Saturday, 31 December 2011

The last stroll of the year

Matt and I decided we wanted to get some fresh beach air on the last day of 2011, so we headed to Whiterock Pier with my parents. It was nice to walk off some of those Christmas calories and enjoy eachothers company.

We had a hard time deciding what to do tonight for New Years Eve. After much deliberation, we decided to bite the bullet and go to a little get together. Heres hoping Noah will fall asleep in his pack in play at our friends place. Sorry kid - mommy and daddy want a social life!

Happy New Years Eve everybody! Be safe out there.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Goodbye 2011

2011 has been an incredible year for us. I just finished making my first 'Year in Review' family photo album (shutterfly has a huge sale on right now for those who are into digital photo books.) It just reminded me of all the incredible times we had these past 12 months.

Here are a few of my highlights:
I turned 25. Yikes. I am now closer to being 30 then 20. How is that possible?

I was the assistant director for my highschools mainstage production of Macbeth. Words cannot describe the fun I had and how proud I was of all the students involved.

I went to New York with my mom. She is one of my best friends and it was so much fun to spend 5 days with her doing what we love to do best. Travel.

Matt and I bought our first house! A rowhome located in our most desired location of Fleetwood. We were not expecting to get into the market this early so we felt very blessed to have been able to do so.

We went on a Caribbean cruise with my family and our friends the Goyettes. We sailed from Miami Florida and explored the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and Turks & Caicos.

One of my closest friends from childhood, Candice, got married. We werent sure if Id make it to (or through) her wedding day since I was 41 weeks pregnant. But thankfully I was able to enjoy the whole day before my labour really started going.

And of course... our main event. Our little blessing Noah arrived on August 15 at 1:29pm weighing in at 9lbs and 22 inches after 46 hours of labour.

These are only a select few of the wonderful moments weve had over 2011. 2012 is already looking as though it was be a fantastic year. A family trip in the works, a few friends getting married and a few others having babies! Cant wait to see what else the New Year brings...

A break with my boys

I love Christmas break. Even though I am currently on maternity leave and am home full time, its still awesome because Matt always gets approx. 10 days off. Definite perk of engineering! Their office closes down every year from Christmas Eve Day until after New Years. It is so nice to have him home with Noah and I to spend time as a family.

We have been pretty busy. Yesterday was the first day we weren't out all day. The 23-26 was full up with family things and then we spent the 27th and 28th out shopping boxing day sales. I scored some clothing deals, got a new cell phone (number is still the same) and we even picked up my birthday gift (a Pandora charm bracelet which I am not allowed to touch until my actual birthday on the 23rd)

Matt and I have been able to go on two dates over the past two weeks thanks to my wonderful mother babysitting. I have also gotten a bit of time to myself to do whatever I want, since Matt is around to entertain Noah. So great to sleep in a bit, takes baths and relax.

I always miss my husband when he goes back to work after holidays. I love having him around to talk with or just sit next to. My little man is becoming better company thought lately, thanks to his ever expanding vocal sounds and constant smiles and giggles. And there is something to be said about a daily routine.
Back to cleaning house and other everyday activities.

We are already looking forward to our next holiday in March. But I'll save that for another blog entry.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Noahs 1st Christmas

It was a pretty good Christmas for a 4 month old! However... he did sleep through most of it.

Christmas Eve my parents and brothers came over to eat appetizers, play games and watch The Grinch. He only managed to stay awake until 730pm though.

Christmas is exhausting!

Christmas pjs! Family tradition growing up.

Christmas morning we were off to church! Needed to focus on the real reason for the season before we got caught up in gifts and turkey.
We went to my parents after for my dads traditional omelette. He doesnt cook much, but he sure does make a tasty omelette!
Then it was on to gifts. Matt and I decided we werent really going to do much in the way of shopping for Noah since he doesnt understand anyways. We bought him an excersaucer back in early November and considered that his gift. He did get lots of things from other members of the family, but sadly he napped straight through gift opening.

gifts galore!

The boys
So handsome!

Another excersaucer! This one for nana and grandpas house.
I was spoiled with a new zoom lens for my camera

After gifts was the turkey dinner. There is no meal I love more then a turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Im salivating just thinking about it now. Mom told me shes got another turkey in the freezer and im hoping we can cook that up for my birthday at the end of January. Please momma??

All in all, a wonderful Christmas. We were all spoiled beyond belief and are now exhausted from days of fun. I am really looking forward to next year since Noah will be older and will be able to be a bit more involved in gift opening.

In the meantime, Matt and I have packed up the tree and are moving on! We (mainly me) love Christmas. But when its over, its over. Its easier to make a clean break then to draw it out! Time to look forward to other things in the year ahead!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas traditions

Every year on December 24th my dads side of the family gets together to celebrate Christmas. My dad is one of 6 siblings, and 5 of those are boys. This year we decided to celebrate on the 23rd instead as many of the 'kids' now have their own grandkids and wanted to be free to make new traditions (or possibly do that last minute wrapping...) Growing up we always had the festivities at my Grandparents house. Sadly, neither of them are with us any longer - but its nice to still carry on the tradition at my Aunt & Uncles place.

It was also the first time many of the relatives met little Noah.

Checking out the lights with Auntie Josee

Playing with (my) cousin Jason

Me and my Uncle Doug

Another tradition? December 26th my moms side of the family gets together at my parents house. You thought 6 kids was alot? Their are 8 kids on that side of the family... and they all have at least 2 or 3 kids... and most of them now have kids. As you can imagine, thats a big gathering of people. But I love it. I will try to snap some pictures of that reunion too :)

Tonight my immediate family will be coming over for Christmas Eve. We plan to play games, eat appetizers and watch 'The Nativity.' Tomorrow morning we will be at church, remembering the real reason for the season. Then, its home for presents and turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Cannot wait!

Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noel) everyone! Much love from our family to yours!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Perfect moments

For the past week Noah has only be nursing once a night ( But I didnt mind in the slightest the extra wake up last night at 4am.

As he was nursing, he looked up at me with his big brown eyes, smiled and starting having a 'conversation' with me. It was like he was saying, "I love you mommy. I love you!" I started laughing because he seemed so determined to get his message across, that it woke up Matt. Matt started laughing too and Noah turned his head and proceeded to smile at his daddy and talk some more. So sweet!

That was one of those perfect moments. Just our little family, in the quiet dark of the night, happy together.

We are blessed.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Sad but touching

You may or may not know that Michelle Duggar, mother from 19 Kids & Counting, recently lost baby number 20 at 19 weeks pregnant. They held a memorial service and this is a letter that was read during the service.

I have never known the grief of losing a child, but I have many friends who have, and I have mourned the loss with them. I cried as I listened to this, but I also smiled. As sad as this letter is it also shows the joy that they have in knowing they will see their baby girl in Heaven one day, and the happiness they have knowing that she is with Jesus at this moment.

Their strength is encouraging.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Letting go of my expectations

This blog is first and foremost for me. Its my way of processing things and venting my frustrations. And so, after having a couple of tough days, I need to process and vent. You are welcome to read and post your thoughts, but I do ask that in this case in particular you leave only encouraging supportive comments, or nothing at all. Honestly, I could use some encouragement.

I have been going through some health issues. I was sick with a cold, then found out that I am once again very anaemic and now I'm dealing with (what is believed to be) this ulcer. I think all of this has resulted in a depleted milk supply. I have noticed lately that Noah seems to be losing interest in breastfeeding. He pulls off constantly and would rather look around the room then eat. He use to eat like a champ - every 3 hours for a solid 12-15 minutes. The past week or two it has been every 2 hours (if that) for 7 or 8 minutes. In other words, hes snacking. It has resulted in me getting very little sleep and one very fussy child.

I talked to my doctor on Monday and he suggested to supplement with formula or start on rice cereal. I know many woman have gone the formula route because that has been whats good for them and their babies. But I have always had it in my head that I would breastfeed for 6-8 months. Period. After all, breast is best! I read it many times in books and was bombarded with it from nurses at the hospital. And because Noah took to it  so well I figured we'd be good. I'd stop when I wanted to. But here it goes... I don't think that's whats best for us anymore. And that is really hard for me to accept.

We`ve started on formula. I gave him his first bottle of it yesterday and he was full for a good 3.5 hours. He was also a much more content baby while it was in his system. He slept comfortably and peacefully, taking a 1.5 hour nap immediately following. The rest of the day was breastfeeding. Last night was the third night in a row where I didnt get much sleep (since hes waking constantly to snack.) I was beyond exhausted and had my mum come watch him so I could get some more sleep. We decided to once again give him a formula bottle to hold him over. He guzzled it down super quickly and once again, took a nice long nap afterwards. Rest of the day... breastfed snacking and a fussy child. It seemed that the formula bottle really satisfied his hunger and the breastfeeding didnt.

After lots of chatting with my mum and many tears, I have come to the realization that Im just not producing enough milk for him anymore. Yes, I could go the route of trying different methods to increase my supply. But since I dont plan to breasfeed longer then 6 months or so and want to be able to go on dates with my husband, I decided to go the formula route. He will be getting two or three formula bottles a day and breastfeed for the rest. I realize that my supply will deplete all the more, but Im okay with that and I do plan to pump when possible. Its been hard on me, but I am trying to convince myself that 4 months of straight breastfeeding is a job well done.

I need to let go of my expectations. I had a very `whatever happens happens` perspective on labour, so I dont know why this should be any different. Every child is different and I need to do whats best for Noah and myself.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Noah meets rice cereal

I talked to my doctor again about the idea of Noah starting on rice cereal. My doctor said that based on his size he could probably handle it if I was comfortable with it. So last night he got his first taste of 'people' food and he loved it!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Trip to emerg: Update

So after a fairly painful weekend I went to see my doctor this morning. While in the waiting room I started feeling really lightheaded and nauseous and my back and abdomen starting hurting. It wasn't nearly as bad as Friday night, but I definitely didn't feel good. What better place to be feeling sick then in the doctors office though?

 After going through all my symptoms and talking about issues I have been having all the way back until May of this past year, my doctor believes that I have an ulcer at the back of my stomach. This would explain the intense back pain, nausea, sore abdomen and why its most often occurring at night. I have been put on a medication for the week to see if my symptoms improve and I should notice a difference within a couple days. If it works, I will be on the medication for approx. 2-3 months to fix the ulcer. If the medications doesn't work, then its most likely a gallbladder issue and I will need to get some other tests done (mainly an ultrasound.)

I'm hoping the medication will do it so that I don't have to worry about this anymore. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Its been greatly appreciated :)

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Trip to emerg

So for the second time in about 6 months I've had an attack of some kind that has required me to go to the hospital via ambulance.

I had had a sore back and upper abdomen for over 24 hours, but it suddenly intensified to the point where I was lying on the bathroom floor nauseous and trying not to pass out. My upper mid spine felt as though it was constricting tighter and tighter and I couldn't move. My abdomen felt like someone had punched me extremely hard. It took laughing gas and 2 shots of morphine through an IV to subside the pain to a point were it was tolerable and I could talk.

The paramedics took me to emergency where I at least got to lay down in a bed while I waited to see the doctor. The hospital was crazy busy (staff claims due to the full moon) and I was there for 6 hours before I was discharged. After running some tests they came to the conclusion that I could have an ulcer or possibly a gallbladder problem. I personally don't think its an ulcer because i haven't had heartburn issues really since pregnancy. So what did they suggest? Go see my family doctor about it. Thanks, very helpful.

So here I am back at home, very low
on sleep and praying that I don't have another attack. I do have some morphine pills I can use If need be, but it's very frustrating to leave without any real answers.

Friday, 9 December 2011

A babies diet

Im posting this with the hopes of hearing feed back from other moms. I know there are some very strong opinions out there when it comes to a babies diet so im asking everyone to please be open minded and understanding of everyones point of views.

Noah has been exclusively breastfed for 4 months now. My goal has always been to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. One issue I have been having lately is that I am now producing just enough milk for his daily needs. This is great - except thats its near impossible for me to pump a bottle for him so that I can go out for an evening with my husband and leave him with a sitter.

I am very pro breasfeeding. But I guess my question is - at what point is it okay to start giving formula or rice cereal or whatever? I talked to my doctor yesterday about the rice cereal/baby foods thing and he said not until 6 months. I trust my doctors judgement as he has never steered me wrong, so I am fine with waiting for that.But in the meantime, is it okay to give Noah a bottle of formula on occasion so that I can do on a date with Matt?

I know there are alot of woman out there who had a very difficult time with breastfeeding and have always given formula - and thats just whats been best for them and their babies. My question is more relatating to the trickiness of doing both. Ive heard that once you give any formula your supply can start decreasing quickly and I am concerned about that (because as I said, I want to go to 6 months.)

I also need to add that I only plan to breastfeed until 6 months. Reason being, I have a big kid... and after holding a friends 6.5 month old the other day I realized that I just wouldnt be comfortable breasfeeding a child that size. That and the fact that Noah has already realized where his meals are coming from and is starting to be, well... grabby.

Anyways, at the risk of rambling on and on... please share your insight and thoughts with me.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

COMMERCIALized Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the music, the lights, the parties, the decorations, shopping, everything. I love that Christmasy feeling, anticipation and excitment. I love it all. But there has always been one thing that has really bugged me.

Christmas commercials.

Not all of them. There are some really great ones out there that warm my heart and give me the fuzzies. But there is one particularly this year that drive me nuts.

I think its for Kay jewellers. You know the 'every kiss begins with kay' company? Well they have one this year and the wife pins an ad for a very expensive bracelet (like $1200) on the fridge as a "hint" for her husband. When the husband comes upon it, he simply laughs and says,"Gotta love a woman who knows what she wants!"

SERIOUSLY? Are there really people out there asking for $1200 Christmas presents? And are there people actually buying them? Maybe I was just brought up very differently then alot of people, but I didn't think that was normal. My family does gifts, but on a budget. A budget that no where nears $1200 for one person. Some of the things advertised on tv as 'Christmas' gifts just seem so unbelievably excessive to me.

Its fun to give and to recieve. And its fun to buy someone something theyve wanted for a while and wouldnt normally buy themselves. But for some reason I think the word Christmas sends people into a buying frenzy and causes them to forget reality. Thats not what Christmas means. Break it down people. The first part of the word: Christ. The whole reason for this holiday.

In all our Christmas excitment lets not forget the real reason for the season.  

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I get a life?

Okay I know the title is silly - Ive always had a life. But for the past three and a half months, I havent really had much time to myself or with my husband. That is all starting to change!

The sleep training worked wonders. As I said before, it wasnt easy, but it has been successful. With the exception of the weekend (and that was our fault) Noah has been going to sleep on his own and crying no more then 5 minutes, if at all.

Not only that, but he is going to bed earlier. Originally we kept him up until 830/900pm thinking the later he went to bed, the deeper sleep hed be in. But after doing some reading about sleep training we found out that its actually suggested to put babies to bed between 630-730 so that they enter into a deeper sleep cycle. It totally worked! Hes been doing 4-6 hour stretches between feedings and sleeping more then he did before.

Since he was born I have gone to bed as soon as he goes to bed, because I dont want to miss any of those precious hours of sleep for myself. Now I get several hours in the evening to do whatever and still get a good nights sleep. Plus, hes napping in his crib on average 3 times a day and I get all that time to do whatever too! This is AWESOME!

I guess I now believe everyone know who told me "Dont worry - it'll get better."

I can do this!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Gifts, lights and trains

We had our 2nd annual Christmas party with friends this past Saturday night. We enjoyed a yummy dinner followed by gifts for the babies, a white elephant gift exchange for adults and then a lit up train ride through Stanley Park.

Here are some photos
** thanks Jason & Tamara for snapping photos! **

Lorelai opening her gift from us with mommies help

"Wheres mine!?"

Opening his first ever Christmas gift!
In line at the train

"Woooow. What is this place?"

Needless to say, Noah loved the lights.  

Noah came last year too, but he was in mommies tummy :)
Happy to have him on the outside!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Breaking Bad Habits

Noah has always needed us to help him fall asleep. He fell asleep fastest if we walked and rocked him to sleep. He also prefers to sleep in someones arms. If we ever tried to put him down in his bouncer he would either wake up straight away, or within 20 minutes.
Well now that hes almost 14 pounds he is just getting too big to be rocked to sleep all the time. Not only that, but I think he is now smart enough to realize that we plan to put him down as soon as he falls asleep. When we rock him he stiffens up and throws his head back and has began to wake himself up just as he would drift off and start crying.

This past week, he has also started waking up every 1.5-2 hours throughout the night and want to be held. At first we thought maybe it was just a growth spurt and he was hungry. But as soon as I went to feed him he would pass out within a minute or two in my arms.
And so, after many days of sleepless nights for me, I decided we would start sleep training and break this bad habit.

The way were doing it is putting him in his crib and checking in and calming him down at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. I know not everyone agrees with this method as the baby ends up crying alot... but we want Noah to learn how to self soothe. And we are reassuring him every few minutes that we are still here, we love him very much and its time for him to sleep. Only once have we had to go in after the 10 minute check in. On average hes asleep in 15/20 minutes.

It is definitely not easy to do - its the hardest thing Ive ever had to do actually. I have cried multiple times over the past 24 hours because I just hate that hes crying and I want to fix it by picking him up. But that's the big no no because then they learn that you'll eventually give in. Ive had many friends and family reassure me that its okay for him to cry and that it worked well for them (thanks everyone - its been a HUGE comfort to me!!!)

Last night went really well. He went to bed at 7:00pm and woke up at 7:30am this morning. I only had to feed him every 3-5 hours and he cried for about 45 minutes in total during the night. I actually got 9 hours of sleep! Ive heard on average it takes about 4-5 days for a child to learn to go to sleep on their own, so hopefully that will be the case with Noah. We know its working already, because hes already begun to calm himself down while hes crying. As I write this, he is sleeping peacefully in his bed upstairs.

Ahhh....Lets hope the progress continues.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Noah meets Santa

Noah met Santa today!

He was a very good boy. He patiently waited his turn, smiling at Mummy, Nana, Grandma and Auntie Georgia. When it was his turn, he took a good look at Santa up and down to size up whether this guy was okay. He seemed a little unsure as he sat on his lap, but did well. No tears! Sadly we didn't get a smile as Mummy was too far away to look at. In fact, he looks rather bored! But at least he was looking straight at the camera!

PS - Im glad I put him in the green socks.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Some days

I am going to be brutally honest here. I feel like I need to be because I dont like pretending things are perfect and easy when sometimes they just arent. As much as I love being a stay at home mom, some days are hard.

Today was one of those days.

The day didnt start well. I had to change him 3 times within a half hour period of time. He spit up, then spit up again, then pooped through his clothes. All while trying to get ready to go out for coffee with my mother.

But worse then that was he decided not to nap today. At first I laughed at his stubborness. But by 3:00pm hed had a total sleep of 30 minutes over 8.5 hours. This was so not funny anymore. I could tell he was exhausted but he was just fighting it for all he was worth, screaming and throwing his head back in a fit. I tried everything... rocking, running, swinging, walking, singing... I even put him in his crib and let him cry for a while (which I normally would never do) but he got himself so worked up he started choking. So I picked him up, sat on the couch and cried with him. Then I called my mom.

Only moments before she showed up he fell asleep. I felt like a horrible mother, handing my child over to her and saying, 'Please just take him!' But I was done. I'd reached my limit. I felt like I was going to go insane. She stayed for half an hour and held him while I calmed myself down on the couch. Ten minutes later, he was awake and screaming all over again. Thankfully, my husband was on his way home and soon came to my rescue.

I love my son very much, more then I could possibly begin to explain. And I truly love being a mom! But it isnt easy. Far from it. And some days are just really hard.

Oh Christmas tree...

Its up! The tree is up! We were a little concerned about where it would go in our new place, but I think its in a perfectly cozy spot. Noah watched Daddy intently as he put on the lights, but he wasnt so interested in me putting up all the ornaments. Maybe next year...

On another note... Noah is now able to sit in his Bumbo and enjoy a whole new perspective. Thanks Mrs. Labelle!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A Mothers Prayer

Saying this prayer this morning. After 5 days with a sick baby and little sleep last night, I need patience today.

A Mother's Prayer

Precious Heavenly Father,

Give me patience when little hands
tug at me with their many demands.

Give me gentle hugging arms
to help protect them from rebellions harm.

Give me wisdom from above
to teach these little ones of your love.

Give me a spirit...quiet and meek
let my words show kindness as I speak.

Give me the ability to teach from the heart
to help my children learn your Word from the start.

Give me the words you'd have me say
to teach my children how to pray.

Give me time, special moments to share
that they may know, "Mommy really does care".

Give me hands that work willingly
a steadfast example that I may be.

Give me courage to stand in your might
to teach my little ones to always do right.

Give me boldness to do all these and more
that I may not be ashamed when I stand at your door.

Thank you Father, In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Author Unknown

Monday, 21 November 2011

The tale of the cursed onsie

One day Nana bought Noah a onsie. A wonderful onsie. A wintery onsie. It was green and had a cute little penguin on the front. It was so adorable that his mummy decided to put it on him the very next day.

Mummy and Daddy stared at him with such pride that first morning. He gazed at himself in the mirror smiling and smirking until he got bored of looking at himself. Mummy decided to take him downstairs to have her breakfast. But just as she poured her coffee, "BUUUUURP!" Noah spit up all over it. Back upstairs they went to take off the wonderful wintery onsie.

After the onsie went through the wash, mummy decided to put it on him again as he really hadnt had a chance to wear it. Before they were to head out for the day, Noah needed a little snack. While he was snacking, mummy heard a mighty rumble. This time, it wasnt coming from his mouth. Uh oh - Noahs onsie was soiled right through (as were mummies pants...) Back into the wash it went that wonderful wintery onsie.

A few days later, Daddy said to Mummy, "Lets try to put on his wonderful wintery onsie again! He hasnt had a chance to wear it and it is oh so adorable!"  So on the onsie went. This time, the onsie made it through part of the morning. Mummy was shocked and so happy that she took out the camera and snapped a few pictures. But alas... it was not meant to be. The wonderful wintery onsie was wet through and through and had to be thrown back into the wash.

Poor onsie... I guess it just wasnt meant to be.

** story based on actual events **

3 month old Noah

Noah is now over three months old. Wow, that went by fast! Here are a few Noah facts (mostly for my dear mother in law who lives far away and doesnt get to see her little munchkin as much as she'd like)

He generally wakes up twice a night to nurse. I know this doesn't necessarily qualify as 'sleeping through the night' but I think its awesome! Sure beats what I was getting before.

He weighs 13.5 pounds!

He has the cutest giggle. He thinks it's funny when you pull his shirt over his head. At first we thought it was just because he's ticklish, but the other day I hadn't even touched him yet and he started laughing.

He's rolling over from back to belly. He gets himself into the oddest positions, especially at night. He prefers to sleep and play on his side.

He fully holds his head up without support and can turn it from side to side without wobbling.

He has begun to pull himself up into a sitting position. Crazy right? This kids got insane stomach muscles. He pretty much refuses to lean against anyone or anything.

He's begun teething - and it sucks.

He is very laid back. He's been sick for several days now and instead of screaming and crying, he just cuddles up with Matt or I.

He loves to look in the mirror and smile.

He loves bath time. He kicks his legs up and down sending water splashing all over his face and us. Pretty sure we've got a water baby on our hands.

He can grab things and hold onto them. He can also put them into his mouth. He puts everything in his mouth these days.

He loves his family. Right now his two favorite people are his Grandpa and his Uncle Mike. We figure it's the mustaches...

My poor sick baby in his Bumbo