Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Only 4 months left!

She slept on my lap, cozy on her nursing pillow, and she was the most beautiful darling girl I've ever seen. Her smooth chubby cheeks, full pouty lips and long red lashes glowed in the light of the t.v. while I watched Kate & Leopold. I love watching her sleep. I realize I am a very selfish mommy allowing her to fall asleep on me every night but she will only be an infant for such a short time that I can't help myself.

Robyn at 4 months, sleeping on my shoulder

There is so much I need to do to get us ready for me to go to work in January. Unfortunately, I am procrastinating feeding her solid foods because nursing her is easier and more enjoyable, for me. I'm procrastinating finding her a day care because deep down I want to stay home with her even though I know it's not possible. She naps when she's tired, or doesn't, because we just roll with whatever works for us that day... again, I know we should have a bit of a routine.

At least I've let go enough to go to kickboxing class 3 times a week. She's getting into a nice routine with her dad, so how come I feel a little disappointed? I want her to be independent of me enough to leave her with someone but it makes me sad she's actually doing it.

Deep sigh... time to get my act in gear. How do other mommies do this so well? I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello Stargazing, this is your future calling...

Now, I don't want to change major life details because as they say "things happen for a reason". I wouldn't have my fantastic husband and wonderful daughter if I, let's say: finished high school & went to Concordia University to study dance or became a natural healer with a studio overlooking the ocean or went travelling through Europe or stayed in Victoria. I do however wish I had followed a few simple rules throughout my young adult years that I'm struggling to implement now:

  • Follow a budget: know how much you need for expenses, allow for spending cash and save 10% of your paycheque.
  • It's ok to love to own books, knick knacks and tons of craft supplies - but have "a place for everything and keep everything in it's place" (not at the bottom of the stairs, on the kitchen, coffee or dinning room table!)
  • Focus on completing one task before starting another - have a good plan on how to accomplish each one effectively
  • Spontaneity is fun for most things, but a well researched investment - be it money, a job or effort - saves stress, disappointment and cash. (but not always - this is a tricky one)
  • Eat more fruit and veggies, period.
  • Invest in quality face cleaning and moisturizing products, used twice daily - don't forget your neck!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'd pull out my hair, but she already does!

The past few days Robyn has become very "vocal". I don't know what is going on, if it's that she's teething, testing her lungs, testing her parents... but she seems to be screaming - shrieking actually - almost all day.

Activities that used to distract her when she was upset just aren't cutting it. She hates getting dressed and her bum changed, this used to be my saviour when she was getting cranky. Nursing, another former magic solution, doesn't have it's same effect - she even pulls off to scream on occasion! Shushing, bouncing, rocking, singing work for a short spell then away she goes again!

Not only does she shriek, she is also scratching my face, pulling my hair and flailing her body around. She makes sucking actions with her mouth, sucks my hair, face and neck but doesn't stay on the boob. I try a soother or other chewing toy but they don't seem to help.

I love her to pieces so it's heartbreaking to be at a loss for what is wrong with her! But unfortunately I'm tired and cranky... what's going on?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We went to the farm

Last week Robyn and I went to the Canada Agriculture Museum, or as I was just calling it "the farm" with our Signing Start Meetup Group. What a great place to visit with kids, they have a wonderful park for them to run around and play in, a large picnic area with covered and exposed tables, barns with all sorts of farm animals, interesting exhibits on tractors and how bees live and make honey. I'm sure there are things we missed, we'll be returning for sure - Robyn will enjoy it even more when she's a bit older I think.

It was a great, informal way to practice our signs with Danielle, her two kids and our little ones. Robyn was happy to see her friend Sophia from class, they made sweet squeaky noises as they batted at each other's faces.

I think Robyn enjoyed the cows the most. I was glad to have asked if they got to go outside, as I was told they do from 5 to 6am... "oh, they're allowed out from 5 to 6am" I told Barbara, "at least they get outside for a bit". The guide quickly turned to me and said "Just to be clear, they're outside from 5pm to 6am.".  Thank goodness she cleared that up!

"It's a cow - can you sign cow?"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kicked that!

It's finally time to get in shape and to get some "me time", so back to the dojo for me! I started training at 100% Martial Arts & Fitness in 2004 - I actually got my green belt in Jiu Jitsu but then I let my party lifestyle take over, ended my membership and hid my head in shame for a while. This time will be different though; I'm going to work my ass off, literally, and become a model kickboxing student! I've dedicated myself to attend 3 classes a week. This means that I must leave Robyn with Morgan for a hour and a half while I train, something I was worried would be a bad experience for the both of them - she's a bit of a "mommy's girl" and cries when I'm just in the other room at times. Okay, I was also worried it would be hard on me too...

Wednesday, August 11th: 

Time to get going, it's 11:30am and class is at noon. Robyn can tell something is up, she's already crying. Mom is panicking, "I promised Brig I'd be there!" she thinks - how many times has she bailed on going to the gym in the past few months? Too many to let it happen again! 

"Ohhh Robyn, Mommy has to go. Please stop crying. You'll have a great time with your dad" she says without much conviction. Being the strong and confident father he is he says "Just go. If she cries for an hour, she cries for an hour, that's fine." So with a heavy heart she blows them kisses and scoots out the door with sounds of a crying baby following her to the elevator. (Good for you Mommy! Big step.)

Class was great! What a workout - warm up, spar with a top notch athlete and follow up with conditioning! Woo hoo!

Worried that Dad has had an awful time, Mom zooms home to discover the opposite is actually true. To ease her mind, Dad documented their time together in photographs:

After a few minutes she stopped crying and played in her exersaucer.

Read and chewed on her book.

Made coffee and Swiffered.


And fell asleep with her Silky Queen and Snuggly Bear.

So, there you have it. Dad and Robyn have a nice routine going and Mom gets to attend class - can't use a crying baby as an excuse to skip now! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On a whim... or two

Robyn was getting too big for her Graco bucket car seat and needed the next size up - a convertible back to front seat for infants to toddlers.  I had been researching which seat I was interested in for a few weeks but the one I really wanted was a bit pricy.

As I've been known to do on occasion, I hastily bought a second hand seat on Kijiji last week. It seemed fine but unfortunately Robyn's head flopped forward awkwardly when she fell asleep and I couldn't see her in the mirror because it sits so tall. Not only was this a second hand hasty purchase, I forgot to ask to see their receipt and it has no manual - I will have trouble reselling it if the next purchaser has more sense than me.

This Saturday I broke down and decided to buy the seat I originally wanted, the Sunshine Kids Radian Premier in the Sport colour. It's marvellous... just one thing, once installed Morgan's knees are right up against the dash. We decided to go to the Mazda dealership, no not to see if they had a seat to fit our car but a car to fit our seat!

Yes, you got it! That same afternoon we traded in our fun, sporty Mazda 3 for the bigger, sexier Mazda CX 7.  We're picking her up tomorrow! She looks like this:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Well, at least I tried

The result of my cloth diaper experiment is not as satisfactory as I had hoped. To be honest it failed for our family. The pro's are still the same for wanting to use them as I listed in my initial post, but unfortunately there was a real kicker I hadn't taken into account when I imagined the scenario in my head: the smell of opening a dirty diaper pail was absolutely nasty. Yes, there are measures I could take to reduce the smell, but I don't have the patience to deal with it on top of the cat litter, which is already driving me crazy in this small apartment. Note to curious people, the Diaper Genie has never failed us in keeping the smelly diapers out of sight, out of mind and sense of smell.

I do not want to discourage anyone from taking this route with their little ones. I'm a sucker for good marketing campaigns and the cloth diaper industry has nailed it. Suffice to say that the style and statement they make to fellow parents of "look at how cute and eco-friendly we are" really got my attention and the washing and smell aspect seemed like a walk in the park. Alas, I was snowed.

I must also say, my stress level has gone down significantly now that I'm no longer having to struggle with "to be or not to be" cloth diaper toting parents. I tried it out and it just wasn't for us.

Now, what, oh what will I do to compensate ecologically in stead?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Like father, like daughter

If you thought she looked like him - get a load of this picture, they even sleep the same.

In this picture Robyn was a month old. Morgan would take her when I'd finish nursing so I could nap, and then they'd fall asleep watching Sports Net.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ummm, Nag Champa!

Stargazing worked in a little imported gift store in the market selling silver jewellery, batik & indian print clothes and textiles, incense, essential oils and figurines of all sorts from animals to Indian Gods. In addition to owning a healing space, she dreamed of having a store like this - perhaps attached to the healing space - and this dream lives on in the back of her mind still to this day. Wow, does she ever dream...

She loved smelling of Nag Champa at the end of the day, having the ability to name off the properties of semi-precious stones and essential oils, creating strung jewellery of beads from around the world, being encouraged to wear the clothing while working and getting a great discount on stock. Obviously, she had a room similarly decorated, smelling and filled with "hippy" clothes - apart from their latest electronics, the Dillaboughs live in a home very similarly decorated.

Feeling Groovy at birthday party
Although Stargazing did not do much daydreaming about having a baby, she did make a few mental notes of what she thought would be the way she would be. She was especially affected by a young pregnant mother who shopped at the gift store one day: it was the summer, the mom-to-be was quite pregnant (I'd say 8 months) wearing a short cut tank top and sarong skirt that allowed her belly to be exposed. She had great dreadlocks, tattoos and chunky jewellery on her arms, neck and ears. THIS is how Stargazing would look as a pregnant woman, she thought. Well, not quite due to working in a professional environment and being more self-conscience about her body. There were a few times her true self surfaced, at these times she is genuinely happy with her image and should remember this in the future. Here is picture of one of those moments, taken at her 30th birthday party. I wanted to post a picture from Corinna's wedding when I was 2 months pregnant but the one I have I'm pulling a bad face.... well I guess I'll post both, it's the clothes style I want to show anyhow.

Flowy skirt, bangles, chunky jewellery... ahhhh, in my element. (don't mind the face)
Stargazing also would have wanted to be an Au Naturel Mama. She would have been very proud of giving birth without an epidural, coached and delivered by a midwife. She had considered being a doula for a very short time, the chances of witnessing dangerous or heart breaking births really discouraged her. She would have also been interested in the practice of raising a diaper free baby with Elimination Communication - or infant potty training or natural infant hygiene, whatever you may choose to call it. I think I will read up on this some more - it may go well with the cloth diaper experiment.