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

 

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He read my mind

Thomas last weekend in Gatineau Park.

It appears my little guy knew what I needed and wanted. After publishing my last post, I continued to debate how to end that last overnight feed. When I woke up the next morning, I realized Thomas had made the decision for me, for us.

With him sleeping through the night I didn’t get up to feed him. My breastfeeding days were over. Just like that. In the end I preferred it this way as I didn’t have to actually make a decision. Although last night he did wake at his usual feed time, by the time I got back upstairs with his bottle, he had fallen back asleep.

So that’s it I guess. Another chapter in my little guy’s growth has ended. We all know that when one ends… another begins. This will probably be crawling since he can now manage to get on all fours – but isn’t too sure what to do next. Needless to say, we’re spending tomorrow setting up gates throughout the house.

The big wean-y

It’s official.. Thomas is being weaned.

For the past month or so I’ve been telling myself that weaning him will be a breeze. I miss milk and cheese so much that I figured I would just remind myself of how delicious that greasy pizza would be followed by an enormous glass of milk, and yogurt, and chocolate, and everything else I’ve cut out.

And so it began on October 11. I started by cutting out the morning feed, then the afternoon feed. Then I cut out all feeds except for the mid-day and middle of the night. (The evening feed had been cut out for about 1 month already). Then the inevitable happened: I didn’t want to wean him anymore. I wanted to back down. I was worried that I had made the wrong decision and the thought of losing that precious time with Thomas was weighing heavy on my heart. I was changing my mind. I wanted to breastfeed again – all the time. The only reason I wanted to stop in the first place was to give my little guy 5 solid months without any traces of milk products in his diet.

Although I spent a large part of yesterday debating what to do with this new desire to continue breastfeeding, my very busy day distracted me and Thomas ended up getting a mid-day bottle. I was sad when I realized what had happened. I really wasn’t ready to give that one up! If anything, I’d love for him to sleep through the night so that I wouldn’t have to get up at 3am to feed him. That feed I could do without!

So now I’m down to one. One lonely little feed. I’m still not sure how to go about changing this one to a bottle. Do I wait it out and stop breastfeeding when Thomas sleeps through without waking… or do I cut it now and look forward to a Friday night when I indulge in beer and pizza? The jury is still out.

My dark mommy place

I was surfing the internet tonight while my little guy lay asleep in his bed and I came across this web page: http://thebadmomsclub.com/2011/08/all-hail-the-bad-mom.html. I was in mommy heaven!

Two weeks after Thomas was born, when he wasn’t sleeping, when he was crying, when I was tired, when I was crying (you get the point)… I went to what I will always refer to as my ‘dark mommy place’. My husband was out playing floor hockey and my sister (who doesn’t have kids of her own) was over to keep me company. Thomas was only two weeks old and I didn’t want to be left alone with him in the evening. That night was the first of many nights that he would spend crying. Nothing would soothe him except being on the boob. But after two hours of boob time, I was exhausted and ready to call it quits. As if on cue, Thomas fell asleep at about 10pm – just as daddy was walking through the door. Figures.

The following day my husband worked from home. After the very first feed of the morning, which was preceded by several nighttime feeds, Thomas once again started to howl. I lost it. All of it. Every ounce of sanity left in me was gone. I shoved Thomas in my husband’s arms and my ‘dark mommy’ spilled out of me. I will refrain from documenting exactly what I said that morning, but it was along the lines of: “I hate being a mom, I want my old life back.”

I have often felt guilty about that day (and several others that followed), but when I tell other moms about this ‘dark mommy place’, they admit to having their own! Really? How helpful that honesty would have been during my time of insanity. Apparently moms are embarrassed to talk about the dark side of parenthood. About the challenges. The only thing they ever say is “Oh, it’s so great being a mom. I love it.”

Looking back, what I really meant to say that morning was: nothing could have prepared me for how difficult this is. I’m tired and exhausted. When he cries, I feel inadequate. I don’t think I’m doing a good job at being a mother. I feel like I’m failing my child.

Soon after I decided I would raise Thomas the way I wanted to raise him and  stop being so hard on myself. I’m sure one day I will use creative parenting if it makes our family life easier. Maybe his birthday will be in January as opposed to March. Maybe I’ll say no to something and change my mind. Maybe I’ll let him run up the stairs which I swore I would never do. It’s impossible to be perfect and to completely follow through with all the self-imposed parenting rules you decided on.

It’s obvious that some days will still test my patience and my competence as a mother. But at around 5:30pm tonight while the esthetician was working on my pedicure, I closed my eyes and saw his face, heard his laugh, and within seconds I was smiling. That is my happy mommy place. That made it all worth it.

Got milk? Nope.

Apparently one of the reasons for my little guy’s discomfort in the first two months of his life was linked to the evil, evil, bovine protein.

His little digestive system just isn’t taking to it very well, hence the constant need to change him out of smelly and very wet clothes. Since last Thursday (after a suggestion from my doctor) I’ve cut out all milk products from my diet – something that’s incredibly hard to do! I have to admit that I forgot about the cheese on the top of my Friday night pizza, but other than that I’ve been milk-free.

Thomas seems to be in a better mood and his spitting up has diminished by about 70% as opposed to being a constant thing. He would often spit up about a dozen times a day and sometimes I swear there was about 1/2 cup of liquid ejecting from him. I’m to keep this milk-free diet going for a few more weeks. Thankfully we’ve noticed a difference so there’s no need to cut out red meat as well (momma loves her steak).

Apparently this is quite common for infants and if things go well, my doctor says we’ll try to slowly reimplement milk and milk products back into my diet. In the meantime my Oreo Cookie Chocolate Chip Blizzard will have to wait.

His spitting up was so frequent it even managed to make its way into this photo. Not his finest moment.