In need of a Mom Makeover

It’s been a year since I’ve had a haircut. Our daughter is over 10 months old. My hair is LONG. I don’t really have time to blow dry it anymore (something my fine/thin hair needs to not look totally limp). I often do the “messy bun” high on my head or pull it back in a ponytail. I know that short hair would likely suit me better, but every time I cut my hair short my immediate next goal is to grow it long again. Doesn’t that saying something? I like long hair and find it rather convenient. When I have short hair, I get tired of not being able to “put my hair away”(in a bun or ponytail).

But I’m looking rather drab these days. I think its time to call the hair dresser. I think about dying my hair darker (it’s a dirty blonde) but I know that means frequent trips to the hair dresser to keep the colour looking decent. I don’t have the time or money for that. Maybe I’ll go a shade or two darker or a shade or two lighter (as that’s been recommended for those who want low maintenance or are on a budget). But if its not very much of a  hair colour change…what’s the point? Maybe I should just stick with my natural dirty blonde. Hmm.

Okay, so now I’m concluding that I’ll keep my hair longish and not dye my hair. What a fabulous mom makeover! Aren’t you so glad that you read this post? Haha. What I really need for a mom makeover is to lose weight…. Gosh, that is hard, hard, hard work. But I would love more than anything to start shedding some pounds.

What’s your go-to for a mom makeover? Hair? Something else? Do you find that you’ve simplified your hair maintenance now that you’re a mom or do you still hit up the salon and aren’t afraid to change things up?

P.S. I’ve thought of asking for this hair cut (I don’t have bangs). My fear is that bangs would be a lot of work. OR make me look 10 years old? (I already look young for my age which is not so favourable now in my profession). Any mommas out there rocking bangs?

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The real reason why having a child is both the hardest & the best thing

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Prior to having a child, I enjoyed hearing from others what having a child is like. I wanted  insight into the biggest decision a person can make (that will rock their world as they know it). The most common answer that I received was, “It’s the hardest thing that you will ever do but it’s also the best thing that you will ever do.” Hmm. This response was so vague. It left me confused. Why exactly is it the hardest thing? And why is it also the best thing? I didn’t receive specific answers from anyone.  It was like there was a code amongst parents to remain vague and not go into detail re:  why it’s so hard.  I did have one person say, “If people knew just how hard it is they would never have kids!” Again, wasn’t helpful.

Now that I’m 10 months into mothering, I’m trying to give an answer as to why being a parent is both the hardest and the best thing. At first, I’d tell you that it’s the hardest thing because you just can’t fully understand how painful the extreme lack of sleep is or how annoying your child’s cry can be (and how they cry for a million reasons you’ll never fully understand). Also, no breaks. Did I mention no breaks? I just sat down to write this post and now I hear her crying…she’s awake from her nap. Parenting never ends. With everything else, you can turn it off/walk away/take a break. Being a mom is 24/7.

But the more I ponder the question “Why is it the hardest and also the best?” I’m forced to dig deeper than just the day-to-day of childcare. For me, I think raising a child is the hardest thing that a person can do because it requires you to model by example what you want your child to do, who you want them to be.

“It was clear from the data that we cannot give our children what we don’t have. Where we are in our journey of living and loving with our whole hearts is a much stronger indicator of parenting success than anything we can learn from how-to books.” – Brene Brown

Truth is, pregnancy and childbirth are hard. Sleep deprivation is hard. Being on 24/7 is hard. But that’s just the hard stuff. The hard AND the best is this: your child gives you the opportunity to be the best version of yourself. An authentic and vulnerable person. A person who sets appropriate & healthy boundaries. A person who loves others with actions and not just words. A person who loves self.  A person who lives with their whole heart.

“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted life: loving ourselves.” – Brene Brown

Here’s the truth behind “having a child is both the hardest and the best”…a child gives you a choice: continue living on autopilot, doing the same old, or stop and consider if who you are is exactly who you’d want your child to be. Raising a child is not, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Raising a child is, “monkey see – monkey do.” That, my friends, is hard. But this can also be the best thing that you ever do.

Changes in the last 2 weeks

Baby girl will be 10 months old next week and in the last couple of weeks she’s been showing us some of her new skills! Blink and you miss it. They can literally change overnight.

  • she’s started to say “da da and dad” in a very soft whisper
  • she sees one of us chewing (gum or food) and she’ll start chewing the air!
  • she has started waving, mostly just the one arm but sometimes both. she’ll wave at us and one time at a restaurant she extended her arm and waved at a stranger.
  • she wants to stand up ALL OF THE TIME. If she can find anything to hold on to, she’s upright.
  • we think that she tried to give Derek a kiss! The last couple of days she’ll just randomly open her mouth and plop it on his nose or cheek. I personally think she’s trying to give kisses.
  • she drank some water out of a regular glass. in the bathtub, anytime we bring the cup to rinse her near her she’s been opening her mouth. so I tried to give her some water out of a glass and she took some (of course, her shirt wore some too, ha!)
  • she’s started to “growl” and she will mimic us if we growl first. she’ll keep is going back and forth. also if we blow raspberries she’ll mimic us right away.

Those are just a few that I wanted to record. It’s fun to see her learn & grow!

 

Cousins

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It makes me sad that our daughter (almost 10 months old) won’t grow up with cousins that are close in age. Both my husband and I grew up with lots of cousins. In particular, we both had a cousin that was a year younger than us that we were super close to. On my husband’s side of the family, our daughter’s closest cousin is 5 years older than her. On my side of the family, there’s no other grandchildren. Most likely, by the time one of my sisters have a baby, the new cousin will be 5 years younger than our girl.

This has got me thinking: are children growing up without cousins more at this time in history than ever before? People are getting married later in life and/or deciding to have children at a later time. Also, many of my friends have one sibling. So if your sister or brother doesn’t have children, your kid won’t have cousins.

Having cousins close in age isn’t a given, it’s a gift. And I know that she’s lucky to have cousins at all! But if I’m being honest, it is a little heartbreaking to know that our daughter won’t have cousins that are close in age. What about you? Does your child have cousins that are close to them in age? Or are you like me, having grown up with cousins super close in age and now realizing that your child won’t have that? As always, love to hear your thoughts!

Baby names that I love that I won’t get to use

I love thinking about baby names. Discussing baby names. Googling baby names. And I’m so grateful that I got to name a child! Our daughter is named after both of our mothers in a creative way (click here for that story). Her name wasn’t anywhere on our radar until about a year before she was born. Picking a name is tricky. First, you create your short list. Then your significant other comes along and vetoes nearly all of those names! Ha. It would be much easier to name a child if your opinion was the only one that mattered 🙂

Anyways, the following are names that I love but likely won’t get to use due to hubby not liking the name or for other reasons. In case we have another child, I won’t include names in this post that we may still use if we have a second child. Here are some of my favourite baby names:

Girl Names
Hannah

Fiona

Lauren

Natalie

Lucy

Madeline

Olive or Olivia

Juliet

Bridget

Victoria

Chantel

Aubrey

Boy Names

Collin or Callum

Jonathan

Felix

My favourite boy name is Felix! I love so much about this name but I can’t get hubby on board. I love that it won’t get shortened to a nickname. I love that its rare and yet people have heard it before and know how to pronounce and spell it. To me, it has a cool factor even though its a very traditional/classic boy name. I just love it but there’s no way hubby will ever let me use it.

There you go. Above are a few baby names that I adore but will likely never use. What are some of your favourite baby names? Does your list and your partners seem to differ?

When will my baby sleep through the night?!

When will it happen? When will our girl sleep through the night for a week straight? She’s slept through the night 6 times in the last 9.5 months of her little wee life. But it’s been random/sporadic. When will it be consistent? When will getting up 2 times in the night be something that’s rare vs. regular? I know that we could try cry it out but I can’t bring myself to do that yet…especially because she’s waking because of discomfort due to teething. She’s teething ALL the time.  She has 7 teeth at 9 months old. How would I even know “this is a time to let her cry it out” vs. “she’s teething so go comfort her”?

I feel like our baby’s sleep is “middle of the road” for her age. I’ve talked to people who have better sleepers (mom’s who say their baby has been sleeping through the night since 2 months of age!) and those who are still up every 2-3 hours with their 1 year old.

At 6 months, I felt like I couldn’t do the sleep deprivation anymore. Here I am now and she’s over 9 months old. People say that you get used to not sleeping. I haven’t got used to it yet….I have a pounding headache today from lack of sleep. Clearly my body has not adjusted 🙂

I believe that people with 3 or more children must have good sleepers. They must! I can’t wait until the day that Isabel sleeps through the night almost every night. Wow. Cannot wait. I’ll no longer be in “survival” mode then. But then the thought of going back to the beginning and doing the sleep deprivation all over again with another child is terrifying! For me, the lack of sleep which causes low energy, low mood, and sometimes headaches has been the hardest part of having a baby.

Teething: product reviews

Teething is brutal. They didn’t prepare us for teething in our baby class! Our poor baby has had a rough go of teething. It was around 2 months old that people started to say that they thought that she’d teeth early. Lots of drooling and putting hands in mouth. It wasn’t until close to 7 months that she cut her bottom teeth (both at the same time!).  And since that time, we barely get a break before more teeth is coming through. She cut both top teeth at 8 months, and the ones beside those top teeth right at 9 months. She’s just over 9 months old at this time and she’s now cutting the teeth beside her bottom two! She’s easily going to have 8 teeth by 10 months! For our baby, teething has meant poor sleep (hard to go down and stay down as long as she usually would) + lots of biting + irritable.

Looking back, I was totally unprepared for teething. No clue re: what works + what doesn’t. Here’s what we’ve tried and the verdict is still out.

  1. Amber Teething Necklace
    Baby wears this necklace (not for them to chew on!). Our girl rarely notices that she’s wearing it. An Amber teething necklace is very popular for babies in European countries. Amber is known for its ability to help calm and relax. The idea is that for a teething (irritable) baby, wearing Amber will provide some relief. For me, the verdict is still out on this one. It hasn’t been a magic bullet like some people claim it to be. Tip: the darker the necklace, the higher concentration of Amber. So you want a necklace with dark brown stones on it!

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2. A teething necklace for mom (& dad!) to wear is essential. At first, I thought this necklace was a waste of money. Our baby wasn’t interested in it for a while. But now that she’s super into chewing our buttons or zippers on our shirts, this necklace is a huge help in redirecting her. The necklace that we have is made of silicone. Recently, I’ve been thinking that a necklace with some wood in it might be nice for her to really chop down on. These teething necklaces that mom or dad wear are made in all different colours and styles. I originally didn’t want a rainbow one but then I decided that I wanted people to know that she wasn’t just chewing a regular necklace! 🙂 (The photo below is NOT the necklace that we have but gives you an idea of what’s out there. I rather like the necklaces in this photo due to the wood).

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3. Tylenol. As a momma who loves natural products, I was hesitant to give Tylenol to my baby. I’ve read some scientific studies that bring great pause to the use of Tylenol in young children. Regardless, I had always planned to use Tylenol if I felt that she actually really needed it. (With all of her shots, I didn’t give her Tylenol beforehand as its recommended to wait to administer Tylenol for at least 1 hour AFTER the shots. If you give Tylenol too soon it can actually block the effectiveness of the vaccines meaning the child won’t be fully immune. And as it turns out, she was completely herself after most of her shots so didn’t need Tylenol at all). Back to teething – I know some people give their child Tylenol at night for weeks (and months) on end when they are in the teething zone. We just don’t want to give her Tylenol if she doesn’t really need it. So we take it day by day (read: night by night) and if she really can’t settle and sleep and its due to teething, we give her some. Never more than the recommended dosing, often a bit less. I’ve come to resolve that sometimes, nothing else will work like Tylenol does.

4. Hyland’s Teething Tablets

I was super excited when I found this in a Metro (grocery store) in town. In Canada, it’s often hard to find natural products in a small town. I loved the idea of this product — until I realized that it was a large quantity  of liquid that had to go in a syringe. Our baby girl choked on it the first time and we haven’t used it since. I think when she’s older and we can just place a tablet on her tongue we’ll try it again.
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Would love to hear what products you recommend! Please leave a comment below re: what you think has worked or has been ineffective. Thanks!