Sunday, 23 December 2012

Teething??? Or Just Playing???

Frostina is doing really well these days. Now that her colic has gone, she has revealed herself to be a happy, sweet, and very content baby. She's a joy to be around and I feel very blessed to have her in my life.

A few weeks back we started weaning her onto solids. I've jumped into this with two feet and am making my own baby foods. I've got this super cool steamer/blender combo machine and have been making lots and lots of baby purees. So far she's been a great eater and will happily try anything we give to her. Her favourite so far is mango.

As a result of adding solids, she has started sleeping through the night without needing to get up for a bottle. Not every night just yet, but quite a few so far. You would think this would have me jumping for joy,,,, right? It would if she was actually sleeping all night. But she's not quite there yet. As a result, I'm getting up more often with her than before,,,, and Mama is tired!

She wakes up at the time she would want a bottle (2 or 3 am) and I go into her room and pop the dummy/pacifier back into her mouth. If she's not hungry then she will go back to sleep, sometimes on the first try, other times it takes 2 or 3 tries.

On the nights that doesn't work I get up and feed her a very small bottle. Some nights she doesn't even finish that which reassures me that she doesn't need to eat in the middle of the night anymore. It's just a habit to get up and want to eat.

Regardless of whether she eats or not, we now have a new habit. Frostina will then wake up and start making noises every hour after that until it's time to get up. So if she first gets up at 2 then I will have to go back in and give her the dummy/pacifier at 3, 4, and then several times from 5-6am. That last hour is awful but I refuse to get her out of bed until 6am which I think is still pretty early.

It's driving me crazy and obviously affecting my sleep. I can't figure out what's going on. She might be teething, but she doesn't wake up unhappy or crying. I don't want to give her pain medicine every night "just in case" either. I want to only use medicine if she actually needs it.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe she just enjoys my company in the middle of the night?? Perhaps she's figured out that Mommy will come rushing in whenever she squawks and she's making a game out of it?

I am considering doing some sleep training, but they say not to try and sleep train when babies are teething. So since she's 6 and a half months old and no teeth yet, it's likely that she is teething.

But how do I know?

Monday, 17 December 2012

Crying For Newtown

I've been crying a lot these past few days.

Crying for those innocent children who lost their lives and for the devastated families they leave behind.

Crying because all they did was go to school that day. Something they should have been able to do without being put in danger.

Crying because I cannot fathom the kind of person who wakes up and decides to enter a school and open fire on innocent children.

Crying because unlike many who will say, "I can't even imagine what their parents are going through," I do know what it feels like to lose a child.

Crying because I feel like my wound has been ripped back open. That pain, the kind of pain that paralyzes you, is back again. Not that the wound was fully healed, but it had a pretty good scab over it. But not anymore.

I feel raw and vulnerable in a way I haven't felt for quite some time. I have spent the weekend hugging my baby girl and crying. Reminding myself just how lucky I am to have her.

Knowing just how lucky I am to have her.
Knowing just how empty it feels when a child is there and then is not.
Knowing just how much it hurts to long for a child, to miss a child, to mourn a child.

My heart breaks for the families in Newtown, CT. A place I've never been filled with people I've never met. And yet I cry for them.

Real tears, real emotions, real sorrow. Their story has moved me in a way that no other news story ever has. Maybe because it hits closer to home than I would like it to.

Or maybe because it's just that terrible.

Friday, 14 December 2012

There's No Crying In Santa's Grotto

Yesterday I took Frostina to have her picture taken with Santa. It's a huge milestone in my parenting book. Her first photo with Santa, followed by her first Christmas, followed by a bunch of other firsts that I can photograph and share with family and friends.

So many firsts that she will have that her brother will not.

There are many options when it comes to Santa's Grotto's here in London. Some are just basic, and some (like Harrods) are quite fancy and require advance booking. Since Frostina is only 6 months old and is not always happy to be held by strangers, I opted for the closest option. That way if she freaked out and cried I would not be terribly inconvenienced.

As it turns out, she was not the one I should have been worried about.

We got to our local shopping centre and even though I had booked an appointment, it turns out it wasn't necessary. There was only one other child in front of us so I didn't have to worry about waiting too long. In addition, the napping and eating gods had shined down on us and Frostina was both well fed and well rested. Optimum conditions for a happy baby.

As I began the process of unwrapping her from her jacket/blankets/hat combo (it is freezing here in London) and getting her out of her buggy I felt it.

You know that feeling when you just know you're going to cry???

I felt it rising up in my throat. Tears welling up in my eyes. What on earth was happening?? Why was I crying? Why was I the one about to cry in Santa's Grotto??

Of course that's when it hit me. This was one of those moments that I get to share with Frostina but will never be able to share with my son. I get so busy taking care of her day to day that I sometimes forget that many of her firsts will be both exhilarating and crushingly sad.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't have my sunglasses with me. It's been a while since I've been caught out like this. So I did what I've learned how to do when the tears creep in. I dig my fingernails into my palms and try to think about something else. I also had Frostina to joke with and smile at which helped as well.

So no meltdown this time. Well, not until I got home..... but that's progress and I'll take it.

Frostina on the other hand did not cry at all. She sat on Santa's lap and let the Elf helper take her photo. No smile, but she still looked cute. I made sure to buy one photo for me and a couple for the Grandparents. I just know they will love them.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Catching Up

Wow, has it really been over a month since my last post?

I don't know how I got out of the habit, but I'm hoping to get better at fitting this space into my week. I do miss the writing and the reading. I have been going through my reader and I feel so out of touch with everyone.

So apologies for not writing and not reading or commenting either. The adjustment to Motherhood is still a huge one for me and it's clear that I haven't quite found my balancing point just yet.

So here's a bit of a catch up. The visit home was amazing. Frostina did so well on the flight which was a huge relief! It's an 11 hour flight from London to Los Angeles and I had visions of walking a crying baby up and down the aisles the entire time. But we got lucky and she was a trooper. Much to the relief of myself as well as all the other passengers.

She adjusted to the time difference in one day!! That part was also amazing!!!

She was so cute and adorable with all the family. As I've written about here before, she's very particular about who she will smile at. So I was worried that she would be timid around our family.

Turns out I worried for nothing. She took one look at my Mom and flashed her a huge smile...... soooooo cute! She was great with everyone and let everyone hold her. She smiled and made all her cute faces and noises for everyone. She was the belle of the ball and everyone loved her.

It was a wonderful visit but at the end of the two weeks we were ready to come home. I'd love to say that Frostina adjusted back to UK time as quickly as she did to California time. However, her adjustment back was not as easy. It's taken her almost two weeks to be back to normal.

I think part of the issue may be due to teething. We don't have any teeth just yet but she's been waking up crying in the night and won't go back to sleep until I give her some Calpol (baby tylenol for my US friends). Her cheeks also get really red sometimes, red like an apple. And I won't even go into the drool that is coming out of this kid,,, let's just say it's flowing freely. So I expect to see some teeth very soon.

Some other fun things.

  • We started solid foods this week.
  • She no longer hates tummy time.
  • She can sit up for short periods of time before she finally tips over.
  • She has discovered her laugh.
Oh, and she loves ceiling fans.....
We don't have any of these at home but she discovered this one at a hotel while we were back in the US and was absolutely fascinated.
Other than that we're just getting ready for Christmas. Our first with Frostina and our third without our son. It's bittersweet for sure and not something I want to get into today. Today is just a day to catch up.

So what have you been up to?