On the Baby…
It turns out that Molly’s grump wasn’t entirely teething related. After her fever rose to 102.5 on Wednesday, I figured something else might be up. Teething fevers don’t usually get that high. I was lucky to get an appointment with our family doctor for later that afternoon (I think hearing Molly crying on the phone motivated the receptionist to fit us in). The verdict? An ear infection, Molly’s first. So she’s on antibiotics for a week, also her first. Not bad making it this far without them!
I’m not happy she needs medication but feel better knowing there’s an end. We had some rough nights where she was waking every one-two hours. She’s still teething but at least ear pain won’t muddle the issue. Already she’s sleeping better!
On the Garden…
Here’s the shot I’ve been wanting to take all week but it’s been raining pretty much constantly:
This is where we stand now with landscaping the front. The rain has prevented any work from being done. Fingers crossed the weather is nice this weekend!
It ain’t the prettiest dessert on the block, but what this little cake lacks in style, it more than makes up for in taste! Cake, strawberries, chocolate chips…I really don’t need to elaborate do I?
I made this tasty treat this past Sunday when I was craving something cake-y. I was inspired by one of my mom’s long standing desserts, Strawberry Upside Down Cake, which she makes in a square baking dish. I thought to myself: why not try making individual portions in a muffin tin? Seriously brilliant idea, if I do say so myself!
Couple of notes: my mom’s recipe calls for frozen strawberries but I used fresh and they worked just fine. Her recipe also uses plain yogurt, which I didn’t have. I used sour cream instead and it worked really well!
Strawberry Upside Down Cakes
Makes 12 mini-cakes
2 tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
10-12 oz fresh strawberries
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp orange rind or zest
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup sour cream
½ cup chocolate chips
Melt butter and divide into muffin tin. You’ll end up with about a 1/2 tsp per cup. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter and pat down. Lay 2-3 berries over sugar (outside facing down). Set aside
In a large bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla and orange rind or zest.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternatively with sour cream (3 additions of flour mix and 2 additions of sour cream). Stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread batter over each muffin cup.
Bake 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Loosen around the edges of the muffin cup and invert onto cooling rack. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.
Our long weekend was….ok. What could have been a great weekend was downgraded when I ended up with a headache all day Sunday that lasted into Monday, followed by a teething and therefore grumpydonotputmedown baby. One of her top lateral incisors has popped through, which is unusual as I understand the central incisors usually come through first. Apparently Molly needs to be different!
We did get started on landscaping the front, or rather I should say A got started. This is the front area before (taken in 2011):
Everything from the edge of the closest patio stone down to the sidewalk and over to the driveway has been removed and leveled (I meant to get pics today but didn’t get a chance and then it rained). We dug up the lillies and will divide and relocate them(the tufts of green) but the bushes are gone. They’re too hard to control. I helped as much as I could, popping Molly in the stroller to watch while we worked.
We (he) got as far as clearing out the section of the garden and lawn we wanted removed, digging down a bit and levelling off where the new walkway will go. Next up is to tamper down the gravel and cut into the driveway so that the stones can be placed flush against it. Currently the driveway slopes down a bit at the sides, since there was previously grass there.
I did a little bit of gardening myself, planting a Butterfly Bush in the back yard. This is a very special bush to me, as the name of the variety is ‘Miss Molly’. Isn’t that an amazing find?
And really that’s it! We took Molly for a walk down by the lake but her grumpiness shine through after a short time so we cut our outing short. Not to mention it was crazy busy down there, something I hadn’t anticipated!
It’s Tuesday now. Molly’s still in the throws of teething, with a mild fever and the grumpydonotputmedown attitude. Poor monkey I’m back to nursing her to sleep for the time being. . I just can’t let her get upset when she’s not feeling well.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Oh my gosh. What a day! CK was fussy with what we now know are ear issues, CJ was whiney for whatever reason, and Molly was completely off her nap schedule because of some ill timed #2′s, which meant my one on one time with CJ was limited. Thankfully A was off work at lunchtime so he could take care of getting Molly to sleep.
All this is a way of saying sorry this is late!
On the Baby…
Molly is full on waving hello and goodbye and it’s so cute! She wakes up doing it, which explains a lot of her sleep issues. Lots going on in her little head!
Speaking of sleep, we’re not doing too badly with changing her sleep habits. I caved last night and again tonight and nursed her to sleep, for the sake of my aching and tired body (CK threw a remote on my toe, I’ve wrenched my shoulder and I’ve had some weird PMS cramping). But I’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow.
On the Sweetness of Preschoolers…
Aunt Chrissie? I’m going to love you all day
Takes the sting out of the whine she had going on today
We’re starting the first of our outdoor improvement projects this weekend, with the widening of the front walkway. I’m kicking myself that I forgot to take a before picture but I may have one somewhere from last year. It means taking out a good chunk of the front garden but it’ll give us a ton more room to manoeuvre babies, baby gear and other miscellaneous items into the house.
And that’s about all I can come up with for now! OH we’ve booked our vacation for the fall…
On Our Vacation…
We’ve chosen an island getaway this year, though it’s a bit further north than you might guess…we’re heading to Newfoundland in September for my cousin’s wedding! We’re making a week of it and will be there at the same time as my parents. I’m so excited! It’ll be Molly’s first plane ride. I hope we fare well!
That’s really it. I’m of to bed now. Hope you a have a great weekend! It’s a long weekend here and I think it might be or in the U.S. as well. Enjoy and be safe!
Like most things baby-related, I did a lot of reading and research about baby sleep habits while I was pregnant, in order to prepare myself for the onslaught of sleepless nights. I read numerous recommendations on how to get baby on a sleep schedule and on the various methods used to get babies to a) fall asleep on their own and b) sleep through the night as soon as possible. Baby Wise, Ferber, No-Cry Sleep Solution, the Baby Whisperer…I looked into them all.
And didn’t end up using any of the suggestions I read about.
Up until a few days ago, I nursed Molly to sleep. Night, day. It didn’t matter. Bedtime, for the most part unless she was having an off day, was quiet. It was peaceful. Yes, it placed a lot of demands on my time, but I have a year of maternity leave! Time wasn’t an issue. Plus, I unknowingly had my own philosophy on a baby’s sleep habits, once I didn’t realize until Molly was placed in my arms: A baby will sleep as they need to until developmentally they’re ready to change. If that means frequent wake ups, so be it. It’s how they were designed to survive and I didn’t want to mess with that. But then I was lucky. Molly started sleeping through the entire night off and on when she was around three months. She naturally put herself onto a sleep schedule without any help from us. On the nights she didn’t sleep through, she usually only woke once and that was after a 7-8 hour stretch. I got enough sleep, I didn’t have to listen to my daughter cry…it worked for us and I vowed to continue our routine until it didn’t work for us anymore.
It doesn’t work for us anymore.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that I’m definitely going back to work towards the end of July and Molly will be heading to day care three days a week. I’m not going to be there to nurse her at nap time, so it’s time for her to learn how to go to sleep without nursing.
The second is that around the 8 months mark, Molly’s sleep patterns drastically changed. It started with her waking frequently in the evening (she was waking between sleep cycles) and escalated to her also being awake for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night.
I think there are several reasons for this change:
- I started watching CK, a huge change in her daily routine
- She wants more mommy time since she doesn’t have me all to herself anymore
- She’s not nursing as much during the day because she’s distracted, so she’s filling up at night
- Any number of developmental milestones
- Mild separation anxiety
This type of sleeping upset has been termed the “nine month sleep regression”. It’s supposed to be temporary, only a few weeks long and the suggestion by numerous articles I’ve read is to just ride it out, that your baby’s old sleep habits will return.
Well, regression or not, it has been more than a few weeks now and things haven’t changed. I’m exhausted, I’m concerned that new habits have been formed and I’m heading back to work. Something has to be done. I’m reluctant to call it sleep training. She knows how to sleep, she just needs a little help remembering how. I’m just calling it a change in her sleep habits.
For reasons I won’t go into, I don’t believe in using the Cry It Out method. I’ll just say it’s not for us and leave it at that. I also don’t believe in encouraging her to drop nighttime feedings nor can I stop nursing her before naps right now. My darling girl is easily distracted and with CK here, she won’t nurse for more than a minute while he’s around. Frustrating! I have them both on the same napping schedule so after I put him down (he putters a bit and then falls asleep on his own…he’s almost 14 months), I’m able to nurse her without distraction and then she goes to sleep.
After a bit of reading, I decided to do a little bit No Cry Sleep Solution and a little bit Baby Whisperer. This is my game plan:
- Change our bedtime routine. We usually have dinner around 5-5:30, then A gives her a bath because she gets so messy. We would then play with her a bit downstairs before A read her a book and I would nurse her to sleep. We’ve decided to push back dinner time, since she desperately needs that bath directly after and I want to cut out the in between play time. Bath now starts at 6:30 and immediately flows into book, boob and bed.
- Introduce a lovey. I think it’s a great idea to get her attached to a lovey that she’ll be able to take with her to day care. I chose a cute floppy bunny BFF B got for her in France. I started putting it between us while I nursed so that it would pick up my scent and then put it into her crib with her. It stays in the crib all the time and is purely for sleep time.
- Continue to nurse for now but take her off as soon as she starts closing her eyes or stops sucking for a bit of time so that she can be put down awake. When my sister finishes school, I’ll have three weeks before heading to work to work on putting her down without nursing directly before hand.
- Use the pick up/put down method recommended by the Baby Whisperer. Yes, it means she’ll cry, but I’m there with her the entire time and that makes all the difference in the world for me. I can comfort her and help her learn how to fall asleep on her own.
We started with the new bedtime routine and the lovey early last week. The routine was easy enough to change and she took to her lovey right away! It’s really cute to see her reach for it. The nursing and pick up/put down (pu/pd) though were linked and would possibly cause disruption to OUR sleep, and so we decided to begin last Friday night. According to what I read, the first few nights are the worst.
The basic method of pu/pd is to put your baby to bed awake but you’re able to pick them up to comfort them if they get upset. Once they calm down, but before they fall back asleep, you put them down again. And repeat until they finally settle. For a baby Molly’s age and one who has the ability to stand in the crib, you adapt it a bit. Unless she’s seriously upset, avoid picking her up but rather put her down once she completely stands up. If she is seriously upset, wait until she’s fully standing to pick her up to comfort. As soon as she stops crying, we put her back down. The Baby Whisperer encourages the use of a lovey, and also to use comforting consistent words and phrases. She also gives the go ahead to pat baby on the back or place your hand there so baby knows you’re still there.
Shortly after six on Friday, we implemented the routine bath, book, boob, bed. Hubby set up camp in our bedroom, ready to help if needed. I read in the book that the first night of pick up/put down could take an hour or more, with countless pu/pd’s. Me being me, I had a notebook on hand to record how long it took that first night. When she started closing her eyes, I took her off my breast. She immediately got upset. I’m not going to lie, it was rough at first. I’m not used to her crying like that, but I know that she wasn’t in pain or uncomfortable, just frustrated at the change in how she gets to sleep. I repeated comforting phrases, emphasizing that she was OK, that I was here. After 10 minutes, A took over for another 10 minutes or so while I regrouped and then I came in for the final round. All in all, it only (only, ha) took 30 minutes for her to settle down. Once she stopped standing up, we knew we were in the home stretch! And wonder of wonders, she slept for several hours in a row! We were actually shocked, expecting much worse. She woke around 10:45 and it took over and hour that time for her to settle down, but then she slept for about five more hours after that. Wow!
We stuck with it for naps the next day and on night 2, it took very little time to get her to bed. After she was out, I went in to where A was sitting (we were expecting a repeat of the night before and he was waiting to help if needed) and he said “Don’t you wish we’d done this sooner?”. My response? No. I wasn’t ready until now and I’m a firm believer that your attitude about something is what helps it fail or succeed. I absolutely do not regret nursing Molly to sleep for her first nine months. I’m thrilled that I was able to soothe and comfort her in that way. If we’d started this change in routine any sooner I would have been anxious and apprehensive and she would have picked up on that. I probably wouldn’t have been able to follow through like I did.
Since that first night, she’s done extremely well in settling fairly quickly. With the exception of last night, when she was awake for over an hour, it’s taken a maximum of 20 minutes for her to go to sleep. Yesterday we had a major breakthrough as well when I put her down without nursing directly before!
It’s not a quick fix like Cry It Out. I have to be persistent and do it each time she naps, each time she wakes at night. But I’m happy with our progress so far
Tired were we on Friday night, and facing the unknown reaction to the change in Molly’s sleep habits, I set aside my planned baked salmon for take out pizza
It turns out it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be to introduce a new routine to get Molly to sleep, but I’ll post more on that in the next few days!
Saturday morning flew by with some chores around the house and at 12:30 I got myself ready and headed out to pick up my mom (Molly stayed home with A). We were off to a baby shower for one of our old neighbours from well over 15 years ago. She wasn’t even in high school when we met her! So bizarre that she’s having a baby. We had a lovely time there and enjoyed a yummy lunch (I LOVE shower food) and the most amazing cookies and cream cupcake (Oreo based, my fave!) I’ve ever had! Not too sweet, the cake was dense and moist, the icing smooth and buttery. Sadly the bakery they came from is on the other side of Toronto
We got home around 3:30 and because Molly had a late morning nap, she was ready for an afternoon snooze when I got there. She woke shortly before six, our schedule completely thrown off for the day. Ah well! We had BBQ burgers and then the three of us went for a nice walk.
Once Molly was asleep (9pm…argh!), A and I cuddled up to watch a movie. He’s wanted to watch Chronicle for a while now, so that’s what we picked. It wasn’t too bad. I went to bed late but when Molly woke up at 5am and didn’t show signs of going back to sleep, A gave me my first Mother’s Day present by getting up with her.
We put her back down at 7:30 and enjoyed another little bit of sleep before getting ready to go to my parents for Sunday brunch. Before we left I was presented with the rest of my gifts: cards from Molly and A, chocolates, a gift card for Joe Fresh clothes (a fave of mine) and hanging flower baskets!
To tell the truth, I discovered the hanging baskets the night before. In a rare move, I went out the front door to check in with A who was cleaning his car and decided to head around back via the side of the house, which is where he was keeping them. I never go that way, usually out the back door. Oops. Such a great idea though. They’ll last awhile as opposed to cut flowers.
Brunch at my parents was amazing!! My mom rocks the kitchen like no one else! She made a yummy egg strata with prosciutto, scrambled eggs, back bacon and sausages, grilled vegetables and yogurt parfaits with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Oh and banana chocolate chip muffins (totally healthy with while wheat flour, wheat bran and ground flax). Yum!
We saw my dad off as he left on a business trip (hence brunch not dinner) and then we took ourselves off to Costco. Molly needed new sleepers (18 month size there…what!?) and I needed ground beef. An odd pairing, I know. We also picked up a new outdoor may for the front porch, some board books for Molly, a Shepherds Pie for dinner, and yoga capris for me .
Home we went and I tried and tried to get Molly to nap but she wasn’t having it. There’s usually one reason she won’t nap and my suspicions were confirmed a half hour later when we had a code 2 in the diaper department! By that time though it was 3:30 and I didn’t want her to nap. We tried keeping her up but around 5:30 A came upstairs with her and she was half asleep on his shoulder. Poor baby. She went to bed easily enough but woke several times in the evening. My theory? She didn’t have supper with us or her usual big nurse before bed because fell asleep so quickly, so she kept waking up hungry.
It was a fantastic weekend and I want to thank my hubby and Molly for making my first Mother’s Day so special! I’m a lucky girl
On the Baby..
All of a sudden, Molly gets solids. She was gung ho initially when we started at 6 months, but for the last couple of months she’s only shown mild interest in food. We haven’t forced it, following the principles of baby led weaning by offering it to her even if she doesn’t eat it (never have I used my green bin so much!). Looks like our patience paid off because she’s now extremely interested in most of what we put in front of her, which is small portions of what we eat. Spaghetti, enchiladas, Mac and beef casserole, Parmesan crusted chicken…she’s loving it!
This weekend we’re going to begin making some changes to how we get her to sleep. In addition to the reason I mention below, her sleep regression has lasted a bit too long for comfort and I believe some new habits have been formed. I’m exhausted and can’t function like this much longer. I’m reluctant to call this change sleep training. That term doesn’t sit well with me. Let’s just call it a change in our routine. I’m working on a separate post to cover how we’re hoping to make it happen (if we haven’t already by the time I get around to posting it).
Otherwise, she’s right as rain! She turned 9 months on Wednesday and had her well baby check on Monday. Because of being sick the week before, she lost a couple of ounces since her last appointment (my doctor is not concerned) and remains in the 50th percentile for weight. But she’s made up for it in height! 30 inches and off the charts! Long and lean, our girl is
On Back To Work…
I’m going to be honest and tell you that I was leaning towards not going back to work. Child care is expensive, transportation is expensive, and because I commute downtown, the time away from Molly just didn’t seem worth it. It would have been tight on one salary, but we would have made it work. I have A’s complete support on the issue and I can’t tell you how amazing that is!
But a few weeks ago, my boss called. We had talked about the possibility of part time before I left on maternity leave, but at the time it didn’t seem feasible. However there have been some recent administrative changed and they’re now in a position to make it happen! I’ll be heading back three days a week, Tuesday to Thursday. I’ve already arranged child care for Molly: my mom will take her on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays and Thursdays she’ll go to a home child care run by a friend of my sister. My sister will be sending CK there as well when she starts school again in the fall. It’s reassuring to know the person who will be caring for my darling girl.
I’m feeling ok about it. I think if it was full time I would not be so ok. But it’s taking some getting used to. I had convinced myself I wasn’t going back and I now have to wrap my head around the fact that I am.
On It’s May…
And you know what that means..all our favourite shows are ending for the season. We’re on the lookout for a series to watch on DVD or Netflix to keep us occupied until September rolls around again. Last year it was Lost.
Happy weekend everybody! And happy Mother’s Day to all the moms to be, moms and grandmas!!