Friday, June 29, 2007

scary moments

Amongst all the good things that happened yesterday, I also had the biggest scare since becoming a mama. Shortly after yesterday's post, as I heard my babe waking up from her afternoon nap, I found her in her crib covered in vomit. Oh, the horror! She then proceeded to throw up for the next 45 minutes! My poor, poor babe.

Afterwards, she was so tired, and I was at this point so beyond worried. I called telehealth (after wracking my brain in my moments of panic to remember what that service was called). Can I say again, "Thank goodness the Internet was invented!"

I had guessed she was having a violent reaction to the soy formula I had given at her 3pm feed. We were just starting to introduce a bottle back into her schedule and it was the first time I've given her the powdered variety. Previously we had been using the canned concentrate formula with no problems. I can't believe there is a noticeable difference between liquid and powder!

The nurse on the hotline agreed it was a reaction to the formula, but determined through a series of questions, that Kayla wasn't too bad and that I should just monitor her condition for dehydration. She was still a little tired when hubby rushed home from work, but by 7pm she was feeling a little better and we showered her and put her to bed.

It was a tough night for both hubby and I as we proceeded to check up on her almost every hour she was sleeping to make sure she hadn't vomited in bed or that she was still breathing. She awoke at 10pm looking for food (since she hadn't eaten anything since 11am because of all the vomiting). She ended up sleeping through the night (for the first time) until 6am this morning! Although I can't say that I slept very well! She, however, woke up this morning in good spirits like nothing had happened the night before.

I'm still perplexed about the whole formula thing. Maybe it's her way of telling me she prefers to stay breastfeed? Anyways, lets just say I'm not planning to test it again!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

good things

Today has been a day filled with good things.

Good thing #1:
I meet Sara, mother and founder of yourmomma.ca, a new mommy-venture selling products made only by moms. I'm excited to work with Sara and be a part of this new venture, and also have the opportunity to perhaps meet and learn from other mamas who are out there doing what they love, too!

Good thing #2:
As Sara and I talk, and Baby K pulls my finger into her mouth, I was shocked to discover something sharp and hard along her gum line. I peer into her mouth to see two white slashes across her gums, a sign that her first tooth is coming in - already at only 5 1/2 mouths!

So, to say the least, I'm not prepared for this! Should I be brushing her teeth now? But with what? I haven't purchased any baby toothpaste or toothbrush yet. She hasn't been showing any signs of teething which I guess I should be thankful to be so lucky! Now I'm also wondering if I should speed up her feeding time line. We were going to start next weekend, but maybe it should be this weekend instead?

Boy, have I mentioned before how unpredictable my baby girl is?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

on solid ground

Hard to imagine, but Baby K will be starting solids next week. She seems interested in food these days. She has started to eye me intently in the mornings from her activity centre as I'm eating my breakfast. Perhaps wondering if she could try some too!

So this week, I've been preparing for the transition - stocking up on spoons, little plastic bowls, and plastic bibs - lots of bibs! I've also been researching what to feed her. They say baby's first food should be rice cereal, but because of Kayla's allergies, the standard commercial baby cereals won't work, so we'll probably start with congee (typical Chinese kid), which is simply pureed rice.

I have been concerned, however, that she won't get the iron she needs if I make my own cereal, so I've also discovered the other day an organic brand by My Organic Baby. The contents are organic brown rice and iron supplements - that's it. No fillers or milk ingredients - perfect!

I never planned on going organic for our babe when she was born but since her birth, I've found that an organic shampoo and baby wash has cleared up her cradle cap, an organic alternative to hydro-cortisone cream is helping with her eczema, and now it looks like she'll be served organic and homemade foods because of her allergies. It looks like I've got my very own organic baby.

I'm looking forward (and camera ready) to her reactions when she tries her first foods. Perhaps we'll start her on a weekend so hubby and I can both share the experience with her. Exciting times...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

some changes...

If you're reading this post from blogger you'll notice that I've made a few cosmetic changes to the blog. Just thought I'd change things up a bit and go for a simpler, cleaner look for summer. Also, I've officially changed my moniker to "FlowerPot" since I'm now officially a registered business, and it seemed more appropriate!

When I first started this blog 6 months ago, I had planned for it to be a journal of my first year as a new mom. But since then, it's grown into more than just that for me. It's a venue for not only my mom experiences but also a creative outlet and the starting point for FlowerPot Designs. I've been inspired by the many mommy-ventures out there in blog-land. When I first started, I had no idea how many of us were out there - first-time moms, experienced moms, work-at-home moms, even part-time and full-time working moms - who were writing, creating, dreaming!

Hence, the reason for some small changes... but the content will always be the same. My life, my loves, and my babe.

Monday, June 25, 2007

daycare

Recently I've been exploring my options for my eventual return to work. With 7 more months of maternity leave there seems like plenty of time, but surprisingly, daycare waiting lists are long and some parents have already secured places as soon as their pregnancies were confirmed. I'm only starting now.

So I've placed my names on a few lists and this past week have been taking tours of some of the centres. It's been quite an eye-opening experience.

As I take a tour and I ask myself, can I see my babe in this place? I can't help but respond: NO. Not that the centres are bad places. They're not. The teachers are nice, caring and there's plenty of activities and smiles. But there's the little things, like the size of the classrooms (they seem so small), the openness of the sleeping areas (will my babe be able to fall asleep there), the food served (which I'm shocked beyond belief how un-nutritious some of the menus are). Then there's the guilt - fear that she'll be unhappy, that she'll miss us too much, that they won't know how to make her laugh or to comfort her.

All too heavy business for just 5 months into my maternity leave, so instead, today we spent a hot afternoon playing indoors, away from the sticky heat, and not thinking about what will come next year.

Friday, June 22, 2007

xOxO

My babe has just developed the sweetest habit. She's learned to grab my face, by the ears, and pull me towards her, leaning in for a big, wet, open-mouthed smooch! Afterwards, she grins at me and sometimes laughs - very pleased with herself. It's the sweetest thing!

Listed these little shoes in the shop. One pair for my lady, one for the shop.


Short post today... getting ready for the weekend and some major backyard clean-up! Enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

growing, growing, growing...

These past two weeks have been met with many milestones for my little lady. Not only has she become more acrobatic these days, she's also able to turn herself around on her stomach during tummy time. Plus, she loves to chatter. She talks all the time these days, however, every time we try to capture this on video, she clams up. Silly girl!

She loves to stand (with support). I think it must be those big thigh muscles she has! She's also very close to sitting on her own this week. She can sit, lean forward and support herself on her hands for a few seconds before tumbling sideways on the bed. It's too funny to watch! She gets this shocked look on her face when it happens like she wasn't expecting it!

Watching her growth and development these past couple of weeks has been very exciting for me. It reminds me that she's growing (and so quickly too)! In 2 weeks we'll be starting her on solids.

On an aside, Happy 1st Birthday to Kayla's boyfriend - SUPER B!

Monday, June 18, 2007

father's day crafting

Warming my heart, Kayla made her first craft - a Father's Day card - with the help of mama (of course) and the educators at our local Ontario Early Years Centre.

It was a touching surprise for da-da and I'm hoping that this will quickly become a little family tradition.

Father's day was spent playing around the house, eating dim sum (yummy) with family, and strolling around our neighbourhood. All in all, a very nice family day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

coming out

Since blogging about our new sleep routine I've had a few moms (and dads) admit to me that they've practiced (or at least tried) similar approaches with their own babes. I didn't realize until now it might be taboo to talk about it. Why? Perhaps out of some kind of shame or guilt for letting their babies cry?

It's stunning that this very publicized sleep training technique causes so much debate, anguish and conflict for parents. I know I was very reluctant to try it myself. But now I'm beginning to see some of the positive effects. Kayla is easier to put to sleep (although I can't say she really sleeps any longer... yet) and I'm not up in the middle of the night forcing her to sleep when she doesn't want to, so at least I can get a little shut-eye too. Although the downside, it has been quite difficult to watch her go through it. I'm grateful that each night gets easier - sometimes not even crying at all!

I realize now that parenting comes down to what each individual feels comfortable doing for their own family. You can read all the books available and talk to experts, doctors and friends, but in the end, it's up to you to decide what is best for your own child. One method isn't any better than the next, they're just different, and no one should feel shame or guilt about their parenting style because after all, we're all just figuring it out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

am I a believer?

Well... this morning came and the little lady awoke at 6:30 am but in very good spirits, cooing in her crib and playing with her hands. I went to get her at 6:45, nursed her in bed (for that extra 15 minutes of shut eye) and then we played in bed while daddy got ready for work.

I was apprehensive about how her naps would work out, but again, my little babe surprised me. Morning nap was great - she went down without any trouble. Now she's having an afternoon nap, giving me time to reflect on morning events and catch up on my blogging.

So overall, our sleep trial was a success. I guess I should wait until we're firmly settled in this new routine before I can be a true believer.

Oh, and she's back on the bottle once per day at bedtime starting yesterday as well. We're trying out the soy formula because of her allergies. Amazingly she took to the bottle without any trouble after over a month had passed since her last one. I was expecting a fight, but again she surprised me! My girl is so unpredictable!

Monday, June 11, 2007

the crying game

Recently Kayla has been, what seems to me, regressing in her sleeping habits. For over a week now, she's been waking up at odd hours in the morning wide awake and not falling back asleep (which means both of us are not sleeping) and seemingly harder to get to bed for naps and even her regular bedtime.

This past weekend we were going to try unswaddling her again, but that attempt failed. So today, after much wrestling, mostly with myself because hubby was all for it on the weekend, we tried the "cry it out" approach. I was never a firm supporter of this method. I don't have the heart or stomach for it, however, Baby K turned 5 months old today and developmentally she is ready for sleeping on her own.

So I put away my fears that it would destroy her trust in us or that it would hurt her, and we tried it.

Since we have a video monitor, we were able to turn the volume off (so I couldn't hear her cries) and instead watched her (to make sure she was okay) on the screen. At first she was okay, only soft little complaints, but after 5 minutes, she started wailing. Boy, can she scream! Even with the volume off, we could still hear her downstairs. Then after a brief check-in by hubby, the miraculous happened... she fell quite, started to move around less and eventually fell asleep.

To my surprise it only took a half hour. I was expecting worse - at least over an hour. And the bonus: since we were trying this new approach we had to leave her unswaddled so at least she could comfort herself by finding her fingers. So now it looks like we've killed two birds with one stone!

Even through all this, I still have some reservations about the whole approach and will wait to see how she behaves tomorrow morning before I'm a believer in the method. It's a big step and learning for me because it goes against every instinct I have as a mom to hear and see your child in distress and not respond. But just like Kayla, I think I needed the 5 months also to grow and get ready for the crying game.

Friday, June 08, 2007

baby in the house

I've been wandering around in my house today - because that's what new mamas do when their baby just wants to be held - and I've been thinking. As I wander and look at each corner of my home, I realize how much has changed with a baby in this house.

Intermixed amongst our modern furniture, relics from our pre-baby life, there's a bouncer in the living room, a play mat in the office, a playpen in the kitchen, and toys on our bed. I reflect back to when I was pregnant and realize how funny all the time we've spent planning her nursery - choosing the right crib, selecting the perfect colours and accent pieces and decorating, just decorating. Now it's probably the room she spends the least amount of time in, especially in those early days when all she wanted was to be held and slung to sleep or slept with us.

Now her toys add splashes of colour against the muted tones of our home, but the brightness adds light and happiness. A baby in the house is a happy home.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

arms outstretched

There's no better feeling in the world than to be loved by your babe. To see her eyes light up and a smile spread across her sweet face as you enter the room; to see her tears stop flowing as you reach out and hold her to ease the anxiousness; and to make her laugh as you sing her favourite song.

The other day, Baby K has started to reach out to me with her arms outstretched, asking to be picked up. What a glorious feeling! To know that she wants you, needs you, loves you - makes it all worthwhile.


This is Kayla's latest pastime these days. She always smiles when the sound and music keys are hit. She's even getting the hang of pushing them herself!

Monday, June 04, 2007

nursery art

I've been planning this project since we named our little girl. I've always wanted something with her name on it for her room and those wooden letters found in many kids boutiques were too common for my special lady. Plus, this corner of her room was begging for something... so this project was created.

I love the outcome - the natural colours (sand, avocado, butter... so yummy) and the personal touch of embellishments.

I'm excited by my recent bursts of creative energy. It's been a while since I've had the opportunity or the desire to be so creative, but my angel has been such an inspiration. I love creating for her and one day I hope to be able to nurture and guide her own creative talents. Oh, I can't wait for that sweet day!

Anyways, I've added this project as a custom order in the shop. So enjoy!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

sophie the giraffe

Meet Sophie, Baby K's newest friend.

I'd been hearing about this teething toy for a little while now - from mommy forums, baby web sites, random moms at kids stores... all rave reviews. So, since my babe is approaching the teething age and putting everything in her mouth these days, I decided to get her one. To my surprise, it's so popular many stores have been sold out of Sophie for months!

What's so great about Sophie? Well, I love the fact that she's made of natural rubber and decorated with food quality paint. No synthetics or harsh PVC plastics like other teething toys. I also love that she's French (made in France). I had to recall my rusty high school French classes so I could read the history of the toy on the back of the box. And lastly, I love that her name is Sophie (Kayla's middle name) - how appropriate!

Anyways, Baby K loves her little giraffe. It's quickly become her fave toy to chew on and it's always in my diaper bag now! But she's so cute, how could any baby (or mama) resist!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

duckies

I was shocked and alarmed when I discovered this afternoon that I had a blocked milk duct in my right boob. Actually, I didn't know what it was until I searched the web (I think I've said this many times before, but what would a first-time modern mama do without the Internet!)

At first I thought it might be a mastitis but I didn't have any of the pain or fever that is generally associated with one. It just felt like a really hard, flat lump. It wasn't painful (yet) but I was worried if it stayed like that it would eventually grow bigger and then what?

Following the advice of Dr. Sears (love his web site BTW) of massage, warm compress, pump and nurse, Kayla eventually released the blockage during her last feed of this evening. Yeah... it's the first thing she's ever done for me in her sweet little life (I'm so proud). It's always been me doing things for her, it's actually very comforting vice versa, in a strange sort of way.

Now as I think back on how this happened since I've had no problems breastfeeding since the early days, I suspect it's due to her recent habit of nursing from only one boob (rather than both) at each feed. For the past few days, my milk supply has been learning to adjust to this new routine and I guess this blocked duct has been the result. But tonight I'm just relieved it's gone, so I'm sending sweet kisses and little prayers to my little sleeping angel!