Archive for October 2006

four months equals food

This fourth month has been a tough one, it’s been challenging to keep anything down this month and I’ve found myself very stressed about all the decisions we’ve had to make. But let’s focus on all the great things that have happened. The bigest change is that Duncan’s learned to roll over and back and is so much more active. That’s been amazing. He’s much more able to play with us and we love letting him climb over our limbs on the bed, or help him stand to see the world. He and I have been taking infant massage classes and while he likes massage at home, during class he’s more interested in checking out the other babies or flying like superman through the air. I’ve had to get out the playpen here at home too, or else when I turn my back he ends up way across the room. Wow.

And yes, these are pictures of Duncan enjoying rice cereal (actually tastes like paste, horrible stuff) and carrots this week. His reflux has limited his weight gain and growth so our health visitor agreed with us that it was time.

(We do know about the recommendations that babies wait until they’re 6 months, but after a search of the literature (medical journals etc.) we found that there isn’t good evidence that you need to postpone food until then, and we felt that D’s reflux meant he needed food now. Can you tell we’ve gotten a lot of smug mum comments about our choices?)

And food is great! Duncan loved his first taste of carrots today and is definitely not throwing up as much since we introduced solids. Next week we’ll try peas… green and orange go well together.

And after four months of nothing but Duncan, perhaps it’s time to diversify again and post other pictures sometimes (apologies to the grandparents)… what do people want to see?

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touchdown dance

Cory’s happy to see Duncan dressed in rider green, looking very bit the second generation saskatchewan guy. My preference for the argos seems to have lost out, how can I resist when Duncan looks so cute?

Actually, opening this package from Grandma has been a welcome distraction in a tough week. Lots of new things are going on in our house, and most of them we’re not fans of! On Sunday night Duncan refused to take a bit of formula, we’d thought he might still be hungry and my breasts were dry. Normally when he’s not hungry he’ll just not suck, but this time he actually started gagging. Since it was formula and we haven’t offered it to him in months we weren’t too worried, but last night he played the same trick with expressed breastmilk. I was out for dinner with colleagues and Cory was feeding him so I had to leave before dessert. When I got home we still couldn’t get him to take the bottle, but he was happy to settle in at the breast for a long feed. Remember my last post about tag team parenting? Looks like I’m on call permanently until we can convince him that the bottle is not evil.

Coupling this with some runny stools meant a phone call to the health visitor this morning. Her verdict was either a mild virus that’s running around or an early start to teething. I don’t know which one to hope for.

Speaking of breastfeeding, the reason I was out for dinner last night was that we’re (my colleagues and I) hosting an international meeting between Norway, Canada, Ireland and us to try to start some collaborative work. It’s all very exciting and it meant that I spent yesterday listening (and giving) to presentations. Cory had to work until noon, since he had meetings too, so Duncan was with us until 1pm. He was as good as gold, but during the lunch he needed to eat so I ended up breastfeeding him at the table. Now I’ve breastfed Duncan in tons of restaurants before, but this felt different because it was a work function. Everyone seemed fine about it, and there really wasn’t any other option if I wanted to eat, so the choice was easy. But still, everyone who says breastfeeding is the easy option is ignoring the fact that many women go back to work before their baby is a year old.
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time for ourselves

I went for a run this afternoon, and I’ve got to do that more often. Walking with the buggy isn’t the same type of exercise and running would probably help my flagging energy levels. Have I mentioned how much I miss caffeine? Cory’s well caffeinated these days which must have helped him as he took a wrong turn on his bike ride this morning and ended up going 68 km in a huge loop. Yes, we’ve finally started tag team parenting, I know we should have started long ago.

We did manage to get out twice without Duncan while my parents were here. The first time I spent the entire movie holding onto my cell phone (set to vibrate) in case they needed to reach me. The second night I relaxed over lovely dinner. 15 weeks was a long time to go without any time away from D, but without grandparents in the country, it’s not so easy.

I’m at the end of my tether this weekend as D’s been cranky because of his immunizations which have left hard swollen lumps under the skin in his thighs. Poor little guy, I’d be cranky too, but it’s a tough way to face a monday.
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sleep regressions

We wont be starting Duncan on beer any time soon, but he did enjoy hanging out with Papa at the pub earlier this week!

We had a fabulous visit with my parents as Duncan’s growing in leaps and bounds & they loved seeing all the changes in him. This week his new skill is rolling over, he’s very proud of himself and will practice for hours. The only drawback is that he hasn’t learned to roll from his front to his back, just the other way, so I spend a lot of time helping him get back where he started. On the plus side, tummy time has never been so frequent!

Duncan’s blissful habit of sleeping through the night is definitely over now. He wakes anywhere from 3 am to 5 am frantic with hunger. We’ve tried different feeding patterns during the day but nothing works and it’s not correlated with how much he throws up either. He’s just hungrier than a month ago. I’ve heard that formula can help babies sleep longer, but after our struggles with breastfeeding, I’m loathe to introduce formula now. I’m stubborn like that. But we are considering introducing organic rice cereal at the 4 month mark, does anyone out there have any experience with sleep and introducing foods or stories about the four month sleep regression that I’ve heard about?

And it’s a sign of our new preoccupation with all things to do with Duncan that I almost forgot to mention how 4 years ago today was a very good day!
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Duncan’s big day

Nana and Papa are visiting us now, here for Duncan’s baptism. He was a perfect boy during the service, only throwing up once on his daddy and not crying until the very very end (when he was passed back to me – figures!) It was pretty amazing to be standing there with our baby, but not as emotional as I’d expected because I was just too nervous about whether or not he’d have a complete meltdown. He was very well behaved though and the only casualty was that we didn’t get pictures afterwards, since by that point Duncan was not going to behave (fair enough, he’d been good for quite a while).

His christening outfit was a gift from people at the church and his christening blanket was a family one that Grandma sent out from Saskatchewan. As well as being lovely & a meaningful reminder of other family members who couldn’t make it, it did a great job of wiping up the puke off his chin while we were at the front of the church. (Duncan’s reflux isn’t really that bad, he’s gaining weight nicely again, but it does make for lots of messy moments).

We celebrated the event, along with Canadian Thanksgiving, by having a party back at our place afterwards. Our parties are a bit different these days, and for all the non-new parents, the discussion of various types of soothers probably wasn’t too interesting. But it was fun to be able to have all our friends in one place and enjoy a meal together.

Sometimes I can’t believe that Duncan hasn’t always been a part of our lives. I know intellectually that we used to throw great parties where I drank too much and crawled off to bed before the last guest had even left, but that seems pretty remote from my ideal of a perfect night now. Last night was close to perfect actually, since I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and as Duncan’s regressed a bit in his sleeping habits, it was a real treat to sleep through. Sleep has never been so valuable.
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Glen Esk and Loch Lee

The rain this morning is pooling on my patio, huge heavy drops, and is probably leaking into the eaves upstairs but yesterday was glorious, with deep blue skies and crisp fall air. We spend the afternoon exploring Glen Esk, just west off the road joining Fettercairn and Edzell.

Duncan found himself buckled in again into his stroller (now extra cosy with his fleecy sleeping bag) and we walked a few kilometers up the glen past Invermark Castle, which was built around 1526, and now sits as a ruined tower house. It’s impressively tall for its girth, and with no windows would have been quite dark inside. The doorway is up on the first floor (the second floor in Canadian convention), so there’s no entrance from ground level. Everytime I see these tower houses, which are dotted everywhere in the local landscape, I’m amazed at how unsettled life must have been to require people to live in such inhospitable dwellings.

There’s a ruined church at Loch Lee dating back to 1645, a long narrow building surrounded by old graves and walled off from the loch itself. I’ve never seen a more beautiful setting, with the glen narrowing into steep hills right at this point. We walked a bit further along the loch and the second picture gives a good idea of the setting.

Of course as much as every cloud has a silver lining, every sunny day has it’s trials, and for Duncan it was just too bright. On the walk in we had to hide him from the sun with a muslin square for a sunshade, but at least he could take in the view on the way back. This kid is going to be so spoiled by beautiful scenery that it’ll take a lot to impress him as an adult…
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