Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jumping

Here is another video Trevor took today of Grant having a fantastic time in his Jolly Jumper. He's really got it down now. This is my favorite baby age so far - he still doesn't need to be fed baby food, and he's SO much fun!!!



video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Skills

All the things Grant can do at his all-of-five-months! (My baby is growing up!)

1. Roll from tummy to back
2. Say "hiiiii"
3. Grab an object with both hands
4. Laugh!
5. Look around for the person he wants to see.
6. Grab stuff and immediately put it in his mouth.
7. Rip paper.
8. Bear some weight on his legs.
9. Get a good steady bouncing rhythm when jumping in the Jolly Jumper.
10. Look for a dropped object and want it back.
11. Smile spontaneously.
12. Sit in his Bumbo at home and watch patiently while I make dinner.
13. Wear sunglasses and not take them off.
14. Poop his pants.
15. Burp really big burps.
16. Throw up many, many times a day and not be bothered.
17. Sleep through the night (between 8 and 10pm until 7:30-10am)
18. Mash all the keys on the keyboard.




video

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Payoff

I gave up my own schooling, I suffered through the darkest, dreariest, rainiest winter of my life (and one slightly less dreary a year later), outlived an 88 day long garbage strike, survived not one, but two terrible jobs, the worst landlord on the planet, who came with the one of the worst basement suites in Vancouver, neighbors from you-know-where, walking up to six blocks each day just to get to the car (in the rain/mist/snow), a flooded home, appliances so loud we had to unplug them to hear the TV, standing outside the door in the rain to get cell phone reception, living in 300 square feet with no dryer and wet clothes draped over every piece of furniture, and many days of isolation, disappointment and frustration, endured a grumpy husband who hated school and the constant runaround that is the UBC Civil program, and FINALLY...


THE BIG PAYOFF

Namely, my talented husband pulled through, mostly unscathed, and finished his degree. He is now an EIT (Engineer-in-Training) for around three more years and can then get his P.Eng. (Professional Engineer). We can live comfortably with what he makes now and pay off his student loans before too long. It is an IMMENSE comfort.

I've noticed that some couples my age, with or without kids, think that I am "on maternity leave" or will return to work at some point. Without wanting to be unkind, prideful, or boasting, I mostly just nod along. The truth is, I'm not on maternity leave from anywhere (though I get one last EI check this week, yay!), and I don't have to plan on going back to work - ever. Unless Trevor dies. In that case, I'll buy a home with the life insurance and get myself back to school!

I'm reminded nearly every day that other people don't have these luxuries. It makes me so proud of think of how hard Trevor has worked to get where he is. He studied every single evening when he was going to Lethbridge College to get high enough grades to get into UBC. He never took a break, and even after he was accepted, he had to endure what is probably the toughest six months any student ever experiences in the country - the Civil Engineering Bridge program at Camosun College in Victoria. The failure rate is around 25%, and no one over the age of 30 has EVER passed. During those six months, Trevor was either in class (which was 40 hours/week), studying at school, studying at home, or at church. It was ROUGH. But he did it!

It makes me tear up when I think of how much work he put in and that he made it. I can't believe how well he is able to take care of Grant and me now that he can work as an Engineer. We are SO blessed. I don't mean any negative feelings to anyone else who chooses work in another field (and thank goodness there aren't more geotechnical civil engineers) but I am so fortunate to have a husband who makes enough for us now, and has so much earning power as life goes on. I know of a few people who have husbands who have just graduated and can't find a job, or have been graduated for a few years but can't find a permanent job, and my heart really goes out to them.

Hopefully there will be more than enough work in the fall and winter for Trevor's company to keep him! Either way, it is such a relief for him to have a useful degree in an industry that continues to be in demand, recession or not.

I feel as though I have the best life ever - I'm living the dream.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Visitors

Yesterday, Carolyn (my former stepmom) and her fiance Bob came for a lunch visit. They put up with me while Grant was well-behaved and cute as a button, as always. He loves to go out. We went to Boston Pizza (which I go to every chance I get) and he sat in his little Bumbo and looked around. Then we took some pictures at home before they returned to Calgary.




I took these myself (!!!) with the 85mm and their native resolution is big, so if you click on them you can see them up close!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thoughts

In this video, Grant speaks out on the economy. This is what he thinks.


video

Missing...

I'm one of those wives who nearly always knows where everything is. Trevor asks where something is, I tell him, simple as that, right? Mostly. But I have had this repeat problem with the little cord that connects my mini point and shoot Nikon (not our nice Canon SLR) to a USB, and our computer doesn't have a card reader. I lost it all the time in Vancouver and haven't seen it since we moved here. Part of the problem is that I don't use it very often since we have a really nice camera now, and the cord for that one stays permanently attached to the computer. But, the SLR doesn't have video (someday we'll have a 5D Mark II, but for now, dare to dream...), and my little one does have video, so I've taken a couple videos of Grant (Trevor doesn't do anything worth videotaping... and neither do I, actually). Anyway, I'm back on the hunt...

Update: I found the cord in one of the diaper bag pockets. Yay! Now to put it in a "safe" place next time.

Note: I have a certain few things that I always put in "safe" places and can't find them again later - birthday money that I'm saving, my patriarchal blessing, and this silly cord. I find them and lose them in a vicious cycle of lost and found.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Favorites...

Here is a work in progress of the little things I find to be the best for me, my skin type, my hair type, and my little family:

Hair Products:

Shampoo - my favorite is still Herbal Essences because it smells so good.
Styling - BedHead After Party - the pink tube that is a must for use after flat ironing. Expensive but lasts a very long time since you only need a tiny bit.
Flat Iron - the original ceramic CHI iron can't be beat. I'm on my second one and still love it. They have also come down in price an awful lot.

Skin Products:

Face Cleansing - My complexion does best when I just use water on my face. I haven't found soap that doesn't make me break out even worse! I do love the Zap-It brand Quick Stick - it's a little roller that clears up zits in a hurry.

Makeup - I've tried other makeups: Revlon, Avon, etc, but still LOVE Mary Kay. It lasts forever, so works out being cheaper than other makeups, and it feels so soft. I don't know what they put it in, but it doesn't go bad like some other makeups I've tried. The Avon stuff goes bad and gets really, really sticky, but the MK powders, nail polishes, and even mascaras - I have never seen them go bad - it's amazing. Their mascara isn't heavily perfumed like the Avon stuff is either.

Makeup Remover- Mary Kay wins hands down. I've tried Avon and the expensive L'Oreal, which both stung my eyes for hours afterwards! The MK stuff uses silicon and water, its a clear liquid like water, not a cream, and it's incredible. Come over and use some of mine sometime if you doubt. It doesn't sting at all, and you can be so, so gentle on your eyes.

Baby Products:

Diapers - Well, I've tried Costco, Safeway, Superstore, Huggies and Pampers, and I prefer Huggies. The Safeway ones were awful, and all the other ones were pretty good. The Pampers fit smaller and are soft, but I slightly prefer the Huggies. I've found that I can get them cheaper than the Costco ones when I get them on sale. The smallest, size 1/2, are 18 cents/diaper at Costco normally, and I've been able to get Size 3 for 15 cents/diaper on sale at Walmart, so I stocked up on 3s, 4s, and 5s when they had that sale!

Wipes - I like the Pampers Unscented Aloe wipes - the Huggies wipes I've found to be too thick and much less soft than the Pampers. I stock up on them when they are on sale for 2 cents/wipe at Superstore or Walmart and probably have enough for the next six months.



What are some of your favorite things?

Breastfeeding


I've been thinking for a while that my first and only post on the topic of breastfeeding may have not been entirely positive. In the early days, 99% of women (according to the Vancouver PHN) have trouble. I had a few minutes where I thought 'Maybe we should switch to formula.' I even made a couple bottles of formula to supplement, realized what a hassle it was to sterilize the bottles, cool them down, sterilize different water in a new pot, wait for it to cool down, mix the formula (we had free samples or I never would have even tried; it's SOOOOO expensive), and then get the formula the right temperature for the baby and coax him to drink from a bottle - NO THANKS! It was a massive hassle!!! I can't even imagine going out with sterilized water in a thermos, sterilized bottles in a bag, cold sterilized water and the formula, blah blah blah... no way! Pulling up my shirt and sticking the boy on is SO EASY! I am truly saddened for anyone who needs to use formula or feels that they need to.

I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!!!

It's so great. And if I thought making a bottle during the day was a hassle, doing at night would be even tougher. Again, it's so easy to just pull up my shirt! I can't possibly think of a more convenient thing. It's like this:
Do you want your baby to be less likely to join the growing ranks of overweight children, adolescents, and adults?
Do you want your baby to have less gastrointestinal infections, HALF as many ear infections, less allergies of ALL kinds, a higher IQ, and a lower SIDS risk?
Do you want your baby to be less likely to develop celiac disease?
Do you want your baby to be more willing to eat all kinds of foods when he starts solids because he's already had a little taste in your ever-changing milk?
Do you want to give your baby more than 100 ingredients that just can't be made in a lab or formed in cow's milk?
Do you want to prevent constipation in your little one?
Do you want to keep diaper rash away, and have way less yucky diapers to change?
Do you want your baby's mouth to get a workout that ensure optimum oral development and some perks for baby's future teeth, like less cavities?
Do you want a quicker postpartum recovering for yourself? Lower risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, premenopausal breast cancer?
Do you want to save yourself a HUGE stack of cash?
Then... breastfeed!

I can only say this because I LOVE breastfeeding. Sure, it was rough at first, I was sore and putting cream on all the time, I had bloody scabs and a lot of pain, but I pushed through it without formula and now it's so great. I can't even imagine anything easier or better.

I also know that sometimes formula is needed (although with planning, even adoptive moms can breastfeed their babies!!! Cool hey?). At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby is getting fed - that's what really matters. I'm glad babies can do fine on formula, but I am incredible thankful for breastmilk, and that even cheap chocolate hasn't made Grant's tummy upset. I really do have the perfect baby.

If you're expecting, I strongly encourage you to try nursing - for at least six weeks. Give it a whirl. Even when your baby is fussy, it doesn't mean that you're not making milk anymore - your baby might just be fussy. It might take a while to figure out what bothers him or not, but I highly recommend the book published by La Leche League - "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding". If your baby is fussy due to things you are eating, it gives you a step-by-step guide to figure out what is bothering him and what you can do. When I first heard the title when Grant was just a few weeks old, I scoffed at it - pfft, womanly art, that's so corny. Now, I'm like "OOOOO I am sooo strong, I make milk! It IS a womanly art!"

One downside: He won't take a bottle, so I'm going to start him on a cup in the next few weeks, but for now, I can't be away from him for long. But, if I had given him a bottle more often up until now, he would know how, and it's still no big deal to me. I miss him terrible when I'm away from him, and I'd rather not pump.

Happy nursing!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Waiting

I love blogging early in the morning, before my day really starts. Grant likes to sleep in (just like his parents), so if I get up with Trevor and send him off to work, I get to sit quietly in the pre-eight AM stillness and just wait for my little guy to get up. It's too early for people to be mowing their lawns, I don't hear the neighbors in the basement, and this morning there isn't any wind or cloud. The sun is already bright (this is Southern Alberta, after all), and if I open the front door I can hear crickets and smell the dew on the grass. It's a great time of day, although I usually don't appreciate it like I should. I love sleep an awful lot.

The title of the post is in reference to my actual subject - the waiting I'm doing before I start Grant on solid foods (if you can call rice/oat/wheat cereal a solid). I've read a lot of literature that has found that their little intestines are just not ready until the full six months old, and babies who don't get solids before six months have less gastrointestinal, respiratory, and ear infections - I'm all for that, if I can help it. Ever since he was born I've felt strongly about waiting the full six months, without having to read it or be told. It's been that way with a lot of things for me - breastfeeding, how I've always put him to bed, when to use baby powder or diaper cream, when to give him baby Tylenol, immunizations - I haven't needed other moms to give me advice, I feel as though it's come so naturally to me. I never nursed Grant lying down when he was a newborn because I needed to see his latch, and it was much too hard to do when he was that small, and he never slept in the bed with me, always his own in between feedings, and now he has no sleep issues at all and has been sleeping through the night since six weeks old.

I definitely have to give credit to my mom - she taught me a lot about babies, young children, and their development. And I'm proud of the fact that my doctor in Vancouver, who delivers many, many babies, told me that I was the most natural mother she's ever seen (and her youngest obstetrics patient). I bought What to Expect the First Year (because it looks pretty right alongside What to Expect When You're Expecting on my bookshelf) and I never read it because I have absolutely no concerns. I feel so good about myself as a mom and so relaxed. I do things for Grant as my feelings dictate - that being said, I feel strongly about getting him immunized and waiting to start solids.

Now, I'm not totally naive - I know that I have an exceptionally GOOD baby. He's using his voice more and more, but still never cries. If I were a mother of a fussy baby who didn't sleep, then my opinion on starting solid foods could be entirely different. I know that I would be going crazy if Grant still wasn't sleeping through the night and I'd be desperate for sleep. I certainly don't mean to condemn anyone for their choices - I only know my own baby and am trying to do the best for him.

I don't know if other moms feel pressure to start their babies on solids before six months - the only time I felt any kind of pressure was at the doctor's office here in Lethbridge at his four month check up, and the doctor said I could start solids soon, around five months, and I said "No, he can wait." Although right now, it seems to me that I'm in a small minority.

I'm determined to wait the full six months, and then he can start cereals and learn how to drink from a cup, since he won't take the bottle while Trevor and I are out on date night anyway. I'm very excited about teaching him to drink from a cup =)

Seriously, being a mom is the best thing ever.