Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm still here!

A few things you may or may not want to know about me:
  • It's been too hot to blog. It's been too hot to do anything. I'm about this close to sitting around the living room in my undies with a cold wash cloth on my head.
  • My left eye has been inexplicably watering all day long.
  • I went to bed at 9:30 last night and it was glorious.
  • Glorious!
  • I joined a Moms group online this week and am going to meet up with some totally random women that I know nothing about other than the fact that they live in the same area as me and have sprung children from their loins. (Sprung? Is that right?)
  • If you don't hear from me again, it was most likely the Moms that did it. It'll be like the game Clue: It was The Moms. In the park. With a hooter hider.
  • Also, someone please remind me not to discuss the following topics with these Moms that have never met me before: religion, politics, attachment parenting, circumcision, vaccinations or breastfeeding (especially breastfeeding in public).
Have a good Thursday, y'all. If I haven't expired from the heat, I'll tell you about my date with the Moms tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Said by Hez

New in the Anna-Andrew-Hez-news front:

Anna went to her first cottage for 3 days, and had a fantastic time! She swam in a big ol' lake, slept well in a play pen, and got to watch her little cousin run around, all full of beans.

All in all, it was a successful first for little Anna.

Now that we're back home, Mommy's trying to figure out what to do with her time again. It's gorgeous out, and Anna loves being outside, so I'm trying to take Anna out and about as much as possible. However, walking around by myself just ain't cutting it anymore. (And one can only jog so much in this heat and humidity).

Anywho. Not much else to report. (Thrilling update, I know). More interesting info to come in the next installment.

But first! I'm jumping on the "Shit my Dad Says" bandwagon and including some of my favourite (and real) quotes, said by myself and those lucky enough to be considered within my circle of friends.

So, here it is folks. The first edition of "Said by Hez":

"Did you know that Miracle Whip refuses to tone itself down? This is not your Grandma's mayonnaise." ~Hez to her brother Chris in a Facebook post after seeing the new Miracle Whip commercial

"Nor should it.. if there's anything i want in my sandwich spread, it's an unwavering belief that it should never, ever 'tone it down'.. my real question is, who's asking them to tone it down? seriously? I guess it's just 'The Man' trying to keep a good mayonnaise oppressed like usual.. the bastards!" ~Chris' response

Here's a few oldie but goodies from my collection of work quotes. (These things were actually said by me and my coworkers within my business establishment).

"Hey, are we stripes or sobers?" ~Hez to coworker whilst playing a game of pool.

"I've had a lot to drink. Here's 100 dollars." ~Hez's coworker, drunkenly settling up the bill after a night at the pub.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A junior scientist, cuteness overload and heartbreak.

When I had just had Anna, I received some mail from the University near us about the Infant and Child Studies Centre and their need for young babies to research what they call "the cuteness quotient".

Okay, I made that last bit up. But Anna would totally be off the charts if it were true.

Yesterday morning, I did take Anna to the research lab at the University, but it was to help further the study of language recognition in babies.

We sat in a little room together, Anna on my lap, and Mama with a big old pair of headphones on so I couldn't hear anything and couldn't influence Anna in anyway. Then, some blinking lights went off while passages were read out in English and then Norwegian. I think the study was based around the whole idea that if they play English (which Anna is used to), she would eventually get bored with it because it was so familiar. So, if they played Norwegian (something different and new), and Anna turned to look at the source, that would mean she could recognize a difference between the two languages already.

I should have warned them that Anna is very advanced for her age and they may want a "regular" baby to test.

Anywho. It was interesting! And Anna got an official certificate from the University, proudly presenting her with the Honourable Title of Junior Scientist - "in recognition of outstanding performance in a Language and Speech Project which has greatly contributed to the advancement of science and the understanding of child development."

Yay Anna!

After that, I took her to a park to meet up with some girlfriends. The park had a great wading pool, so I brought Anna's ridiculous bathing suit with us. I say ridiculous, because it's pretty much a pant suit. But in little baby size. Which means? It's insanely cute.

Anna can't have sunscreen put on her delicate little skin yet, and because she has Andrew and I for parents, she doesn't have much hope of ever being a bronze goddess. Therefore, a few minutes in the sun and she'd sizzle. So - that's why we went with the bathing-pant-suit. I must reiterate: CUTE! Cuteness overload. Honestly.

Anyway, Anna had a great time. It was so adorable... she was squealing and smiling and looking around at everyone. And afterwards, when I put her in the car seat and headed home, she was out cold immediately. Good baby.

The day ended on somewhat of a depressing note, however, when Andrew and I took a tour of a local daycare. The place seemed good... the kids all looked like they were having fun. But... I don't know. Something didn't feel right.

The kids were all separated by age into different rooms. So - the infant room had babies from about 12 to 18 months. The toddler room was 18 months to 2 years, etc. etc. Makes sense. But there was just something about seeing those little babies in the infant room that broke my heart. The daycare was fine and the kids were all sitting there together. But they just seemed so little. Too little to be outside of a home... in a centre all grouped together... being cared for by strangers. Sigh.

I know this is normal. And this is what happens. But it just made me sad. And - as my parents both said to me - I'm probably going to hate all daycare centres, and I'm probably going to be a complete and total mess when it's Anna's time.

For now, I think I'll just focus on her little bathing suit and her Junior Scientist certificate.

That makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Unexpected

When I was pregnant, I don't know what I really expected to happen after my baby was born.

Yes, I expected to be tired. And I expected to be busy. I knew that I'd have to feed and change and take care of this little human's basic needs. But there are some things that nobody can tell you about that you just sort of discover on your own.

For example:

I didn't expect to have a bald, blue-eyed baby. When my midwife first checked me while I was in labour and could tell that my baby had very little hair (kinda gross when you think about how she could tell, no?)... anyway - when she told me that I actually yelled out "Umm... what??" And then when I discovered she had light hair and blue eyes, I was a little bit thrown for a loop. I fully expected a mini-me. I've had dark, dark hair since I was born (and I was born with a full head of hair, too), and have always had brown eyes. Anna? Is still pretty bald 5 months later. And what hair she does have is very light. Sometimes I look at her and think "Are you really mine?" And then she giggles after farting and I know she's got my family's genes.

I didn't expect to lose so much damn hair. It's still falling out like crazy. I'm finding it absolutely everywhere. It's nasty. Like right now... I'm looking at a long, black hair making a question mark shape on my couch cushion. It's like the house's way of asking me "When are you going to clean, lady?"

I didn't expect to enjoy "keeping house". I actually take pride in making my bed each morning, and keeping the kitchen clean, and doing load after load of laundry. The dusting, the floors and the tub, however? They remain dirty. I'm not a total June Cleaver.

I didn't expect to forget the hardest parts so quickly. It seems like ages ago that I would get up in the middle of the night (around 2-4am) and go down to the basement to feed Anna in a sleep-deprived fog. But it was really only a couple of months ago. It seems like even longer since I was up from about 10pm to 1 or 2 in the morning every night... sitting in the basement by myself, watching TV and holding Anna in my arms until she fell asleep, because holding her until she was out cold was the only way to get her to sleep at night. I almost can't remember what it was like to be that exhausted. Almost. And the days of stressing out each time I tried to breastfeed my wee baby are pretty much forgotten. Imagine that. If the me of today told the stressed-out-from-breastfeeding-me that one day I'd be whipping out my boob anywhere and Anna would be eating like a champ, I wouldn't believe her.

I didn't expect things to change so much every, single day. Anna grows and does new things all the time. But, I also mean that I didn't expect her to change things up on Mama every day, too. One day, she'll take a nice, long afternoon nap in her crib. The next day? She'll scream bloody murder if you try to put her anywhere near that damn thing. One day she loves going outside in her stroller. The next day, she wants to be held and will NOT sit in her car seat, thank you very much.

Motherhood. 'Tis an interesting, ever-changing, unexpected thing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Help me Mamas

Question for all you Mamas out there:

At 5 months old, did your baby have a routine or schedule or anything?

See, I'm a first time Mama... So, perhaps one day I'll look back and laugh at myself for even wondering this... but for now, I have no idea if I'm doing right by my child.

Anna is super happy and cute and fun most of the day. And then, all of the sudden, she freaks right out. Hubster and I can only assume it's from being over-tired. But I swear, she's not giving me any cues. She doesn't yawn. She's not cranky (until too late, apparently), she doesn't usually have super-rosy cheeks (again, until it's too late).

So, what's a Mama to do?

Part of me thinks it's all my fault because I don't have her on a predictable routine yet... so she doesn't know what to expect from one minute to the next. Which means, of course she's going to not know when to go to bed and then end up getting extremely over-tired.

Another part of me keeps checking my Dr. Sears Baby Book. The one that follows the whole attachment parenting idea. And according to them, I should let Anna sleep with me and lie down in bed with her at nap time, and rock her or nurse her to sleep... etc. etc. All of that is fine and dandy too (I actually really like it)... but then, I wonder - will she learn to fall asleep on her own at any point? Will I always have to lie in bed with her for her to go to sleep?

All I know for certain is that I end up feeling rather guilty every time she has a melt down.

I should know better not to take her out at night past 7pm. I should know how to read her cues and get her to bed before she's really upset. I should not "go with the flow" and let her take 30 minute cat naps all day, rather than a few good, solid, long naps.

Or should I?

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Anna Whisperer

Apparently, I no longer hold the coveted title of "The Only One Who Can Put Anna Down To Sleep".

Today, I attempted to get my rosy-cheeked baby to bed for her afternoon nap. She screamed and screamed when I held her, when I put her in her crib, when I tried rocking her, when I tried feeding her, when I held her upright, when I kissed her forehead, when I spoke softly to her.

She only stopped long enough for me to actually convince her that she was hungry. So, she had her lunch. Then, I put her back in her crib looking drowsy. Which, according to Anna, meant "TIME TO WAKE UP!!!"

She spent the next 15 minutes cooing and babbling to herself, kicking her legs in the air and opening her eyes wider than I thought they could possibly go.

Enter Andrew. The Anna whisperer.

He took her out of her crib, brought her downstairs into our basement and sat with her on the recliner. A few minutes later, while I was up in the kitchen eating my lunch, I turned around just in time to see Andrew walking up the stairs with Anna in a slouched, yet upright position - out cold.

She fell asleep sitting up.

After he put her in her crib, I said to him "So now only you can get her down for a nap I guess." To which he so sensitively replied by looking at me and laughing in a "Neener-Neener" kind of a way.

Oh, Andrew. Silly, silly Andrew.

I was quick to tell him that I certainly didn't mind if he was the one who would spend hours on end trying to get Anna to sleep while I sat in the basement watching TV, relaxing, napping, or doing anything else that tickled my fancy at that moment.


Never "Neener-Neener" at a Mom, Andrew.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

To remember

I'm usually very organized... but lately, I seem to be all about disorganization. Therefore, even though I try to be really good about updating Anna's first year calendar (instead of a baby book), there are some things I can't help but forget.

Hence, the following list.

Things I want to remember about you, Anna:
  • At about 4 months(ish), you started sleeping through the night, only waking up maybe once (and even then, all you needed was your soother). No more night time feedings!
  • For about a week, you even slept all night long, not waking up once. I thought I had died and gone to sleep heaven.
  • However, for the past 2 weeks or so (you're now 5 months old), you've been waking in the middle of the night - lots. Like, every 2 hours or so. It's really tiring your Mama out.
  • You even need to be fed again in order to settle down and get back to sleep. Are you growing?
  • Ever since you were about 4 months, you started getting extra clingy towards me (I don't mind at all... you're super cute, after all.) But you wouldn't even let your Daddy put you down to bed at night.
  • For the past week, you've been allowing your Daddy to snuggle you to sleep again. (He says thank you, by the way).
  • You are super aware of everything around you now.
  • You no longer like to nap. (You used to do 3 hours in the afternoon... now you take 30 minute cat naps sporadically throughout the day).
  • You squeal with delight when we put you in your jolly jumper.
  • You like to yell to hear your voice.
  • And you take big, deep breaths before you start your yelling.
  • You smile at lots of people now.
  • But your biggest smiles are for me. (Thank you.)
  • You reserve your biggest, gummiest smiles for me when I come and get you in your crib in the morning.
  • I made you giggle one day.
  • You cooed a lot today.
  • You're really good at tummy time now. You no longer hate it.
  • You're *almost* ready to sit up on your own. I can just sense it.
  • I've been watching you eye my food intently at every mealtime. You seemed especially interested in my popsicle the other day.
  • So, tonight, on your 5 month birthday, I decided to give you a little taste of baby rice cereal (just to see your reaction).
  • At first you seemed pretty confused, but then you kept eating it up when I offered you a tiny bit more to taste. Are you telling me you're ready for it?
  • You snuggle into my neck when you're tired.
  • You don't mind me smothering you with kisses.
  • I love you more than I ever thought possible. (But I'm sure this is something I'll never, ever forget.)
Happy 5 month birthday, baby.

Friday, July 2, 2010

To do

Happy Canada Day! (A day late... but still.)

Had a great bbq yesterday with the fam. Today, hubster is back at work, so Anna and I are going to chill.

Things on my to-do list include:
  • Kissing Anna's very, very soft tummy
  • Going for a walk so Anna can check out all the trees and birds and clouds, etc. (she loves being outside)
  • Napping together in my bed
  • Playing around on the floor
That's about it. Quite the list, I know. I'm off to try and accomplish some of it.

Enjoy your weekend, peeps.