Early Baby Special

January 26, 2016

Dear Baby,

I swore up and down that we would never be “those people”. You know, the ones who can’t commit to a single plan or timeline because of their precious schedule. Baby can’t go to bed one second past 7:00pm or they will obviously just totally combust and turn into a toad. 

For the first 4 months that oath was an easy one to adhere to. Solution: take you everywhere. Since you cried often and slept often it was pretty hard to tell when you were tired, per say so we got away with running around on our schedule. 

We ate when we wanted, went out for late dinners with you and the bucket in tow and basically felt like the most chill parents around accepting invitations to any ge together with a smug grin thinking “we got this”.

Well, 4 months in and tonight we are having dinner with friends at 5pm. 5pm. I think I have to repeat that again for full effect. 5PM. Dinner. 

The truth is, the older you get, the more you need some kind of schedule. We can fight it all we want and be as chill as we can be about it but a tired baby is a terror and the only single way to avoid a tired baby is to bow down and pray to the sleep gods.

Those gods demand sacrifices and one of them is your old social life. 

But Baby, I’m here to assure you that this is no big deal. In fact, dare I say- I like our new routine. I’ve always been one for a good nights sleep and a sensible bed time so this suits me just fine. 

So when you one day have a baby (or just start getting old- because age makes you super tired too- win/win) here are some tips to stay hip when you are feeling square. 

1. Find friends on your timeline- nothing makes you feel lamer than eating dinner alone at 530. Nothing. Sure, you may have a baby as company but let’s face it- babies can’t provide you with enough stimulating conversation to make this early mealtime palatable every night. Find some other parents and eat together when you can. 

2. Get creative in the kitchen- try a new recipe, make an old recipe, DONT FOLLOW ANY RECIPE AND LIVE LIFE DANGEROUSLY. So what you gotta do to make mealtime an experience. Bonus: early meals really do yield to more excuses for evening snacks. Hello popcorn. 

3. Embrace your time- ya, ya. You used to be so cool. Guess what? No none cares but you so time to jump on the early bird bandwagon. Remember waiting in line for hours to try a sexy new restaurant? You can go to any resto you want. No one lines up for sexy places at 5. Remember going to bed stuffed because you couldn’t stop shovelling your face at your 930pm dinner? Promise you that no matter what you eat you will have digested it by dinner when you eat early. Oh, and no time to clean up the lichen after dinner because it got too late? Haha. Your kitchen can be clean (ish). 

4. Eating with your babies (if you have babies) is awesome- it is never too early to show your baby that eating is fun and being together as a family is even better. I’m super into showing you a huge variety of food that you will one day eat. I am a huge believer that kids learn good eating from their parents. Plus, we talk (right now we talk at you. One day to you) and enjoy time together as a family. 

5. Deviate from the schedule- ain’t nothing wrong with eating a late meal or going out sans baby. I think that while it’s great to be on your little ones schedule, it’s also great for them to know that you have a life outside of them and that food and eating it are a fun part of your social experience in and out of the house. 

6. Feed baby- we haven’t fed you food yet but having you actually eat at mealtime is sure to make it more fun, messy and chaotic. You’all fit in perfectly with our meals.

So embrace your new timelines- whatever they turn out to be. If you are having fun and enjoying it, who cares if it is still light out??? 

Remember this when you scoff at early dinners when you are young and think you’ll be eating at 9pm for ever. And enjoy those dinners just the same. 

xo

Mom

Advertisements
Early Baby Special

Baby Fish Machine

January 25, 2016,

Dear Baby,

I finally installed (put batteries in) that huge fish tank machine that a friend got you. Amazon Prime FTW (battery delivery in one day). 

It’s basically this machine that has a fake aquarium scene and plays classical music while the fish and seaweed float around in fake water that bubbles.

On one hand, it’s relaxing because I find anything water talked to be pretty relaxing. On the other hand, there’s lights and colours and quite a bit of action for a regular aquarium. Like most baby things it is an elevated and super animated version of itself. Like if an aquarium took crack. 

But Baby, I have never seen you love something as much. On more than one occasion now you have gone ahead and just FALLEN THE FUCK ASLEEP watching this toy. Just put yourself right to sleep with the sounds and sights of this aquarium. 

Dear Aquarium, I love you so much. 

Yes, of course this is a testament to you learning more about self soothing. The whole sucking your hand non stop has dual functions of being soothing to your gums and apparently your mind/ nervous system. I have watched you call yourself down via your thumb and it is an excellent skill that you have developed. 

Self soothing is this thing we do as adult that we don’t even know we do. We have a bunch of mechanisms in place that we employ to help us settle down and relax. Some are positive (deep breathing) and some are not as positive (biting your nails) but they are mechanisms that we have created and established to help us not FREAK OUT every time we are distressed. 

So to watch you pop that thumb in your mouth when I know you are a bit upset and calm down is just great. I’m super happy about it and totally down with the dental work we may have to do as a result in your future. 

Baby, my only hope for you is that you continue to be able to self regulate. Sure, ideally the thumb gets lost in you growing up and replaced with a more appropriate function but the point is that I want you to be able to always help yourself.

You will, no doubt, be surrounded by love all your life. We will be here to help you with anything and everything. I will have a hard time not being there for you in any given situation but nothing would make me happier than to know that you can do it on your own. 

One day when I am not around to help or guide you, I want to know that you can do anything your want to do. I want to know that you have those tools. Make sure you always work on them. They are invaluable. 

In the meantime, keep staring at those fish and sucking at that thumb. One small step for baby and one giant step for everything to come. 

xo

Mom

Baby Fish Machine

4 months- a roundup

January 18, 2016

Dear Baby,

What the what!! How are you 4 months old? Where is time going? How has it happened so fast and so slow???

I wanted to tell you a little bit about your 4 months here. They’ve been pretty amazing/ insane. 

Here’s a truth. I’m pretty sure that I’m just now beginning to “get” everything. I’m no longer mystified by your cry and totally dumbfounded by sleep. I know you. I know the noises you make and I know what you need at any given time. 

The fact of the matter is that there is no comparing month one to month four. I went from a bewildered insomniac to someone who can look at the slightest shift in your gaze and know that I have about 5 seconds to initiate nap sequence. 

In addition to knowing you better, I know myself better. I can see that if I haven’t slept, I need to pass you to a loving helper and GET SOME SLEEP. It’s non negotiable. I’m a terrible mom when I am sleepless. Fact. 

I also know that I’ve got this. I can do it. It’s not as overwhelming as I thought it would be and like any new job, the initial initiation phase is over. You know those first weeks of a new position when you basically have no clue what is going on and feel like you are just never going to get it and then one day you are dropping job- specific jargon like it is, well, your job. 

That’s me. One day I am sitting there feeling like “what the fuck am I doing here” and the next I’m throwing around “sleep regression” and “baby led weaning” like I know my shit- which I do. 

But enough about me. This is about you and your month. 

This month I watched in amazement as my little baby became a not-so-little baby. I don’t mean in size because you are still the littlest peanut but in skills and independence. 

You are a super mobile baby (as mobile as you can be for someone who is constantly lying down and not yet crawling). You love to move and bounce and squirm across the floor. You roll you grab you pull (my hair says thank you, by the way) and you laugh. A lot. 

That’s perharps my favourite thing about you. You laugh all the time. You laugh when you move and when I say random stuff to you. You seem like a happy person. Plus you make me feel like a world class comedian so, there’s that. 

You are obsessed with the bath (and oddly enough, the bathroom in general). You still love your hairdryer and your pretty into anything that is plastic and able to be gnawed on. 

That’s right Baby, you have teeth coming in. It means that you have something in your mouth ALL the time. Toys, my hand, your hand. And if all else fails you chew your own lip. I’ve seen it. 

You look awesome in green (lucky you, I have been trying to pull off line for my whole life unsuccessfully), the few times you have napped hugging your lovey were the best, you keep trying to sneak- watch tv and I love you more than anything ever. 

Keep growing (but not too fast). 

xo

Mom

4 months- a roundup

Sweating the sweet stuff, Baby

January 17, 2016

Dear Baby,

Why is it that we are so quick to focus on the negative things in our life? 

When I was pregnant with you I read this amazing article about how new moms are often unwilling to say that they love motherhood or are having an easy time because it is so unrelatable. Instead they spend their time lamenting sleep or complaining about how life used to be pre-baby. 

And this goes way outside babies. It is jobs (complaining about your boss, co workers or tasks), or about your partner (sex, habits, money) or about your parents (annoying, overbearing, opinionated-  but not your mom, right Baby??)

It is so rare that we indulge in sharing positive things with one another. It is way easier to commiserate about crap and way less “look at me” to undermine your own successes and pleasures. 

I swore to myself I would not be that mom and that I would share the good stuff too but I feel like, in reviewing what I am writing to you, it would seem like I basically am an exhausted and high strung new mom just eking by on minimal sleep. 

I must preface what I am about to say with a poo poo poo. 

Being your mom is wonderful. I don’t talk enough about how magical it is to wake up with you beside me- because I often have you in my bed- and get a smile from you. It is the smile I would have given to a giant cup of coffee before I met you. It is the smile that says “there is nothing in the world I would rather see than what I am seeing right now.” 

I don’t tell you how much I love eating breakfast on the floor with you while I watch you explore your mat and toys and learn how to do new things. 

I don’t tell anyone how hard it is to put you down for naps because I hate not holding you. I also don’t tell anyone how often I don’t put you down and just sit quietly with you for hours in my arms. 

I haven’t said enough that I love our life together. I love our new friends and our mom groups and I even love running errands with you. Everything I do is better when you are there. 

Yes, by the time your dad gets home I am ready to pass you off and take some time to myself but you should know that the second I pass you off, I just want you back. I spend 90% of my free time doing stuff for you or reading about you or watching your dad play with you. 

Bedtime has been a hot topic of this blog but you should know that even though I HATE waking up in the middle of the night always and forever, I would do it for you (begrudgingly). That I love spending time alone with your dad or my friends but saying goodnight to you is always bittersweet because I know our day together is over and that I have to wait until the morning to see that smile again. 

All of this love and time is peppered with the frustrations of being a new mom. The word of sleeplessness and the growing pains that come with any new and big change but in case you are reading this blog and thinking that I am always complaining about you, I’m not. 

I hope that you can take some time in your own life to celebrate your happiness. Sure, bitching about your boss may get more laughs at the lunch table and complaining about baby sleep is more topical than bragging about your baby who sleeps through the night but we should be able to own our life- good and bad.

So please take some time to share the great things about your life with the people who love you- I’ll be waiting to hear all about it. 

xo

Mom

Sweating the sweet stuff, Baby

Baby, I love you

January 16, 2016

Dear Baby,

As we sit here today about to finish our super long winter vacation I can’t help but think how a small part of me is sad that our solo time together is over. 

Your dad left us 10 days ago here to go home and since then it had been you and me. Yes, my mom is here with us but it is very different than the type of help your dad gives. Plus, I sleep alone with you in our room. 

To say it was all easy would be a lie (see my post on sleep regression) but it has been the most wonderful experience. 

I have been in love with you since the day we met but Baby, I am madly in love with you now. Insanely in love with you. 

I feel like this trip, this month, this time has been so different. Like I finally feel used to you, to us and to our life together in a way I could have never put into words before it happened. 

From the moment we (you) wake up i am excited and delighted to be spending the day attached to you (or rather, with you attached to me). Every small thing you do, the cuddles, the way you laugh, watching you learn new things makes my heart full. 

There is no lesson here today, Baby. This is just one of many love notes all for you to tell you how incredible you are and how much you make my life a million times better than I ever could have imagined. 

I love you with all my heart. 

xo

Mom

Baby, I love you

Eventful Baby

January 12, 2016

Dear Baby,

It seems like an eternity ago (even though it was only a week ago) that you slept through the night, napped without a fuss and were a pretty normal and happy baby. Wonder Weeks warned me with lightening bolts galore that you were about to take a new “leap” and become more challenging (to put it lightly) but I dismissed them. 

Welcome to the “Events” leap aka. sleep regression aka. The 4 Month growth spurt aka. WHY WONT YOU SLEEP?????

This milestone fills me with a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, I am a bit frustrated that your sleep time has become a war between us of me on the “go the fuck to sleep” side and you on the “not without a fight” side. It was nicer when we both agreed that sleep was paramount to a great day. Now you seem to need a lot of convincing. 

I also feel really sad that you seem to be more upset than usual. The more we get to know each other, the more bothered I am by your cry. I am currently on level “stab me in the heart twice and twist the blade” when it comes to hearing you wail. 

Most noticeably I feel like a recharged milk machine. I guess you eating every minute is good for milk production because I woke up the other morning swimming in my own milky boobs. I don’t even know what to feel about that. Soggy? 

On the flip aid I feel proud and excited that you seem to be hitting another developmental stage. It’s really cool to watch you grow and learn. Sure, to outsiders that fact that you can roll from front to back on BOTH sides is pretty unexciting but to me it is the single most important thing that has happened to my week. 

Finally, I feel really confident. This shit storm would have made me crazy in the past. I would have been crying in bed and imagining ways to escape but 4 months in I feel a renewed sense of calmness. If you have taught me anything it is that this too shall pass. 

So Baby, with that I leave you with the following lesson:

You are bound to hit a million milestones. While you at age 4 months are hitting a new one, I am hitting a new one too at age 33. You are learning “events” and I am learning about remaining calm when you are not. This is to say that you never stop learning and hitting new personal milestones. 

Yes, they can be frustrating and scary- what is new often is but if you keep your head up and know that there is always a rainbow at the end of a storm, then you will get through life just fine. 

xo

Mom

Eventful Baby

How not to lose your hair when you have a baby (or any other time where you might be a wee bit under-slept)

January 11, 2016

Dear Baby,

When I got pregnant with you one thing I looked forward to was the promise of hormonal triggered beautiful hair. I have always had ok hair- it’s super curly but VERY thin hair so it’s like, there’s a lot of it but not a lot of it. 

Pregnancy gave me the full head of hair that I had dreamed of (and once tried extensions for). Not only was my hair awesome but I lost none of it. None. Not a strand fell out of my head for 9 months. Bliss. 

But none of the expensive shampoos in the world could prevent the 4 month follicle rebellion. Just like that when you turned 16 weeks I began to shed my hair. It came out in literal waves. 

I had splurged on this more-expensive- than-normal-even-for-Aveda shampoo and conditioner (ok fine, also the spray and lotion and misting balm) from there Invati line “guaranteed” to help with losing hair. I Invati them to come come and see my sink after I brush or style or even look the wrong way at my hair.

So I have resorted to some “all natural” methods of keeping the curls I have where they belong. Here are my 5 tips on how to keep your hair. 

Tip 1- don’t brush it: Ok, so you obviously have to brush your hair unless you dream of post partum dreads but I would ease up on the Marsha Brady 100 strokes kind of brushing. I don’t know if this actually helps but you certainly don’t have a tarantula sized clump of hair if you don’t brush it. That or you just don’t see it the same way. Ignorance is bliss, Baby. 

Tip 2- don’t style it: Says the woman who is currently in Florida heat with a head full of frizz. Do I want to put a straightener to this mane? Sure do. Will I inevitably go ahead and damage my already damaged goods? Sure will. Did I do it once? Sure did. Was the bathroom floor covered in hair? I think you are clever enough to answer that one. 

Tip 3- don’t buy stupid shampoos: Instead, buy ones you always wanted. If you are going to have the worst hair of your life, you may as well treat yo’ self to an indulgent shower. Hair loss is way more bearable when it smells good. In that was, the Aveda Invati is ok because I strive to smell as much like Aveda as possible without drinking their hair spray. That shit is delicious. 

Tip 4- don’t look at it: Again, Baby. Ignorance is bliss. 

Tip 5- don’t pull it out: Is it coincidence that my hair loss began right around your fussiest and most insane period to date? 4 month growth spurts are a real thing, Baby and they are way aggressive. But before pulling out your precious remaining hair out in total frustration remember that this too shall pass and one day you will sleep through the night again and I will have back my hair. 

So Baby, don’t stress- it makes your hair fall out- and keep trucking (because when you can wear a truckers hat to cover your crap hair… Get it???)

xo

Mom

How not to lose your hair when you have a baby (or any other time where you might be a wee bit under-slept)