Monday, August 25, 2008

Her room

I mentioned in a previous post that I had finally finished her room. Here's a few pics...

I had to order the bookshelf from an online retailer in the States as I could not find one that matches her furniture (that was more suited for a child's room - i.e. rounded edges, not 6 feet tall). It's a KidKraft bookshelf, was a bitch to put together, but looks fabulous now. And as you can see, Maddie likes it!

In the background, in her closet, you can see the toy box we got her from Ikea - love the sliding out bins for her toys. Although they're already pretty full, so I think we need to stop buying toys - um, yeah. I know we need to stop buying toys.

And lastly - love the cylindrical stuffed animal holder! Another score from Ikea - although it holds less stuffed animals than you think when you see it in the store - partly because the holes are small, and partly because stuffing it full of stuffed animals makes it very heavy. So much so that my ceiling hook was creaking. So I lightened the load. Maddie points to it a lot, so I bring down a few 'friends' for her to play with each time - but also show her how to 'put toys away' when we're done in her room.

And this pic is just a side-bar ... these letters above her crib aren't actually new - I finished them a few months ago - but I just wanted to show them off!

We're headed to Kingston tomorrow afternoon for the remainder of the week. Have another family reunion to attend on Saturday, then we're hosting some friends over for a bbq on Sunday. It's going to be a whirlwind week for us - but then that's it. No more travel until ... Christmas? Who knows - but definitely not for a while.


PS - uploaded new vids to YouTube - take a look. There's Maddie dancing, playing, walking (with assistance!), and in a bit of a compromising situation.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Musical genius?

It's no secret that Miss Maddie loves her music.

A just 3 months old she managed to let us know that she loved Bob. She (still) laughs at her crazy Mommy when I dance and sing along to Madonna while folding laundry. And we practically wore out the Feist CD from listening to it so much in her early jumping days.

Now that she can get around she's much more interested in creating music. By playing one of her many baby piano toys. Or pressing the buttons on her Sesame Street guitar and saxophone. Or making Farmer Tad play the banjo. Or playing her music box in her crib. Or on her activity table. Or making Elmo sing. Or her Glow Worm play music. Or, or, or...

But the best part of all, dear readers? She's learned that it's far more interesting if more than one of these toys can play at a time. As in, she sits and hits the buttons on one. Then the other. Then the first one. Go get a third toy that makes noise. Hit that button. Go back to the first one, hit that button. And on. And on. Andonandonandonandonandon.

So our house is now a constant jam-boree of various singing, dancing, music-playing toys.

I think we'll be getting this kid piano lessons. Or something...


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Her poor bumbum

Maddie has a diaper rash. Not shocking news in itself. Babies get rashes. I know this.

But she really doesn't get that rashy usually. And this one hurts. It makes her cry when I change her and have to wipe her little bits. She looked at me with shocked, hurt eyes when I had to wash 'down there' in her bath tonight.

I keep lathering her up with Penaten. Have given her some 'open air' time the past few evenings. But it doesn't seem to get that much better.

I'm hoping that it's a teething symptom (she has been gnawing on stuff rather frantically again). Is it possible that she could be teething again?

In the end, it doesn't matter why it's happening. I just want the rawness to go away and for my munchkin to be happy again.

Hope you're all having a good weekend - we have so far. Except for bad sleeping (again - teething? I don't know...), we spent the day at a friend's pool and out in the fresh air. Tomorrow will be visiting more friends and chilling out at home. I love the 'end of summer' weekends.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Maddie Moment

I love how Maddie is showing us more and more about herself each day.

Just now, I was sitting in the kitchen, enjoying my morning tea and checking emails, while Maddie crawled around opening cupboard doors and ripping her bibs down from the dishwasher.

Then the song "I kissed a girl" came on the radio, and I hear Maddie make a little grunt, then slap-crawl (that's the fast crawl!) over to the side of the kitchen where the radio is.

She pulls up on the cupboard doors and, while reaching up towards the radio, starts 'dancing' (that's bouncing up and down on her legs).

I took the hint.

I walk over to the radio, turn up the volume and take a little dance break.

At least she's got good taste - it's a good song!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

She hasn't made it easy

Today Maddie and I went to Little Feet (remember I told you about this magical baby play place?) and luckily for us there were several crawling babies around her age there for her to play with.

So while the tots crawled around the moms sat and chatted. About babies (of course!). And sleep habits (of course!). And weaning from breastfeeding to bottle (of course!).

And you know what I learned? She really has put us through more sh!t than most moms (seem to) have gone through. Especially re: the whole bottle drama. Honestly. I know it seems like I'm just complaining - but most moms have had an easier time with those things than we have. Not that I'm blaming Miss Maddie - I'm sure it's mostly my fault for doing stuff wrong. But she could give us a break on something, right?

Anyways.... so now we have gotten her taking a bottle - in fact she only gets bottles during the day - we're down to just breastfeeding in morning and night now.

And the newest little wrinkle in this development?

She'll only take 2 ounces at a time. So I feel like I'm constantly heating up bottles, offering milk in sippy cups etc. all day long to make sure she gets enough.

Maybe I liked it better when I didn't have any idea how much she was eating.

So the point to this whiny post? Any suggestions from moms out there on how to get her to take more at once in a bottle? Aside from starving her for several hours (because I've tried that)...


Happy 3 year anniversary to us!

Yesterday was mine and Seth's 3 year anniversary. Oh how times have changed. Instead of a weekend away or yummy, extravagant meal at some downtown restaurant, we celebrated it at Shoeless Joes.

Let me say that again.

Shoeless Joes.

In fairness, we both had steak. I had a glass of wine. The meal was okay. The atmosphere - with a 10-month old banging her 'sippy cup' on the table overandoverandoverandoveragain - not romantic.

But I wouldn't have changed it for the world.


PS - to give Seth full props - he did come home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. I'm not a roses girl - so he brought an assortment home, featuring 3 giant callalilly's. My wedding flower. Gorgeous.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good news?

I just found out today that my maternity leave doesn't actually end until October 4th.

I had been thinking all year long that I had to return to work mid-September. But then today I called the EI office to confirm when my last payment would be (is $ getting a little tight as my 'year-off' is ending? In a word, yes), to make sure I didn't have to go back earlier.

Instead, I find out that I don't have to go back until 2 weeks beyond what I had originally thought.

Part of me thinks, whatever, what's 2 weeks - daycare is set up for then, work is expecting you back then ... just stick to the plan.

But then another part of me thinks ... yaaaaayyyy another 2 weeks with my bubbas!

I We haven't decided yet what I'm going to do (change my return date or go back as planned). But I know which way I'm leaning!


PS - Maddie now gives kisses upon request. As in "Maddie, give Daddy a kiss!", and she leans in to do it. How cool is it that she understands an instruction now? I think it's possibly the coolest thing ever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

By george, I think we've got it...

Or at least we're on the right track. It must seem like I'm constantly blogging about sleep, but if you had spent the past 10 months without longer than a 4 hour stretch, you'd be obsessed too!

Last night Maddie woke up for a nursing session at 12:30 and then went back down until 8am. She woke up a few times throughout the night and cried a bit, but really not much at all before she fell back asleep - so much so that I didn't even get out of bed (heck, I don't think I even really woke up as it's all a bit of a blur to me in the light of day).

So whatever we've been doing, we seem to be on the right track. Finally. Thank. God.

Now our next challenge seems to be getting the Little Miss to take a bottle from someone other than me. Everything I read had warned me that she would probably not want to take a bottle from me, possibly ever, because she associated me with nursing. And yet, here we are, in the situation that she will take a bottle, but only from me. Again - not really helping me with the whole 'weaning' process. The point is for her not to need me around.

Sooooo - here's my question for you experienced mamas out there... Have you heard of this happening before? Or did it happen to you? Any suggestions on how to get Maddie comfortable enough to take a bottle from someone other than me?


Friday, August 15, 2008

Maddie bits

  • After bragging about Miss Thing sleeping through the night, we had another sleepless night - but then followed that up with a *real* full-night of straight sleeping. That's right - Wed night Seth and I decided to take advantage of my mom up visiting (read: babysitting) and we left right after Maddie's bath to see a movie (Dark Knight - so good - see it). Mom had to deal with her crying a bit, but after only 10 mins she was out like a light. And stayed out until I finally went in to check on her at 7:15am the next day. You read right, dear readers, she actually slept all the way through! Bliss. Too bad it didn't happen last night. And I don't have much hope for tonight. Maybe it's just the magic Grandma touch...
  • As I mentioned, my mom was visiting for the week, as of last Saturday - which meant I got to get a lot done around the house. My main project was getting her advice on pruning, and finally getting my gardens under control. It went quickly when we finally got it started - on the only day of non-rain this week (tuesday). What is with this weather this summer by the way? Bananas.
  • Aside from household chores, we also did a lot of shopping with Grandma. Hit up our fave store, Once Upon a Child, and picked up a tonne of fall clothes for Maddie. Between that and what she already had - I'd say her wardrobe is complete.
  • She also got a new fall jacket from Grandma (and matching rain boots - too cute - seriously) at a new store we discovered, Please Mum (which I also just discovered, you can shop at online - very cool). It's a Vancouver-based Canadian store and had a better selection of fall merchandise than Baby Gap, so they got our business. I will definitely be revisiting that store as soon as I get back to work and start making $.
  • Between finally getting the bookshelf delivered that I ordered months ago (from a US-based online store), and getting the toybox from Ikea this week, I can finally say (after only a year from starting it) that Maddie's room is finally *done*. I will post pics soon - it finally looks organized and I'm really happy with how it looks now.
  • Lastly - Maddie has gotten super-vocal lately. A lot of "DA" being shouted at us. As in, pointing at things and saying "DA". Wanting you to stop feeding her and saying "DA". Playing with her toys and just shouting "DA" at no one/nothing in particular. I'd love to know what's going on in that little mind of hers. I have a feeling when she finally figures out the art of language, we're never going to hear the end of it...


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

She slept through the night!!!

Yes - you heard right. For the first time in I don't know how long (ever, maybe?) - she slept all the way through the night. Well, all the way, meaning she woke at 11pm for a feed, and woke up crying at 1:30am, but put herself back to sleep before I could get in there.

So yeah, I'm calling it all the way through the night. Woo hoo!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Miss Madeleine,

Mommy is one day late writing you this happy birthday letter, but that's because MamaHat is visiting and we've been busy!

You are now 10 months old. I know I say it every time, but wow - where has the time gone? You are a little person now - certainly no baby. Although you still like a snuggle every once in a while, you really do like to just be down exploring the world on your own (well, on your own with Mommy or Daddy within reaching distance).

We had a busy July and spent a lot of time with family - which is a bit bittersweet, as in just about a month, we won't have the luxury of spending all that time with everyone, as Mommy has to go back to work. And that also means that we've been busy trying to enjoy ourselves and visit people in these last few weeks we have 'off'. And enjoy ourselves we have!

You've been in your baby pool a number of times, taken a dip in a 'real' pool, and dipped your toes in a lake twice! You seem to like the water, I just wish we've had warmer (non-rainy) weather lately to get you in the water more. We've got lots of swim diapers to get through before the end of the summer, so let's hope for a sunny forecast for the month of August!

And the biggest milestone... you finally got your teeth!!! Yaaaaayyyy! You now have both bottom teeth and they are growing crazy fast. Kind of ironic that they take forever to finally get here, and then once they are, they come up so incredibly quickly. So now we brush your teeth every night after your bath with a little nubby baby toothbrush. You seem to like it.

Another big milestone (but admittedly, not as big as the first toothers) - we've started to wean away from breastfeeding. You fought me on this initially - actually pretty much for the entire month of July - but I blame that on the teething (haha - those poor teeth, they've been blamed for so much these past 6 months!). But you are starting to take the bottle pretty regularly and that means we've already officially cut out one feeding (the post-morning-nap feed). We're working on the afternoon feeding now, which only leaves us with the morning and nighttime nursing sessions. Not sure when (or if) we'll wean away from those sessions - let's just focus on the daytime feeds for now, okay? You may be taking the transition like a pro, but Mommy is already getting nostalgic about it.

And last but not least - Daddy and I spent our first night away from you this past month, monkey. That's right, you stayed overnight with Grandma Vallier while we spent the evening at Uncle Greg's cottage. We had a good time, worried about how you were doing constantly, and I was very very happy to see you the next morning. Apparently you didn't miss us much at all and behaved yourself quite well. Of course you did!

What else to say? You're pulling up on everything and everyone these days and walking around using the furniture as support. I suspect you'll be trying your first steps in these next couple of months, as you're already trying to 'stand' on your own (you let go of the couch for a second or two, just to see how you can balance - it's cute and not just a little bit scary!). You also really get around quickly these days. Our lives have been invaded by baby gates, and even with all those, you still manage to get to places you shouldn't be, fall or stumble into, over, onto things you shouldn't. But you're a tough cookie and seem to be getting used to the rough and tumble.

This coming month will be a fun one, as I'm determined to enjoy every minute of it with you. I don't think I'll ever get bored just spending time with you and watching you play. You are a funny little monkey, Mommy's little buh-buh-bubbas, Daddy's little sugar-pop-muffin-tart. Love you gorgeous girl...


Friday, August 8, 2008

Those are the things that I will miss...

I can't remember (and can't be bothered to check back through old posts) if I've posted about the issues we've been having, trying to get Miss Thing to take a bottle. Yes, she was an old pro at taking the bottle up until about a month ago. She would take a bottle from anyone, anytime - whether it was expressed breastmilk or formula - she didn't care, she'd just suck it back.

Then I decided that I needed to start weaning her in preparation of heading back to work, and Miss Thing decided that she HATED bottles. She'd push them away. Scream. Cry. Look at you with terror filled eyes that minute you moved one towards her. Seriously kid. How do you KNOW what I'm trying to do?

I had thought perhaps her newfoundlove of breastfeeding had more to do with teething than anything else (although it seems that teething was the excuse we would use for any different behaviour, and still no teeth)... but then! We had teeth! Two in fact! So I thought, maybe she'd start taking a bottle again.

We've given up on the formula route. I've tried it. It DOES taste horrible. So we're not pushing that anymore. I've got enough breastmilk in the freezer to get us through the month anyways - and we've been slowly (with Dr's permission) introducing cows milk to her as well - mostly through a sippy cup.

At any rate, she has started to take a bottle - slowly. She only takes a couple of ounces at a time (most being about 3 oz) ... and apparently a baby 10 months old should be taking 6-8 oz in their bottles. But she still nurses throughout the night, and she's tiny - so maybe expecting her to take 6 oz at a time is too much? This is what I'm telling myself anyways...

The other challenge of bottle-feeding (eventually an added bonus, but challenge initially), is that it's more a scheduled feeding routine. I guess if you expect a baby to take 6-8 oz at a time, you have to space the feedings out. But going from breastfeeding, where she definitely was a snacker - feeding up to 10 times a day ... well, that's tough to transition to. So not only am I introducing a bottle to a reluctant audience, I'm also having to semi-starve said audience to try and incorporate some type of schedule.

Luckily we've made a bit of headway this week, and I'm hoping by the end of next week to have her cut down to breastfeeding only first thing in the morning and in the evening. And we'll stick with that routine for a little while - at least as long as my milk holds out. Sorry - this may be TMI for some readers ... should I have labelled this blog post with a disclaimer warning? Some content may offend? :)

Anyways - that was a very long preamble to my original thoughts that inspired me to write this post. For mothers, weaning always comes a bit of nostalgia I think. And as I've been nursing these past couple of nights, lots of thoughts of how incredibly quickly a baby grows up in their first year have passed through my mind. Just how far she's grown already just blows me away - and knowing the next few months are going to bring more and more changes - it does make you a little melancholy for your little peanut.

So I wanted to memorialize a few of the cute-as-pie things that she does - that I know she won't do forever - and that I know I will miss very soon...
  • The way she rubs her feet together when she's nursing. It's such a blatant "tell" of enjoyment that I've never seen before - I love it.
  • The "breaks" from nursing, where she reaches up with both hands for my face to give me a big wet baby kiss (this one is new and possibly the most adorable thing she has ever done in her lifetime - I will definitely miss those mid-nursing-kiss-breaks).
  • Watching her go from agitated/revved up/hyper to a calm/dozing/blissed-out-baby, after a long nursing session. Just last night I told Seth how much I was going to miss nursing after I finally got her calmed down from a big temper tantrum/crying mess - just by putting her on the boob for a bit. It's not just for hunger, it's also like the baby chill pill. I dread the day that I can't make things all better just by 'whipping it out'.
  • The phantom sucking, when she's nursed herself to sleep and I'm about to put her down in her crib. She's laying there, with her little tongue stuck slightly out, doing a sucksucksuck motion every few seconds. I need to get it on video as it's one of our favourite cute-isms that she does, and she's down it since birth, and we still don't have it documented.

There's already so many things that she no longer does that I already miss...

  • Top of the list definitely has to be the "milk drunks". That drunk, dozy, half-asleep state that she would get into after nursing. This was really only a newborn thing - lasting about a month, and it would usually only last for like 10 minutes - back when that was the length of her naps! Hmmm, maybe I don't miss that so much after all...
  • The ability to nurse her anywhere! I really miss that - when she was just all about food and had no concept of the outside world - nothing distracted her and I could actually just walk around with her on the breast (with the help of a baby sling) and she'd just nurse away.
  • The snorting-snuffling-little-piggie sounds she used to make. Definitely a newborn thing. I used to call her my little piglet. Another thing that I wish I memorialized on video that I didn't.

But, what list would be complete without "those things that I WON'T miss"...

  • The D.R.A.M.A of trying to nurse her while out and about now. If she's not able to lay down, on a bed, with no sounds/distractions going on, then she just won't nurse. Yeah - I won't miss having to ask anyone and everyone if they mind if I "use their bed upstairs to feed her?" ... some people gave me looks that blatantly said "what the...?". The spa-style nursing sessions won't be missed. Well, except for the right before bedtime ones...
  • The teeth. 'Nuff said.
  • Her random preferences for 'sides'. She will sometimes fight fight fight me, and then I'll just switch to the other side and she'll nurse away like it ain't no thang. So I walk around for the next 4 hours completely lopsided. (I know, I know! Stop reading if you're grossed out!)
  • The sleepless nights. My unofficial poll has shown me that formula babes (on average) sleep through the night by now. And breastfed babes don't. Trust me - I know this...

Wish me luck this week and next. I hope by this time next week, I'll be able to report that we are down to 2 feedings a day, and 2 bottles a day. Hopefully...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Been a while...

Wow - where did July go and how did August get here so quickly? I am officially on 'countdown' as the summer slips away and the days bring me closer and closer to heading back to work. To say I'm looking forward to that would be an outrageous lie, but you can't dread the inevitable, so I'm just trying to enjoy these last few days as much as humanely possible. Which also means we've been incredibly busy lately...

The weekend before last, my step-brother and his family came to visit us for the weekend. My nieces were so revved about getting out to Canada's Wonderland for the day - actually, I think the adults were just as excited to take them!

They arrived on Friday afternoon and Seth and Derek headed into the city to watch a Jays game, while all the 'girls' stayed home, ordered pizza and layed low. Saturday morning we were awokened by thunderstorms - not a great start to our Canada's Wonderland adventure... fortunately we decided to risk it and headed out anyways. Lucky for us, the rain tapered off just as we arrived at the park. We spent the first half of our day in the kids area, watching the girls ride (Auntie Sara joined them on a few rollercoasters). Even Maddie got to take a ride - we took her on the carousel!

The rest of the day was spent in the waterpark - really shows how long it's been since I've been there - I'd never seen it before and it's huge! We headed home late afternoon and bbq'd hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. The girls watched some of the Hannah Montana concert (in 3D no less!) while we finally got Maddie down to sleep.

The Thompsons left us just after breakfast on Sunday morning, and we spent the rest of the day trying to relax and recoup from all the activity. On Monday I headed out with Maddie for a visit to Kingston - we spent the week there visiting with a tonne of family and friends. Tuesday morning we headed out to my Dad's and Maddie took her first official dip in a lake!

She was enjoying herself until a boat went by and the waves kind of scared her. We visited with Stef and her little boy, Quinn on Wednesday afternoon and headed to Picton on Thurdsay for a craft show. Friday was spent shopping with Gramma Vallier (Maddie and Mommy got spoiled!).

Saturday was our big milestone day - I left Maddie for an overnight stay with Gramma Vallier while I joined Seth, Greg & Liz up at Greg's cottage for the night. From all accounts she was extremely well-behaved and while she didn't take a bottle, she did sleep pretty well.

On Sunday morning, Liz and I left the cottage and headed to Stefanie's house in Inverary for an overnight visit. It's so much fun to watch Maddie and Quinn play together - especially now that they're both mobile! We headed back out to the cottage Monday morning, so Maddie got to meet Greg's parents, and Maddie got to hangout in the sunshine and take another dip in the lake with her Daddy.

It was a busy busy week, and now we're just resting up in preparation for another busy week, as Mama Hat (Grandma Thompson) is headed up for a week-long visit as of this coming Saturday. August is going to be done before we know it!

I'll leave you with a few more pics of our roadtrip...

Maddie loves her rhubarb! Especially after a good dunking in the dog's water dish!

Me and Stef with our little ones!

After a dip in the lake with her Daddy. And check out the 2nd bottom tooth! (it made it's appearance on Friday)

There's lots more pics on our Flickr account - check them out if you have a chance.