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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What I want to remember: Baby kicks

Pregnancy is a weird experience. There are so many wonderful and amazing things happening to your body….while so many awful and uncomfortable things are happening at the same time (like, say…itchy armpits). It’s an experience which, upon its occurring a second time is familiar, but still new. You know what they say…every pregnancy is different.

My pregnant belly

But what isn’t different is the intimacy you feel with your baby as you feel it move inside you. The gentle nudges. The little ripples. The sudden kicks. The increasing and almost painful pressure points when the baby insistently pushes in just one spot. The all out rumbles, as your little one is almost certainly doing a jig and making your belly dance.

To me, this is the best part of pregnancy. Sure it’s wonderful knowing I’m sheltering and nurturing and growing a child….but it’s the physicality of FEELING that child inside me that I love. That’s the feeling I want to remember, and that I wish I could somehow record and preserve. Because although I’d generally remembered how wonderful it was to feel a baby kicking inside of me, and I immediately recognized that first kick with baby #2, I’d mostly forgotten the actual sensation of it.

And once this baby is born I’ll forget it again.

So as I enter the final stretch (only one month to go!) I find myself trying to remember to pay attention to those kicks. To not get annoyed when baby pushes with all her might in that same exact spot, over and over again. To stop what I’m doing to enjoy the nudges, and the jigs.

Because this is very likely the last time I’ll feel them.

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Friday I’m in Love: Flamingos

In just over a month we’ll be having a baby girl. I decided we’d go very girly for her room colour – possibly to make up for the fact that I haven’t had a typically girly colour in my bedroom since I was 14 (once I painted over my childhood pink, I’ve had green, blue, blue and yellow, mint green, yellow, and now asparagus green…I don’t count the sick peachy colour that came with the temporary digs we occupied for a year while searching for a house to buy).

When picking the actual colour, I wanted something bold and colourful. Something that shouted out GIRL, but that wasn’t the typical pale baby pink. I drew my inspiration from this painting/print by Elise Blaha Cripe, and ultimately went with Benjamin Moore’s Coral Gables.

It’s stunning, and a little in your face. I love it. Once the room is actually complete, I’ll share it with you (for now, it doesn’t look at all like a nursery, as I’m using it as a temporary, somewhat bare and echo-y office).

In the meantime, though, I’m loving everything to do with flamingos and colours inspired by them:

Friday I'm in Love: Flamingos

print | science print | dress | headband | shoes | pillow cover

Cute? Too much? I’m thinking so long as I don’t go overboard (think plastic lawn flamingos) I should be ok!

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