Jul 31, 2009

First Vaccines...

First off, let me say that my little sweetie had her best night's sleep last night - almost 7 hours! Of course Mommy didn't sleep that long as I woke up at 2am waiting for her to wake up and she didn't budge until 4am!! :p Stupid Mommy!

Now, let's talk vaccines. Oh my god, what a sin! You're telling me they can send a man to the moon but they can't have vaccines in oral form or have it in one freakin' needle instead of two!?!? What the HECK? We took tylenol an hour before as the doc recommended but I don't know how much worse it could have been. I mean, it wasn't too bad but Jane's never REALLY cried, like tears and everything. Mostly she just fusses and fake cries to get her point across. It was heartbreaking! The doc gave her a shot in one leg, she screeched and then he did the other leg right after! Of course I started to calm her immediately but then 2-3 mins past and the docs coming back into the room trying to kick me out cause he has other patients! What the heck am I supposed to do, drag her, the car seat, my purse, etc. etc. into the waiting room and try to calm her down out there!! Stupid.

She stopped crying after a few minutes and I brought her down to the car, where it took me 30 minutes to get her calm enough that I could leave. I gave her boob right away and she feel asleep but she was literally still cry-heaving in her sleep (you know where they kind of suck in a bunch of air and make this whimpering noise?). I tried to put her in the car seat at that point and she starting crying again - so hard that she was struggling to breathe! I took her in my arms immediately and just held her for 20 mins until she was passed out and not whimpering anymore. God love her.

She seems to be doing fine now - sleeping contently in her swing. Doc said to give her the tylenol every 4 hours for the rest of the day to keep the pain down and to help with the mild temperature that is apparently a side effect of the vaccines.

So, in summary, I did better than I expected as I fully expected to break down crying myself. And, truthfully, it wasn't AS bad as I had prepared myself for. However, it was still heartbreaking and I just wanna die when I change her diaper and see the two bandaids stuck to her chubby little thighs!

On a brighter note, to make you laugh, I cried at a walmart commercial yesterday! ha ha ha. Here's the scenario: Mom dropping daughter off at college, went to walmart to get all the stuff to make her dorm room awesome, Mom leaves and, as walking away, daughter calls out to her and runs into her arms for a goodbye hug. I lost it. Seriously, am I going to be like this forever? Crying over the past/future moments between a Mom and baby?!?! ha ha ha. I crack myself up.

Jen :)

PS - Heading to Newfoundland tomorrow, have written some posts that will be posted throughout next week to keep y'all in the loop. Hopefully I will also be able to write some "live" posts during my trip!

PPS - See the updated "Baby Jane Slideshow" (on the right) for all of Jane's professional shots! Thanks again Kerianne - you are a GENIUS!

Jul 30, 2009

8 Weeks

Jane is 8 weeks old tomorrow... can't believe it. I'm convinced that you count your pregnancy and the early months of your baby's life in weeks to fool you into thinking less time has passed. Of course, in pregnancy, we say 40 weeks because if we said 10 months, we'd have a population downturn. But in the early months of your baby's life, as it flies by, it's easier to think that only 8 weeks have passed vs. 2 months! Like saying I have 10,000 pennies vs. 100 bucks!

We're doing well, Jane and I. She's starting to sleep for longer periods, up to 5 hours, some nights. Some being the key word. I keep trying to "fill 'er up" as much as possible before bed, thinking she'll sleep longer and, thus, I'll sleep longer. But it seems there's no rhyme or reason. On nights where I think she hasn't eaten much, she'll sleep for 5 hours. Then the next night she'll drink a ton, sleep for 2 hours and miraculously be hungry again! These nights are difficult.

I'm getting more done during the day, becoming more willing to actually put her down (sometimes) when she's sleeping. :) At least, we're now getting out for a 20-30min walk most days now. Part of that is that I've solved a worry I had, thanks to a girlfriend. I was worried about walking with Jane when it was sunny, because at some point in my walk, she'd be in direct sunlight for awhile. I didn't want to put both stroller covers over her because I was worried she'd overheat. However, today I used a strategically draped blanket to cover her up when the sun was on her... it worked perfectly and still let the breeze in. It must sound like a crazy concern... to NOT walk when it's sunny, but it was a real one! They don't put these simple concerns in baby books but they should!

We're going on our first vacation and plane ride on Saturday! I'm a nervous flyer myself and I'm even more worried now flying with Jane. However, I'm hoping I will surprise myself and be more brave flying with her because I'll want to avoid making her nervous. Fingers crossed.

There will likely be a few less posts from August 1 - 11th as, like I said, I'm away.

Jen :)

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Jul 29, 2009

MOmMy bRaIn Mishap

I just came back inside with Janey after we got a few minutes of fresh air from the patio. As I walked the patio and took in the sun, I noticed nothing different, had no warning signs or "drafts". It wasn't until I got inside, went upstairs and looked at myself in the mirror that I realized my boob was hanging out. Full out of my nursing top, everything exposed! ha ha ha. Awesome.

Jul 28, 2009

Janey from the Block

Dan and I are currently bowing down to the "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD. If you haven't checked it out, do so. It's not "rocket appliances" as my good friend Bubbles would say but it puts all the common sense you have into a strategy for dealing with a baby who's fussing. With my mommy brain, I apparently didn't have the power to do this for myself...

Basically, they suggest practicing the 5 S's for a fussing baby:
  • Swaddling
  • Shooshing or white noise
  • Side or stomach lying position
  • Swinging or "jiggling"
  • Sucking
Jane is not a fussy baby (knocking on wood right now), but sometimes she cries and despite what most people would say - a baby only cries if they are hungry or uncomfortable (gas) - sometimes she just cries because she's grouchy. The reason I know this is because as soon as I swaddle her, lie her on her side and jiggle her for a second, she stops, opens her eyes bright and starts cooing. If she's hungry or gassy, this does not work! Gas does not disappear in 1 second.

Looking at the 5 S's, I was already doing most of these things... but without strategy and technique. Watching the DVD and learning these tools gave me confidence in knowing how to respond to Jane when she's fussy and, most of the time, being able to soothe her. Also important, it's given Dan that confidence. It's no longer Mommy's job to calm Jane down. In fact, Dan's so confident now, he seems to actually enjoy when Jane fusses so that he can show off his new skills!

Jen :)

PS - See my newly posted "disclaimer". :p

Jul 27, 2009


Three books down in 5 days, one to go...enough said.

Daily post below :)



I decided I should make this clear... EVERY baby is different and the things I suggest or recommend are things that have worked for me. They may work for you or they may make your life a living hell! I am not an expert (obviously, duh, have you read my blog?) so if you read something you disagree with or that didn't work for you - tell us what did!! The more everyone shares their experience and advice, the better. THAT is my intention for this blog... not just the Jenny-Chronicles! :p

Jen :)

Jul 26, 2009

You CAN Handle the Truth #4

Despite whatever delusions you may have about having a Heidi Klum-esque body post-baby... you are mistaken!

Your tummy will NOT be pretty. Envision Jello with a layer of skin over top. Awesome. Pregnancy is basically the anti-liposuction for your stomach... like someone took fat and injected it under your, previously taught, skin.

When I'm standing, you can barely notice a difference (mind you, I "ain't" wearing the tight t's that I used to either)... but sit me down and you could get lost in there right now.

On the plus, after 15-20 weeks of being a giant person (first 20 weeks of preggers doesn't count), you're still gonna feel skinny as hell! ha ha ha, so enjoy it! :)

Jul 25, 2009

Bye Bye Bumper Pads

Last night I questioned the existence of the ever controversial bumper pad... my conclusion, the thing is a potential death trap!

When my beautiful baby bedding arrived, during pregnancy, I was surprised to find a huge bumper pad included with my purchase. I mean, in pre-natal class, you're basically told that removing bumper pads/loose blankets is as important as laying your baby on his/her back in preventing SIDS. I never understood why. I even considered, because I have the sleeprite positioners (see picture)
, putting the bumper pad in, thinking the sleeprites would prevent her from moving around and potentially suffocating in the bumper pad. I decided against this as they also say that bumper pads reduce circulation of air which can increase the SIDS risk.

I woke up last night and looked over at Jane in her cradle. She had somehow wiggled herself so that she was sleeping diagonally with her head almost right against the side of the cradle (which is completely open, similar to the sides of a crib so no worries). All I could think was OH MY GOD, this is why bumper pads are the devil! Had she been in a crib with a bumper pad, she may have suffocated!

I had to pass along this story... I know it was purely a "what if" moment but, as I said, during pregnancy, I had considered leaving the bumper pad in because I thought she'd be immobile! Obviously, it's not worth the risk for a "prettier" nursery!

I'm sure had that stupid bumper pad not been included with my bedding package, I could have saved at least $50... instead that $50 is shoved (miraculously) into my linen closet, taking up a whole shelfs-worth of space! Crappity crappers :p

Hope this saves the moms-to-be out there even the consideration of leaving the bumper pad in their crib!

Jen :)

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Jul 24, 2009

Kick My Ass

I don't care if you've seen this video a thousand times... it's still funny as heck!

I anticipate similar home videos to this in my house... :p

Jen :)

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Jul 23, 2009

Dear Boobs

Dear Boobs,

First off, thank you. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that you, after 26 years of basically doing nothing but costing me extra dough in bras, are now nurturing my baby Jane. It's so strange when I think that there's MILK coming out of you! MILK! I mean how weird would it be if I could cut a piece of tenderloin off my thigh or pick apples from my hair?!?!

I think I shall name you as it suddenly feels necessary as you've each taken on a personality of your own. Left boob, you will be called Bertha... as you consistently engorged yourself and end up squirting Jane in the face every time she feeds from you. Right boob, you will be Bessie... because you are fairly well behaved and slightly smaller than Bertha! ha ha ha.

I realize you owe me nothing after the sacrifice you've made since I got pregnant... you've grown, changed colour, been chewed to death and are basically unrecognizable to me from my pre-pregnancy tah-tahs. However, I'm a woman and "if you give a mouse a cookie"... so, what I'm asking is not a simple task and may, in fact, be impossible. Here we go - any chance that, when I'm done breastfeeding, you could not deflate too such an extreme that I have to get larger pants so that you can be tucked into the waistline? I think it's going to be hard enough to get my sexy back without having to worry about picking my boobs up off my lap when I stand up.


Jen :)

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Jul 22, 2009

Jane @ 6 Weeks

Sleep last night: 6 hours
Weight lost: 23lbs
Frozen yougurt servings per day: 2 (hasn't affected above metric at all)
Shower: No
Exercise: Thinking about it
Stinky additions: Been pooped on + spit up
Addictions: Twilight, True Blood, So You Think You Can Dance

Jane turned six weeks on Friday - I can't believe how quickly a month and a half has gone by! She's changed so much since her first few days out of my belly... I keep saying "she's grown up so much" which sounds ridiculous as she's still so tiny and delicate.

According to my Baby Centre update she "should" have achieved the following developmental milestones by now...
  • Holding her head up
  • Exploring extremities
  • Learning to soothe herself
  • Babytalking
  • Listening to and enjoying music
  • Eyes can track objects
  • Smiling (about 50% of babies by now)
Jane's pretty much conquered every one of these, most of them before her six week mark which convinces me she's a genius! ha ha ha. I'm sure every Mom believes there little one is above average. Fact is, every baby is completely different and these development "schedules" are likely just set up to give Moms one more things to worry about. :p

Jane discovered her hands probably two weeks ago - punching and grabbing everything. That's about the same time I started clipping her nails... not by coincidence. My boobs were starting to look like I'd been attacked by wild animals. She has found her legs within the last few days. She used to lay on my lap, content and happy. She now lays there kick-boxing my boobs...boom, boom, boom! Add the bruises to the scratches, I guess!

My favourite development is her smiling, which started two weeks ago. Fairly consistently, she smiles when she sees you and, more recently, when she hears my voice. It makes me the happier than I could have imagined. The first 4-5 weeks, I was doing everything to make sure she was content and thriving without much response. Now, it's like she's telling me that I'm doing a good job because she's happy to see me! I praise her to death and cuddle the heck out of her when she smiles because I'm so scared she going to stop - Like she'll not realize that's the way to communicate happiness. Add that to the "stupid Mommy worries" list.

Jen :p

PS - Don't tell anyone ;) but I've watched the Twilight movie twice... it's NOWHERE near as good as the book but I'm totally addicted! I couldn't understand the hooplah about this Robert Pattinson (is that his name?) guy but now I want posters for my bedroom. ha ha ha. Do you think Dan would mind? He doesn't sleep in there right now anyways! :p

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Jul 21, 2009

Mommy Money Saver #2

Previously, I would head to the grocery store and buy anything and everything I thought we "needed" to eat for the week. Problem was, I'd get home and I'd have a bunch of random food, no idea what to cook with it, and, never fail, I'd end up back at the grocery store 3 or 4 more times throughout the week to pick up a few things I needed to make meals. End result - wasted money, thrown out food, and no room in my pantry, freezer or fridge because of the collection of unused foods.

When I lost my job, I had to re-vamp everything to try and save every penny. So I started planning. Now, every Sunday morning, I sit down with my cook books and plan out the entire week's meals. I make my grocery list to include only the items I need to make these meals (plus your everyday essentials - cereal, bread, fruits, etc.). End result - fabulous meals that I don't have to think about (I know what we're having every day, what I need to thaw in the morning, I have the ingredients, etc.) and I have an super organized kitchen! By the end of the week my fridge and pantry are basically empty as I have used up everything in them, if I planned correctly.

This doesn't take a lot of time, maybe 20 mins on Sunday morning but it saves you hours in shopping time, planning time, cooking time, etc. Not to mention, like I said, the money you save because you aren't buying things you aren't going to use!

Pre-planning I was spending about $125 at my weekly grocery store trip. BUT then I'd spend at least another $100 on additional food so I could actually put a meal together or on eating out! Now, my weekly grocery bill is about $150 total and that's it... no eating out, no extra trips, period. I will only spend more if items I regularly use are on sale and then I will stock up!! That's key!

Hope this helps - give it a try, it's actually pretty rewarding (I'm such a geek)!

Jen :)

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Jul 20, 2009

Hellish Heat

Am currently sweating to death and, apparently, this is turning my brain further into mush as I cannot even put two words together... let alone right a post (I realize it should be "write" but I left this mistake to prove how much I'm losing it).

I had thought the hot flashes would end with the end of my pregnancy but it turns out those little spikes were just hints of what was to come... it's like my internal temperature is set to fifty degrees higher than it was pre-baby! I'm cremating here! I hate to complain but if there's any Summer to do it, it's this one. Except for the 15 minute walk Jane and I take in the mornings, I don't really get out of the house much... so the Summer is essentially useless to me! Not only useless, it's annoying as I'm constantly washing my face and re-applying deodorant. Always my favourite season, I find myself yearning for the cooler temperatures of the Fall. Yet, I'm dreading the Fall as it means another few months have gone by and that I have even less time left of my maternity leave with my sweet girl.

Thankfully, I have found some distraction from the heat by becoming completely addicted to the Twilight books (I realize I'm late on the Twilight train). Started and finished book number one on the weekend and then watched the movie this morning... the movie never does the book any justice. Regardless, I find myself turning into a 15 year old girl over the dude who plays Edward...ha ha ha. Just ordered the last three books from amazon and will be anxiously awaiting the postman from now on, whereas usually I pretend I'm not home :p It's also nice for Jane and I to have some quiet time vs. watching TV or listening to music.

Had my longest outing yesterday without Jane... 3 whole hours! I know it may sound crazy but it was really hard! I completely trust Dan so I wasn't worried about her, I just didn't want to be away from her for that long. What if she noticed I was gone? What if she wondered where her Mommy was? It was tough. But, nonetheless, I got home, she was content, and probably didn't notice my absence at all or, at least, was not completely distraught as I worried (and half hoped). :p I find myself thinking about those who leave their children and family... what kind of person could do that? The most selfish? I can't leave her for three hours and there are actually people out there who just take off?!?! Insanity.


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Jul 18, 2009

Tips-N-Tricks: Birth Announcements

Some people are for birth announcements, some think it's a waste of time and money. I'm traditional, so sending out birth announcements was never a question... how to do it and save money, however, was.

I'd say the cheapest way is just to go on the Walmart website and use their template which is fine, but just not my style. I wanted to have something different. I found a few different options that are more expensive than Walmart but WAY cheaper than the typical announcement that you would pay $1 or more per card (e.g. tinyprints.com - super cute but costly).

I found three different ways to get a unique announcement for a good price:
  1. Vistaprint - You can use any template, insert a photo, edit the format basically any way you'd like. Plus, the announcements are done on thick card stock which is nicer and sturdier than photo paper. I used Vistaprint for our announcements and it cost me $30 for 70 announcements, including envelopes and shipping.
  2. Digital Design - Some online birth announcement sellers offer "digital design" for around $50. Basically, as opposed to paying on a per-card basis, you select your design, send in your pic and information, they design it for you and send you a jpeg that you can print yourself at Walmart (as a photo) for cheap. If you're doing a large number of announcements, this would probably be the cheapest way to do something unique. Here are a few Canadian websites I found that offer this service: Every Moment Matters ($45) and Little Star Greetings ($45).
  3. Etsy - There are some Etsy sellers that offer digital design for CHEAP (like $10-$15). Go to the Etsy site and search for "birth announcements" and you will find a bunch of sellers offering to design your announcement for you and, as with above, they will send you a jpeg that you can print at Walmart (as a photo) yourself. You'll likely have to find envelopes yourself.
As I said, this won't appeal to everyone as you may not want to do announcements or, if you do, you may be looking at the cheapest option... just thought I'd pass along what I found that worked for me :)


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Jul 17, 2009

6 Week Post-Baby Check-Up

Had my 6 week post-baby check-up today... had no idea what to expect. Only through common sense did I think it was a good idea to shave my legs and "manicure" my you-know-what! :p Thank God too as I got the whole sha-bang, ha ha ha. Even got a breast exam which was completely embarrassing as I'm sure, as he checked for lumps, he got a shot or two of milk in the eye (it was feeding time and the boobs were ready and waiting). He being the key word... I really should have taken the time to find a female GP. Not that I really care, or cared before I guess, but as I go through these female moments, I realize that I am missing something in my male doc... understanding. With a female doc, especially one with children, I wouldn't have any embarrassment with my leaky boobs and mangled vajajay... not so with the he-doc.

Anyways, apparently all is fine down there and up here and everywhere. I wanted to get a script for the birth control pill - for the obvious reasons and for a little hormone control as I'm dying to get rid of these stupid pimples on my face! Unfortunately, however, he-doc explained that any type of hormone "alteration" could effect my milk supply... crapity crappers. I really can't afford to screw that up as it's hard enough figuring it out when it's "normal". So, he says to use condoms... which I'm fairly certain won't help me with the pimples. :p I am going to re-consider the pill once Jane is 6 months - anyone have any experience here? I know because I'm bf-ing, I would need the progestin-only pill but that's about all I know. I'll have to do some research into the likelihood of it affecting my breastmilk... right now it just doesn't seem worth it for any risk.

Let me know, through comments, if you have any advice or experience with the pill.

Jen :)

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Jul 16, 2009

You CAN Handle the Truth #3

Having an episiotomy or tear doesn't hurt...until you leave the hospital, have to pee, walk, stand, sit, put on pants or anything else of the moving nature. :p

*On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being contraction pain (a.k.a. really bad), epi pain is like a 4 so it isn't too bad, tear pain is like a 5 or 6 depending on the action (peeing cranked mine back up to an 8). On the plus, my pain was nearly gone within a week and a half or so.

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Jul 15, 2009

Words of Wisdom from My Mom

My Mom is the best... She was the most amazing Mom to grow up with, always made everything so much fun (even being grounded) yet she somehow managed to keep us on the straight and narrow. I hope I can find the magic balance that allows me to be a "cool" Mom but also a Mom who you don't wanna mess with! She always said parenting was about lots of love and a healthy amount of fear... my sis and I stayed out of trouble - not because we were scared of being punished but because we didn't want to disappoint Mom - GENIUS parenting!

Anyways, a few weeks after Jane was born, Mom sent me a sweet letter giving me all of her motherly advice. I've tried to keep the Jen-specific stuff out and just pass along the valuable words of, what I would consider, the world's best Mom...

"Jenny, you are now a Mom – the most wonderful yet overwhelming responsibility God can bestoe on a woman. This has changed you forever in such an amazing way and the journey which lies ahead will be exciting and energizing – sharing with Dan, a chance to relive childhood through another lens, that of your children in today’s world – so the learnings continue for you! It’s fabulous!
  1. A very experienced obstetrician told me that in the first 6-8 weeks, newborns will take every bit of energy, patience, and sleep you have and give very little back – be aware of this. Then suddenly, they smile and all is forgotten. Physically this is tough darling.
  2. Jane’s two simple triggers in her new life are now are hunger and pain – that’s it! She will communicate only by crying and you will often be at a loss, in the short term, as what she is telling you – that’s normal until you get to know one another really well.
  3. Understand that her biological need to suck will need to be separated at times from her need to feed. She will need that comfort. I fell into a trap with Nancy in the early months – being a La Leche Leaguer, I went by the book and fed on demand – often bloating her with food and never giving her digestive system a rest. It was my Mom who told me that her little tummy needed a break – she made me reflect on how it felt always having a “full” feeling. Then once my milk was fully established, I fed every 3-4 hrs, providing a break for all.
  4. The La Leche also didn’t believe in soothers, so with Nancy I didn’t introduce one in the early weeks – for me this was a mistake. Nancy got so attached to my breasts, that she refused to take any sort of artificial nipple. I have to say, this was so tough on me. It was stressful as I really didn’t think I’d be able to go back to work, I couldn’t leave her for more than 2-3 hrs (or I wouldn’t because I was afraid she’d get hungry). So, my advice, don’t be extreme – introduce all and balance your offerings – moderation!
  5. Crying – babies cry – it’s their only form of communication. And Mom’s absolutely hate to hear their babies cry, often crying with them in the early months, as you adjust to each other. Use your good judgment – my Mom said that there is no way to spoil a newborn baby – trust your instincts – sometimes a good cry is great for burps, bowels, abs, and exercise.
  6. My Mom always believed in snuggling – you cannot snuggle enough – wrapped comfortably and loved and kissed.
  7. You have read a lot about babies and life with babies – this is great – please also know your Mom is always her here any time. Although, I did not write it all down, I have much to share and remember things well.
  8. All hormones are drained, every bit of energy reserved is drained – be aware, be kind, take short cuts, enjoy – you want to do it all so well – that’s great, however, not always possible. Remember, “if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.
  9. Babies are so flexible and strong - go with the flow of Jane - she will make you stretch, she will change your direction, she will make you a different person. Your energy will be Jane's energy - have a good glass of wine every now and then - she'll love you for it!
In the end, I have said it so many times - do what your heart tells you to do – trust your instincts; be moderate with all. Listen closely to those who LOVE you – they will offer up some great learnings – we listen to and research other opinions on cars, business, houses, movies – continue to listen to some practical wisdom on life and kids. Make well informed decisions that work for you both and ensure it feels right and good. When in doubt, share your concerns and questions, call Mom & Dad!"

Hope you enjoy these few words of wisdom as much as I did... xoxo Mom, Love you!

Jen :)

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Jul 14, 2009

Cradle Cap Conundrum

Calling on all Moms - need your help again. Jane has suddenly gotten a little bit of a dry scalp - a.k.a. cradle cap. Jane's scalp gets quite oily within a day of washing her hair and apparently that's what causes cradle cap, excess oil production which seems insane that excess oil causes dry skin!

My girlfriend, Kristie, recommended baby oil on her scalp, which I'm sure will work but kinda sucks as I don't want to ruin all her clothes, my clothes, bedding, and furniture with grease stains. I know when she was first born and had a little dry skin on her feet, the baby oil cleared it up within a few days. Will it do the same with her scalp or will I have to apply baby oil every day forever? If you click the link above it says to do baby oil before the bath and then wash it out, does this work? Found another website that says washing baby's hair more frequently will help get rid of the oil but, obviously, won't affect oil production. Also, is it best to brush the flakes out or leave them as is? HELP! ha ha ha.

If anybody has any tips-n-tricks for dealing with cradle cap, please leave a comment! :)

Thanks as always,

Jen :)

PS - Had to attach a pic of her in her hat today as I thought it might help the baby oil absorb better. Too cute. Oh, and that smiley pic is just too cute to keep to myself ;) ha ha ha.

Jul 13, 2009

Dissecting Daddy: After the First Month

Here it is, a little late, but nonetheless, completed - gave us something to do on our extra long road trip. I say "extra" because it should have been a 2hr drive to Moncton but it ended up a 3.5 hr as we got 30mins out and I realized that I had forgotten Dan's suit and our dresses! OMG, I've lost it! :p Oh, BTW, also forgot that we had a dog so we ended up having to take Molly with us to the hotel... one word, hell.

Jen: First month down, what has been different than what you expected about being a Dad, our relationship, basically anything?
Dan: I thought it would be harder. Not that it is easy, but I thought there would be a steeper learning curve for us both. We're adapting really quickly. Jane has pretty much been as I expected as far as her behaviour (crying, feeding, sleeping, etc.), actually a little easier than I expected.
Jen: Knock on wood. :p Anything different about our relationship?
Dan: I'm surprised that I'm more attracted to you than ever... not that I expected to be less attracted to you but I didn't expect such an increase.
Jen: Why do you think that is?
Dan: Cause you gave me our little girl. It's a different chemistry and bond now than it was before.
Jen: Yeah, I agree. But I've been really bad at accepting your compliments and ever growing "affection", ha ha ha. (He can't keep his hands off me and I love it and hate it!).
Dan: I like that you're a little vulnerable right now... I don't like that you're feeling insecure but it makes me feel needed that you aren't your regular confident self. That you need me to give you more security about yourself right now.

Jen: What (if anything ha ha ha) has annoyed or angered you about me in the last month?
Dan: I didn't like that you expected me to conform to your style.
Jen: Do you have an example?
Dan: Like when Jane is in her swing and starts fussing. You would immediately jump up and pick her up or get her soother. I'll leave her be for a few seconds to see if she calms herself down, which she often does. You sometimes get upset with me for this because it's not the way you would do it.
Jen: Yeah, I'm learning now that you're right about that most of the time... she often fusses for a second and then goes right back to sleep. It just breaks my heart to hear her cry so I often run to her side before she gets a chance to go back to sleep. You got frustrated with me in the 3rd week because you said I was doing great as a Mom but not so good as a wife, explain...
Dan: You were doing everything perfectly with Jane but you were struggling a little with being a Mom and getting everything else done. You wouldn't put Jane down, even for a second and (as a result) couldn't get anything else done, even though you had the time. I also felt a little neglected, not that I need a lot of attention but just a little affection here and there would have been nice.
Jen: Yeah, I'm actually enjoying the fact that I can cook supper again (I love to cook) and do some cleaning/errands around the house. I'm working on giving you a little somethin' somethin', I've always sucked at the "spur of the moment" affection.
* I want to point out that he had a hard time finding something to answer here, which both shocked me and made me happy :)

Jen: What has surprised you most about me as a new Mom?
Dan: You have a lot of patience... a heck of a lot more with Jane that you ever have with me!
Jen: That's because her brain is 27 years younger than yours!

Jen: What advice do you have for other Dads for the first month?
Dan: Take as much time as you can with your baby because you get so little in the first month. Jane needs her Mom so much right now that if I didn't snuggle with her every chance I got, I'd never see her! You need to show your baby lots of affection, even if it seems it's not having an impact or that baby doesn't notice... I don't get much of a response from Jane at this point.
Jen: She's just starting to smile at me now. I'm sure you'll make her smile soon! What else?
Dan: Tell your wife she looks skinny, A LOT! No, seriously, make sure she knows you are still attracted to her - this is really important.
Jen: What about helping out?
Dan: Do more. Because I can't do a lot of the things to take care of Jane, I feel like taking care of the cleaning and doing some cooking helps me take care of her indirectly because it gives you the time to take care of her.
Jen: That it?
Dan: Oh, DON'T complain about being tired when you're sleeping in the guestroom and unaffected by baby's sleeping habits! ha ha ha.
Jen: Idiot. I want to add something here that you and I talked about last week and you've definitely gotten better at (I think you just weren't aware)... consistently letting your wife know that she's doing a great job and she's a great Mom. I think we're all feeling a little insecure about everything, including our abilities as a Mom. Make sure your wife knows that you notice how much she does and how great she is doing.

Jen: Any worries after the first month?
Dan: I'm worried about making time for each other. Generally we don't get much quality time together lately but I know that it's best for Jane that you stick to a schedule like you do - with bathtime and bedtime and stuff. I'm also worried that your brain will never repair itself! It's like your mommy brain is increasing at an alarming rate! ha ha ha.
Jen: I don't disagree (see first paragraph of post re: forgetting clothes and dog). :p

Jen: Anything else?
Dan: I wish we were wealthy and could give Jane everything she wants.
Jen: But all she wants now is love and boob!
Dan: I know, I just want to be the ultimate provider.
Jen: I'd say that's a typical Daddy concern. But Jane is pretty spoiled rotten and, like I said, no child is more loved!

We will check back with Super-Dad-Dan in a month and what else he has for us... You are the best hunny and I love you for everything you've done this month! I always knew you'd be a great Dad but you are a better husband than I could have ever expected... xoxoxo.

Jen :)

PS - New pics in the slideshow (on the right) from our road trip... Jane looked adorable in her dress from her Auntie Karalynn!

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Jul 11, 2009

Tips-N-Tricks: Diaper Changes

Most everyone knows how to change a diaper, so I have no advice for that... except, be quick! ha ha ha. My first week I went through 2 diapers a change as soon as I'd get the dirty one off, she'd pee in the clean one... this is totally sick, but, during one change, she farted while she was peeing and she basically projectile peed across the nursery! It got in my hair! ha ha ha.

My advice re: diapering is VASELINE! Slather on the vaseline during every change to avoid diaper rash. We got started on this right away but then our public health nurse visited and told us it was unnecessary... thanks a lot lady! Within 2-3 days Jane had diaper rash (and I'm religious about regular diaper changes) and after 2 weeks of Penaten cream, it's finally 99% gone and I'm back to vaseline all the time.

Another tip I'd recommend is putting a thick layer of vaseline over the diaper rash cream. Initially, I kept finding the diaper rash cream was absorbed by the diaper in less than an hour... Putting vaseline on top reduced the absorption. I also did lots of diaper-free time to let the air dry out her little toosh as well.

Happy Bum-Cleaning!

Jen :)

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Jul 10, 2009

Operation: Get Sexy Back :p

I'm stunted at the 22lbs lost mark, I think, which is fine but starting to piss me off a little cause I don't fit in any summer clothes (damn me for giving away my "fat-me" clothes). I started working out again with running this week but I'm starting from scratch again with interval training (3 mins walking, 1 min running). It's really easy but I want to start slow. Plus, the after effects are not the same as they used to be - my hip JOINT was killing me yesterday after my run on Wednesday - what the heck, I'm not 80! :p I figure I'll run 3-4 times a week and see if I can squeeze some weight training in as well. I love strength training but, fact is, some days I just don't feel like it! I have no excuses. I could say "I can't find the time" or "I'm too tired" but truth is, somedays I just don't want to! Well, there is some truth to the other two excuses seeing as there are currently three baskets of clean laundry in my bedroom unfolded and nowhere near ready to be put away... been there since Monday. So what do I prioritize? Seriously? I'm going to want to prioritize the laundry but that's likely because it's easier than doing a crapload of lunges and squats but the lunges and squats would make me feel better after... hmm, perhaps I'll think about it for today and see what unfolds tomorrow ;)

We're off to a wedding today, our first road trip! We'll be driving for 2.5 hours so I'll let you know how that goes. I'm more worried about the fact that our stupid hotel doesn't have early check-in so where the heck am I going to feed and dress Jane, not to mention myself! She's got the cutest dress to wear which I'm convinced means she'll spit up all over it... I'm bringing a back up. Pretty much guaranteed I'll have spit up on me but who's going to be looking at me?!?!

Hopefully found a solution to the vitamin D issue - Baby-D Drops which are one-drop Vit D that you can put on baby's soother or on your finger. I'm also trying Ovol which is supposed to help babies move gas more easily... keep ya posted. So far so good as she didn't projectile vomit it up this morning (SCORE!).

Going to try and do another "Dissecting Daddy interview" with Dan this weekend... the only time I get to see him! During the week he gets home from work, we eat supper, watch tv for an hour and then I head upstairs for bath and bedtime... definitely not the quality time we're used to! I can see how couples never have sex again - hard to have sex when you aren't ever in the same room (relax hunny, I promise we'll have sex again). :p

Jen :)

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Jul 9, 2009

Help Please!

Need your help with something...

We're having Jane's christening at the beginning of August while I'm home in Newfoundland. I don't have a family christening gown available to me, so what do I get for Jane to wear? I don't really love the long gowns and I have found some cute dresses online that I like... but is that ok?

What's customary? And, does anyone have any ideas of where I can get a nice dress/gown that isn't $200! I can't rationalize that kind of money for a 15 minute ceremony!

Comments please :)


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Jul 8, 2009

Mommy Money Saver #1

Check out flyerland... it's a one stop shop for Canadian flyers and coupons! I regularly check Walmart, Sears, Babies-R-Us, etc. for sales on baby items. It's updated daily - You'll quickly learn when your fav stores update their weekly flyer!

PS - Top Baby Blogs refreshed their voting, basically starting from scratch... if you like my blog, vote for me by clicking the icon below. I've found a lot of great Mom's this way! :)

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Jul 7, 2009

First Month Necessities

What I actually used in my first month:
  • Clothes: 10-12 jumpers, 10 onesies
  • 8 receiving blankets
  • 400+ wipes + 300 Diapers – found Pampers Swaddlers Newborn are the best
  • Vaseline and Diaper rash cream – Penaten or Zincofax
  • Baby lotion, Baby wash/shampoo (love the Johnson's Cocoa butter)
  • 15 face clothes (I use these for bathing and during feeding)
  • Vitamin D drops
  • Kolik drops (for gas, cramps, etc.)
  • Baby care kit - comb, nail clippers, etc.
  • 6-8 soothers
  • Swaddleme swaddling blanket – easy as pie, love this!
  • 3-4 boxes of nursing pads (I like Johnsons brand best)
  • Breastpump (I have this Medela pump and it's great)
  • Zip up or button up tops – easy access for bf-ing
  • Nipple cream - Lanolin
  • 2 packs maxipads – regular flow would have done for me, everyone’s different – didn’t need the giant diaper-like ones like I expected
  • Stretchy pants – wearing jeans killed my twat the first couple of weeks, lived in yoga pants
  • Swing
  • Vibrating bouncy chair
  • Diaper genie (essential)
  • 3-4 change table covers or change pads
  • Sleep-rite sleeping positioner
  • Baby laundry detergent and baby oxyclean – I do about 3-4 loads of baby clothes per week
  • Car seat and stroller – duh
  • Baby carrier – i.e. Snugli or sling, etc. (I have both and have used both for quick trips – to get the mail, around the mall, etc.)
  • Music – lullabies, or spa-like music (Solitudes CD by Dan Gibson is awesome) for playing during bath or bedtime
  • Cradle/bassinette with 2-3 fitted sheets (if you aren’t using the crib right away)
  • Activity gym (just started using, see my "Burping Machine" post)
  • Breastfeeding pillow - stopped using this early because it forces baby to feed laying level vs. with her head slightly elevated, but now have found a way to work it differently.
  • Diaper bag (duh)
  • Nightlight - so I can see her during the night without having to wake up and turn the lights on

What I haven’t used yet that I expected to:
  • Burping pads - anticipate using this now as I'm getting sick of cleaning spit up off my shoulder :p
  • Nursing canopy – haven’t been out much and would like to avoid bf-ing in public like the plague
  • "Outfits" – too much work at this point
  • Hooded towels (been using one of our big cozy towels instead)
  • Baby bathtub – expect to use once she’s bigger
  • Nursery - ha ha ha, except to change her bum 400 times a day :p
  • Monitor - hard not to hear her when she's right next to me :)
  • Rocking chair - expect will make up for this once Jane is sleeping in her nursery
I wish I had this list before I went shopping pre-baby...

Jen :)

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Jul 6, 2009

Vitamin D-RAMA

I mentioned in my bf-ing post how much I hated the vitamin D drops but now I need a solution! Before, Jane was having a hard time getting them down, so I broke up the 1ml dose into four smaller doses. But now, she's vomiting every time I give them to her, so I've stopped. What the heck do I do now? She's also stopped accepting the Kolic drops which she didn't have problems with before... it's like anything that doesn't taste like milk makes her gag and then she vomits. It's a sin for her and I'm officially out of clothes as everything's been barfed on! :p

Someone commented on my bf-ing post about some info on BabyCentre about one-drop vitamin D for infants... anybody know anything about this? I'm going to do some research today and see what options I have. I can put it in her bottle every other day, but I'm curious about what effect this would have, if any, as it will definitely alter the flavour of the milk. I thought perhaps I'd put it in the last ounce of milk so the entire bottle isn't "tainted". I'm going to call on my Fabulous Council of Pharmacists (FCP) :p - Sam, Kerianne and Laura - as well and see what they recommend.

Will keep you posted but I know I've gotten some AWESOME ideas/advice from "y'all" so far... so if anybody has suggestions, keep 'um comin'! ;)

Jen :)

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Jul 5, 2009

Tips-N-Tricks: Baby Clothes

To complete my baby "layette", I stuck mostly to the 0-3 mth size (thankfully as Jane didn't fit into newborn). I did buy a few, six each, newborn onesies and jumpers just in case. I didn't buy any newborn "outfits", only 0-3 mths, as I wasn't willing to maneuver jeans and a hoodie onto my 2 week old baby. So far, Jane is living in her onesies and jumpers as it's easy access for diaper changes and they are super comfy for her.

I bought clothes from Winners (Calvin Klein), Sears (Carters), Walmart (Gerber) and Superstore/Loblaws (Joe Fresh). After washing everything, I was shocked at how much some of the brands shrunk - a lot of the 0-3 mth clothes ended up the same size as the newborn stuff! The Joe Fresh clothing has held up the best after several washes, has the cutest style and is, by far, the cheapest. It is my TOP PICK for baby clothes! Unfortunately, pretty sure Joe is Canadian only, so second to that, I would choose Carters. Carters is a bit more expensive but is great quality and washes well. Costco has been carrying Carters items recently and the price is great - like $7 for a little outfit.

I would also recommend hitting the sale racks in the Spring (for winter clothes) and Fall (for summer clothes). I was able to get tons of fall/winter clothes post-season for CHEAP! Buying after-season can save you at least 50%. Even Gap can have some good deals - I love Baby Gap, but seriously, I don't pay $30 on a t-shirt for me! I have banished myself from the Gap after my last mall trip... I thought I'd "have a look" and ended up spending way too much on a few outfits because I have no will power. :p

Lastly, I would stick to buying only the essentials under after baby arrives... onesies, jumpers, etc. I bought a few cute outfits for Janey for the summer and I'm not sure she'll get to wear them all before she out-grows them... stupid me. If you are going to buy outfits, don't wash them and keep the tags/receipts just in case.

Jen :)

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Jul 4, 2009

Breastfeeding - What I didn't know...

When it comes to breastfeeding, I'm a devotee. I learned as much as I could pre-baby to make sure I was prepared and educated on what to do, how to get a good latch, etc. Yet, everything I read could not have prepared me for the challenges and frustrations of breastfeeding... I never anticipated it would be so difficult for both baby and I to figure out.

Here are some things I did not know before I started breastfeeding -
  • You will know when your latch isn't right... it hurts like hell if the baby is sucking on your nipple only and not a big chunk of your areola. Plus it is hard as hell to get babe off your nipple if their latch is good.
  • There are two types of milk - foremilk and hindmilk. Hindmilk is the fatty milk at the "end" of your boob and it's important for baby to get this. I knew this part... what I didn't know is how challenging it is to make sure baby gets this. Who knows when you're near the "end" of your boob? And Jane often only fed for short spurts in the beginning. AND you're told to alternate boobs each feed, but if baby is only feeding for 10mins and then feeding again an hour later, should you alternate? Personally, I haven't been. I've been going back to boob #1 if that's the case. I think I've got it on track now... think being the key word. Every day is a new adventure with bf-ing.
  • You are going to get pressure from everyone about everything (soothers, bottles, etc)... stick to your guns.
  • Your baby will lose weight while they are living off your colostrum. Until your baby reaches their birth weight again you're supposed to feed them every 3-4 hours... this means waking a sleeping baby to feed! INSANITY!
  • You have no idea how hard it is to wake a sleeping baby, and to keep them awake!
  • The art of burping is a science. I assumed I knew how to burp from seeing others do it... My advice: Look up some techniques, learn them well and do them often.
  • Vitamin D drops SUCK. Jane literally choked on them when she was one week. Now I split the dose into four smaller doses but I'm constantly forgetting to give it to her four times. I tried yesterday to just give her the one large dose again and she vomited on me immediately after. Awesome.
  • When one boob feeds, the other leaks and boobs leak often. God forbid you forget your nursing pads or one falls out of place!
In pregnancy I was worried about two simple things (1) how do I know when the baby's hungry? and (2) how do I know when she's full? ha ha ha. Hilarious to think about it now. The answer, if any one has a similar fear, you will know. Jane wakes me up with her lip smacking in the middle of the night when she's hungry and literally pushes the boob away with her hand when she's full... she also pulls her head back to avoid going back on the boob. It's amazing how this little bugs communicate!

I introduced my first bottle yesterday (waited until the 4 week point) and all went well. I had gotten pressure to introduce it earlier and pressure to wait longer... but nonetheless, Jane's latch isn't ruined and she didn't refuse the bottle. On the other hand, it was no big life changer either. I thought perhaps she would sleep even better through the night but no change. Really, at this point, the only benefit is that I can go to the grocery store without worrying she'll get hungry and be stranded while I'm gone and I can have a glass of wine if I pump beforehand - YIPEE!

The other thing I am finding for me - manual pumping works better than electric. I have a pump that allows for both and I get much more milk from manual... plus, it makes me feel like less of a cow! When it's on electric it literally sounds like it's making a "moo-oooo" noise, sexy.

Ok, that's it for now... I'm sure I will be able to add to this list regularly as I continue bf-ing. If you have something to add, go for it, comment!

Jen :)

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Jul 3, 2009

Docs Appt

Had our third docs appt today - today's Jane's 4 week birthday! ;) Our little bug is now 10.4 lbs and 22.5 inches! Apparently that means she's in the 75th percentile for weight and the 90th for height (I have no idea what any of that means) but my doc said "she's above average for everything" to which I replied "including cuteness". Tee hee hee.

At our next appt she has to get her first vaccinations... I'm scared. I've been told by every mother I know that this is heartbreaking as she's going to cry and, apparently, I'm going to cry because she's so upset. My blog buddy, Lora, mentioned giving her some baby tylenol beforehand which I'm definitely doing, anybody else got any suggestions? Close my eyes? Wear ear plugs so I can't hear my sweet girl wailing? :p

Sorry, not much time to post this week with MIL (mother-in-law) in town... will be back to my more regular posting next week.

Jen :)

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Jul 1, 2009

You CAN handle the Truth #2

Don't assume that the doctors and nurses know everything - this is naive - follow your gut, do your research, and take charge of your own care!

Disclaimer ;p - Sorry to the docs/nurses out there who are capable - My Mom's a nurse and I know most of you are amazing at what you do. However, from my delivery experience and my sisters in Toronto, I am 100% convinced that you should not just put your/your baby's life into someone's hands and say "ok, I'm yours". As women, we often don't question things or challenge people because we don't want to be seen as "bitchy" or rude... your delivery is NOT the time to be worried about hurting someone's feelings. Priority is making sure you are receiving the best of the best. Sometimes a little pressure and a little bit of fear is needed to ensure someone will go above and beyond for you.

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