One month til 1 years old!

Baby girl is 11 months old as of March 4th. Less than a month away til her 1st birthday! Wow. This year has both crawled forward and flown by. It’s been hard and heart warming. Adding a human being to your family rocks your world and it takes some time to adjust to your new normal. With each month that passes by, it’s less of “this is so new” and more, “this is our family”.

In the last month, our girl has gotten stronger at standing unassisted. She’s so proud of herself when she does this and gives us a big smile (she stands unassisted for 5-30 seconds at a time). While she mostly has purees, she’s started to feed herself with mum-mum rice crackers. She LOVES them. She will offer a bite or two of her cracker to me and smiles when I take her up on the offer.

In the last couple of weeks, she’s started to be a bit more cuddly. She’s never been super snuggly. This girl wants to be on the move! But recently, she’ll lay her head on our shoulder when we are carrying her and stay put for a minute or two at a time (occasionally, like, once or twice a day, ha!). We soak up those snuggles. She’s also learned how to give kisses! Just last night when Derek went to pick her up out of the crib at 3am she gave him a kiss without him asking for one. Adorable.

She continues to wave “hi” and “bye, bye” but its a backwards wave (waving to herself). She sometimes sees our neighbour walking their dog in the mornings and she’ll stop what she’s doing and wave to them.  The only thing that she’s afraid of is the vacuum. She shows zero fear of dogs or cats (even the ones that aren’t hers). She says “mum mum” when upset and “da da” occasionally but both don’t seem to be directed towards us yet. She also says, “ba ba”at times (offering her a rice cracker, giving her a stuffed toy).

We started to leave her in the last month to go on dates.  She’s been watched by my cousin and two sisters (all together) for a couple of hours. She’s loved it both times. No tears.

We love you, baby. So glad to celebrate 11 months with you!

Health risks of using baby powder

Johnsons-baby-powder

Did you hear? A court ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay a family 72 million in damages. A woman’s death (ovarian cancer) was linked to using baby powder & shower to shower for decades.

While pregnant, I remember being told that baby powder is no longer recommended because of the risk of respiratory problems.

Baby powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage if a baby inhales the particles. And the particles are small enough that it’s hard to keep them out of the air during use. – Jennifer Lowry (Pediatrician).

I wasn’t aware that it can also cause health problems in adults (cancer).

Here’s more on the story: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/court-orders-johnson-johnson-payoff-talcum-powder-ovarian-cancer-case-n524456

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

IMG_7323 web

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.

How I spend my time

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Time. Time has taken on new meaning now that I’m a mom. Oh how I value my down time. I don’t seem to have very much of that anymore! The introvert in me could spend all day reading and writing. I love solitude. A cup of coffee. A walk alone. Driving in the car with the radio off and having my thoughts keep me company. Yes, I’m one of those people!

As a mom to a baby, I struggle finding the balance between 1) getting things done and 2) recharging my batteries. And to be honest, I can waste too much time on facebook when I could have spent that time reading or writing (even blogging!).

I’m challenged by the following thought, “how will I decide to spend my time so that when the day is done I’m left feeling proud instead of discouraged?” It’s not so much a question of, “do I have enough time today to get things done” but rather, “how will I spend the time that I do have in front of me?” I’m on a journey to be better at how I spend my time (whatever I decide is the goal re: how to spend my time for that particular day). To be intentional instead of on autopilot (i.e I’ll just scroll through facebook….and 30 minutes goes by).

Time. We all have limited amounts of it. But we all get to start over each day and decide anew how we will use it.

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

cousins

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!

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.