We’re still at it….

November 21, 2012

 She is 22 months old, and still nurses in the morning and at night.  She loves it, what can I say?  This weekend when she was sick, she nursed almost all the time, and really wanted to sleep attached, which was the only way to get her to sleep at times.  (She fell at daycare, split her lip which resulted in stitches, and then she had a reaction to the sedation medication, and a full body rash, all is well now).  She now asks for “milk” when she wants it, and is very impatient as most toddlers are.  If the “milk” is not forthcoming immediately, she is screaming on the floor.  We are working on “patience”, but I feel that is a slow train coming, and only maturity will bring it.  When she nurses her bottom hand is generally tucked up into me, and the other hand roams, in my mouth, my hair, my nose, it roams freely around it’s territory of Mummy.  The hair cannot be in a pony tail anymore as she yanks it out.  Oftentimes she wants her bare feet in my hair as well, she seems to love my hair.  Nursing her can be wonderful, peaceful, beautiful, annoying, painful, inconvenient, soothing, and rewarding.  I don’t have much milk anymore, but she honestly doesn’t seem to mind.  It is her security, her comfort, her safe place, and I won’t take that away from her even if some days it gets hard.  I have no idea when we will stop, but when we do I will miss it terribly.

I even finished it a bit early, and most amazing of all, in time for us to take to Toronto and gift to my friend’s daughter.  It wasn’t even wet!  I know, AWESOME!!  The pattern is the Nichole Cardigan, from a talented designer from whom I look forward to many more patterns.  It is a fairly simple design, but wonderfully practical for toddlers.  It has length to it which allows it to be worn for more than a month, and short sleeves which means those don’t get grown out of as fast.  I also like that you don’t have to continuously push the sleeves up and out of the way, so practical!  I am worried that the pattern is more “camo” than “cute greens”, but I hope not too much.  My friend’s daughter has wonderful red hair, and I think it looked great on her.  I loved seeing our children playing together, at one point Althea was pushing the two year old around in a baby stroller, my kid is strong!!

Full of Busy

June 29, 2012

 We are just full of busy over here as the official two month summer in Calgary is finally getting going!!  AND the cold and rain that has been spring/summer so far is promising to be nice for a little while to come.  FINALLY.  That outfit the little cowgirl in training is wearing to the left: in June.  I have so many cute little outfits for her to wear, but it has been too cold.

What is happening?  Well, Canada Day, Mr. J’s birthday, Stampede, Tour de France, Olympics, a knitting retreat at a local ranch, August vacations.  Whew!  All that fun to come is making me tired already.  What has been better lately is my little Munchkin is going to sleep earlier, and without as much help from me.  It makes a huge difference in my quality of life to have her asleep at 7 pm, as opposed to 9 pm.  Things like knitting, cleaning, cooking, working, gardening, exercising, and blogging begin to happen again.  Mr. J was gone for two weeks, and I really, really had to just take the plunge and do some sleep training light, and she was more than ready for it as she has been falling asleep at daycare on her own for months now.  She has also been sleeping much better in the night, except when she has a cold that is, like now.

Like every year I’m excited for the Stampede, this year more so.  We’re going to see a bit of the parade (horses, cows, dogs, cars) and then head over to the grounds to check out the knitting displays, and as many animals as we can.  Althea is in a great stage right now of learning words and gets so excited when she sees something that she knows the name of, pointing and calling it out, it is going to be sooo much fun.  I have big plans to knit/sew her a dress, which I am going to get going on this weekend.  I’d like her to see some of the native dancing as well, the music, colours, and motions should delight my little dancer.  This kid dances to the toaster!

This week has been tough again, she has been a bit sick with mucky eyes, and snotty nose.  I stayed home and took her to the Doctor’s Tuesday, but then had to dump her at daycare and go to work every other day, and was gone all day long Monday.  We had a big bid due Friday, that I had to get finished.  Just dumping my sick baby at daycare, where she is cared for well, still makes me feel horrible, as it is me that she wants.  Putting work first can sometimes be a necessity, and I put her first most other times, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.  Let’s just hope we win this job huh?  And wish me luck with the sewing I’m planning on doing this weekend!  Three days with my family, no work, just heaven.

 The title is exactly what Althea was thinking the whole time I put her on this strange man’s lap and took photos of her.  She was also happy to suck on the candy cane through the wrapper.  I took it away soon after, because I’m the mean type of Mum that doesn’t let her baby eat plastic wrap. 

Hey look at what she is wearing!  It is a Little Sister Dress!.  I made it from a wonderful skein of Blue Moon Rocking Sock.  I just knit the 1 year size, and kept going until I ran out of yarn.  It is nice and wide, and should fit for awhile to come.  It does roll on the bottom, so I’ve been thinking about taking out the bottom two inches and putting some ribbing in instead.  We’ll see if and when I get around to that.  I have many plans and things I need to do for Christmas, and again we’ll see what I get around to.  I have the week off between the holidays, but since I really, really, need to recharge I’m trying not to plan too much.  I’ve been sprinting full tilt since I went back to work 5 months ago, and I need some quiet down time to just concentrate on Althea, and not worry too much about anything else. 

 At least Althea has her Christmas day outfit ready to go.  We won’t mention the pink sparkly dress with matching bolero and fake fur collar her GGM got her, she can wear that on Christmas Eve.  Mr. J is particularly horrified by the fake gem belt.  Toddlers and Tiara’s here we come!

Our little girl is over 10 months old now!  Time is a flying, and she is growing up before our astonished eyes.  Despite our best efforts to mess up, she is doing well.  Her recent feats are standing on her own for over 5 seconds, and walking around with us holding her hands.  She is also walking with a walker.  Her other interests involve banging things together, banging her head on walls etc. (anything that makes a satisfying “thunk”) giving Mummy’s belly raspberries, nursing, and being talkative.  She says Mama, Dada, Kitty, and many other sounds, plus a sign!  We found out she wants “more” of many things.  She even sings, after I sing a high note, she mimics me, which is adorable. Each night she says “baa baaa baa” then looks at me and waits, and I dutifully sing her Baa Baa Black Sheep about 20 times.   She has 8 teeth, and seems to be working on 4 more but no more have come through the gums yet.  Life is crazy hectic, I’m failing in so many areas, but she remains something we are doing well; growing a happy healthy little girl.

Workin’ Mum

November 24, 2011

Four months.  I’ve been back at work four months now, and life has been a hectic strain like never before.  I’m sure other workin’ Mums know exactly what  I mean.  Up at 5:30 am, to work as soon as possible, clock in at 7 am hopefully.  I work straight through for 8 hours, with two pumping breaks, eating lunch at my computer.  Leave for home at 3 pm, driving furiously (and yet within the speed limit, if the speed limit is considered to be +/- 10 km/hr).  As soon as I’m in the door I have a baby wrapped around my neck, clinging furiously, refusing to let me walk away.  Somehow make dinner, clean, eat, bath, then bedtime routine.  Go, go, go!!  Althea was going to sleep around 9 or 10 pm back at the end of the summer, but now she has thankfully adjusted to an earlier bedtime, 8 pm tonight.  I find myself getting extremely sleepy an hour after she is asleep, but I somehow still need to get ready for work, clean, do this or that, and generally collapse on the couch for a little bit to knit and watch some tv.  I’m back to having an extreme romantic attachment to my very comfy bed, falling asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow.  I sleep like the dead, get up 1-5 times during the night to feed the baby, and do it again the next day! 

Aside from how crazy busy life is, it is filled with so many good happy things, first and foremost being Althea who is growing well, developing each day, and is a joy.  My job has let me stay on hourly, which allows me to be flexible and leave when I need to, and stay home when I need to, I just don’t get paid.  Work is very busy, which is good when the economy is shaky as it is now.  I don’t know why my boss always wants me to do this or that when it is 3 pm, but I’ve started asking him at 2:30 pm if he needs anything, and that is helping.  Mr. J and Althea are doing well together at home, the bond between them gets stronger every day.  We’re pretty sure she will be walking by Christmas!  So much to tell you, so much to share.  I hope you all are well.

I really, really, want Althea to wear this again before it is too small, and I was really mean putting her in it on one of the hottest days of the year.  Considering I made the 3-6 month size, and she is almost 8 months old, I wasn’t really expecting it to fit!  But oh my goodness it did!  I almost swooned from the cuteness.

So please, please, please let it snow tomorrow, let the temperature plummet.  Let icicles form, let the frost come, let the fall leaves with the chilly air come early.  Jack Frost, please come by, Queen of the Winter, make a stop.  Trust me, it will be worth it.  Just look at the tail shot:

From the Debbie Bliss book: New Baby Knits, I used leftover ultra alpaca, that somehow turned into buying two more skeins of white.

Six Months

August 6, 2011

Six months means so many things to us, Althea is hitting so many milestones, and I am going back to work.  I spent this past week going into the office for half days, while the week before we were “practicing” with me being in the basement for the morning.  Around noon I”d “come home from work” and go upstairs to see my family.  Mr. J and Althea are doing really well together, she is eating  from the bottle, eating her solids, and napping.  I’m not enjoying going to work, but you have to do what you have to do.  I am thankful I was able to take six months off, and get some money as I did.  I live in a wonderful country, and I’m so glad every day that I came home to Canada.  I really couldn’t have imagined going back to work at 12 weeks, six months was hard enough.  My Mum made fun of me a little while back about being emotional about leaving my daughter and going to work, but I think this is a normal reaction in a parent who cares for their children.  I miss my baby, and I miss our time together.  I wish I was feeding my baby instead of pumping milk at work.  In fact,  I really don’t like pumping, and my milk making machines hurt today from a week of doing it.  At the same time I want to feed my daughter as long as possible, so again, you have to do what you have to do.

 When I get home Althea’s little face lights up into a big smile, and she immediately reaches for me, and I get big baby hugs and kisses.  We call them kisses, but it is still mostly her face pressed up against mine with her mouth wide open, tongue licking away.  It’s a bit messy, but very, very endearing.  We spend the rest of the day snuggling, playing, and having our nap together. 

 Althea is babbling with more complex sounds, even in the last two days.  She can sit up on her own and play, and is hardly ever falling over anymore, usually just when she is reaching for a particular toy.  She desperately wants to crawl and go places, and is so frustrated when she doesn’t go anywhere.  She is a happy, fun little girl.  She still sticks her tongue out all the time, and every day seems to have a new way to do it, lately she just covers her upper lip with her tongue and looks at you.  Most importantly to us, she fell asleep in her crib on her own last night, and slept from 9 pm to 3 am!  The last week she had been waking up every ninety minutes, which made going to work more of a chore.   She managed to fall asleep in her crib with a minimum of fuss, and we didn’t “let her cry it out” despite the pleads of GGM.  Normally I get her mostly asleep on me, and then transition her, but after all the traveling she had forgotten a lot of her sleeping skills.  Interestingly, after the wedding she had stopped sucking her thumb, while in the week before she was doing it almost constantly.  As Mr. J said last night as we were discussing her progress “Almost off to university”.  He is such a good Dad, and Althea loves him very much.

Catching Up

August 1, 2011

It has been a crazy two months for us, and we’re both (well all three of us actually) are now at home, resting up and catching up.  Althea went to her first foreign country, her first plane ride, her first camping experience, her first solid food, her first Stampede, so very many firsts for such a wee girl.  Needless to say with all the activity her sleep has suffered, and she is slowly getting back in the habit of sleeping more than three hours at a time.  I am also going back to work this week.  Sigh.  Sniff.  AHHHHHHHH!  Six months are up, and I need to go back to work, not only because they need me, but because WE need the money.  I have been working from home for a few hours every day for a month or two now, before Althea wakes up, but now I’m actually going to be heading to the office each day.  We have spent this week practicing, which means I feed Althea, then get up and head to the basement.  I’m allowed out around noon each day, at which time I snuggle my baby like mad, and she snuggles me back.  Mr. J has been doing an admirable job, but it has been crazy hard to hear her cry for me each day.  She is taking the bottle now, and starting to eat solids, and is getting to be such a good little girl.  Next week I’ll actually head to the office, and as soon as possible stretch to full time days.  I want to head off as soon as I finish her last feeding in the morning, then get some hours in while she is still asleep, and get home as soon as possible.  Pumping at work is going to be so much fun, I imagine the guys are going to be super embarrassed, and I’ll try not to make too many bad jokes about the milk in the fridge.  There is no real place for me to go to close a door and pump except the bathroom, so I plan on just doing it at my desk with my nursing cover on.  So many bad jokes, must. not. say. them.  Now that it has been over six months of nursing, I’m a bit too comfy with it, and haven’t even been using the cover much in public.  Actually it is almost impossible to use my cover as Althea immediately grabs it, shoves it in her mouth, waves it around, struggles to get her head out to see, etc. etc.  I’ve started to just turn my chair away so that what we are doing is not in your face, get her started and use my shirt to cover up anything. 

This week as I mentioned I’ve been going to the basement in the morning to work, and as I finished my tasks I could do from home, I had extra time on my hands.  Wow, extra time, without baby care  in it.  That hasn’t happened since….. January.  I’d like to say I’ve been so productive, and gotten so many things done, but I really haven’t.  Instead I’ve been indulging, knitting and catching up on podcasts that I haven’t listened to since… January.  I started (another) new sweater, almost finished a baby project that I started before Althea was born, wound yarn, indulged, indulged, indulged.  It has been awesome. 

 All in all, Althea is doing so well with her Daddy, whom she loves very much.  She is very lucky to have him, and vice versa.  I can tell Mr. J is feeling pretty good about caring for her so well, he finally gets to help out after so many months of it being Mummy only.  I have so many to catch you up on, and I’ll be working away on my little posts now that I’ve made a start.  I hope you stay tuned and are enjoying this beautiful summer we’ve been having.

Five Months

June 15, 2011

Mr. J keeps commenting that he is busier now that he is not working then when we were, which is very true.  Between the baby, planning the wedding, getting things done around the house, and the all important bike rides, we are going, going, going!  Right now Althea is having her 3rd nap of the day in her swing, and we have the game on, hoping for a hometown win.  If the Canucks score a goal we will do a quiet victory dance so as not to wake the baby.  Even though the time seems long since Althea came into our lives, it also hardly seems possible that she is now five months old.  She is either going through more teething, or a developmental leap this week as we have more crying than normal, but even that isn’t much.  She is a very good, happy baby, who is a joy to be around.  She has plenty of smiles, and now laughs for her Daddy and I.  She is very busy rolling over from her back to tummy:

Eating her feet, and anything else that comes near her mouth, or her little hands can snag.  Her hands are now constantly trolling for goodies, we have to be viligent for the first time (but nothing is better than a big toe). 

And of course she is growing her two front teeth. 

She is shaking a rattle like nobodies business, on the cusp of figuring out how to move around when she is on her belly, getting interested in watching us eat, and very talkative.  She is also a smiley girl, and a charmer when she turns on the smiles with her Grandma, GGM (to her delight) and random people in stores.  I don’t tell GGM about the random people in stores, but let her keep thinking Althea reserves her best smiles for her.  GGM is still concerned that Althea is not eating solids, but she can’t deny that her weight is good, given the adorable rolls on her thighs.  She suggested I feed Althea lady finger cookies, as they go soft very quickly.  So now I have to figure out how to say that I don’t want to feed cookies to my baby as her first food, yikes.  Cookies or liver, I don’t know which one is worse, or better?

So all excitement all the time around here.  I’ve also started to try and get an hour or two of work in the morning before Althea wakes up.  She is now sleeping longer and longer at night, but going to sleep closer to 10 pm.  I can get up, get a cup of coffee, go down to my computer and get some things done, and make some extra money.  Is everyone else enjoying the summer?