Sunday, December 30, 2007

The High Chair Scare

Our top 3 scares (in no particular order): the time she rolled off the couch, the time she had an allergic reaction and we had to rush to the ER, and the time she started choking on food and was stuck in her high chair. Turns out the Fisher Price Healthy Care high chair isn't so healthy when you can't get your kid out because they're strapped in so securely they'd be safe in a race car.

We're currently at my Mother-in-Law's for the holidays (Happy Holidays, by the way). The other night we were sitting at the table enjoying our dinner when the babe started choking. It quickly amplified into an emergency situation as she continued to choke and started turning red. My husband, Mother-in-Law and I all jumped out of our seats to try and get the babe out of the high chair. I threw the tray to the side as we attempted to unbuckle the many straps. I thought the straps over the shoulder as well as the waist was a great idea until I had to try and get her out of there in a hurry. It was next to impossible to do quickly enough. I did not keep my cool. I panicked.

With all the commotion and jostling, the babe managed to clear her throat and started crying before we even managed to get her out. I started crying once I had her in my arms. Then my Mother-in-Law started crying after having remained calm through the scare. My husband and I were stunned by the fear that had overtaken us so quickly.

I'm not happy with the high chair and would recommend against buying it. We've undone the shoulder straps and are now only using the waist belt. I've started to cut her food pieces even smaller and put less on her tray at a time. The babe stuffs so much in her mouth at once that I suppose this was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm just glad I wasn't alone for this episode and that it didn't get any worse than it did. Babies and toddlers do choke on things and it's best if they're in a chair that you can get them out of fast.

As much as I never want to experience that feeling of helplessness again, I know that part of being a Mother is accepting that you will always worry and you won't always be able to control everything. That can be a hard pill to swallow.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Breastfeeding: The Last Chapter

I thought I had written my last post about breastfeeding. I was wrong.

On December 5th, I had the "last time" experience. I wasn't really ready for it and didn't know what was in store for me. Simply put, I became a nut job.

It was a few days before her first birthday when I stopped breastfeeding all together. I had been down to feeding the babe every 24 hours when she indicated she was ready to end this phase of our lives together. It took me by surprise. After a year of almost exclusive breastfeeding, I didn't think it was going to be this easy.

Within approximately 30 hours I became extremely sore and was having serious trouble sleeping at night. The worst part was that I started feeling like I was on an emotional roller coaster. I was crying numerous times a day and felt really desperate. It was almost comparable to the "post partum blues" so many of us experience (feeling a lack of control coupled with the desire to burst into tears over the smallest of things). Not pretty.

After 3 days of this, I knew I had to do something about the situation. It was the babe's first birthday party and I wouldn't be able to make it through the way I was feeling. I could barely carry her because it hurt so badly when she banged into my chest. I had packed away my pump weeks ago thinking I was done with it. But after my shower, I unpacked my Medela and pumped for 5 minutes. It was ecstasy. I got 6 ounces and felt like a million bucks.

I was happy the babe would have one more solid bottle of breast milk before we called it quits. I'll admit I was very offended when she wouldn't drink it. I couldn't believe it was her last time having breast milk and she didn't want it. It took 3 tries for her to take 2 ounces. She was overdue for a bottle, so I broke down and gave her a bottle of formula. She sucked the whole thing back happily. That's when I really knew there was no turning back.

I told my husband that weaning is kind of like kicking a drug habit. You just want one more fix to feel better, then you can quit. After my last pumping session, I thought I would need to pump every few days until the milk dried up. It's now been 12 days and I haven't had to whip out the pump again. I can officially say my breasts are empty (and much smaller) now. It's a very weird feeling.

All in all, weaning has been a crazy experience which has involved a lot of emotion and sleepless nights. I don't think the hormonal changes have finished their course as I'll admit I'm still feeling a bit wacky. It's been almost 2 years since my body was "normal" and I guess it's understandable that it will take a few weeks for it to sort itself out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The First Birthday Party

It was a rather small affair. We had 8 people (including my husband, my sister and I) and 3 kids (including the very well-behaved birthday girl). We were originally expecting 11, but you know how it is. After a rather lame birthday, the birthday party was awesome. I was so very pleased with the company, the snacks, the cake, the balloons, and that the drink of choice was Guinness.

There is a culture of birthday party craziness in this country that I don't want to get involved in. I know the pressure to have an amazing party will increase each year and by the time the babe is in school, we'll have to be inviting the whole class over. That's why I relished this small gathering because it was so low key and relatively stress-free (my husband and sister even did the food shopping while the babe and I took a nap).

And the party didn't end when the guests left. After a nice little walk around the neighborhood, we had a smashing take out dinner (our favourite, Sushi Taro) and a bottle of champagne I'd been saving for a "special occasion" since our wedding. We topped it off with more cake and some apple cider and rum drinks. I went to bed with that warm happy feeling you get after a really, really nice day (and champagne and rum). Now that was some kind of great birthday!

The First Birthday

I was dirty the day she came into the world, so I suppose it's appropriate I was dirty on her first birthday. We had a hot water problem last week (we had none), which added some challenges to our life (like showering).

Last Friday, December 7th, the babe turned one. It was a gray and rainy day and we spent the morning playing with a new farm/barn toy (from Grandma) and waiting for the plumbers. They arrived at 10:45 am. I expected they'd be gone by noon. I was so wrong. They left at 2:30 pm. Yikes. At least we got a new hot water tank (although we ran into more hot water problems on Sunday afternoon).

We were desperately in need of nap time, so we hit the sack as soon as they left. When we woke up at 4:30 pm, I realized I wasn't going to be getting any of the prep done for the party we had planned for Saturday. It was still dark and yucky. My loving husband came home from work early and I eventually left the house at 6:00 pm to pick up the cake at the lovely and slightly overpriced Cake Love. The highlight of the day was my sister arriving from Canada at 11:15 pm (and the free cupcake from the bakery).

If this doesn't sound like the most exciting day to you, you'd be right. I realize now that I am going to have the same high expectations that I have for my birthdays for my daughter's birthdays as well. After all, I did give birth on December 7th just as much as she was born on December 7th. I'm not depressed about it (her rainy, plumber-filled birthday, that is) as we made up for everything on Saturday (to learn more, read the next post, which I hope I have time to do).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Falling Short of My Goal

I am in shock. I have just fallen short of my one year goal. I had been down to breastfeeding the babe once a day. Not to sound crazy, but I was planning on feeding her for the last time on her birthday this Friday.

I went to feed her early this morning, thinking it was the third last time ever. She immediately proceeded to take a chomp down. She has 5 teeth. I let out a not so happy yell. I gave it a minute after telling her off (it really hurt). I then offered her the other side. She took a few sucks and then started talking. That's it. I guess we're done.

How could I have come so close to my goal only to miss out by 2 days?

I told my husband and he took a picture of the 2 of us gals in bed in our pajamas. I guess it was less dramatic this way. I was pretty sure I was going to be a sloppy crying mess if I had done the last breastfeeding on her birthday. Maybe she was trying to make it easier on me? Whatever happened, I know I did my best and we're both stronger for it.

For anyone who's looking for weaning advice, I highly recommend the one month approach. It was much easier to slowly cut out feedings than to just stop all together. Considering she took her first unassisted steps a week ago, I suppose it was time. Now we can work on mastering drinking from a cup.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It Never Ends

I think we will be baby proofing every day for the next 5 or so years. We are trying to stay one step ahead of the babe but are really just playing catch up.

We recently discovered that she can climb up the stairs. As much as we're happy she's learnt a new skill, it's a rather dangerous one. To address this new found obsession (she's constantly crawling to the base of the stairs), my lovely husband spent the past weekend trying to install a hardware mounted baby gate at the bottom of our stairs. It sounds easy, right?

"They" recommend you give yourself a good hour to install a gate. "They" are SO wrong. We have metal banisters and molding to deal with. Not an easy task. I thought the fact that my hubby has a graduate degree in engineering would help. But as he reminded me, they don't teach you how to install baby gates in school. Perhaps there should be a baby proofing school. I know you can hire "experts" to come and assess your home, but come on.

After a few trips to our local hardware store, the purchase of a drill (the fact we didn't own one should tell you something), and much thought and effort (he dreamt about it), my husband managed to securely install the gate. There were many steps involved including the drilling of a very large hold in the dry wall. It was scary stuff...especially as we're renters.

We wonder when the baby proofing will end. Every day, I find something else to worry about and every weekend, there are more projects for us to take on.

The bike in the dining room is gone (taken apart and put in a closet), the larger random items lying around (car seats, swings, etc.) have been shoved into nooks and crannies, the coffee table has foam all around it, the electric sockets are plugged, 2 gates are installed, kitchen cupboards have locks on them, smaller loose items have been collected and put into boxes (just purchased yesterday at Ikea), loose wires are pretty much hidden (although not completely). This doesn't sound like much, but compared to what our place used to look like (a crowded disaster), we've come a long way.

She is almost walking now and I'm sure I will continue to chase her around and say "no" a million times a day. But for now, I am proud of the work we've done.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

7 Little Known Facts

I have been tagged by my blogging buddy, Kimberly Palmer (of Creating Ms. Perfect fame), to share 7 little known facts about myself. Hmmmm. I guess I can write about some non-mommy related things here! These are in no particular order.

1) I once hit my childhood friend in the head with a baseball bat. It was an accident which occurred while playing t-ball on the front lawn. We had a baby sitter that day which didn't make it any prettier. I still remember the size of the egg that developed on her forehead. Thankfully there was no permanent damage.

2) I would like to be a TV documentary maker. I'm not sure if I'll ever make this happen, but it is on the list of possibilities for when I return to the working world. I wish I had started on this dream a little earlier. It's not too late, right?

3) I once was a telemarketer who targeted pharamcists across the United States. I was a qualifier (pre-sales) for "art investment opportunities." The main artist we promoted was Peter Max.

4) I slept with a stuffed Mickey Mouse every night until I brought my daughter home from the hospital last year. I bought Mickey at Disneyland in LA. My family was in the process of moving to Canberra, Australia. I was 14. Mickey currently lives in my closet with the extra blankets. I miss him.

5) I had my nose pierced when I was 16. My parents weren't so happy about it. I removed the nose ring because of a summer job as a teller at a bank (I was a horrible bank teller). A few months later, I tried to put a nose ring in to the closed hole. I tore my nose and have the scar to prove it. I never said I was a smart teenager.

6) When my daughter was first born, I was so frazzled I had piles of dirty diapers and wipes on the dining room floor (I don't know why I didn't just use a garbage can) and I kept a night light on in the bedroom so I could see her at ALL times.

7) I love the Beastie Boys. Loud.

I don't really know any other active bloggers, so I can't tag anyone. But if you'd like to share anything, feel free to make a comment!!