Thursday, August 30, 2007

Always close to my heart

If someone had asked me the year before I got pregnant with you if I would breastfeed, my answer would undoubtably have been, "No, I don't want a baby hanging off my boob, thank you very much." Things change.

In the weeks after you were born, feeding you was one of the most excruciating experiences I'd ever had. Maybe I wasn't prepared enough. But it hurt so bad everytime you latched on. Almost as painful as hearing you scream because I couldn't feed you enough in the five days it took my milk to come in. And you wanted to be fed all the time. At least every couple of hours - days and night. Probably more, but I couldn't fathom it in my sleep-deprived mind.

But we got the hang of it, having to try less and less to get positioned properly. I never even thought to give up, always assuming it would get better. After about three or four weeks, my boobs weren't quite as sore - they even stopped bleeding. It felt wonderful and satisfying to be your sole source of nourishment. Just like all mama mammals feed their babies.

You slept with us at night so I didn't have to constantly haul my tired body out of bed. (And because you screamed when you were more than a foot away.) I remember the first time I fell asleep nursing you in the middle of the night. I woke up with a jolt; you were passed out beside me all peaceful and sweet. The next day I rushed to the Internet to find out if it was okay to fall asleep while nursing - it wasn't in any of the books! Poor, delusional new mom... Thankfully I wasn't the only one so my guilt slowly subsided and we could go through most nights with me barely waking up. Or not remember waking up to feed you. We were both happy with the arrangement.

And you grew. And grew and grew. You had these delicious, chubby thighs that I could not get enough of. (When we took you to get immunized at six months, the public health nurse was very impressed with your abundant leg and arm rolls - you know, for a 'breast-fed' baby.) We had a nice routine of nursing and playing and napping. Oh, the napping. And squirting your dad in the eye with milk.

When we started seeing the pediatrician-referred feeding specialists when you were 11 months old to address your lack of weight gain, I remember them asking me what I planned to feed you milk-wise when I returned to work, and suggested getting you on 3%. I was floored - not having thought about it. Not wanting to. Not wanting to go back to work. And then thinking about it and not being able to imagine separating you from my milk, the only thing you took when you had stopped eating everything else. So I ignored it - kinda. Actually we just went along as we always had when I went back to work. And that worked for us. You nursed in the morning, when we came home for lunch, after work and at bedtime. And little by little, you started eating more and gaining a little more weight. (Now you're a giant, kinda - 23 lbs. and 33.5" tall.)

Until recently I had the idea that nursing past a year was uncommon - and weird. Just for hippies. This one-year time limit to breastfeed must coincide with the year long maternity leave we get in Canada. Do you think it was the same when the leave was only six months? That nursing past then was odd? Sometimes I need a little reassurance that we are normal, so I scour the Internet for 'facts' that suit my situation. Fortunately I don't have to look far as both Health Canada and the World Health Organization both recommend nursing to the age of two, and after that for as long as mutually desired. (Do I sound like a public service announcement?)

Sometimes when I look at you, I can see that little tiny baby you used to be. From the day you were born, your demeanor has always been the same. You want what you want when you want it. NOW. Whether you were two days old, two months old or twenty-two months old, you are happiest in my arms suckling away. I've struggled to justify your needs and your happiness versus my hang-ups about society's acceptance of nursing a toddler. Some days I decide that this HAS TO STOP. The next day I decide that I can hang on a little longer. It really keeps you as my baby - and without a new baby on the horizon, this arrangement works right now. (Baby polar bears are weaned when they are two and a half so the mommy polar bear can regain her fertility and have another baby polar bear. Hint, hint.) It is also the best way to diffuse a tantrum, cure a bad mood or knock you out for a nap - in three minutes flat. It's like magic.

Of course, you really drive me crazy when you are sick (which is often) or having an attachment relapse and want to nurse ALL THE TIME, but I suck it up and think about how happy it makes you. And what a nice opportunity to reconnect when I come home from work. There are much worse things than laying around with you, your warm little body cuddled up against me as we watch t.v. or I tell you stories. Who could say no to a face like this?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In case you'd been wondering...

The food you've eaten in the last few days includes:

Doritos while you watched the Curious George movie,

margarine from your fingertip that sat atop a piece of tortilla and also got smeared into your other hand and onto your cheek (and my pants),

a cherry tomato from the garden that you squirreled away in your cheek until you bit it and then promptly spit it on the lawn,

and tonight for supper, parmesan cheese - sans the lonely noodle I divided and placed on your plate and on your fork in hopes that you might eat it. Uh, no.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Your favourite song is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. By a long shot. Here you are with your adorable little voice singing all by yourself and doing a pretty good job at it, too! Even with a mouthful of Crispix...

Twinkle Twinkle - Aug.25.07 from Really Silly Lily and her mama and Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


You turned two and I think it is more than mere coincidence that you are suddenly now terrible. This morning was the worst. Every second Wednesday is cleaning day so we have to pack you up and take you to Nana's house. Once every two weeks. Only one time in 14 days. But this morning you would have none of it. None. You've been doing this thing where you scream bloody murder if we try to place you in your car seat. Even if we get the top buckle done up, you squirm around until you have actually hung yourself and we have to pull you up so you stop choking. It's that nice.

You started doing this in Calgary when you were 2 years + 2 days old. It took us over 45 minutes to get you calm enough to buckle you in and go. We just didn't haven't that time this morning as both your dad and I needed to get to work. So, we canceled the cleaners and called Nana to haul herself over as soon as she could. And you still cried. You layed in my lap on the couch and whimpered. When Nana showed up, I told you I had to go work which brought on more tears while you shook your head. Until I said, "Do you and Nana want to play playdough?" And your mood perked up, and you got excited and after I got the playdough, you said, "Bye bye, mommy." And you were apparently really good for the rest of the day. If I'd only thought of bribing you with playdough earlier...

Another way you've been using your new two-ness is by telling us what to do. If your dad and I are having a conversation, you'll pipe up, wag your finger and say, "No, no, no, daddy! Stop talking mommy." Or if dad asks for a kiss, you say, "No. Kiss mommy." It's really quite adorable watching you assert yourself.

And something I just noticed the other day after spotting it in our holiday photos is that you have a sweet little beauty spot right in the middle of your right cheek. It's cute - as is the rest of you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Week in Pictures

We, especially you, had a great time at the folk fest. Of course Creeson was there and there were a bunch of other kids to keep you busy and practicing your social skills.

Your birthday party was good just because you were impressed with getting all of the attention shined solely on you. We opened presents, ordered in pizza and had cake with Nana, Nigel and Jessica. Short and sweet and left us enough time to pack.

On Monday, Aug. 13 we left for on the first leg of our first real family road trip. Here are you and your dad on the side of the highway where we stopped for a diaper change and pee break.

We made it to Medicine Hat and spent the afternoon at Echo Dale regional park. I spent a lot of summer time out there with Dan when we were in college, mostly during drawing class. You enjoyed the petting farm.

On Tuesday, we got into Calgary, hit IKEA to buy you a tent and a train set and Dad caught a little nap before we went to Dan and Chad's for supper.

Here's you, me and Dan. We had supper and drinks and you played with their kitty, Mikka. She was a fiesty little thing. You had lots of fun and were quite independent considering you'd never been to their house before.

On Wednesday, we met Dan for brunch before heading out to Banff for the day. You've been talking about mountains so much, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go with it being only an hour away. It was beautiful - even though the main street was dug up and that made the sidewalks a little hectic.

Still in Banff. The best picture of the whole trip in my opinion.

To cushion the blow of the endless shopping we seemed to do, you got to ride the merry-go-round at Chinook Centre. Twice. The second time after you ate a good lunch because we told you "the lady" said you had to eat lots if you wanted to ride the horsies again.

IKEA. Where we spent most of our time in Calgary. It wouldn't have been so hard on you had you not come down with THE WORST COLD IN THE UNIVERSE on Thursday. Lots of frozen yogurt cones and hot dogs. Right up your alley.

The hot tub in Medicine Hat. We got back there on Friday. By then you'd had it. You wouldn't even get in your car seat so we had to walk to a restaurant for supper. You'd been in so many restaurants that you even asked the server for your own booster seat. Again, you ate lots so that we could swim all night. You are such a super swimmer and so independent; jumping in by yourself and swimming away from us. You'd think those were magical water wings.

The long stretch home. We couldn't get you buckled in after we stopped for won ton soup in Swift Current. Playing with my glasses while dad put on a puppet show seemed to help. You were (and are) so happy to be home.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday "Two" You!

Tomorrow is your second birthday but since we are leaving in the morning for a little vacation, we are having a quick birthday party today. Not that you don't have enough to celebrate these days...

Last weekend Grandma and Grandpa came to help us finish painting the outside of the house (something we started three years ago) and to help build you a play structure. Mission accomplished! The back of the house matches the front and you have something to keep you busy while we weed or water or if you are just too naked to leave the yard. Grandma did a great job of keeping you busy so it was like a little holiday for me, too! And they brought you presents from them and Ryan, Jared and Leslie. You scored a Little People house complete with a family and Fluffy the Cat™. A doctor's bag with all the tools to keep us up and running. (You especially like checking our heart and blood pressure.) The Little People airplane with pilot and passengers. And a little baby that you like to make sit in the laundry baskets. To top off the fun times, we went for supper to East Side Mario's one night, to the lake to feed the geese and ducks and probably best of all, you, me and Grandma picked up ice cream to finish off the long weekend on Monday night.

After Grandma and Grandpa left on Tuesday, I got to spend the week with you. And Skye. We had quite the time our first day. You fell asleep just after 11 and only slept for forty minutes, but you were in good spirits so we went shopping, coming home just before 4:00 to crawl into bed and nap until Dad came home to wake us. It was just like the winter I was home with you - a year and a half ago I guess. You still had a 4:00 nap, your third of the day, and most days your dad would come home to find us still snoozing. That's the life. So we had a good week shopping with Nana, going to the library, playing on Lily's park.

Dad had Friday off so we went for breakfast and got lumber so Dad could finish the roof and sides of your tower. We napped while he worked. That night was cool so we finally dragged out our bikes and went for a bike ride. It's been so hot and muggy all summer that we spend more time at the pool than exploring the neighbourhood. It's just nice to switch it up. You rode well in your bike trailer, placated by candy bribes near the end. One thing I am really enjoying about you as you get older is your ability to sit nice in your stroller, carseat and bike trailer while we go places. Since you were about ten months old, you would howl and try to lunge out of everything so you could walk or run or just be in Mommy's arms. Now it's pretty cute when you try to pry your carseat straps off while saying, "I stuck. I stuck!" You also say that when Dad holds you or hugs you against your will - which is fairly often.

And yesterday was Folk Fest. The day we went anyway. I've been telling you about it for a couple days. You were very excited as your buddy Creeson would be there. ("Creeson. Hold hands, hug and kiss.) And it turned out to be as good and better than you anticipated. We got there right at 6 but it was already so busy. We found a place off to the side where we spread out our big blanket and kept our eyes peeled for Creeson and his mommy and daddy. In the meantime, there was this sweet little girl who was trying to impress us with her cartwheels. It worked with you in a big way and you quickly latched onto her. So much so that at one point you disappeared, following her and her mom down to the stage to dance. Her dad had to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that you wanted to go dancing. So we went up and the band was Mother Mother. I have been gushing about them for months and have been so excited to finally see them so we danced and I took some video. (You and I even met them afterwards at the merchandise tent where they were signing autographs. We told them a little story about seeing their poster at a presentation at my conference in Atlanta. And we took their picture because I think one day they could be borderline mainstream...) Anyway, it was so wonderful to see you in this huge crowd of people as you danced and ran and squealed with delight. You would occasionally check to see where I was, maybe giving my a leg squeeze. But you were free and just sucked in that freedom.

Eventually we found Jamie and Creeson and Mike so we brought them over to our blanket. Creeson was so pleased to see you and you were his main motivator for coming like he was yours. Apparently he talks about Yee Yee (Lily) quite a bit these days after they came over last Friday morning for coffee. So after sharing some mini donuts with him while you got reacquainted, you were all over that little boy hugging and kissing and stroking his cheek with the back of your hand. Well, that was when you weren't placing your hands on his neck in a kind of strangling action. With Mike and Jamie settled in, we found out that they knew the little girl's daddy so we officially met her; Avery wasn't much taller than you but she was 5 so there's lots of hope for your height. While Creeson got his bearings and stood fairly still, you ran wildly on the grass by the fence with Avery, her big brother and a little boy with red hair who was also sitting nearby. I couldn't believe how independent you could be, rarely checking to see where we were. When you wandered too close to the mud, I came to tell you to stay out of there. Avery took your hand, looked up at me and told me she would look after you. That made my job easier. Soon Creeson warmed up and the three of you ate Cheezies and orange popcorn in between boughts of trying to push the tree over, exploring the ashtrays and running just under every passerbys feet.

As the night went on, Avery had to stick closer to her parents so it was just you and Creeson. You were both just goofy. Creeson was maniacal and when he touched something or ran into the mud, you would chase him, shaking your finger and saying, "No, no, no, Creeson. Don't touch. Careful." Ah, Lily - the voice of reason... Almost sounds like how Mommy natters at Daddy. Anyway, you both stayed on that high until we finally packed everything up, wrapped you in a blanket and took you home - at almost 11:30 p.m.! Late night for all of us.

We had your birthday party so here's a movie of you and your butterfly cake. You were very impressed that it was covered in Smarties! I took lots of pictures of you today. I will have to post a bunch from the last few days and from our holiday sometime after we're back to our old routine.

Happy Birthday TWO you! from lily and mama and Vimeo.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Absolutely delightful.

You are so yummy. Just a wonderful person to be around these days. You not only talk, but you also make decisions. Last night after supper I asked you, "What do you want to do tonight?" Without hesitation you said, "Play choo choos." Easy enough, so we went to Chapters to play with the Thomas the Train set. It's where all the pre-schoolers congregate.

Another thing I find absolutely adorable is when I ask you a 'why' question, your answer is always the same. "Why can't grandma push you on the swing while mom gets some coffee?" Your response: "'Cuz."

Anyway, I'll try and think of more of the darndest things you say but until then, here you are in all your giggling glory.

Gonna get you with kisses! from lily and mama and Vimeo.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Lily - you are famous! I was reading like I do everyday to keep up on parent-type news, scrolling down perusing the articles and there you were! How exciting! I had uploaded the shots from Colleen's wedding last weekend and sent that one to the ParentDish site's Flickr pool. I never thought it would get chosen as hundreds of photos are uploaded daily. Very cool. Or as you would say - awesome!