I'm horrible at blogging. I think we all know that by now. But every once in a while I feel the need to document our year.
I went back to work in September and I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I always thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom, but 14 months of being at home with Matthew proved me wrong. I'm a horrible stay at home mom. I can't keep up with the housework, I have no motivation to do anything, I have to force myself to get out of the house so we both don't drive each other crazy and I turn into a frustrated crazy lady with all the whining and crying that seems to go on. I'm sure at least 1/2 of Matthew's temperament has something to do with how horrible a stay at home mom I am. Going back to work also made me realize something: I most definitely suffered from Post Partum Depression. I was reluctant to think that I could be depressed because it didn't feel like my usual depressive episodes. I wasn't so low I didn't want to live, I still got out of the house and enjoyed seeing other moms, other humans, hell, anything but being stuck at home with my child. But I never really had that "joy" that other moms seem to talk about. Sure I'd feel love and happiness at various points when Matthew was particularly loving. But I seemed to struggle so much with his sleep issues, eating issues and my perceived overall crankiness. Looking back I realize that Matthew's "behaviour" was just a cry for attention from his totally numb, inattentive mother. All the "trouble" he would get into was just him trying to entertain himself, or trying to get my attention and all I did was get frustrated and angry with him. It's that frustration and anger that I didn't recognize as signs of PPD. I did my fair share of crying, but I thought that was just a normal reaction to dealing with a crying baby who doesn't sleep. I guess what finally made it click (other than going back to work and feeling the same way despite not having to deal with Matthew all day) was my husband saying that some of the things I would do or say scared him. I would say things like "he's driving me nuts, I feel like I want to throw him down the stairs", which I would never do, not even close, and the thought was never serious, but in my frustration, the thought would come up. Having only recently come to this realization, I haven't quite made a plan yet. I've handled this kind of mild depression before in my past, but perhaps it's time for a little refresher from a professional.
This brings us to Matthew. He's a big, growing boy. At last check, his 18 month appointment (how is he almost 19 months already?), he was 28 lbs and 35.5 inches tall. Almost 3 freaking feet tall! He's very active and he loves going to daycare. My sitter's son is the same age and is Matthew's best friend. He doesn't have much language yet, but manages to get what he wants with grunts and pointing. He was behind in language at his 18 month appointment, so we got a referral for an assessment. He's started to develop a few words, but he's still no where near where his peers are. He can say dada (which doesn't usually mean dada), baba (which seems to mean multiple things, not just milk), no no no (complete with wagging finger), ho ho (he leaves out the last ho), and recently jus (for juice). He still can't really point out different animals in a book, but he seems to absolutely love gorillas. Every time he sees a gorilla he pounds his chest and goes ahhhhhhh.
Christmas was lovely. We spent most of it at my parent's house and Matthew became very attached to my dad. Roland and I left on Boxing Day for The Couple's Resort for 2 nights. Two amazingly romantic, quiet, relaxing nights. Originally we wanted to go south for Christmas, but it wasn't in the budget, so we ended up spending more per night, but less overall. We had a massage, breakfast in the room, and 5 star dinners at the resort during the day and a nice hot tub at night. We went for a lovely hike in Algonquin Park and had a cute little fox follow us. I felt bad because people had been feeding him.
This week Roland has gone back to work and I'm home with Matthew. It's been hard to find things to do since it's been a bit too cold to go outside for long. Today my goal was to clean up this disaster. It hasn't happened yet. I need to come up with a cleaning plan so things don't get too crazy, and I need to find a way to get Roland on board. What really drives me nuts about him is we have a deal that if I cook, he should do the dishes. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to feel the need to do the dishes on the night that they're made. He leaves the dishes for 2, 3, 4 days before doing a big batch, and then leaves 1/3 of them because "they didn't fit". I've told him over and over again that it's not fair that I have to cook every night, but he doesn't clean every night. So we need to work on that New Year's resolution.
In other news, we bought a house! We want to have a second child in the near future, and it's already feeling squishy in our 1400 sq ft townhouse. I desperately want a space of my own, so we went out searching. We were looking for a 2000+ sq ft, detached home with 4 +1 bedrooms, and a nice updated kitchen. What we found was builder basic kitchens from 1983 on tiny postage stamps of land with a whopping price of $600k to start! Add in a kitchen remodel, new appliances and some new windows and holy cow we can't afford that! We ended up falling in love with a model in a new development in a great area. We're still going to get a postage stamp of land, but the payoff is HUGE! We will be able to get exactly the look we want, with more than enough space. Our new house will be 3200 sq ft, way bigger than we were looking for, but we opted for the loft which has a great space for a studio for me and a nice office for Roland. And we got it significantly under our $600 k budget with room for upgrades. The biggest drawback is the wait time. Our new home won't be ready until Summer/Fall, possibly Winter of 2013! Ack! Short term pain for long term gain. In the meantime I'm Pinteresting decorating ideas!
Last, but not least, Matthew's eating and sleeping issues. Since starting daycare, Matthew has been eating really well ... for HER! He eats nearly everything she puts in front of him. He has lots of fruit and even eats chicken and lamb and beef! But when he comes home for dinner, he won't touch anything, not even his old favourites like steak and sausage. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps he's having a snack too late, but yesterday he didn't eat lunch, OR dinner, not even his favourite peanut butter on toast and we ended up giving him a smoothie. So that's a constant struggle, and we usually give him a bedtime snack of peanut butter on toast because we now suspect most of his sleeping issues have to do with being HUNGRY! Right from the start of his sleep issues, he was hungry and that's why he was waking up every hour on the hour. When I corrected my supply issues he started sleeping, but not for long because now he was getting TOO much milk and stopped eating solids! Blast! So now we're trying two new strategies to get him to sleep. #1 we try and stuff him full before bed. I'm going to buy pediasure and start making him pediasure smoothies before bed to see if he sleeps better. #2 we are trying to teach him to fall asleep on his own. We've tried multiple strategies before with no success, but we've decided to stick with this one until it works. So far it's been over a month and we might be finally seeing some progress. Our strategy is to do our normal bedtime routine, but at the end of it, put him in his crib and sit on the floor next to him and wait for him to calm down, lay down and go to sleep. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday there was a lot of screaming. It probably has something to do with getting off track over Christmas. Last night there was no screaming, but I had to lay on the floor for an hour waiting for him to fall asleep. I might have been able to leave earlier, but he also probably would have stood up and started crying for me. So it's still a struggle, but knock on wood, he didn't wake up last night until 5:30, and I was able to get him to go back down until 6:20. Hey, I'll take it.
Now, if you've read all that rambling, here is your reward: PHOTOS!