Lately, No. 13

During the two weeks preceding the new baby’s arrival, I stopped working altogether, we said a sad farewell to the nanny, and I did my best to waddle after and entertain my very active toddler. I tried to get him outside as much as possible, usually in the mornings before it got too hot. We paid LOTS of visits to the local park. Daddy tagged along on weekends.

Boo sliding by himself

Boo climbing the ladder to his favourite slide

Boo on the jungle gym bridge

Boo and Daddy climbing the slide

When it was too hot, humid or rainy to go outside, we did our best to entertain ourselves inside. We practiced sorting and stacking…

Boo playing at his table

We played with Play-Doh (I was quite proud of my Play-Doh elephant…Boo wasn’t so impressed)…

Mama's Play-Doh Elephant

We danced to Sesame Street songs…

Boo dancing with Mummy

And, I’ll be completely honest, we watched some TV…

Boo laughing at the TV

We also worked on getting the little man to eat table food (still not going so well…placing an item in his mouth, and then promptly spitting it out is about as far as we’ve gotten)…

Boo almost eating a cheesy

And on feeding himself with a spoon (also not going so well…note the lack of yogourt on his face)…

Boo playing with his yogourt

Two days before I popped, we roped Auntie Jenny into visiting the splash pad with us…

Boo and Auntie Jenny at Aquaciel

…Where, of course, the slides still proved the most popular attraction.

Boo on the slide while Mama watches

Boo on the slides at Aquaciel

Though it could be exhausting at times (some days all I wanted was to put my feet up and eat watermelon and cookies), we had great fun spending some quality time together before the arrival of the new baby.

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Kind of Lately: Backyard water fun!

So the new baby is here.

Wow….one day we were a family of three and suddenly we’re (officially) four. You know it’s coming (I mean, I was pregnant after all), but it still kinda blows your mind when it happens.

So rather than think about having my mind blown (I’m still in that sleep-deprived, my newborn is operating on a reverse schedule, kind of state), I’d like to share some photos from a few weeks ago that have been sitting, edited, in a folder on my desktop.

Just a few days before I officially stopped working part-time and while we still had child care for Boo, it got hot. Really hot. The kind of hot that had my very pregnant self mostly staying inside, taking full advantage of the air conditioning. Boo and his nanny, on the other hand, weren’t at all avoiding an opportunity for some fun in the sun (and water).

Boo and Lesley with the hose

Boo being hosed down

With Boo’s birthday being in the Fall, my parents decided awhile back that they’d give him early birthday presents that could be enjoyed throughout the Summer. For his (upcoming) second birthday they gave him a sandbox….which we’ve been using as a mini-wading pool, since he hasn’t completely gotten into playing in the sand yet.

Boo reaching for the hose

Boo drinking from the hose

Boo just loves the water – no matter its source…so a wading pool + garden hose = instant hit!

Boo trying to drink from hose by himself

Boo enjoying the water

Look at that face!

Of course he only likes the water on his terms. He’ll jump in puddles, spray himself in the face with a hose, and be all around fascinated with getting wet. Until it’s bath time. Then he’s suddenly completely averse to even sitting in the tub, and can’t stand to get even a little water in his face. Go figure.

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What I want to remember: Snuggling with both of my babies

Okay, so technically, I’m not really snuggling with both of my babies…but whatever. Let’s not be technical here and focus on what’s important:

Those amazing peaceful moments when Boo Boo falls asleep in my arms, or snuggles in real close, and I get to sit there and enjoy holding him…and at the same time feel the baby moving in my belly. It’s kinda sorta wonderful to think I’ve got both of my little ones so close to me – and to each other, for that matter.

Snuggling with Boo on the couch

Sometimes I’ll delay putting Boo into his crib far longer than I really need to, just to soak up and enjoy the feeling. To try and (very imperfectly) memorize it. Because who knows how the little man will react to his little sister? Who knows when I’ll get to snuggle my two babies at once after she’s born?

And since I can’t answer those questions I’m allowing myself to linger a little longer than necessary. To just be and enjoy.

Boo snoozing on Mama on the couch

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Sleep Training (Part 3)

It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about Boo’s sleep training…probably because it’s been going so well, that it’s no longer top of mind. You read that right: it’s been SUPER DUPER and I’m so proud of my little man.

Boo sleeping peacefully in his crib

Not long after moving breastfeeding to the beginning of our bedtime routine, Boo became pretty disinterested in it, and we soon cut it out entirely. Instead of breastfeeding I began offering a sippy cup of milk, and eventually we settled on Yop….the kid loves his yogourt. We moved this portion of the routine to the living room where we can sit with Daddy.

Once Boo finishes his Yop (well, it’s actually only half a Yop), we head to his room and resume the diaper/pyjamas/hygiene/kiss daddy goodnight/stories routine exactly as we’ve been doing it for months and months and months. The remainder of the routine, however, began to be adjusted just as soon as I discovered I was pregnant, and knew that rocking the little man to sleep would get increasingly uncomfortable. So after singing while Boo was still in my arms, I started putting him directly into his crib and….leaving him there. I’d kiss him goodnight, and leave the room.

The only change since has been sometimes putting Boo into his crib while I sing – eliminating the cuddle time – since he’s pretty squirmy, my lap has become virtually non-existent, and I can sometimes feel his little sisters’ protests as she bunches up to the opposite side of my belly.

Miraculously he goes to sleep. Eventually.

Sometimes I hear him talking, laughing, and moving about in his crib for an hour or more before he falls asleep. But he does fall asleep, and without any kind of protest or crying.

And then he sleeps through the night.

I consider it a win.

Boo napping comfortably

As for naps….Boo resisted letting go of his suck-to-sleep association at naptime for quite a while. Eventually, however, it became obvious that he’d stopped nursing entirely, and was just using me as a soother to fall asleep with. So one day as he was doing so, and almost sawing at my breast with his increasing number of teeth, I popped it out and said, “OK, that’s it!” and that was that.

Boo didn’t seem too concerned, as he’d basically weaned himself by reducing his breastmilk intake so slowly and gradually to pretty much nothing. From that moment, I took to rocking the little man to sleep, as I’d previously done at bedtime.

The rocking lasted a long, long, long time.

I think I was partly to blame as I feared that, like bedtime, he’d take up to an hour to fall asleep on his own and “lose out” on precious nap time. At least in my arms I knew I could rock him to sleep in 10-20 minutes.

Until, of course, my pregnancy (literally) got in the way and I couldn’t keep rocking the little man to sleep. As my lap got smaller, he also began to protest more and more, becoming increasingly squirmy and difficult to hold. So now I sing him a nap song (adapted from a Sesame Street song by Bert and Ernie), and then dump him in his crib.

I usually give him about 30-40 minutes to fall asleep on his own before I go in and intervene – which means I (very uncomfortably) hold him on my lap and let him scream at me for 2-5 minutes until he falls asleep (then I dump him back in his crib…there’s no other way to put him in there, now that my belly is completely in the way…luckily he stays asleep). I’d say that, on average, he now falls asleep in about 25-30 minutes, and only requires an intervention a few times a week. This is progress. Just a few weeks ago, he needed me to intervene most days.

So positive steps and progress on all fronts, just in time for the baby’s arrival to throw everything off!

Here’s hoping that, after all of our hard work, he doesn’t regress too much (fingers crossed…he’s already started poking my belly some nights…and on those nights only, he’s not going to sleep quietly).

More on Boo’s sleep training: Part 1 and Part 2

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Update: My itchy armpits

A few weeks ago I shared what has got to be my favourite (read: worst) pregnancy side effect – itchy armpits. I got pretty desperate when my doctor didn’t take it too seriously, and took measures into my own hands – I stopped shaving, stopped using my deodorant and started using anti-itch cream.

After about a week, when my itch was under control and mostly gone, I stopped using the cream….with success. The itch didn’t come back.

1958 Mum Deodorant Ad

photo source

A few days later, though, I caved and shaved. Big mistake. The itch returned with a vengeance for a day or two. I renewed my “no shaving” vow and attempted to embrace the current trendiness of women’s underarm hair. It wasn’t easy since the decision to channel my inner hippie was somewhat forced upon me.

After much research I found myself a natural deodorant that, according to many many reviews, actually works. Lavilin contains no aluminium, no alcohol and no parabens. And so far? It actually is working. Minimal wetness and no odour whatsoever (I’m still obsessively smelling my pits to check…habits formed from paranoia die hard). It claims to work up to 72hrs – I’ve yet to put it to that test – but am up to 48hrs without reapplying, and it’s going strong. Which is great, considering how expensive it is (it’s about $20 per stick – YIKES!).

It’s been going so well, in fact, that I got cocky the other day and tried shaving again……and you know what? No itch.

EUREKA!

I don’t think I’ll push it and shave all the time…but knowing that I can shave will open up a whole new pile of sleeveless wardrobe choices I just wasn’t feeling too confident in while attempting to embrace my underarm hair.

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