Monday, 15 December 2014

Just A Little Self Care

When I begin to feel overwhelmed there are a few things that happen. First, I stop making dinner. Chris usually picks up the slack, but sometimes it just means we eat out more. Next I stop cleaning each day. This one is unfortunate because then the chores pile up and add to the overwhelmed feelings. I also tend to stop leaving the house and seeing people, which once again is unfortunate because I am an extrovert and actually feel energized when I am around friends.

Another thing I stop doing is writing. You may have noticed? Sorry guys. I think what I have realized is that I see writing as a little bit frivolous. There are usually more important things I should be doing and if I'm not doing them I probably shouldn't be writing either. It's kind of like when you're home sick from school and you know you probably shouldn't go out for ice cream with your friends before your parents come home. If I have time to write a blog then I should probably go clean the bathrooms, ya know?

I took a nice long shower tonight, and when I was clean but not ready for the hot water to end I sat down and turned it into a bath. As I sat there I thought of how my heart no longer yearns for silence or soothing music, but instead it's filled to the brim when I hear my sweet husband babbling along with our chatterbox baby. I sat there until the water grew cold and I soaked in the peace of the not-so-quiet moment.

Once dry, instead of quickly combing my hair, I took my time. I put on nice smelling lotion and I got out some nail polish for my toes. I have no idea when the last time was that I painted my toenails, but I did tonight because it felt even more indulgent that writing. And then I sat down with a glass of chocolate milk and wrote this as Chris played with and bathed Elliott.

It was nothing huge. No big revelations tonight about what I've been doing wrong and how all of a sudden now I get it- just a little bit of self care.

Oh, and I think I already know what I'm going to make for dinner tomorrow.




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~M


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Elliott: Eight Months




Eight months? I can't believe my maternity leave is two thirds over! I love my days spent with our boy - he is turning into such a cute little goofball. He makes me laugh, which then in turn makes him laugh. He just loves to have fun!! He continues to (most days) be a really easy going baby- just likes to hang out and play with his toys. It takes very little to keep him occupied. He's a giant chatterbox- always talking. Mostly he says "dadadadada" but still has no association with it that we can tell. I love watching his face light up when Chris comes home from school, and Chris always jokes about how he must think I'm the funniest person alive because if he turns and is surprised to see me he will bob up and down and laugh. So easily excited!! The last weigh in we had was just under 22 lbs, so I imagine he is just at or over that now, and approx 28 inches long. It seems to me that he looks older every single day. Good thing he just keeps getting cuter!

Eating: We're still slowly introducing solids, but he gets most of his nutrition from breast milk. I have to be honest- this is a tough area for me. We have been following a list of first foods from our Naturopath which is meant to encourage a "healthy gut" We find this to be really important because research shows that 70% of the cells that make up our immune system reside in our gut, and what we feed ourselves determines the health of our gut flora. Babies start out with a clean slate, and so we believe that following this list will set him up for the healthiest gut flora possible. Also, we believe this will be instrumental in setting him up for a healthy digestive system, which is something Chris and I both struggle with as adults. All that being said, I find it quite restrictive. It's normal stuff (yams, carrots, cauliflower, bananas, peas etc) but not stuff I normally make (and puree) I always intended to make his foods and not feed from jars, but I also pictured having the ability to feed him little bits of what we are eating, and feeling quite laid back about it. Well, now I have this list and starting at 6 months there are only 14 foods I can give him (another 14 foods at 9 months, and so on) I feel this tension between wanting to follow the list and wanting to burn the list, and just feed him what I feel like. At this point I think we'll keep with it because we only have one more month before 14 more foods are introduced, and I'm looking forward to adding in oatmeal, which is on the 9 month list.

Sleeping (Night Time): Sleep? What is that?? But seriously, not much has improved from last month. Elliott still wakes multiple times (3, 4, 5...) and at least a couple times a week will wake completely for at least an hour in the middle of the night. From everything I've read he is just working overtime with his brain development and there isn't much I can do, but dear Lord is it challenging! He still goes to bed really well, which is my saving grace. At least I still get that time at the end of the evening to unwind! I just wish he would sleep until 2 or 3 like he used to before waking. Now it's more like 12:30-1 for his first waking. One positive has been how long he sleeps in the morning. We've been leaving him when he fusses for the first time around 6:30 and the second time around 7:30 and he falls right back to sleep on his own (if only he could do THAT in the middle of the night!) He's been sleeping until 8-9 in the morning most days this past week, which has been quite lovely.

Sleeping (Nap Time):  About 2-3 weeks ago, all of a sudden he decided he only wants two naps a day. Just like that, with no help or work on my part (I have dreams of something changing like this at night time as well) His first nap is usually around 10:30-11 and he'll sleep for at least an hour, and then his second nap is anywhere from 2- 3:30 and he'll sleep for an hour or two. Between the two naps he usually sleeps about 3-3.5 hours total. He can go a lot longer between his last nap and bedtime now. I think the longest was waking up at 3:30 and going to bed at 9. So crazy because only a month ago if he woke up at 5:30 (anytime before 6, really) he would need another 15 minute cat nap to get him to bedtime at 9.

Play: He loves to sit up and play with toys. If there is one out of his reach he'll lean forward or to the side and topple onto his tummy (doesn't faze him in the least anymore) His favourite toys right now are Sophie, which he just realized how to squeak on his own, his little red car, his red train (both of which make noise and sing the alphabet, which he loves!) and he's rediscovered his red and orange O-balls. He still loves jumping in his jumper and standing while holding your hands. He works on his fine motor skills all the time- he loves to pick up tiny things with his finger and thumb, and often takes one finger to scratch at different surfaces/textures.


Highlights/Lowlights: He still carpet swims with the best of them, but the only real movement he makes is backwards a few inches at a time. Quite frustrating when he's tying SO hard to move forward to get a toy!

He has six teeth!! 4 up top and the same bottom two. The last 3 came in all in the span of seven days. It was a pretty rough week for the both of us, but we've had a nice reprieve form teething for the last couple weeks

We have officially switched from the bucket seat to a convertible car seat. So far I am loathing this new change. I hate having to stand outside in the cold to strap him in while in the van. I hate that when he falls asleep I have to unstrap him and carry him in, and then somehow take off my boots and his jacket before laying him down. He also seems to hate it and cries each. and. every. time. we strap him in. I miss the bucket seat SO much. Sure, it was heavy, but so much easier!!!

We've started to really notice how ticklish he is when he's tired. It's absolutely hilarious- you barely have to tough his sides/armpit area for him to erupt in laughter.

He's started turning his whole upper body to the side while sitting and will lean his body to one side. At first he would get stuck each time or fall on his tummy, but he's getting better at it and can sit upright again.

I cut his hair!! I had no choice - when it fell forward it covered his eyes and reached almost to the tip of his nose! So I combed it all forward and snipped! It looks pretty cute, but for almost a week I was heartbroken that he looked like a little boy instead of my baby

Elliott was dedicated at our church on November 9th. It was a really special morning, and we had our family and friends over to the house for a lunch after church. He happened to look like the cutest baby ever in his little button up shirt and tie (see picture below)

He learned to clap! Super cute and so fun to see how proud of himself he is.

Likes:

  • My purple water bottle
  • Being tickled 
  • Sitting, playing with toys
  • Getting thrown in the air
  • Bathtime (as always!)
  • Staring out the front window at all the cars driving past
  • My phone or the TV remote - two things I never let him touch, so naturally they are his favourite things ever!
  • Picking up tiny things (crumb on the carpet, string hanging off his pants)

Dislikes:

  • Peas
  • His new carseat
  • Sleep...?


And now, pictures!

















































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~M






























Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Little Boy Who Lost His Name - Children's Book Review

I first stumbled upon this book when searching for a gift for a friend's new baby. I happily ordered one and sent it there way, but then soon after wished I had purchased one for Elliott as well. Well, the folks at Lost My Name were gracious enough to send me a free copy in exchange for this review. Lucky me!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

You Ate Your Placenta.....?

Well... yes. Let me explain?

I know, I know. Part of the reason I haven't written about this yet is because it completely grosses out a lot of people. However, I've found that most people I've talked to about it are curious about the reason and benefits, so I decided to come clean.

No, I did not "eat" it, but yes I did consume it.

For those who don't know, or perhaps haven't read many of my posts, I should first admit I'm a bit of a hippy. A little "granola" or "crunchy" as it's often referred to. I chose to have a Midwife rather than be under the care of an obstetrician during my pregnancy and birth, and it was in making that choice that I found myself on the road to deciding to consume my placenta.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Deep Cleaning My Kitchen and The Holy Spirit

I just spent over an hour deep cleaning my kitchen. It was fantastic. I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to cleaning. I just love the feeling of taking something dirty and cleaning it until it's sparkling clean. So satisfying! I didn't necessarily set out to tackle a huge job today, but it happened none the less.

It all started when I walked past my microwave and thought it could use a wipe on the outside. A 5 second task. I opened it up and cleaned that too. At this point Elliott was quite happy sitting in his high chair watching me (in fact, he found the sound the glass made when it was squeaky clean to be hilarious) so I opened up the fridge... Twenty minutes later I had thrown out all the gross food, washed the tupperware and wiped out the shelves. Well, now I was on a roll! I cleaned under my sink, the top of my stove, turned the oven on self clean, and swept and mopped the floor.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

(Lack of) Infant Sleep & Chronos vs. Kairos

Two nights ago I had a glorious sleep. Elliott went down at 9:30 after a long day of teething, crankiness and very little napping. Usually this means I'm in for a long night as well, but instead he only woke to nurse ONCE. He woke up a couple of other times but soothed himself back to sleep (aka: I didn't even get out of bed) So yesterday, I basically felt like Superwoman. He was in a great mood all day, had great naps and went to bed on time and easily.

Aaaahhh... sittin pretty.

He went down really easily at 9, and seemed to be completely passed out. I was fully prepared to have a night just as wonderful as the night before. We've really turned a real corner! I thought. Finally his sleep is getting better, and my nights can get back to normal. (Well, as normal as it's been since he was born)

Friday, 24 October 2014

Marriage: In The Trenches

I will tell anyone who asks that I have a passion for marriages. I believe it is a God placed desire in me to see successful marriages. Not just successful, but exceptional. It is nothing short of a blessing in my life when a friend or acquaintance wants to meet up for coffee or lunch and talk about marriage - each conversation and each shared prayer is like a training ground for the ministry I believe God has called me to.

I have had more than one friend tell me that they see my marriage as something to strive for or something that is intimidating. I think I need to be very clear here:

I come not from a place of expertise, but I am right down in the trenches with everyone else. Marriage is hard. Last night Chris and I had a fight over who was going to make dinner, and then after that was resolved we fought again at 1 am when I was woken to find him playing his (not so quiet) video games.

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