22 February 2010

Trials, tribulations and possible teething

There are days when I thank the Lord that I’m a mother, the world seems perfect and I feel like the most blessed person to ever walk the earth. Then there are days, like today, when I wish I didn’t even bother waking up.

There is no greater misery than knowing that your child is in pain and no amount of soothing or cuddling will help. In a nutshell, you’re completely helpless and all you can do is plug your ears and try not to lose your own sanity.

I have no idea what has been bothering Drew since yesterday morning. I returned home from aerobics to find poor hubby clutching a wailing baby in his arms. It took me a good twenty minutes of forced cuddling and swaying with a soother to get Drew down for nap. Normally I’ll just put him in his crib when he looks sleepy and let him fuss for five minutes before he crashes on his own and goes down for an hour-long nap. He seemed alright for the remainder of the day but decided on a repeat performance when we were at my parents’ house for dinner; he woke from a nap shrieking and was completely beside himself for about 45 minutes. Hubby and I were so desperate to stop the pained shrieking that we gave him a full dose of children’s Advil – the first time we’ve ever had to resort to medication. After his bath and bottle, he went down for the entire night without issue.

Drew seemed cheerful enough this morning but woke from his afternoon nap shrieking again. It had only been 2 hours since his last 8 oz feeding so I really didn’t think it could be hunger, even burping him didn’t seem to work. I felt like I was reliving colic all over again, something I thought we had finally shut the door on. Feeling desperate, I fed him another smaller feeding and he eventually settled, albeit a little grumpily. I brought him for a walk which would typically help him fall asleep but he kept his sad little eyes locked on mine the entire time. I put him in his crib when we got back and he fell asleep without a peep. I have no clue what is going on. He doesn’t have a fever, he’s eating well, he slept well at night and even napped fairly well today. He could be teething as he’s drooling lots and always sucking on his fingers (or mine) but I honestly didn’t think it could bother him this much. I’ve done a thorough examination of his gums and he doesn’t seem to be cutting anything, nor do they look swollen. That being said, his right cheek is red and he filled a few more diapers than usual. I checked both ears to look for signs of infection but he didn’t seem to mind my prodding around the lobe, as my mother suggested I try. I’m totally stumped.

Days like this truly remind me that patience is a virtue, one that I am sadly missing. While I don’t want him to grow up too fast, I honestly can’t wait until he is old enough to actually tell me what is bothering him. I can feel his frustration because I haven’t a clue how to help him, which leaves me equally frustrated. While I don’t typically drink on weeknights, tonight I will be making an exception by pouring myself a well-deserved rye….come to think of it, Andrew could probably use a shot himself.

19 February 2010

Happy one-third birthday

I’m finding it hard to believe that Andrew is four months old today. In some ways it feels like he has been here forever; at other times I feel as though I only became pregnant yesterday. Life is certainly different than it used to be but, as all people will tell you, time is great healer and things get better.

I feel like a far different person than I was four months ago. I came into motherhood blind and with very little experience with babies – now I have a happy little boy that is thriving, smiling and growing by the day. The path to get here was certainly not paved in gold but somehow we survived those crazy early days of colic and are settling into a new norm. I marvel at how confident I have become as a mother and how instinctive I am. The little things that use to phase me when Andrew was first born have simply become part and parcel of life. I worry a little less and I don’t lay awake thinking about how I’ll get through the next day. I’ve stopped reading 101 “How to” parenting books and simply follow my own intuition which, surprisingly, seems to work best.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, being a parent is the toughest job in the world but it is also the most rewarding and humbling. It’s only when you become a parent that you can truly appreciate your own parents and come to know them on a much different level. You also come to realize that nobody is perfect, which is not always easy to admit. It’s all about doing the best job you can muster and trying to make sure your child is happy and healthy.

15 February 2010

Olympic fever

I can remember the 1988 Calgary Olympics almost as if they happened yesterday. I was a young girl going on seven years of age, completely glued to my television, both transfixed and inspired by our Canadian athletes. It was the first time I recall feeling an immense sense of pride in being Canadian; it was also what would eventually inspire me to take years of figure skating lessons. My parents have Elizabeth Manley to thank for countless early morning practices, numerous pairs of skates and show dresses.

While twenty two years have passed since those memorable Calgary games, my love and enthusiasm for the Olympics has not waned over time. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I found out the 2010 games would be back to Canadian soil; I was even happier when I discovered that I would also be on maternity leave during said games. Not surprisingly, I have kitted Drew out in Olympic finery and we spend a good deal of our days within sight or earshot of the television so that I can keep up to speed on all the latest medal standings.

I’m not sure why I’m such an Olympic junkie but I still feel like that spellbound little seven-year-old when I see one of our athletes win a medal or see the Canadian flag hanging over a podium. In many ways, it’s refreshing to simply celebrate the athletic achievements of the country rather than focus on the usual negative stories and headlines that fill the news. One other aspect that I enjoy is that the Olympics tend to break down the typical regional silos and rivalries that we Canadians are so found of; it’s nice to celebrate and focus on the collective for a change.

09 February 2010

Back on the plan

In an attempt to shed this dreaded baby weight, I’ve decided to join Weight Watchers online again. While I don’t follow it to a tee , because I don’t think it’s good to eat under 1200 calories a day, I am using it a rough guideline to track what I eat, watch my portions and make wiser decisions about food. It worked very well for me in the past and I was able to keep the weight off until I got pregnant. Hopefully this will jumpstart my weight loss and help get me back on the same path I was following.

I’ve got to admit that it’s a relief to finally be back on course, eating well and exercising daily. My spirits were starting to get low so I knew it was time to make a change. I always vowed that I would be a fit Momma. It’s very important to me that my children see me as a positive role model. If they grow up with an active and healthy parent, they will hopefully be inspired to get moving. Growing up with a Mother that had a disability may have bolstered my attitude towards fitness. Mom was unable to play sports with us as she would have loved to and I think it has made me appreciate my body more and to not take anything for granted.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my ultimate goal is to eventually become a certified fitness trainer. I am hoping to take my certification in early 2011 and start teaching classes locally on the weekend or at the workplace during lunchtime. It’s going to be hard fitting in evening exercise as Andrew grows. I don’t want our time together to suffer as I’ll only get a few hours each evening to see him once I’m back to work full-time and he is in daycare. Getting workouts in during the day is key; getting paid to do them would be the icing on the cake!

It’s funny how my attitude has changed over the past few years. I used to look at these slim and perky fitness instructors and think “God I hate you.” Now I look at them and think, “I’m going to be you.” Envy turned into inspiration and, that alone, is a big step forward. It may take me a while to get there, it won’t be easy but it’s a dream of mine and something to work towards.

04 February 2010

The joy of jumping

Once again, I’d like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the wonderful folks at Fisher Price for allowing me to get dinner on the table.

In my quest to entertain Andrew’s ever wandering curiosity, I finally tried him out in his jumperoo, or as I jokingly call it, “the Neglecteroo”. Picture a combination of a jolly jumper and a stationary walker with play tray. While his feet aren’t quite able to reach the floor to give him enough leverage for a good bounce, he is content to simply stare at the scenery, flail his limbs and guarantee me a good fifteen to twenty minutes to cobble some sort of meal together.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the jumperoo is the fact that it coaxed out his first official laugh. Luckily, hubby had the video camera poised and ready for the moment. If you ask me, the laughter sounds a little nervous at first (poor kid was probably way over stimulated). Check out the video HERE!

Now I just look forward to the day when Drew grows long enough to properly bounce himself. I made the mistake of grabbing his feet and bouncing him myself, much to his delight. The only problem is that now he expects me to be his jumping buddy and will actually pout at me until I go over and help him bounce. Yes… my boy has me like a trained monkey! Damn him for knowing just how to pull at the heartstrings.