Thursday, October 10, 2013

Airplane travel with an infant...

Is so not fun!! Especially when you're doing it alone and the plane is tiny, and doesn't have a change table in the bathroom. Oh the joys of poop explosions at 30,000 feet. Motherhood is just so glamorous. 

Madeline and I just got back (I'm actually typing this while she naps on the plane) fr 10 days with Gramma and Grandpa (my parents!) on the east coast. Sans daddy. The first couple of days were especially trying as Madeline got used to her new surroundings. Her sleep was total crap but did eventually go almost back to normal, thank god. I don't know why I let it get to me so much, but I definitely had a few meltdowns related to her sleep. Oh well. 

We had such a lovely time with my awese and hilarious family. I haven't laughed that hard in a while! When we all get together we are pretty ridiculous. I hope Madeline develops such a wonderful sense of humor. She definitely seemed to enjoy the crazy! She is in love with her big cousin, who is completely infatuated with her. You might even use the word obsessed :)

Two of my favorite Abby moments? Madeline was in the jumperoo watching the crazy go on around her. I said to her, "yep, you really are in the nuthouse here", then Abby said to me, "excuse me aunt Sarah? That's not the nut house, that's the jumperoo!"  That kid kills me. She's 3.5 years old and wise beyond her years. 

My second favorite Abby moment. We picked her up from daycare yesterday and her teacher asked if Madeline was "Maddie". When I said yes she told me that they made a thanksgiving craft where they cut out the kids' handprints and wrote on them what they said they were thankful for. Abby had them write "my little cousin Maddie". Be still my heart. 

In the spirit of Canadian thanksgiving this weekend I'd like to say that I am thankful for my wonderful family, who can always make me smile, in particular my niece Abby. She is the second light of my life. My little stinkerdoodle. My choo choo train passenger. The most beautiful little girl around :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Heebie jeebies for DAYZZZZ...

My husband went to BBQ some steaks last night and found a NEST. Of mice. A mice nest in our BBQ! Omg gross. I couldn't even open the back door today for fear one would come in the house. 

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came over to see Madeline today and I convinced them to deal with it for me. Lol. 

I'm still so creeped out. Has this ever happened to anyone else????

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby Sleep Part 2: Dealing with an overtired newborn!

In part 1 I dispensed my greatest piece of advice about baby sleep. I truly believe that relaxing about baby sleep is the key to a less stressed out Mama and Papa, especially in the early days when you are just trying to survive. Anyways, next up I wanted to talk a little bit about the issue of an overtired newborn/infant. I'm not sure the time cap on this little bit of "advice", since things are so new, we're only 4 months in after all!!

When we started trying to get Madeline to go to sleep earlier, we started also battling a little with her actually going to sleep. My instinct told me she was overtired, which is a vicious cycle because instead of falling asleep from exhaustion, babies seem to just scream and scream and be unable to actually do the thing they need the most when they are overtired. Sleep. So I decided to implement a sleep "regime". I became obsessed. I read that little babies should not be awake more than 1-2 hours at a time before going to sleep.

My plan was to do whatever it took to get her to sleep after she had been awake no more than 2 hours. In the early days she always fell asleep in the stroller, and in the car. So, every two hours, if I couldn't get her to nap by nursing or by putting her in her swing, I suited up and got out of the house with her. I know it's hard to believe, but on day one this made putting her to bed a million times easier. She was no longer overtired! Yay! I did this for weeks, it was a little exhausting because I was still in that place where I wanted to sleep when she slept, and if I was out pushing the stroller, or driving the car, I couldn't do that. Mama sacrifices though, right?

Eventually, around 8 weeks, Madeline no longer needed the movement to go to sleep, so I could nurse her and put her down in her crib at the 2 hour mark, which was such a HUGE milestone to me. I could finally get some stuff done around the house, and nap!!! Oh sweet naps. We have been blessed with a good sleeper though, I am not sure if she really falls in the realm of normal for her age. I am so so so grateful. However, I do think that creating a good nap plan can really help every baby. I hope that this might help someone that's reading.

I gotta say though, people don't like unsolicited advice (I certainly don't either!), so writing about this here is kind of therapeutic for me. I can advise, advise, advise, and not worry that people are annoyed :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

101 in 1001 List Update!

It's about time for another list update. I've managed to cross off and start quite a bunch of things! I am kind of running out of time for some of the bigger goals, like the ones that involve doing something for a year. This list ends in December 2014 so I should really start attempting those ones now or they'll never get done. It's sad that some things just won't happen. I can't see us taking a trip to Vegas before next December, or seeing a Green Bay game. We might try to go to a Buffalo game next year, so I might call seeing an NFL game at all good enough to cross that one off! It's also going to be hard to go on a girl's weekend with my sister, but maybe we will make it happen near the end of my deadline... We will see where the next 16 months take me :) Updates to the list are in GREEN!

  • Start blogging (Started in May 2012)
  • Take a photography class
  • Take a cake decorating class (Completed in April 2012 at Michael's)
  • Blog every day for 30 days (Completed December 2012)
  • Go to NYC (Went for our 1st anniversary in May 2012)
  • Plant a vegetable garden (Planted a veggie garden with my mom in June 2012 and 2013)
  • Sell 1 item a month from our Etsy shop (My mom and I had to temporarily shut down our Etsy shop so she could sell her stuff at Christmas craft markets!!! Hopefully soon we'll be up and running again)
  • Lose 20 pounds (get to 160 lbs) (In progress! I'm about 6 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, and 21 lbs from 160 lbs)
  • Maintain weight for 6 months (see above)
  • Refinish a piece of furniture - if anyone remembers my post about the box my papa built, that's what I am planning on refinishing :)
  • Reupholster an old piece of furniture 
  • Go to Las Vegas
  • Take a knitting class
  • Knit a winter hat
  • Take one photo I am really proud of (See the photo at the end of the list! I'm breaking the "no Madeline photos on the blog" rule for this one :) )
  • Take a photograph of a rainbow (This was actually code for "get pregnant again and carry to term!" She's now 4 months old!!)
  • Say “yes” to something I wouldn’t normally
  • Host a dinner party for 8
  • Go a week without buying anything
  • Read 40 books (I am only 5 books in... Really need to ramp this up asap!!)
  • Don’t say anything negative for one day 
  • Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  • Try a sport I've never tried before (My husband and I played flag football summer 2012!)
  • Donate money to a charity
  • Kiss in the rain
  • Make spaghetti sauce from scratch - as soon as my tomatoes ripen out in the garden I'll be tackling this!!
  • Bake and decorate a birthday cake for someone (Baked my husband's birthday cake in June 2012)
  • Try a new recipe once a month for a year
  • Find out my blood type (easy! Had to do this when I got pregnant, I'm O+! August 2012)
  • Go to the gym 5 days a week for a month - probably not going to happen since I'm not renewing my membership! I think working out 5 days a week for a month will be good enough :)
  • Take a cooking class
  • Send a hand written letter
  • Spend a weekend without the internet (We did this when we went camping! August 2012)
  • Make bread without the bread maker
  • Train Leroy to come when called (HAHAHAHA. I highly doubt this is going to happen!!!!)
  • Learn how to cook fish!
  • Finish the photo wall going to the basement - just need to add a few photos of Madeline and this will be completed!
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Watch Gone With the Wind (Loved it! July 2012)
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Figure out what to do with my wedding dress (I donated it to a charity here called The Breast Dress Project which raises money for breast cancer research - October 2012)
  • Send in the paperwork and get my PEng - working on my experience diaries! Blah!
  • Have a blog post published on a well known blog
  • Have my blog redesigned to have a more personal style (Thanks to Emily at oh hello, love! this has been completed, July 14, 2012)
  • Make a meal with all ingredients bought at the farmer's market
  • Throw a surprise party for someone
  • Go on a girl's weekend with my sister
  • Have a will written
  • Try being vegetarian for one week
  • Write 100 thank you notes
  • Meet an internet friend in person
  • Go on a picnic (We went to a park downtown for a nice picnic in June 2013)
  • Go camping with the dog (We went camping in August 2012)
  • Go to trivia night
  • Be professionally fitted for a bra
  • Send at least 3 letters to the editor of our local paper
  • Move my blog to self hosted
  • Give up Facebook for a week
  • Try 10 beers I have never tried before (Rickard's White, Molson Canadian 67 Sublime, Upper Canada Lager, Prison Break Breakout Pilsner, Big Rig Gold, Flying Monkey, Propeller IPA)
  • Go to an exercise class that makes me feel awkward
  • See 45 movies in the theatre
  • Go for a ride in a helicopter
  • Get a promotion
  • Eat at 10 new restaurants (In progress - Must Wine Bar, Pocco Pazzo, Don Cherry's)
  • Host Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner (planning to do this for Thanksgiving this year (2013)!!!)
  • Make a surprise visit home to see my family
  • Spend 1 day a week television free for 6 months (Started this in July 2012, didn't complete. Starting again now, we are doing Wednesday or Saturday depending on football haha, starting August 21st, 2013)
  • De-clutter our house
  • Go to a comedy show (went to Absolute Comedy with two of my coworkers! July 2012)
  • See The Nutcracker at the NAC
  • Do something nice for someone anonymously
  • Go to a spa (Had a lovely pedicure at the March House Spa, twice! April 2013)
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers game
  • Give a 100% tip
  • Have a booth at a craft sale
  • Take a spontaneous road trip
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Decorate Christmas cookies
  • Finish bathroom and back room in basement (Just getting started now!)
  • Finish the fence in the backyard (Last pieces went up in May 2012!)
  • Buy a mouse pad for my desk at work (Just did this! I got a mouse pad AND a keyboard wrist rest. July 2012)
  • Learn how to use all of the applications on my Mac
  • Grow and use 3 varieties of herbs (Grew basil, oregano, and parsley, used all 3 in my roasted red pepper soup! July 2012)
  • Organize all of the documents/photos on my computer
  • Finally load up my digital picture frame... yeah this is not going to happen because I decided to get rid of the frame!
  • Go to a drive-in movie theatre
  • Have someone guest post on my blog
  • Go on a date night once a month with my husband (Edited to add a timeframe - let's go with a year! Started this in July 2012 and epically failed. Plan to restart once Madeline is taking a bottle!!!!)
  • Get 5,000 views of my blog
  • See the Best Picture Oscar winner from the last 10 years. (In progress, Argo (2012), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Million Dollar Baby (2004). I've seen some others, but don't remember them enough so will be re-watching!!!)
  • Enter a photo contest
  • Complete a crossword puzzle
  • Host a poker night (We did this recently, it was so much fun! We had about 8 people and I made homemade pizzas and had some other snacks - November 2012)
  • Buy a bigger TV for our basement den (We unexpectedly crossed this off on Black Friday 2012!)
  • Plant a tree
  • Read a novel in french
  • Make homemade jam
  • Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  • Write a list of 101 things I have already achieved in life
  • Celebrate finishing this list!

  • Madeline is pretty bored with my goals list!!

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Top 10 things I wish someone told me about breastfeeding while I was still pregnant...

    I have been reflecting a lot on my breastfeeding journey with Madeline lately. We have made it to 4 months!! Each month feels like a major accomplishment, as each month she changes so drastically. As she gets older, she has been developing more and more of her own personality, which has been changing our nursing sessions a lot. She's easily distracted. She likes to grab at things. And she has this fierce independent streak, I swear she unlatches and puts her thumb in her mouth instead in a "I don't need you mummy, I can do this MYSELF" kind of way... I digress... I wanted to take this time to list the top 10 things I wish someone had told me about breastfeeding before I was knee deep in it.

    Here it goes:

    1. It's ok for it to hurt in the beginning. Everything you read says you shouldn't feel any pain and if you do, you're doing it wrong. I call bullshit on that. Madeline had a great latch (as per my midwife) from the beginning, and it STILL hurt a lot. It takes a little bit for your boobs to get used to that kind of constant action... It's OK. By all means, make sure you're not doing something wrong, but definitely don't feel like you're a screw up just because it's painful. 
    2. The more you nurse, the more milk your body makes. I am fairly certain that the reason I have been successful thus far with nursing is that from the beginning we've nursed on demand. This meant that in the first couple of weeks I had a baby on my boob ALL. THE. TIME. It brought me to tear sometimes because I just felt like a milk machine. However, I believe that doing this caused my milk to come in fast (she was born Sunday morning and I had milk by Monday night), and it increased my supply quite a bit. This brings me to my next point...
    3. You don't produce milk right away! I did know this, but I know a lot of people who don't. Your baby's stomach is so small in the beginning, that the small amount of clearish liquid you produce (colostrum) is enough to keep the baby satisfied until your milk comes in! 
    4. Make sure you have the proper emotional and "technical" support. My midwife was instrumental in my success with nursing, she was encouraging and knowledgeable, and I could always ask her loads of questions. She got right in there and showed me how to make sure Madeline latched properly! It was awesome.
    5. Make sure you have the proper support. For your boobs. Invest in a couple of nice nursing bras as soon as you can! And avoid underwires, they can cause clogged ducts.
    6. You probably won't care who sees your boobs. I lost most of my sense of modesty in the early days. I did have some exceptions, I didn't want my dad or my father-in-law to see my boobs, icky. I did whip out my boobs for almost everyone else. I still do this with my mom and sister. Madeline hates a cover and any time I can get away with not using it, I do. 
    7. You'll probably talk about your boobs a lot. My husband and I talk about my boobs a lot, and not in the way you would have imagined before kids. I also talk about my boobs to other women who have breastfed! I can't wait until they're no longer an acceptable topic of conversation, haha.
    8. If you want to give your baby a bottle, and keep your supply up, you'll have to pump for every bottle. Madeline won't take a bottle (ugh), but I learned that every time your baby takes a bottle, you have to pump. Otherwise you risk your supply dropping because your body thinks you no longer need that nursing session. That means that if you want to leave your baby with someone for an extended period, you best be packing. Your pump, that is.
    9. Some babies just don't like bottles. Madeline acts like you're torturing her every time we try a bottle. I have a whole freezer full of milk that she won't drink. We are still trying, but I truly believe that some babies just don't take to bottles. Of course if I decided not to nurse anymore, eventually she would drink from one, she won't starve herself, but as long as my boobs are an option, she wants those. If you want your baby to take a bottle, I'd start offering one pretty early. It's hard, there is so much mixed advice out there, don't give one too early lest they get confused and don't want your boobs anymore, BUT don't give one too late or they might not take it!!! Ack. So confusing. I wonder what the magic timeline is for offering one... if anyone knows, let me know!
    10. YOU CAN DO THIS. You are awesome. Believe in yourself, your boobs, and your baby! 
    There you have it! My top 10. So it's Friday and it's a long weekend! I am so pumped! Madeline and I are headed to a play date later today, and we're in for a relaxing weekend with Daddy. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can do lots of walking with Leroy! Happy Labor Day weekend to all!

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    They fit! They fit!

    At four months postpartum my wedding rings FINALLY fit! I haven't worn them since Christmas so it's pretty exciting. I'm only about six or seven pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Pretty damn proud of that. 

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Madeline's Birth Story

    Madeline turned 4 months old on August 21st, and I am only getting around to writing about her birth now. Oops. Luckily, it's still pretty fresh in my mind, and it was a pretty simple, uncomplicated birth, so there wasn't too much to remember anyways.

    If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I ended up going 12 days overdue. During those 12 days I had two ultrasounds to look at fluid levels and placenta activity, just to make sure there was nothing going on that would require an induction. I also had two very unpleasant membrane sweeps. If you don't know what that is, and you really want to, google it. Not pleasant at all. On Saturday April 20th, at 11 days overdue, I met with my secondary midwife (my primary had gone on vacation when I was 10 days overdue!!!) and she did the second membrane sweep, around 2:30 in the afternoon. She seemed optimistic that I wouldn't need the induction, but we planned one for Monday anyways.

    Meanwhile, my parents were making the drive from Halifax. They had planned their trip thinking there was no way I would go 2 weeks late!! After I met with the midwife we went home and went for a walk to try to get things moving. Not much really happened, until, BAM, my water broke around 6:30pm. Fifteen minutes later my parents pulled in our driveway, haha! Perfect timing! Around then my midwife called to see how I was doing. I told her I thought my water had broken but I wasn't feeling any contractions yet. She told me to hold tight, get some rest, and call her when contractions were coming 4 minutes apart, or if I couldn't talk through them. Anyways, my water kind of broke in 3 stages. The first time, at 6:30, I was pretty sure it was my water breaking but not 100% confident, about 15 minutes later the same thing happened again, and then maybe 15 minutes after that I had the huge gush you see on TV. Seriously. It was a lot of fluid. And that is when my contractions started, almost immediately.

    We figured I had quite a while to wait, since we'd heard so much about early labor and how long it can go one for, so my husband went to pick up some pizza. He decided to stop in and get some beer for him and my dad with supper too. Meanwhile, back at home I was having pretty strong contractions that were about 2.5 minutes apart. I could still talk through them but they were really uncomfortable. My husband arrived back home and I tried to eat a little but really didn't feel like it. I think I managed to eat a half a slice of pizza. It was looking like all of the stuff we had learned about the different stages of labour would be completely useless to me. My labour came on fast and strong, none of this contractions every 20 minutes crap.

    When my midwife (henceforth known as Sandra :) ) called back around 8pm I was having contractions every 1.5-2.5 minutes and they were pretty strong, but I could still talk through them. She made the decision to come to our house to check me, since things were so close together. At this point my parents decided to check into a hotel, and they took Leroy over to my in-laws house where he would stay for a few days.

    Sandra arrived around 8:30pm, when she checked me she figured I was only 2-3 centimeters. Usually she would have gone home at this point and waited a little while, but since everything was coming so close together, she decided to stay at our house. I don't remember how often, but between 8:30pm and 11pm I was probably checked about 3 or 4 times. At 11pm and about 5 cm dilated, Sandra suggested we head to the hospital before the drive was excruciatingly painful for me. I quickly agreed. The drive was awful. It was very difficult to just sit in the seat during contractions. They were very very intense at this point. We got to the hospital and all checked in around 11:30pm.

    I tried so many different things to ease the pain. I got in the jetted tub. I laboured in different positions. I walked around. Nothing helped at all. Strangely, the most comfortable position for my was in the bed curled up in the fetal position. After a while I tried the tub again, no luck. I was so disappointed because I had heard such good things about labouring in water!! It did nothing for me at all. Back to the bed I went! Sometime around 12:30, Sandra talked to me about trying a shot of morphine. I had really really wanted an unmedicated birth, but she encouraged me to try this intervention because I was so tired at this point and things had been so hard and painful right from the start, she was worried I wouldn't have any energy to push the baby out. I hesitated but eventually agreed to try it. She told me it wouldn't make the pain go away, but that I'd feel kind of drunk and would be able to get a little rest. Yeah. No. It did absolutely nothing for me!!! I didn't feel drunk or any relief at all, and certainly didn't sleep.

    After it was clear that morphine wasn't going to work for me, around 3am Sandra suggested I try nitrous oxide. I was in transition at this point (at about 7 cm) and contractions were one on top of the other, no break at all. I was desperate for some kind of relief, so again I agreed. This did help a little, I think it was mostly that it forced me to focus on my breathing and it calmed me down a bit. It made me feel light headed and loopy, but didn't take the pain away at all. I liked the noise of the machine though, I found it pretty soothing. I used it until I was ready to push.

    I reached 10 cm and was ready to start pushing at 4:15am. A second midwife arrived to help with the delivery. I was so excited to get to this stage, it meant I had made it without an epidural! Yay! There were so many thoughts running through my head at this point. I could feel when I needed to push, but I couldn't tell if anything was actually happening when I did. It felt like it was taking FOREVER. I looked up at the clock and it was 4:45 am. I remember asking how much longer they thought until Madeline arrived, Sandra told me it was probably going to be about 30 minutes. That made me feel SO much better. I really do well with an end point in sight. When Sandra told me she could see her head, I asked her if she had any hair!! She said "not much!" and I remember being excited that she had any at all since both my husband and I were bald as babies. This gave me the strength I needed to finish the job :)

    I only had to push for an hour, which is apparently pretty fast for a first time mom! And Sandra was bang-on with her estimate of 30 minutes. Madeline Rose was born at 5:15am on Sunday April 21st. She was 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long. She latched on almost immediately and was so alert right away! I can hardly believe she's already 4 months old :)

    Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Our first big house project - Basement Renovation!

    We bought our house from a builder about 4 years ago now, and have been living here for about 3.5 years. Since it was a new build, we haven't really had to do any major renovations, of course that hasn't stopped us from spending tons of money here. For major expenses, we've put up a fence, built a deck, added eavestroughing, and an air conditioner. Smaller projects have included mostly painting, and upgrading some of the light fixtures. We've also purchased a lot of new furniture over the years. None of these things have involved much of a renovation, or much effort on our part. My dad did all of the painting, and built us our deck. Home Depot did the fence. My husband and I are pretty much the least handy people on the planet at this point in time.

    We are hoping to change that a little with our big basement renovation! Of course we won't be doing all of the work ourselves. In fact, a lot of it will be hired out, and some of it will be done by my dad. BUT, we are still excited, and we are going to attempt some of the stuff ourselves. You have to start somewhere, right?

    The builder finished the largest room of the basement, which is currently our "family room". There is also a roughed in bathroom, a furnace room, and another small room under the stairs. We are planning to finish the small room, which will eventually become a play room for Madeline. We're also finishing the bathroom. We figure it'll add a lot of value to the house, and won't it be nice not to have to go ALL the way up one flight of stairs to go to the bathroom when in the middle of an intense The Walking Dead marathon? We thought so! As an add-on we will be replacing the carpet destroyed by Leroy with some nice laminate floor, which will run through the family room and the playroom.
    That mat is TOTALLY covering where Leroy ripped up our carpet...
    I have made a huge to-do list and will update the blog once we've done enough to really warrant an update. Hopefully I will also remember to take some photos as we go. Here are some "before" photos, although the electrical work has been done, so they're not truly before, but close enough!
    Leroy photobombing my shot of the playroom! The closet will cover that ugly stuff. 
    Leroy loves photobombing!
    Bathroom, you can see the roughed in plumbing!
    And on to the big list:

    1. Add electrical to both rooms. (75% completed - the electrician will come back after the room is painted to finish up)
    2. Put up framing/drywall in both rooms.
    3. Prime and paint both rooms.
    4. Install light fixture in the bathroom.
    5. Install light fixture in the playroom.
    6. Install fan in the bathroom.
    7. Rip up all of the carpet and remove baseboard in the family room.
    8. Lay laminate flooring.
    9. Lay ceramic tile in the bathroom.
    10. Add baseboards and trim to playroom and bathroom.
    11. Install the vanity in the bathroom.
    12. Install the faucet in the bathroom.
    13. Install toilet.
    14. Install corner shower.
    15. Put up glass tile backsplash over the vanity.
    16. Hang a mirror in the bathroom.
    17. Put a door on the closet in the playroom.
    18. Replace the door of the playroom with a folding door.
    19. Put up some shelving in the playroom closet.
    20. Hang art in the bathroom.
    21. Hang art in the playroom.
    22. Come up with some kind of toy storage solution in the playroom.
    Now, let's talk budget! My husband is an accountant, so naturally he's very in to budgeting and such. We talked a lot about what we wanted to spend, and got some quotes for the electrical and drywall work. We also took a trip to Home Depot to figure out just how much things like showers and toilets cost! After all of the we figure we're looking at about $6000. That includes everything, and tax. So far we have purchased a few things and I am happy to report we are under budget! I think I'll do up a budget post once the project is completed. After everything is done we are also planning on asking my real estate agent mother-in-law to do an assessment so we will know how much value we possibly added with this project :)

    One of my friends is coming on Monday to start framing and drywalling, and then my husband and I are planning on tackling the painting job so that the electrician can come back and finish his work in the next week or so! Wish us luck! It should also be mentioned that any work that we will be doing ourselves will have to be done during Madeline's super short 45 minute naps (ugh), so it should be a bit of a challenge. I should have an update for you soon :)

    Thursday, August 15, 2013

    Breastfeeding is hard, yo.

    I've always known I would breastfeed my kids. Well, I have always known I would attempt to breastfeed my kids. There are so many things that can go wrong, so many possible challenges, so I figured going into it with an open mind would be ideal. My mom was unable to breastfeed my older sister, so didn't even try with me. That was her choice and given the anxiety it caused her, probably the best choice to make her the best mother she could be. 

    For me, all of the things I thought would make it hard (pain, infections, bad latch, low supply) have been such a breeze. It's the things I didn't think about, like having a baby who isn't a milk monster, that are making it difficult. It's mentally difficult for me. From the beginning I have had an oversupply which is super annoying and uncomfortable. In order to battle this I was feeding Madeline A LOT. Like every hour a lot. This worked for a while, but then she started developing her little personality and a mind of her own, and she stopped cooperating with me. This is probably the first instance of this in a whole lifetime of her being uncooperative I'm sure. I digress. She stopped wanting to feed every time I wanted her to. 

    This has been really tough for me, mentally. It feels like I have been rejected by my own flesh and blood, which is silly, I know. She doesn't have the mental capacity to reject me, and she shows me her affection in other ways, like when she doesn't want to be held by anyone but me, and when I get so many smiles and laughs out of her over the course of our day together. But still, each time she refuses to nurse, I feel rejected! I'm working on getting over this. For one, she doesn't need to eat every 1-2 hours like she used to. Sometimes she goes 4 or 5. I am trying to trust that she will let me know when she's hungry. It's proving difficult to do, but I will get there. We've made it 4 months so far, I'm sure we can both make it work for much much longer. One day at a time.

    This post didn't really have a point, just had to get it out.

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    I've been bingeing...

    On Gossip Girl! It's my nap time activity of choice these days. I watched the first two seasons when they originally aired but stopped when I moved in with my husband who couldn't be less interested in the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite...

    But it's on Netflix now and I just can't help but get pulled in to its soap opera-esque drama. I've made my way through 4 seasons already! Good thing Madeline has been napping well this week because it is getting seriously intense! It's too bad I'll have to wait for season 6 to go up on Netflix to finish it off. 

    Any other way too old for this Gossip Girl fans out there?


    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Long weekend musings...

    It's a long weekend here in Ontario, which means I'm parenting with my partner, my hubby, for an extra day on Monday. While it has always been awesome to spend extra time with my sweetie, it's extra awesome now with a baby. An extra set of hands!!! Woohoo!

    We had some friends over for a BBQ yesterday and it was the first social event I've ever hosted that didn't feature at least one homemade dish. It's just one of the many things I used to love to do that has seemingly fallen by the wayside ever since a certain someone has entered my life! I know this exhausted feeling is just temporary, which is great because I'd really love to feel a tiny bit like my old self soon.

    Even so, I've begun to really think about how motherhood changes you. Mentally, and also physically, I am almost a completely different person, and there is nothing wrong with that. Look what I (maybe I should be saying we?) did, I created a new life! And when I did I accepted that it meant that my role as mother would mean shaping my child's life and putting mine on the back burner for a little while. 

    Interestingly, the things I miss from my old life are not the things I expected to miss. I expected to miss traveling on a whim, going out to nice restaurants, poker nights with friends. In reality, I mostly miss cooking, baking, and cleaning. Seriously. The level of grossness in our bathroom is horrifying to me. I should possibly be doing that right now instead of writing this blog post... Hmmm... Anyways..

    The good news is that these things I miss will come back shortly. Madeline is taking better naps and I am starting to feel human again, it's at the point now where I don't feel like I need to be napping when she's napping, so there's a little room for cooking, baking, cleaning, and BLOGGING. There's also a career/professional task (paperwork to become a P. Eng) that I've been putting off for so long that needs to get done before I head back to work, so that needs to occupy some of my free time too. 

    This was kind of a jumbled mix of thoughts, but after reading this post today, I think that's ok. 

    Friday, July 26, 2013

    Baby Sleep Part 1! Learning to go with the flow...

    Having a new baby is hard. Very hard. There are the sleepless nights, the screams and cries you can't quite seem to calm, the constant nursing, the constant baby bouncing... Shall I go on? When you are deep in the trenches it's so hard to see the other side, but eventually the clouds do part and you come out the other side, relatively unscathed. One of my biggest pieces of advice to new mothers is that you need to let go of the idea that you are going to have any kind of control over the situation (i.e. your baby). This is hard for those type A's out there, like myself, but I swear, once you accept that you have very little control things will start to get so much better. This was particularly true for us with Madeline's sleep.

    Sometime around 3 weeks old, we decided Madeline should be going to bed earlier than her normal 11pm bedtime. We were both exhausted, and we wanted some time to ourselves before going to bed. I read about lots of babies who were going to sleep for the night at 8pm, why wasn't our baby doing this?? We started trying to get her to sleep earlier, we tried to establish a bedtime routine of bath, reading, swaddle, nurse, bed. However, it went more like this: bath, reading over her screams, swaddle, nurse, scream, nurse, scream, scream scream, nurse, bounce, scream, nurse, bounce, bounce, unswaddle, watch some tv, nurse, bed at 11pm. It was so awful and stressful. My husband and I hardly ever fight and we were arguing non-stop. No matter what time we started this routine Madeline went to sleep for the night at 11pm. Finally we just said screw it. She will do what she wants, and the stress was just not worth it. We started doing the routine more like this: bath, reading (although she still screamed while we read, she just wasn't into sitting and not moving at this age), go downstairs and take turns bouncing her around, nursing her when she showed signs of hunger, and then, finally, around 10 or 10:30 we swaddled her and put her to bed.

    This new routine has caused so much less stress. We are all much happier. My husband and I have both accepted that we have virtually no control over the sleep situation at this point. Over time Madeline's bed time has gotten earlier, at 3 months she's going to bed some time between 9:30-10, with the occasional night at 9:15, or the unfortunate occasional night at 10:30-10:45. I am convinced that she will slowly get down to that coveted 8pm bedtime, so for now we are just following her lead.

    I am definitely not a baby sleep expert, and I am sure there are lots of people out there who think I am doing it wrong. Maybe they think my baby is spoiled because we let her decide our bedtime, whatever. I really don't care because it works for us. Anyway, this is all to say that I certainly would not want to give anyone advice about baby sleep. I don't know how to get a baby to sleep better, longer, earlier, whatever. I have no clue. We have been blessed with a relatively good sleeper. However, I regularly dispense the "go with the flow" advice, because I really do think that can work well for everyone. In my very limited experience, babies don't do what you want them to do, so why spend all of your time trying to make them?

    Stay tuned for Part 2, dealing with an overtired baby!

    Monday, July 22, 2013

    I'm back!

    These last three months have been such a whirlwind of emotions: happy, excited, frustrated, tired, confused, insecure, inadequate… I could go on and on. I’m pretty sure I’ve felt almost every emotion or feeling there is since Madeline has been born. I have missed the blogosphere so much and am only feeling human enough to make my way back here now.  So, hello friends J

    Madeline is napping and I am spending way too much time watching Gossip Girl while she does. It’s so bad but so addictive, isn’t it?? This is the second series I am embarking on, I watched the entire series of Friday Night Lights first. Some day my sweet baby girl won’t be napping this much so I am trying to take advantage of the “me” time I am being given for now.

    I have been pondering the level of online privacy I would like for my family. In the past I have been pretty much an open book, but it’s shocking how different I have felt since Madeline came along. I feel so protective of her and that is why I have yet to share any photos. I’m scared of putting her pretty little face out there, when the internet is so vast and I have no idea who will be looking at my photos, or what they might be doing with them. I never thought I would be this paranoid, but that’s where I’m at right now. I hope you will all understand and continue to read my blog. I’m working on some baby posts, some tips and tricks, and just general ideas I have about parenting. For now, no photos L

    If you do want to check out some pictures of Madeline, you can add me to instagram (mcsarahanne)… it’s a private profile but I’ll add anyone who doesn’t look like an internet creepo :P

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    She's arrived!!

    Madeline Rose arrived on Sunday, April 21st, 12 long days late, at 5:15am. She was 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long. She's absolutely beautiful and so far is a really great baby! We are so smitten!

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Waiting on baby...

    Well folks. 41 weeks has arrived... 7 days overdue. Welcome to my pity party of one! Although it's apparently common for first time mothers to go about a week late, I am still really down in the dumps about it. I have been in pain since about 15/16 weeks, my hips have been hurting a lot during sleep. Now, my feet are cramping, my hips, back, and knees all hurt pretty much all of the time.

    So what do I do when I'm down in the dumps, and have been trapped in the house for a while? Redecorate of course! I have been thinking that our yellow bedspread was too pale and our bedroom needed something a bit brighter. I have been coveting this aqua bedspread for a few weeks, maybe even months. It's SO pretty. I made the trip out yesterday and I couldn't believe they still had one, so I took that as a sign that I definitely needed to buy it :)

    Here's our little master bedroom makeover:

    If this baby takes much longer to come I am going to have to go shopping again. I wonder what I could redecorate next? I did see an awesome ottoman while I was at Home Sense, but I couldn't find a price on it, so I didn't bother. It would look perfect in our new, bright bedroom! It was in the clearance section so maybe I will go back and see how much it was :)

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Bump photo outtakes...


    I thought it might be fun to share some outtakes from our weeks of bump photo taking (I'm not including the weeks where I was taking my fabulous bathroom self portraits!). My husband has sure caught some gems...

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

    40 Weeks!

    Well, friends, my due date has come and gone, so I am officially overdue. I figured this would happen, since according to my What To Expect ap, 50% of pregnancies go past 40 weeks. I guess I was hoping to be part of the lucky 50% and have this baby sometime between 39 and 40 weeks. I am officially extremely cranky, and I shouldn't interact with anyone but my husband at this point! Leroy is an ok companion too, because he doesn't talk back or complain that I am complaining too much... This is what he's been up to every day since I have been on maternity leave:
    He's a pretty lazy animal. I hope he keeps this up once the baby is here!! This week I have been working on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. I am almost done, I will be really sad if I finish before the baby comes because I didn't expect that. I've been reading too, I figure I might not get a chance to read too much soon, although maybe during feedings? Anyhow, that's about it for now. I took my bump picture but I am facing the wrong way, oops.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    39 Weeks!

    My maternity leave is well on its way... Almost a week in! No baby yet. I'm cranky and uncomfortable. That's about it...

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    38 Weeks!

    Well, time keeps on ticking. This week marks my last few days of work! Today is my last day! I am so excited to just relax at home, although I am a little worried that it's just going to throw me into waiting mode... I don't want to feel on edge all of the time just wondering when labour might start, I am hoping to avoid that until at least 39 weeks... we'll see how that goes. When anyone asks how long I have left, I say 2 weeks, but sadly, it could be more like 4 weeks. Dear God no. Please, please, please baby don't stay in there until 42 weeks! Mama really doesn't want to wait that long, and also doesn't want to be induced!!!

    There isn't much to write about, I am getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the hour it seems. I think I've been pretty lucky though. So far I would say I have had a pretty good pregnancy. The atrocious morning sickness that plagued me from weeks 6 to 19 is now mostly a distant memory... and other than that, I think I've been pretty lucky. This bodes well for us having more kids in the future, although I suppose I should wait and see how the labor and newborn stuff goes, eh? :)

    For your viewing pleasure, here's my latest bump picture!

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Nursery Reveal!

    Finally I took some pictures! This nursery was a labor of love. My mom and I bought the fabric for the roman shade a couple of days after I miscarried my first pregnancy, so it's got some memories there. The whole nursery came together around this fabric.We found the glider on kijiji for $60, then my mom redid the cushions and my dad painted it white. I was a dummy and didn't get a before picture! Annoying but oh well.
    My mom made the quilt, the rug, the pictures above the glider, the crib skirt. My dad made the bookshelves, and my late grandfather made the peg shelf above the changing table/dresser.
    The alphabet print is from an Etsy seller and I love it so much!! I think it looks great over the books. All of the stuff on the peg shelf is from my childhood, one of the little teacups belonged to my mom when she was a kid! 
    So that's basically it! I hope you guys love it as much as we do. I cannot wait for baby girl to be here to enjoy it :)

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    37 Weeks!

    I am officially full term! This feels like quite a major milestone :)

    This week I have been having a lot of muscular type pain in my belly. I think my muscles are sick of being stretched to their absolute maximum. It's really annoying and uncomfortable. I guess I need to get used to the discomfort since I am sure it's only going to get worse for the next 3+ weeks.

    Over the weekend we had our carseat inspected, which turned out to be a great thing since we didn't have it installed tight enough. They also gave us a few tips about putting the baby in it, and showed me how to use it in a car without the base. It was definitely worth the $30 donation. If you're in Ontario, I would definitely recommend S.E.A.T.S. It gives me peace of mind to know that our little girl will be sitting in a properly installed carseat!!!! This weekend also included my last baby shower. My mother-in-law threw me a lovely shower in the comfort of my own home, which was really nice. The guests were all super generous and we got so much nice stuff, and the majority of it was practical!

    This week is my last full week of work, and I couldn't be happier to be starting my maternity leave soon. I am pretty tired and swollen and I just need some time to lay around and rest up before the big day! I have heard that some women have had luck inducing labor by cleaning their house... if I get desperate I may try that!

    Any other natural induction ideas?

    Here are an assortant of bump pictures for this week... I forgot to take an "official" one, so these iPhone ones will have to do :)

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    What's in my hospital bag?

    I thought this might be a helpful post, since I spent a lot of time reading similar ones when I was packing a bag for the hospital. Since I am delivering with a midwife, it's possible that we will be going home from the hospital as soon as THREE hours after the birth. That's slightly terrifying, but also awesome. Obviously I don't have to leave if I don't want to, but I think I will want to. I have a tough time sleeping at other people's houses, let alone in a crummy hospital bed. Keeping that in mind, I decided to pack my bag assuming a 24 hour hospital stay, just in case. If you will be staying longer, then you can adjust accordingly.

    Here's what I packed:

    For me
    • One nursing tank top
    • One pair of nursing pajamas
    • One comfortable t-shirt to wear home
    • 2 sleep nursing bras
    • 1 regular nursing bra
    • 2 pairs of yoga pants
    • 3 pairs of underwear (or, grannie panties, if you will)
    • slippers
    • robe
    • 3 pairs of socks
    • Flip flops (for the shower)
    • Toiletries (travel sized shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, toothbrush and toothpaste)
    • Lotion (I hear hospitals can be very dry)
    • Lip gloss (see above reasoning)
    • Hair elastics and bobby pins
    • Towel
    • My own pillow
    • Pads
    • Nursing pads (probably on necessary but just in case!)
    • phone and charger (obviously not packed quite yet...)
    • Snacks (I'm thinking of packing cheese strings, trail mix, and granola bars)
    • Gum
    • Makeup (laugh all you want but if I am there for any amount of time I know I'll want to feel slightly put together for visitors/photos!)
    For Hubby

    I'm thinking that my hubby will have time to run home and cleanup if he wants, but if not, it would be nice for him to be able to feel like himself too.
    • One full change of clothes
    • Toiletries (as above)
    For Baby
    • One pair of newborn sleepers
    • One pair of 0-3 month sleepers
    • One newborn outfit
    • One 0-3 outfit
    • One hat
    • 2 pairs of socks (one small, one bigger)
    • Scratch mittens
    • Wipes
    • Car seat!!!! (already in the car!)
    • Some newborn and size 1 diapers
    • Vaseline (my midwife recommended this!)
    You should know that I am notorious for overpacking, so this might be too much. I just like to be prepared! I realize I may need to let go of that compulsion a little bit once I am a mom and all control goes out the window, but let me indulge just a little bit longer :). I'm planning on revisiting this list after all is said and done, so I can let everyone know what I actually ended up using. Of course if I do go home after 3 hours, most of this stuff will not get used!! Fingers crossed!

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    36 weeks!

    Well, things are really getting close at this point. Time has slowed down... carseats have been installed... car has been given a thorough cleaning... hospital bag has been packed. We are just ready for our little girl to get here (although obviously we want her to stay in a little bit longer!). I am now one week from being FULL TERM. Holy cow. I'm 2ish weeks from being on maternity leave, and only 10 working days, which is such a relief. I'm taking the next two Wednesdays off because I seem to run out of steam after a couple of days, so breaking up the week seems like a really appealing idea :)

    Last weekend we had our maternity photos taken. Here is a sneak peek, but head on over to Lisa's blog to see more! I am so in love with them so far.
    This weekend is my second shower! I am excited to see some friends and family I haven't seen in a long time. Some of them haven't even seen me pregnant yet! After the shower we should be able to buy the last few things we'll "need" before baby girl makes her debut. Luckily, we've been so blessed and people have been so generous, that list should be very very small.

    I didn't get around to taking nursery photos this weekend, oops! I am hoping to possibly do that tomorrow on my day off. I cannot wait to share it with you all. I am so proud of it, you can see a little bit of it in our maternity photos though :)

    Here I am at 36 weeks! I definitely feel like I am looking more and more tired as the weeks go by...

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    35 Weeks!

    Time is officially standing still. Seriously. It’s mostly the work days that feel extremely long, because our evenings are pretty short these days (9:30 is about the latest I can stay up!!), and our weekends are busy. But the work days, they drag. I don’t have a ton to do, because no one really wants to give me anything that I won’t be able to finish before I leave! It’s making for a brutal last few weeks. Did I mention that I am done work in 3 weeks?!?! 3 weeks! I cannot wait. I desperately need some afternoon naps.

    My mom was in town to see the bump in all its (her?) glory this weekend. We had a great time, and may have bought a few things for baby girl. The most exciting thing though, my mom got to accompany me to my ultrasound! Remember my low-lying placenta? Yep, well, it’s resolved!!! No scheduled c-section in my future J. We also were able to see sweet baby girl’s face, it was incredible. The picture is grainy, but isn’t she just SO pretty? And apparently quite chubby! Chubby cheeks, chubby belly!
    We did get one last piece of furniture for the nursery, so I am finally ready to take some photos and do a big reveal. I’m hoping for some good lighting this weekend, and then a blog post next week. Oh, and I almost forgot, we had some maternity photos taken this past weekend as well! I cannot wait to see them and then to share!

    That’s about it for the weekly update, I’ll leave you with my 35 week bump. Apparently that striped tank and brown sweater is my favourite outfit…

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Homemade funfetti cupcakes!

    I always volunteer to make birthday cakes for my husband's family. I love baking and cake decorating and I appreciate the opportunity to work on my mad skillzzzzz. This time though, since I haven't been feeling the greatest, I knew I didn't want to take on a whole cake or anything complicated, so I went with cupcakes!

    I still wanted to try something new, and I remembered my sister-in-law mentioning that she likes the kind of cake with sprinkles in it. I've never made that from scratch, I've only ever made it from a box. So I set out to find a recipe. I picked one that used ingredients I already had in the house. I found this one on What Katie's Baking. The only thing I substituted was 5% cream instead of whole milk. I took a couple of in progress shots using Instagram :)
    I cheated a little. The icing on these cupcakes was from a can, *gasp*!! I found a can in my cupboard and the convenience just really appealed to me. I did spruce it up a bit by whipping it with some extra icing sugar using my hand mixer. This makes the can stuff a little stiffer so that it can be piped on the cupcakes! I haven't been able to make homemade chocolate icing that's as good as the stuff in the can.

    The cupcakes turned out alright, they were a little denser than I would have liked, I feel like they should have been light and fluffy, and moist. They were tasty but kind of dry. I probably wouldn't make this exact recipe again, but I will definitely try homemade funfetti cake again!

    33 Weeks!!

    This week marks 33 weeks pregnant! I'm starting to get pretty uncomfortable, I can really feel all of the extra weight I've been carrying around, and I can feel my skin stretching. Fortunately, some days are better than others. I'm sure pretty soon I will be uncomfortable all day long every day...

    I've been having awful Braxton Hicks contractions every time I do any sort of exercise, which is unpleasant. I can't even walk around the block without this happening. It makes it kind of hard to stay in any kind of decent shape, even though I know BH are harmless, it still completely freaks me out.

    Next week I am starting biweekly midwife appointments! At 38 weeks I will go every week. That really makes the end seem so much closer. If I go to 42 weeks (furthest I'll go before being induced) then I will have only have 7 more appointments!

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    32 weeks!

    I'm about a week behind, 32 weeks came and went, and I am little late writing about it. There isn't too much of note. We are really trying to relax and we're slowly getting everything crossed off the to-do list. The nursery is *so close* to ready to be shared. My mom is coming up in a couple of weeks and she's bringing a couple of finishing touches with her. After that you can definitely look forward to some pictures on here :)

    I have started to feel uncomfortable, especially at work after sitting in my desk chair all day. It feels like there is a ton of extra weight on me... oh wait, there is! Well now it all makes sense ;)

    Here I am, 32 weeks!

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    Our mini-babymoon!

    Two weeks ago we drove about an hour and a half from our house to spend two nights at a bed and breakfast (Islandview Inn) in the little touristy town called Gananoque. Since it was winter, there wasn't much to do, but that was exactly what we had in mind anyway. It was a fabulously quiet weekend.
    I finished reading The Happiness Project, and started and finished an excellent book called The Birth House. Both were great reads and I definitely recommend them! Since we spent most of our time in the room, those are the only pictures I have... oops. At least the room was beautiful :) I didn't even take any photos of us! Or the town! Or the food we ate, although outside of the amazing breakfast we were served both morning, there wasn't much to rave about on the food front.
    If you're ever in the 1000 Islands area I definitely recommend the Islandview Inn! It was gorgeous, close to everything, which would have been a bigger deal in the summer, and the owner Lisa was so friendly, and such an amazing cook! All in all it was such a great break from my to-do lists and nursery preparation!

    Have you been on any mini-vacations lately?
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