Gil is 10 months!

Um, I’m an abysmally pathetic mommy blogger. I’m not sure when last I updated about my baby boy, but he was 10 months old just a few days ago, so here we go!

He crawls!

He stands!

He now cruises, but it’s hard to get an action shot of that :)

In all seriousness, Gil has taken off in his physical abilities. Because he learned to sit *after* he learned to crawl, we’ve not enjoyed any luxurious ‘sit in one place while playing with a new toy’ phase – this little boy is all GO all the time. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Breastfeeding Week 2010!

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it’s World Breastfeeding Week already!

This year’s theme is Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps!

What did I do to support breastfeeding this year? Well, one major thing was that I volunteered as a model.

Check out La Leche League Canada’s article about this year’s theme!

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I’m a WINNER!

Remember how I posted about the knitted breast giveaway? Well, I won!!!! I’ll be choosing a pair of wheat/berry crocheted breasts for my good friend and fellow LLL leader who also happens to be a doula and childbirth educator. I can’t wait to give them to her!

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Quote THIS!

I think I might print out this article to hand out to people who ask nursing moms to breastfeed in the bathroom!

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Trusting

I’m doing a  lot of reading/listening/thinking these days about trust. Today, I listened to a podcast at Whatever Whatever Amen: Trusting Children (Part One). This is an excerpt from the podcast, a quote from John Holt’s How Children Learn:

“All I am saying in this book can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”

Here’s the comment I left on their page:

I’ve just recently started listening to your podcasts. The ‘AP sucks’ one got me hooked :)

So you asked some questions in your podcast, and alluded to some things that I’ve been struggling with. Since realizing that school isn’t really all that necessary (thanks to Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on schools killing creativity for getting that ball rolling!) I’ve realized that although school was easy for me and I (mostly) enjoyed it, I spent most of my schooling making my parents proud. Heck, I went into Biochemistry at University because it made my parents (and guidance counsellor) proud and happy. When I switched into Nursing, I was terrified to tell my parents for fear of their disapproval and even now at 26, married for almost 4 years with two kids, I’m terrified that if I don’t ever “use” my degree and work as a Registered Nurse, I’ll disappoint them (actually, I know I’ll disappoint them. My dad has said it on a number of occasions). So, do I trust myself? Hell no. I’ve been subtly told that I’m untrustworthy and incapable of making decisions for myself my whole life – but I’m darn good at making decisions to make other people happy. It sucks. It sucks second-guessing myself all the time. It sucks having to think “am I making this decision because it’s right for me or because it will make someone happy/proud?” every time I decide something.

I have a hard time knowing who I am and what I like to do. I mean, some things are obvious – I like to knit, I love to read, I’m passionate about environmentalism and breastfeeding, but beyond my hobbies and passions – who am I? I can’t answer that.

Do I trust my kids? Yes and no. I find it easy to trust infants/babies. Really, their needs are so few (and so obvious and so easily met, generally speaking) that it’s hard to argue that they aren’t trustworthy (although some people try *cough* Gary Ezzo *cough*. I trust 100% my son, Gil – he’s 5 weeks old. When he fusses or cries, I nurse him, comfort him, take him to pee/poo or change his diaper if it’s too late. That being said, I find it terribly difficult to trust Gwen, my 21-month-old. There’s a lot of information on attachment parenting babies – not so much on once they become little people! I find it hard not to slip into the “she’s manipulating me” “she’s testing me” “she doesn’t know what she needs” “she should eat more/sleep more/go to bed earlier” “she’s just being dramatic” “what’s wrong with her” “she shouldn’t feel that way” trap. I hate it and I try not to do it, but gosh darnit it’s HARD not to think those things and even harder, once you’ve thought them, to not take action on them.

Learning to trust is hard. We’re currently planning to unschool, and I’m learning every day to give up a little bit more control so that Gwen can learn about her environment, make messes and mistakes, and enjoy her life. I don’t want to pass on my distrust of myself, and I hope that the past 18 months of distrust in her is easily undone. I’m hoping to do things differently with Gil – for example doing baby-led solids (which we ended up at with Gwen anyways because she wouldn’t eat purees), not trying to force him to sleep separate than us, etc. I’m so looking forward to enjoying life with my kids and exposing them to different life experiences (a nutrient-rich environment – I like that analogy) and learning along with them!

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Gil is a month old!

I can hardly believe it. And I thought time went by quick with just Gwen!

Gil is growing like crazy. At his two week appointment, he was 7lbs 8oz – up from 6lbs 4oz on day four … that’s 1lb 4 oz in 10 days! Go, Gil!

Then yesterday at his one month appointment, he weighed …

wait for it …

10lbs 8oz! That’s a weight gain of 3 lbs in 2 weeks – 3.5 oz per day. My midwife said in her 7 years of midwifery, she’s never seen a weight gain like that!!

He’s a long baby – already wearing 3-6 mo onesies, although 0-3 mo sleepers still fit him fine. I suppose his length is in his torso … even the 3-6 mo onesies look a bit like scoop-neck shirts :)

Gil has LONG awake periods – I’m talking 1.5 – 2 hours. He’s still nursing VERY frequently – every 45 minutes to an hour – but is at least giving me small breaks of awake time in between marathon feeds. He’s happier lately – not *quite* so fussy – which is lovely.

Nights are still rough – after a 3-3.5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, he’s normally up every 1 – 1.5 hours. He’s also got a ridiculous habit of having lots of gas needing to poop sometime between 3 and 5AM and being very uncomfortable about it. Brad often takes him downstairs after he no longer wants to nurse and helps him work out the gas or poop. He’s often awake for 30 – 45 mins with me before Brad gets up with him, so that’s a long awake stretch in the middle of the night. Ah well. I just wish there was something that could help him work out the gas/poop *before* bed, as I suspect he’s waking so frequently due to discomfort.

Gwen’s doing well with everything – it’s definitely helped that it’s been nice and we’ve been able to spend our mornings at the park :) It breaks my heart, though, to not be able to “come!” with her wherever she wants to go. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of women there that she’s comfortable with – it’s nice o know that she’s securely attached enough to take the hand of one of my many mommy friends and drag them along with her :) I’m *definitely* looking forward to Gil having some happy and awake and not nursing times so he can hang out in the sling while I chase Gwen around. For now, if he’s not sleeping at the park, he’s nursing!

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Rockin’ the motherin’

Two kids breastfed on demand.

One outing to the Ontario Early Years Centre.

One load of diapers in the washing machine.

One mother and one toddler well fed and watered.

Innumerable diapers changed and bums wiped.

Two afternoon naps coordinated and executed without crying or struggles.

One mom blissfully sleeping for an hour nestled up with the newborn.

Two loads of dishes washed and put away.

One food share divided and put away.

One fridge cleaned out.

One meal (that someone else made, thank goodness!) ready to go on the table.

I guess this is our new normal. I think I’m going to survive.

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Day Two!

Today, I ventured out to the park! I called around and made sure that a friend or two would be there first and then bit the bullet … and it went much better than I could have anticipated! Thankfully, it appears that when you’ve got a newborn, other people really help out with the toddler :)

I’m falling more and more in love with Gil – all the while acknowledging that the newborn phase is not my favourite! Saying that out loud and being okay with it is allowing me to move past that guilt and move into a space of being with him more fully and more intentionally enjoying this time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tandem nursing – the early experiences

Gil is just over two weeks old. Although in some ways it feels like he’s fit right into our little family like he was never missing, in other ways, he is still very new, as are our experiences with him.

Gil has an almost constant need to nurse. Forget every 2 hours. Forget every hour. When this boy is awake, he is stuck like glue to my breast. When he sleeps, he sleeps hard – 1 or 2 hours at a time, minimum.

Gwen seems to be taking this in stride – most of the time, anyways. She seems to realize that “baby” needs mommy and needs to nurse. In fact, two days ago, Gwen was in my room with Gil and I while I was dressing for the day. Gil was propped up on a pillow on the bed looking around and Gwen was watching him. “Mommy. Baby.” She said. In Gwen speak, this means, ‘Mommy, I want you to hold Gil.’ I told her that just as soon as I was ready, I’d pick him up. “Mommy. Baby. Sling.” She said, again. I think I’ve got a novice babywearer on my hands! Read the rest of this entry »

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Life with two …

… is about to get a whole lot more difficult!

The past two weeks, I’ve had some combination of Brad and my mom here with me. An extra set of hands to wrangle Gwen into her coat. A pair of hands to get a snack ready. Hands to hold Gil while Gwen and I enjoy our special time together snuggling down for her nap.

Sadly, I will be all alone tomorrow.

And I’m more than a little scared.

Gil is a very frequent nurser. As in, when he’s awake, he’s generally attached to the breast. The. Whole. Time. He’s hard to wear for extended periods because I’m frequently switching him from breast to breast. He’s very rarely awake and settled, happy to be carried around – his need to suck is great, and I’m happy to meet it. Unfortunately, that makes it hard to attend to Gwen’s needs as well!

I know I’ll survive – goodness knows other mothers have been met with more difficult challenges (ie. twins/triplets, two closer in age that mine, developmental disabilities, etc.) and survived – even thrived! Think of me while I find my way to mother another, would you please?

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