Sending Out An S.O.S.

One of the hardest things to do when you are a new parent is to find a balance. Suddenly, you can’t just run out for a coffee, you can’t go to a movie, you can’t slip out to grab a bite. The spontaneous life you had been living before is a thing of the past because when you have a baby, your life suddenly becomes all about planning.

Doing anything without a plan, is impossible. You have to factor in if you can survive with a baby where you are going.

”Will the place I’ll be going be too loud? Will there be somewhere I can park my stroller, or should I skip the stroller all together as wear a carrier? Are the bathrooms there ones that will have a changing table? How long will I be out? How much will my baby need while we are out?”

Exclusively breastfeeding also means I have to think about whether there is a private place to feed. I am not overly shy, but I also don’t want to be gawked at while feeding my daughter, so knowing there may be a place a little more secluded where I can take my time is always best.

Making plans isn’t easy, and it becomes even more of a task when your friends don’t consider you and your baby as a package deal.

They invite you places or to events thinking your baby is something you can just hand off for the night so you can enjoy yourself. I really wish people who weren’t parents would stop for a moment and think about how much of an ordeal it is to actually come out to something where our babies aren’t considered.

I am a considerate person. I am not going to bring my baby to your wedding, or a dinner party, or anything where I know I may disrupt or pull attention away from the main event. If we are being perfectly honest, it isn’t worth the hassle of finding a fancy nursing dress so I can attend comfortably with my baby anyhow. However, don’t expect me to come to lunch or something without my baby. I am a mom, a new mom at that, and parenting is difficult. Even if I could find someone to watch my baby for the few hours, chances are, I may not want to leave my baby home.

Leaving your baby with someone when they are so young and parenting is so new is probably something you are not completely comfortable with yet. Even putting my daughter to bed and watching her on the monitor gives me anxiety at times; and I can see and hear her.

It’s understandable. When we are young and we don’t have families of our own, we are selfish. I know I was, and I am not faulting anyone for it. It’s hard to wrap our minds around anyone not having the same freedoms we do.

That being said, I’ve realized as a new mom that some of the friendships I had before are no longer ones that work for me now that I am a mom. It’s sad, but it’s true. I can’t drop everything and meet friends wherever they want. I can’t go everywhere some of my friends want to go when I have a baby in tow, and when they don’t consider that or at least try to meet me half way, it makes me realize that our friendship may not be what I want it to be. And that’s okay.

As people we grow, and sometimes the people in out lives don’t grow with us, or grow in completely different directions. I love my friends, but I realize that in my group, I was the first to have a serious relationship, I was the first to get married, and now I am the first to have a baby. A lot of my friends aren’t even close to considering building the kind of life I am already knee deep in, and that is absolutely okay. I am not trying to be the architect of their lives, I know they all have plans and dreams that they will work towards at their own pace.

I also know, that I can’t go on weekend getaways right now, that going axe throwing or go-carting is not really something I can do either, and I realize that I am just one person in a group. It may not be fair for me to always ask them to accommodate me so that I can bring my daughter, but whether I ask them to change their plans or whether I decline going altogether, there really is no way of winning.

Either way, the dynamics of our group are changing, shifting, and it becomes more clear to me each and every day that I may not fit the way I once used to.

To anyone that has a friend who recently had a baby and you are worried about losing your friendship; my advice to you is simple. Make an effort to go to them.

You don’t have to go out for lunch or make a date. Just ask them when is a good time to go over, sit with them, spend time with them and show them that you are willing to step into their world for a few hours every now and again to maintain your friendship. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate something like this, much more than being invited out.

As sad as it is to say, becoming a new parent will open your eyes to what is important in your life, and the people that you are important to. Some of the friendships you thought would last forever, may be ones that disappear completely.

Playing Catch Up

When I got pregnant, I had this glorious idea. I told myself that I would have 12 months off, which would mean, of course, I would have all this free time. What better way to spend my free time, than to use it to catch up on creative writing projects, and to start a parenting blog for parents just like me; blissfully unaware of the challenges coming up, but adult enough to know we would have to go fake our way through it all.

What a silly dreamer I was. How foolish to believe that being a stay at home mom would mean I would have free time.

What were meant to be weekly entries, occasionally multiple entries a week have turned into bi-weekly, or sporadic monthly entries at best. Sometimes a few weeks will pass before I pull myself out if the chaos enough to vaguely remember I am supposed to be blogging. Somewhere between the spit-up, constant feedings and changing, and what I’ve started to call flash naps (mine, not hers), there is probably a moment or two where I could string enough sentences together to come up with a blog post.

Unfortunately, what tends to happen is I use that moment to blink and suddenly, hours have passed, my shirt is wet, and I have the subtle taste of cookies in my mouth but no recollection of eating any.

Parenting is very similar to being in a car wreck some days. You start your trip with a plan, good intentions, and the best mood. You’re singing along to a song on the radio you don’t love, but it’s catchy so you don’t change it. Then suddenly you hit a bad patch in the road, the car is doing donuts, and you are spiralling towards a ditch.

You wake up maybe moments, hours, or days later. Your hair is a mess, your clothes are stained and torn, the song you were okay with is still playing on loop and is now completely intolerable, and you crawl out of the wreckage wondering what the hell happened and how you got here.

That, in a nutshell, is parenting.

Sure, there are days when the journey goes almost as planned. There are a few roadblocks and re-routing but you still get there mostly in one piece but don’t count on having too many of those days in the beginning.

There are a lot more blowouts than you plan for, a lot of those cute little onesies when covered completely in slimy baby poop, go right from your baby to the trashcan, never to see the washer or dryer. Bath time becomes less of a fun, playful bonding time the third time around in a single day, and turns into a quick dunk and scrub in the sink.

It’s messy, it’s wonderful, it’s overwhelming…

And it’s also why I haven’t posted as much as I would have liked.

Thanks to any of my followers who keep following me despite my lack of consistency. Thank you for your support. I do see you and appreciate every like, comment, and follow.

As a new parent, I am trying my best and hopefully, I will somehow find my stride. Until then, I’m still pretending I know what I am doing as I walk away from the wreckage.

Five Months A Mommy

Five months.

158 days, 2 hours, and 21 minutes.

How time is ticking away.

I can still vividly remember the numbness in my legs, the way my toes felt as fat as sausages and had the tingle of pins and needles, only dull, and more lifeless. I can see the nurse standing below me, the blur of the doctor I barely saw during my delivery standing below me stitching me up as he spoke to the nurse. All of that just background noise as I looked down at the wee little baby they had just handed to me, the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my life.

She was so quiet, not at all like how they show you in the movies. There was no high pitched wail, no screaming that tugged at your heart. She barely had a moment to look around at the new world I had brought her into before she was placed on my chest, nestled close, and seeking my breast.

She was so content, so beautifully perfect.

In some ways, it feels like yesterday, in other ways, it feels like years have passed. She was this little bundle that loved to cuddle, loved to sleep and you would just spend all your time looking at her. Now she is this little personality. She has things she likes, things she loves, and things you better not even try.

Thinking about how fast she is growing almost makes me teary eyed. It won’t be long now until I am back to work, until she is off to school. You really do blink and find yourself wondering where all the time is going.

She is rolling over, has yet to sit up on her own while I am watching her, but if I sit her unattended, she will surely sit straight up if it will help her get to what she wants. She is pure energy in the morning that fades into dramatic misery come early evening.

For any new parents, frustrated and weary, just remember before you know it they will be grown and you will be wishing you had a few more moments with your little one in your arms. You’ll wish you had hugged them a little tighter, held them a little closer, loved them a little harder, all while you had the chance.

Whenever fatigue has you weary, and your patience has all been spent, just imagine your baby living in an apartment all their own in their 20s. They’ve got their own lives now, lives you are barely a part of. And their calls are less and less frequent as they become their own people, carving out their own place in the world.

A few moments of these thoughts is enough to round all up that patience you thought was spent, smooth out some of the wrinkles of fatigue and may even help you enjoy the tough times a little bit.

I know I do.

Co-Existing With Your Baby

Before becoming a mother, I was the kind of person who enjoyed doing things alone. Whether it was going out to eat, going to see a movie, or for a long walk through the woods or along a beach, I wasn’t the kind of person to wait for other people’s schedules to line up with mine. There are a lot of people out there unable to do things alone, that definitely wasn’t me.

Since becoming a mother, there isn’t much I get to do alone.

My daughter and I co-sleep, co-bathe, I eat with her on my lap, there are even days where I wear my fussy girl around our apartment and go to the bathroom with her attached to my chest.

I’ve learned that being a parent means we don’t get time to ourselves, if we’re lucky, we can steal mere moments.

We co-exist with these very clingy, adorable babies. They’re like adorable love and attention seeking leeches, attached to us every moment of the day in one way or the other. When they aren’t attached to us physically, mentally we can’t shake them.

All the time I spend away from my daughter, my mind is completely filled with her.

“Is she okay?” “How is she coping alone with my husband?” “I hope he doesn’t fall sleep with her on his chest, he moves too much.” “Is she happy?” “Has she been crying the whole time I’ve been gone?”

I’m told this is normal for your first. I suppose by your second kid, you just don’t have the energy left to constantly be wrapped around them.

How has co-existing with my beautiful bundle of fussiness been?

Exhausting. I am forgetting what actual sleep is. My body is worn. Every inch of me aches in one way or another. My hormones are on a roller coaster and I find myself praying to whatever deity will listen that she will nap, then when she is sleeping mere inches from me, I can’t help but miss her.

Being a parent is weird, and new, and there is no map to show you the right way to do it.

That being said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Follow us on Instagram to get daily updates on how pretending to parent us going.

The Greatest Showman

It was 2:00am and My daughter was letting out these little screams, and kicking the crap out of me (the struggle of co-sleeping) and I was at my wits end. I had recently bought The Greatest Showman from the iTunes Store and figured if I was already up, I might as well put it in. My daughter loves music, so I was hoping it would soothe her and I could roll away from her and stretch out all the kinks she was causing.

I have to say, I am a fan of musicals. I have been since I was a little girl dancing around to The Sound of Music. When you think about it, most Disney movies are musicals, so any movies with music in them when I was a kid, was my thing.

The songs from The Greatest Showman are amazing, and I love them. My daughter loves it too.

A lot.

Like… a lot!

Let’s just say, from the time we have originally watched it, we have probably watched it 20 more times, that is not including the times we put the songs on YouTube for her during the day when she is extremely fussy.

The movie itself is good. I love the music, the storyline, although not entirely accurate to the actual character of P.T. Burnam portrayed by Hugh Jackman, I would much rather watch a musical with this more fictitious version of him than the man who bought a slave, worked her 10-12 hours a day and then when she died, charged people 50 cents to see her autopsy.

My daughter, at only 4 months has become completely enthralled with this musical. It is at the point where if you walk into my house at any given time of the day, you are bound to hear the music from the movie being played in one way or the other.

It’s both a blessing and a curse as my daughter has been overly miserable lately due to teething and this movie seems to keep her so preoccupied, she completely forgets about her discomfort so long as she can hear the songs being played. However, after my 12th or so viewing, the movie has somewhat lost its appeal.

After complaining to my mother, she reminded me of hours of watching a The Sound of Music, dancing through the halls singing the songs and making outfits from my bedding. Sure, I can vaguely recall doing this, but I was maybe 6 or 7. 4 months seems young to get into the musical game. I have tried explaining this to my daughter, but she wails until I abandon negotiations and put on The Greatest Showman.

It’s to the point now where if my daughter wakes in the middle of the night, my immediate response is to mumble-sing This Is Me while rubbing her stomach until she goes back to sleep.

It makes me smile, hysterically and a little bit like a madwoman, to think about all the things we as parents endure just to make our children happy.

Who Am I? My Brain Doesn’t Remember.

The last week and a half have been rough!

My daughter has been taking these tiny little catnaps during the day that last a maximum of 20 minutes and she will only stay asleep if she is on my lap or chest or arm. Not to mention she is absolutely miserable when she is awake.

This teething process is slow moving and torturous for the both of us. Smiles are few and far between, laughter is very tough and go, her cute giggles all too soon transforming into painful wails. Our tummy time is a negotiation zone, activities are constantly cut short and I am counting down the minutes until my mother-in-law comes to stay with us at the end of the month.

It really does take a village.

It may not seem like it does, and a lot of the things I do with my beautiful daughter, I do solo because of my husband’s busy work schedule, but I can feel myself slowly wearing away. The lack of sleep and constantly being on calls means that I am on auto-pilot most of the time.

And mama is ready to get off of autopilot. Mama is ready to sleep, like really sleep, mama is ready to go pee without screaming down the hall “Mama’s coming!”, or to get back to writing.

Guys, I can’t tell you how much I miss writing. For those of you who didn’t know this, before I had this parenting blog, I had a creative one, with all these short stories and poetry, and thoughts. Not to mention, I have several novels partially done that I would love to do anything with.

I feel like since I got pregnant, there are parts of my brain that just don’t work anymore. A big part of my brain that is completely shut down is the creative side. The one that made me have these vivid dreams that I had to write down when I woke up. The part of my brain that would turn any waking moment into a story, where I couldn’t find peace because there were always ideas bouncing around inside my head.

What I would give to get that part of my brain up and running again.

Hopefully when I am better rested, and my mother-in-law is here giving me a hand with all the day to day, I can blow the dust off and get back to functioning a little more like myself.

With all the changes going on to my daughter right now, I find it difficult to get her to want to do anything. Sitting up was high on the agenda of things I was hoping she would accomplish, but right now, all she wants to do it lie down, play with her feet, and babble to herself. Whenever I sit her up, propped up, hoping she will want to get moving, she slumps over and continues sucking on her hands, absolutely no effort being put in.

It is cute, and hilarious, and I think I am just going to sit back a little bit and let her do things at her own pace.

Right now, I know she is in pain, I know she is uncomfortable, and the last thing I want to do is stress her out. I was hoping that her sitting up on her own will make her a little more independent and she will be happier on her own, with her toys and her music. She constantly wants to be moved around, shifted, propped up.

I am just going to have to be okay with being at her every beck and call… as all parents are. For a little while longer. One day I will be looking back and wishing she still needed me this much.

What Day Is It?

As a new mom on maternity leave, I am learning that time is irrelevant. Days are merging, my days sometimes feel like mere hours of weeks, and my weeks feel like they consist of anywhere from 3 days to 10 days.

I felt like yesterday I was working 8 hours a days, heavily pregnant in the blistering sun while I chased a pair of 5 year olds around, bargaining with them, trying to bribe them into spending the heat wave indoors. Then I decided to blink and I was at home, waiting for my daughter to arrive.

The time between working and being a mom lasted forever. It was a month but it honestly felt like 3 or 4. Our summer here in Toronto was heat wave after heat wave. 8 months pregnant, getting clothes on to go out for a walk seemed like too much of a task so I spent the majority of my days indoors, telling myself I would do something but procrastinating the days way binge watching shows on Netflix.

“After this episode I am going to…” was how I started all my sentences in those days… I never kept those little promises I told myself then. Nothing ever came after that episode except maybe another episode… and another…. and another.

I was due on September 20th and my beautiful daughter was born on the 21st of September after an induction. There was no fear when I went into delivery, nothing but anxious anticipation and the constant praying that it would all be over so I could have my little girl in my arms.

The first month of being a mom was a complete blur. It was a war zone of feedings, changings and getting sleep whenever you could. I was sleepwalking through it all. There, but everything oddly seemed as though it could be a dream. I was never 100% sure it wasn’t.

Somehow, my daughter is over 4 months old now.

I woke up this morning and just stared at her. She looked massive beside me on the bed, as though she could easily be 9 months old and I had just slept through it all. I looked at her, and she looked at me and we just smiled at one another all the while thinking “Where has all this time gone? What day is it? What month?”

19 weeks and 4 days old.

Time, for a new mom on maternity leave is completely irrelevant.

You have nowhere to be, your baby doesn’t really have much of a schedule so you are just rolling with the punches. One day, she may sleep in until noon and you tell yourself you are going to get up early to get things done, but honestly, you sleep in too. Because you are exhausted. Parenting is exhausting.

You take sleep where you can get it, some days you don’t change your clothes and live in what you slept in or your underwear, you don’t even brush your teeth until after 2:00 in the afternoon. I have days where I don’t even remember to eat. I will look up a the clock and ask myself if I have eaten that day.

I think this lack of schedule is common for mommies who have their babies moving into winter. Walks are restricted due to the weather, most days are too wet, too cold, too muddy, or just too much of a task to go out. So you spend the days indoors doing the same things over and over again to keep your baby entertained.

So what do you do?

Go out!

Pick a day of the week, every week where you go out. Typically this day for me is Saturdays. Saturday’s I go to my mothers for dinner, but I typically spend the whole day there. It’s a good opportunity for me to hand my daughter around a full household, and I can usually catch a heavy nap which is so rare for me.

Get dressed!

It’s such a small thing, but when you wake up, get into a routine much like you had when you were going to work. Get up, get dressed, maybe put on a little makeup and run a comb through your hair.

Why?

Because it will make you more likely to head out for the day, even if just for small walks, or to run errands. When you are already ready, you’ll be asking yourself “Why not?” If the opportunity to go out comes up.

Stay connected.

In this day and age, it is so easy to go days, even weeks without actually speaking to someone. You have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat. All these things that make it so easy to make yourself feel as though you are talking with people, having these conversations and keeping yourself social.

Guys, I am sorry, but this is all an illusions and it really isn’t enough.

Reach out, text a friend, call someone. It will keep you from feeling lonely and it will also keep your friends at arms reach and open to meeting up with you on those days you feel like you just have to get out of the house and socialize for your sanity.

Do something for yourself.

This is a big one. In the beginning, I was using all my free time when my daughter was napping to do things around the house. I was cooking, or cleaning, or trying to catch up on sleep. It as this endless cycle of giving and I wasn’t getting anything for myself.

It’s okay to do something for yourself, in all honesty, it is better for everyone, including your baby if you do.

Go to the gym, take a long showers, or soak in a hot bath. Curl up and read a good book. Make something. Play some video games.

Find something that makes you happy and you want to do. Something you look forward to, and do it. New parents neglect so much, they neglect their mental health, they neglect their hygiene, they neglect their relationships, their friendships. We bargain away everything that is for ourselves and trade it for things for our babies.

Parents, we can’t do this all the time. We are burning the candles and both ends and before long, there will be nothing left. We can’t be good parents , hell, we can’t be good people when we are trying to do it with nothing left.

Guilt is such a big thing, and we have to stop listening to what other people are telling us we should be doing and just do what we need to do for us.

Society expects parents to work like they don’t have kids, and raise their kids like they don’t work.”

Living your life this way is enough to always make you feel like a failure and like complete crap. Well, the solution is simple. Just don’t do it. Don’t listen to those people, ignore those judgmental glares. Your happiness is the most important thing to your children because they will benefit from it more than they would anything else. You can love your child better when you are happy.

We are somewhere in February and I am trying my best to work on myself. I am trying to figure out what makes me happy and do that more. Honestly, I don’t even remember what makes me happy anymore.

In this world where the cost of everything is constantly climbing and what we earn climbs substantially slower that costs are rising, we fall into this routine of just doing what we have to so we can afford to be happy later. I think along the way, we all forget what actually makes us happy.

I’ve forgotten. My happiness had become as irrelevant as time some ways ago. I couldn’t tell you when even if I wanted to.

Parenting is anything but simple. We are stumbling around trying to do our best, and along the way, I think we forget that we are still people. Not just parents, but people.

I’m constantly flustered and my mind is complete mush, I can barely remember the date or where I need to be, so remembering I am a person with needs is impossible some days.

If you are like me, just know, you are not alone. Reach out, find someone who is in this situations and weather the storm together. You’ll be more likely to find your way out of it, if you aren’t going at it alone.

Getting To Know Our Bodies

When I was pregnant, my mind couldn’t stop going back to health class. It astounded me all the things they left out. It was like our bodies were these secrets meant to be kept, which unfortunately means that so many of us are completely left in the dark.

Perhaps it was my Catholic School’s policy of abstinence is the best and only true form of birth control, but if I am being honest, not too many of the teachers really pushed this, and they were more than willing to answer any questions that may have popped up about sex and everything that goes along with it. The curriculum left a lot in the shadows.

It wasn’t until I went on mommy blogs and forums that I realized that I wasn’t the only one. There were remarks like “Your first period after giving birth will be heavier because all that blood has been stored up.” As though there is a dam in there that has remained closed, all the blood you are supposed to be shedding pooling up behind it, waiting to be released. Other things like “I thought all women could breastfeed, regardless of whether they’ve had a baby.” And “I don’t understand why women can’t just hold in their periods until they have to go to the bathroom.” Really shines a light on how our education has failed us in letting us fully understand our bodies.

There is so much about myself that has me baffled, parts of my own reproductive system that I had no clue about and still wouldn’t know if I hadn’t gotten pregnant.

Even after giving birth, if I hadn’t had a nurse who told me everything and a sister who was also a nurse there would be a lot of questions floating around in my head with no answers.

So many different things impact what can be considered normal for us. Our birth control, our hormones from breastfeeding, all of these things will make a difference to what is normal and what will become our normal after we give birth and become parents.

A lot of women think that bleeding that happens after you give birth is a regular period, and that is why they are confused at how much more they may bleed compared to what was normal for them before. It is something specific to giving birth and it is called Lochia which is the shedding of everything inside your uterus that has been used to nurture and grow your baby. It is going to be heavier, but it isn’t a regular period and it doesn’t mean that your periods following will be heavier from then on.

Our bodies stretch and rip and break, but they heal and bounce back.

It opened my eyes to the kind of parent I want to be. I want to be open and honest with my daughter when the time comes. I want to be the kind of house where she can ask us about sex and her body and not feel shame or embarrassed. I want her to understand herself, inside and out. There are too many women and men out there who are embarrassed to go to the doctors when something is wrong with their reproductive organs. So many people afraid to ask questions.

Although I have never been a shy person, I never had that openness with my mother. We would joke when I got into my teens, but I couldn’t imagine asking her a second related question, or just about my body in general.

To this day, there are parts of my own vagina I wouldn’t be able to label if you asked me. I am 28 years old. It seems like I should know anything and everything about my body at this point. The fact that I don’t, is really sad and confusing.

We can push for our schools to teach our children, but there will always be parents uncomfortable. Parents who think that knowledge about sex goes hand in hand with participating in sex. Parents who will always be uncomfortable with their children learning to be free with their bodies.

That’s fine. Everyone has their own hang ups.

However, if you are not one of these people, and even if you are, I can’t stress the importance of teaching your children about their bodies. Teach them about the bodies of the opposite sex. Sure, your son may never have to have a baby or a child, but someone they love may one day, and knowing what they are going through knowing how their body shapes and changes in this time will better help them understand, and be stronger shoulders to lean on.

Our bodies are these amazing things, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of them. We should know all there is to know about them, things that some people think are icky shouldn’t seem that way, it should be the norm because we should be talking about them as though they aren’t taboo.

I am more confident in my body after having my daughter, after seeing all that it is capable of. My body is amazing, capable of amazing things. Sure, it’s scarred, it’s worn, it’s sore more often than not, I have cellulite, and there are parts of my skin that are more flabby than tone and tight, but it’s mine. And it’s given me the most amazing gift!

All of our insecurities are there because we are told they should be, because we see what the world thinks bodies should look like and we don’t fit the mould. Beauty standards aren’t standard beautiful comes in all shapes and sizes and I feel like knowing all we can about our bodies can help build confidence in our bodies and ourselves.

Get to know your body, so you can teach your children to know theirs.

Filling Up Your Baby’s Day

A lot of people who know I am the mommy of a 4 month old baby think I have all the time in the world during the day to accomplish things for myself. It’s so easy for people who aren’t parents or who haven’t been through it to look at the statistics for what is normal for a 4 month old baby and think “Wow, they are only away for around four or five hours a day, you must have so much time!”

The most important thing to remember is that those are just numbers, ever baby is different. While there are some babies that achieve all their milestones on schedule, stick to the “norm” with weight gain and sleep schedules. My daughter doesn’t sleep as much as I would like during the day.

She tends to be awake now between 3-4 hours in the morning, she takes a nap in the late afternoon/ early evening and will be up from around 5:00pm until 10:30pm where she will take a catnap and be up until 1:00am. What does this mean? It means her sleep schedule is all over the map and those naps take place at times that make it difficult for me to do things I need to get done.

It also means that for a bulk of the day, she is awake and not sleeping.

Having a 4 month old isn’t just naps and feedings. It’s a lot of interaction. Every minute she is awake, her senses crave constant attention. She wants to be in different positions constantly. Lying on her back, on her tummy, sitting while slouching, sitting upright, standing… each position lasting a maximum of 10 minutes before she gets bored and wants another.

When we are not switching up positions we are switching up toys and activities. Although her favourite stuffed chameleon Pascal is constantly nearby, she often wants new textures, new colours, new sounds. It’s a street fair of constant activities, despite the small amount of sleep you got the night before.

Right now, my daughter is obsessed with her new Bright Stars Minnie Mouse themed jumperoo. We got ours from Winners for $79.99 CAD.

She really moves that her bouncing or the spinning of one of the toys activates the music and lights on the Minnie Mouse ears.

It’s also an awesome place to put her so I can take 5-10 minutes to enjoy a coffee or eat something. I am definitely adding it to the list of products that have helped me parent so far.

Our days are filled with story books, activity mats, diaper changes, breastfeeding, walks, jumperoo time. Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of down time. Her naps are usually on my chest, which limits any time for me to do things in that nap window.

When she is awake we are constantly moving, constantly engaging and trying to get her moving independently, stimulating her mind to grow alongside with her body.

Having a 4 month old is not just letting your baby lie around a sleep. It’s time consuming!

There are so many little things to keep your baby moving, and if you’re like me and going into the winter with a small baby, you are probably going to want to load as up the winter weather will restrict how much time you get to spend outside!

The Wonderful World Of Teething

As a first time mom, there are a lot of things even a lifetime of being around children hadn’t prepared me for. It’s such a different experience, having to deal with a baby of your own for 24 hours straight. You start to really understand why people say being a parent is one of the hardest jobs of all, and it’s one you can’t quit when things aren’t going your way, or you’re not getting the pay and appreciation you deserve.

Every week is a different milestone, maybe even one you didn’t realize was passing by, as you care for these growing little beings.

Everything is developing, their minds are growing and expanding along with their little bodies and they are learning to deal with so many things for the first time. What I would give to have a single day where I could just hear what she was thinking. Maybe then I would understand why she likes to have full conversations with the Tiki masks on her bedroom wall, or what she things the handmade birdhouse is so hilarious.

Growth spurts happen more often than you would have thought. 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and on and on and on. Not to mention rashes, and teething, sleep regression.

Right now my daughter has her first rash. She is a tad fussier but I can’t say for sure if that is the culprit because she is also going through sleep regression and has been teething.

When I had first gotten pregnant, I had a plan in mind. My sister had breastfed my nephew until he was 2 years old. I didn’t think I would do it quite as long, but knew for sure that, if I was able, I wanted to breastfeed my daughter until she reached her first year. This was before I realized that their first teeth would sprout between 4-6 months. Here I was, naive and under the impression that babies would get their first teeth until being closer to that one year mark.

The thought of my little shark actually having teeth in her mouth while I breastfeed is terrifying. She already clamps her gums down as hard as she can on my nipples and refuses to let go as she slowly grinds her gums together. It’s torturous… and that is just with gums. Add teeth to the equation and my husband is bound to come home from work and find my huddled in the corner, rocking myself and I murmur like a madwoman, blood on my shirt.

Yes… it’s a scene from a horror movie. A scene I’m sure is not too far off from my reality.

The teething on its own is something I could handle. She is drooling enough to soak through half a dozen bibs, without the bibs she is soaking through shirts and when she is naked she is extremely slippery. She is fussy, but usually that fussiness makes her sleepy, which works out great for a tired mama getting about 4 hours of sleep a night.

Let’s add sleep regression to the mix, you know… just for fun.

This means that she is extremely fussy from her teething, and her healing rash, and she will not sleep. She just grunts and groans and moans and whines. My sleep has dropped down from that amazingly fulfilling 4 hours of sleep a night, to around 2 and I have to admit, I am more human than I would like to admit and right now I would say I am just as cranky as my daughter.

I would strongly suggest the teething mitt to any mommy that has a teething babe. There are over a dozen different brands that make these. I went into Babies R Us and looked for the one with the brightest colours. She already loves to put her hands in her mouth, but I find that when I am trying to find a product for her, the brighter the colours, the better.

We bought the itzy ritzy mitt for around $12 CAD.

I am someone who strongly believes babies and children shouldn’t be overly medicated. Which is why I refrain from using Advil and Tylenol’s and try and feed my daughter to sleep when she is uncomfortable. This is how my mother raised all five of us and for the most part, we all have amazing immune systems.

Because of that, most of the teething solutions for my daughter are toys she can pop in her mouth.

The other lifesaver these days is her nûby fish teether. The brush like area is perfect for massaging her aching gums.

I got this for around $5 CAD at WINNERS.

For anyone else going through the magical wonders of teething, hang in. Keep your baby busy, because that often distracts from their discomfort.

Got to go, I am being summoned by my own screeching bandicoot.