Friday, August 5, 2011

Playing catch-up

I've discovered very quickly that as your baby goes from laying on the floor not moving to crawling and then walking, it gets harder and harder to write in your blog. But here I am, and though lots of time has passed, I still want to write about the challenges and adventures I've had as a mom.

My baby is now a toddler, getting into everything and ensuring that our house is constantly turned upside down. It's so much fun though. Every time Sofia learns a new "trick" (ie pursing her lips, blowing kisses, dancing), I get a little giddy inside. She eats like a horse and still doesn't sleep through the night, but she never stops making me smile.

We've had the challenge of learning that Sofia has asthma, and is one a twice-daily inhaler. As soon as she sees that thing coming she screams, and then she screams the whole time you are holding it up to her face. But as soon as you are done she wants to play with it, and she puts it up to her mouth by herself and breathes in and out. She's smarter than she looks, that one.

My daughter's personality is showing more and more each day. She is silly and independent. She knows how to test us and she loves to cuddle.

We took a long weekend trip to the mountains and Sofia was amazing. She loved seeing the animals and the Calgary Zoo, and she even slept well in hotel rooms.

Oh my god, she's growing up.

Now, we look forward to all kinds of new hurdles like getting rid of the bottle and the soother (funny, you work so hard to get your baby to use those things and then comes the struggle of taking them away), learning how to discipline, and eventually the dreaded potty training. I am ready though to take it as it comes.

And no I am not ready for the next one. Yet.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Work, play, love

Ok, I admit it, being a stay-at-home-mom with a home-based business is a lot of work. Especially when your mother is visiting for three weeks smack in the middle of your business launch, plus during Easter and your baby's first birthday, your husband's 30th birthday, AND Mother's Day. Whew! So, needless to say I have been busy these past few weeks.

I am proud to say that my business venture, Jennifer Blake Photography is going well. I'm not making boat loads of money (yet!) but I have been improving my photography skills while establishing myself in the community. I am proud of the product I am creating and happy when it makes my customers happy.

I have to say that owning my own business while being a mom is a whole new ball game for me. It's so challenging to find time to get work done in between my usual life. It's something I'm going to have to work on, probably for a while, probably always. But I like a challenge, especially one that means I get to do something I love while staying home with my baby girl.

My baby girl, who by the way turned 1 last week. It's a cliche but it's true that time flies. It's been an amazing year of adventures, learning, fun and also difficulties. But we made it through and have so much to be thankful for and to look forward to.

This is going to have to be a short post, as I have work to do and am also fighting off a head cold (another of many illnesses to hit our family over the last few months ugh) so I plan to get some rest this afternoon, which means NOT sitting at a computer. I'll post again soon, because I have lots to talk about!

Me and my big girl on her first birthday!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The scary side of being a mom

This past weekend I experienced fear, self-sacrifice and endurance like I never have before. Being a first-time parent means being thrown curve balls. No matter how much advice you get from the long time parents you know, there will always be things that you don't expect, or even know how to deal with.

And even though my husband is a trained firefighter, he was taught a lesson - that all the training in the world can't prepare you for dealing with your own child being in what could be a life-threatening situation.

Our baby girl had a fever on the weekend, that suddenly spiked for whatever reason (possibly, but not positively the bath her daddy was giving her) and caused a febrile seizure. Unfortunately, we had never heard of a febrile seizure before, so when her eyes glazed over and she suddenly went limp in the tub, we immediately thought the worst. My husband pulled her out of the tub and tried to get her attention while I instinctively grabbed the phone to call 911 (which, by the way I have never done in my life). I stayed calm enough to give the operator the accurate information and relayed info to my husband as he continued to talk to Sofia to keep her awake. She wasn't shaking, but her eyes were sleepy and she couldn't move much or lift her head. After a few minutes, which of course felt like eternity, she started to come around and by the time the rescue unit arrived she was lifting her head again and trying to babble.

We were escorted to the ER, where we discovered that she had a fever of 103.2 F, so we had to try to bring it down slowly. Then, the doctor recommended we take her to see a pediatrician in the city, just to make sure she was ok. The next six hours were the longest, most exhausting hours of my life. Most of that time was spent waiting for the doctor, Sofia's fever to come down and for test results to come back. At 4 a.m. we were given the OK to leave, with a prescription for an ear infection (which caused the fever in the first place) and strict orders to return if we noticed anything our of the ordinary.

Sofia's case wasn't the worst one in the ER that night. For the most part even though she was probably as tired as her parents, she was generally happy and curious about everything going on around her. She took all the tests and poking and prodding like a champ. While next to us there was a couple with a 6 year old boy who had much more serious seizures and later, a 6 month old with a terrible cough and trouble breathing. The hardest thing for me to hear was the mom of the 6 year old calling a friend or family member with the news that they were in the hospital, as she fought back tears.

Through it all, I was utterly drained. I had a headache and couldn't keep my eyes open, yet as soon as I heard my baby girl cry out, I was awake and alert again. All that mattered to me was that she was OK.

There is nothing scarier than seeing your child in distress. You act on maternal/paternal instinct, doing whatever you have to do to fix it. The feeling of having no control over the situation is painful, to say the least.

We are very lucky that Sofia is fine, and now we know that a febrile seizure is not life-threatening. I wish someone had told me that, but I probably would have reacted the same way in any case. And if it's not that, it's something else, because there are many other things that could, can and will happen that we as parents will have to deal with. Looking back, I know we did everything right and that makes me feel good, like maybe I can handle this parenting thing after all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

They keep growing, even when they are sick

Wow, I write in my blog one day and the next thing I know it's almost a month later. But I have a good reason.

My husband and I recently had our first experience with sickness. I have decided that there is little that is worse than a sick baby. What began as a cold turned in to tonsillitis and a double ear infection, which meant Sofia's first round of antibiotics and trip to the ER. She wasn't herself. She didn't play, she slept all day and she completely lost her appetite. And the worst were the nights she kept us up screaming, trying to tell us she was hurting but we had no idea where or how to fix it.

Luckily she's a trooper and she pulled through after two long weeks and finally she's back to her playful, silly self. I missed it so much. Suddenly she's doing things she didn't do before she was sick, and every little accomplishment is that much more exciting. She crawls everywhere, stands at the table and bangs. She drops things. On purpose. Then laughs. Oh how she laughs. There is no sound better than a baby's laughter. If you can think of something better, I'll buy you a coffee. There just isn't, and that's final. She gives hugs, blows raspberries, claps her hands and plays with her hair. She's becoming a little princess and I love it.

This week the snow began to melt and we ventured outside for the first time in what feels like years, but is really just weeks. Well, maybe months. It has been a long winter, and it felt so good to breathe in the fresh air. Sofia enjoyed it too, as she rode in her stroller for the first time this year, bigger and more attuned to her surroundings than the last time. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and many more outings this spring and summer. And hoping for no more sickness cause I think we've had enough around here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The ever illusive "Me Time"

It was another busy weekend at our house. We had friends visiting and  we enjoyed Family Day Monday in the city. We went swimming, and though it was WAY too crowded for me, Sofia loved the water as always. Then we went out for supper at Red Lobster, where we were seated in the "kiddie corner" (where they put all the families with small children, so the possible crying, screaming, squealing and baby talk doesn't drive the single couples crazy). It was fun though, and the food was awesome.

Today it's back to just me and the baby. She's napping now, so I get to enjoy a little "me time", which of course means sitting at the computer playing Facebook games, checking emails and obviously updating my blog.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this "me time". Or, I'm not sure what other moms do. Maybe I should do something productive like empty the dishwasher (and re-fill it again) or put away the mountain of laundry sitting in the bedroom to make room for the load that's about to come out of the dryer. Perhaps I should read a book (ha!) or get a shower or make the bed. Nah, I'd prefer to use this time to do something mindless and not housework related.

Quick, she's sleeping, go do something productive!
As time goes on, "me time" becomes shorter and shorter. I'm lucky to have a husband who lets me have some time to myself once in a while so I can go get a bubble bath or watch one of the many shows taking up space on our PVR. He gets his own "me time" when he plays hockey and when Sofia and I take off to playgroup on his day off.

It's really important for us to have time to ourselves, and I'm not just saying that because all the baby books and websites tell me so. I need to unwind, whether that means actually relaxing in the tub or sitting at the computer for half an hour doing absolutely nothing important. If I didn't get those times, I think I'd go bonkers. All the playing and singing and watching cartoons can get to you after a while. And I want to enjoy those things, because they are part of watching my baby grow up.

K, my time is going to be up soon so I better go check Facebook.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Me and my girl <3

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Day Lament

I'm such a girl. Every year on Valentine's Day I maintain that we do not need to "celebrate" it. I really do believe that we shouldn't assign just one day to express our love for one another. But then, being the hypocritical girl that I am, I'm always disappointed if I don't get a surprise. In the past, Michael has surprised me with various gifts; flowers and sweet cards, and we have gone out on several occasions for supper. This year, I once again sad I didn't care and we didn't have to do anything for each other. I even went as far as to say that I especially didn't want a card because they just pile up and then I feel bad throwing them out. Of course, this came AFTER he had already bought me a card, both from himself and from Sofia. Oops.

So I felt a little bad. I didn't get him anything and we didn't plan anything because we had to drive to the city anyway with his parents on V-Day.

The more I think about it, the more I think I should stop being so silly. First of all, what's wrong with expressing our love for each other, even if it has to be on the designated day? It doesn't mean we shouldn't express our love on other days too. And besides, shouldn't I LIKE getting gifts? Now that I have a child, I think I should start enjoying the holiday anyway, because she will have to give out valentines to her friends, and maybe I'll make heart shaped cookies or something for her. Ha! But really, it doesn't have to be about mushy, sappy, romantic love. It can be about family love. I actually like the idea of celebrating Valentine's Day as a family instead of leaving the baby with a babysitter and going out for supper or something. Why not bake those heart shaped cookies together, and then get to enjoy them together too? That's a plan for next year.

The one thing we did celebrate this Valentine's Day was Sofia starting to crawl forwards finally!! It was a momentous occasion! For weeks she has been going backwards, sideways, rolling and sliding, every way but forwards. She's becoming a real little girl now. Aww, my baby is growing up! That's something to love <3