Different

I’ve heard it said too many times to count: no two pregnancies are alike, no two labours are alike, no two children are alike.

Isn’t it true!

Whereas both my pregnancies were very similar, my labours were not.  And the kids!  Oh the kids…

It seems that they are opposites in many ways.

As a newborn, my son cried and whined quite a bit.  He wasn’t colicky, but I remember holding him tummy down over my arm as I walked and walked around the house to try to calm him down.  His tummy hurt quite often as a newborn and I remember that I had to give him lots of tummy massages to help him through the pain.  Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that he had an undiagnosed dairy allergy and I couldn’t get enough of the stuff while I was breastfeeding him.  Poor guy was already on two kinds of cortisone creams and a hydrating cream from the time he was 2 weeks old because his eczema was so bad.

So far, my daughter has been really relaxed.  She hardly cries, isn’t showing any signs of an allergy to something in my milk and besides the normal tummy issues that come with her developing digesting system isn’t too bothered by what goes down down there.

As far as breastfeeding goes, it was an unending marathon with my son.  He would suck at one breast for a good half-hour before sucking at the other breast for another half-hour.  Then, an hour or two later, he would be ready to do it again.  When it came the time for growth spurts, well, he’d be at it from 6pm onwards, sucking away and switching breasts every half-hour until 3am.  If I tried to put him down to sleep (when he inevitably fell asleep at the breast) he would wake up acting as though he hadn’t eaten in days.

My daughter, on the other hand, is a speed nurser.  It isn’t rare for her to be done with her meal in ten minutes.  She very rarely wants anything to do with the other breast once she’s done: she’s content to work on her neck muscles as I try to burp her instead.  Growth spurts for my daughter are also unending marathons…that last for hours on end during the day.  In fact, we just got out of one, in the past two days, little Amélie had hardly slept during the day, instead concentrating on bringing my milk supply back up to par as her needs change.  Oh she would fall asleep at the breast (the only time that happens is during a growth spurt), but I’m sure you can guess what would happen when I would put her down for a nap.

Speaking of sleep…on second thought, let’s not; I wouldn’t want to jinx myself.

Hum, what I will say is that Charles could be rocked to sleep in a jiffy and for a long time I had to work really hard to keep him from falling asleep during car rides (when I needed him to stay awake so that we wouldn’t mess up his nap window).  My daughter, well, let’s just say that rocking is a stimulating activity and car rides seem to be as well, whereas having a toddler running around and playing loudly with his toys near her typically has a soporific effect on her.

As for me, well, it took me a long time to heal and get over the extreme fatigue after giving birth to Charles.  I stayed two nights in the hospital and slept a lot during the first week.  With Amélie, had the doctors allowed it (they didn’t as they had to wait 24h after birth to to a test on Amélie), I would have returned home before supper the day I gave birth.  I was able to move around easily and didn’t feel the fatigue as I had with my first.

Having a first child is a wonderfully terrifying experience.  It’s roller coaster of emotions from learning about the pregnancy to delivering to the first days and everything that comes after. I remember following my pregnancy day by day reading about the development of the baby.  I remember spending hours reading numerous parenting books after giving birth.  I remember googling about everything from low milk supply (because my 2 day old…1 week old…2 week old…) was nursing all the time to oversupply, from poop (what?  He hadn’t pooped in 4 days at one point as a newborn) to sleep (when will he sleep more than two hours at a time?), to milestones (shouldn’t he be able to roll from front to back at 12 weeks!?!), to…well, you get the point.

This time?  This time I am much more relaxed.  I know that things will happen when they will happen.  I know how breastfeeding works.  I know that my daughter is growing well enough that it’s ok if she goes 6h between two feeds at night sometime.  In sum, I know that I have instincts and that I should just trust them.  Because for every child there is in the world, there is a different “book” on parenting.  The basics stay the same, but the small details differ.

You know what’s not different, though?  Love.   I confess that a part of me was afraid as I was nearing my due date.  I mean, my son means the world to me.  I remember being so overwhelmed with love for him in the early days that I would cry.  And, now, I was about to have a second child and a part of me wondered how I would be able to share the love between the two of them.  But you know, I’ve since leaned that your heart only grows with each new child that you add to your family.

Write For Me Wednesday – Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

Today, I have a wonderful guest post to share with you on a subject that I find very important.  The author, Becky Flanigan, enjoys writing for An Apple Per Day, and focuses on exercise and parenting. She is looking forward to the day when her last child leaves the nest, so she and her husband Ed can start traveling. She would love to lounge around a cruise ship pool, with no family chores to worry about.

I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.

Why Your Child Needs Swim Lessons

I freely admit I must have been a water baby – I just love being in the pool any chance I get. When we started our family, I wanted my children to be exposed to the water early, so they could enjoy all the pleasures it has to offer. But I wanted them to be safe as well, so I did a lot of research about swim lessons.

Early exposure. When we took our first son out to the pool, my husband held him while I went into the water and splashed around, laughing joyously. He was so excited, he reached out for me, and quickly fell in love with the water. Our second child was more hesitant, so we let him adjust at his own pace. Not all kids will respond the same way to the water, and we wanted it to be a positive experience for them, so we didn’t rush things. Here are some wonderful resources with more information about kids and swimming:

Mom or a swim instructor? I gave some thought about teaching my kids to swim. The general rule is that by the time the child is 4 years old, they have the motor skills to begin formal swim lessons. My boys are so headstrong (they get it from their Dad) that I thought this was a place where Mom trying to teach them something just wouldn’t work. Especially as they grew older and took more advanced swim lessons, I would be out of my element anyway. So the decision for formal lessons from an instructor was pretty easy. It was quite a joy to see how well they behaved for the instructor – he had a presence that just made them pay attention. I’m thinking of hiring him to get the boys to clean their rooms.

Check out the lessons. Not all swim lessons are the same, so we visited the class we were thinking about for the kids, to make sure it was handled correctly. They had a lifeguard overseeing the class, they had a pole and ring buoy in place in case they were needed. We asked the instructor, and he showed us his Red Cross certification and his card that showed he knew CPR. Then we watched a class. It was so businesslike that we felt very comfortable with it. They had a purpose for what they were showing the kids, and they weren’t just letting the kids splash around in the water.

A lifetime skill. I wanted my boys to know how to swim, because it was a skill they would need all through their lives. When they were young, we would be taking trips to the beach, they would be hanging out with their friends at the community pool, and after they grew up, who knows where they might be around the water. I wanted them to have the confidence and comfort to know they could handle themselves in the water.

It’s really about safety. They talk about protecting children around the water as being not just one thing – but taking a number of steps to provide for their safety. Since we had a home pool, we put a fence around it, got alarms and a locking gate. But I read an article by the Center For Disease Control which stated that the best solution for keeping a child safe was formal swimming lessons. Since drowning is an alarmingly common problem for young kids, that further convinced me that lessons were in order.

As I watch the boys in our back yard pool playing games with their friends, I smile because of how comfortable they look in the water. I’m so glad we gave them swim lessons.

Thanks again, Becky, for this wonderful post!

Do your children do swim lessons?  When did they start?

Whose Glass Is This? (Aka: Glass Markers)

Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones that come to you in the spur of the moment.

We recently had some friends and family over for my sister-in-law’s birthday.  As is customary when one has guests, we offered drinks as they arrived.  In a very short amount of time, there were glasses everywhere and we quickly lost track of which glass belonged to who.

Since we don’t have an unlimited supply of glasses, we ended up washing them before supper.  Not that it’s a big problem, but, y’know, who likes to do the dishes when it can be avoided?  So I thought that there must be a solution.  I mean, wine glass markers have existed for years, but I’d never seen something to help identify regular glasses (though I’m sure something must exist, I didn’t want to spend any unnecessary money).

And then, I saw my table centerpiece and knew that I had found a solution: stained-glass paint.

The next evening, I grabbed all of our glasses (all 9 of them!) and fetched my paint kit downstairs.  Then, selecting 9 of the 10 available colors, I painted the bottom of each glass a different color.  I even had some fun and painted a smiley face on the bottom of three of the glasses, because, well, why not? ;)

P1000912There, problem solved.

Enough Is Enough!

It seems like Little Dude just can’t catch a break.  Three weeks ago, we brought him to the medical clinic for a bad cough to find out he had an ear infection on both sides.  Then, the morning after finishing the antibiotics he’d been taking for ten days, he broke into hives and suffered through the bad reaction all weekend.  He’d been doing pretty good for the last two days or so and then, yesterday morning, something was off.

He woke up in a good enough mood, but things quickly went downhill.  After throwing a tantrum when we had to force him to take his Benadryl, his screams and tears became more insistent.  He refused to walk, repeating the word “hurt” over and over again (a word he’d also used over the weekend, at the peak of his hives, when it was time to walk).  When, I asked him where it hurt, he told me it was to his knees.

Feeling that the tears and tantrum were more than those of a terrible two toddler who’s just plain sick of being sick, I decided to bring him in to the walk-in clinic.  It turns out that the little one has lots of fluid in his ears (which isn’t infected…yet…).  As for the pains, the doctor told me that hive sometimes came with joint pains.  He suggested we give some Motrin for the next five days to see if things got better.  After giving Charles two doses of Motrin, I see a big improvement!  Though the little guy walks as though he was an old man, at least he’s walking again.

So now, Little Dude is on a nice cocktail of Motrin and Benadryl for the next five days.  Here’s to hoping that he’ll be spared from any pain or discomfort for a while by Monday.

image

Feeling Fallspired – Part 2

Continued from part 1

The Burlap

After doing some research on the different ways I could cut my table runner down to size without having to deal with fraying edges in the near future, I settled on two options:

  • Using a mixture of 1 part mod podge and 1 part water
  • Using some double-sided tape

Since I didn’t have any double-sided tape, but I did have mod podge (well, sort of) I decided to start off with testing that.  I put my burlap runner down over some wax paper and mixed some school glue and water together in a 1:2 proportion (accidentally making mod podge in the process).  Then, using a small sponge, I applied a generous amount of the mixture across my burlap (I made sure to saturate the fabric so that I didn’t have to turn it over and apply on the other side as well.  After that, I hung my runner on the clothesline to dry.

You know what?  It worked! :!: (to my surprise)

Then, it was just a question of measuring out the length of burlap that I wanted and starting over with the mod podge before cutting it down to size.

Enter Pinterest

Of course, no decoration project is complete without the collaboration of Pinterest.  So off I went in search of a manageable Autumn wreath to make.

And then, I saw this:

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

Not exactly a wreath, but oh so cute!

I immediately knew that I had to make this.  I also knew that following its confection, one of 2 things were going to happen:

1.  It would become a super cute decoration that I could reuse year after year.

2.  It would be relegated to the cemetery of Pinterest Fails

I started out by finding buying the required amount of canning jar rings, 25 to be exact (ok, truth: I only bought two packs of 12 ’cause I had one ring lying around at home) and a pack of cinnamon sticks.

P1000840

Then, I cut out a long piece of sting and strung my rings (all facing in the same direction) onto my string before trying to tie it.  The moment of truth was about to be revealed, I crossed my fingers for it to work.

P1000841

Imagine my surprise when it worked!  On the first try!  (Notice the piece of string still attached to the ring.  Though the original tutorial call for cutting it, I suggest keeping it attached to aid in the next step).

Once my pumpkin shape was finished, I fished an old can of spray pain from my art supplies.  I’d bought a black chalkboard paint aaaaages ago and thought that the matte black finish would look great.  I went out on the balcony, held my art project by the string and spray painted it.  Then, I made good use of my clothesline once more to let the paint dry.

Once dry, it was time to add the stem (a bunch of cinnamon sticks) and the leaves and showcase it on the shelf at the top of our entrance stairs.  (The pumpkin has since been replaced by a butternut squash as it is now in this pie).

I’m thinking that this pumpkin craft could be fun to do with little (but not too little ones).  Perhaps, the canning jar rings could be replaced with a slinky.  Hum…will have to give that a try.

It felt so good to get involved in an art project again.  It seems that in the process of building a family, I have somewhat forgotten myself.

Are there things that you loved to do pre-kids and haven’t taken the time to do in too long?  What is the last Pinterest project that you have tackled?

Ten Thought Tuesday: September 30th

TTT

  1. Little Dude’s back at daycare today for the first time since his big allergic reaction.  He was super happy to see his sitter and friends when he got there.
  2. The hardest part for him wasn’t even the intense itching (he’s such a trooper!), but the fact that we weren’t allowing him to touch his sister for the first couple of days because we weren’t sure of what he had and whether he was contagious or not.
  3. He’s been catching up on his big brother cuddles though since getting the green light to hug, kiss and hold his little sister.
  4. Before being called by my son’s daycare provider last Friday, I managed to finish cutting my burlap table runner to size and found a way to keep the edges from fraying.  You can find out how on tomorrow’s post.
  5. Now that the little guy is doing better, I’m motivated to get back into the kitchen.  Yesterday, I made an awesome pumpkin pie and today I’m making a leek, butternut squash and cauliflower potage (yum!).
  6. The dada is also going to be able to stain the balcony today!
  7. It’s rather impressive: we recently added one child to our family, yet my laundry has multiplied by 10.  How did that happen?
  8. I’m probably going to go out and take a walk with baby girl today.  After pretty much being cooped up all weekend (’cause, as we know, mommies are the ones kids want when they’re sick), I need to get out and move around.
  9. Though she’s gotten better at taking more time to drink, Amélie still gets overenthusiastic when she drinks sometimes and ends up covering me, herself, her nursing pillow and the burp cloth in projectile spitup *facepalm*.  This is particularly fun when it happens in the middle of the night :roll:.
  10. That’s it!  I’m off to the kitchen to get cooking! :D

Care to share some random thoughts today?

Updates!

So today was Amélie’s 1 month check-up.  Since her brother had had a mysterious illness over the weekend, we decided to bring him along as well to get him checked out.  It turns out that the pediatrician took more time with Charles than she did with Amélie.

ImageI commented a couple of days ago about how baby girl suddenly didn’t fit into her newborn clothing anymore.  It’s little wonder though as she is now measuring 54.5cm.  That means that in 14 days she grew 4.5cm (or almost 2 inches).  Holy crap!  Now that’s what I call a growth spurt.  She also gained 780g (or 1 pound and 11 oz).  It would seem that mama has got some pretty darned good milk.

As for Charles, well, the pediatrician was absolutely flabbergasted when she saw him and heard what had happened since last Friday.  She immediately told us that it was a pretty impressive allergic reaction (hives) and urged us to talk about it with Charles’ allergist the next time we go to see her.  She is pretty certain that the reaction is in response to the amox that he took to treat an ear infection as the hives started to appear the morning after he finished his prescription.  She’s asking us to continue to give him Benadryl every 4 h until the hives are all gone and had us meet with a pharmacist to see what was the maximal dose we could give him.

Dada and I are both conked out from the stressful weekend and the little guy (who has always been super good about taking medication) now has to be forced to take his Benadryl (we suspect it’s because he associates it with the intense itch his hives cause).  No fun!

To give you an idea of the progression of the hives, here’s what our weekend looked like:

On Friday, they were just small red spots here and there.  As the day progressed, the spots got redder and larger and had raised edges.

P1000858On Saturday, the spread the continued the spots changed again and became the crater-like spots that turned blue that you see in the picture below and his eyelids became swollen after his nap.

By  Sunday, most of his body was covered by either new or old spots.  BUT at least he started to be in a good mood in the afternoon and started to play so we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Finally, this morning, we’re noticing that there don’t seem to be many new spots and the ugly red-bue ones that were there yesterday are gone.  He also actually had breakfast: his first complete meal since Friday at lunchtime (we’ve been keeping him hydrated and have managed to get him to snack a bit over the course of the weekend).  However, because of the insane amounts of Benadryl he’s been taking all weekend, he now looks like a zombie.

Image 1Oh well, we’ll get through this!  I’m just happy nothing worse happened.

So milk and now, it would seem, amoxcillin.  Here’s to hoping we don’t discover any new allergies.

What the Heck?

P1000862

Watching Cars on my computer after I brought him home early from daycare.

Warning: the following post is a rant.

Let’s play a game shall we?

The papa of a sick child with mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch calls his pediatrician’s office.  What happens?

He gets told to either make an appointment for three days later, go to a walk in clinic or go to the emergency room of a hospital.

What the heck!?

The mama of a sick child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch and a low fever calls the free health hotline to try to figure out what’s going on and if the child can wait a few days before seeing a doctor.  What happens?

She gets told to monitor said child’s condition and if symptoms get worse, to go to the pediatrician’s office, a walk in clinic or the emergency room of a hospital.

Sound advice

The mama and papa of an increasingly irritable child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch, a fever of 103F despite the administration of Tempra an hour previously, loss of appetite and the inability to walk because it hurts decide that it’s time to pay a visit to the local walk in clinic.  What happens?

When the dada arrives with said child, he is told that the schedule is full.  He is told to go to the hospital emergency room if he wants his child to be seen

What the heck!?

The dada drives to the nearest hospital with his child.  What happens?

The triage nurse tells him that he shouldn’t be there with his child,but should have driven an extra half hour to the nearest children’s hospital.

What the f*cking heck!?  Can someone please tell me why the heck i have to give 3500$ in income taxes to our province’s healthcare system if no one is willing to see my 22 month old?

Luckily, she decided that since my son was there, he should probably be treated.

Conclusion?

The doctor didn’t know what he has.

Urgh!

What.

The.

Heck!?

We’re seeing the kiddos’ pediatrician Monday for Amélie’s 1 month appointment.  We’re planning on bringing the toddler along so that we can maybe get an answer to the “what does he have” question.

After some intense googling, my partner and I are starting to think it’s hives.  Anyone else want to wager a guess?

This morning.

This morning.

Feeling Fallspiried

Though I am a rather artsy person, I’ve never been one to decorate my home.  I’ve just never found an interest in it…until recently.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because Fall has settled early here (some may say way too early, but hey, I won’t complain as I love the season), because I’m on maternity leave and need to feel as though I am more than an all-you-can-eat milk bar or if it’s the hormones, but I decided that I wanted to decorate the house a bit for Fall this time around.

I first ventured downstairs to rescue some art supplies and different sized mason jars (left over from the previous owners) from the abyss that is the cupboard under the stairs.

Sorry Harry, there ain't no room for you here.

Sorry Harry, there ain’t no room for you here.

Then, I gathered my stained-glass paint and painted my canning jars red, orange and yellow.

Initially, I was planning on adding a bit of pzazz to them, but I’m actually really pleased with the result and decided to keep them like this.

While the jars were drying, I decided to go out and fetch two missing ingredients to complete my Fall dining room decor: a burlap table runner (I’ve been wanting one of these suckers forever) and some pumpkin spice scented candles.

To my amazement, I found both!

There’s just one slight problem: the burlap runner is too long (we’re talking 10 feet long!).  I need to cut it and find a way to make sure the edges don’t fray.  I’m too lazy to get the sewing machine out from under the stairs and figure out how it works, so sewing is out of the question.  Perhaps a diluted solution of glue and water would work.  Or…maybe some no-sew glue or clear nail polish… Hum, it’s long enough that I can run a few tests before cutting it to the desired size, but if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

I guess you will have to wait until I’ve figured out how to manage my table runner before seeing the final result!  :P

What’s your favourite season?  Have you been inspired by Fall?