Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baby Wearing

Rylyn loves to be worn in her wrap. We have two now: a Maya Wrap and a Moby Wrap.

I purchased the Moby Wrap this past week on recommendation from someone I met in Baby Talk classes. Originally I was looking at purchasing a Didymos, however, I was having trouble finding a Canadian retailer (shopping in Euros can be expensive especially once shipping is factored in).

The Maya Wrap is a ring sling and perfect for beginner wearing and hip wearing later on (so I am told). The Moby Wrap and Didymos are fabric slings made of one piece of fabric and are more versatile with more even weight distribution. Now that Rylyn is getting bigger (probably around the 10 lbs mark), I was looking into a wrap that met these requirements.

The short of it? We tried the Moby Wrap for the first time today. Ry definitely feels secure and she fell asleep almost instantaneously! She is now asleep in her wrap as I type. Which brings up another concern...Lil' Bean has been sleeping all day...she had better save some for tonight or I may be blogging during the twilight hours too.

Here is a picture of Rylyn and I in our Maya Wrap. Feel free to comment about your Baby Wearing experiences or wraps you like to use.

Bible Reflections:
James 4:8 (New King James Version)

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 
-When Rylyn is upset I can draw her close to my heart in a wrap and she settles. When we are unsettled and need a friend, if we draw near to God he can settle us with His Peace. If we are not unsettled, we gain security and intimacy in our relationship.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to make a new mom feel bad...

Let's set the scene. Fifteen new moms eager to network and learn in a church fellowship hall, awaiting the second Baby Talk class run by Public Health. What I gain from meeting with other moms and talking to professionals is far more than what I have to complain about. For example, today I learned that putting your child on the floor is the best way for them to develop and explore their environment. This knowledge was useful because I felt bad laying Ry on the ground to go to the washroom...the swing or chair seemed more appropriate. Although appropriate, the floor is fine! On with the story...back to the fellowship hall.

"Does anyone have a bumbo chair?" the Infant Development Specialist chimes.

A few of us put up our hands. Then we get a rant about all the negative aspects of the bumbo chair. "I have even heard of some parents who put their child in one and then place it on the kitchen table or washer," she chortled.

I am not saying that I would use my bumbo anywhere other than the floor, but I highly doubt these moms are further than an arms reach away.

She finished with, "But, any of these marketed items are fine in moderation."

It was a lame recovery. Our heads were already down. Did we really need to be tricked into admitting a crime we all had no clue we were committing? Next time I hope she generalizes with "some of you may have a bumbo," rather putting us on the spot. The best part, my bumbo is still unused in the box and I felt guilty!

I would like to thank the mom who spoke up when the specialist left the room and said, "I use my bumbo chair on the kitchen table all the time," to reassure us that we were all moms trying our best and no crimes had been committed in the process.

Bible Reflections:

Matthew 7

Do Not Judge
 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

-Choose your words carefully, you never know how what you say may affect someone. They may even reveal judgment you were unaware of. When in doubt, do a "Thumper," if you don't gots anything nice to say, say nothing at all. My husband says I over-analyze, so I am at risk of being judgmental. I try to catch myself before I put my foot in mouth by asking, "Does this really matter when the big picture is considered?" If the answer is no, I use an affirmation or compliment instead...which is why I began this blog with a positive! ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hey there big girl

Can't sleep. *sigh* Good thing I didn't have that nap today or falling asleep tonight may have not even been a possibility.

I am attempting to shorten my blogs. Keep it simple is a fine motto. I think it will help me be more concise and be more enjoyable for readers...maybe help expand my audience too. I will still probably have overly verbose moments in time.

I thought I would document some milestones. How I know Rylyn is growing out of that newborn phase and into the baby phase.

Before you couldn't, but now you can...

sleep in your own crib in your own room all night.

sleep 5 hours in a row.

watch your mobile.

laugh and smile when mommy does.

wake up and talk to yourself instead of cry.

explode a poop through your diaper all over daddy. (Well done, by the way).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The guilt of crying...

A yes, another blog about crying. I have read and heard that 2 months is peak crying time for babies and it decreases after that. How many weeks are you again Rylyn??? No, no, no...cannot wish this time away as it will be so short in hindsight....guilt trip number one.

We are trying not to use a pacifier...for many reasons, which I won't list here. I am not opposed to their use in anyway. We are just trying to go without. Pain now, gain later? I was a thumb sucker and my sister used a soother...you should have seen our orthodontic bills! The soother decision is guilt trip number two. "Maybe that is all she wants! To suck on a dummy" says guilt. Reason sarcastically retorts back, "Yes, because babies know what a man-made soother is without introduction. They innately crave one from the womb."

Ry has been fairly good with crying. Certainly nor excessive or colicky, if I have not mentioned that before. She typically has a two hour fussy time in the evening sometime after dinner. No biggie, because it is not like it is in the middle of the night. Well, last night we went for our second evening (the first was a few weeks ago) of a 5 hour stretch of wailing. Not fussy time. Wailing time. Fun times. Especially when you are supposed to go out and that is SO not happening anymore.

Chris said on his way out the door, "Do you want me to take her with me?" I am laughing inside. Did you grow breasts all of a sudden, honey? (We are still working on bottle training for occasional use). How exactly are you going to lead worship practice for Sunday and soothe her in the process? These were of course my inside thoughts (which if Chris chose to read my blog, which he doesn't, he would be able to share in). Where was I? Chris was out and I did the 5 hour stretch of wailing time on my own. No daddy relief. You have to love the man's heart! He tried and he was definitely feeling a little bit of daddy guilt on his way out the door.

After about 2 hours of focused soothing...Rylyn became my crying accessory. I will tend to your needs (feeding, changing...etc) baby girl, while I distract myself from your voice. Guilt trip number three. Please note I am distracting myself while I continue to care for her, not leaving her to cry on her own for the remaining 3 hours. (See that is the guilt talking...self-justification).

Honestly, dividing your attention is survival, but the mommy guilt is still there. (You could be super-mommy. Give her that full-attention she deserves while she screams her little heart out. No one died of singing and rocking for 5 hours straight). The reason mommy feels guilty is because after 2 hours of crying, these distractions feel more appealing than focused soothing. Dividing your attention gives you the best of both worlds: supportive and loving "mommydom" while actually having a sense of accomplishment (which your soothing isn't giving you).

Here are some things that are distract well with a crying baby, some require both hands which allow you to see if the swing, chair or floor will work for five minutes or so, while others require one hand or no hands (for the crying snuggle): Folding laundry, checking email, watching sports (you can still follow it despite the noise), listening to music, reading (especially from the Bible, I like the Psalms), fixing something to eat, going to the washroom (say a little prayer while your there), paying bills, write a card, pet your cat or dog (I have a VERY needy Himilayan and another short-haired cat), exercise (do a set of squats or sit-ups), go for a drive and turn on the music.

Rylyn and I ended with the last idea and we went out to meet my friends anyway for the last 15 minutes of Bible study. Her wimpers announced our arrival during the home stretch of prayer time. I waited for the last 15 minutes to show up to minimize the distraction. She settled long enough to hear the compliments of how beautiful she was and then it was off to finish the stretch of crying at home.

When Chris is home, he gets the pass and I go take a shower. So I would like to blow a kiss to any single moms out there. You are stronger than me and when you feel weak may God provide you with whatever relief and support you need for perseverance.

The final guilt trip for the blog has nothing to do with crying...that I am writing this blog instead of watching my baby sleep. (Honestly!) This chide I ignore, because Ry is asleep in my arms as I type and I can steal a glance whenever I wish.

Bible Reflections:

Proverbs 21 (New King James Version)

 1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD,
      Like the rivers of water;
      He turns it wherever He wishes.
       2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
      But the LORD weighs the hearts.
       8 The way of a guilty man is perverse;[d]
      But as for the pure, his work is right.

-The Lord knows our hearts and can change them. If we let Him, He can free us from the guilt that also chains them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby Smiles

Last night I was exhausted. No real reason other than being a new mom. As I have said in previous posts, although my sleep is broken, it has been pretty good.

Rylyn and I were getting to the end of our evening ritual of fussy time (I am going to cry because I am a baby and because I can). Rylyn can cry her heart out during the day and it wouldn't bother me (much). BUT, when I am tired, the cries are heart breaking and exhausting. We had bounced, walked, swayed, sung...etc. so I decided on my usual last resort, snuggle and shut my eyes. It is amazing how when you think you have had enough so has baby.

We drifted off to sleep together. How loverly. I opened my eyes, looked at Chris and passed her off. I said, "I am going to bed." I was probably sleep walking to bed. I barely remember last night (though I was up to nurse Rylyn). I was in bed for 11 hours total.

Rylyn has been smiling a lot today. I am mentally taking pictures of those smiles so that when I tire of our evening ritual tonight, I can hold her wailing little body in my arms, shut my eyes, see her smile and smile with love back, until it is time for both of us to doze off.

Bible Reflections:

Psalm 40:1-3 (New King James Version)

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

 1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
         And He inclined to me,
         And heard my cry.
 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
         Out of the miry clay,
         And set my feet upon a rock,
         And established my steps.
 3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
         Praise to our God;
         Many will see it and fear,
         And will trust in the LORD. 

-Sometimes we all just need to cry. Maybe physical tears. Maybe words of desperation. Crying produces patience. Patience for an answer. Patience for our cries to stop. We can trust in God to replace our cries with a new song. We can trust in Him for an answer and to meet our need like a baby trusts in his or her parents...even if it is just waiting out the storm together. Praise be to God.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Separation Anxiety

We are trying to get Rylyn used to the idea of sleeping in her crib at night. So far she has only been using it for naps. In the evenings, she has been sleeping in a playpen-bassinet next to our bed. We are starting to put her down for her first stretch of evening sleep in the crib and then moving her to the bassinet after her first twilight feed.

The past two nights she has cried for 5 minutes and then slept for 4.5 hours before waking for her first twilight feed. I was a little worried I wouldn't hear her after having her right next to me for most of the night. I slept lighter than usual, but woke not to crying but to pre-hungry gurgles both nights. I think I will sleep sounder now that I know I will wake up...I could sleep through a hurricane, I swear.

What spurred on the change in sleeping arrangement was some extremely cold nights. Our bedroom is the coldest room in the house and on those winter nights hitting -15 degrees Celsius, Rylyn was waking up more. Her room is warmer and the first stretch of sleep there allows her body to acclimate to the cooler upstairs temperature in a more gradual way. That way we don't have to do a bedtime routine twice...she usually starts to doze downstairs, but then was waking up in the cooler temperatures in our room rather than falling asleep.

I think we will try the nomadic sleeping arrangement for a while. It keeps Rylyn's body temperature more regulated, gets her used to sleeping in the crib and still allows for the ease of nighttime nursing and morning cuddles in our bed.

As for the separation anxiety...I think it is more me that has to get used to her sleeping a hallway away than her.

Bible Reflections

Romans 8

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Time and space need not separate us from the love of one another. We can show love through our use of time and space, but it need not separate us. Even better, it cannot separate us from the love of God.

Baby Toots

You have to love that the toot that comes out of that sweet little bum is just as vocal as an adult!

Last night: Chris was holding Rylyn and she was tooting up a storm. After several minutes...he kept making faces and saying, "Phew, you stink." Smelling her bum in the process.

I offered to change her diaper, smelling her on the hand off. She smelled like sweet baby love to me. Nothing but pee in diaper.

Stink all in Daddy's head? I think so.