Well, I know I'm definitely late with this one, but I have a good excuse, you see, everything is changing. Now that may seem obvious, with a baby everything is supposed to change, but between nine and ten months is when I've felt that change the most.
My parents moved closer to us. The seasons have changed. The Pumpkin Spice Lattes are out in abundance. And my baby is fast moving towards being a toddler.
Now Finn doesn't just sit, but scoots (admittedly he best at moving backwards vs. forwards but it's a start). He doesn't just coo, but demands attention and lets you know his true likes and dislikes. His personality is coming through stronger everyday and it's beautiful to watch. It's a very exciting time, but seems to clearly be an end to the newborn or "baby baby" phase.
This, combined with going back to work soon, got me thinking about how exciting, overwhelming, emotional (both good and bad) and love-filled this year has been. I'm looking forward to our last two months together and seeing how much he continues to change.
I'm trying to enjoy each phase in the moment while prepping for the next. People always say to live life in the moment and don't wish it away, and that's true, but there's more to it. You have to be present and truly enjoy it, even if it means getting nothing done, because sometimes you don't know how quickly things will change and you'll be on to the next adventure with your little one.
Looking forward to sharing the next month worth of adventures in my 11 month update.
Wow it's been so long since I've posted and since I've had the inspiration to do so...
Then Finn turned nine months and it got me refocused.
It's hard to believe I go back to work soon and it's even harder to believe how much Finn has grown and changed over his first 9 months. His most recent developments include sitting unassisted, stopping himself from falling over (while sitting), and rolling onto his tummy to sleep (always with his head turned to the side... he's a smart little man).
While we're on the topic of sleeping, Finn continues to (mostly) sleep well and, as a result, continues to have a charming and happy personality.
There's also now a clear desire to crawl, but he hasn't quite gotten the hang of that yet. Perhaps that'll be something I can include when I write his 10 month update. Right now when he tries to crawl he instead promptly face plants.
As I'm now nearing the final chapter of my mat leave I'd love to know what you think I should include on my Mat Leave Bucket List? Leave your ideas in the comments below and I'll see how many I can accomplish in the next 3 months.
I, like millions of others around the world, have once again hopped on the Olympic bandwagon and am excited about all these summer sports I've never heard of (if you know me, a passion for sports does not come naturally).
I think it's pretty clear based on my love of food, wine and Netflix that I will never compete at the Olympics, but then I started thinking, maybe I'm already participating an Olympics games all my own: the "Mommy Olympics". Read on to see what I mean.
Traditionally a sport featuring sabres and a face mask... if you're a mom, you'll recognize this as "Floor Time". When your baby was a newborn, floor times was a fun, low key activity. But around six or seven months every item becomes a potential weapon and it's up to you to dodge your way to safety.
On an Olympic track theses athletes look graceful and manage the hurdles with ease. As a parent, you are also familiar with the hurdles, but it's jumping over your kid's crap all over the floor when the phone rings during bedtime or nap time. That shit is real and speed is of the essence to avoid wake ups.
Long Distance Running
Though I haven't experienced this myself yet, I can tell you from observation this kicks in when your little one starts cruising and/or walking.
In the Olympics this sport is beautiful and involves perfect coordination. For the Mommy Olympics, this is bath time. Where in the Olympics you get to practice coordinating movements with your partners in the water, as a Mom, synchronized swimming is trying to get your crazy mobile little one clean all over. Unfortunately, there's no way to anticipate what move you're babe will make next, so in real life this lacks a lot of the elegance of its Olympic counterpart.
In the world of parents I think we can all agree that diaper changes with a little one who has learned to roll is the Mommy Olympics equivalent to the gold medal wrestling match.
Before I had my son I picked out a bucket seat that was good for a baby up to 35 pounds. So frugal, so smart I thought. As a new mom though you don't factor the weight of the actual car seat, and how heavy that sucker is when you're carrying it, the baby, the diaper bag and your purse from once end of the parking lot to the other. It's an impressive feat and one definitely worthy of the Mommy Olympics.
I hope you are all enjoying the Olympics! What's your Mommy/Daddy sport of choice? Let me know in the comments below.
I feel very cliché saying, yet again, that time is going by quickly. But it is. If you've read my other baby updates (check them out here) you know that we've had a heck of a ride with Finnley and getting him healthy, well rested, and well fed. Now that he's on track it is amazing to see how far he has come.
He likes to be independent when feeding himself a bottle. It's rather bitter sweet, I used to love our feeding cuddles but now he likes to lay down and feed himself. He's trying to take over when he's eating solids too, but I haven't let him win that battle yet.
He's sitting very well; strong and sturdy and independent. He's enjoying reaching for toys and spends his time either trying to get what he wants or learning how to move (the latter of which is a bit of a slow process).
He's also developed a rather strong personality. He likes what he likes and has no problem letting you know when he would like to change things up. I can see him getting frustrated and when you change up the activity (or food, or whatever) he's all smiles again.
He's also cut two teeth and a third is on the way. To be honest, the first tooth was rather hard. He was cranky and was of course surprised by the fact that a something new was growing in his mouth (and hurt!). The second tooth though was much better and it didn't involve as many wake ups (thankfully).
As we move into the eighth month I know that crawling or cruising will be just around the corner, and maybe even a word or two in the next few months.
When did your babies meet their moving milestone? What surprised you about the last months of their first year? Leave them in the comments below!
Hi everyone, first let me apologize for the gap in posts last week. You will understand when you read my upcoming posts about my kitchen transformation, but anyone who has done renos/updates can tell you things don't always go as planned.
Anyway, I'm back! And to celebrate Mommy Monday ('cause why not celebrate), I wanted to share with you ten things I've learned since becoming a mom.
1. It's okay to not enjoy all of the little moments.
People will tell you to "enjoy the little moments" and "they won't be like this for long", both are true. But you don't need to enjoy EVERY little moment. For example, that time I had rocked my son to sleep for four hours when he was sick at three am? I'm good, once was enough. There are so many special moments with a baby but not all of them are winners, so don't feel bad if you put a few in the mental recycling box.
2. Doing things for yourself doesn't make you selfish.
I've just started reading again. I mean reading stuff not baby-related. I've spent so much time reading blogs, parenting books, and sleeping books and anything kid related that I forgot that sometimes it's nice to read about two vampires falling in love against all odds. Also, when I take time for myself I'm happier with my family.
3. Asking for help isn't weakness.
Why do we have to do it all ourselves? I thought it takes a village to raise a child? Why now does it seem if we need help we're not doing something right, and why is it mostly other moms that make us feel this way? The best thing I ever did was ask for help with sleeping (read about it here) and it was amazing.
4. Freezer food is the only way you'll eat.
Batch cooking has saved my family, Because somehow even though I can't tell my husband what I did all day, I have no time to cook.
5. I could be part of the paparazzi.
I've very good at taking 95 pictures of the same moment and being unable to part with any duplicates because they're all worth something.
6. Mom guilt is hard (and totally self-imposed).
That's all I have to say for this one, haven't found a way to navigate or let up on myself, any tips?
7. My definition of clean has changed a lot, personally and for my house.
A "top knot" is a classy way of saying "I didn't wash my hair because I'm too tired to dry it". If you're a guest please stick to the main level because I likely only had time to clean that if I had less than 24 hours notice of your arrival.
8. I actually don't need a hell of a lot to be happy. One of my best days to date was a day where we didn't really do anything. My hubby and I didn't do chores or go out or have any special experiences. We just chilled with the baby. Mostly sitting on the floor. And I loved it.
9. It's hard to find yourself amidst all the mommying.
I'm still trying to figure out this new version of me and it can be really hard to have an identity outside of Finn. But I've always been an individual and it's okay to still want to be one.
10. It's hard and that's okay.
I had a difficult time getting and staying pregnant and so I wanted Finn to have a Pinterest worthy first year and I wanted everything to be wonderful. But to be honest, it's not the case (the Pinterest part is wonderful). Being a new mom is hard. Being a new Dad is hard. Being sleep deprived is hard. Finding your confidence as a parent, individual and couple is hard. My mom always says all change is hard, even good change and welcoming a baby is the biggest change you'll ever experience. Knowing it will be hard is one thing, but admitting it's hard and moving forward is equally as important.
For Mommy Monday I was going to tell you all about Finns's first swim. But then instead, I went to bed. At like 6:30. Ever have a day where you're just overwhelmingly tired and everything else can wait? That was yesterday. Maybe it was the heat and the toll of a little guy who has been cranky AF for three days, but Momma needed a rest.
As for the first swim, to be honest it wasn't the magical experience I'd dreamed of. My little guy who LIVES for bath time was underwhelmed by pool time.
However, in general he was pretty cranky that day so it could have been that. Getting ready for his first swim was monumental, the right floatations devices, sun shirt, sunscreen, swim diapers, hat and towels. In the end what he liked best was being held by Mom or Dad.
Especially when it was just all too much and he had a rest on Momma.
How was your first time swimming with your little one? How do you get them used to and excited for the pool?
It's hard to believe that it's been seven months. I'm fairly sure I start a lot of my baby updates like that, but it's true. The first six months were some of the hardest that we've ever experienced. Finnley didn't eat well, didn't keep food down, had bad eczema, and never slept. Ever.
I know we had it easier than so many others do, but it still seemed almost impossible on 3-4 hours sleep a night. When Finnley turned six months we started sleep training with the help of Good Night Sleep Site Halton (read about it here!) and it was a game changer for us.
Finnley has spent his seventh month being well rested, smiley and interactive. This month we are really seeing his personality. He wants to know how things work - watching his inquisitive mind take in the world is a real joy. And he's got an Irish temper like his Momma when things don't go his way.
I love watching him as he learns to sit, explore and discover how to do things, like making a game of playing with his soother and getting it in his mouth every time. I love that he knows his name and enjoys music, even if I am getting a little tired of the Little Baby Bum songs, he loves them!
I also know that he still has a witching hour. The hour before bedtime feels like another entire day as we try to keep him entertained and happy before bed. But overall this has been the best month to date and I can't wait to see what comes over the next few months as he starts to transition from little baby person into mobile toddler person. Crawling!
Any tips for what's to come, mommas? Any summer time fun tips?
Last week I started to write my blog post for “Whatever I Want Wednesday” ...and I had nothing. Literally nothing.
When I first thought of this post series I wanted it to be just for me. Not about baby and not about food. I hoped that Wednesdays would just a time to talk about the other things I was doing.
But then it happened, I was empty. I looked back at the past month and couldn’t think of anything to talk about that wasn’t baby related.
I’ve always had a lot of passions and suddenly I couldn’t come up with anything. And it got me thinking. What happened?
I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but in wanting that did I agree to give up myself? My husband asked me what I would like to do and I couldn’t answer. For the past three years I’ve been driven by getting pregnant and then having a baby. I couldn’t tell him what I’d like to do as a personal hobby.
But now that babe sleeps more and we have a schedule, I have free time. And I don’t know how to fill it. It’s no ones fault, I think it’s just a natural part of the different cycles of life. But what happens when you want to find yourself again?
How do you balance the responsibilities of a mom, wife, friend and individual? How do you push aside guilt that isn’t created by others, but worse, by yourself.
As you define the new you, how do you balance your family and individuality?
I’ll keep you posted as I find my own balance. Tell me about your experiences in the comments below!
I wrote a post about how I love my Baby Bjorn but how I didn’t realize how much I needed it until my little guy arrived and I started using it. It got me thinking about other products where I didn’t know how valuable they were until I got to using them.
So that brings me to five things you can’t live without when you have a baby.
What were some of your go to products when you had babies? What about as they became toddlers? Leave your tips in the comments below!!
I've been quiet lately on the blog because I totally devoted myself to sleep training our baby boy. I know for some it's a controversial topic, it's ok if you don't want to sleep train your baby, but it was much needed for us and as the mom I made the call to benefit my family.
After months of struggling with sleep, reading countless books, and considering a three hour stretch of sleep to be a major win, I knew I had done all that I could on my own, and that I needed help. I ended up contacting the Goodnight Sleep Site. I knew that I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't do it alone and I needed some guidance.
They responded the same day and we set up a time for a consultation. I answered a super in depth questionnaire and prepared for our call and sleep plan. The consultant, Jamie, http://goodnightsleepsite.com/halton/meet-jamie/was wonderful and listened to me every step of the way.
For us going to sleep wasn't a challenge. He went in his crib awake, we had nap time and bedtime routines we had followed since he was about six or eight weeks old, and we didn't feed him to sleep. We followed the eat, awake, sleep model. That's why I was so confused why, with all these healthy habits, my little one was waking up ALL NIGHT LONG?
At his six month appointment we had gotten the ok to stop night feeds as he wasn't eating a lot at night and eats a ton during the day. So we were ready to address his (and our) sleep needs.
I was mentally prepared for a tough few nights and with the support of my consultant got down to the business of consistent sleep training. I think that was the key for me, being consistent and having someone who could give me structure and reassure me that what I was doing was the right thing to do. What if they wake up after half an hour? How do I slowly stop those night feeds? What do I do if he wakes at 5am ready to party?
The best part of working with a sleep consultant was having those guidelines. I felt empowered knowing what I would do throughout the night. The first couple of nights were hard. There was crying, and I was ok with that, he was learning a new routine and it was going to be tough. While trying to reduce his feeds he just suddenly started to not need to feed at night, which was great.
By about night four we were down to one wakeup at night (from 4-7 wakeups - what a win!) and often he settles himself before I get to his room. This has been a huge win for us! I am sleeping the majority of my hours together, and just sleeping well in general!
Finnley wakes up happy and is generally happy to be in his crib. He goes to bed without a fight and settles himself down. He doesn't need me to run into his room multiple times a night to pop a soother in. He just doesn't need it during the night anymore.
Sleep has also helped him during the day. He's happier, more alert and actively learning. Our time together is quality now, and I love seeing how much more he smiles.
I don't think I would have been as successful without the help of Jamie. It was great to have an unbiased person giving me support and structure. She checked in with me several times a day and gave me tips for the future.
If you're considering sleep training, I say go for it. If you can do it yourself that's great, if you need help that's ok too. Just know when your child sleeps (and you sleep) you'll both feel so much better. You'll get to enjoy your child more and bedtime won't instil fear in you.
How did your baby learn to sleep? Did you sleep train? Let me know if the comments below!
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.