A few milestones worth sharing

James has officially reached my favourite milestone… sitting. It’s been a few weeks now since this little guy has enjoyed the comfort of sitting (while assisted), but in recent days he’s been doing amazing sitting without any support.

Thomas is able to play around him much more now and isn’t as hesitant to bring toys to his brother when they are out of reach. It’s great seeing both of them interact. James smiles every time Thomas comes near and of course Thomas puts a great deal of effort in making his little brother laugh.

James sitting

July 18

There’s been a few other firsts that deserve a little sharing…

Both bottom teeth are now out and last night was the first time I didn’t get out of bed. At all. Until 6:30am. There was a tiny little waking at 1am, but I nudged daddy to get out of bed to go stick the soother in James’s mouth. Voila! That did the trick. At almost 8 months, he’s finally given me a full night’s sleep.

We also made the decision to switch James to formula about two weeks ago. He was fussing so much while I was trying to nurse him. After an almost instant wean, I realized the reason he was fussing was that my milk production was very, very low. Nothing there to feed off of. So now I have a happy bottle-fed babe.

We also went through significant backyard renovations last weekend that turned Thomas into a foreman.

Keeping an eye on things.

Keeping an eye on things.

After saving up for a year, we set a date and had our deck built. We hired a friend who does this for a living, but daddy was on hand every step of the way. The results are amazing!

Before and AfterI finally want to spend time in my backyard. It’s been so long since I’ve just sat outside to enjoy the sun. My feet were always sandy and there were so many weeds I simply preferred to stay inside the house and pretend my yard wasn’t in the condition it actually was in.

The summer has been so good to us to far and in just a few days daddy will be home for 5 weeks! It’s going to be great and I just can’t wait for our vacation together. Plus, the boys love each other so much it’s bound to be the best vacation ever right?

July 23

July 23

 

Six months of brotherly love

James has been growing up so quickly these days. He’s rolling onto his belly but still doesn’t know how to roll back, he loves to eat everything although I’m suspecting an intolerance to zucchini of all things!

Thomas has become an incredible big brother. He’s caring and considerate. He’s starting to share his toys, although it’s what I’ll refer to as selective sharing. I’m eager and dreading the day James can actually crawl around and grab some of Thomas’s toys. The sharing will probably end there.

The other day we were heading to Ottawa Race Weekend where daddy was about to run a 10KM race. We were in downtown Ottawa and in a bit of a rush, so I decided to sit Thomas in the double stroller with James. Within an instant, Thomas reached over and took James’s hand in his. He held it the entire way the the start line. My heart burst with love – and this is a dangerous thing since it’s making me consider a third.

I know this love will sometimes be hidden by the fights, annoyances, frustration, etc. But right now, seeing how much Thomas loves his little bro makes me think adding more little people to our family might be the way to go.

I’m also hesitant to put this thought on paper since just a few months ago I was satisfied with my two. Only two. No more.

Only time will tell.

 

At the races with daddy.

At the races with daddy.

Four months of James

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than four months since Mr. James entered the world. It’s also hard to believe how much you forget from one child to the next.

I’m feeling much more confident once again about getting through the tougher months. I had always told myself I just needed to get to month four and then things would get easier – and they have. More night time sleep means a better-rested mommy… and a happier mommy too.

Thomas is loving the fact that his little bro has ‘conversations’ with him. Apparently James has a lot to say and Thomas has become the translator. They most common translations: James wants milk. (obviously)

There are days when I find the two look so much alike, and others when it’s obvious it’s not the same child.

Thomas

Thomas at four months

James at four months

James at four months

One thing that hasn’t changed is Thomas’s love for his little brother. There are mornings when we’re getting ready and all he wants to do is take pictures with his baby. I absolutely adore these moments and even though we are always running late in the morning and I never get out of the house at the time I had planned, I always have time to stop and snap a photo of my boys.

 

Mommy's boys

James and Thomas

I know a lot of it has to do with parenting, but I hope there’s this much love between the two of them for the rest of their lives.

When the sun comes up

Despite being completely in love with his baby, Thomas did have a few behavioural changes when James entered our lives.

For one, he can’t stand to miss a single thing that occurs in our household. That means he now gets his potty in the bathroom and brings it into the living room where he does what he needs to do. The proof…

Potty Time

Potty Time

Although this annoys me somewhat – especially when it’s poop time and I’m still eating dinner and he needs to be as close to me as possible – it was a relief that we didn’t have to go back to potty training. He’s even accident-free overnight which has been amazing. The only downside is that I almost tripped over a full potty hanging out in the middle of the hallway at 3 a.m. when I went to feed James the other night. We’ve now set up a night light in the bathroom so the potty can stay there and not be moved to the hallway where there’s more light!

The more annoying aspect of behavioural changes was when he decided he wanted to come in to our room in the morning for a little snuggle when he woke. So adorable at first. I loved snuggling with my big boy. But the the 7 a.m wakeup became 6:45, then 6:30 and even 6. The problem is I don’t really sleep when he’s next to me. He pokes me in the eye, kicks, rolls around, takes up all the room – you get it right?

And although I’m a pretty firm mom, I really didn’t have the energy or willpower to battle him back to bed for fear he would scream and James would wake up. Really not what I wanted.

So we came across the GroClock!

My new best friend.

My new best friend.

It’s a great little clock that you set to change from the stars to the sun when it’s time for the child to ‘wake-up’ or in our case leave his bed and come to ours. There’s also a naptime setting which has also taken away the ‘you need to keep resting’ conversation that was becoming quite common.

For Thomas it’s a great game. He gets to look at the clock and now knows that he wakes when the sun wakes. For mommy, it means I can gently remind him that he can come for snuggles when he sees the sun. That almost guarantees me a 7 a.m. wake time – unless of course James wakes earlier and invites the entire house to join in on the party.

I initially thought the $50 price range was high… but there really is not price tag one can put on rest and sanity is there?

Take That Rosetta

I’m bilingual: French and English. I always spoke French at home, but went to an English school and embraced the English pop-culture.

When we chose to have children my husband and I also made the decision to raise them in a bilingual household. We speak English to each other, but I speak French to the boys and my husband speaks English to them.

The other morning Thomas was enjoying an episode of Cat in the Hat – one of his favourite shows. The Cat was taking Sally and Nick to see a Monarch Butterfly. Exciting stuff! But what drew even more excitement for me was when Thomas said “on va voir des papillions?”

Yes Thomas, you’re going to see butterflies. There is no doubt that even one month before his third birthday my little guy is bilingual.

It started happening about a year ago when the words really started to flow. He would tell his dad something in English and tell me the same thing in French when I walked into the room. It always amazed me how he could switch so easily from one language to another and know when to use each one. All this at such a young age.

I grew up in a French household and was fortunate enough to attend an English school. I was bilingual by the time I entered Grade 1. Thomas, is already ahead of where I was and James will be too. That begs the question… what language will be imposed as a third one, and even fourth?

The seven-week comparison

I was able to look back on my life with Thomas thanks to this blog. The seven-week marker was much different with Thomas (Sleeping at the wheel).

James is an easy enough baby to put down at night. He doesn’t need to be on the boob for what seems like hours at a time. It’s really a much simpler process: feed, swaddle, put down, sleep. Thomas was quite the opposite.

Where James also differs is that he’s making me wait and work damn hard for that first true smile. Reading the post about Thomas he was all smiles and giggles at this time – but not James. There’s a little cooing and sometimes as he falls asleep a smile sneaks out, but I have yet to trigger one by talking to him or smiling at him. Ahh… it will be a fantastic moment when that happens, and when it does I’m positive he’ll have the same cute little dimples that his big bro has.

I must admit however that he is however being much more cooperative when it comes to being on a mat by himself or enjoying a few minutes of his bouncy chair. Although I still have to carry him around quite a bit during the day, I can sense he’s starting to enjoy a little more independence which is great – because it’s impossible to empty the dishwasher with 9 pounds of baby strapped to you.

Holding back that smile.

Reality TV or mockery? My thoughts on Honey Boo Boo

I’m not usually one to write anything controversial but this time I just can’t keep quiet about it.

I won’t be the first to tell you about the new TLC show called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I haven’t watched it yet and I’m not sure if I will. I only know it exists because people are talking about it and posting their thoughts on social media. Needing to be ‘in-the-loop’ I took a few minutes the other day to check it out. After seeing just bits of shows, 30 seconds at a time, I was completely devastated.

Here is a little girl who everyone is laughing at. Sure, you might think you’re laughing with her, but you’re not. You’re laughing at her.

I am willing to bet anything that this show will have a negative effect on her life. And it’s not because of her family (don’t get me started on her mother), it will be because of us. Because of society. We imposed this mockery on her.

Sure, it’s entertaining to listen to a girl speak with such a thick accent that the show producers need to place subtitles on the screen. Of course, it’s funny to wait and see what ridiculous thing this feisty six-year-old is going to say next. And yes, there is a bit of fascination surrounding the world of toddler pageants. But for crying out loud people! Can’t you see that this is wrong? It makes me sad to think that we would validate such behaviour and parenting.

We all have our views on good and bad parenting, and I appreciate that eveyone is different and have their own set of values. But clearly something is very wrong here.

I’m not a psychologist. I’m not an expert on parenting. I am however a mom and if I thought for one second that people were laughing at my son the way we are all laughing at Alana, I would be mortified. I think I would cry every day and pray for a chance to start things over.

I typically enjoy TLC shows, but shame on them for making a mockery out of a very sad situation. And if you haven’t for some reason checked out the videos you can find online, here’s a link. I am not posting it to spread the ridicule around – I’m simply including it because I know you’ll look for it anyways. It’s just what we do. http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/here-comes-honey-boo-boo/videos