Thursday, December 22, 2011

Don't Make Resolutions

It's that time of year again folks, when the diet commercials run, and skinny actresses and models tell us to sign up for this, that or the other program that will help us look like them, and the time when people vow to quit smoking, get active, or lower their cholesterol, or even quit drinking. It's when we rethink our bad habits and what's missing in our life, and reevaulate what's important to us, and then, we make them. The List of Resolutions. Things we will do differently in the New Year.

Here's a novel concept though, this year, don't. Don't make resolutions that will be forgotten in a months's time, or with the first bite of a piece of cheesecake, or the first sip of a guilty pleasure beer, or puff of a "I'm not ready to quit cold turkey" cigarette. Don't make resolutions that you'll come across by mistake in 6 month's time and put a guilt trip on yourself because you got off track. I suggest instead, that you make changes.

It's tempting to look at your life and see what's missing, and then resolve to do more of it, or less of it as the case may be, but the problem probably isn't your desire to make that change, it's how you go about doing it. Whatever you want to change, you need to incorporate into your life so that it's as cemented in your brain that it's a part of your life, like the morning coffee, or feeding your child breakfast. And whatever you want out of your life, you need to do the same thing, but restructuring things so that it's no longer part of it.

This time last year, I was all about the resolutions, and trying to make sure that I lost the baby weight, got my body back, and that I would go on that inevitable search for "balance" (whatever that is, anyways), and after I had my appendix out and was not able to work out for months, and I ended up being a little more busy with the new baby than I had ever imagined, well, the guilt got laid on pretty thick, and those resolutions were out the door. My biggest mistake? That I thought I had to keep everything as it already was, PLUS incorporate the changes into my life. Days still lasted 24 hours though, and my responsibilities and hobbies were still there, so something had to give, and of course, it was going to be the new thing that I hadn't yet learned to incorporate into my life in something else's place.

So this year, I've got only two things on my list that I want to do differently in my life, and that's make more time for yoga, and time for writing. Something has to give though, right? So I examined my day, really examined it, and what did I find? The television. That was my culprit. It's on almost all the time, and it was sucking my attention away. When I could have been writing, or doing some yoga, the tv would almost always suck me in. So, I made a change. During meal times and Andrew's nap times I keep the tv on, but I switch the channel to a music channel, Galaxy it's called, and I pick something that will not distract - classical, opera, whatever suits my mood. It keeps up the background noise that I love having in the house (and that's so beneficial to making sure Andrew learns to sleep through noise) but it allows my attention to be focused elsewhere, mainly, on my writing, and my yoga.

In fact, it worked so well that before I knew it, I had gotten two full hours of writing in today, and I hadn't even looked at my blog. Love it! So remember, don't make resolutions, make changes. Take the time to reflect on your life and how you spend your day. Think about what you want more of, or less of, and then find a way to restructure your life so you can make that change. If you have to, schedule it in in your daytimer, and make sure you make it a priority, as much as eating, drinking, and sleeping.

Hope everyone's holidays are merry and bright, no matter what you celebrate!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Having a life? Yeah right!

If it's one thing I hear constantly from my friends who have children (which unfortunately are few and far between, most of my friends remain childless) is their desire to be able to do something, anything away from the kids. And I must admit, before I had children of my own, I really didn't get just how 24/7 kids really are. Even when they're sleeping, you're still there, waiting for them to wake up, praying they don't wake up, keeping an ear out for them, just in case they wake up. I couldn't even go to the bathroom on my own for a few months, until I finally got up the nerve to close the door in my screaming boy's face. I had to draw the line somewhere, right? If I'm not going to have much of a life outside of Andrew, then I will at least pee in privacy. That's my viewpoint, anyways.

But forget peeing alone, sometimes just an hour or two away from the kids would be nice. But the problem? Who will look after the children? If you're going out on your own, the father is often the solution, but what if you want to do something together? Life is not as simple as it was before children now. You can't make spontaneous plans - babysitters must be arranged, and ones that know how to cope with your child's various quirks too.

Take today for instance, I have a friend who is single and pregnant, and moving. Neil and I are both going to help her move, but we had no babysitter. So what does that mean? We're bringing the toddler! I'm sure this will mean half the day will be spent in keeping him from touching certain things, from getting underfoot, and from escaping the old apartment, then the new apartment. I'm more there for moral support if you think about it really, Neil will be doing most of the lifting. And it's not as simple as just bringing him either, naps had to be planned and thought out carefully, to coincide with arrival time, lunch time, and when we most likely expect to be done. Because guess what? We're also having my parents over for dinner and Survivor finale tonight, which means we have to plan that he'll be awake and able to visit when they're here too. Is your head spinning yet?

I used to think that once you had a baby, that's it, your life was now about them all the time, and that taking time for oneself was a selfish thing to do. But having walked the road of a mother for the last year I finally understand that in taking time for myself, it's making me a better mother. I get time to reflect, to relax, and to recharge my battery. Time away from Andrew makes me love him more, and enjoy the time I play with him and see him all the more. Taking care of myself means that I'm happier, and that in turn affects how I react to stressful baby situations, and it makes me get down on the floor and play with him more. When I wasn't doing anything for myself I snapped at people sometimes, had little random crying fits, and I was prone to be emotional at the oddest times. None of those things have happened since I started letting myself escape now and then, and though I feel the odd twinge of guilt at leaving Andrew and hearing him cry as the door closes in his face, I come back blissful, and I can't help but love how he runs to me and practically tackles me when I get back.

I wouldn't miss out on being a mother for all the world, but now that I know how important my me-time has become for my mental health, I wouldn't miss it for all the world either.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Babies and Yoga

The following is a long version of an essay that I wrote and submitted to Yoga Journal for (hopefully!!!) publication. It is completely and totally unedited because I worked in drafts. But hopefully you will enjoy reading it regardless!

I know this sounds cliché, but I never expected my life to change this much when I had a baby. I rolled my eyes at the people who teased me for thinking I would have time and energy to do yoga with my baby, and I scoffed at the people who mocked me saying “sleep now, because you're not going to get any for the next 3 years!” It was going to be different for me, I had yoga under my belt. I would be doing downward facing down over my baby while I cooed at him and made him giggle, and we would curl up happily for naps during the day, and if we were up at night, well, that's alright too. Boy, was I ever in for a rude awakening.

After 20 hours of difficult labour that was primarily in my back, I delivered a healthy baby boy, Andrew, into the world, and from that moment on, every plan I had went out the window. I was blessed with a sleeper, thankfully, though not the sleeps-all-night sleeper. But we got in decent amounts of sleep at night, and he was a wonderful nurser. But yoga? Ha! Life had a few surprises in store for me. Andrew might have been an eater and a sleeper, but he was not okay with being put down, not for yoga, not for sleep, not for anything. From the time he was three weeks old until he was 3 months old, Andrew slept in his swing. And it had to be on. And you could forget about carrying him around in a sling and happily going about your day tidying or making a meal, because he wasn't having any of that. Andrew wanted to be held, and talked to, and smiled at and teased into a giggle; he had to be the center of attention every moment.

Two days before Andrew turned 2 months old another wrench got thrown into the works, and I ended up in the hospital having diagnostic surgery for a mystery pain in my abdomen. It turned out to be my appendix, which was about ready to burst, and I spent a couple weeks recovering. Andrew and I lived on the couch when we weren't in bed. It was 6 weeks before I could even think about moving my torso in a crunch-like way, and 8 before my digestive system felt like it was working normally again. Yoga had been the farthest thing from my mind, and he was almost four months old; I felt like a complete failure. What had happened to my dream of mommy-and-me yoga?

It wasn't until Andrew was almost a year old that I really started to integrate yoga back into my life, but in a very different way than I had planned. Instead of the quiet yoga time I would have during his naps (which I admit, I thought would be longer and more frequent than they actually are) I've given over to my toddler's demanding nature, and I instead practice freely when he's up. A typical practice starts with me unrolling the mat and letting him run all over it laughing and screaming for about 5 minutes. Then, I shed my socks and flip on a video, or prop up an issue of Yoga Journal and open it to a sequence, or sometimes I just wing it and do whatever pose comes to mind. I often swan dive right into my son's sweet-smelling hair, or push up into cobra to look into his grinning face, with an open-mouthed kiss coming right my way, or even get perfectly balanced in Tree Pose to find myself almost knocked over by the force of him trying to climb me.

Yoga isn't like how it used to be. It's not a long practice anymore, nor is it peaceful and relaxing. Instead, yoga has finally brought into my life the lesson I truly needed to learn. Go with the flow, take it “one pose at a time” and enjoy the time you have in each one, even if Tree Pose only lasts for a few blissful seconds. Andrew has finally taught me to live in the moment, and I couldn't be more grateful for that. Besides, there's always times for that good intense yoga session in about 4 years when he's going to school, right?

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Everywhere you go! This is not Andrew's first Christmas, but this is the first of the toddler/child years of Christmases, so it's a lot more interesting than last year, which was a jumble of breastfeeding, changing of dirty diapers, and making sure my Dad didn't hog the baby the whole time we were at my aunt's house for Christmas dinner. He got spoiled rotten by his family and Santa Claus, but there really wasn't a lot to bring him. He had lots of clothes already, and toys weren't really necessary, so people gave him more clothes, and blankets, and someone even kindly bought us some diapers. But mostly, he just slept. I was cruel enough to get a picture of him in a stocking though...

But the years you have a toddler, well, everything changes. Trees must now be "unbreakable," meaning you have no ornaments on there that can break or cut them should they get them down, and it means you will be on constant "Tree Watch" to make sure they neither touch the ornaments, nor bring the tree down on their own heads. Both of which have happened this year by the way.

Oh? You didn't know it was possible for a 2-foot something toddler to bring down a 7-foot something tree? Well, it is. I'd heard the stories about myself and Neil, of course. Trees tied to the wall, lots of handsewn ornaments made by my mother so I couldn't chew an ornament and end up with a mouthful of shattered glass, etc, etc, etc. But it wasn't until I was cooking dinner one night and heard a very distinctive crash and then a scream that I knew what was really possible. There was Andrew, still standing, the main steel trunk of our fake tree somehow having missed hitting him on the top of the head, and his head almost poking through the branches of the tree. In fact, the only injury he suffered was a scratch on his forehead about 2mm long, and it's long since healed and gone away.

We tied the tree to the wall in 2 places the next day.

Last year, Neil and I put our gifts to each other, and the gifts to the kids from us under the tree before Christmas Eve, it heightened the excitement, and it meant a lot less unpacking from the storage room and arranging on Christmas night. But not this year. Not with little Mr. Grabby-hands as we like to call him. Those presents will be dragged all over and unwrapped within an hour of putting them out. Everything goes out Christmas Eve (after he goes to bed) this year.

There is also no fireplace this year, or toys with tons of little pieces and parts, and there are definitely no real candy canes on the tree. There is absolutely nothing that can tempt him to eat what he's not supposed to eat (like candy) or to go in his mouth and choke him (like Polly Pocket). In short, while these next 2-3 Christmases are going to be exciting in new ways (like trying to outsmart the toddler) it's also going to be very boring others (have you tried to find toys for a 6-8 year old that do NOT include tiny pieces without getting them only stuffed animals?).

I know it's kind of cliche, but I didn't know how much my life really would change after Andrew, and Christmas is one of those things I just never really thought would change. If things keep going the way they are going, we might even have to change what we do on Christmas. It's getting hard being at 4-5 different houses in one day, we may have to start getting people to come to us. Oh well, there's time to figure that out another year! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to teach Andrew that the keyboard is a)not a toy and b)really not fun to play with.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Babies get dirty in the weirdest places.

If you have a baby or a toddler, then you already know this. But, if you don't, you may be surprised by the sheer weirdness of where your baby/toddler can get dirty. For instance, I once found a Cheerio stuck to Andrew's skin in his armpit. People, he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt.

Babies get dirty doing of course, the obvious, number 1's and number 2's. Wiping bum is just a normal part of a baby's day, and you will of course do it several times a day. But babies also get dirty doing another normal everyday activity, eating. A simple cup of yogurt or cereal can end up in any of the following places, and more: under the fingernails, on the arms, in hair, behind and/or in the ears, up the nose, in the eyebrows and/or eyelashes, stuck to the bottom of socks/feet, under the first inch of the diaper, on their private parts, and of course, down their shirt.

Then, you have the adverterous toddler, which I was blessed with. These toddlers will go to any length to get into every cupboard and drawer, and empty the contents onto the floor, and injest them. Today for instance, Andrew got into the dried goods cupboard and opened a box of Ritz Crackers. Now, he did the same thing yesterday, and I was fine with it, since all he did was grab a cracker and eat it. He did this 3 times, and then when he had his fill, he left the crackers alone. Not today. Today, the package of crackers onto the floor. He then stepped on and rolled all over the crackers and smushed them into the carpet. Andrew's older cousin has emptied an entire box of cornstarch onto himself and the floor. These toddlers are to be feared, and their ability to get past child safety locks should NEVER be underestimated.

For the first 3 or so months of life, babies don't really need to be bathed all that often. If you wipe their bottoms thoroughly when changing their diaper and clean the spit off their mouths, a bath every 3-4 days is sufficient. It's also better for their very sensitive skin to not be bathed on a regular basis. But once they start to eat solid foods and move around, a bath everyday or every second day is not something to be skipped. You will strip your baby down, and even if you think you saw every inch of their body at some point in the last few hours as you changed or dressed them, you will be surprised by some sort of glued on piece of food in a very odd part of their body. It is not unusual to find part of Andrew's meals crusted to his back or feet, or a whole piece of carrot clinging for dear life to one of the folds in his neck.

Yes, if you have a toddler, you will be no stranger to weird messes. I suggest you stock up on a little more baby wash if you haven't yet.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Toddler's First Birthday

So we've talked about labour, and we've talked about sleeping and nursing. For the first 6 months of a baby's life, that's pretty much all you think and talk about, except for popping of course. But for the last 6 months, everyone reminds you about the all important event coming up, the baby's first birthday.

"Have you started planning his party yet?" "What will the theme be?" "How many kids are you inviting?" "What flavor cake will you serve?" "What does Andrew want for his birthday?" are only a few of the questions people start asking you the moment they hear your baby has graduated past his first 6 months of life. And up until he was 11 months old, my response was "I don't know, I'm not thinking about that yet."

Truth is, I'm a big believer in trying to live in the moment, so I attempted to soak up as much of how Andrew was at that moment, rather than living in the future of what he will be, or what his party would be like, etc. I spent a lot of time on the ground with him, playing peek a boo, handing him toys, crawling beside him, playing chase, and all manner of games while he was still limited in mobility. His first birthday was miles away from where I was, and I didn't want to touch the subject until it was almost time. Cause I'll be honest...I've been fighting the whole transition from baby to toddler, tooth and nail.

If my Grandma had her way, Andrew would have stayed as a newborn, as he was in that first month, always sleeping and eating, so helpless and dependant on your touch. If I had my way, he would have stayed at 3 months, sleeping lots, and eating quite a bit, but able to interact with you, smile, and do a few cute "baby" things when he was awake. As he got further and further away from it lots of exciting stuff happened, but he wanted to be snuggled less and less. Now, he only wants to snuggle when he's really tired, or asleep completely. When he gets up at night to eat, I hold him after he's fallen asleep for a few minutes, just because it's the only way I ever get to do so anymore.

Andrew's first birthday was going to be a big affair. I knew that before I ever started planning it. He is the first blood grandchild in my family, and my mom has 4 sisters, 2 of which live locally. Neil's parents live locally too, and we each have 2 siblings. By the time cousins and friends and spouses of family were all factored in, we had 30 people squished into our living room/kitchen area. Yeah, 30 people turned up rather excitedly to see my little guy make that transition from 0 years to 1 year. We did a jungle themed party, with a monkey cake, and Andrew was shell shocked throughout the entire thing. My dad fed him bits of hot dog (which didn't really go over well) and Andrew managed to mooch small pieces of chips from probably every grown person there.

But by far the most interesting part of the day was present time. For the entire party, the children present spent their time in the kids's bedroom, playing with toys and making a total wreck of the place. But man, they heard "presents" and they were out of there so fast, that bedroom ended up a ghost town. Every child then was gathered around me, salivating to get their hands on the gifts and help tear them open "for Andrew!" and then whisk the new toy off to be played with. Every child watched disappointed as I instead had to take the toy away from them, and put it in an ever growing pile on the chair behind me. I wondered what the kids must really make of another child's birthday party... they got to help unwrap the present, but they don't get to keep it? It must be very confusing for them.

Most confused though, was Andrew. Between the paper that was handed to him, and the new toys that were placed in front of him for him to try to play with with all those people watching, and admire new clothes, he was looking mighty overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure he spent most of that time in my dad's arms, observing the mayhem below.

If I learned one thing from throwing that chaotic party, it's this: Never throw a big party for a toddler. We didn't spend a ton of money, or go big and fancy on anything really, but I should have known that that many people was going to be too much for him to deal with. I should have made it close family only, and then let other people come and see him at their leisure during the week, and not put the poor kid into such a state. Next year, it'll be us and maybe grandparents only... and if we ever have another baby, I won't put them through such a rucus. Cause really, it's not for them, it's for us. And that's just not fair.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Andrew, only 8 hours old.
One of the things that I wanted to do the most, but also feared the most was nursing my baby. I wasn't quaking with fear over the thought of labour when I was pregnant, I was fretting about whether or not I would be able to produce, or if it would hurt, or if I would have to supplement, etc. One of the best things I did was to take a labour and delivery class through Fraser Health that prepared me for the delivery, and the first couple of months after, and we spent more than one class talking about breast feeding. As a result, I felt pretty prepared when it came time to nurse Andrew. Or so I thought.

It was drilled into my head over and over again that as long as the baby is latched properly (and they show what it should look like) that nursing shouldn't hurt. What they didn't say was that there would be some discomfort associated with the first week or so, and that lanolin cream is your best friend. They talked about what not to do, but they didn't talk about actually taking care of your breasts when you're nursing, and that was the most confusing part of the whole thing for me.

In case you didn't know, the best thing you can do when you're starting off nursing is to take a couple of drops of breast milk, apply it to the nipples, and let it dry. But no one told me how to politely explain this to my constant stream of visitors, coming and going to see the baby. It's one thing to whip your breasts out in front of your spouse or mother, feed the baby, and then wait for the milk to dry before covering yourself up, but try your father in law, or great uncle, and you'll see what I mean.

Another thing was nursing pads. As an Eco-conscious person, I initially tried washable cotton nursing pads, but the problem was, I was a leaker. Only an hour or so, and that baby was soaked, and I would have to replace it. It's not very eco-friendly to have to wash those suckers several times a day, and then dry them in the dryer, so my only other option was disposable ones. Besides the fact that they whicked the moisture away and therefore prevented mastitis, they were conveniently thinner, and hard to detect under my shirts. So, being the Eco-conscious person that I am, I looked for disposable ones that weren't individually wrapped, which is only one brand by the way, Johnson and Johnson's. Now, let me start off by saying that I'm not usually a brand basher, but these things were terrible. If they got any moisture on them whatsoever, they stuck to my nipples, even if I had applied some lanolin cream to them. They dried the surface so completely that they were painfully chapped, and when I did finally manage to peel them off my breasts, they left fibers behind that I had to peel off individually. Needless to say, I didn't buy them again.

Andrew didn't have any latching issues or anything like that, and I was lucky in that my supply came in fast and rich, and Andrew grew quickly on breast milk. That is, until he decided to start being difficult. At about 4.5 months, Andrew suddenly lost interest in feeding from me. We would go 3 or 4 days with him barely eating, popping on and off the breast, totally distracted, and he would be hungry, but he just wouldn't focus long enough to eat anything worthwhile. Then, there would be a day of desperate feedings, every ½ hour or so, until he brought back in a considerable supply. If I was lucky, there would be one blissful day of great feeding after that, until it was back to square one. He was getting frustrated, and so was I. I thought long and hard about what I should do... supplement with a bottle of formula? No, he wouldn't take a bottle any more. Deny him feedings for awhile, so when he ate he'd be really hungry? That only served to piss us both off even more. Switch him completely to formula? It seemed like the only solution.

By 6.5 months, breast feeding was a joke. He was still on a round-a-bout feeding schedule, barely sustaining himself and keeping my supply going, and he would no longer nurse when we were anywhere but someone's house in a relatively distraction-free area, and there was no chance of nursing if his feet could touch the arms of the couch or chair we were in. I had to switch spots depending on what side I was feeding him on, or he wouldn't nurse unless we were laying down. It was getting to the point where he was only nursing because he had to get something in his system, and I was on the verge of tears at nearly every feeding. We were left with no choice. Andrew was weaned off the breast and onto the bottle during one agonizingly emotional day. And it took the help of one very patient friend while Neil and I left the house and saw a movie together.

But it paid off. I suddenly had the freedom that I didn't have when I was nursing. I could leave Andrew with Neil or a babysitter and go run errands, or actually go have some time on my own for a change. Andrew started gaining weight again on the calorie-rich formula, and it meant that people who had wanted the pleasure of bonding with Andrew during a feeding, like his grandparents, suddenly had that freedom. I really beat myself up for awhile after weaning him about not sticking with the breast feeding, I loved the bonding as much as I hated the fighting, and I wanted to give him what was best. But that's just it, for Andrew, breast feeding wasn't what was best anymore. He couldn't move my nipple around to see what he wanted to see, the way he can move the bottle, and he couldn't eat in the car while we were driving, or other inconvenient places. I gave Andrew the best possible start I could, but in the end, bottles were what we needed.

And now comes the next stage of life for Andrew, at just over 11 months old, we are now starting to wean him off the bottle and onto sippy cups. Once he hits 1 year, we will do 1 can of Transition formula, and then it's onto Homo milk for him. It seemed like such an agonizing step at the time, but really, would he learn to take sippy cups so well if he was still breast fed? Perhaps not.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Months 0-3: Sleep

If you have ever talked to a new mother, or lets face it, even looked at a new mother, you know that sleep is a precious commodity. From the time that you get pregnant to the time they are about 5-6 years old (and sometimes even older than that for some) sleep becomes something you will do just about anything to get more of, and a subject you will talk for hours about. Probably to the point where you are repeating yourself, but you're too tired to remember saying anything about how exhausted you are the first 18 times.

Now, people who know me know how small I was before I got pregnant, and everyone was betting I would show early (which I did) and that since I already had a bladder the size of a walnut, that I would be making even more frequent trips to the bathroom. They were right. All throughout my pregnancy you could see me power-waddling my little behind to the bathroom at all times of the day, and definitely multiple times during the night. And it seemed like I would just get comfortable and be about to drift off when my body would wake me up to pee, yet again. Before I even felt my first pang of labour pains I was an experienced up several-times-at-nighter, and I thought I would be a pro at this getting up to feed the baby thing.

I was wrong.

Because you see, I expected the getting up for the 2am feeds to be just that; get up, change a diaper perhaps, feed the baby, then maybe spend a few minutes rocking him to sleep and then going back to bed. Boy was I ever naive! Because babies are just not that simple, at least, mine wasn't. In that first month Andrew would wake up, and I would indeed change his diaper and start to feed him, but what no one told me about, was falling asleep on the breast. I would do anything I could think of to wake him back up to continue feeding, but nothing short of banging pot lids together would do it, that is, until I would finally give up and put him back to bed, crawl back in myself, and then.... "Waaaaa!!!!!" back up I would get to feed him again.

Only this time, he would eat wide awake. And he wouldn't want to go back to sleep after that. A 2am feeding would turn into a 4am exhausted crawling back into bed, only to be woken up shortly after that again. Finally by 3 weeks we had a bit of a rhythm going, and then we got sick with the Head Cold from Hell.

Now, let me tell you, I have had head colds. But I never had a head cold like this, and Andrew was just as sick as I was. Our nostrils were plugged, our throats were clogged with phlegm, and we were exhausted all the time, but could hardly sleep. Andrew had finally gotten used to sleeping in the basinette for a couple hours at a time, and I had finally gotten used to sleeping in 2 hour spurts, until we got this cold that is. I tried putting him to bed in his car seat, in our bed, on the floor, everywhere, but the only thing that he would sleep soundly in was his swing. While it was moving.

And that's what did it for the next 3 months. No matter the time of day or the amount of time, Andrew would only sleep in his moving swing. We even heard it run out of batteries one night, and had to do an emergency battery change, one of us moving the swing while the other tried to quietly fumble with the battery compartment and change them as quietly as possible. I laugh at it now, but at the time, we were desperate. We couldn't let that swing stop, we were wiped.

As Andrew got older, sleep fortunately got a little easier to deal with, and to get. We finally managed to get him sleeping in his crib, and we broke him of the habit of falling asleep in our arms, and got him to put himself to sleep. We even managed to get him on a regular sleeping schedule, complete with naps, and even the occassional full night's sleep. But mostly, we find ourselves still needing to wake up about once a nice to feed him a bottle. But sleep, it's still a precious commodity, because once you have your child on a schedule, that suddenly means you're on one too.

Everyone talks about the benefits of having your baby "sleep trained." They say it's good for them, it's good for you, etc. But one thing they don't tell you about is the fact that you now must sort of stick to that schedule yourself. Bedtime for Andrew is 8pm, and he's generally up between 7 and 8am, with only one wake-up a night. So, that means if I want to get my 8 hours of sleep in, I need to get to bed about 10pm, because I like to wake up at 6:30am so I have a bit of quiet time in which to drink my tea and check my email and Facebook. 10pm. Because yes, I am that much in need of my 8 hours these days. That means no more late night televison or movie watching, and when Neil and I go out on dates, they only last a couple hours, instead of the 3-5 hours we would take before.

To outsiders, the solution is simple; take a nap when he does. But for some of us, that's not easy. I've never been the good napping type, unless I'm sick, and even then, it tends to mess me up for the night. No matter how little sleep I got the night before, no matter how tired I am when I go to bed, if I nap, I rarely fall asleep before 1am, and I just won't chance it anymore. No, until you have a baby, and until you experience the turbulance that is sleep, you won't really understand.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go make another cup of tea. I didn't have the best sleep last night.

Another mommy blog?

Sigh, yes, another mommy blog, I know. These days you can't turn and spit without hitting someone that blogs about something they do or know, and I'm certainly no different. For a few years now I've maintained a knitting blog ( and been quite happy about it, but I feel like I'm encroaching everytime I post something about my son there, and I realized that if anyone wanted to read just about my adventures as a parent, they really wouldn't be able to, since my motherhood posts are few and far between.

So, enter Project Baby. After my son was born almost a year ago, I have been striving to preserve the first year of his life, and all the important milestones along the way. I have taken pictures, I have taken video, and I have updated my Facebook status for my friends and family to read almost daily with things about him, but one thing I haven't done is really preserve those stories about him. You know the stories, the ones where I'm talking about how wonderful he is, or how much I want to put him back inside my belly for justanothermonthprettyplease? Andrew has been a blessing, even on those terrible days, and I want the world to know it. I also want some sympathy from fellow mothers on those days when I just want to pull my hair out.

Before I end this cute little introductory first post, I'll tell you a little about myself and my son. My name is Jessica, and I'm in my mid-20's. I live in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. And before you ask how I stand the cold, weather here is pretty much the same as Seattle's, so I stand it fairly well, thank you. I worked as a pharmacy technician before I went on maternity leave, and I decided that instead of returning to the work force that I would stay home with my son and do daycare from home. I am engaged to the man of my dreams, Neil, and we are getting married September 1, 2012. He has brought his beautiful daughter, Morgan into our relationship together, and she is 6 and a half, 7 in February. She loves being a big sister, and she's a wonderful little girl, everything I could have hoped for in my own child. I look after one child in my daycare, a 3 year old boy who for privacy reasons, I will simply call T. He's a spunky little kid, and I'm very fond of him.

I'm also a bit of a green-freak. I try to make sure everything we use is chemical-free and I recycle like a maniac. I love a good bargin, and I like to repurpose things when I can. I'm crafty, I'm quiet, and my idea of a perfect day is one spent in almost total peace and quiet, curled up in a comfortable chair or even bed, reading delicious books and writing in my journal. I love to learn and I love to play. Being outdoors is heavenly, unless the elements are killer, and I'm fairly active. I'm also very emotional and sensitive, so I will try to make sure that I don't take my commenter's criticism too personally.

Well, I think that's about it for my first post, I hope you'll tick this little blog into your "Favorites" folder and share some laughs and possibly even some tears with me.