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Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Halloween, Don't be Cheap!

It's Halloween!  And unless you live in the eastern part of North America, it's going to be a pretty nice fall day.  (sorry, Nor'easterners, I don't feel bad for you.  I've trick or treated in -20C weather with snow up to my waist as a child.  It's called building character).

Expect to see photos of Nathan on his first Halloween in a day or two, but that's not what I wanted to write about today.

I've been reading a blog written by a former friend.  While we are no longer friends, I still care about her family.  She's been blogging about how much debt they have and how they are trying to climb out from under it (I debated sharing the link, but I don't think that she knows I've been reading).  I do feel really bad for them.  It's definitely hard to raise kids on a budget and I can't imagine trying to raise 3 kids while having $500K in debt!

So the other day she writes about how they are cutting back.  One way that they are cutting back is by not buying any Halloween candy.  They fully intent to take their 3 kids door to door to collect candy, but they are not going to reciprocate to the other children in the neighbourhood.

I have no problem if you do not want to hand out Halloween candy.  I truly don't.  Turn off your porch light and be done with it.  But I do have a problem with accepting candy from others for your 3 kids, and not handing any out in return.  If you want your kids to have the experience but don't want to take part in it yourself, then take them to the mall to Trick or Treat.

I also have a problem when people say that it's "too expensive".  That's crap.  You don't have to buy expensive candy to give out (like chocolate bars or potato chips), there are other candies out there. Plus, if you wait until a couple of days before Halloween, it's always on sale.

This year I spent a whopping $1 on our Halloween candy!  Last month the grocery store was clearing out their stock of freezies, so I bought a bag.  I've handed them out in the past and the kids love them. Sometimes you just have to be creative!



Have a great (and safe) Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So, So Tired



If you Google "sleeping baby images" thousands of images of sleeping babies come up.  None of which are our child.  At 10 and a half months, Nathan still does not sleep through the night, nor does he make up for it with naps.

When he was born he was only 5 lbs, 7oz.  When we left the hospital he was only 5 lbs.  The doctors, nurses and the lactation consultant said to wake him to eat every 3 hours - and this is where I think our problems began.  Yes, it was important that he eat, but I still wonder how long he would have slept if we hadn't been waking him up.

As he got older, our family doctor told me outright not to do any "sleep training" with him as he is still very thin and he probably wakes up to eat because he's hungry.  So we're fast approaching his first birthday (much too soon), and he's still skinny, but he's also tall, very active, and meeting his milestones too - but still not sleeping through the night.

A "typical" day for us lately is:

  • Nathan wakes up around 7 am (although the past few mornings he's woken up at 6)
  • We eat (he often refuses cereal and just wants a portion of a bottle - he's a morning grazer)
  • We play - he will watch Baby T.V. while I eat and read e-mail
  • He goes for a bath
  • And, usually, he will nap about 3 hours after he wakes up.  This gives me 30 minutes to get dressed, make the bed, clean the kitchen, and basically get ready for the rest of the day.  Yes, you read that right - 30 minutes.
  • After he gets up we'll either go and run some errands or just hang out until Hubby comes home for lunch.  I try to avoid running errands near "nap time" because I'd rather he sleep in his crib than in the car
  • The afternoon usually consists of another nap of approx. 30 minutes and, if we didn't go out in the morning, an outing (errands, walk, etc).
  • He's usually due for a nap around 5 pm but this is when he starts to fight it.  By 6:30 he's really pushing it but by now I don't want him to nap because it's close to bedtime.
  • By 7:30 - 8pm it is bedtime.  Either Hubby or I will take him up, give him a bottle and put him to bed.
And this is where it gets ugly.  Last night for example:
  • 7:30 pm - Nathan goes to bed
  • 9:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep
  • 10:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep.  As soon as I put him back in the crib, he wakes up.  Repeat the process 4 times.  
  • 11:30 pm - Nathan still awake and getting very upset.  Give in, make up a bottle - he sucks back 6 oz of formula like he's starved.  
  • 11:45 pm - Nathan dozing.  Continue to rock him in the chair for 15 minutes to make sure he's really asleep.
  • 12 (midnight) - put him back in crib.  Nathan wakes up.  Pick him up, rock him.  He proceeds to wake up each time I try to sit.
  • 12:30 am - Ensure that he is mostly asleep, bring him into bed with me.  Ensuring that at least I will get some sleep.
  • 5:30 am - Nathan starts to stir - Mom gets kicked repeatedly
  • 5:30 - 6 am - ignore baby in bed hoping he goes back to sleep
  • 6 am - give in.  Go back to Nathan's room.  Change diaper, make up another bottle.  Bottle gives Nathan sudden burst of energy.
  • 6:15 am - still in denial.  Hoping if I continue to rock that the motion will put him to sleep.  
  • 6:25 am - realize that I have no control.  Look at cat sleeping on my bed longingly as I walk by with the baby to start our day.
And this was a good night.  It's not uncommon for him to wake up at 1 am or 3 am to eat and "play" for a couple of hours.  To recap:  yesterday he napped for a total of 1 hour, 20 minutes, then slept off and on for maybe 7 hours last night.  So in the past 24 hour period, my child has slept through roughly 9 hours of it.  This can't be normal!  Right now I'm blaming teething, but nothing that I seem to do to help him, has helped me.

My only saving grace is that he's a very happy child.  Thank goodness for that!


Monday, October 24, 2011

True, True

In the spirit of pure honesty, I have to admit that I used to be a lot like this.  Oh, how I hate to admit it now. (Click to enlarge)



Friday, October 21, 2011

A spill-proof bowl?




Is no match for a 10 month old.





- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Facing Reality

Nathan is 10 months old.  For 10 months I have blissfully pushed aside the facts, but as my maternity leave winds to a close I am forced to now face those facts.  I will have to go back to work.

I am truly blessed to live in a great country that allows for 50 weeks of combined maternity/parental leave.  I am also lucky that my employer will let me take a few more weeks before returning to work on top of that (there's very little point in returning to work in December).  But I don't want to go back!

Staying at home has been challenging.  Just when I think I've got things all figured out, something changes.  Lately Nathan's been waking up several times at night again and refusing to nap during the day.  And as I'm feeding/rocking/bouncing/begging him back to sleep at 3 am I look at the clock and realize that if I was back at work, my alarm clock would be going off in a couple of hours.

Now I have no right to whine or complain - I'm not the first mom to ever face this.  But truly, the thought of having a stranger look after, and raise my son, makes me ill.  I would love to be able to stay home until at least next fall.  Financially I do not think that will be an option.

I'm doing my best to enjoy these final few weeks at home with Nathan, but at the same time I'm beginning the dreaded task of looking for childcare.

How did you do it?

My Chart

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