Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ONE YEAR!!!!!!

Dear H,

So here we are. You are one year old. I've been trying to write this letter to you for a few days and I find it really hard for some reason. I guess I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how much things have changed over this year. You are really fun these days, but you are also starting to have some very strong opinions about what you want. And what you want is usually something that you can't have. Oh dear.

You are still quite the social butterfly and don't play strange with people unless you are tired or cranky. At daycare, all the ladies tell us what a happy boy you are. You run around (with my help) waving good morning to everyone there when we arrive. And when we come to pick up, you often grab my hands and want to walk me around and show me what you've been up to instead of going home.

Since starting daycare you've been communicating so much more with us. You've added 'all done' to your signs for 'milk' and your own version of 'more'. You've also started shaking your head 'no', and you think it's pretty funny when you use it. You still like to point at things and clap your hands. You use 'mama' and 'dada' a lot but we're still not really sure if you're talking about us when you say them.

No longer content to sit still, you're crawling around with the best of them now. You pull yourself up on your crib, on furniture, on your toys and even using a foam mat. And you've just started to cruise along on furniture a bit. The other day you finally discovered the stairs and managed to climb up a few of them all on your own! We're trying to teach you to go down the stairs on your hands and knees, but you'd rather walk down on your own two feet while holding our hands. Oh, and a funny thing you've started doing is pushing up on your hands so you're downward facing dog, looking through your legs, and laughing. It's pretty cute and nutty. Finally, you've found a way to look at the world upside down on your own.

We had a great time this past weekend celebrating your birthday. We hung banners and streamers, filled the house with people we love, and you were passed from person to person as everyone wanted their turn with the birthday boy. And if that wasn't enough, you topped it off with your first piece of cake. It was carrot. You gobbled it up. Happy birthday sweet boy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Back at it

I officially returned to work on August 20th, and H started daycare the week before. I've been holding off on my 'how things are going' post because, well, I'm not really sure. Being back at work feels weird and totally normal. I'm back at a job I haven't done for over two years, but it all came rushing back to me. I work long days (and nights), but then I've had stretches of days and days off which make me feel like I'm right back on maternity leave.

Well, let's see if we can't make sense of things, shall we?

The Good

I LOVE the daycare we decided to go with. The ladies who work there are ah-mazing. H seems to really love them, he seems happy when we walk into the building, and I don't worry about him when he's there at all. In fact, I feel like he's clearly getting more stimulation there than he gets from me at home and have actually wondered if I'm depriving him by keeping him home with me on my days off. They are always going for walks, working on art projects, and playing outside on the lovely patio playground they have.

I like having a reason to put on clean clothes and go out into the world. It's been really nice having non-baby related conversations and catching up with work friends.

Getting a break from the not-so-glamourous aspects of childcare has been wonderful. Sharing the duties for meals, naps, diaper changes, clothing changes, and bedtime with other people (James and daycare) has been such a welcome relief for me. And because I get a break from all this stuff, the time I spend with H has been a lot more fun and a lot less tedious. Playing and being together feels more special, and all the annoying things are less annoying because I don't have to do them as often.

The Bad

H has already had TWO colds and passed them on to James. Because of this everything I own is covered in snot 5 minutes after I take it out of the laundry pile and put it on.

There is a lot more co-ordination that needs to happen between James and myself, and I live in fear of the day one of us forgets whose turn it is to pick up H from daycare.

I no longer have a 'typical' day due to my all-over-the-place work schedule. I'm missing the routine, especially for H. While it's great that I have days off to spend with him, I also want to keep his days pretty similar so he knows what to expect.

Losing control of H's naps has been hard. He doesn't sleep that well at daycare and consequently we've had some rough nights. After being the one in charge for so long it's hard for me to give up that control.

All tired out after daycare
Being away from H all night is really hard, especially when he still wake up a lot and wants to nurse. And I hate not being there when he goes to bed. That said, I also hate the idea of working all day and not getting to see him at all (which is what happens for day shifts).

So in summary, I need to find a new job (I kid. Sort of). I guess you can say we're in transition now and I expect a lot more ups and downs while we figure this out. But for now, we're getting by and I'm looking forward to all the good ahead more than I'm wishing for the way things were. So I guess that's something.
Relaxing after a hard days work

Sunday, September 02, 2012

A friend for bed

When H was little, we decided he should have a friend to sleep with. After all the SIDS friendly cribs are just so ... sterile and sad. We'd been given a blanket 'lovey', basically just a super soft square of blanket with a giraffe head attached, and every night we'd tuck it into the crook of his arm as we safely put him to sleep on his back. But try as we might, he just didn't really seem to care about lovey. We dutifully packed him in our bags every time we went away, but on the handful of times we were away from it H did not seem to notice.

Partly because the crib was still so barren, and partly because we just have so many stuffed animals for H, I had also placed a little Miyim stuffed frog in the corner of his crib, waaay far away from him so as not to make he crib less safe. Then H started moving, and I started to notice the froggy would often end up next to him by morning. It wasn't long before H would grab the frog as soon as he got into bed, wrap his arms around it and wave 'bye bye' to me. O-kay, momma can take a hint.

So when H started daycare a couple weeks ago I thought he should take his favourite stuffie with him for nap times. Well, what followed were some of the worst nights we have had in ages. I'm not really convinced it was because his froggy wasn't here, there were lots of other factors (lack of naps, possible teething, wanting to nurse all night after being away from mom) that might have contributed to this, but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but wonder 'is this because of the frog'? We tried offering many other cute and cuddly friends, including his lovey but nope, little man was just not interested.

In a perfect world maybe we could cart it back and forth from daycare, but really? That is not going to happen. So I started looking for a duplicate to keep at home and would you believe they don't make it anymore? Not in the same colour at least. Ours was yellow, but now they seem to understandably only make it in green. You know, frog. It didn't seem quite right, but figuring we could always give it away as a gift if it doesn't work out (obviously to someone who doesn't read this blog) we decided to go for it.

So tonight, I attempted to pull a fast one on H. I closed the blinds, turned off the lights, and laid him down next to the new froggy. Without missing a beat he rolled over, threw his arm around him, and started sucking his thumb. Whew. Now let's hope he doesn't wake up and think 'who the heck is in my bed'.

And H, if you are reading this in the future, mama is sorry for the deceit. No doubt this is a confusing time, but doesn't it make you feel better to realize that yes, they actually were different colours at home and daycare?