How can you be four?

28 Jul

Just how?

Surely you were just born a minute ago? Weren’t you?

I know I watch you grow every day. With amazement and awe mostly. But still, four years?

Your favourite things are dinosaurs. You can identify them on sight. Not only that, you spout random facts about them and can answer more questions than I care to ask. Marine mammals and sea creatures come a close second.

Your favourite colours are blue, brown and pink, at least that’s what you say. But you seem to favour bright orange and neon green when it comes to clothes.

You like watching The Octonauts, Dino Dan, and Caillou. Thomas gets a look in sometimes too. You used to watch things from start to finish. Now you tend to wander off in the middle, still managing to pick up whatever factual tidbit is going. But you can sense when I’ve turned off your shows, even when you’re outside. But that’s ok “Cos I’m is big now. I can watch the news with you Momma.” And you do. Picking out random words and repeating them until you have yourself in hysterics. Then you declare “That man is silly” and wander off.

We go on “adventures” almost every day. Thankfully you are easily pleased and an adventure can be going to the supermarket. Your favourite adventures are going to the children’s museum, the beach, and the aquarium.

You’re super excited about your sister, eager to show her things and kissing her at every opportunity. She loves to see you coming too. It’s the cutest thing.

You have just started colouring things in. Before, everything was scribbled. I am no longer worried that you won’t “graduate” from kindergarten 😉

When asked, you say your favourite  food is “beans and cabbage”. I have no idea what you’re talking about. It would seem it’s a dish I cooked, once, aeons ago. I have no idea what it could be. I would have said your favourite food was mussels, any kind of seafood actually. With seaweed being your favourite snack. But you’ll eat just about anything, except tomatoes, peppers and brussel sprouts – I won’t eat tomatoes or sprouts either so I can’t say anything!

Each year I spend with you brings new joy. Seeing the world through your eyes is an education. Thank you.

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I miss you

15 Jul

No one told me that when you had a second child you miss your first. Even if he’s there, bopping around, still doing the things he always did. The problem is that his unbridled enthusiasm threatens to waken the small baby that I have just gotten to sleep. The problem is that when he wants to play his sister wants to feed. There is just less time to interact with him. And less energy. Perhaps even less willingness – who doesn’t want to spend their time snuggling a newborn, smelling their head?

Another problem, unique perhaps to us, is that my Mother is still here. So he goes to her. And, well, I miss being the first port of call, even when I have my hands full.

I can see that our relationship is evolving. He is growing up, becoming more independent. He is the big brother. But he’s still my baby. I love who he’s becoming, but I miss my baby, even when he’s right there, looking back at me.

And I know this was coming regardless. I mean I have and “Oh My God! My baby is growing up panic about every two weeks, but the arrival of his baby sister seems to have accelerated the whole process. And made it all the more real.

But moments like this make it all worthwhile.

Breastfeeding, take II – or – My leaky left boob!

30 Jun

I breastfed the Turtle successfully for 14 months. When he was born there was no question that I would try to feed him myself. None. That had something to do with the 5 foot long flow chart I was given in my antenatal class about how to prepare a bottle. It all looked very complicated – boiling water, waiting a half an hour, utter madness. Breastfeeding just looked easier. And it was. Although I never thought I would feed him for “that long”. I set myself small goals. 1 week. 6 weeks. Until he got teeth. 6 months. Until we got to the States. 1 year. As long as I could. He stopped one day, all of a sudden. It left me perplexed. I didn’t know what to do. How would I get him to sleep? Comfort him? Make sure he ate enough? That was the most nightmarish part of breastfeeding him. (Not that it was all rosy. There was mastitis, engorgement and all sorts to deal with, but he was “a good feeder” so it felt easier than it was.)

This little lady is a different kettle of fish. The Turtle was a gannet from the start. Mouth wide open. Perfect latch. He would feed. Sleep. Wake up. Feed. Sleep. He had no problems with wind (gas). He didn’t spit up. He was the child a first time breastfeeding mother wants/needs. As I said, his sister is different. She won’t open her mouth quite wide enough. There’s a lot of licking. She pops on and off quite frequently (leading me to dread feeding her in public). When she does latch, she takes such big gulps that she almost drowns herself (another reason why I won’t be using a nursing cover – the other being that I want to be able to see her). And she suffers from “wind” (gas) and roars like a banshee.

On the plus side, I have absolutely no doubts about whether I am producing enough milk. My letdown reflex (like the valve that releases milk when the baby starts to suck) seems to be broken. If she grunts I start to leak. If I feed her on one side, the other starts to leak. If she feeds and pops off I leak. The left boob leaks more than the right, just in case you’re interested.
If I lived in a different time I could be a wet nurse for all of the children in the neighbourhood.

I’m sure things will settle down (I hope). For the moment, it’s a good reminder that they may both be my children, but they are different people. No matter how alike they look.

The joys of not being pregnant

28 Jun
  • I can wrap myself in a towel and have the ends actually meet.
  • I can see my own feet.
  • Feet that are becoming less Hobbit-like by the day.
  • The stairs no longer loom like Everest.
  • I have more than an inch between my belly and the steering wheel.
  • Bland foods like toast no longer give me heartburn.
  • I can walk more than 3 feet without getting out of breath.
  • I  no longer have to limit myself to one $4 coffee a day! I can brew my own, and drink it all up! (I had to limit myself because I was very close to consuming two pots a day, which is excessive, even when not pregnant.)
  • I may be woken up 2 or 3 times a night, but I can go back to sleep!! That didn’t happen with pregnancy insomnia.
  • I can sleep on my back, or even my front if I want.
  • And best of all, I have a little* newborn to snuggle

 

* The term little is entirely subjective here, seeing as she was 9lb 7oz and 21 inches long.

(I am only 9 days post op and not running on all cylinders, but soooooooooo happy to not be pregnant anymore. Although when I was pregnant I didn’t find it all that bad. It’s just retrospectively.)

 

On the eve of becoming a big brother

18 Jun

Dear Turtle,

Tomorrow you will become a big brother “and I’m is very ‘cited about that, amn’t I Momma?” Yes son, you are. Even if you’re worried about the baby “slobbering on my toys”. Apparently babies slobber a lot (yes), drink milk from Momma’s boobies (yes) and like being tickled (um, not so sure).

Sometimes you think you’re getting a sister, sometimes a brother. Most of the time you say you want a brother and a sister. Erm, not right now. Although I can’t make any promises.

I think you are going to be an absolutely brilliant big brother (if I can keep the tickling to a minimum!) You are kind, thoughtful and helpful. You seem to love babies (how you’ll be when s/he is mobile may be a different story!) and gravitate towards them whenever they’re near. Hopefully the novelty won’t wear off (or hopefully it will, I’m not sure yet).

I know that this will be a bit of an upheaval for you. For us all. But only for a little while. The day will come when we won’t remember the baby not being here.

Won’t that be something?

Baby makes

6 Jun

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Slightly obsessed with making baby things.
I can’t seem to help myself.

With the Turtle I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything (anything. At. All.) besides the absolute minimum needed for my hospital bag.

But making things is so much fun. Especially those pants by Rae. Even if  I initially got confused by which seam was which.

I have another week or so. How much more making can I fit in???

Earth Day

2 May

Nope, we didn’t do anything to “celebrate” Earth Day (April 22nd, people!) Erm, I was sick. And pregnant. And tired. And …..

But, lookee here!

How pretty is that? See, I had good intentions. And I do think that being mindful of our environment everyday is more important than one big gesture once a year (unless your gesture is planting a forest or something. If that’s the case, grand gestures are super awesome!)

So, my job is to foster mindfulness in the Turtle. And, um, it’s one of those things that I sometimes wish I never started. Picture yourself, on the beach, laden down with stuff, pregnant, tired, ready to go when you hear a shout of “MOM! Trash!” and off goes your 3 year old, haring over the dunes after a piece of rubbish some eejit left on the beach. And you have to give chase. Then you get “Here Mom, you carry it.” As if you have as many arms as an octopus.

Then there’s his obsession with ‘cycling (recycling to you and me). EVERYTHING has to be examined for the recycling symbol. And woe betide anyone who tries to throw away any ‘cycling. I bought some new flip flops the other day. Apparently they can be recycled. I was very lucky they weren’t recycled before I put them on my feet.

Enthusiasm like this is something to be fostered and celebrated even if it can be annoying. With it, there may be hope for our planet’s future.

Everyday is Earth day.

 

(p.s. The pattern for the tree comes from here)

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