Tag Archive | Parenting

No Longer A Baby

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Little Miss is no longer a baby. She’s offically a toddler now. Its both thrilling and heartbreaking to me. So much has changed since C and I brought her home as a tiny new born who was 100% dependant on us to keep her safe, happy and whole.

The journey Little Miss and I took to get her out safely was a long and often scary road. I had contractions at 20 weeks and then a placental abruption at 26, causing a week long stay at Sunnybrook Hospital in the high risk unit until we were stablized.  Once i was released i was on modified bedrest until my water broke at 36 weeks. Even my labour was unusual.

My water broke and there were no contractions for another 4 hrs, then they went from 20 minutes to 2 minutes apart in an hr. I had always told myself when I went into labour I wanted everything to quickly and would use mind over matter to ensure it happened. Didn’t work. Little Miss went into fetal distress and we ended up having an emergency C-section. It was not an easy time for our family. Even the first few weeks post birth were rough with serious medical issues.

When I look back on it all would I change anything? No, because every single one of those moments good or bad have helped shape who Little Miss is as a person and our relationship with her. I wish things had been more easy but not at the risk our family wouldn’t be where it is today.

Every new accomplishment is exciting and something we look forward to witnessing. Even the simple little things like figuring out to push a button a particular way if fascinating to me. Terrifying as well at time but fascinating too. A perfect example of this mixture or awe and fear would be the stairs. Little Miss is a stair climbing pro now and has decided this means she wants to learn how to descend them as well, not on her bum but standing like we do.

I can only imagine what the next year or 5 years or even 10 years wilk bring (probably a lot of grey hairs) but I can wait to see where it all takes us. This is the most important journey we’re taking in our lives; raising a child, and I’m so honoured and proud to have Little Miss as my daughter.

A Long And Rough Week

The past few days have been very busy as well as pretty awful for me. I started working again after a year off for maternity leave and sick leave due to complications with the pregnancy. I won’t lie and say I love my job (it would be a lie) but I do like the people I see and talk to as well as the constant challenge of it, but it’s still rough to go from being at home or out and about with Little Miss to having to work and be away from her.

Just as I was getting adjusted to this new schedule I started to feel off. I got a migraine for the first time since I was pregnant and then this past Sunday evening I started to cramp and spot. By Monday morning the cramping was so intense I would fall to the floor in the midst of a cramp, the spotting became very heavy bleeding and I couldn’t keep anything down. This was the start of three days in and out of the hospital or doctors offices for a miscarriage.

No, we didn’t know we were pregnant. It wasn’t planned and at the moment I have to say I’m glad we didn’t know. It was hard enough to have to go through the miscarriage when I didn’t know and deal with all the side effects and unexpected emotions. I couldn’t imagine how much harder it would have been had I known. We weren’t trying but if I had known I would have been thrilled, excited and expectant like most women are only to be devastated when things went wrong.

The miscarriage is in the end stages now and you’d all of that is busy enough but Saturday morning C woke me up because our roof is now leaking into the living room light fixture and its expected to rain most of the rest of the weekend. Yay! (That’s a very sarcastic yay in case you wondered). A crew won’t be able to come until Monday (maybe) to deal with the problem. At this rate I’m worried what the coming week holds for my family and I.

On a positive note though Little Miss now is walking and has been for about 2 weeks. She doesn’t walk all the time but can putter most of the way across the living room or wherever she happens to be completely unassisted including not using the furniture for support.

Meet Lloyd

This is Lloyd. Lloyd is Little Miss’s favourite thing. He is her security blanky of sorts I guess you could say. Lloyd goes everywhere with us.
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How did Lloyd get his name? Oddly enough his name comes from Coronation Street. Yes, Coronation Street. C’s family hail from England on one side and he is First Gen Canadian. Most of his family excluding his grandmother have no accent from their time in England but a large portion of them watch Coronation Street and at least 50% of the time at famiyl get togethers the show and its currant story lines will be talked about. C even records all of the previous weeks episodes so he can blow through them at his leisure throughout the week.

Up until this summer Coronation Street would air here in Canada behind England. When we first moved in together it was about a 9-10 month delay in when it aired there vs. here. Whenever C would annoy me or we were bickering I would go online and find out the story lines coming up and tell them to him before he saw them just to annoy him. Petty(ish) and silly I know but hey it’s better than fights, smacks or various other means that people use to bother one another. One day I decided that since Canadian networks were catching up story line wise to the UK telling C them ahead of time wasn’t enough and I started naming Little Miss’s teddies after characters from the show.

There are 6 of Lloyd. 6, that’s right. The original came in a 3 pack and Little Miss loves them so much we got an extra 3 just in case. I highly recommend picking up extras of a babies favourite teddy/blanky for so many reasons. I never have to go looking for Lloyd. There’s one in the babies bed, one in our bed and one in the stroller at the moment and well as one she’s hidden in a hidey hole not yet discovered by us, one in the dirty laundry due to baby barf and a clean one on her dresser. When we go out one goes with us and because we have so many extras if we ever were to lose one luckily there’s a replacement waiting at home. I know it seems crazy and possibly expensive but for us it all worked out. The original 3 pack was a gift and even then only about $30 and the replacements since they are last years model were on clearance. We ended up getting them for about $7 each after you add both costs together and divided by 6.  I know we can’t choose which bears or blankets become babies favourite but if you can see a preferance early on stock up!


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Pizza And Playtime

Lots of little things went on this past week, luckily no more medical visits due to Little Miss and her utter lacko of fear of the world around her.

Everyone on the east coast obviously was aware of Hurricane Sandy and since last Monday the devastation left in her wake, even here in Toronto there were some problems but nothing like what New York and New Jersey are going through. We had a little bit of an issue in our building from storm damage but it was fixed by Halloween. A huge old tree crashed across three yards and the top landed across our drive way blocking access for river’s but also totally blocking in our fire escape door. The oddest part if the tree was easily 100+ ears old and huge but did not come from any of the yards around our building; there’s no stump that we could see. Other then that tree and a lot of larger broken branches abpit our area had very little damage, we didn’t even lose power. We’d stocked up on a few important supplies just in case but knew realistically if anything had happened we had friends and family throughout the GTA we could call on or could call on us.

By Wednesday in Toronto is was business as usual and Thursday Little Miss and I met up my friend Jess and her 6 month old K to have lunch at Imperial Buffet at the Eglinton Town Centre and see Fun Size. I had never been to Imperial and it was Little Miss’ first time trying Chinese food. We both enjoyed ourselves greatly before crossing the parking lot and watching a movie. Jess and I haven’t seen a movie together since we watched Magic Mike over the summer but have been trying to work something out for weeks now. Every time we’ve hammered out a date some sort of emergency or other has derailed our plans so it was nice to finally keep a date. Little Miss and K were great during the movie; sitting contour laps playing with each other’s feet and napping while we enjoyed the movie. It was silly and fun but also had enough sentiment to keep it from being pure fluff. This week we’re trying to do it all again but see Wreck It Ralph, hopefully all will go as planned.

C loves pizza, loves it. He could happily eat it several times a week and not get tired of it. Saturday we had a vets appointment for Bright-Eyes to check her glucose levels, which are doing so well we now only have to give her one insulin shot a day now(sorry to sidetrack) and afterwards we decided to go to Loblaws and grab a few things. C wanted pizza for dinner but we didn’t feel like ordering and he dislikes frozen. Loblaws makes fresh pizzas that you just put in the oven but haven’t been frozen. We found a 16′ cheese one for 50% off and decided to put our own topping on. By the way 50% off meant if was only $4. We are a mostly white meat family and knew our meat topping would be chicken so we wondered over to the butcher area and again found some chicken for a great discount (30%) and then found chicken wings, which he also loves, for more than 70% off. We choose to use sweet onion, fresh garlic and tomatoes for our additional toppings. It was great. We spent only $13 on pizza, toppings and wings and got so much more than if we jaded ordered from a restaurant, we even got more toppings per slice.

Sunday as sports lovers know is football day. I don’t dislike football, I quite like it when I’m watching it live and not on a television. I don’t have the attention span for replays and commercials. There were a few games C really wanted to watch so we decided he could hang out at home for the afternoon and watch the games while Little Miss and I went to visit Bestie and Jay. Even though the girls are about 10 months apart they get along really well now that Little Miss is mobile and chatty. They spent the afternoon chasing each other around the living room and tag team chasing Gus the cat. Jay has been in day care during the week for the last two months and her handling of those smaller than her has gotten better. Jay’s more gentle without having to be told as often with Little Miss and unless she’s decided she wants to try and ride the baby like a horse (which we 86 immediately) she’s fine to be a play mate to Little Miss. Bertie and I are thrilled since we grew up a grade apart and a half a year dividing us and yet we’re 25 yrs into this friendship so we hope the girls will be able to do the same as time goes on.

The girls are closing in on poor Gus on the child couch. You can see him in the corner of it (the grey fluff).

9 Month Wellness Check Up

I know I’ve been bad and not doing full posts lately. In fact the post previous to this took all weekend because I irefuse to write while Little Miss is up and about and I also refuse to write when C is home and it would take away from our time together. Since it’s now Monday and C is at work and Little Miss is lying next to me conked out I figured I could pop off a bit of an update post on my phone. Also, yes my baby is lying asleep next to me in bed; she’s been gassy and not resting easily lately and if it helps her sleep I don’t mind lying next to her.

Last week I took Little Miss for a 9 month wellness check up. She didn’t need any booster shots but due to her complicated birth and illness so soon after as well as her small stature we go in more often to make sure everything is alright; though we did choose to get the flu shot while there.

At this check up it was mostly a talk about her habits and what we’ve been doing as well as milestones and any concerns. I told them that we delayed solids because she wasn’t ready and it was causing her and I stress and when we finally started how she went straight to finger foods. I was a bit worried about how they would react but the doctor needed his head and Saud his youngest was the same, so we did right not forcing the issue. We also talked about Little Miss’s sleep habits and arrangements and how both C and I felt/were dealing with them.

It was interesting to talk to a male in the medical profession who was so pro attachment style parenting. In my experience most men are not for it so much as their partner has chosen to do it. C and I don’t practice any set parenting method really, we just go with what feels best and most comfortable for us as a family, but it was nice to not have a doctor raise their eyebrows over some if our choices. The doctor was even giving me some tips on things to try a little further down the road.

After chatting about development next came measuring her growth and checking Little Miss for any physical concerns. I’m happy to say she weighed in at 16 lbs 4 oz and was 27.5 inches long(tall?). I know she’s on the light side but she’s stayed on a healthy growth pattern for her. The doctor showed next Germany chart and said since she was breast fed its natural for Little Miss to be less pudgy than a formula fed baby and as long as she’s still growing to not worry over much. He said she’s just a petite baby.

Next up was needle time. We both were getting the flu shot so it was decided I would have mine first and then she would get hers in case it set her off into fits of crying or shouting. Baby didn’t even flinch. She even gave the doctor a smile a moment later as I bundled her up and out the door. She has to go back 4 weeks later to get a second dose and I’m hoping she’ll take it just as well. She was fantastic throughout the whole visit, not a single tear or meltdown and we had to wait an extra hour because the office was behind and short staffed that day. The staff couldn’t believe how well behaved she was and how overall bubbly she is.

Movies I Can’t Wait To Watch With Little Miss As She Grows

Right now Little Miss has no interest in anything on tv unless it’s singing. I could literally turn on the most graphic show/movie you could find and she wouldn’t even glance at the screen unless the characters broke out into song. It’s doesn’t hold any allure to her. I know this will most likely change in the next year or so but for now it’s pretty great. I can turn the tv to my favourite radio show in the morning and she lights up hearing the songs and the hosts manical laughter. We listen to 92.5 Kiss fm here in Toronto in the mornings. I don’t plan on being too strict about television watching but I do plan on making sure she has an appreciation of other activities at home as well, but in saying that there are a few movies I can’t wait to watch with her as she gets older. Some of these are still favourites of mine and some have danced in and out of favour with me over the years but all are ones where I want to be there to watch her face fill with wonder and awe or see the smile/giggles escape as she enjoys herself.

Movies I Can’t Wait To Watch With Little Miss As She Grows

1. The Little Mermaid/The Beauty And The Beast – I to this day love theses movie. I can sing entire songs from memory from The Little Mermaid(Being a nanny had some major perks in that area). Ariel was the first princess as far as I’m concerned who did sit around and wait for her prince to rescue her. Eric still had to save her in the end but up until then Ariel went out of her way to strike out on her own and take her life into her own hands. I know the story does not follow the original and I know it’s not perfect but the music is catchy and I think Ursula is an awesome villian.

With Beauty and the Beast again I like that Belle isn’t a super sissy who sits around waiting for love to find her. She’s curious and loves to read (go figure I like that trait) and willing to stand up for herself and those she cares about. Again the songs are great and the artwork is gorgeous. I like that unlike so many of the previous villians in princess movies with the execption of Cinderella’s stepmother Gaston has no magic. He is just selfish and cares nothing for anyone else’s opinions or feelings. Again, I know the story for modern times makes it appear that Belle has Stockholm, but considering I fully plan on having Little Miss aware of the orignal stories and their original meanings I don’t care.

I also don’t care if people think I’m princessizing my daughter just based on the majority of this list because C and I know we aren’t.

2. The Labyrinth – I LOVE this movie. It came out the year I was born and I can’t even remember the first time I saw it but I know this movie backwards and forewards. I love David Bowie and I love the music and songs. I love the puppets and although I still find Sarah whiny I like the story and know that she’s supposed to be a self-involved teenager, she does it well. I hope to be able to dress Little Miss up as Toby next year.

3. Star Wars – The original 4-6. I’ve already to our friends and family to not talk about the whole Darth Vader being Luke’s father thing in front of Little Miss because C and I want to be able to see her face the first time she watches the movies and hears Vader tell Luke the truth. A silly thing but still since they are some of his favourite movies it’s a nice hope to have I think.

4. Grease – This was the first musical I remember seeing. Yes, I know some of the innuendo is mature for a child but it’s innuendo for a reason; if you don’t understand the double meanings and gestures it has no effect. Also, John Travolta was my first movie star crush, I can remember being 4/5 and telling my parents I was going to marry him. His life is a hot mess now but back then and in a childs eyes none of that matters. It’s also another movie where there’s lots of singing and dancing and a Happily Ever After implied.

5. Lilo and Stitch – Elvis, Hawaii, Aliens and a nice story of family and acceptance. Sounds like the making of a good movie to me. My parents raised me weird. They would listen to oldies at home and in the car and tell my brothers and I that it was the ‘in’ music at the time. We grew up listening to Elvis, ABBA and Meatloaf, ect… I like that style of music to this day so a movie with alarge number of Elvis hits is alright by me, especially when the story is about sticking by your family (blood related or chosen) and accepting them for who they are imperfections and all.

6. Mulan – Yes, another Disney ‘Princess’ movie. Mulan is not just a typical princess is the form of the original 3 (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella) She’s not even technically a Princess. Mulan is a one of the oldest stories that supports gender equality in Chinese culture and has been very popular for centuries. The movie is not accurate to the original in the same way all other Disney movies differ from the original but it’s fun and again about protecting your family and your sense of who you are. It’s a movie that shows little girls they don’t NEED a man/prince to rescue them or give them value as a person, just belief in themselves.

There are more and I could happily name a bunch off easily but since they range all over the place in maturity I figure they don’t count since at the moment I’m more talking about movies Little Miss can watch as a little girl.

Followed At The Grocery Store

How paranoid are you about the potential of someone snatching your baby or child? We all have that worry somewhere in the back of our minds that there is the possibility of it happening, but I am an optimist, I try to be aware of the possibility not let it become an obsession. In the last few years there have been some extreme cases of attempted baby/child snatching in the Toronto area. There was a case where a model organised a phony casting call for infants and using a Beck Taxi stole a baby. The child was returned and she has since been sentenced. There was an incident where a 4 yr old girl was taken from her bed in the middle of the night. She was quickly found as well, but it’s a scary thing to read these stories as it seems they are becoming more commonplace.

Obviously as very proud new parents C and I think Little Miss is the most beautiful baby in the world. We both have seen these stories and many more and decided most recently after sereral stories where the parents were with the child and would be abductors still tried to make off with the children to increase our vigilance. When we are out whether shopping or just travelling on he TTC we always make sure the the stroller or shopping cart Little Miss is in is in front of us and we have a hand holding onto it. We make sure to never have our backs turned away from her and try to stay aware of those around us. Even when we’re on the subway and she’s sleeping I don’t take my attention off of Little Miss. I used to read on the TTC and now I usually focus on her and the other people in the area.

This isn’t just a random post. Last week Little Miss and I were at the grocery store I’ve been going to since I moved back to Toronto. I’ve gotten to know several of the full time empoylees well enough to have minor chitchat about our day to day lives. They see Little Miss and say hi and comment on her growth and development. This is not creepy. Last week as I got her settled into the shopping cart Little Miss drew the usual baby lovers to her like flies. Lots of ‘Oh, she’s so pretty’s and ‘Look at that smile!’s. There was one woman who smiled at us but kept back a few feet. As we wove our way around the fresh produce section I noticed the woman who stayed back constantly in my peripheral vision a lot. I decided to pay closer attention while still shopping. As we continued persuing the aisles I became aware that not she seemed to be following us. Not the ‘oh we haappen to be going down the same aisles’ following. I don’t shop in a linear fashion. I’m more of a random/flitterer shopper going up and down aisles as I’m interested, very hard to accidentally have the exact same shopping pattern as I have. This woman was following following Little Miss. Not me, my baby. She would barely look at me but was constantly staring at the baby. She would stay at least 10 feet away but come on, I’m not stupid and my warning bells were blaring. I had a minor case of stalking and even they were more subtle then this woman was. This was blatant out in the open following us.

Finally I’d had enough. I was getting really creeped out and scared. what if this woman with the intense smile and eyes decided to get too close. I didn’t know her, I have no clue what she wants or intends. She could be harmless, but in those moments that’s not what I’m thinking. My only thought is to keep my baby safe. I went over to the customer service desk and said something was wrong. She’s one of the people I know somewhat. She asked what was wrong and as I started to tell her the woman following us quickly left. She abandoned her EMPTY shopping cart and just walked away. Even though the woman left I gave her description and now the store is on alret for her. They have cameras and are going to be on the lookout for is she returns. I have also chosen to change our shopping habits for a bit. No more going at the same time or day. We’re going to shake things up a bit in case she returns. Looking back now that it’s been about a week I can see things more clearly and calmly, but it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do the exact same thing. I did not know her or her intentions and I can truly say that as paranoid as I’ve lelt sometimes keeping so much attention on my daughter I no longer do, I feel somewhat justified.

This situation ended wel, but you never know when something can go wrong. I`m not telling telling anyone else how to react or chose to look after their children when out in public, but I feel that I should just reiterate being careful and always going with your gut if something feels off to you.