Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday Day 1. I turned the big 3-0 on Friday and this year's birthday was quite special, I must say. My hubby had big plans for me, secret plans, plans he's been working on for quite some time apparently. All I was told was to be dressed and ready to go at 9:30 on Thursday. Well, I had some issues getting ready by 9:30 as Matthew would NOT nap. So I took a shower, WITH Matthew. That was, um, interesting, but I couldn't see any way around it as he basically climbed in with his clothes on when I left him on the bathroom floor to play. So I got showered and dressed, well half dressed, and my aunt showed up at my door. "I was in the neighbourhood". Ha ha ha, nice one, and so it begins. After finally getting a shirt on and my hair brushed and dried-ish, the doorbell rings again. It was my good friend Shannon. Whaaaaa? I did not expect her, but I was pleasantly surprised. Soon my sister in law showed up and we were off, to where I did not know. We parked and started walking, by then I suspected what was going on. We arrived at a spa and all got much needed manicures. After manicures, we went for lunch and my friend Devon met us. We decided to get ice cream cake from DQ after and we all went home to treat ourselves. What a wonderful day! To top it off, hubby bought me a beautiful sapphire necklace "from Matthew". I am so blessed.

Sapphire and Diamond Double Heart Pendant in 10K White Gold  - Peoples Jewellers
Happy Birthday Day 2! Yes, I get a multi-day birthday this year. Hey, I turn OLD, don't I deserve it? Day 2 (my actual birthday) was somewhat uneventful. I had to do that birthday tradition of getting new stickers and a new license. Fun. After packing up for my parent's house, we headed to the license office. Wouldn't it just be my luck that it was packed 12 people out the door at 9 am. Great. I decided to skip it and go straight north. Matthew gave me the best birthday present: sleep the entire drive up! WOOT! After unpacking at my parents house, I finally had to get down to business and went into town to get my license stuff done. It took all of 3 minutes. Yay! The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. My parent's gift is stuck in the mail strike backlog, so we just had a nice dinner and relaxed.

Happy Birthday Day 3! For many years now, my BFF and I have had a wonderful birthday tradition. We always go to a concert for our birthdays since they are 4 days apart. We've done a Hawksley concert every year since we first saw him in 2003 in a tennis court of a resort in our home town. Did I mention Hawksley is from my home town? That's right! He even went to our high school but left the year before we started. My favourite teacher of all time was the man who first introduced me to Hawksley, though I didn't appreciate it at the time. It wasn't until this teacher's memorial several years later that I got a full appreciation of the GENIUS (Yes, genius) that is Hawksley Workman. Hawksley came back from wherever he was currently touring to sing a goodbye song for his favourite teacher. Anyway, we are both huge fans of Hawksley and have been to 8 concerts together! This "birthday concert" as I like to call it was my 10th Hawksley concert and it was FABULOUS! Usually when he plays at home, it's just him and his ever faithful sidekick Mr Lonely. This time he brought someone else with him: Brad Killpatrick from St John's Newfoundland!

One of the things (other than his music obviously) that I like about Hawksley concerts is he's a real entertainer. He chats a lot with his audience and makes jokes. I've seen Hawksley in Newfoundland and I've seen him in Toronto, but he's never as good as when he's at home. His jokes refer to things and events in town and we all just "get" his sense of humour. I'll never forget his show in Massey Hall when every joke he made seemed to bomb with the audience, and every funny facial expression or leg kick he made seemed hilarious. I found it disturbing, and apparently so did he and he made a real joke and said "now THAT'S funny!" There were way too many references and jokes to list them all, but I thought I'd list the funniest:
- Apparently Hunstville needs an overpass because "I need to get through town way quicker than I can currently"
- He told a story of going to a concert and one of the back stage hands had an Islander's jersey on that was signed, "Dear, Hawksley, I don't shoot wide, Mike Bosey" (which if you know his songs, is HILARIOUS!)
- Hawksley compared himself to a cat in terms of his music and his routine "I like lamb and rice, don't give me chicken treat, I want lamb and rice"
- A random rambling of his was about having to pick up his Debbie Travis raincheck rug at Crappy Tire.
- A broken escalator reminded him of the first automatic door at Brendale Square. The Sinclair West escalator seems to always be broken, but he doesn't remember the automatic door at Brendale Square ever being broken. No one fixes automatic doors, but now they have a new one and it's gonna break for sure.
- "It's hard to impress a woman with a deep freezer in the drive and an electric stove on the deck"
- After a long break before his encore someone asked "What took you so long". Referring to an earlier comment about some excellent cheese he had at home he responded "10 year old cheese"

Of course, as always, it's not necessarily what he says but rather the way he says it: like it just occurred to him before the beginning, or in the middle of, one of his songs.

So it was an awesome concert. Hawksley changed it up and played drums in one part, sat beside Lonely and played piano in one part and even played the recorder. There was also some accordion and xylophone mixed in there for good measure. The only thing that was missing from this concert was my best friend, but it was indeed a Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Y3W ~ One Year Old!!!

Ok, so I'm almost a week late, but I just have to share how well my ONE YEAR OLD is doing! First his party. It was fabulous! He had a nap just before the party began and was a bit clingy until he woke up. All his friends showed up and he had a blast with them. It was too cold and windy to go outside, so I brought the ball pit inside for the kiddos to play in. I think they all had fun. I was super stressed out about the whole party after having planned, baked, prepped and decorated the entire thing by myself, but it all worked out in the end. There was lots of food, and yummy yummy dairy free cake! I was surprised by how good the actual cake tasted and everyone seemed to like it. Unless they were lying. And now some fun pictures of Matthew's cake adventure.

Matthew's 1 year appointment went well. He is right on track for development and he is gaining weight now like a champ. He took his needles like a champ. He only cried for a split second when the needles went in, but he was happy to cuddle mommy after.

And now his stats:
32" tall
21 lbs 12 oz
18" head circumference

On Wednesday we went back to the breastfeeding clinic. They are VERY pleased with his weight gain. 1 whole pound in 3 weeks!!! They think my current dose of domperidone is good, so no need to increase it. They also said the night waking recently is probably due to teeth, and not eating enough food during the day and hopefully he'll start sleeping soon. I got a referral to a pediatric allergist, so hopefully I can get that appointment soon. As for the dairy free thing, the pedi suggested I give cooked or processed dairy a go since he didn't seem to have a reaction such as a rash when he was eating yogurt or cheese earlier. Since we now know the night waking and uncomfortable tummy thing wasn't due to tummy pain, rather an EMPTY tummy! So I've started him back on some dairy, and he seems to be doing well with it, which means I get to eat dairy too! YAY! Oh cheese, how I missed you! I'll probably make an appointment before I go back to work to discuss plans for daycare, but they information sheets they gave me said I don't need to give him any other form of milk during the day as long as I'm still breastfeeding him 3-4 times a day! I was also told I can give him enriched rice milk as a drink, so that's probably the way I'll go for his lunch time drink. I'm very happy to be finally listened to, and have a plan. I'm so glad I went with my instincts and found the right support. I know I've said this before, but I wish us moms didn't have to learn these lessons the hard way. If something isn't right, find an answer, someway, somehow! Mommy is always right!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Y3W: I'm Turning ONE!

My little monkey is almost ONE! I can't believe it! I had a party for his little friends on Wednesday. Ok, it was a party for me and my mommy friends that I've met through my mom group. It was a whirlwind. I was behind on my cleaning and prep work and Matthew refused REFUSED to take a nap! It was tough getting things ready, but I made it. Everything turned out great, even though Matthew decided to take his nap in the MIDDLE of his playdate. Go figure. The kids had tonnes of fun and I got some great pictures. Now I just have to prepare for his family birthday party on the weekend. I'll let you see for yourself how fun the party was with lots and lots of pictures!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The New Plan

So it's clear now that my supply is nearly gone and before I go into details about the new plan, I'll go into details about all the medical professionals who screwed up and the instinct I didn't listen to.

When Matthew was born (at 1:20 am), he was a "big" boy. 9 lbs 1 oz didn't seem that big to me, but he still had to have 3 good sugar tests after birth. He passed all of them with flying colours. Nursing was a hard thing to learn and R and I went to the hospital breastfeeding clinic for some help. I was cracked and bleeding by the time Matthew was 12 hours old. The lactation consultant said I should probably pump on the bleeding side until it healed and sent us on our way. R left at 10 pm that night and I was alone with a newborn baby who wouldn't settle no matter what. I also hadn't slept since I woke up at 7 am the previous day. When the nurses offered to take him to the nursing station so I could sleep, it sounded like a godsend. They promised to bring him back for his next feed at 1 am. And so I got about 2 hours of sleep before I woke up waiting for the return of my son. I waited until 1:15 to start worrying, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I kept giving them 15 mins to see if they would bring him back, and when they didn't, I kinda started to freak out. "I didn't check their ID, what if they just stole my baby?" "He must be hungry by now, I need to feed him!" At 2 am I called them to bring him back. When they returned him they simply said "He was hungry so we finger fed him formula". Um, what? Who gave you permission to do that? And why wouldn't you bring him back for ME to feed? I was upset and confused, but I figured "they're the experts, I guess they know what they're doing".

His weigh in was around 3 am at 26 hours old and he had lost ... 3%! I thought this was a GOOD thing since they only worry at around 10%. I don't remember how it came about, but some time that morning, the nurses came in with a bottle of formula saying "he's a big boy, he needs to eat". I immediately thought it was odd to feed a baby 60 ml of formula when he'd only naturally be getting a teaspoon or so of colostrum. But again I trusted "the experts". The lactation consultant was sent in to teach me how to use the supplemental nursing system: tube feeding. It was hard and confusing and I was overwhelmed. Around 10 am I was anxious to get out. Since we had both gone to the bathroom, and passed all our tests I was told we could leave as soon as the shift changed. But they kept me and kept me in the dark. Turns out, they were concerned because I was weepy and crying all the time. Um... I JUST gave birth to a baby, I'm in PAIN, and you STOLE MY BABY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!! I managed to convince them I DIDN'T have Post Partum Depression and they let me go, with a referral to a breastfeeding clinic attached to the hospital.

Tube feeding at home did NOT go well. It was hard enough just to try and get Matthew to latch without having to shove a tube in his mouth. I was in incredible pain from all the bad latches and overwhelmed and upset by the struggle. When Matthew was 3 days old, we went to the breastfeeding clinic. She promptly scolded me for tube feeding when there was no medical necessity to do so and told me I had jeopardized my supply. We did a weighed feed and Matthew took in 2 oz in 15 mins on one side. CLEARLY I had enough milk! She sent me home with instructions to pump for 10 mins on each side after every feed with a hospital grade rental pump. After 2 days of this, Matthew was choking at the breast and not latched very well. I was exploding with milk! Another trip to a different breastfeeding clinic identified the problem. I now had oversupply and not only could Matthew not latch properly to my boulders, but he was choking by the forceful letdown. I was sent home from that appointment with instructions to hand express before each feed and block feed to reduce supply. It took 6 weeks of weekly breastfeeding clinic appointments before it finally got under control. And at 6 weeks, my "typical" baby became suddenly colicky and inconsolable without gripe water and baby squats. Hmmmm.....

The 6 week mark also signifies my first post-partum appointment where my doctor promptly prescribed me the low dose birth control pill as my ONLY option other than condoms. It took me about 2 months to realize that my supply didn't seem as good as it once was and I went in for an appointment with my doctor. "I think the pill has decreased my supply". His response? "Oh yeah, it'll do that. Just supplement with formula or stop taking it and use condoms". Um... WHAT? "Isn't there a progesterone only mini pill I can take?" "Oh, um, I suppose, let me look it up". So I switched pills and things seemed to be going along nicely.

That is until I introduced solids at 6 months. At first he liked them, but over Christmas he got sick and outright refused solids. He was also cutting 4 teeth. He then went on a nursing strike that lasted about a week. It was difficult to even get 1 oz of fluid into him, but every 15 mins we would try and give him SOMETHING and I would offer him the breast whenever he cried. He always refused. Eventually he started nursing again and all was well. Until he had his first allergic reaction. It was peaches and a small "teething rash" turned into a full body rash. We were instructed to stop all solids until the rash cleared. When we started up again, I tried avocado thinking it would be readily available in Mexico when we went on vacation. Again, full body rash. Arg. So again, we stopped all solids. And so our feeding experience went. Up and down with Matthew refusing solids and developing allergies. And all along, the sleep issues just kept getting worse.

So now we're caught up to my first appointment with my doctor about his sleep issues, and the following appointments with the dietitian, naturopath, lactation consultant and pediatrician. And now the plan:
1. Stop taking the mini pill
2. Start taking Domperidone
3. Offer the breast whenever he wants it
4. Use breast compressions to convince him to drink and not just suck
5. Eat meals together and allow him to eat well spiced table foods
6. Offer many snacks throughout the day and push dinner later to eat with the family
7. Try not to offer the breast overnight unless he won't be settled any other way
8. Make an appointment with a pediatric allergist
9. Come back in 3 weeks to see how the breastfeeding is going and make a plan for back to work.

So that's the plan. The new plan. The breastfeeding friendly plan, and since we "think" he has a milk allergy, it's the best plan I can think of that avoids expensive hypo-allergenic formula. After 5 1/2 months I really hope I can say THIS is the solution I've been looking for.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Milk Supply Crashed

I went to a breastfeeding clinic today and after seeing about a bazillion different professionals, one thing is very clear: my supply has all but dried up. I was beginning to realize this was the case when I started to actually pay attention to the WAY Matthew was nursing. He's not really drinking any milk. This explains a LOT! So I now have a prescription for Domperidone and a follow up appointment.

The real question is WHY has my supply crapped out? After much discussion of my history, it becomes very clear: really really bad, conflicting breastfeeding advice. After being sent home from the hospital supplementing and tube feeding, overcorrecting with pumping, overcorrecting with block feeding, low dose birth control pill and cutting out night feeds, it's obvious why my milk has struggled to keep up. It appears that even my mini pill is affecting my supply so I will be dropping that ASAP. I now realize why Matthew seemed suddenly "colicky" at 6 weeks: he was reacting to a drop in my supply. It's probably the reason for all the nightly wake ups. It's probably the reason for Crabby McCrabberson showing up every afternoon and lately every morning.

So we have another piece to the puzzle. Now I just need to make an appointment to get a referral with a pediatric allergist and wait for my follow up appointment at the breastfeeding clinic. Hopefully at that point we can make a plan for how to proceed when I go back to work. Fingers crossed that we get some sleep REAL soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mystery is Unravelling

Today was the day we saw the dietitian. It was very eye opening for me. She listened to all my concerns, asked tonnes of questions and really wanted to know all the details of Matthew's life and how the introduction of solids had gone. I went over his ups and downs with food, his allergies and his sleep issues. She came to one conclusion right away: he has a milk protein allergy. His full body rash reaction to regular formula really should have tipped us off. So now we both have to go dairy free. It's going to be very hard because there are a lot of products with hidden dairy in them. We're also going soy free. That's not a big deal since I'm already allergic to soy and avoid it, it shouldn't be too hard to keep Matthew away from it. So that was problem A solved, then we went on to problem B.

I told her that I was concerned that it looked like he didn't gain a lot of weigh from 6-9 months, aka since starting solids. So she weighed him. Matthew has lost at least an ounce in the last two months (the scale kept fluctuating). Not good. You want babies to GAIN, not LOSE! :( My poor baby. He's probably been starving all this time and that's why he hasn't been sleeping well. So in addition to going on a strict feeding schedule, we have to supplement with formula.

I feel so bad for my poor baby. All those fussy afternoons, all those long nights, were probably because of an upset tummy and hunger. I am so glad I finally listened to my instincts. I KNEW something wasn't right. I should have pushed the issue earlier, but I'm glad I finally got someone to listen to me. We are going to push on with all our new information and at Matthew's one year appointment, I'm going to ask for some blood tests to see if Matthew has a soy allergy like me in addition to a milk protein allergy.

Yes there is a moral to this story, one I should have learned long ago. Listen to your instincts. If you know something isn't right, even if you can't identify it, push to find the answer. If you don't like the answer you're getting, look elsewhere for help. But do not give up. I wish I had learned this lesson for myself long ago, but at least I have finally learned it when it counted most, when it affected my beautiful, wonderful baby boy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y3W ~ Strong or Stupid?

Yesterday was a big, fat, huge FAIL! He did not take one single nap! He never really even fell asleep nursing because when I broke the latch he popped right back up. We put him to bed extra early and he was in his crib (screaming) by 5:30. It took 45 mins of screaming before he fell asleep ... for 30 mins!!! Another 15 mins of screaming later and he finally fell asleep for the night. He woke up at 2 to nurse and woke at 4:30, 5:30 and 6 but went back pretty quickly on his own. We got up at 7 so I guess that's a success.

So we're on to another day and the first nap isn't going any better than it has in days past. When does it get easier? Am I even doing the right thing? This isn't working and I hate hearing him scream. He needs me and I'm ignoring him. That's how I feel. I feel like a horrible mother. If it was actually working I might feel the pain is worth it, but when will it work? This whole week has been one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week and I just want it to be over. I'm so tired of the screaming. It breaks my heart. I'm losing my resolve. I just want to know when it will end. HELP!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nap Training Day 4

Let's just start off with a summary of how nap training day 3 went: CRAPPY.
Nap #1: 7:15 - CIO for 25 mins = 30 min nap
-try for a longer nap - CIO for 30 mins, no nap
Nap #2: 10:30 - CIO 50 mins = 1 hr nap
Nap #3 (cause he needed it): 3:10 - CIO 80 mins = no nap
Bedtime: 6:45 - CIO for 25 mins = woke at 7:40 and 7:50
-woke at 11 - CIO for 10 mins
-woke at 4:30 - nurse, then CIO for 10 mins
-woke at 5:30 - CIO for 10 mins
-woke at 6:00 - CIO for 10 mins, up for the day and nurse

So yesterday was crappy, WORSE!
Nap #1: 8:30 - CIO for 70 mins = NO NAP
Nap #2: 11:30 - CIO for 70 mins so far, no nap in sight. When do I give up on this one? How long do I let this go?

HELP! I thought they were supposed to get progressively better and their crying get less and less until it's zero. When will I see a change? Is there something wrong? Is he just too old? How much more screaming can I handle?

Very tired mommy and unhappy baby. :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well, I Promised an Update.

I promised an update so here it is. Yesterday we had a 2 hour and a 1 1/2 hour nap. It was fabulous! I started bedtime extra early and after an hour of screaming, he was down. Unfortunately he woke up at 12:30. I managed to get him to go down with only 10 mins of screaming, but when I went to put his blanket on, I woke him up. DOH. Another 3 mins and he was out. Then comes 3 am. I nursed him and had my husband put him back to sleep. He only cried for 3 minutes. I was hoping for a nice 7 am wake up call, but nope, 6 am and he was up. So we were up at 6 am, but he really should have gone back to bed. I tried putting him down at 7:15. He cried for 25 minutes and then fell asleep only to wake up at 8:15. Back to 30 min naps, really? I tried to let him cry again and in 10 mins he was asleep. Then I made a big mistake, I went in to check on him and cover him with his blanket. I woke the darn kid up. Grr. I tried the crying thing again but eventually gave up and here we are. 9:20 am and one 30 min nap. At least I got showered and dressed today. It's gonna be a long day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sleep Training Day 2

On to sleep training day 2. So I started sleep training Matthew yesterday and it was really tough. Here's how yesterday went: morning nap at 9 am, 60 mins of crying, 1 hour nap, afternoon nap at 1 pm, 30 mins of crying, 50 min nap, bedtime at 7:30, 70 mins of crying, woke at 3 am, nursed and put him back, woke up at 6:20. Not too bad. Today is going well so far. This morning's nap I started at 8 am, 45 mins of crying and then I lay down for a little nap. I woke up 2 hours later! Holy cow! Now this is great and all, but it was supposed to only be a 45 min nap. So now our "schedule" is still all screwed up, but maybe it'll even itself out once he learns to fall asleep? We're onto our second nap and I started it at 1:30, he cried for 25 mins and is asleep still. I don't want to jinx anything, but he's been sleeping for 45 mins. A far cry from his usual 30 min dozes. So far, I'm seeing little successes, and I hope it won't take long before we have the schedule down. I haven't cancelled Thursday's or Friday's playdates yet, but I may still have to. They're right in the middle of a nap :( I'll update our progress tomorrow.

Update: The afternoon nap was 1 1/2 hours. Not too shabby! Maybe we're turning a corner?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sleep? What's That?

Yes, this is another post about my non-sleeping baby. We've ruled out just about everything and tried just about everything. I'm at the end of my rope. My poor sleep deprived brain just can't handle much more of this hourly nightly waking BS. Just thought I'd update you on where we are with this sleep training marathon.

After pushing the issue with our doctor, we have an appointment with a dietitian who will look at his growth chart and my food journal to see if she can suggest any dietary changes that might help my little boy. As that is still over a week away I decided to go gluten free on my own last week. We're one week gluten free and our sleep hasn't gotten much better. This week I'm adding in another factor. I'm eliminating caffeine. I've relied on daily Coke's to get my poor sleepy self through the day, but maybe all this excess caffeine is affecting my poor baby's ability to sleep soundly. So, with one week before the dietitian appointment, I'm going cold turkey on caffeine. Help me!

I'm also trying a little Nanny Robina nap training. I hate letting Matthew cry, but I can't handle the rocking until I'm blue in the face and he wakes up as soon as he's in the crib BS anymore. Today's first attempt took 60 mins of crying going in at increasing intervals and I woke him up after 1 hr of sleep so I can stick to the schedule. Only problem is, now we're an hour off the schedule because it took so long in the first place. Le sigh. It's going to be a long week.

Please cross your fingers that either my experiments work or the dietitian has some ideas. I realize that some babies don't sleep 12 hours until they're 3, but surely waking every hour is NOT normal for a 10 month old.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Y3W ~ Causing a Ruckus

Matthew is crawling ... everywhere. He causes trouble wherever he goes. He loves our cat Mya. He lays on her, grabs her fur and plays with and pulls on her tail. For whatever reason, she just sits there and takes it. I separate the two when she starts meowing, but she just goes back for more. Thank goodness she's a good natured cat or we'd have a whole world of trouble on our hands.

I just love when Matthew gets into something and I ask him "are you causing a ruckus?" He gives me this devilish grin that I love. So here are some photos of Matthew "causing a ruckus".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Catch Up Post

So much for my pact to keep up with this blog. Oops. Since my last post we've had our 9 month appointment, Matthew has gotten much better at crawling, is getting into everything and we reached the final straw with his sleep antics.

First, the 9 month stats. Our big boy is 20 lbs 4 oz and 29 inches (though the nurse always seems to cut him short and I'm convinced he's more like 30 inches). Everything else is well with him. No new teeth, so were still at a count of 8 tiny sharp teeth.

His crawling is very good. We've got the baby gates installed and the outlet covers. Good thing too because he just discovered the outlets yesterday! He loves going into the kitchen and playing with the garbage can for some reason. Ew. So I've resorted to blocking the entrance of with his playpen and exersaucer. We're considering buying pressure gates for this, but hoping to teach him the word "NO". Good luck with a 9 month old right?

Oh the sleep antics. We tried everything. Matthew has been waking up every 1-3 hours every night for the last 3+ months! I AM TIRED! We tried white noise: fan and humidifier. We tried music all night: Rockaby Baby Bob Marley. We tried leaving my t-shirt in with him. We tried a soother (he chews it). We tried giving him a "lovey". We tried graduated extinction but never got past the patting stage because it didn't work. We tried a really early bedtime and scheduled naps. We tried a bottle at bedtime to "top him off." I read a bunch of baby books, scoured the internet and asked all the friends and family I could find. The answer was always the same: let him cry it out. I never wanted to try this. I didn't think I'd reach my breaking point. But after 3+ months with no sleep and a baby with bigger bags under his eyes than me, we decided to give it a go. Getting him to sleep is usually not the issue. It's getting him to STAY asleep.

The first night we put him down and he woke up screaming at 1 am. We went in, laid him down and patted his back for a minute, then walked out and waited for the screaming to begin. We went in 5 mins later, 10 minutes later, 15 minutes later, 20 minutes later. This went on for 2 hours before he fell asleep. Then he was up for good at 5. The next night it was the same 2 hour battle, only at 2 am. Then it was 1 1/2 hours at 1, 1 1/2 hours at 2, 2 hours at 4 which turned into up for the day at 6, 1 1/2 hours at 5 which turned into up for the day, 1 1/2 hours at 3 and finally 40 minutes at 2 and then HURRAY SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!

That takes us all the way up to tonight. It's 1 hour past his bedtime and he's still up. We're trying a bottle to push him over that sleep edge. Here's hoping we've turned a corner and we've solved Matthew's sleep problem. But I'm the pessimist in this family and I think it's going to be another week long fight before we've finally licked this.

Here are some fun photos to finish off this catch up post.

9 months!
Getting into trouble!
Playing with Great Grandpa's feet.

Playing with Great Grandma on her 80th birthday.

Crawling to mommy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Have a New Blog!

I was getting tired of my old business blog, and I really wanted something cleaner, neater, and well, prettier. It took me two days and lots of help from my techie brother, but I did it. I made a new blog. Have a look, tell me what you think, and become a follower!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Ruh roh. Matthew has been working on this bum to hands and knees and back again thing for a while now. He didn't seem to be getting anywhere. That is until this morning. He suddenly figured out how to move his legs and now he's EVERYWHERE! We have no gates, cords all over the place, knitting and crocheting and a table full of junk. Time to babyproof! Guess what we'll be spending our weekend doing. I'm excited, but now I'm in for the "real" work. I have to chase my baby around all day now. Guess it's a good way to lose some pounds eh?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Never Say Things Out Loud

I should have known that posting about our sleep success would come back to bite me. We had 2 really really good nights, but it all went downhill from there. Two nights later he was waking up in the middle of the night SCREAMING. I discovered the culprit: really hard, painful poops. Poor baby. He had no idea what was going on, but I suspect that something about peas and apples made for a bad combination. We have since stopped with the apples and substituted apricots. His poops are better, but he still isn't sleeping and he's decided he doesn't really like eating anymore either. Hmph. Last night wasn't TOO bad. He only woke up at 10:30, 3:30 and 4:30 before getting up for the day at 7:30. Hey, I'll take it. It's better than waking up every 2 hours.

As for the eating, I'm trying to change it up for him. I'm starting to give him some finger foods: bits of turkey and smushed peas. He had fun trying to put them in his mouth and was successful a few times, but he gets bored easily and gives up. So not much food is actually getting into his tummy, which I'm sure doesn't help him sleep. Today I tried a whole piece of a banana and some Cheerios. The banana was, well, messy and after a few bites (one of them a bit too big), he gave up. The Cheerios were fun and challenging and I think he ate a few, but again after a while, he was just throwing them around and playing. Still trying to figure out what the best timing is for his meal times. So here's my question to you: when do you feed your child under 1? Before milk? after milk? at the same time? Give me your best tips for getting kiddo to eat.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Baby SLEPT!

I've decided to join Jenni from the blog and do Y3W (Your 3 Words) every friday! I'm horrible at updating my blog, so at least this way I'll be forced to blog at least once a week.

So my three words for this week? MY BABY SLEPT!

If you remember, we've been having trouble getting Matthew to sleep. Naps were horrible and he was up every 2 hours at night. I went back to a strict nap schedule and would start our naptime routine after he'd been awake for 1 1/2 hours and surprise surprise, naps were much easier, and some of them were even 45 mins or longer! At bedtime, we started the bedtime routine early and he was in bed most nights by 8 pm. Much better than his old 10 or 11! And if he woke up before 4 am, I would just rock him back to sleep instead of feed him. We've been doing this for almost 2 weeks and two nights this week Matthew has slept from 8-6 or 7! A few times he'd murmer in his sleep, but he would go back on his own. Last night he was up twice, but I'll take that any day over 6-8 times! I hope last night was a fluke and he's on the right track with sleeping.

I got a taste of sleep and now it's all I want! Ha! It's funny how you can get so used to no sleep that it doesn't even phase you anymore. But now that I remember what sleep feels like, I WANT MORE! Thanks for the sleep advice, it seems to be working!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I could tell you how Mexico was, but I'd rather just show you. Mexico in pictures!

Yep, I think that last picture just about sums it up! We had a great time!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

8 Months Old!

Mr Man is 8 months old! 8 MONTHS! How did he get so big? If I were going back to work in the usual 1 yr, I'd only have 4 months left! But lucky me gets to take off until September! I'm glad I get more time with my beautiful baby boy.

What's new? We're back on food. He is ok with carrots, but he's not too fond of them. We just tried chicken and he seems to like it, and so far, he seems to be ok with that too (but really, who is allergic to chicken?). I'm getting a lot of flack from those-who-I-shall-not-name about only feeding him one food. My doctor realizes he won't be getting many nutrients, thus the recommendation for extra vitamins. I was starting to question things a bit until I met someone who went through the same thing. Her husband is very allergic to many foods, so they were told to do only one food for 2 weeks. Now she's 9 months old and eating lots of things. So there is hope, and I'm not crazy. I'm not exactly doing 2 weeks. I think that's a bit of overkill, but I'm definitely doing a good long week to make sure he's ok with any foods.

Other than the food struggle, we're struggling with sleep. Between 4 and 6 months he was sleeping through the night from 11-8. Ok, so he was going to bed a bit late, but he was sleeping for 9 hours straight, and I was able to sleep, so I didn't care! Cue 6 month shots, teeth, illness, and solids. Everything went straight in the trash. Naps are hell. He used to go down pretty much awake and talk himself to sleep. He'd even sleep for 45 mins - 1 hr sometimes. Now it's a 30-45 min struggle of rocking and screaming before he'll take a 30 min nap. And sometimes I just can't get him to nap no matter what I do. I don't know if he's overtired, not tired enough, teething, having tummy trouble... I just don't know. I've asked everyone I can think of for advice and most people say the same thing: he needs a consistent naptime/bedtime routine. Well, I've been doing the same routine for naps and bedtime since 3 months....

Getting M to bed is tricky as well. The last few nights we've been lucky and he's been in bed by 9 or shortly after. Much improved over his 10-11 bedtime. But he's fussy and cranky and constantly on and off the boob. Maybe his fussiness is telling us he needs an even earlier bedtime? Maybe my milk supply is dropping? Eventually we get him to bed. But I know it's only for a short time. Like clockwork, every night he's crying by 12 am. Then he's up every 1-2 hours, sometimes 3 hours until 7 when he's usually up for the day. I have no idea why he's waking up that often. I don't know if he's really hungry. He always eats and usually falls right back asleep. Maybe he just doesn't know how to self soothe? But how do I teach him that? He won't take a pacifier unless it's to chew on, but that usually just keeps him awake instead of putting him to sleep. I tried a wet washcloth, which worked once, but didn't keep him from waking up. I really don't want to try the "cry it out" method. He gets really worked up and coughs and chokes and arches his back with tears streaming down his face and it's really hard to get him to calm down. I'm at the end of my rope. I'm really tired, almost more tired than when he was a newborn. In fact, by the time he was 6 weeks old, he was only waking up once or twice. I think this is worse, especially knowing he can sleep through the night.

I don't know what happened. Maybe he's just going through so many developmental changes that he's all mixed up? Maybe he's trying to crawl in his sleep, or he just hasn't learned how to fall back asleep on his own when he wakes up. Maybe he's just really overtired from not napping enough during the day. I have all sorts of ideas of why it's happening, but no idea how to fix it. I'm really rambling and venting here, but if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears!

Enough rambling for the day. Time for a cute picture! His monthly pictures are getting harder. He just won't sit still! He's always leaning forward and grabbing things. He can go from his bum to his belly, but always gets tripped up over his one leg. He'll rock on hands and knees and slides backwards, but he has yet to figure out how to get where he wants to go. He's getting there, and he's very vocal, but nothing that actually sounds like anything. Not sure what "ba ba bwa bwa ba" means, but he says that a lot. I just realized that I haven't blogged about our Mexico trip. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, because that was a lot of fun. For now, his 8 month picture!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Giveaway Crazy

I've gone a little bonkers trying to get traffic to my website, so I've decided to do massive giveaways. Crazy? Maybe. Will it work? I hope so. The first of my 3, yes 3 giveaways is hosted by my good friend on her wonderfully popular blog. If you would like to win a custom designed photo card, hop on over to Our Growing Garden and enter to win.

If you're on Twitter, you can get yet another chance to win simply by following CupOfTeaCards. I will be giving away a custom designed photo card once I reach 150 followers.

The last giveaway is on my Facebook Fan Page. Once I hit 25 fans, I'll be giving away yet another custom designed photo card.

Ok, so maybe I'm crazy. But if it gets people to visit my site, then I'm all for it.

Oh, I might have also forgotten to mention the big Twitter Party tonight for @MySmartHands. I'm donating one of the prizes!

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 Months Old!

Two days late, but meh. Mr. Man is 7 months old! He is getting bigger by the second it seems. He is sitting like a pro and reaching to get toys, even getting on his tummy to get something he really wants. He's been known to get stuck on his tummy, which he doesn't seem to mind much anymore. Crawling is still a long way off I think. He has no interest in getting on hands and knees and he doesn't stand on my lap for long without buckling at the knees. He has finally figured out how to jump in his jolly jumper and it's now one of his favourite activities.

The question everyone seems to be asking is, "how is solids going?" The answer? Not well. We had success at first with bananas and squash, but then something changed. Over
Christmas, Matthew cut 4 teeth, yes 4 TEETH, all at once! AND he got a pretty bad cold that sent us running to emerge at 1 am after a high fever and vomiting. Needless to say, the poor boy didn't feel well. He began to refuse solids, and then he started eating less and less milk. He had trouble nursing because he couldn't breath well. He even started drinking less milk from a bottle and we had to offer him 1/2 oz at a time every 15 minutes, or whenever he made a peep. It was a long and rough Christmas for us, but Matthew got better and was back to his normal self (almost) in short order.

Once he started feeling better, I started offering him solids again. This did not go so well. I would heat up some of my lovely homemade food and what would I get? A closed mouth and turned head and crying. I kept offering, and he kept refusing. I offered him bits of peas and carrots on his tray, Baby Mum Mums, and even resorted to tricking him by letting him chew on a spoon, then shoveling in some food when I saw an open mouthed opportunity. I managed to occasionally shovel in some peaches, or sweet potatoes, or squash, but it was a struggle and neither one of us was happy.

And THEN Matthew got what I thought was a teething rash. It started on his face and progressed to his chest, then his back, arms and legs. Wait a minute, this doesn't sound like just a teething rash. After talking to my sister in law, and watching Matthew rub his face like crazy and cry in pain from the itch, I decided to take him to the nearest walk in clinic. The doctor quickly agreed that it was not a teething rash. He immediately thought it is likely an allergic reaction to something he ate, or something I ate. Since I haven't changed my diet, and he's been breastfed for 7 months, we narrowed it down to something he ate. The doctor prescribed some mild cortisone cream and told me to give him some Benadryl and apply the cream and stop all food until the rash has cleared.

So that's where we are with solids. We've stopped all solids for a while and are diligently applying the cream twice a day. The rash is slowly clearing and Matthew is much happier without the constant itching. We hope to start Matthew on solids soon, from the beginning, and this time I will be keeping a journal of everything he eats, and how he reacts to it. I hope by the time we try again, he is a willing participant in the adventure.

I've read that sometimes kids with allergies refuse solids. Perhaps they instinctively know something. Perhaps this is why Matthew suddenly stopped eating. Or perhaps he stopped eating because his poor mouth hurt so much from cutting 4 teeth at once. We'll probably never know why he refused to eat solid food, but I hope he changes his mind soon. He is a growing boy after all. But you'd never know he is a 7 month old who isn't eating solids from the look of him. I mean LOOK at him! He's a big boy for sure. I love my big boy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Matthew and I went to a New Year's Resolutions playdate. We met at Second cup, and the mommies got coffee or hot chocolate, and the babies played with their toys on mommy's lap and looked and laughed at each other. The number 1 resolution? What else: lose weight. My first resolution is similar: stop eating McDonalds! Really, we stoop to McDs way too often. I'm tired, we haven't planned dinner, and on the way home, R will pick something up. It's not healthy, and it's not the way I want to raise my son. Of course, on the way home from the playdate I picked up ... McDonalds. DOH! Eating healthy would require grocery shopping and I haven't done that yet. There's always next week.

Resolution #2. CLEAN THIS HOUSE! Too often I come home and use the kitchen table as a dumping ground. Any purchases, or junk, or mail, or whatever, just get dumped on the nearest table. This means we have to clear it every evening with a big sweep of the arm before we can eat dinner, or better yet, eat dinner out of a bowl on the couch. Not exactly how I want to live my life. So I resolve to put things away as soon as I get home, or shortly thereafter. Perhaps when Mr Man goes down for a nap. It's always a much bigger chore to clean the house when you have to declutter first. Better to clean as you go, or at least that's the theory.

Resolution #3. Put more effort into Cup of Tea Photo Cards and perhaps start making some money! Maybe even get one day (read night) off a week to work on new products and promotion. I've got ideas coming out the ying yang and I'm getting distracted so I never finish one idea before moving on to the next. Currently I'm working on Alphabet cards. I'm making two versions, a regular animal alphabet, and a Canadian one. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a Canadian animal that starts with X? My biggest obstacle in resolution #3 is drumming up more business. As luck would have it, one of the moms at the playdate was an internet marketer and she offered her services FREE because she wants to help out other moms. So hopefully I can get a headstart on my most important resolution of the year. I know I'll never be able to replace my income as a teacher, but I would love to have a little extra spending money.

So, here I am, on January 6, and at least I've made resolutions. I know the ladies in my Mom group are going to help me stick to them, and we meet next month to see how we're all doing. I've made my resolutions, have you made yours?