or when you are tired? Then you can have a complete and utter tantrum. It's loud and squeally. Very very loud and very very squeally.

You are a rolling machine and get everywhere in a room. Roll, roll, roll, grab dog toy and chew on it, roll, roll, roll... We should really finish that baby-proofing. And everything is grabbed for and reached for and put in your mouth. Everything. You have tried to even pull dido's mustache off to explore! You are sitting up pretty well now which is awesome to see. Although you still don't know to use your arms to brace yourself when you fall. So you just topple forward and land on your head. Baby steps, right Nunu?

Your nicknames... there are so many! Which is likely why you still don't really know your name. We call you Maddy, Madds, Goober, Goob-chik, Nunu, Madeline (said with a horrible french accent), miss-miss, grump-a-lump, grump-a-saur-a-pus, baby girl... Although I am trying really hard to just use Maddy until we can get you to understand that is who you are. And I am also repeating "mama" a lot, for obvious reasons.

You are eating solids and have been for a month. Today I gave you your first sip of formula from an open cup (went ok, all things considered) and also a sippy cup with water in it. This week we're starting meats and more veggies and fruit. And every day you are looking and acting more like a big girl and less like the baby you were 6 months ago. Tongue sticking out? Not as fun. My Maddy lies over the ocean is blasé. Itsy bitsy spider had it for a bit but that too is fading. And dada's Rudolph is also not as popular. But we still sing to you whenever we can. Music is important to us, and hope it'll be important to you.

Before we conceived you, I was reading blogs (where I got the idea for this) and wondered if parents could objectively look at their child, to see their child outside the love they have for them. I thought I would be able to, that I could assess if you were really cute or if you had big ears or if you were just a little weird. Well, I love you with every cell in my body and I think you are gorgeous and amazing and sweet and wonderful. You are my daughter and I think you are the most perfect Madeline ever. Although, Maddy, this doesn't mean that I won't get upset with something you have done. But no matter what you do, I will always love you for the person you are.

Six months have passed in the blink of an eye. And I am doing everything I can to enjoy every second with you, in the moment. But I also can't wait to see what the next six months (or six years or six decades) will bring!

Love,

Mama

My little model

This morning Madds and I went for a photo shoot, for a local company that makes adorable little girl hair accessories, Baby Wisp. I had a blast, my Madds was an awesome good girl and I am now in love with just about everything that the company has. Madds is not a fan of things on her head but the headbands didn't bother her a bit and they stayed on so well (even on her large noggin). Keep checking their website, there may be a Maddy picture up soon! I meant to snap a few of her there but I was too busy trying to catch Madds when she toppled over; she's still pretty new at the whole sitting thing. But she sat for a good hour there, with breaks for her solids and bottle and rolly-polly time.

And this afternoon is off to the doctor for her 6 month check up. And this evening, after Madds is in bed, mama will finish a letter to a very special girl on her 6 month birthday (already!) and also paint the fence. I meant to do so many projects around the house in those 1-2 hours that Madds solidly naps a day... the ones that never seemed to materialize for my 30-minute napper. Ah well! Best laid schemes and all that.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's genetic!

Just like dada, Madds has a peeping big toe. And another sleeper removed from rotation, although not because she outgrew it.


And yesterday we tried the highchair (not bumbo) for out meal. And? Despite the serious pimp-lean it was a success!


Although dinner had green beans in it, not a favorite. But she's getting better about eating food she isn't a fan of.


And today we played SITTING UP! We are going to need more sitting up toys but we have the one.



As soon as I put the camera down and grabbed my coffee she fell over. Then my coffee fell over. Then Sherman tried to lap up my spilled coffee... Come to think of it, I haven't seem Sherm blink in awhile... *grin*.

Sleep, a happier post

I was exhausted and at my wits end. I couldn't get more than 3 hours sleep, Madds was needing constant attention to sleep, I was dreading bedtime and naptime. And then I stopped, re-read Ferber and objectively thought through what I was doing. And Madds' problems? Totally my fault.

I had a routine I loved. Bath, massage, then I'd hold her in my arms and she'd have her night bottle. Madds is not a snuggly little girl and I cherished this quiet time to my baby in my arms (without her immediately struggling to sit up, roll, grab something, look around etc). But? She'd fall asleep there and while I would wake her to lay her down (sometimes) it was still in my arms where she'd calm for sleep. And I think because I loved our snuggling that I didn't objectively look at that as the problem. Now? Now Madds has her feed in the living room with me, away from bedtime. The we have the bath and the massage and then I hold her in my arms while standing up and sing her lullaby to her. Then I lay her down awake and we keep going back in. First night she cried and fussed for 40 minutes. Second night less, last night? 10 minutes. Naps are going well also (except, of course, this current one). She fusses 10 or so minutes, then will sleep 30 minutes or so. And we're getting 3-4 30 minute naps in a day.

Madds is sleeping well, I am sleeping well, and I am not dreading naps and bedtime! I am not foolish enough to think that we have all issues solved forever. But right now? Sleep is NOT A PROBLEM!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

6 month immunization

Madds had her 6 month immunization today.

Weight: 18 pounds, 2 ounces (90th percentile)
Length: 26 inches (75th percentile)
Head: 97th percentile

Although at the Plagiocephaly Clinic? Her head measured at the 85th percentile. I mentioned that to the nurse, she says that doctors and nurses use different percentile charts. So, good to know those charts are exact... She had only one needle this time. Although that means 4 at one year. She's going to be larger and stronger then and I have already asked dada to come along to help hold her for those shots.

The nurse says we are all doing well. We have restarted Ferberizing with Madds. We're on night 2 again and are doing ok. I sat back and thought about it objectively (and not as a mom) and think I figured out what I was doing wrong. I'll update more on that when we have more of an outcome to report on (don't want to jinx anything...). Solids and formula are going well and we're doing that right. Her milestones are being met and we're doing what we need to to help her. Her head is looking pretty good and we are doing the things we should to help her with that. We're doing awesome! If this appointment was last week? It would have been different... Last week was a hard one for me, and I wonder what the nurse would have thought if I burst into tears as I spoke about Maddy's sleep. Because I would have. What a difference a week makes.

I bought a fabulous baby food book, The Baby's Table, with a strong focus on the 6-9 month time frame. Advice on how to cook the foods and awesome food combinations to give her. I now feel comfortable making her meat dishes (starting them next week!) and have a list of foods I am going to make and freeze. Today we tried applesauce. And? NOT A FAN! I texted Neil about it... I was in shock! I asked him "WHO DOESN'T LIKE APPLE?" His response? "Bill Gates...?" *grin* And that wit is one of the many reasons I love him.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maddy, here is the first post of things to forgive me for

1) For turning my back and not preventing you from putting the dogs' chewed up nylabone in your mouth. Or their squeaky toy. Or their rubber bone. Or their tongues... Seriously, why do they insist on kissing your face? And why do you insist on opening your mouth to kiss them back?

2) For changing your diapers on a park bench and exposing your bits to the world and the sun. A few times. But the bathrooms are just so tiny and crowded and stinky at the zoo! You seem to like to poo there. Maybe it's the smells?

3) For biting you. On the face. Leaving bruises in the shape of teeth marks.

This one will take some explaining...

On Sunday we were playing the bitey-tickle game. I start making a "nom nom nom" sound, like I am going to eat you. As I get closer you get more and more excited and begin to smile a little. Then wider and wider... as I get to you and begin to nibble on your arms or legs or belly or cheeks you let out a huge giggle!

In my sleep-deprivied wisdom I decided to stop covering my teeth with my lips and just nibble away. You giggled more that way! But Sunday morning? As I leaned in to nibble your left cheek? You sneezed. Your head went up and hit my teeth. Did I close my mouth a little too? But you flopped back down with the hugest frown on your face. I waited a second and then started the game again (this time with teeth covered). You giggled more and I thought nothing of it. Until later that day. When I noticed the bruises in the shape of teeth on your face.

 It's still there, days later, and every time I see it I get a renewed sense of overwhelming guilt.

I love you Madds, please forgive me!

Motivation

When Neil and I got married I was nearly 5 months pregnant. And apparently the day I went to figure out what size my fingers are I was a tad swollen so when I got them they were loose. Well, by the end of my pregnancy even the big rings couldn't come close to fitting over my pinky, let alone any other finger. Maddy was born, the water retention stopped (thankfully) and I went back to normal. Normal? It was a lot smaller than the ring was. I have been trying to wear my wedding rings but they kept falling off when I'd wash dishes, put cream on, do jazz hands... so they have been on a hook in the kitchen a lot. This weekend we finally made it to the jewelery store to get them resized. After finding out they were 1.5 sizes too big (argh) we left them there until last night. Last night I got my wedding rings. I slipped them on and (of course) now they are too small!

I have the finger version of muffin-top over my rings. Ick.

They are leaving a nasty red ring around my finger. But? They aren't falling off and thus won't get lost or thrown out. And they are the PERFECT motivation to lose those 30 pounds I have been meaning to shed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More food tasted

Madds has had banana (LOVED it, her fave to date) and green beans (hated it more than she loved banana). We're starting food combinations like carrots and sweet potatoes and soon will be adding spices. Tonight is avocado and banana! She's had no reaction to anything so far, and we'll continue to keep testing one food at a time. But eventually you have to just start giving mixes with ingredients she's never had. But when?

I think we're going through a growth spurt. Madds has been waking twice a night for food. She hasn't done this in months... it's hurting my ability to function. It started on Saturday and hopefully it ends soon. She's getting about 3-4 tablespoons of solids plus about 6 ounces of food before bed, so I know that it's not her going to bed hungry... I think on top of the growth spurt Madds is also learning something new - sitting up - and that is also keeping her restless at night.

On Sunday, at baba and dido's, Madds pushed herself backwards about 10 inches. It's not the direction she wanted to go in but more locomotion! Just seconds ago I looked and saw her on her belly with legs and arms kicking, like she was trying to swim. Close Madds, but we're not in water anymore... This all could also contribute to the restless nights.

Either way, I am looking forward to more than 3 hours of sleep in a row...

Just because it's THAT crazy...

I went to a website, http://www.iwl.me, and put a bit of the blog in their magical analysis machine. It says I write like Kurt Vonnegut! That is a complete and utter insult to Vonnegut but I love his writing and feel honoured to even be sort of compared to him.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Motherhood.

My 200th blog post.

Wow, I have a lot to type and it feels like not a lot to say. Well, except about sleep.  *grin* Two hundred times I have hit "publish post" (well, 199 until I publish this one). Two hundred times I have spoken about the thing in my life that has taken over, pushed everything else to the side. Motherhood.

They say being a mother means having your heart running around outside your body. I always thought that sounded so trite. Until Maddy came along. But it is true and yet also can't begin to explain what it means to hold your child in your arms. It's more than your heart, it's... everything. Their little body holds the most important parts of your world. So much of what my mother did makes sense now. So much in life makes sense now.

Maddy finished her swimming lessons last week. I brought home her report card and threw it on the counter. Later when she was sleeping I picked it up, to read through it. On the cover, in almost child-like printing was the name Madeline. It flashed me back to being a child myself and looking at the covers of school report cards and certificates and art projects. The name on those pieces of paper was me. It represented my likes and dislikes and beliefs and personality. And on the piece of paper in my hands that evening was the name that represented my daughter and her likes and dislikes... And I am the one who created and will be raising that person. It's the most fulfilling yet frightening feeling...

Awesome things about being a mom? Someone who loves your singing, because they don't know better (yet). You can kiss and hugs and love away someone's boo-boos. You can make someone smile by sticking your tongue out. You get to re-live your childhood through the joy in your child's eyes.

The hard things? The responsibility for a person. To make the right decisions that will provide them the morals and values to live a good life. To hope they will forgive you for all the mistakes you have and will make. The way that everything in your life changes and suddenly your needs are so unimportant. And to do this all with a disturbing lack of sleep.

I am not a writer. I am just a mom who wants to remember the craziest time of her life. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. Thank you for the advice and the support and for not judging. And now, for the 200th time, I am going to hit "publish post". Crazy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guess what I am going to talk about

Yup. More on SLEEP.

Madds went down at 730pm and took 4 re-visits (until almost 10) to settle last night. And then woke at 1am and was playing (Neil woke to her kicking her crib). At 144am she was feisty and I went down for an early feed. She ate and then? Then it was awake time! She would not (could not) sleep until around 345am. Then she woke at 615 and since has had 3 half hour naps. And she's STILL in a pretty good mood! Mom? Mom is in sleep-deprived agony (4 hours in 2 2-hour chunks). Dad got a bit more but not much. The night before she slept from about 930 to 415am but then was up for 45 minutes. And then up at 620am again.

But she really was in a normal (good) mood all day! She didn't whine or fuss. Well, just a normal baby amount. I know that Madds will happily amuse herself in her bed now by playing with her toes, rolling, rotating in a circle, kicking the crib. During nap time I will check on her about 30 minutes in and often find her awake and playing happily. I have left her there for 30 minutes before going to get her even though she isn't fussing. Is she waking during the night every night? Is this normal to her?

We were putting starting her bedtime routine at 6-630pm because she was obviously tired and fussing. She'd wake a few times before being down for good and then wake between 6am and 7am. We have pushed the start time as late as 8pm, tonight it was 7pm. She goes to sleep very easily. She knows the routine and is out half way through the bottle. I rouse her a bit then lay her in her crib in a way that wakes her ("they" say never put a baby in bed fully asleep and I have noticed she wakes more when I do). It is then the problems start. About 45 minutes later she's awake and needs to be soothed. Which means I pick her up, hold her and rock her until she's drowsy again. And this happens a few more times. Normally she's finished this by 10pm. Then in the middle of the night she's up and needs to be soothed to go back to sleep. Sometimes numerous times. And as much as love my girl and as much as I love cuddling with her these multiple awakenings just can't continue.  I have read the cry techniques and the no-cry techniques. I have tried Ferberizing, plain old CIO, shushing and back rubbing without picking up, for a short time picking her up until she was calm then placing her down and picking her up the second she cried (I just held her until she pretty much fell asleep with too much back aching bending over), I have tried to bring her into our bed (she just wakes and wants to play there). She outgrew her swing but before that she'd wake when in the swing, at the mirror above her. Plus, with her head issues she should not be sleeping sitting up with the pressure on her head. She sleeps in her car seat when driving but again, that is a no with the head issues. And, really, we'll just have another bad habit to break. Then what we're doing, which works for Maddy - me going in and holding her until she's almost asleep and then laying her down. It USED to work! She'd sleep through the night (we think) or wake once and she'd only need me to go resoothe in the evening once or twice. I could handle that. But then (of course) it changed.

20 minutes after laying her down she woke with a scream. And she is now inconsolable. She wants to sleep only nestled in my arms. And I can't do that... I can't sleep sitting up in a glider, I can't hold her all night. We're trying something else. We're staying with her, comforting her so she knows we're there, until she calms. Neil has spelled me off and is comforting her. We'll take turns. She's crying like she did during a Ferber night... and she can do this for up to 1.5 hours. It's been 30 minutes so far. I can't see this being a long night, until likely I give in and hold her to sleep.

This has been piecemeal writing, we've been taking turns with Maddy. At 8pm I gave her Advil. At 820 (about when it would kick in) she stopped crying. She laid in her crib on her side, staring out into nothing, through the slats. She didn't respond to my touch or my lullaby song. She was just still... I left as her eyes were getting heavy. Her head is going through another change, I can see the difference in the bumps and shape seemingly daily. Could that be it? Could it be hurting her now, as it changes, and the pain is worse when she lays down? I'll call the plagiocephaly clinic tomorrow and ask. But even if that is so, I can't have her sleep propped up (and on her head) because of the reason it is hurting.

Maddy, when you are older and read this I want you to know how much I love you and how much we only want to do what is best for you. You are a strong and determined baby. I love the fact that you know what you want. I love the fact you are already a leader and not a follower. I love you more than anything in this world. I wish I could give up sleeping and just hold you all night long, the way you want me to. But I can't.

Teaching you healthy sleep habits is important and a way we show you how much we love you. Also a sane and rested mom? Really in everyone's best interest.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

So much new!

Where to start? Or more accurately to catch up...

Madds has learned to rotate herself in her exersaucer! She can go around and around, playing with her favorite toys. Often her favorite is the material of the seat she sits in. She tries to grab the pattern on it. That's my girl! And she's now standing on her toes in the exersaucer too, instead of just dangling. She's growing!

At the park this week she reached forward in her stroller, to the tray, and grabbed her soother an popped it in her mouth. Properly! All by herself.

She's rolling with purpose. She'll see something on the floor and roll her way to it. And if I move her away? Off she goes, back to it. Yesterday she found the curtains. She laid in front of one of the panels and kicked it. It would move and she'd giggle with abandon! She affected her world. It was cute, until she grabbed it with her hands also and started tugging. That is when she was moved and distracted with another toy...

She also belly rotates. If the dogs move behind her, out of her eyesight, she'll rotate around on her belly and find them. More movement with purpose!

We have a pretty standard routine now and she knows it. About 30 minutes after her nap she gets her solids. If I am tardy? She'll look at me and make a chewing motion, until we do her food. She'll also do that in the evening, around dinnertime, wanting her other solids. And if our dinner isn't ready yet? Tough! She fusses until she gets her food. So dada feeds her while I finish making our dinner. And these are the only times that she makes that chewing motion. While her times aren't scheduled the order of things are.

Screeching. So much squeaky door hinge/ear-piercing screeching! It's adorable but also kind of echoes at the swimming pool... She's abandoned most other sounds for the screeching now. I hear (and hope) it's just a phase.

Swimming lessons are now done. Madds passed and got her starfish badge. Which is now a sticker, not a cloth badge like I had as a child. But she is good in the water and I am comfortable with her in the water. Mission accomplished! I think our biggest success was that she didn't poo during a lesson. She peed on me (twice) as we waited to get in and who knows how many times in the water... but no poo!

I've been typing this on and off all morning... now we're off for Neil's birthday lunch. Park Allen restaurant. Yum!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two new foods

Madds has now had butternut squash (a success) and sweet potatoes (another success!). I think we may be on to fruit, after the sweet potatoes. Na-na-ba? Pear? Apple?

Yes, this IS excitement to a new mom *grin*

Feeling better!

Madds had a 5am waking (she hasn't had a night feed in awhile) and then went back to sleep until 720am. She woke with a smile! Yay!!

We had a good hour of hanging out (mom plays her stupid FB games with Madds on her lap loving the changing colours and we talk about our day ahead and the games and everything). At 820 she was showing signs of tired so we had a small feed and we snuggled until she fell asleep.

Well, snuggled is a little misleading... Maddy struggled and fussed and I held her tightly (like a swaddling blanket) pinning her arms and legs down. She sucked on the soother and fought for about 10 minutes before succumbing to sleep. Yes, she fights sleeping that intensely! Which is why I think CIO is hard for her right now. But she's been down for 30 minutes now, a chance for me to write and drink coffee (yum!) and catch up on emails and relax because soon the Nunu will wake!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's been hard

We have been doing 11 days of sleep training. These have been very very trying 11 days. Maddy is no closer to soothing herself to sleep. And she's tired. And she's grumpy. And whiny. And this bad mood is almost constant. This bad mood? It's been hard on me.

Yesterday was better, today has been ok because baba came for a few hours to take care of Maddy while I went on errands. Tuesday? Tuesday was hard. The hardest day to date. Maddy was inconsolable. I became inconsolable... Neil was so worried about me he spoke to my mom who gave me the break this afternoon. I was so worried about me that I would have sought a doctor if that mood continued.

Today? I finally gave in. I went in when she was crying and held her in my arms. We talked a bit, she smiled. I held her in my arms and watched her deep breaths as she held my finger. She wasn't fully asleep when I laid her down in her crib again. She sighed and snuggled into the mattress and went to sleep. My daughter is more stubborn than I am. My FIVE month old daughter. I am scared for the teenage years. But having done that I feel better. I am able to talk to my husband again. I can write. I can smile in the evening.

I am not saying I don't believe in CIO/ferberizing. I am not saying we won't do it again. I am saying once more, I think that Maddy isn't ready for it. And her certain her mom isn't either. And we still have huge sleep issues to overcome. The lack of napping and resultant grumping. And the evening grumps. If anyone has any suggestions...?

Next week we have our 6 month immunization. Almost 6 months old. How is this possible? Time is flying by at a crazy pace. "They" say the evening grumps go away at 6 months... Heh. I'll believe that when I see it.

Also? Today Maddy was playing on the floor, on her belly. In a fit of grumping she lifted her belly off the ground and balanced on her hands and knees... just for a few seconds but... aack!

Sitting

Maddy is almost sitting! She will weeble and wobble for about 10 seconds and then she always falls down. She can sit longer if she tripods (legs apart, hands in front of her). And she needs something to focus on, to distract her from sitting. But we're almost there!!

She has also started making the most obnoxious squeaky hinge/creaking sound. She also makes the funniest faces while doing it. And I love it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Did we fix it?

Tonight we tried something different with Maddy and the sleeping. She's a major grump at 6-ish pm and obviously tired. So that is when we put her down. Well, according to the books/internets Maddy only needs about 9-11 hours sleep at night. Putting her down at 6pm and waking at 7am? That is not 9-11 hours... So we pushed past the grumpy grumpy grump and started to put her down at 745pm. She was in her crib at 820-ish pm. And now at 945? She's still happily sleeping in her crib, with no waking. Holy bleep... Is that the problem?! Are we putting her down too early?

So if we have the night sleep thing solved then now? Now we need to figure out how to fix the grumpy grumpy grump which starts at about 430pm (just before dad comes home) and lasts until bedtime...

We are a-head of the game

Maddy had her Plagiocephaly (misshapen head) Clinic appointment today. And? We're doing really well! Right after her 4 month immunization, when we got the referral, she started rolling from back to stomach. And tummy time was acceptable, once she put herself there. And about that time she started sleeping on her back/side and that too is helping. Plus the bumbo, exersaucer, jumperoo, lap time and everything else we have been doing. Her head is starting to readjust itself and will slowly continue to improve. So, no helmet (yay!) and nothing more than continue as we're going. We can follow-up in a few months if we're still concerned but all should be good.

I have so many fears, about my job as a mother. I worry that I am not doing enough to stimulate and help Maddy. Am I not spending enough time playing classical music to her? Not buying the most expensive interactive toys for her? Should I be doing more? But the nurse today validated so many of the things I have been doing. That I work with Maddy to learn to sit and she even commended me on how I am encouraging her to do so. That I put Maddy on the ground with a toy and expect her to play and explore (with supervision of course). That I am putting her in the stroller without the car seat.

The nurse was saying babies are coming in that can't roll at 6, 7, even 8 months old. Can't sit at 10 months. That are never given the chance to move and explore and learn how to work their bodies. Maddy is about 2-3 weeks from her 6 month birthday and I am worrying about missing her sitting up milestone. I can't imagine her being 10 months and not sitting yet. And while I realize that every child grows and learns at their own pace, they need the chance to learn and practice.

I am typing on the computer while Maddy lays at my feet. She's rolling and moving and trying to crawl to the dog toy ahead of her. And, yes, I am letting her. She needs motivation to learn to crawl and that slimy blue dog toy? Apparently it's motivation!

Maddy's head is not "normal". It's a bit wider and there are bumps on the back of her head, as her brain pushes the bones around. It will eventually be hidden by hair and/or come close to being normal. It flattened quickly and will reshape more slowly. But it is all good.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Avo-ma-cado

Maddy has started a new veggie - avocado. But Neil and I have taken to calling it avo-MA-cado. No clue why... I plead the parental crazy. But the veggie was a success, for a veggie. She ate it better than carrots or peas. And we have pics to prove it!

Well, trust me. There was liking involved. 

There was even some bowl licking. 

Although that may have been more about the bowl and less about the avo-ma-cado... 

Normal, finally!

We finally had a normal swimming class and Madds had fun! There were many smiles and giggles and much splashing. And last night in the bath? Madds was also a kicking and splashing machine! I am glad she's taking to the water. I am a bit of a fish and love being in water and hope Madds is the same.

Last night Neil and I went out in the evening, just as a couple. We went to a friend's 35th birthday party. It was a wonderful evening! Yes, the evening started late since we had to put Maddy down. Yes, I spent most of the time talking about Maddy and motherhood with the other women. Yes, we were home before 11pm. But we were out as a couple, in the evening, for the first time since Maddy was born! Thank you thank you thank you baba. She even came as we're sleep training the grump-a-lump.

Sleep training... Yes, we're still working on teaching Madds that sleep, and falling asleep in your crib, is ok. My daughter? She is stubborn. We have done 5 nights. We're at only marginally better. Although we switched it up a little 2 nights ago (we started Ferberizing her, instead of just CIO). I keep hoping she'll figure it out... We have to figure out who is more stubborn, her or us. Please be us!

I think because of the sleep training Madds has been grumpier than usual. Today? Today was a grumptastic day.  Although to be fair, neither Neil or I was in the best of moods either. It's just been a blah day all around. But on top of blah it's draining to have to constantly fight off the Maddy grump. And try to convince her napping really really really IS ok. Why is it something I love so much is something my daughter hates equally as much? Is this more teenage foreshadowing?

I have to admit I have been sleep trained by Maddy. Last night the shower curtain rod fell under the weight of a few towels wet from swimming. Neil heard the noise, sat up in bed with a start and thought there must be an intruder or something blew up. He got out of bed, checked the windows and doors, and made sure everything looked ok before coming back to bed. Adrenaline was coursing through him, it took him awhile to sleep again. Me? I slept through it all. Didn't stir a bit. However at 5am when Maddy woke and made her tiny little whimper? I was up, out of bed and at the bottom of the stairs before I was truly awake.

And lastly, tomorrow? Tomorrow is a very important day. It's Neil's 36th birthday! Not sure how we're going to celebrate it, he is refusing to make a big deal of it. But if anyone comes across the dada of the Nunu, please wish him a very happy 36th.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A good night down!

In the past, when we tried CIO, we used the Ferber method and went back to check on her. Well, that was a spectacular failure. Madds would lose it even more when we walked out and take longer to calm. So trying sleep training again we went with just leaving her to cry and checking in, without going in very close. It was a spectacular failure... 

Madds took longer to settle this time around. And I was a mess. There is something biological about a mother hearing her daughter cry. While she cried that was all I could hear. I withdrew into myself and stared at the TV or computer or floor... I was in agony.

Neil keeps reminding me that what didn't work once, may work now. Tonight I went in and rubbed her back and stroked her head and talked to her and told her over and over again how much I love her. Then I'd leave. But I kept going back in. And after about 30 minutes I was waiting for the time to go back in. And? There was silence. She was sleeping! I am happier, she seemed happier (or calmer at least) and I can sleep more easily tonight. 

Nothing is harder than being a mom. But nothing is more rewarding... I love my Nunu more than I thought I could ever love.

We napped at the pool instead

Swimming lessons are not fated to go normally for us... Today, about 10 minutes before the class started, Madds went to sleep. So I sat on the stairs, on the tiny pool tiles, and held her as she napped. For about 25 minutes. Then we got showered and got in the pool. Once she was in the water I think she had fun. She kicked and splashed and looked around. Still not too many smiles but she seemed comfortable. I held her on her back, to float. And she immediately lifted her feet to her mouth and started sucking. That's my girl!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Height and weight update

Weight: 18 pounds (90-95th percentile)
Length: 26 inches (50-75th percentile)

So, still normal for the Madds *grin*

Swimming lessons ran aground

Once again, Madds woke at almost 9am. Making her nap time about 2-3 hours after waking. Making that just when swimming lessons start. Making Madds a Madder at the pool. Making us go home so that someone could nap.

Nothing can be set in stone when there is a baby in tow. And Maddy is not one to go with the flow. She wants a nap? She wants it now! I laid her down fully awake and she started crying. I popped a soother in her mouth and she's now fast asleep.Oh well! At least me and Madds are better rested now, after these sleep ins. There is always time to swim another day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Potpurri

1) Swimming lesson #2 was less successful but still loads of fun. The big pool is colder and Madds was tired and she cried. Once we moved to the warm pool she was much happier! Caleb and Blessie are in the class with us. It's awesome to have the company. Today Maddy and Caleb were sitting on the edge of the pool side by side. Adorable! But Maddy dwarfs Caleb. My baby is no little one...

2) Night 2 of CIO. 60 minutes. Less than last night, still hard. Both Neil and I are still in agreement this is the best thing for us to do, for Maddy. But it's still not easy by any stretch. G&T helped.

3) Carrot poo? Ick! Ick! Ick!

4) Today Maddy fell asleep in her stroller at Costco. I transferred her to the car seat and then from the car seat to the crib without her really waking up. Yay exhausted post-swim Maddy!

5) Monday I had a follow-up with the doc about the post-birth complications. Next step? Physio! And follow-up in 3 months.

6) I believe I use too many exclamation points! Many! Apologies!

A good night!

It started out rough... but once Madds was asleep she was fast asleep. She woke at 2am and had a feed and then went straight back down (like before). And slept until... get this... NINE AM! And she woke with a smile for the first time in a long time! She's still a little fussy and definitely needs more sleep catching up, but we have a start. Although (to be a downer) we're normally up at 6-7am and now our morning routine is a bit thrown off. But I feel more rested and she is more rested. Schedules be damned!

And we also tried carrots for the first time! Not as hated as the peas, not as loved as the barley. It's strange to think that she already has food preferences.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maddy's first time in the pool!

OK, I realize this means putting pics of me in a bathing suit on the internetz *shudder* but I have to share the Madds in water! I was way way way late (oops) so we arrived 15 minutes into the 30 minute class. But Maddy did so well! She kicked some, splashed some, and didn't cry (although she didn't smile much either). But I think it was all a bit overwhelming. After the swim she fell asleep in the car seat, let me transfer her to her crib without really waking and slept for 2 hours. But considering the poor sleep she's been having, little one is so tired.

Here she (and me) is!

Here we are in the warm pool

Funny faces in the water



And here she is after the lesson 

Back again tomorrow! Unless we all lose it from CIO. Poor Maddy... she is distraught. And me and dada aren't doing much better either. Nothing is harder than this. Nothing.

EDIT: 1 hour and 25 minutes of pure hell. I am drained...

She gave peas a chance

Today Madds ate her peas! Reluctantly, but she ate them. I added barley (her fave so far) and I think that toned down the flavour. She ate a full tablespoon of the green stuff. Although, now I worry that any spit up today will be tinged with green. And we're starting swimming lessons today...

Back to the sleep talk

Sleep... I broke Maddy's sleep.

We tried CIO awhile ago. It was hard, but was sort of working. Until? A very bad few naps during the day and then a bad night... and I caved in. I held her until she fell asleep. But it was ok, she'd wake once or twice in the evening and then sleep soundly. She'd wake once for a feed and then go down again until morning. But the last few days haven't been the same. Maddy is now incapable of falling asleep unless she's in my arms and being fed a bottle. I trained her this way.

Last night she roused herself 5-6 times between 6-930pm. I had to go in to calm her, meaning I was there with her much of the night. I went to bed at 930. She was up at 1130, 330, 530 and every time she wanted a bottle and to be held by mom to go back to sleep. And when I tried to just give her a soother instead of the bottle? Meltdown. Loud, loud, loud meltdown. I was angry and frustrated at myself for creating this dependence and Maddy can sense that. It was next to impossible for me to calm her.

CIO is extra hard with Maddy. She cries herself into a fit and then just can't stop crying. And I mean 1-2 hours crying... No-cry solutions, where you go in and rub her back to calm her? Makes her crying worse. She knows we're near and is frantic. But we can't go on this way, with me getting up with her multiple times a night, like she's a newborn. She has to learn to fall asleep on her own. For her health and our sanity. So once again, we're going to start CIO.

In the evening it will be ok, Neil will be beside me and able to help me stay sane. During the day it will be hard. So so so so hard...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Give peas a chance


We tried peas for the first time today! Our first veggie and non-cereal. And? Well, let's say she wasn't thrilled...*

Solids time! Woo hoo!

Wait, what is this? This is not cereal... 

Trying it again. Mom won't give me that stuff again, would she? 

It's that stuff again!

Mom, stop it already!

Maybe I can scrape it of my tongue...

We'll try again tomorrow!

* EDIT: We tried again. And still? Not liking the peas! We'll do day three tomorrow, to check for allergies then may just shelve the peas for a bit. Next veggie? CARROTS!

Friday, July 2, 2010

More success than I ever expected!

Maddy was amazing on the trip. I was concerned, before we left. She's a happy and amazing girl. Unless she is tired. Unless she's tired... And our girl doesn't always do sleep well.

Wednesday night was better than expected for Maddy. I got less sleep than a human needs to function... but Madds did awesome. And then Thursday was a busy day! A wedding and then dinner with friends. Maddy was truly amazing. She napped at the wedding for short periods when she started to get grumpy. She slept in the portable crib in the hotel. She slept in the car. She slept! And she was awesome between the sleeps. At the wedding she didn't meltdown. She was her sweet and charming self and smiled at everyone who came around. She looked gorgeous in her little blue plaid dress. After the wedding we went to the hotel, changed and were off again for dinner with friends. Although I was a complete zombie, it was wonderful to see Fiona and Aaron. And once again Maddy didn't meltdown! Back at the hotel around 8pm and Madds went down for the night. And then? Neil and I went to bed too. Yes, it was a 9pm bedtime for mom and dad. And Madds slept until 6am! We met Katie and Jodi and their gorgeous little boy and then we were off. Some grumping on the way home, and a necessary stop at Fay's Diner to wipe the snot off everything and calm Maddy and we were home. I am feeling much more confident about our August road trip. Although because of my confidence it may just be a total fiasco... but we made it. We completed our first road trip and are home again!

And now? Now I just want my own bed again. G'night!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Night one in a hotel? Done!

The ride to Calgary was a little rough to start. Madds fussed and cried and whined from Edmonton to Red Deer. We stopped in Red Deer for a snack and a stretch, which made her very happy! Then mama made a modified swaddle (I wrapped a blanket around her arms) and those pesky arms that kept hitting Maddy in the face were tamed and she slept from Red Deer to Calgary. Although I ask, when does that reflex stop? Very annoying, the self hitting.

In the hotel we set up the crib and I fed Maddy and she went down ok. Although it was nearly midnight before I got in bed. The up from 3 to 4 to feed, then up at 615! I held Maddy while she slept more (until 8am). She's doing well for sleep? All those awakening plus sleeping in not my bed? Mama is at a new level of tiredness. Coffee is my bestest friend right now...

Madds had her nap and now we're going to get ready to wedding. Let's hope Madds doesn't fuss too much. Please Madds, not too much!

Also, happy 143rd birthday Canada! You don't look at day over 142 *grin*