Archive for December 2006

Teething and travel and thirty

Nothing that people tell you can prepare you for teething if your kid (like Duncan) happens to be one of those that struggles and suffers through the process. For the past three weeks he’s been cramming anything into his mouth to try to help the teeth erupt, and for the past week it’s been waking him at night. Two nights ago we were up every hour (or more) to comfort him and help him settle down. Last night we finally gave in and gave him baby paracetemol (tylenol) to help him cope – and he slept for five hours in a row. You’d think we’d have thought of this earlier, but sleep deprivation can steal up on you suddenly and then coherant & sensible thought becomes tough.

Travelling with a baby puts things in perspective too. Every other time we’ve flown across the Atlantic we’ve been exhausted from the lack of sleep, jet lag, and travel woes. This time though we’re such pros at the tired game that it didn’t feel anywhere near as bad. I got three hours of sleep in a row on our overnight return flight. Three full hours. That’s two more than I had the night before or the night after the flight. So hey, parenthood does make you more resilient.

What timing eh? Teething during Christmas holidays, and, since no tooth seems ready to appear, teething when starting nursery (on the 8th). Oh well. Might as well get it over with all in one go!

But teething & jet lag combined couldn’t make this Christmas trip anything less than magical. We loved sharing D with family and can’t believe how much D changed and grew over the course of the trip. Attention from grandparents must be good for you – D’s definitely thrived!

Oh, and I almost forgot. I turned thirty on the 30th, which will only happen once in my life and as I love numbers (the only people more mathy that I know are my parents) gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Turning thirty the day after travelling a third of the way around the world did mean that it was a quiet, non-fussy day, but it does feel good to look back on the past ten years and think how much happier I am with my life now than when I turned 20.
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six months and a merry christmas

Six months old on Christmas day – a perfect age to tear wrapping paper, eat his first meal of turkey, and cuddle with family. We can’t believe how much Duncan changes, from last month when he’d just found his feet, to this month where crawling seems imminent and sitting is easy (at least for a little while). We’re not ready – or at least the house isn’t ready – for a little guy who can zoom around!

It’s been amazing to have Duncan meet family over the past two weeks but we’re heading for home now and we’re hoping it’ll be easy to get back into our routine. D’s struggled with the time change and has been up 4 times a night since we arrived in Canada, compared with once a night at home. We’re not sure if it’s the strange bed, strange bedtime, or overly-exciting days, but it’s been tough on my boy (and us too). Travelling with a baby is not as easy as we expected …

But today, boxing day, has been celebrated in a very Canadian (male) fashion. A trip to Canadian Tire was followed by Tim Hortons (twice) and we just finished watching the Canada-Sweden Junior IIHA hockey game this afternoon. My mother’s working, so it’s just been me and my boys (Duncan, Cory, my Dad, and Bompa) all afternoon. Amazing I’m coping so well with all the testosterone!

The double blue are Duncan’s colours!

cuddles and snuggles with people we love

This has been an amazing, exhausting week. Duncan met two of his great grandparents this week (he has 3) and giggled and smiled his way even deeper into their hearts. There is nothing better than watching the people who’ve been your special grandparents for your entire life extend that same love to your kid. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Of course these haven’t been the only family members D’s met this week. He’s met his Grandma and Grandpa, Uncles and Aunts, and even his cousins. We’ll have to do a big photo entry once we’re at home and can sort through them all, but these two we wanted to post right away.

While it’s been amazing to be in Canada with family, we can’t say the same thing about our travelling experience. The short version includes three missed flight connections, an extra stop in Montreal, arriving in Toronto eight hours late for a total trip time of 22 hours, and then finally two more hours delay on our flight from Regina to Toronto. Maybe Duncan’s got some sort of anti-travel curse…

Also keeping a baby up (aside from napping) for 22 hours straight can really throw off their internal clock. Duncan’s been an absolute angel and we’re so lucky to have such a happy kid, but he has struggled with lack of sleep for the past week. Poor guy!

And returning to Canada for the first time in 18 months feels strange. Aside from the daily pilgrimage to Tim Hortons and my terror that we’re on the wrong side of the road (now I’m just really confused), everything does seem big and spread out. The roads! The parking lots! The stores!
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chestnuts roasting on an open fire …

Christmas is almost here and the presents are accumulating around the fireplace. There’s Christmas cards strewn over the floor, stockings hanging from the mantle, and chocolate in the kitchen. With Bing on the stereo, you’d think that there’s nothing more we need for some real Christmas cheer, and that’s true. But I’m exhausted in way that reaches through my whole body and wrings my spirit out into a limp dishrag.

We’ve thought about ways to rest ourselves, taking turns with Duncan or trading babysitting for nights out, but because we don’t have family nearby, every break we take is paid for by more work at another time. It’s much harder to take care of Duncan solo, so that a night out for one of us exhausts the other. And babysitting another baby in exchange for babysitting for D isn’t a real break either. Sure it’s not that much work each time, but cumulatively, with no free passes, we’re just worn out.

(I guess that’s a good thing, otherwise looking at my fabulous son I’d be keen to have five more kids… and once more will probably be enough… )

So all I want for Christmas is a happy healthy family, tea and a good book on a couch, and some high quality sleep!
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sleigh bells ring

It’s December and the wind is howling around our house. The windows are old, wooden and leaky, and last night we could feel the gusts through the bedroom. Duncan’s room is warm enough, with the radiator turned up and the cot carefully positioned away from drafts, but it still feels wild and weird to leave him alone on a night like the last. (We’ve ordered new windows but they can’t be installed until February, so until then we’re very aware of the weather outside.)

Not that our house is in any way uncomfortable. According to a recent issue of New Scientist, the average British home temperature is 18 degrees, which is pretty much our house exactly. When you realize that the average British home temperature in 1970 was a icy 13 degrees, it makes our house seem positively balmy. Last year we kept it slightly cooler, but with a wiggly baby rolling around on the floor, erring on the side of too much heat seems the safe way to go.

We took Duncan to see Santa yesterday at Crathes Castle. No suburban santas for our wee lad, but the real one, down from the north pole with his reindeer! And Santa was even waiting for Duncan in the stable, complete with a donkey and a manger. Except that we went early to avoid the lines so the donkey and the reindeer weren’t there yet. But Santa was and Duncan happily sat on his knee and smiled in Santa’s very Santa-ish hands.

And the website is finally back to normal after a switch to a new hosting provider, a dabble with wordpress (not as flexible out of the box as movabletype), and a nightmare of a time getting all the entries back where they should be. Now we just need to sort out the domain ….
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