Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My little man




Gabriel is such a perfect little sweetheart. He's kind and caring, he's always quick to smile and laugh at himself and he throws very few tantrums. He understands almost every thing I say to him and readily does everything I ask and with all this goodness there is one concern for me. I mentioned it before and now I am again. His speech. In my opinion he is lagging behind a bit. He doesn't try and mimic my words, he doesn't say simple words like hi, or bye, or cat or dog. He's so random in his speech that it always floors me when he does say something because it seems like the only thing he says on a regular basis is "dada, yes, and whats this". And when he does say these words they sound a little off. Dada is pretty basic but he says "yesh" for yes. And "daush dis" for "whats this". So Scott and I have talked at length about it and have decided that if hes not getting any better by the time hes 2 (in a few months time) than we will take him to the doctor to get a referral to a speech pathologist. Unfortunately when I look up stuff about speech delays the general consensus is that the children who are most at risk for them are preemies and children who have had parents with speech delays. And guess what. He was a preemie...and I went to the child development center for 2 years for my speech delay.

It's just so frustrating watching him attempt to talk and not getting anywhere with it. I can totally empathize with him. I remember, even though I was young, how frustrating it was to know what you want to communicate but not being able to articulate it. Fortunately, I also know there are some very wonderful therapists out there and that given some time he can learn to speak just fine. I mean look at me now! No one would ever know that I was speech delayed, quite severely too. Now you couldn't get me to shut up even if you tried ;)

I know Gabriel is a chatterbox at heart, he might just need a little help to prove it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a little time


I am so worn out. Not only have the holidays exhausted me but so is being a full time mother. My biggest challenge at the moment is my beautiful, little girl. She is doing brilliantly in almost every developmental phase except sleep! She babbles and coos and chats, she sits on her own, she shuffles around when on her stomach, and is pretty much right on target for a 6 month old (maybe even a bit ahead of the norm) but she doesn't sleep well. Her gassiness and colic has ended during the day I think because she can move around a lot more and work it out, but at night, while she's still, her gas comes back with a vengeance. She draws her legs up, farts like a man, and cries with discomfort. The only thing which helps is to breast feed. So I breast feed her on average 10 times a night. They aren't full feeds (probably does 4 full feeds a night) most are just weak sucklings for 5 minutes before falling back into a restless sleep.

Her sleep is so restless that so is my own. I not only have to wake to feed her constantly but she has also become addicted to sleeping skin to skin. Scott says it looks so cute when he comes home from a night shift and I'm laying on my back with my arm over my head and a baby in the crook of my armpit...and this isn't unusual...nor in my opinion, cute in any way.

Unfortunately, she feels the need to sleep right up against me all the time. Sometimes I wake up (after rolling on my side to get away from her), to feel her sleeping right behind me, spooning me! Now I love my daughter, but I have never in my life slept so poorly. I wake up with leg cramps, pins and needles in my arm, and more often then not with a mouth on my boob with no recollection of ever bringing her to my breast to begin with!

So move her out of the bed you say! Easier said than done. Like I said, shes truly gassy at night and if I move her I risk making everyones sleep restless. So for now, I can only hope, that one day soon she will no longer feel the need to fart so loud she scares herself and consquently needs a mothers comfort. That time will come...wont it? Oh and did I mention...shes also teething (her first tooth broke through Christmas day) and on top of that she also has a bad head cold.


I just want a little time to myself but it looks as though I signed away that right March 14th, 08 when Gabe was born.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wrap it up





Christmas is over it went pretty well considering Gabe is still so young. Scott and I decided to tape his reaction to the gifts under the tree as he came down the stairs in the morning but instead of being happy and crazy he started to whine, looked really perturbed and had to be coaxed into going anywhere near the tree! Eventually he understood that the presents were to be unwrapped and that they werent there to obstruct his access to the tree; and then the only whining came when he was forced to let his sister unwrap a few gifts! Im sure he was thinking "but she's so slooooowwww, and shes just drooling on them".

I think he loved unwrapping them even more than enjoying the gifts inside. Everytime I turned around he was ripping into someones present, usually Edie's! If he found clothes he would promptly toss them over his shoulder and reach for another gift! If that gift was a toy he would insist we get it out of its packaging ASAP! Scott and I spent more time trying to get pictures and arrange some sort of order to present unwrapping then we did actually enjoying it.

Halfway through "present warfare 09" Gabe decided he was hungry, so I got him some Rice Krispies and made Scott and I some coffee (which i enjoyed in my new Canuck mug). As soon as breakfast was over he decided he wanted to unwrap some more gifts. So the ripping, tossing, and demanding began all over again. It took us over 3 hours to unwrap all the gifts (stockings included) that Christmas morning. Once it was done, the kids were playing quietly, Scott was cooking me breakfast, and I was cleaning up the mess. Our first family Christmas was over, and was mostly a success (subsequent whining aside).

I had blast this Christmas and cant wait to do it all over again next year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas, not presentmas.



Scott and I have decided that we want Christmas to be about good food, family, and tradition rather than about 50 thousand presents. So we got the kids mostly clothes this year with one big present for them to share (the play house); all in all it was 6 gifts each plus the play house. Pretty good I thought. Then Scott brings home his mothers gifts...my God, I knew she was going to spoil them but this went beyond belief. She must have spent 200 dollars on each of them! My eyes about nearly popped out of my head when I saw it all, and I know this sounds hypocritical but when I looked at the amount of toys Scott and I got the kids I wanted to immediately run out and buy some more so I could compete! But I restrained myself. They won't know who the gifts are from anyway! So its not like they'll be looking at me thinking..."You cheapskate"! Next year I will implement a presents restriction..I know...Who does that...but come on!! Who HAS to do that?! Crazy families!!

So there are still kinks in the Christmas chinks but I'll work them out before the kids get old enough to remember! And when they are old enough, I want their memories to be about family. I want them to remember mom's baking, and Dad's cooking, the short, fake Christmas Tree, and tacky decorations, I want them to have the nostalgic Christmas movies we all grow to love and to have the "remember when's" , and mostly I want there to be lots and lots of laughter. They say Christmas is about giving, and their right, its about giving your kids an experience that one day they'll want to share with their kids!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Im dreaming of a white Christmas!


My holiday spirit is rocking around the Christmas tree this year! Gabe is finally old enough to really enjoy the Holidays and it has givin it a whole new vibe! I feel like i'm a little kid again. Only this time I'm excited about the giving instead of the receiving. I can't wait to see his eyes pop out of their sockets! Normally eye popping from sockets is cause for alarm! But not at this time of year! Bring it on! And while you're at it why not allow an obese man, in a tight red suit, with a suspiciously long beard give our kids presents for sitting on his lap.....WOOHHOO. Although Gabe was appropriately afraid of Santa this year, so I guess his stranger acceptance is limited to normal looking people in normal looking clothes. Fat men who say "Ho HO HO" and want you to sit on their lap is too scary, even for Gabe.

Scary feelings are also reserved for our tree. He still throws stuff at it but in the past few days he has gotten a little more comfortable around the tree. Which is good and bad... Every morning he runs straight to the Christmas Tree and insists I plug the lights in. This morning I wasn't quick enough and he did it himself! I told him that only big people were allowed to plug lights in and he just smiled and said "yesh" like he figured he was a big person, then grabbed a toy train off the coffee table and threw it at the tree. Normally I would punish him for such destructive behaviour but he always looks terrified as he throws the object, and he throws it so tenatively. Its as though he believes the tree is alive and will reach out and eat him at any time. I think he feels compelled to throw something just to ensure that the tree is still as impotent as it was yesterday.

After confirming the tree would not eat him he noticed the stockings looked a little different... that's when he realized that the stockings above the tree had something in them! Well, that was the start of a one hour fascination. He kept asking to be picked up so he could look inside them. Then he would pull out one of the wrapped items, examine it, shake it, smile and put it back. Over and over we did this until I just couldnt carry him anymore. When I put him down he looked up at me and said "cookie?" I was floored. He had never said cookie before. So what could I do? I gave him a home baked cookie...before breakfast...gasp!

Speaking of home baking I have gone a little crazy with it. I started with shortbread cookies, then moved to sugar cookies, and finished with Rice Krispie Wreaths! Then I realized I didnt have enough tupperware for it all...So I decided the only logical solution would be to eat the treats that didnt fit in the fridge...I kinda felt sick after...but it was so worth it! Unfortunately I no longer have an excuse to be a glutton since Scott went and bought more tupperware...the kill joy. Of course he was unawares of my devious baking plot and my new commitment to attaining thunder thighs before the month was out...ah well...Maybe I can attain them next year with some precisional tupperware destruction. That being said I think I'll go have a cookie..I need to keep my strength up, typing can take a lot out of a person...and so does reading so you should go have a cookie too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wow...they really do grow up!

I have much to report on the kiddie front. First off, I was interrogating Edie (on camera) about peeing on my bed while daddy was changing her (Scott never seems to change the diaper quick enough...) and she started her cooing and cawing (I'm sure she was telling me that getting her diaper changed while half asleep is a piss off!)At the end of my nearly two minute, one sided, conversation I told her to say bye bye (to all her facebook fans) and she DID! At least it sounded like she did! The funniest part of the video is seeing Scott's reaction in the background! Priceless! I'm sure people would argue that it was coincidence that her baby language produced a word that sounded exactly like the one I wanted her to say! But I do not care, I'm still claiming it as her first real word. That's right, I've written it down in the baby book, it is official! My Teeny Tiny (my nickname for her) ...aint so teeny tiny anymore.

So what's new with Gabe that could beat that? He peed and pooped in a potty! WOW. Amazing! He's been playing potty for a while now but never went, so imagine my surprise when after getting up to grab another book (he likes to read on the potty) I see that he's left a poop surprise! (God knows I never thought Id be excited to see poop in my living room!) I start jumping around like a pyscho, pointing to the potty and running around in circles! Gabe starts copying me and we are both running, jumping and singing! I start chanting "Gabe pooped in the potty, Gabe pooped in the potty, So we do the potty dance, oh we do the potty dance! Gabe pooped in the potty, and not in his big boy pants!" Yes...I did come up with that on the spot and Gabe thoroughly enjoyed it. After my crazy potty dance, Gabe didnt want to stop sitting on the potty and sat on it for the next 2 hours (I shit you not...no pun intended...okay a little intended). Well then he gets up to go get a toy and now there is pee in there, so I start screaming and running around and congratulating him on his pee pee in the potty. I sprint upstairs to wake up Scott,and he comes down and starts jumping around too...which was amusing for me to watch (he was in nothing but his underwear)but it kinda just startled Gabe...

After all the excitement died down, I was sitting there with my hot apple cider watching Gabe play cars and I realized...they wont be babies forever...One day they'll be grown up, (probably think im lame) and wont want to sit on my lap for a cuddle...or readily give me kisses...or ask me to join in a game. Now I understand how Michelle Duggar could have 19 kids...babies and toddlers for all of their hard work, give up some of the very best rewards.
video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Success in small doses.



Every day and night Eden and I sleep together and I've decided to put an end to that during the day. The only way I can teach her that sleeping on her own is okay is to make her sleep on her own. So nap times are now practice times. I've been reading on the Dr. Sears website that if a baby has a problem falling asleep without the breast or bottle then try keeping the breast or bottle in the mouth when putting them down. Well obviously Dr. Sears doesnt have a breast and doesnt realize I cant keep my breast in Eden's mouth while she soothes herself to sleep in her crib. Not only would that look awkward, i'm also not so dedicated to breast feeding that i'll stick my boob through the crib bars to calm a crying baby. BUT I can give her a bottle and do it. So now I have been putting Eden to sleep with a bottle, transfering her to her crib and if she awakens from the jostling, quickly putting the bottle back in her mouth where she drops back into dreamland. The only problem so far is that she doesnt sleep deeply. So if she wakes up and looks around, even if its only for a few seconds, she freaks out. Unfortunately I can't do much about her seperation anxiety and as with Gabe, its going to take persistence, reassurance, and determination to get her to self soothe. Eventually, she'll get there and maybe then I can sleep longer than an hour at a time!

On the Gabe front, he has been saying a few more words which is a bit of a relief to me because I think he might be a little bit behind in his speech. I know they are supposed to have a language explosion between 16 mos and 24 mos, but so far it hasn't happened. At Gabe's age he should be saying 6-10 words that doesn't include names of family members and pets. At the moment, he can say about 8 words but they aren't clear and I'm not sure how worried I should be about that. I think if he hits 2 years of age and is still hard to comprehend then I will take him to the doctor. He might have to get into some speech therapy. The doctors did warn me that being premature and a low birth weight can affect some aspects of cognitive development so I'm just going to keep an eye on it. I hope he doesn't need any more specialists because its hard feeling like somehow you've failed your child. On the bright side he's adorable and can for now, get by on his looks ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Traditions


My parents divorced when I was five and I always looked forward to the Christmas' I got to spend with my mom because they were always so special. For one I rarely got to see my mom because she lived in Prince George and I lived on Vancouver Island and the other reason was because Christmas spent with Grandma and Grandpa Doll was always lively and filled with endless amounts of laughter.To me, Christmas has nothing to do with presents but instead has to do with time spent with your family, bonding over hot chocolate, marshmallows roasting on an open fire, and the terror of snow balls taking you out...one by one.

The Doll Christmas vacation began a few days before Christmas Eve. Grandma and Grandpa always booked a sleigh ride (in Prince George it snows...a lot). All of us met at the ranch (Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Trent, Aunt Cheryl and their two boys Brandon and Jamie, my mom and her three kids, me, Greg and Jared and my Aunty Sandy and her daughter Kristina and in later years when my aunt Trina moved back to Prince she would come too with her three kids in tow). Once we were all assembled we all hopped into a hay covered sleigh with bales lining the sides for us to sit on. The two giant Clydesdales horses began trotting us through the bush, pulling all of us to the mid way stop where we would all get out, gather around a fire, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and then...the terror would begin.

Imagine if you will, six children all under the age of 12, playing, laughing, giggling, then one of them picks up a snow ball and hurles it at the other, it was an inevitable turn of events, and thats when you heard it. My Uncle Trent, the baseball player..the pitcher, bend over and mold the snow into a wickedly packed ball. "I'll give you a head start" he would often announce, and then the running, sceaming, and stumbling would begin as we all tried in vain to find shelter. I don't know if you've ever been hit with a snowball traveling a hundred miles an hour, but if you have, you know it hurts, and if you know my Uncle Trent, you know he never held back.

I liken the experience to a Slow motion video, with the song "War" by Edwin Starr in the background. Everyone running in different directions, screaming unintelligibly, begging for mercy, suddenly you would glance to your right only to see the first casuality fall (usually Brandon) A snow ball practically knocking him unconscious, his body twisting in the air, landing with a soft thud onto the snow pack, the screaming would intensify, no one knowing who was next. Then bam, Jared, goes down, a snowball square in his back, his arms flailing, his eyes searching ours beseachingly, but no, we couldnt stop, we had to run. Next it was Jamie, his screeches echoed for miles, you could almost sense his body burn with snow ball pain, taste it on the air...the blood of the snow ball fallen...everywhere. Krissy and I always stuck together, she was always the last to get it, Trent favoured her. I knew it. Stay behind Krissy, Stay behind Krissy. Whose next?? GREG, No not quite, Greg was always the survivor, he pretends the well aimed snowball took him out, damn you Greg, DAMN YOU! Krissy and I make it, we hide behind the trees, breaths coming hard, "he's going to come around" Krissy would whisper to me. Then when all seemed lost, a ceasefire was called. Uncle Trent called out "we're leaving guys, lets get back on the sleigh"...was it true? I peak around the tree and "WHACK", I get it directly in the face... I hit the ground hard with a whimper. Finally, Grandma calls out the true ceasefire and Krissy escapes, unhurt, once again.

All but one of us limp back to the sleigh (Krissy cold and terrified but unharmed for one more year) where we ride back to the starting point. We all make our way over to Grandmas or Uncle Trents for dinner, snacks, and SANTA! He always visited us, our special family, "ho ho hoing" down the drive way, bag on his back, presents to hand out! After cheerfully visiting with Santa we would then all pass out, snuggled next to eachother, smiles on our faces, content and happy. Christmas was here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas!

Today Scott and I set up our Christmas tree. It's a fake one with lights and bulbs already attached (i thought this was a good idea since Gabe is curious and rambunctious...and a boy). We neglected to notice that the tree only stands five feet tall so when Scott and I (after fluffing all the branches) stood back and looked at it we both laughed at how ridiculous it looks. So to avoid all the jeers about our sad little Christmas tree we have decided to inform people we did this on purpose...now Gabe can reach the branches and help to put decorations up...(no one needs to know the decorations are pre-attached). In any case after a few hours we began to enjoy it. It's cute...It's a small tree with a big personality!

So Scott, Edie and I adore the tree but Gabe has had quite a different reaction to it. The minute we had it out of the box Gabe came running up like a bat out of hell and grabbed for the tree immediately. He jumped back and screamed "BAH" (bad) then he looked at me whined and held out his hand! The tree had poked him. So I kissed him better and turned back to continue fluffing the branches when suddenly out of nowhere a toy sails over my head and hits the tree! It was a toy attack and the first indication that Gabe would not have any sort of awed, love affair with his second Christmas tree. It has now been 5 hours since we erected the tiny tree and Gabe has received three time outs for his toy assaults on it.

If Gabe could talk I think he'd look at the tree and shout "Bah Hum Bug"; but im sure when he sees present under it on Christmas morning his tree hating tune will change!