Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Baby Pool

I have decided to start a baby pool for guessing Lucy's dob, size, etc. Seemed like a fun idea given Rebecca's total disregard for her projected due date. Anyhow, I found a very nice (and more importantly free) application on ExpectNet for setting up a baby pool. There is a banner link at the bottom of this blog page. If you would like to play, all you have to do is click on the banner, and it will take you to the website. Then, enter your guesses. You are not required to register at the site in order to make a guess (unless you want to change your answer later). The winner is the person with the least points. Points are awarded for being wrong - so being off by two pounds on the birth weight is worse than being off by one pound etc.
If you guess the gender wrong, you only have yourself to blame.
Any problems or questions - leave me a comment on this blog.
Also - it is fair to let you know that statistics favour Lucy for prompt rather than late arrival (due to Rebecca's premature arrival).
I will think of an appropriate prize for the winner... :)
As of yet, I have no predictions on the baby's birth weight - but you do tend to get guesstimates on this near the end of the pregnancy.

Nice cuddles

Rebecca: Purveyor of fine baby lotions


This outfit is so cute.

Christmas Eve


She was spinning in circles, until she fell over. Then she would start spinning again.

The problem with washable crayons

Happily, they wash off the walls easily.
Of course, they are water-soluble.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lucy makes contact with her Daddy

I had another prenatal appointment on the 20th of December. Nothing much to it - all looks good. I did ask for a listen to my lungs - but from the sounds of it, the coughing nastiness is actually on its way out. Given previous bouts of pneumonia, this was quite a relief. Yesterday was actually the first day that the transitions from hot to cold or cold to hot air did not provoke incapacitating coughing fits.
On Christmas day at 6 in the morning, Lucy woke me up with vigorous kicking. And hooray - she actually gave a few jabs that were strong enough for Greg to actually feel. So, that was a very nice Christmas moment for us. Naturally, it isn't as magical as the first time with Rebecca, but it is still very special.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New favorite words

Snowman or as Rebecca pronounces it schnoo-MAN with a nasal sort of nose blowing 'sch' sound is in the running. It's very cute. Grampa won a singing dancing snowman and penguin set that do a little jingle around a light up christmas tree.

This brings us to our next entry, Christmas, or as is often said in our house these days: Chriniss, or alternately A-Chriniss. Rebecca seems to be getting into the holiday spirit, starting to repeat Chriniss over and over again when seeing a decorated tree, wreath, coloured lights, presents or images of the any of those festive sights.

As Madeleine mentioned, she now often cries for Dadaaaa in the evening when she wakes up. It's nice, and I tend to have much greater success in putting her down when she rouses late at night anyway. It must be said though, if she hears mom's voice or sees her she often wants a hug/cuddle from her instead and gets more upset when it's time to settle down after a mommy cuddle.

New habits

So the other day I heard Becca had rousted herself from her nap. She sounded a little whiny. Went into her room, and where was she? On top of the change table.

This happened once before, and we moved her nightstand so she would no longer be able to go Bed -> Nightstand -> Bookshelf -> Change Table. This worked for a while, but now she's figured she can cut out the middleman and go straight up the side of the bookshelf. Looks like we have a climber.

Not much to be done about it, and the change table isn't much higher than the bookshelf. A kid falling from 3.5 or 4 feet probably won't injure themselves particularly badly, she's a pretty tough little munchkin.

Anyway, a few days later I heard a similar noise at the end of naptime. Hrm. I go to her room and glance around. Is she on the change table? No. Not on her bed either. I glance under her bed, nope, not there. Ah, there she is:


Cute, not too worrisome from a falling perspective. I fished her out, cleaned up the mess and we moved on with our day.

Apparently this is now a routine of hers, as when I got home from work the other day Mom had captured the following image:


This was done post bedtime, apparently.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another ultrasound

My GP called me last week to let me know that while everything was fine on the 20 week ultrasound, there hadn't been a very good shot of the spine. So... I'm off for another ultrasound at the end of December.
I met with my obstetrician last week. Same OB as last time. He's very friendly and personable, but I can't help but feel that it's somewhat irrelevant. All I need is someone competent and qualified to remove the baby when necessary, and make reasonable medical decisions. The truth of the matter, is that the vast majority of my labour for Rebecca was spent with lovely nurses and a resident. The big guns all showed up for the pushing part. The OB at my delivery wasn't even the OB I had been seeing (unfortunately unavailable) - he was some guy dressed in denim who hung out on the chair. I think he was the one to use the vaccuum, but it could have been the Paeds guy. It didn't matter to me. I suppose the OB was the one who stitched me up - that I remember, but frankly, I was so tired I didn't give a damn.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rebecca is a two-year old now

She is two!!! And, she is 36 and one half inches tall.
Where did all the time go?

The flu

Despite the fact that Greg, Rebecca, and I were all vaccinated at the beginning of November, we have all gotten the flu. Rebecca got sick first and has passed it on to both Greg and I. Greg is almost better, and had the mildest case. Rebecca is on the mend but still coughing a lot. I succumbed last, but seem to be suffering from the worst gut wrenching hacking. I haven't reached the point of improvement yet. In fact, sometimes the coughing is so violent that I almost throw-up. Hooray. Naturally, my pregnancy prevents me from chugging an extra-strength neo-citran and passing out. Happily, it is safe for me to take something other than acetominophen and hot tea for my ills. I can have dextrometorphan - that is the "DM" in regular cough suppressants, and guaifenesin (expectorant). This allows me some measure of relief. Hacking coughs while pregnant are more painful because my organs are already squished and out of place, also it is challenging not to pee under these circumstances - despite the fact that I am making every effort to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles.
If there is an upside to my affliction, it is that Rebecca is thrilled to have me staying home from work. If I have loud and disturbing fits of coughing she tells me "no, no, no". She is also being extra cuddly and affectionate with me, which makes me feel better. Of course, she won't permit me to wear sweaters or robes, but I manage. The strongest coughs actually manage to disturb Lucy and wake her up.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mid-pregnancy ultrasound: Morphological scan















I had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound this week. The purpose of this ultrasound is to perform a morphological scan of the baby, and determine whether the major systems appear to be in working order. Everything looks peachy keen. Apparently, the placenta is on the back of the uterine wall, so nothing will stop this baby from making me feel kicks. The baby was so active during the appointment, that the technician required extra time to get all the proper shots and measurements. Just like Rebecca, this baby was willing to let us answer the gender question, and...
IT'S A GIRL!
We are going to name her Lucy. So, no more babootwo references, much in the way that Smudge gave way to Rebecca.
Here is a picture of the new baby. Greg put it upside down. During the shot, the baby was looking upwards (towards my face), with her head down and her legs upwards. We also watched as she brought her hand up to her mouth in order to suck her thumb.
What's weird to me is that this week's ticker picture is exactly the same as the ultrasound pic.

Leaps in pronunciation

Bala is bala no more! Now bala is "blanket". There was a day in between where Bala was "blankee". The next day "blanket". Rebecca is experiencing a global improvement in pronunciation. It makes me curious as to what biochemical environment is necessary for these leaps forward.
Rebecca seems especially interested in Daddy this week. After no, it is probably the word she has spoken most often lately. I am glad to see him getting all the attention he deserves, as well as some very nice cuddles.
Despite my perfectly justifiable fears, Becca was quite the angel at the ultrasound clinic. She entertained the masses in the reception room with her usual combination of friendliness, exuberance, and chair climbing. She was mistaken for a 3 year old, and I still can't believe she's almost 2. My Mom had her in pigtails today and it was shocking to see how much older she looked.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First pregnancy versus Second pregnancy

The last time I was pregnant, my entire belly was rock hard. This time, the top half is rock hard, and the bottom half is flabby.
I am carrying "high" again. It's uncomfortable. Babootwo is way less active than Rebecca was, and still seems to make his/her presence felt rather infrequently.
The ticker has changed again. It used to have crossed legs, now the legs are dangly and it's sucking on its thumb.

Dressing herself

She insists on putting on her own hat when possible. The result is often hilarious.
Here she is sitting on the couch with Bala just before bedtime. Happily, she took off hat and mittens shortly thereafter.

More hat and mittens

We had to change her diaper while she had her hat and mittens on.

Rebecca loves her "minnens"



Actually, she wears them (and the matching hat) - indoors.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yet another prenatal appointment

Weight gain since last appointment: 5lbs. Deemed acceptable
Blood pressure: Acceptable
Fundal length: As expected
Fetal heart beat: Just fine
Urine specs: All good, plus I didn't get pee on my hand. Hooray!

Babootwo was kicking the Doppler and making it difficult for the doctor to get a reading.
I have a requisition for glycemic testing in the new year. This time I will bring a better book so I don't have to worry about nearly falling asleep and bungling my results. As bad as the first glycemic test is - the second one is deadly and involves way too many needles. That and the pseudo Orange Crush drink is even more horrific to consume.

My next prenatal appointment is my ultrasound the first week of December. Then the gender truth will out, and I will start referring to Babootwo by an actual name. This might help with explaining things to Rebecca.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's not about measuring tapes at all

So, Rebecca has apparently lost her fear of measuring tapes. I am actually starting to believe that something else was the problem. She doesn't like it when other people touch me. She has become very possessive of me. This morning I woke up with yet another pull in my neck (not surprising since yesterday I knew something was already amiss). I had Greg massage my shoulders and neck, and this made Rebecca UPSET. She immediately intervened. I suppose I should be happy she didn't pee on me to mark her territory. What am I going to do about this now!? Searching for this type of info online has been frustrating because all my searches are confounded by the much more common issue of sibling jealousy. I managed to find one or two semi-useful tidbits, but I had to wade through many articles on over-possessive parents and jealous toddlers to find anything of use. The upside, was that I started to do some reading on how to prevent your toddler from being jealous of a new arrival - which I suspect will be our case.
The ladies at the childcare centre at our gym continue to tell us that they find Rebecca to be very active compared to many other children. They say that much of her "on the go" behaviour is typically more common in boys of the same age (the exception being when Dora is on). Greg told me that they also mentioned that they feel her vocabulary has greatly increased recently. My Mom made the same remark after having been away for a few weeks. We are too close to the situation to notice this level of change ourselves.
Rebecca shows an increased interest in numbers. She can count to ten, but refuses to acknowledge numbers 3 through 5. If she is playing with her toys in her room, it can sound something like this: "One, two, six, senen, aht, nine, ten!". She won't answer a question like "How many X are there?", but she will take objects that are the same type of thing (like puzzle pieces, or diapers, or blocks) and lay them in a space one by one, while counting aloud.
Also, for some reason, she is saying "licht" for "light". I don't know why.
She knows how to say her middle name, but the closest I have heard her come to "Rebecca" is "Decca".

Not bad for my track ball mouse

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Swimming lessons near their end

Today was the third last swimming class for Rebecca for this session. After that the pool shuts down (for maintenance?) for a few weeks. She continues to have great fun, though a problem remains. She won't blow bubbles. She'll float on her back, blast off from the wall, happily jump in from the side, let herself be dunked and kick her legs, but she just won't blow bubbles.

Mom says that she willingly blew bubbles in the bathtub last night. I hope that's the case. I don't want her to flunk her tiny tots learn to swim class.

More than a litany of medical conditions

I've decided to make an effort to *try* to elevate this blog beyond a laundry list of physical woes. Although, for the record, I had leg cramps and a nosebleed last night - hooray second trimester. :)
Babootwo is making a greater effort to get my attention, with a bit of prodding and punching (or whatever).
I tried my prenatal yoga DVD - it's o.k. I always find some yoga positions make me uncomfortable or make my head pound. This isn't really different in that sense, but the postures are semi-modified for the second trimester (fully for the third). Mostly this involves the use of a strap (a belt in my case), a yoga brick (a box), a blanket, and a chair.
Where am I supposed to find pregnancy-compatible workout wear? I can tell already that this will become a problem in the future. While I am willing to let the belly go on display in the comfort of my home, I don't really want to go to the gym that way. I haven't seen fitness wear in the maternity stores, but maybe I need to look harder.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Swollen limbs

More confirmation that the edema I experienced during my last pregnancy is coming back. I had compression marks on my ankles after wearing socks today, and I feel tightness in my legs if I am on my feet for over an hour.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Looking more and more like a baby

I notice that the ticker is looking less creepy.

Teething is back...

Rebecca is only missing four baby teeth - the upper and lower so-called 2-year molars. These are a second set of molars that generally appear - you guessed it - at around the age of two.
It is about as bad as the first molars were. Happy Becca can be playing joyfully, and then just start screaming. Her hand is constantly shoved in her mouth, and she spent the better part of lunch fishing small ice cubes out of a glass - presumably to suck on. There are not really any teethers that can reach that far back. So far, she has rejected her teething biscuits, and manages to avoid swallowing any Tempra we try to dose her with. The random screaming and crying is just heartbreaking to hear. Rebecca's pain and frustration may or may not be responsible for a refusal to wear socks and shoes. This would be o.k. except for the fact that it's 4 degrees C in the daytime, to say nothing of the night. I guess if I was subject to bursts of pain in my mouth, I would want to exert a little control over my life too - even if it was only a strike on footwear.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Where will all this junk go?

As previously mentioned, I am clearing out space for Babootwo in the spare bedroom upstairs. Moving junk out of one room requires space somewhere in the house to move it into. I feel frustrated that I am unmaking one mess just to make a new disorganized mess somewhere else (ie the computer room). It is a little distressing. I am sure that we have the room to fit all this stuff downstairs, but it means really making an effort to organize the lower level - a heretofore unattempted challenge.
I am also going to start researching non-toxic paints and think about bedroom colours. I don't think I've ever painted a room before, let alone select colours for a room.

Cheerios

Rebecca and I went grocery shopping today. We needed Cheerios for 2/3 household members. Given the rate at which Cheerios are consumed, I bought the big box. Apparently, this box must be clutched by Rebecca for the entire grocery trip. At the same time, she must hold a half-eaten apple, Bala, and a sippy cup full of water. I think my mistake was opening the box to allow her to feed herself some cheerios. Fear not Greg (if you're reading this) - this was not like the time with the raisins (many of which continue to surprise me in the car). The real difficulty was that Becca decided that the box was HERS. I had the cashier scan it QUICKLY but Rebecca still cried blue murder and was traumatized for a good thirty seconds after I gave her the box back. Being Sunday, the parking lot was packed and every single Expectant Mother parking spot was taken (although I saw nary a prego in the aisles of the Superstore). Try to imagine getting a 30lb toddler out of a grocery cart and holding her over your shoulder, while crushing a mega box of Cheerios between you, a smelly damp blanket, and keeping one hand free to hold car keys and open a door. Now imagine the reaction of said toddler when you have to momentarily separate her from the box of Cheerios in order to get her into her car seat. Ultimately, I failed to get Rebecca in her seat. But... I positioned the Cheerios in the car in such a way that she climbed into the seat herself. All was well until we got home, where she dumped a fair number of Cheerios on her bedroom floor and gleefully played with them/ate them while I brought in the groceries. It only takes a second! I used this as an opportunity to teach Rebecca about sweeping with a broom (because I know she already loves brooms and Swiffers). Unfortunately, once the task was complete, she refused to surrender the broom. Instead she ran through the kitchen twirling it over her head and knocking containers off the countertop.

Good news!!! Headbanging may be over...
Headbanging has almost stopped. It's been many days since I've witnessed an incident. Coincidentally, the big bruise on her forehead is also starting to heal. Let's hope this horrid stage is far behind us.
Also - Rebecca has gone for three days without 'vies, and has gone for two days without a revocation of crayon access. I don't let her colour unsupervised because as recently as Friday she attempted to colour the walls of the doctor's office, but, to be honest, 9 times out of 10, her wall colouring was initiated while she knew I was watching.

Bad news - the Terrible Twos are here!!!
What happens when a very independent, strong-willed, extremely energetic and actively defiant child approaches age two???
We are starting to find out.
She is trying to exert more control over her own life and push our limits!
I am hearing far more "No" that I used to. Sometimes it is just shouted out for apparently random reasons, in answer to simple questions, or despite clear needs/wants. There is a definite power struggle at every point in the day where we are imposing our will on her. That means meals, any manner of travel that involves a buckle, naps, and naturally - bedtime. Since reason is not an option at this point (although I take great pains to explain things), unending patience and brawn are my best tools. Yes, I also use bribery, but this is only under duress, since while to me it seems like bargaining and trade (with which I am quite comfortable as a means of relating to another person), I think Greg feels it is tantamount to a positive reinforcement of negative behaviour. Also, bribery loses its potency the more it is used. I don't want to create expectations. Rebecca doesn't know what is in her best interest. But somehow, when I fireman carry an obvious exhausted baby off to nap time, while she does her best to escape howling "NO NO NO!!!!", I still feel crappy. The more pregnant I get the more difficult it is to rely on my physical supremacy to say - wrestle Rebecca into car seat safety belts and the like. This scares me a little. I like to think I have brains to compensate for my less and less reliable brawn, but do I really want to be in a situation where I have to rely on being clever? My god - I can barely keep track of my car keys!
I am also beginning to realize that Rebecca is more trouble than the average bear. Not that I care - it's just interesting.
I think what made it the most obvious is that I have been observing the personality and behavioural differences between two of my nephews (they are brothers). I see parallels between Rebecca's energy level/craziness level and the youngest of the two boys. Maybe our next baby will be calm and straightforward? If not, I suppose we've already been broken in by Becca.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

How to give your parent a heart attack

Unbeknownst to us, during naptime, she climbed from her bed to her night table. From her night table to her book shelf. From the book shelf, onto the top of the change table. I found her curled up in a ball on top of her change table, obviously having slept there.
The surface of the change table is 37 inches from the floor.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or treating

What fun! Rebecca wasn't scared, though Grandpa and I weren't able to get her to say 'Trick or Treat' at all. I had some success getting some sort of three syllable word starting with 'T' during the day, but not in the evening. She did manage a couple very cute thank-yous and byebyes though.

She is an absolute chocolate fiend. We had a box of leftover mini chocolate bar treats, and kept reaching for it saying 'food' today. Maybe we could have avoided giving her all those Caramilk bar chunks yesterday.

Ah well, the leftovers have been banished from the house now, so hopefully out of sight, out of mind.

She definitely enjoyed all the pumpkins, and the decorated lawns. Next year she'll really 'get it' and it should be even more fun.

Prego belt

On the advice of my physician, I acquired a prego back support belt. It really does the trick!
I just had a prenatal Pilates DVD and a prenatal yoga DVD arrive, so I am hoping that I can strengthen my core muscles enough to alleviate some of my pain and discomfort. Don't know what - if anything - can be done about my neck. The new memory foam pillows are helping, and I am continuing with my regimen of strengthening my back muscles and stretching my pectoral muscles, but at the same time, the upfront load is getting heavier and heavier. Maybe a standstill is the best that can be achieved?
Babootwo continues to move at infrequent random intervals. I can't wait until I can start referring to this baby with a name, somehow it makes the connection seem more personal.
I am starting to clear items out of the spare bedroom for Babootwo. I know it's hideously early to be doing so, but I have plans to paint the room (o.k., have Greg paint the room - it is currently brown) and to decorate more than 1 week prior to baby arrival this time. I try to move a few things every few days. The idea is that by creating this physical space for Babootwo, I can start to think about the space that this baby will occupy in our lives, and make a space for this baby in my mind. The truth is, apart from the (at this point) rare movements, I don't spend much time thinking about Babootwo. I do spend a little time thinking about the pregnancy - but only insomuch as the physical ramifications interfere with day-to-day life. Perhaps this sounds like a detached and horrible manner in which to describes the miraculous blablabla life-altering wonderful experience. This is simply the reality of being pregnant (and being me) when you have a toddler on the loose. I simply don't have time/energy. The wonderment will arrive with Babootwo - of this I have no doubt. I am not indifferent, I am merely preoccupied, and far less anxious than I was with Rebecca.

Small and fearless

The Hallowe'en Bumblebee

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hands down, hardest day with Rebecca EVER

I suppose the poo-painting day was harder, but that day was only difficult because of that single incident. She was otherwise good on that day.
It's not even 3pm, but I know that this is still the hardest day I have ever had with Rebecca. She has pushed my patience to the absolute limit (although I am proud that I have not lost it at any point), and she has violated almost every rule we have.
She is wearing her fourth pair of pants for today, and I have had her in five diapers so far.
Let's start properly though - morning began at 3am. Rebecca was thirsty. I was on night duty. After providing Rebecca with an unseemly quantity of milk, I brought her to my bed because I was too damn tired and sore to contemplate "filly" in the toddler bed. This did not seem to calm her, and she placed herself diagonally, so she was kicking Greg in the back. I protected him with the body pillow, but I still had someone crawling over me at weird and random times talking about body parts "eyes", "nose", "ears". There was one moment where she suddenly started yelling about kitties - but I don't think she was actually conscious. Perhaps she has inherited my sleep talking. Ultimately, it was a rough night. When Greg was about to leave for work, he gave her a kiss and it woke her up. She immediately began talking about monkeys and went to the living room. Thus began my day.
Her overnight diaper had leaked (3am milk feeding is no doubt to blame), and I changed her on the floor while she watched the Hallowe'en Dora episode. This meant eating breakfast in pair of pants #1. Breakfast was oatmeal. At least half went on the pants, which became so dirty as to be unwearable. I had allowed her to eat breakfast in her pj top (which is our normal routine), for just this reason. When I tried to put a new shirt on her - she pitched a writhing, screaming fit. She would not bear to wear a shirt. Problematic. Then, when I took off her dirty pants, she would not bear to wear a different pair. Even worse. It's 5 degrees outside, and I wanted to go run errands. Then, she removes her diapers, and I can't get anything back on her. She is running naked through the house, and I am afraid she will pee on the living room carpet. I tried to subdue her with my superior strength, but the thing is - she is perfectly capable and willing to remove anything I put on her. This was the point when I first felt my patience fraying. I decided to try to see the silver lining. Maybe I will start potty training early. I hauled out the potty and cleaned it. I showed her how to sit on it, and I told her if she needed to pee, she had to do it in the potty. And oh my god, she actually listened to me and peed in it!!! Then we dumped the pee in the toilet and flushed it away. Unfortunately, her recent toilet obsession kicked in and she kept playing with the toilet until she managed to let the heavy wood seat fall on her thumb. I was very concerned, and she howled and howled. I gave her big hugs, and then began to try to persuade her to wear clothes. Even the sight of the diaper made her yell and run away. Lately she has been fighting the change table a lot, and there have been several diaper leaks. She can manage to remove the diaper without taking off her clothes. On night, the diaper ended up in the leg of her footed PJs. But I digress -in a moment of inspiration, I reasoned that she might be willing to wear her swim diaper with its lovely Nemo design. The bonus is - she can't take off the swim diaper herself. She was perfectly willing to step into the swim diaper. After that, came the second hand injury. She pinched her index finger in a cupboard of our entertainment centre while I was putting something in the dishwasher. There was blood under her nail, and I felt terrible. After consoling her, I was able to dress her (hooray!). I had high hopes for running at least one errand. I was able to return a DVD and search for a maternity back support belt at the big pharmacy. At the same time, I purchased a package of size 6 diapers to see if she might be protesting due to size 5 feeling too tight. Unfortunately, I was told that while they can order in the belt, they did not have any currently. I decided Rebecca and I would check out the nearest maternity store, and pick up some milk at the same time. When I tried to put Rebecca in the car seat, I discovered that the swim diaper had become dislodged, exposing one butt cheek, and therefore allowing a one-sided leak. Pants #2 were soaked. She also refused to be buckled into the car seat. It took me twenty frustrating minutes to get her into the car seat. When we got home, I discovered that she was quite willing to dawn the size 6 diaper. I also discovered that she had pooed in the leaky swim diaper on the way home. I dress her again. This was pair of pants #3. It was time to make lunch. During lunch, Rebecca noticed that I was drinking a glass of water. She asked for water. I brought her a water sippy with a straw. She put food in her glass and called it "fish" and then she drank it (without the straw). At the end of the meal, she dumped her entire sippy cup full of water onto herself and the floor. Then it was time for pants #4 and shirt #2. Also, she had made a massive poo of ultimate grossness. Rebecca seemed quite tired and cranky, and I tried to get her to sleep. After some time of horrible noises and banging, I decided to check on her. She asked for filly, so I gave in. I was tired too! The next hour involved no sleep, except on my part. For ten minutes, she played with her door. She would open it, then shut it, then open it, then shut it. Ultimately, I decided she wasn't going to sleep. She found a colouring book and asked to colour. I decided to let her. We sat in the sunshine colouring and I hoped that peace had been achieved. It was not to be - blatant wall colour, crayon confiscation and head banging quickly came to pass. At that point I decided she was well and truly going down for a nap - but she ran away from me when I tried to pick her up. When I cornered her, she did all manner of flopping and contorting. I brought her to her room where I had to change another poopy diaper. Then I abandoned her with Bala on her bed, installed the gate, and came downstairs to write my tale of woe.
Most of today - except when crying or yelling. She was smiling and happy. It makes it harder!
Also: She climbed on the coffee table repeatedly, she threw apple skin on me, she climbed on the dining room table, and she trashed her room.
I want Greg to come home!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Filly (continued)

Rebecca continues to wake up and want nothing more than a warm body beside her. She doesn't seem to need actual cuddles, but sitting on the bed is rarely enough to satisfy her.

Since she consistently opens her door now, we put a child gate across it at night so she can't escape. When she does wake up and opens her door, she gets pretty upset that there's a gate in the way. By that I mean you can hear a definite change in the nature of her crying, going from 'upset that she's alone at night' to 'furious and filled with rage' in a couple moments.

Generally if she's in that mood when you go to pick her up she uses the classic 'going limp' form of non-violent non-compliance. It's ok though, as at 30 pounds you can still hoist her up if necessary. At this point, she'll start the flounder flop, where she wails and tosses her body side to side, trying to get you to drop her. Sometimes she throws in a little neck skin grab or an eye gouge for good measure.

Amazingly though, if you put her down on her bed with her blankie, and lie down beside her, she almost always calms right down right away. Waiting long enough for her to really settle before trying to make your escape (avoiding the risk of injury present when you fall asleep on the toddler bed) can be trying, but generally worth it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Beware the Measuring Tape!!!

I invited Greg and Rebecca to join me during my prenatal appointment yesterday.
Too bad I had forgotten about... THE MEASURING TAPE.
Everything was going fine until it was time to determine the fundal height. This involves the doctor measuring the height of the uterus by palpating my belly, and is following by a measurement with a .... MEASURING TAPE.
UH OH!!!
Since this was my first second trimester checkup, this standard step had been completely forgotten by me. Oops - bad Mommy.
But unfortunately, Rebecca has not forgotten her unholy terror of MEASURING TAPES.
What's worse than having one near you?
Having a doctor put a MEASURING TAPE on your Mommy!
Tears and wailing ensued.
Tears and wailing did not subside until we left the doctor's office.

Pay attention to me!

I felt Babootwo move this morning! 6am.
I was concerned that I might be mistaken (though I didn't think so), so I checked the archives of my Rebecca blog, and apparently I felt Rebecca move for the first time at almost exactly the same stage of gestation.
I had a prenatal appointment yesterday. Everything looks good. All my blood and urine tests have come back with respectable results, and no one has suggested that I have put on too much weight yet. Blood pressure is also good. Tried to get Greg to hear the heartbeat, but unfortunately, Rebecca was pulling on the cord and he lost track of the sound.
I am getting into lower back pain, and my GP suggested doing crunches, being careful to bend at the knees when picking things up, and to get a special maternity belt. I am concerned that my pregnancy edema is going to return. I can already feel a tightening in my calves that I know is the precursor to losing sight of my bones and blood vessels. I will endeavour to drink more water, but I believe it may simply be my fate to balloon whilst pregnant.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the table

Rebecca now sits at the table to eat at least one of her meals. She seems to prefer this to the highchair, although she has a tendency to squirm around.
Also, she is obsessed with pumpkins.

Head Banging Woes - it gets ranty

Rebecca developed a new and unappealing behaviour this past week - head banging. It is extremely distressing to see my 22-month old bang her head into a solid object. Because there have now been a half dozen incidents, I have been able to find the common link. Rebecca bangs her head when she is frustrated because she is not getting her way.
When I have a non-medical problem with Rebecca I do two things. The first is that I call my Mom to see what she has to say. The second is that I research the problem on the internet and find out as much as I can. (If the problem is medical and urgent, I call Telehealth, if non-urgent, I speak to my GP at the earliest convenience).
Unfortunately, neither my sister nor I were head bangers. I don't know about Greg.

This is what I have found out about toddler head banging:
  1. It is common. Apparently it occurs in up to 20 percent of healthy children.
  2. 3-4 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls.
  3. Generally occurs starting after 6 months of age, and usually ends before age 4.
  4. They aren't strong enough to actually hurt themselves in a serious way - they can't cause any neurological or brain damage with the banging.
  5. Their intelligence will not be affected, in fact, there is some evidence that it is linked to increased intelligence (don't know if I buy this factoid - it was just one study with 5oo or so participants and I think that gauging developmental advancement is a bit fuzzy - besides, what would that suggest about the gender disparity in the behaviour???).

Toddlers bang their heads because:
  1. They want attention (because it definitely gets parental attention!)
  2. They want comfort (i.e. to help themselves go to sleep)
  3. They are frustrated or stressed (over or under stimulated, having familial stress, or just having a temper tantrum)
  4. They are in pain (from ear aches or teething).
  5. They enjoy it (apparently some do enjoy it).
  6. They have a developmental problem
What I need to do and remember as a parent:
  1. The more attention the behaviour receives, the more likely it is to persist.
  2. So - that means ignoring it. It means pretending not to notice, not giving her whatever it is she wants, or distracting her with something else.
  3. Do what you can to keep them safe at the same time, and try not to worry (hahaha)

Rebecca knows her own mind. She is very independent and knows exactly what she wants.

Examples of when Rebecca has banged her head:
  1. Crayons: Rebecca's crayons are routinely confiscated due to her tendency to colour the walls (and windows, and floors etc.) Today I returned her crayons, and she coloured in her colouring book. I made a quick trip to the washroom and immediately heard the sound of crayon on wall. I caught her red-handed. I confiscated her crayons and put them on top of the fridge (otherwise she will go to any means to retrieve them). She then cried and banged her head on the fridge, while calling out for her crayons.
  2. 'Vies: Rebecca enjoys watching movies ('vies). Because we don't watch television in our house, we only have DVDs that we have rented or purchased. Rebecca has a few favourites. I let her watch some Winnie the Pooh - she was laughing and enjoying herself, and learning new words (all good things). Unfortunately, the 'vies came to an end, and I removed it from the machine. She kept turning the t.v. back on - hoping to watch more. When I would not play another movie, she banged her head on the tv.
  3. Me: Greg and I had lunch out with Rebecca yesterday. She was quite tired and had been fighting off sleep most of the morning. When I left to go to the washroom, she got upset and banged her head on the table.

Is there something wrong with my Rebaboo?
This is of course, the scary question in the back of my mind.

No, I don't think she's autistic. She has well developed social skills. She points, she follows your gaze, and she has pretend play (such as brushing her hair with my kitchen basting brush). She had all of these behaviours before she was 18 months.
I'll admit to some concern about her speech development. According to my Mom, by the time I was Rebecca's age, I could speak in full sentences. I guess I expected Rebecca would do the same. She has a very broad vocabulary, but speaks - not on command, but when she feels like it. I haven't heard her say a phrase longer than 3 words (unless imitating someone else). It is clear from her ability to follow simple instructions and to make connections between unrelated things, that she is capable of understanding complex concepts. She is also an excellent communicator. And she walked independently at 10 months, so clearly, her neurons can fire correctly. So, I guess I need not worry. Greg is mildly offended that I would even entertain the notion that Rebecca is something other than perfectly normal/wonderful. I actually think she is better with numbers and music than letters - but that may be a bit of a premature assessment on my part. Perhaps I am a little sensitive this weekend because we spent some time with the daughter of friends of ours and (because I am a details person), I have noticed in the last few months, that her speaking abilities are probably way ahead of where Rebecca was at the same age. It made me worry. Also, because I was speaking French to one of my friends at this party, some of the francophone guests assumed I was francophone, and one in particular asked me if Rebecca could speak both languages. I had to sheepishly admit that no, she could not, and I qualified it by saying that even her English was pretty limited right now. She replied by saying that all her children were perfectly bilingual. Good for you stranger - kiss my tourtière! I suppose I *am* contributing to the death by a thousand cuts of half of my culture, by keeping my daughter ignorant. And yes, your bilingual children and superior to mine. While it may not have been a direct criticism, I did feel there was an implicit judgment there. (Also, I am pregnant and consequently hormonal and sensitive). Maybe it is wrong that Rebecca has a few words of Spanish in her vocabulary rather than French. I have certainly made an effort to expose her to French through books and music (including lots of traditional songs), and via speaking to her. I have this icky feeling of somehow neglecting part of Rebecca's heritage when I run into these types of questions. What is my level of responsibility here? I know you can make a child bilingual early if each parent speaks exclusively in one language. But I didn't want to do that. I thought she could pick it up the same way I did - via school, family and books. I am also angry. I have seen someone tear a strip off a close friend because they assumed that she was Lebanese, and when she did not reply to their Arabic queries (because she doesn't speak Arabic), they accused her of denying her culture. People love to judge others!
But what the hell?!?! Rebecca isn't even two years old yet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Filly

It's not a horse. It's a request/command that Rebecca uses on us. As far as we can tell, it means "I am tired and I would like you to lie down beside me on my bed". It is often accompanied by a little person grabbing your hand and pulling you in the right direction.
About an hour after an initial semi-successful putting down of the toddler, there was an unending series of yowls that indicated a need for parental intervention. Rebecca had woken up on the floor sans Bala. A very tired Rebaboo gave me the Filly command, and I obliged. When I thought she was sound asleep, I tried to leave (very carefully). Unfortunately, she heard the sound of me pulling the door closed and I was forced to re-Filly. The second time I departed successfully (and did not shut the door completely). Clambering over the gate is getting tricky (it's like something out of Entrapment), and I can't see the situation improving over the next six months. After this evening, I am amazed that Rebecca has the energy to wake up at all. I was informed about receiving my baby that she had only napped for a scant half hour today. Despite this, she seemed possessed of demonic energy. I can honestly say that I have never seen her so hyper. During her earlier unsuccessful nap, she had completely trashed her bedroom. She ran around the house all night, flinging herself onto the couch, laughing and squealing. I had to remove her from the oven at least three times (the bottom drawer, not the place where turkeys go!), because she had crawled inside to play with the the baking sheets. She wiped out three times on the floor (although it barely slowed her down), because she was running so fast. But, we also danced to music, looked at some books. She wanted nothing to do with the lovely stew I made for supper, but happily ate a banana and a yogurt and some taco meat.

Second trimester - goodbye to the walking dead

The second trimester is the blissful break. I love it! I have my energy back, I don't feel like barfing all the time, and my skin is starting to look less like it did in the 8th grade. However, the aches and pains of various ligament and bone rearrangements have arrived. Now I am plagued by back pain and rib pain and my feet have become wimpy. It's still an improvement over perpetual nausea and fatigue. Happily, Greg is quite willing to give food massages to me. :)
I don't feel like a zombie moving relentlessly from one work day to the next. Suddenly the prospect of staying up past 10pm is not so daunting.
*
I had a dream about Babootwo recently wherein Babootwo was revealed to be a boy. Greg asked me how I knew the baby was a boy. I said that the baby was naked and he had a penis. Did I miss some subtlety in the question?
There have been studies about the accuracy of the gender predictive dreams of pregnant women. Shockingly, such dreams turned out to be about 50% accurate. Go figure. By chance, while reading this information, I came across a second study of the dreams of pregnant women. Apparently, the predictive accuracy of dreams concerning when and how labour will commence is quite high.
We will have to wait until December to know for sure(sorry Mom!). When we had the ultrasound for Rebecca, she was quite accomodating and spread her legs wide. I have decided to take some cold orange juice with me to the December ultrasound in case the baby is asleep and needs a reminder of who is the boss. (Because once the baby is part of the household, the truth will out - the babies rule the roost here).
I have been feeling disconnected from Babootwo. This will probably change once the baby starts to kick me - which supposedly can be felt earlier in a second pregnancy due to muscles being less taut.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Goodbye first trimester!

Despite what the calendar might say, I am feeling as though I have escaped the first trimester. My extreme fatigue is now just fatigue, and my nausea has gone the way of my waistline - that is to say - completely vanished.
You may notice the new ticker! I know it has a bit of a creepy factor to it, but what's really amazing (to me anyway) is that the display baby changes over time to reflect developmental upgrades (as it were). Three tickers already... but if I find another intriguing one, it's going up too.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Maternity clothes

My first pregnancy spanned four seasons, and therefore involved a wide variety of maternity clothes. Due to the fact that the particular year I was pregnant for Rebecca involved an extremely hot and protracted summer, many of these clothes were summer clothes. Also, I am convinced that the heat was part of the reason I had such extensive problems with edema. That year (2005), fall was practically nonexistant, and I only experienced a small portion of winter (but there had been considerable snowfall by the time Rebecca arrived - as is evident in the pictures). So, I imagined reusing all these items. The thing is - the timing of this pregnancy is out of phase with the last one. This was at least partially by design. I had vowed to myself never again to endure the hottest months of the year while pregnant - given my extensive discomfort previously. But, even though I can't wear my regular clothes, many of my maternity clothes that are appropriate for the current weather, are way too big.
Therefore, Rebecca and I had an expedition to the maternity store to round out my wardrobe. I think I now have some work-appropriate pieces that should last for quite some time.
Speaking of work, the cat is out of the bag. I spoke to the Bureau director a few weeks ago - so now I am free to dress like a pregnant woman without fear of discovery. I don't think anyone at work was surprised - there are many women my age in the office, and most who've had one child tend to go for a second round.
Still feeling relatively miserable, although I can begin to sense that my energy levels are coming back - soon I will be able to function without a nap during the day and be civil to my husband. My skin and hair are much improved. My hair in particular was very dull and unappealing for much of the beginning of this trimester, but it is starting to look and feel more lustrous again. My waist is long gone, my belly is released (as is typical of a second pregnancy - it isn't hard as a rock as I remember from my last pregnancy, it is simply flabby due to the relaxation of the muscles by the high progesterone levels - I literally lack the ability to suck in my gut). My queasiness is becoming more intermittent - but certainly not absent. I'm starting to experience some twinges in my back - but this is neither surprising nor unexpected. I am still getting up several times a night to pee, but once again, this should be greatly improved when I hit the second trimester, since the uterus then moves upward and relieves pressure on the bladder. The only new territory, is that I've discovered what comes after double D - not that I wanted to.

Affection on demand

I have previously mentioned that Rebecca will now request hugs. But now, she will also give kisses on request, provided you say "kissy" and make the "mmm" sound first. In sum - hugs are given on her terms, kisses are given on our terms.
Apparently, it is quite normal for toddlers to be extremely affectionate as they approach age two. I must admit that it is far more palatable than some of the other behaviours in the neighbourhood of two.
Rebecca has always seemed to have a mind of her own. Is she willful and defiant? Probably not - she just knows *exactly* what she wants. I say *exactly* because she is so particular. Beyond that, certain things are acceptable or unacceptable in her universe. For example, if I get out of the shower and have a hair towel wrapped around my head - that constitutes a "towel/hat" (in her words", which is distressing and must be removed. In fact, any head accoutrements for herself or myself are not appreciated (including hair clips, sun hats). The exception are "helmet"s (bike-style or otherwise), because they please her a great deal. Becca does not appreciate it if we rearrange key pieces of furniture - such as the coffee table. If we do so, she promptly moves it back to its original location.
She is showing signs of low-level deviousness. It is apparent from her body language and facial expressions (and the uttering of "no, no, no" often accompanied by head shaking), that she is well aware of which actions and behaviours are not permitted. But nevertheless, she will try to do these things right under your nose. She could be chanting "no, no, no" as she sidles herself towards a forbidden object/location, casting furtive glances all the while. She also seems to request "mook" late at night, when she's not actually thirsty - presumably as a means to be liberated from her room.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sleep improvements!

Rebecca is getting a little easier to put down. Though she can reliably get up in the dark and open her door, the doorknob covers on all the doors in the hall keep her from getting any further.

The routine now seems to be:

1) Bedtime - Mom and dad often are suckered into letting her stay up a little extra
2) Put her down - she usually protests as we leave the room
3) A little crying
4) An escape attempt. She either gets too upset to open her door and has a little cry on the floor, or does the same thing in the hallway. She is now often giving up and going back to bed on her own now. If she gets really worked up, a bit of a cuddle and back to bed.
5) I'd say somewhere between 50 and 75% of the evenings she wakes up crying at some point (anywhere from 10pm to 2am). Usually a quick cuddle and it's back to bed without much protesting. Occasionally it will be a long night with multiple wake-ups.

All in all, I'd say it's a very tenable situation at the moment. (Knock on wood)

Learning to share all over again

As the pregnancy rolls on, I have to get over the fact that I'm no longer alone in bed with my wife.

No, it's not the growing baby to be I speak of. It's the infernal giant blue whale pillow.

A couple times that thing's crowded my space. Ah well, if it makes mom feel better, I guess it can stay.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The eroded tongue

I ran out of sour hard candies - my usual nausea remedy, just at a time when I hit a resurgence of feeling exceptionally nasty. I tried to find hard sour candies (which you might imagine would not be challenging prior to Hallowe'en) - but failed. The next best thing was Double Sour Skittles. I swear, these guys were coated in crystallized acid. It burned! Nevertheless, they certainly staved off the feeling of wanting to vomit.
But today, my tongue is all chewed up. I guess I overdid it. In fact, I think I ate so many that I actually aggravated my upset tummy (a side issue not related to feeling nauseous, but no fun nonetheless).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Un-Hallelujah

I was determined to retrain a tired Rebaboo starting at 7:45.
I closed off all the doors, so that if she opened the door to leave her room, she wouldn't come into my room, go into the rest of the house, or wreak havoc in the bathroom.

My intervals of reassuring intervention:
15 min - crying and screaming
20 min - crying and screaming
30 min - crying and screaming
45 min - furious crying and screaming and whimpering
1hr - somewhere in here, she falls asleep (around 10:20pm).

Greg comes homes and tries to open the hallway door. Not possible - unconscious baby and precious Bala (her word for her blanket) are barring the way.
Greg takes over the training. After a long time, she goes back to sleep.

At least one wakeup at 4am.

Thursday morning I get up to take my shower. I try to open my door. Not possible - unconscious baby and precious Bala are barring the way.

Sigh.

Baboo goes to bed with her Dada.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This bites

I feel like crap.
Also, I pulled a muscle in my neck when I was sleeping, and I can't take any Advil. So, now I'm Captain Menthol.
I would like to be put in suspended animation for the rest of the pregnancy because I don't think I can put up with all the physical nonsense again, and I know exactly how much of that is left to come.

Hallelujah

Rebecca fell asleep in the car on the way to Liz's apartment. It was only 7:45pm. She was easily transferred to a jogging stroller for an hour, then back to the car. From the car to her bed - no problem.
She slept without a peep until around 7:30am.

I don't know why we were blessed in this way last night. It gives me great hope that things can be turned around again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Second prenatal appointment

I am about 9 weeks pregnant and I have had my second prenatal appointment. Everything seems good so far. We tried to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler, but it's really too early for that. I'm not concerned since I saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound I had at the Civic.
Not concerned is a good word for the experience of a second pregnancy. The first time, I read something about pregnancy every single day. I had a stack of books, magazines and organizers at my bedside, and I spent a lot of time imagining and planning.
Now, I have no time, and I have none of the anxiety of my first pregnancy. It isn't the focus of all my attention, it's more like something in the background - important, but not central. This is not to say that it is any less important to us, but with a toddler running around, the approach to pregnancy is naturally, somewhat different.
All the same, I am coming to realize that I have got to be more realistic about what I can and can't handle physically right now. According to my GP, last week was the normal peak for queasiness - no wonder I felt so sick at Elizabeth's wedding. But I have a good stash of hard sour candies to get me through the rest of this horrid trimester. I am probably going to arrange to ditch my compressed work hours because it is more than I can handle right now. I think I'm running myself into the ground. I've been sick, which is really uncommon for me while pregnant. I will continue to have my second Friday with Becca but I will just burn leave to do it. For me, it's worth it because losing my sanity isn't desirable. Rebecca has been having a lot of difficulty sleeping lately and I am a big pushover instead of being firm. It's because I feel guilty for coming home and handling her with super low energy levels instead of my normal exuberance. But, it's not helping either of us in the long run if I crawl into the toddler bed to help her settle.

New word

At this age, new words, expressions and skills happen all the time, and I am just too busy to record everything.
But... this week Rebecca learned to say "hug". And what's wonderful about that is that it is always a request.
Whatever frustrations I have felt lately (and there have been some long nights in the toddler bed and repeated viewings of Dora), I can honestly say that these perfect little moments with Becca make up for them.
Also, when we watch The Great Muppet Caper, she always insists that I pick her up and dance with her for the big musical number at the supper club. I love it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I love my little crazy

Rebecca's aunt Elizabeth married uncle Reuben this weekend.

Rebecca was quite entertained by the other kids present at the event (in particular Reuben's nephew AJ) and was in fine form.

Looking adorable dancing with AJ before the reception was in full swing:

She periodically (at least 5 or 6 times) lay down flat on the floor. Not sure if it was part of her dance, or if she wanted to get a good look at the Chinese lanterns hung in the giant skylight above the dance floor. The funniest part was AJ (though the older of the two at 2 1/2 to Rebecca's 1 3/4) would copy her, lying down beside her.




Anyway, they made quite a cute couple. AJ's living down by St. Louis though, so they probably won't be seeing too much of each other.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Swimming lessons!

Well, semi-organized playtime in the pool might be more accurate.

Yesterday morning Rebecca and I went to the Plant Bath for her toddler swimming lessons.

She was about the biggest kid there, but she didn't use the opportunity to rub it in the faces of the younger kids or anything. Besides, she was having too much fun splashing, floating on her front and back, and having water poured on her head while myself and all the other parents (erm, mothers would be more precise) sang nursery songs.

Quite fun, I think we'll go back. ;) (We're signed up for a session)

The session didn't last too long, which I suppose is good. I'm not sure who would tire first, the toddlers or parents.

First pic!


I'm told my second child is in this photo. Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Revised due date - April 29th

According to an ultrasound today, the new due date is April 29th. I will reset all my blog tickers sometime soon. Of course, maybe my GP will say something different. Now I'm back at 7 weeks on the nose! I had April 21st from my first prenatal appointment- but that wasn't my regular GP and they had made the prediction without accounting for my actual cycle length. It just seems kind of crazy that my LMP was July 16th and I'm only 7 weeks pregnant.
The predicted due date is just that - a prediction, but you tend to fixate on it anyway. I still remember Rebecca's due date, even though she chose not to respect it at all. I guess my frustration stems a bit from my hatred of the first trimester. I really find it the worst part of the pregnancy - it seems endless, you worry about the risk of miscarriage, you feel crappy, you are tired, you want to barf all day long, you don't look pregnant enough to reap special attention and pampering and can't justify using the special parking spot, digestive upset etc. .There is no jolly fat, hard as a rock belly, but you do have no waist, and slack muscles in your body.
So here is the reason I had an ultrasound - which was otherwise scheduled for the end of September. I started having an intermittent, mild but unignorable pain in the lower right quadrant of my tummy on Sunday at midday. By Monday night, it still kept reappearing, and I decided it would be prudent to call the Telehealth line. So, I ended up going to the hospital with Greg on Monday night slightly after midnight and didn't get home until four. I was palpated, I peed into cups, and I had a quick and dirty ultrasound. While we were gone, we had a close friend watch Becca -which was a godsend. Although, she did wake up and freak out. They had basically determined that things were fine after this first trip, but they wanted me to have a second ultrasound on a pickier machine just to be 100% sure everything was where it should be. That ate up my afternoon. I tried to sleep between the two forays, but someone shoved a plastic Elmo drinkbox in my face at 9am, followed by a Winnie the Pooh book. Fair enough. This was a not fun day, but was ultimately reassuring, and the best part was that I got to see Babootwo for the first time (Smudge-like naturally). I saw the heart beating - a quick and happy flickering. And it made me realize that not only was I pregnant, but there was actually a little baby in there. This seems like a pretty obvious fact, but there is a big difference between peeing on a stick and seeing it turn colours, and seeing a living being in real time. Greg took a digital photo of the ultrasound printout, which he has promised to post here later. That's all for now.

It's still wonderful

Rebecca started bringing books to me and sitting in my lap when she was a year old. She still does it - just about every day. And it makes me just as happy now as it did then.

And now in lieu of something funny or novel (because I am really tired), I give you:
Rebecca's Current Favourites!
NB: May be out of date by the time you finish reading.

Foods: Arrowroot cookies, toast, eggs, cold cuts, sliced apple
Colour: Lellow
Inanimate object: Her white blanket ("Bala")
Imaginary person: Dora ("Da")
Request: Kitty! or Piggy! (which you must draw) or Colour! (which means give me back my crayons) or Park! (let's go to the Park already)
Drink: Milk in a cup with a straw (she still hates fruit juices)
Song: The Winnie the Pooh song
Book: Her treasury of Fairy Tales

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Who is Rebecca more attached to, her parents, or her blanket?

We *really* needed to wash Rebecca's favorite silky-edged snuggly blanket today. It gets gross really quickly as she sucks furiously on the edge any time she's tired and needs soothing.

We put it in the wash before bath time, but it was nowhere near dry at bed-time. We tried to substitute her other silky-edged blanket, but that was a disaster. Cries of "BAAALAAAAA!" (blanket) followed by throwing it in the floor and climbing right out of bed. I stopped giving her the blanket and tried cuddling her to sleep. She stopped crying but never really settled.

An hour later after we started to put her to bed, her blanket was ready. I held it out, she ran over with a smile on her face, and wrapped it completely around her head and started sucking. I took her to bed and put her down (no songs, no cuddles, no soothing) and left the room. She complained for around 4, maybe 5 seconds before settling down silently.

She really, REALLY loves that blanket. We should buy a second, just in case.

Two amazing days

Friday was my compressed day off. It was 32 degrees and HUMID!!! Rebecca and I had an aborted chariot run with Elizabeth (it became a walk), followed by a trip to the gloriously air-conditioned grocery store and then... the beach! Becca loves to play in the water. We picked up Grandpapa and spent a good two hours at the Aylmer beach. Rebecca must have been in the water almost the entire time. Saturday I took Rebecca to the open house at the Museum of Agriculture on the Experimental Farm. There were many families in attendence, and we ventured into all the barns and saw all the displays. There was a big tent near the entrance, and it took three attempts for us to enter because Rebecca was intimidated by the noise. She ran right up to it at first, then turned around and clung to my legs and led me away. When she eventually gained the courage, she enjoyed the insect displays and the little bag of popcorn (of which I got none). I tried to get her to drink some lemonade, but after one taste she made a face of utter disgust and tried to push the cup as far away from her as possible. While Rebecca really enjoyed the smaller farm animals like the goats and sheep, the larger ones scared her a bit. The horses and cows provoked clingy cuddles (not that I minded). What seemed to unsettle her the most were the calves, because they started mooing at her. Every time a calf lowed, she started and hugged me tightly. We took a ride on a horse-drawn cart, which she heartily enjoyed, and all in all it was a fun day. Unfortunately I had to take a disciplinary action this weekend - after catching Rebecca colouring the walls (red-handed so to speak), I had to confiscate the crayons (even though I know that it's her current favourite activity). Since the confiscation, Rebecca has been attempting to convince Greg and I to return the crayons with a plaintive cry of "colour?". I made home-made playdough in the hope that it would be a temporary replacement, but she wasn't really interested in it. This morning she raided a pen from a drawer in the kitchen and was attempting to continue her "artwork", so it's clear that the prohibition on wall art is still not well understood.

Bleh

I am having more trouble with food aversions than last time. I made delicious sausages and vegetables earlier this week, with a lovely Thai chile and garlic sauce and I couldn't bear to eat it. But worse - last night I baked chocolate chip cookies and it made me feel so ill that I couldn't sleep until 4:30 in the morning. I tried to have a mint tea to settle my tummy, but the smell of the mint tea was so awful to me that I dumped it all down the sink. The smell of a dirty diaper is that much worse!
How am I supposed to give Rebecca a good and fun day with Mommy?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Boqboqboqboq

Rebecca makes the cutest chicken noises when eating chicken fingers.

What a character. :)

Apparently the little one has fingers and toes!

I guess I'll have to refrain from using the name Stubby now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Too tired for anything

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
omg so tired
Also, suffering from cutaneous candida again on my abdomen and upper body. I am frustrated because my online searches are hampered by the fact that another form of candida is many times more common in pregnancy than the type I get. Clearly for me, the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy are favouring a tip in the microbiological scales.
For all that I had read about each pregnancy being unique, my experience thus far has basically been identical to my last.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Foiled again!

So... Rebecca learned to open doors.
Therefore, we bought door knob safety covers.
It is true that Rebecca can't open the doors when these covers are on.
But, what I discovered tonight is that she is perfectly capable of disassembling them into their components, and *then* opening the door.
Can I wave the white flag now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monkey infestation.

To know if you have a monkey problem (also referred to as simian infestation syndrome) you should look for telltale signs.

1) Monkeys need to eat. What do monkeys eat? Quite a variety of foods will suffice. A long standing favorite is fresh baguette from the bakery. Half eaten baguette is a dead giveaway. Here is a monkey caught in the act:



This being said, new research indicates that Penaten brand Zinc Oxide cream is quite tasty. If you find your brand new cream opened and half empty, you may have a problem. (More on this later)

2) Noises. Monkeys are very territorial and possessive. Often unexpected changes in environment (such as the lady of the household going downstairs to do the laundry) result in excessively loud wailing and stomping noises. Our motion sensitive cameras detected one such occurrence and caught this image of an upset, naked individual:



3) Tracks. Monkeys have been known to leave little monkey hand prints all over the house, especially after they've gotten whacky on diaper cream (see 1.)



4) Monkey sightings. First hand sightings are the most conclusive evidence of simian infestation. If you see a monkey, such as this one, be careful. This specimen has obviously had a little too much cream to eat, and is likely to be uncontrollably whacko. Cuteness and cuddles can also occur.

(Rebecca came into my room and woke me up this morning looking like this, needless to say I was surprised, as neither Madeleine nor I were aware that she could let herself out of her room when the door was closed. Poison control said not to worry about the cream that she ate.)

Wahoo!

I'm pretty excited about this whole affair. While some of the basics won't be as novel, there's the whole aspect of how Rebecca will fit in as an older sibling. I anticipate it being a pretty wonderful, fun, educational and tiring experience.

I'll let you know how it works out in twenty, maybe twenty five years.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I still need my Mommy sometimes

First of all - she hadn't had a poo for two days.
She seemed tired. She was furiously eye-rubbing and blanket-sucking.
I put her down for a nap.
I was myself exhausted.
I fell asleep for 15 minutes until a phone call woke me up.
It was only 15 minutes!
In that time she:
  • Moved almost all her furniture to one corner of the room
  • Took all the clothes out of her dresser
  • Put all her crayons in the vent
  • Stripped naked
  • Took her poo-filled diaper and smeared it on:
    • The floor
    • Her clean clothes from her dresser
    • Her white blanket
    • Her clean bed sheets
    • Herself - her chest, her butt and her cheeks
When I walked into the room, it smelled very bad and she was very happy.
Greg was at work. Supper guests were coming in a matter of hours.
I called my Mom. She came to my rescue.

Thank-you Mom for all your help!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

#&%*@!

I think Rebecca might have a food allergy.
I was told that she would probably be predisposed to food allergy given the fact that I have severe food allergies and eczema, and Greg has allergy-induced asthma. Allergy, eczema and asthma are all linked.
But here's the worst part - I think it's a sesame allergy. I've had years to learn how to cope with living with a nut allergy - and while it it life-threatening, it isn't terribly hard for me to avoid my allergen. Sesame is different. It's *everywhere*. I don't know anything about sesame allergies except that they are sort of being viewed as the new peanut allergy.
There have been two incidents now where Rebecca has eaten something containing tahini, and as gotten an immediate red rash on patches of her face. This rash takes a while to dissipate. I feel that of the foods eaten on both occasions, it's the only viable candidate.
I am now going to start a sesame purge in my house.
What's confusing to me is that she loves humus, but that's exactly what the source of the problem is. As a child, I instinctively avoided my allergens because eating them caused pain and discomfort on my lips, mouth and throat.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How this pregnancy is already different from the last one

For starters, I am less anxious, less worried, and less consumed by the desire to read all available pregnancy literature. I am also wiser - I know how to handle and interpret the signs and symptoms. Also, I know better than to embrace this as an opportunity for lounging and eating ice cream (so far) - although I admit that it is very challenging not to be able to easily accommodate my extra need for sleep. The first time around, the experience was so new that exploring and learning about it was an activity in and of itself. This time, I am wondering how I will manage all this without shortchanging Rebecca or myself or Greg.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Round two!

I am pregnant again! Started trying at the end of May, but only made a serious effort in the last month. It's a little harder to make this kind of thing a priority with a toddler ruling your life.
Anyhow, I had a positive home pregnancy test yesterday (which I did at work, in the afternoon, in the washroom stalls). Despite the fact that my period was already five days overdue, previous tests had failed to yield a positive result. Why? Because I was trying to be economical! The sensitivity of generic tests is very poor. When I switched to the most sensitive test on the market, I immediately got a positive result.
Go figure.
I started having symptoms last week, which made me suspicious. I think I may be in for a rougher time than the last, since I am already quite nauseous, sore, crampy, moody, tired, and in the midst of digestive upset. What surprised me the most was that the fatigue did not seem extraordinary. It was my biggest clue last time. I realize that I am now far more accustomed to fatigue, and after my experiences with Rebecca, I will probably never feel that a level of deep fatigue is unusual.
I decided to have a separate blog for this second experience, because it is unique and different, and because I probably won't divulge my condition to most people for a little while yet. I think it's more accurate if I make "fresh" posts. Also, I am being more candid than last time because I don't want to inadvertently pressure any of my friends.
My first prenatal doctor's appointment is next week.
According to online due date calculator, my due date should be April 25th, 2008.
I was already outed by one coworker, within hours of taking my test. We have a habit of sharing snacks (she is my cubicle neighbour), and when I asked for a snack at an unusual time, she immediately asked if I was pregnant, and I found I couldn't deceive her. I guess I am a predictable creature.
Then, this morning, my other cubicle neighbour told me she had a dream about me last night. In this dream, she spoke with one of our former colleagues who told her that the sex of my unborn child was female. I thought this was a little freaky.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Piano fun with Becca

I played a chromatic scale for Rebecca on the piano today. She liked it so much, she said "Agaaaain!". Many more scales followed.
This made me happy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

More adventures in bedtime.

Rebecca's getting better at sleeping in her bed in fits and starts.

Her bedtime of 8pm is right out the window right now. Though she's regularly waking up at 7am and has completely removed her morning nap, she's nowhere near tired enough to put down at 8.

That said, putting her down at 9 sure isn't easy. In fact, it's often been an hour and a half long task.

Here's the procedure in a nutshell:

  1. Calm her down. Usually with her regular bedtime routine, change, stories, songs, cuddles.
  2. Put her in bed. Lights out. This is often accompanied with much protestation.
  3. If step 2 goes badly enough, climb in bed with her.
  4. Watch Rebecca scramble over you repeatedly, and make her way to her closed bedroom door, blanket in tow, for a full on baby meltdown.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 until she stays in bed.
  6. Get out of bed if you're in it. Continue to settle her through song and soothing words while edging towards the door. By this point she should be nodding off.
  7. Open the door.
  8. Stand in the door making intermittent soothing noises every time she stirs.
  9. Slowly close the door, making sure she's not waking up.
  10. Gently latch the door.
  11. Repeat steps 1-10 as necessary, as the latch noise of the door is apparently hard wired as a signal in Rebecca's brain to initiate a full on hissy fit where she jumps out of bed, runs to the door and pounds on it screaming bloody murder.
Erm.... Yeah. Hour, hour and a half.

Naptime hasn't been as bad, I put her in bed, tell her it's naptime and that I love her, and exit the room latching the door. If she puts up a little fuss and walks over to the door, I let her settle herself which she usually does in a couple minutes.

This ends all too frequently in this:

Yup, floor nap by the door. This can be awkward when she's right against the door... Anyway, I usually wait 'till she's thoroughly out of it and pick her up and put her in bed where she naps happily for up to two hours or so.

Yeah, sleep is tiring. Or rather, getting Rebecca to sleep. Ah well.

Camping Extravaganza

I'm a little late in posting, but here goes.

Last week we got back from camping in Prince Edward County with Rowan, Sarah and Nigel. Plenty of fun to go around, definitely a successful 'trial run'. There's more camping in our future.

Madeleine and I felt that going camping with friends who also have a young child would be a good idea. We ended up doing one group activity/trip per day instead of the three or four destinations Madeleine and I hit each day when we went without kid in tow.

Sleeping in the tent was a nice experience, though Rebecca did usually take an hour or more to get settled, and woke up in the middle of the night a few times.

The campground was definitely far from rustic. It was a commercial campground that catered to families tenting/trailering/RVing. The bathroom facilities were good, and we had water and hydro at our campsite, though we didn't make use of electricity that I noticed. The campground is mainly grass with trees every few campsites for shade. It wasn't crowded at all, and Rebecca spent a good amount of time wandering around exploring with parents shadowing behind a ways.

Here's a shot of mom and toddler in matching beach attire to give you an idea what it looked like:


We went down on Tuesday, stopping for a bite in Picton. We set up camp in the afternoon, and took it easy. There was a little rain that night, but wisely Nigel suggested setting up a tarp over our tents, so we were quite comfortable and dry.

Wednesday Madeleine, Rebecca and I headed out in our awesome Marshall-tandem-trailer-train to go to the County Cider Company. Madeleine and I had been there on our trip down to Prince Edward County last year and enjoyed their wares. I *thought* it was a 10k bike ride, but had dramatically misread the map. It was actually 23, and it was right around 30 degrees, and late morning by the time we left. Needless to say, we were kind of baked by the time we got there. Instead of sampling various ciders Madeleine and I pooped out in the shade, guzzled water, and grabbed one bottle of delicious ice cider for sharing by the campfire later. We turned around and rode a couple kilometers to a marina to have a picnic lunch which was quite decadent.


We got back to the campsite mid afternoon and Nigel and Sarah took Rowan off for a visit with Nigel's grandmother in Whitby. We hung out at the campsite and popped into Picton for dinner by car.

Thursday was a little cooler, but still in the mid to high twenties, so we headed down to Sandbanks Provincial Park to get some sun sand and surf in. Well, the breeze was onshore, so there were absolutely no waves. That being said, we enjoyed another picnic in the sand, relaxing in the sun (and later shade) and Rebecca and Rowan had great fun splashing in the water.

(That's Rebecca in the Chariot, and Madeleine in the Canada chair on the right)

Nigel and I got in the canoe to go annoy the fish by dropping lures in the water near them. They didn't get frustrated enough to bite any of the worms drifting annoyingly past their little fish faces though.

We had a nice campfire Thursday night, with more marshmallows and some ice cider to share.

Friday we were heading home. Nigel and I went for another canoe dip, around peak fishing time. 11am. Erm. Maybe not. Nigel *said* he had poked me in the face repeatedly at 6am. The fact that Rebecca had me up at 3am may have had something to do with me sleeping in. Unsurprisingly, no fish bit that morning either.

We packed up, headed into Picton for lunch, then home, quite exhausted.

All in all, a wonderful camping trip.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Adventures in sleeping... success!

To prepare for our upcoming camping trip, we pitched the tent in the back yard to see if we could get Rebecca sleeping out there.

She spent much time doing laps, tripping on our feet, sitting on our heads, and generally being a little crazy. A few times she got upset and could only be placated by giving her our flashing turtle light.



After a couple awesome disco parties where she swung the flashing light around over her head, she finally settled around midnight.

She got up again at 3:30, settled again, then got up around 6:30, and mom took her inside to sleep in on her bed.

Our confidence bolstered by this success, we proceeded to try the sleeping trapeze with no net, and disassembled her crib yesterday. We tried to get her to nap on her bed with little success throughout the day, but were able to get her to go to sleep on her bed around 10pm last night (2 hours after her normal bedtime). Needless to say, she was QUITE tired by that point, and slept quite well (like a baby some would even say) straight through until 9 something this morning.

After a failed attempt for her morning nap, we got her to go down for her nap in her bed at 3pm today, where she stayed soundly asleep for 2 1/2 hours.

Wahoo!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rebecca at Greg's bday - post-sprinkler encounter


This picture was taken by Elizabeth. Thanks!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Rebecca has had quite the family month.

Lots of visits. Don't have pics of them all, but here she is with her aunt Fiona who's wearing the most kid friendly and popular necklace ever:


Here's she's in swing-induced bliss, being pushed by her cousin Lucas:



And here she is with cousins Nicholas and Lucas, as well as aunts Trixa and Fiona:


She may look like she's trying to escape, but she absolutely loves hanging out with her cousins.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tales of the Compressed Day Off

Yesterday was my compressed day off - which naturally, I spend with Rebecca.

What did we do?

Highlights:
  • We watched the squirrels in the backyard. They may not be kitties, but they are still intriguing with their fence acrobatics.
  • We coloured and coloured and coloured (Note: It seems evident that Becca is a southpaw. If she picks up a crayon in her right hand, she will transfer it to the left. All her colouring is done with her left hand).
  • We danced in the living room to the music on the radio.
  • We read some books.
  • We sang the Skinamarinky-dinky-dink song many times.
  • Rebecca was "reading" a magazine when I picked her up, and as she twisted around, she gave me a paper cut on the mouth. It was so painful that I chucked the magazine across the living room. That was my parental "low" moment of the day. I didn't make any inappropriate exclamations or direct any negative feelings towards Rebecca, but I was definitely ticked off with the magazine.
  • We were rescued from our shopping cart woes by a considerate Daddy who witnessed our struggled to extricate safety straps from a cart. It was a long time before anyone offered to help, despite the fact that I was trying to achieve my task one-handed.
  • This same cart turned out to have a defective wheel. This only became a problem in the cookie aisle when I moved to the side in order to let someone pass. Afterwards, I had to use all my strength to get the fully loaded cart to turn left. In the meantime, Becca had been denuding the shelves. We don't buy cookies for home, so it must be the packaging that appeals to her - but still!
  • I couldn't find Hershey's kisses for my recipe. I told Rebecca that I needed Kisses, and she gave me about nine kisses. That was the best moment of my day. And she made the mmm sound before each kiss.
  • Rebecca tried to take food from someone else's cart.
  • Rebecca said "flower" for the first time. (Today, she said "crayon" for the first time).
  • Rebecca and I visited with my parents. She was adorable and affectionate. She hung out with Mom while I went for a run with Dad. When I came back, she was watching me from the front door, and gave me a big hug.
  • Rebecca scraped her knee for the first time, running to the park.
  • Rebecca rode on the swings and said "whee" almost the entire time.
  • Rebecca put her feet in the fish pond and amused the goldfish.
  • Rebecca played with water in a small washing basin. She systematically added leaves. weeds, and small clumps of dirt to it. It was fascinating. I don't know what her goal was, but she was certainly determined. She was so angry with me when I tried to take her away from the basin, that she tried to bite me.
  • Rebecca had a bath in my parents' soaker tub and had her hair washed with salon shampoo.
  • Once in the night, Rebecca woke up with teething pain. I cuddled with her on the couch while I watched the tail end of "The Astronaut Farmer", and it seemed to distract her enough that she was able to go back to bed - no problem.