Monday, December 27, 2010

The magic of parentood (and Christmas)

Well, all the craziness of Christmas is over and now it's that week between Christmas and New Year's when there is nothing new on TV, some people (like my husband) are back to work while other bask in the afterglow of the holidays for a few extra days, and we count down the last days of the year.

We had a wonderful Christmas. Sofia may not have had a clue what was going on, but I like to think she enjoyed it. When I brought her downstairs on Christmas morning her eyes widened when she saw all the gifts under the tree, and she sat contently among all the wrapping paper as we helped her open each gift and oohed and ahhhed over all the adorable clothes and fun toys. She even stared excited at the computer and smiled when my family called her name as they watched her play through the wonders of Skype. She even tolerated wearing a Santa hat through the entire ordeal. Needless to say, I got some pretty priceless photos from her first Christmas.

This was the first year in a looong time that I didn't feel any sort of emptiness after all the gifts were opened, turkey was devoured and the silence that followed settled upon us. Instead I felt simply content and happy. There were no big gifts for me under the tree; no iPad or Blackberry (although I am in the process of trying to talk Michael into letting me get a "Crackberry" in the new year). I could have cared less about gifts for myself this year. I just enjoyed seeing Sofia play with her new activity center and one of her three play phones (seriously people, she's going to want her own "Crackberry" before she's 1). And we spent a good portion of the day on Skype with my family (even though Christmas dinner) so it was like we were actually together. 

Now, I'm kind of feeling a little glum being home alone again, but I'm looking forward to 2011 and all that it has in store. I know it will be a fantastic year filled with new experiences and so much fun. Having a child makes you look at the world, and your life, completely differently. It's an amazing feeling and one i wouldn't trade for all the "Crackberries" in the world.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Teething and Christmas do not mix

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve? Really? This is the time when I'm usually in panic mode, rushing to finish my shopping and wrap presents and clean the house from top to bottom. This year, all I had to do was clean the house. Although, between a teething 8 month old and all the chores that have to be done, it wasn't all that easy as I'd hoped.

Here's what I've discovered: TEETHING SUCKS! Ok, that's not really news to most people, but to me it is. I hate that you don't really ever KNOW if teething is causing your baby discomfort or if it's her cold that causes her to not be able to breathe and be up half the night coughing, or hunger or thirst or a poopy diaper. Today, though the process of elimination revealed that the only possibility is teething. She's super cranky, wouldn't stop crying and go to sleep even though she was exhausted and couldn't keep her eyes open and the only thing that calms her down is an ice cube in a mesh feeder. Unfortunately, ice melts, so it's only a temporarily relief to the screaming. Ugh.

I just wish the damn tooth would break through already. And this is just the first one. Oh dear.

And tomorrow is Christmas Eve, when we are going to get all dressed up and take family photos and have supper with Nana and Poppy and go to church. Oh please please please don't let her be crying all day! I know it's silly to have this picture in my head of what Sofia's first Christmas will be like, because I am smart enough to know that babies are unpredictable, especially when they are too young to give a rat's ass about Christmas. But I am allowed to want her to be happy at least, and not in pain (well, I wish for that every day), so that those "First Christmas" pictures show her smiling and glowing in the lights of the Christmas tree. Yeah, we'll see about that.

Merry Christmas to my fellow bloggers and moms! I hope you all have happy babies this Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Too many pictures? Too bad!

Santa Sofia and her reindeer
A couple posts down, I noted that Sofia met Santa for the first time and didn't cry at all. Well, she met Santa for the second time last weekend and this time she took one look at him and started to wail. I can't be sure, but it may have been the fake beard ... I'm just sure she knew that he wasn't the real thing this time ;)

Christmas preparations are coming along in our house. We received a HUGE box of presents from Nana and Poppy, plus another one from Great Grandparents in Newfoundland, and we almost have all of our shopping done. Well, Santa has gotten all of Sofia's gifts, he just has to get us parents our gifts.

Understandably, we are not nearly as excited about shopping for each other as previous years. I really don't care if I get anything, for two reasons. One, well the obvious, that I'd rather just buy stuff for the baby and open all her gifts for her and watch her play with the paper. And two, I already have my Christmas gifts. Well, sort of. I purchased a new external flash for my camera and my new studio equipment is current en route! I'm so excited!! I have done a few photo shoots with friends the last couple weeks and my photos are turning out better and better each time. Now, I just have to clear space in the basement for my studio and after Christmas I can start making money! Yay!

Discovering pretty Christmas bulbs
So come Christmas morning I will probably be spending more time taking pictures than opening gifts. I'm wondering if lately people are getting sick of me posting photos on Facebook, cause I just can't help myself! I know my mom did not have this many photos of me when I was a baby, but then she didn't have a digital camera either. Not sure Sofia will be happy to have so many photos of herself, but too bad, she's stuck with a photographer for a mom.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sleep deprived mommy

I need sleep!!!

I know every child is different and you aren't supposed to compare yours with other people's babies, but when I hear about someone's 8 week old who is sleeping through the night, I am jealous (and a little annoyed). It's going on 8 MONTHS and I have yet to have a full night's sleep. Sofia still wakes up at least twice an night, sometimes more, to eat. I have tried everything aside from letting her cry it out (even if I could handle it, I know daddy couldn't). Last night she ate at 11:30, 4:00 and 5:30. The night before it was midnight, 2:30 and 7:00 (and then slept in until 9, but I'm so used to her getting up for the day at 7 that I couldn't sleep in. Figures). How is it that she can go 4-6 hours sometimes and only 1.5 hour other times?

I'm so frustrated and tired and now I have a head cold on top of it all. I don't want to complain but I just need to get it out of my system.

Doesn't someone have the magic solution? Anyone?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Balancing act

I'm starting to wonder if, in all my supposed "free time", I may have taken on too many projects. Aside from this whole motherhood thing, I've also continued to volunteer for the Lifesaving Society, designing their newsletter, as well as doing some extra work for my former employer. That's on top of my new business, which I haven't officially started yet, but I have been taking some photos for friends to get some more experience before I do launch.

Of course, all those extra things are second behind taking care of my baby girl. When I do take a few moments to do some work, I put her in her Exersaucer or in her high chair with a Mum Mum while I plug away at the computer. It doesn't last long though, because after a few minutes I start to feel guilty for doing other things when I should be playing with her. Even right now, as I type this she is laying on her boppy pillow on the floor next to me and I feel like I'm ignoring her. It doesn't help that she's at the age now where she knows when I'm not paying attention to her, and lets me know pretty quickly.

I know that having other things to do does not make me a bad mom, but I also want to enjoy this time I have with her to the fullest. I was so happy when I finally went on maternity leave and left behind all the stress of work. Being a parent comes with it's own set of stresses, so I don't really want to add more to the mix.

What I need to do is find a balance between everything that is important to me in my life. That's easier said that done, and will be a constant day-to-day challenge. It's something I'm prepared to work on though, if it means I get to stay home with my baby :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa, baby

Sofia met Santa for the first time this week. And it was the REAL Santa. It was a good thing too, cause as soon as she sat on his lap she grabbed his beard. She was so cute, she didn't cry at all, and she even smiled a little. I know next year will probably be a different story altogether, but for now I'm happy.

Aside from the Santa picture, I've been taking my own holiday (and every other kind) pictures. Lacking professional studio equipment, I made due with what I had laying around the house. I used my duvet for a backdrop, with Christmas lights and a big snowman for a photo companion. They turned out great! Sofia was adorable in her Christmas dress from Nana.

So with all the picture-taking going on, I made a decision. I am going to start my own photography business. It's a win-win situation for me because I don't have to go back to work full time and I get to do something I already do all the time that I'm passionate about. I can purchase all the equipment I need to get started for about $600 and I already have people wanting me to take pictures of their kids and families. This week I bought myself an external flash, which is the first step to making my photos look 100% better and next I'm going to buy some studio equipment.

The best part of this decision is that I get to stay home with my baby girl. Yay! I can take her with me on photo shoots, or she can visit with Nana and Poppy. Either way, I'm not out doing a job I don't really like for eight hours a day, only to come home exhausted and hardly get to spend any time with Sofia (or my husband).

I plan on officially launching my rates and services sometime after Christmas. In the meantime, I've started a website and a Facebook page (Jennifer Blake Photography). Eeeeee! So excited!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A day out

"Ok mom, got my mittens, I'm ready to go!"
Last Saturday, Michael and I spent our first full day away from our daughter. We went with a group of friends to the movies (Harry Potter!) and left Sofia with her Nana. I admit that I was a tiny bit nervous, not because I don't trust Nana, but because Sofia is not used to drinking formula, and lately we've been having trouble getting her to drink much from a bottle. That turned out to be no problem though and she did awesome. When we got home she was already asleep and all I had to do was change her, feed her and she went right back to sleep in her crib.

I was also nervous because the last time I spent a day away from her, I came home nine hours later screaming, "I NEED TO FEED THE BABY!". Back then, in July, I had never gone without nursing for that long. I had brought my pump with me and attempted to get some relief halfway through the day, but without luck. At the time I wasn't used to pumping under pressure, and we were at Boston Pizza waiting for our food when I hurried to the bathroom to pump. What a sight I must have been. Hovering over the toilet seat (cause of course public toilets have no covers to sit on), trying to hold up my shirt with one hand and pump with the other. I felt so rushed and uncomfortable that I couldn't do it. I suffered through supper and by the time we were on the hour-long drive home, I was literally in pain.

So this time I was dreading going through that again. Luckily I had the perfect opportunity to go off to the bathroom while we all waited in the lineup for the movie to start. This time I didn't rush, although I still had to hover, and managed to pump four ounces. I went the whole day without pain yay!

Got the pumping thing down ... now if I wouldn't spend the whole day saying "I miss Sofia" ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

A cold day of bad luck

Yesterday we had a snowstorm. We didn't go outside and it was nice to cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and read a book (Harry Potter! Going to see it on Sunday!) Today, the sky was blue and the air was crisp (-24C anyone? Brrrr). But my mother-in-law and I, with the baby bundled up in her car seat, ventured outside anyway for a coffee and a visit to daddy at work.

It was a really nice day. And then we got home. I went to unlock the door while my MIL got Sofia. The key wouldn't go in the lock. I tried and tried, but something was in there and there was no getting in. So we tried the back door and it was locked and latched so there was no way to get in that way either. I called Michael at work and he came home to find a way in, while I sat in the car and fed Sofia, who by that time was screaming bloody murder. Finally he found a way - he climbed up on our second story bedroom balcony (not an easy feat, by the way) and thankfully that door was not locked.

Finally we were inside and warmed up. I put Sofia in her Exersaucer to play and gave her a Mum Mum to snack on. I turned my back for a few seconds while my MIL was watching her and talking on the phone. Then she was screaming again. Our dog, Bobbi (an Irish Wolfhound/Terrier cross - don't ask how that's possible, but it is, and means she is two or three times bigger than Sofia at the moment) had snatched the Mum Mum right out of her hand! I guess she had nipped or knocked her hand cause one of her fingers was red but not seriously injured. She was ok a few minutes later, but I was not impressed!

It's been a constant struggle to have a dog and a baby. I would never ever get rid of Bobbi because we had a baby, but sometimes it's frustrating because even though I know she would never hurt Sofia on purpose, I'm so scared she will do something without trying it when she's excited, barking at visitors or, in this case, hungry.

We all survived, and I know that this will not be the last injury Sofia endures, but there is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain. And well, Bobbi got in a little trouble for that one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

... Christmas!

Every other year I am very adamant about not putting up the tree and decorations until at least the last weekend in November. This year, however I have given in much earlier. We bought a new tree (pre-lit yay!) and it's been up for almost a week already. The decorations are not on it yet but the box is sitting nearby on the floor and I'm just itching to open it, but I am trying to hold off until the weekend.

 I guess it's pretty obvious that this year is different because we have a baby. Even though she has no idea what is going on, it's just going to be so much more fun. I can't wait to watch her on Christmas morning surrounded by wrapping paper, grabbing at every little thing and examining it (before attempting to put in her mouth).

The other great thing about being more excited about Christmas this year is that I'm way ahead on my shopping and sending out cards. I even took my own holiday photos of Sofia and designed my own cards on Kodak Gallery. They turned out awesome and I'll be sending them early next week. It feels so good to be on the ball!

To add to the holiday mood I downloaded a bunch of new Christmas music and well, it's snowing outside. That pretty much does it. As much as I hate the cold and snow, it does make the season feel just right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cartoons aren't what they used to be

I've been watching a lot of Playhouse Disney lately. I find myself humming the theme song from "Special Agent Oso" and "Johnny and the Sprites" when I am outside and I have to catch myself before someone hears. Sofia doesn't watch a lot of tv but in the morning while I'm having my coffee I sit her in her rocking chair and she loves watching the colours and hearing the songs. (Apparently, even a little Playhouse is enough to put songs in my head!).

While watching "Micky Mouse Playhouse" one day I thought about how children's cartoons have changed. When I was a kid, I watched "The Smurfs", "She-Ra: Princess of Power!", "Rainbow Brite" and "Care Bears". The one thing they all had in common, that cartoons today do not, is villians. There are no bad guys in cartoons anymore! I can see why, I guess. Kids are vulnerable and easily frightened, and we really would rather shield them from scary, bad things than introduce that to them too early.

However, I grew up watching those shows and I turned out fine. When I was visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins recently we were watching tv and we put on some cartoons for the girls. It wasn't Playhouse, but another cartoon channel, which we thought was fine. Soon though, the youngest who is four, said she didn't want to watch it anymore because it was scary. We were watching "Inspector Gadget", a show I watched all the time as a child. That's when I thought about it and decided that while the new cartoons aimed at little children are cute and fun and teach lots, they do not really prepare kids for the real world. If a bad guy (whose face you never even see) scares a four year old, what will real actual scary things do?

I don't think it's good to scare kids, but I do think it's ok for them to know that there are "bad guys" out there. It's also good for them to see the good guys win in the end, by being smart and strong. I will continue to let Sofia watch Playhouse, but I think once in a while when she's a bit older I will turn on some of the cartoons I used to watch. That way, I get to watch them too hehe.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthday Blahs

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 29. I have decided that it will be the last birthday I celebrate. I mean it. No 30 for me!

Ok seriously, birthdays are not that bad. At least, the getting older part isn't that bad. I still dislike my birthday because it comes with so many expectations. I always want to have a great day that's different from every other day, but it never really is. I am pretty lucky, I have awesome friends who celebrate with me every year (this year new friends too!) and a husband who goes out of his way to make me feel special. Yet, I am always just a little disappointed, even though I really shouldn't be. I would rather plan other people's birthday, and believe me I am super excited about Sofia's birthday. I've already started thinking about it (Smash Cake anyone?! So much fun!!)

I'm not really sure what it is I want. I usually get what I ask for, if I ask for anything, and I've always gotten to do something special. Last year Michael took me to a Jann Arden concert in the city, this year my friends threw me a great party, complete with helium balloons and a Blizzard cake from Dairy Queen. And the cutest thing ever, Michael got Sofia to "write" her name on my birthday card.

Maybe I am greedy or selfish, but maybe it's ok, at least for one day, to want everything to be perfect. Even if I am disappointed for whatever reason, when I look back a few days, months or years later, I don't remember that. I always just remember being surrounded by people who love me. And that I got like 100 messages on my Facebook wall. Now THAT'S being loved ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Holiday Hoo-Haw

One of the joys of parenthood is re-visiting and therefore re-enjoying holidays again. Of course the major holiday of the year is (duh-duh-duh!) "BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS!" and all the insane preparation that goes along with it, including photographing your own Christmas cards (yes I will be taking on that challenge this year. Hey, I wanna be a photographer, I'll have to do it sometime), going overboard with the decorations and shopping for the most awesomest presents possible. All for a child who, at 8 months of age, will probably be perfectly content playing with the wrapping paper (or in Sofia's case, the tags on all the stuffed animals).

But before all that mayhem, we got to do Halloween, which was one of my favourite days of the year as a kid. I loved the spookiness of it all, dressing up and of course getting lots and lots of candy. But, alas, once again Sofia is much too young to enjoy all that. This tiny detail didn't stop us from making her suffer through wearing a poofy strawberry costume which made her sweat after like 10 minutes. But it was so darn cute.

During the first year of your child's life, everything you do is for you, plain and simple. She will not remember what she was forced to dress up as for Halloween and in fact, she will probably hate you for taking umpteen photos of her dressed like a strawberry because later, when she is a teenager and those photos surface again they will serve only as a means of embarrassment, not the fond memories you want to reflect on fondly. 

But even though I know all that is true, I will NOT stop taking photos of my baby, no matter how embarrassed she will be later. If I had to suffer through it, so does she ;)

Sofia was in bed by 7 last night, and we only got 15 trick-or-treaters. That didn't stop us from decorating our yard with a howling ghost and pumpkins and lights, playing "Monster Mash" out the living room window and watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (ok, that had nothing to do with it being Halloween, we just like that movie). It's fun to get into the holidays, and having a baby - no matter what age - is just an excuse for us to enjoy it more. So there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Introducing ... real food!

This week has been exciting for our little family, even aside from having nana and poppy here. Sofia got her first taste of real food!

There was much anticipation leading up to the moment when we finally decided she was ready to eat solids. I may have mentioned previously that we attempted to give her rice cereal when she was 4 and a half months old, but she kind of just screwed up her face and stuck out her tongue and didn't know what to do with it. But she will be 6 months old tomorrow, so we figured that even if she wasn't completely ready, she was going to learn how to eat. So we got out the cereal box again and this time, after a few misfires she started figuring out how to swallow it. Success!!

So we've now moved from bland rice cereal (which she loved even through the blandness) to bananas (that I mushed up myself mmm) and just yesterday, sweet potatoes. So far, so good!

I have no idea if we are doing this right, or if there even is a "right" way to do it for that matter. I mean, we are giving the suggested beginner foods and waiting four days between trying new ones, so we've got that part down. But I am not sure about the frequency of feeding, how much to be giving her at a time and if certain foods are better fed at certain times of the day. I'm kind of just going with the flow and hoping it's right.

And once again, I'm trying not to read too much information, particularly from the Internet cause that just makes the whole process even more confusing.

I WOULD have talked to the public health nurse at Sofia's 6 month appointment about starting her on solids, had we actually shown up for it! I honestly thought it was next Thursday, but nope, it was last Thursday and I completely forgot. I really kicked myself for that because 1) I never forget stuff, let alone important stuff, and 2) this was a super important appointment, where she was getting her vaccines, probably the flu shot and I had lots of questions to ask.

I learned my lesson after that; always write appointments on the calendar! And stop forgetting anything. Now, there was something I was supposed to be doing right now ........

Friday, October 22, 2010


My life has been busy lately. That's my excuse for not blogging more. This past week, we were lucky enough to welcome Sofia's grandparents, Michael's parents, to our little town on the prairies. Several months ago they decided to uproot the lives they had made in Newfoundland and come live closer to us (meaning of course, they wanted to be closer to their granddaughter lol). So the last week they have been staying with us as they wait for their moving truck to arrive so they can settle into their new home.

I'm super happy about this. I know a lot of mothers probably wish their in-laws were nowhere near them. I have heard horror stories about the mother-in-law from hell, overstepping boundaries and pushing their parenting style on their daughter-in-law. I feel like I kind of lucked out in the in-laws situation. Mine are fabulous. They don't overstep, they respect our parenting style and they treat Sofia like gold. They are helpful but not in the way, and well, who would complain about having a built in babysitter?

I'm just happy that when I go back to work after my mat leave is up that I won't have to send Sofia to a daycare or to be babysat by a stranger. I will know that she is in capable hands and I can actually focus on starting a new job without the stress of worrying about whether she will be ok.

It will be different with my in-laws so close by, but thankfully I don't have a Monster-in law. Phew.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sofia's Travels

I haven't blogged in over a week because my little family took a little autumn vacation. We drove a total of about 10 hours to visit relatives. I was super nervous about how Sofia would handle the long drive, but we broke it up, stopping overnight about halfway, and I sat in the backseat with her so she wouldn't get lonely, and she did awesome!

Even with the long drive, two little cousins ages 4 and 6, and being constantly on the go, our little pumpkin stayed relatively close to her schedule, got lots of sleep and had a ton of fun! She also go lots of toys, both new and hand-me-downs, so our collection is quickly expanding.

I'm so happy that she is a good traveler! I love visiting places, new and old, so I'm glad that we don't have to change that now that we have a baby. And other family and friends get to see her too.

Hmm, where can we go next?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bad tummy and boogers

I'm sad today. After the laughter and happiness that came from my daughter yesterday, last night felt like a bad dream. Something was bothering her, either gas or the beginnings of a cold, and poor Sofia was the opposite of her usual sunny self.

She'd begin to drift off to sleep and then whatever was hurting her would kick in and she'd arch her back and just start to cry. And it wasn't the "not really a cry" cry. It was a full out, real tears, red face cry. I hate that cry. It makes my heart hurt.

So Michael and I lay down with her on our bed and cuddled, telling her everything would be ok and mommy and daddy were there, until she finally relaxed and we knew she was in a deep sleep.

She slept fine and woke up for her usual 1 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. feedings and this morning she was smiling up at me when I got up. Lucky she's a happy kid cause she also woke up with a nose full of boogers and every time she sneezed (which, of course, was more than normal) she blew them right out. So now I'm making sure there is a box of kleenex somewhere nearby at all times.

I hope this cold of hers doesn't get any worse because tomorrow we are taking to the highway for our last little vacation of the year to visit family. We have to drive five hours tomorrow and five hours on Monday to reach our final destination, and we've never driven that far with the baby before. So. While she naps I'm going to pack a bag of cold remedies for baby so maybe we'll have a chance of making it in one piece. It should be quite the adventure.

I gotta say, there is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain or discomfort, knowing there's very little you can do other than give her all the love you can. And wipe her nose when the boogers fly.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Best. Sound. Ever.

I did it! I finally got Sofia to laugh! This time it wasn't an inanimate object she thought was amusing for no apparent reason. This time, I made her laugh all by myself.

For a while now she has visibly enjoyed the tried and true game of "Peek-a-Boo". I hide behind a blanket and pop out and she squeals and grins, so happy that mommy is back safe and sound. Well, when I was taking to my mom the other day she told me that when I was a baby she got me to laugh by jumping out at me and saying "boo!" So I thought, heck, why couldn't that work for my baby too?

Well it worked like a charm! As soon as I said "boo!" she broke into full out giggles. And this time daddy was lucky enough to be home for lunch and we were able to catch the whole thing on video.

I am really going to miss when all these little things are such a big deal. I love love love seeing what new and exciting thing Sofia will do each day. I never thought something so simple could make me so happy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Squeals and laughter and strange googly-eyed animals

Yesterday I took Sofia to her 5 month doctor appointment. It went perfectly and she is a healthy 16 lbs 1 and 1/4 ounces and 25.1 inches long. Yay!

Before we saw the doctor, we were sitting in the waiting room with about 10 other patients. There was another family there with a little girl about a year old who was wandering around the room entertaining everyone. Well, toddlers love babies that's a known fact. The first thing she did when we sat down was come over to investigate this other little person, and being completely adorable she brought over a toy to give to Sofia.

It was this little stuffed lion with giant googly eyes. Cute and scary at the same time. Well I put it in front of Sofia and suddenly she was laughing. I mean full out giggles, not like her usual squeals (which, by the way are the cutest squeals ever). She loved that lion. She had the whole waiting room laughing too.

So after our appointment we headed over to the Pharmasave to buy one of these toys (They are called Yoo Hoo and Friends and I guess they are like Webkinz in that you can go to their website, login and create your own Yoo Hoo friend and learn all about different animals. They didn't have any more lions so I got something else (no idea what kind of animal it is). Of course she hasn't laughed again like she did at the clinic, no matter how much I wave that thing in front of her face. But it's cute and makes a cute giggle noise so whatever. I'll keep trying.

The things you do to entertain your children.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Roll over, roll over

One day your baby car barely lift her head on her own and the next she is rolling over. I was actually starting to get a little discouraged because Sofia wasn't rolling over and I kept hearing about these babies who would roll both ways by the time they were three months old. But my inner voice told me that she would do it on her own time (and her giant head - thanks to daddy - was impeding her ability to move too quickly).

Up until yesterday, when I'd put her on the floor for the obligatory tummy time, she would grunt and squirm and plant her face in the floor. So I tended to avoid tummy time all together, figuring that she'd figure it out when she was ready.

Yesterday morning at playgroup I put her on an activity mat on her back as per usual. The first thing she did was reach her left arm across her body, arching her back as she tried to get a teething ring just out of her reach. I immediately freaked out, thinking she was about to roll from her back to her belly. I kept luring her with toys and she kept reaching and arching, but no rolling.

So last night at home, I had her on the floor again and she was doing it again. This time I figured I would help her out a bit and see if she'd get the hang of it. So I flipped her over onto her belly. Then, not five seconds later, she pushes herself up with her arms, leans a little to the side and , voila! She's back onto her back. Saying I freaked this time would be an understatement. I was so surprised, I scooped her up and planted about 50 kisses all over her face while telling her how proud I was.

I have no idea where that came from. I gotta say, I have a super awesome kid. I'm sure every mom says that, but I'm saying it anyway.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Feeling good, pass it on!

I have had several blogs since, um I don't know, whenever blogging became a cool thing to do (I just have to jump on bandwagons that involve writing and taking photos). I never really cared if people read my blog, cause I was mostly doing it for myself and if someone did happen to stumble upon it, well, great! I have definitely never gotten any sort of recognition for blogging ... until now! Even though I have only been blogging about my adventures in new mommyhood for a few weeks, a fellow mommy blogger has presented me with an award! Yay!!

It is no Grammy, but it's still pretty cool! Thanks to Tina F. from Mommy is Teething for giving me this award! And thanks to my fabulous baby girl Sofia for giving me a reason to write again. It had been too long and I'm so happy to be doing it again, even if it is just a little blog.

Now, on with my obligations as a recipient of The Versatile Blogger award...

 The Versatile Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award (Done!)
  • Share 7 things about yourself (See below)
    Pass the award on to other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous (See below)
  • Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award (In progress)

7 Things About Jenn:

1. I really, really, really want to be a photographer but I have no idea where to begin, other than to snap pictures of everything and anything (mostly my daughter these days) in the hopes that somehow I'll stumble upon a way to get going. Other than my daughter my other photographic obsession is flowers. I have a photoblog (Jenn's Photo Journal) that I don't update nearly as much as I should.

 2. Before becoming a mom, I worked as the editor of a weekly newspaper. While it was a great job, always interesting and ever-changing, I don't really miss it. I miss writing and taking photos, and I miss the people, but I do NOT miss the deadlines and stress. (P.S. It was the Meadow Lake Progress if you want to check it out).

3. I absolutely hate being alone. I spent too much time alone when I was a teenager that I would much rather be around people these days. I never even lived alone, aside from in a single room in residence in university, before I met my husband. I thought I'd hate being a stay-at-home-mom but luckily my baby girl is awesome company :)

4. I am organized almost to the point of obsessive-compulsive. I hate chaos and I will avoid it at all costs. Having a baby makes it hard for me to keep things in order sometimes, but I do my best. If I start something, I have to finish it. Like this list.

5. I am a proud Newfoundlander turned Saskatchewanian. I miss that island a lot, I miss the ocean and I miss my family, but there is no way I want to live there again. I want my children to have opportunities to travel that I never had because I was surrounded by water. I really believe Saskatchewan is Canada's best kept secret. It's the last place I ever imagined I'd end up, but I love it here.

6. I know you aren't supposed to say this, but when I found out I had a girl I was so happy. Before she was born, I said I'd be happy with either a boy or a girl, and I believe that if I had given birth to a bouncing baby boy, I truly would have been happy. At the same time, I have to admit that I really can't imagine it any other way right now. (And I absolutely love love love dressing her up hehe).

7. I have no idea how to be a good mother. I follow the leads of others around me and I listen to advice from friends and family, but in all reality I have no clue what I'm doing. I take comfort in knowing that everyone was right when they told me that mothering would come naturally to me. When I first saw that tiny little body in my arms, I knew I'd be ok no matter how difficult it was. I am taking it day-by-day and hoping that everything continues to fall in place as it should.

Blogs I Present the Versatile Blogger Award to:

The multitaksing mom

This Sunday I'm attending the Savvy Parent Seminar in Saskatoon. I heard about it through my mom and tot group. I was never the type of person to go to things like that, not alone especially. But in this case, I really thought the info could be useful to me and honestly, I'll take any opportunity to learn how to be a better mom. So Michael will drop myself and Sofia off on Sunday afternoon and we will see what we can learn.

One thing I considered after I bought tickets was that I haven't really spent this long (four hours) out in public with the baby by myself. Sure, we've gone for walks around town, to playgroup and once I even drove the two of us the hour to Saskatoon to pick up a friend at the bus station. But none of those outings required me to carry/change/feed her without any help whatsoever. And me being the paranoid person I am, of course I worry about the little things.

Like one of the first questions I asked myself was how am I going to go to the bathroom if the ... need arises? I mean, I will have our umbrella stroller with me so at least I know I have somewhere I can put her while I do my business. Seriously, these are the kinds of things that cross my mind.

I honestly don't know how single parents do it. I admire them, I really do. I am so lucky to have a husband who takes a very active role in raising our daughter. He does everything I do, aside from breastfeeding (but he does give her a bottle at times). So when I don't have him at my side I start to panic. I know it's silly because people do it by themselves all the time, but I am also aware that I am spoiled.

I am not going to let my paranoia deter me from doing things though, which is why I decided to take this opportunity to attend a seminar that will be interesting, informative and maybe help me overcome that paranoia anyway.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Day

I had such a happy baby today!

This morning we got all dressed up and went to playgroup, then spent the afternoon doing the usual, playing on the floor, playing with Sophie the Giraffe, taking pictures to put on Facebook for our family and watching a few cartoons.

This evening we caught a ride to daddy's work and walked home. It was a little chilly, but I bundled up my little bundle and we made it home long before the sun set. I just gave Sofia her nighttime bottle and she nearly passed out in my arms. Even though she hardly napped at all today, she was perfectly pleasant.

I love days like today :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Information overload, baby

I have discovered that nobody really knows what they are talking about when it comes to babies. Ok, yes they know what may or may not have worked for them in various scenarios, but any advice they give me may as well be a fairy tale. I want to believe it's true, but that doesn't mean it is how my life is going to go.

But, being a rookie mom, you take what you can get. If someone tells you to try giving your daughter rice cereal at 4 months, you go ahead and try, and then watch that poor child screw up her face and spit it out. If a mom of a one year old suggests giving her formula before bed, you will head out to the grocery store and spend every evening preparing bottles when before all you had to do was lift your shirt. You get worried if your baby isn't rolling both front to back and back to front, crawling on her elbows, sitting up unassisted, laughing, eating solids or sleeping through the night by 5 months. Because that's what so-and-so said their baby was doing at 3 months.

It's probably my own fault really, that I am so confused. When Sofia is having a nap and the house is quiet (like it is right now ... ahhh) I sit with my computer on my lap or my iPod in my hand searching anything and everything I can about motherhood. I read all kinds of mommy blogs, I download every parenting app I can get for free and check my email for my weekly updates telling me what milestones my daughter should be hitting this week. How can anyone know what is "right" with information coming at them from every direction?

Just this past Monday at mom and tot playgroup we had a presentation about cloth diapering. I went into it thinking I'd like to try that. I mean, it's obviously better for the environment, it saves you tons of money and how hard could it be? Well, by the time the presentation was over, I was so overwhelmed that I was more scared of the whole idea that excited about it. When you have so many options, it's hard to even think about making a choice.

Sometimes I want to just block it all out. I want to stop reading blogs written by people I don't know, delete all my apps and tell strangers, friends and family alike to butt out. I kind of want to figure it out on my own. But then, aren't I doing that either way? Even if I listen to all that advice and maybe even take them up on a suggestion or two, in the end I am the one making the decision about what really is right for my baby. It is trial and error sometimes, but that is what makes motherhood interesting. That, and watching that little baby grow up of course. And if you have a happy, healthy baby that's all that matters.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Something about sleep

Sleep was never such a source of stress and frustration before I had a baby. Now, how much sleep I had, how much sleep the baby had, how much sleep we didn't have, consumes every day and night.

Last night, I turned off my bedside lamp at precisely 9:55 p.m. and at 10:33 I heard that familiar "waa" coming from the next room. I had literally just finally started to drift to sleep at that point. Of course Sofia had only been in bed herself since about 8:30 so she was not hungry yet, but just needed me to stick her soother back in her mouth.

I am cursed with a busy mind, making it difficult to fall asleep even when I'm exhausted. I can't just shut off my brain as soon as I hit the pillow. My husband on the other hand can sleep anywhere, anytime, no problem. So between turning out the light and hearing a waking baby, he actually gets sleep, however little that may be. Add to that the fact that he doesn't always hear the baby, and you've got a great night's sleep. I, on the other hand, having mommy's instinct and all, hear every sound that comes from baby's room, even a teeny tiny sneeze.

Sometimes, broken sleep is better than no sleep at all. But after so many nights with only two or three hour stretches of sleep banked, it starts to catch up with you. Lack of sleep is one of those things seasoned parents will warn you about, but you will never really grasp until you experience it. I remember at the end of my pregnancy being told to enjoy sleep/rest while I could. I thought to myself, if only I could save up all that rest and use it later when I really needed it. But alas, that is not possible and today I long for those nights of 10 plus hours of sleep.

Somehow, even with a lack of sleep, you do manage to function though. This morning, for example, I got up and bowled three games. And while baby naps, here I sit at my computer instead of using the time to grab some shuteye myself. That's what us moms do - we complain but we know it's all part of motherhood, and we still wouldn't change a thing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things that make me feel good

I got sleep last night! When you are a parent, several uninterrupted hours of sleep is a cause for celebration. We'd had a few rough nights in a row, so last night being able to sleep from 10:30 until 5ish was amazing. Sofia drank 4 ounces of formula before bed last night so I'm hoping that has something to do with her sleeping longer. We'll see.

So I am going to start going to yoga in a couple weeks. I am so excited! I used to take yoga way back before I got pregnant and I really enjoyed it. I don't do the gym or fitness classes so it's really the only thing I have done that makes me feel really good, inside and out. I really need this time to myself too. Michael is going to be playing hockey so we'll both have our time out. Now we just have to find time for just the two of us together.

It's another gloomy day here. I'm starting to get used to it, but it sure would be nice to see the sun for once. I am hoping for a few sunny crisp fall days to get out and walk without being hot or eaten alive by mosquitoes. Before it snows!! Oops I sad the "S" word.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping the balance

I had one of those "I'm a terrible mommy" moments this morning. I was invited by some other ladies in my playgroup to join their team in a women's bowling league. I figured that I will welcome the opportunity to get out especially during the winter, and plus they have in house babysitting, by a women who happens to be the mother of a friend of mine.

So today was the first day, and overall it went well. I dropped Sofia off with the babysitter and told her that she was probably tired cause I had to wake her up to get her ready to go, but she had just eaten so she shouldn't be hungry for a while. I gave her the diaper bag and went on my way. I checked on her a couple times, and at first she was fine. The second time I went in the babysitter told me that Sofia was crying a bit but not bad. I should have known that she was hungry but I was too preoccupied with my turn coming up and I said she would be fine. I guess I thought that the babysitter would let me know if Sofia was getting upset or anything, but she didn't, probably cause she had several other children to look after.

When the last game was over, I rushed in to see how things were going and I found the babysitter rocking Sofia, who was screaming bloody murder. I scooped her up and tried to comfort her, but she was way past comforting at that point. I knew by then that she was hungry and tired. The babysitter said she kept almost falling asleep but waking up again. I tried feeding her but no way, she was just plain upset. So we headed home. As soon as we got home I fed her and she passed out in my lap. She was exhausted.

I felt so bad! I know I should have fed her when she was starting to get fussy, and I should have checked on her more often than I did. It was the first time she was ever with a stranger for longer than a few minutes, so she probably just wanted me too. Even though my instincts were telling me to check on her, I didn't.

I'm sure everyone has these moments when their baby is upset and they know they could have prevented it, but I still feel terrible. I feel like I neglected her. I'm definitely going to do it differently next week. If I have to, I'll bring her out with me for a bit. It's so hard sometimes to balance everything and keep it balanced. Sometimes you accidentally lean the wrong way a little and everything falls to the ground. That's just part of parenthood I guess, but it sure is upsetting when it happens.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The TV gods are against me

This morning I woke up to a broken tv. Sometime during the night it got fried and now it won't turn on. Sad day!! So Michael hooked up our old tiny tv and discovered that our satellite was also out. Luckily he managed to fix that, but we're not sure there is hope for the tv. I'm kinda bummed cause I already have a list as long as my arm of stuff I need to get in the city on Sunday (looking at certain websites did not help keep the list short lol). Now we have to add tv to the list?! Those things don't come cheap, and this one we have was a wedding gift so we hadn't even spent money on it before. As much as it's not a necessity, it's something we use every day and would be lost without. I've become quite attached to my HDTV shows :S

So this list I have is almost entirely made up of stuff for baby. I am no longer satisfied by shopping just for myself. Although I would enjoy buying some nice new fall clothes for me, I would be happy enough to just shop for Sofia. Of course after yesterday's post I learn that Old Navy is having a 30% off baby sale!! So yeah, we will be going there on Sunday. She really needs some warm clothes. It was so nice of people to give us so much clothes while we were home visiting last month, but they failed to remember that we live in Saskatchewan, where the temperatures go down to -40 in winter. I need to get a snow suit, socks, tights and long sleeved shirts. I've got drawers full of clothes and somehow I managed to think of more things she needs lol. I just can't help myself.

Also, I am thinking about trying Sofia on formula. Until now she's been exclusively breast fed, and it has been going well. Changing it up is something that I have been struggling with. While I know she is getting all the nutrition she needs, I have been toying with the idea of supplementing for a few reasons. The main one is that I have not been able to pump much. There have been several occasions where it would be nice to be able to give her a bottle, like if I go out with the girls and if Michael offers to feed her at night and let me get some rest. Every time I have gotten stressed out wondering if I pumped enough. So far I have, but as her demands increase, it will get harder and harder. A friend of mine also suggested giving her a bottle of formula before bed to help her sleep through the night (since the rice cereal didn't go over so well). Aanything that could mean a full night's sleep is ok by me! I figure it can't hurt to give her a bottle once a day, and then if she does ok with it, I won't have to worry about pumping if I want to go out for a few hours or something, and when I go back to work in the spring.

Well, I'm going to go watch my tiny tv and wait for baby girl to wake up from her nap. She's having a mega snooze right now!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Canadians can now shop online at the Gap and Old Navy. I made the mistake of looking at their baby clothes. If I were rich I would buy every single piece of baby clothes they sell. Seriously.

This is just one of the cozy sweaters I need lol

Skinny jeans for babies! No way!
I heart rainbow

Ok really, I want this coat for MYSELF!

She can be Sofie the Giraffe for Halloween!!

Somebody take away my credit card! Old Navy has some really good prices! I haven't even looked at the women's clothes yet. Oh dear.

The quiet life of a mommy

The baby is sleeping in her car seat. We got home from playgroup and she couldn't keep her eyes open so I figured, why disturb her if she's comfy? So I put on the dishwasher and folded yesterday's laundry and tried to make the house smell pretty with these diffusers I've had since Christmas (cause our house smells like kitty litter). And now I have a moment to read blogs and check Facebook.

I really like going to playgroup. It makes me feel human. It gets pretty lonely around here when you don't leave the house for days. As much as I love playing with Sofia all day long, sometimes I need adult interaction. I'm really looking forward to Monday playgroup starting up again cause we get to sit around, drink coffee and eat snacks, and even have guest speakers come in.

It's so weird how different my life is now. I went from the daily stress of work, coming home every day and venting about all the annoying things that happened that day, to actually enjoying my own company and not having to worry about deadlines and getting all my work done. Yeah it gets boring sometimes, but I love watching my little girl learn new things every day, and I'm actually enjoying life for once. If only we could live life without stress all the time.

Now I'm going to watch America's Next Top Model that I taped last night before Sofia wakes up from her nap. Ah the joys of being a stay-at-home mom lol.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day By Day

We had a busy Labor Day weekend. We went for what we call a mini vacation to visit friends at the lake. Sofia was awesome traveling as always. She slept the whole three hour drive there and even slept better while we were there than she does at home (eight whole hours one night!!) She was a great little entertainer too, especially since she learned to squeal this weekend (It's sometimes hard to tell if she's upset or happy lol).

Last night when we got home, I was so tired from the trip and from not sleeping much and I kind of had a little break down. Sofia had been spitting up a LOT yesterday and suddenly I just felt helpless. I want her to sleep through the night but I don't know how to get her to eat more at each feeding, and the spitting up doesn't help. Everyone has advice but how do you know who to trust? How do you know what is right for your baby? I am sure every mom goes through this, but it's still hard.

So. Today we gave Sofia rice cereal for the first time. One of the suggestions I have been getting is to try it to help her sleep through the night. Well, when we gave it to her she made a funny face lol. After a bit, I could tell she didn't hate it, but she sure didn't know what to do with it. I guess she's not ready for solids yet. It is going to be so much fun when she is!

 I feel better tonight and I think Sofia does too. I am taking everything a day at a time, cause that's really all you can do. I'm the kind of person who wants to be able to plan ahead, but I'm quickly learning that it's not possible when you have a baby.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Me Time

I have the best husband on earth. Just wanted to say that. He's great. Really.

Just got Sofia down for her morning nap. I should probably take this opportunity to nap myself, but for some reason I just can't do it anymore. You know what they say, "sleep when the baby sleeps". Easier said than done. I used to be able to do it, but these days I have so much to do ... cleaning, eating, catching up on tv shows, blogging. I really actually enjoy the "me" time. Besides, napping just ends up making me more tired and feeling yucky.

We are going out of town this weekend. I'm excited because it will be laid back and relaxing. Sofia is a great traveler. When we went to Newfoundland in August, she was amazing. She slept on the plane, hardly cried at all and didn't mind being handed from person to person. This weekend it's just a three hour drive, so I'm hoping she is just as good. The thing is, you never know with babies. They could be super perfect one minute and before you know they have moved onto the next phase, which could happen to be the "no way am I cooperating" phase. We'll see I guess.

K, now I'm going to go do something productive. Or else lay on the couch. Whatever.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A bumpy ride

We did it! We walked to the Co-op and it didn't rain! Yay! Of course I was exhausted from barely getting any sleep last night and turned around and came straight home instead of taking a detour like I was planning to do. And the walk was made just slightly more difficult based on the fact that I just HAD to have a coffee. That meant carrying it in one hand while steering the stroller with the other hand, because when I put the coffee in the stroller's cup holder it spilled every time we hit a bump, and trust me there are a LOT of bumps on the sidewalks in this town. Just one of the new things I've learned to do since becoming a mother!

I don't really want to be one of those moms who complains about how little sleep she got the night before, because I am quite aware that all moms have to deal with that problem, but I just can't help myself. Sofia has only slept through the night like twice, so I shouldn't really be upset that she's been waking up at night. However, she was doing good, only waking up once and sleeping the majority of the night in her crib. Then we came back from vacation and suddenly she only sleeps about four hours in her crib (if we're lucky) and then wakes up every two hours after that. I'm not handling this broken sleep very well. Every night it's hard and harder for me to haul myself out of my comfy bed to go retrieve my daughter and plunk her down beside me. Then once she's done eating I'm way too tired to do it again, especially with the possibility that she may not go back to sleep in her crib.

Anyway, I know there's not much I can do about it. Babies will sleep through the night when they are ready. The main thing is, Sofia is eating and pooping and growing, and that's all that really matters. Now, it's 9 p.m., time for me to go to bed.

Out and about. Or not.

I'm quickly learning how much work goes into just getting myself and Sofia ready to go out anywhere. Yesterday we were going to go for a walk. After I made sure she was dry, fed and dressed for the cool weather, I got myself dressed and packed up her diaper bag with all the essentials (extra diapers, clothes, blanket, socks, toys etc etc etc). I strapped her in, put the dog upstairs and locked the safety gate and off we went! We got up the street, around the corner and one block away when I realized there was an enormous dark cloud hovering right above us. Then I heard the thunder. Then I felt the raindrops. After all that I turned around and headed back home. It rained for the rest of the afternoon and we didn't get to go for our walk.


So today we will go through it all again and I'm hoping this time the weather cooperates. Oh well, even if it doesn't it gives us something to do! The joys of having a baby :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Beginning

I've decided to start a new blog. This one is going to be a place for me to brag about/vent about/reflect on my new life as a mother. It's very different from my old life, the one where I spent my days working for a newspaper, stressing out about deadlines and chronicling the life of everyone around me. Now I get to focus on MY life, and the life of this little person I created (with the help of my husband of course hehe). So far it's been boring at times, sometimes even lonely, but at the same time exciting. There is nothing better than watching someone grow up right in front of your eyes.

I am excited to be able to write about my everyday experiences, no matter how mundane they may be. Probably no one will read this blog, but I'm putting it out there anyway.

Today has been pretty normal for me. Sofia slept in! Of course I'm sure that had to do with the fact that she was in my bed. She's such a happy baby. I put her in her Exersaucer for the first time and she went to town with all the toys. I could sit and watch her discover her surroundings forever. She is starting to get the hang of reaching and grabbing at things now. My little angel is napping now and I'm enjoying this quiet time to myself. Although I am wondering when she will wake up so we can play again ... ;)