Monday, September 13, 2010

Do as I Say, Not as I Do

This week we made the decision to turn K's car seat forward. She is 21 months old, approx. 26 lbs and 33-34 inches long.

Some may be saying, "how dare you?!?!". And some may be saying, "What the eff took you so long?". I really struggled with this decision. I watched the youtube videos, read the articles, heeded the new recommendations of the AAP I was committed to keeping her rear facing as long as possible. I figured she wouldn't hit the maximums of her car seat until at least 2, 2 1/2 years of age.

 She didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. Getting her into the car was a massive struggle. I had cried in frustration more then once, sitting in the back seat as she stiffened her legs, threw her back out and tried to slither out  and onto the back seat. Once she was sitting, she was fine. For about 20 minutes. IF I fed her a constant stream of crackers. We would chat through her mirror, which she loved. If both my husband and I were in the car, she would get upset if we talked to each other, but not to her. Anything longer then 20 minutes required the use of an ipod video and/or children's CD on constant rotation.

And then last weekend I had to turn her seat forward so as to accommodate my niece's car seat, who I was transporting for the morning. And miracle of miracles. She climbed into her seat BY HERSELF. She giggled and tried to pass crackers to her cousin. They held hands. I could retrieve her toys and pass them to her without dislocating a shoulder trying to get around the shell of the car seat.I left it for a few days because my husband was out of town and I didn't trust my installation skills. And she continued to be a pleasant passenger. I no longer feared making small stops at the store (or multiple stops!) for fear of trying to get her back into the car once she was out.

So at 21 months, I have moved her forward facing. I feel like a quitter, and someone who is sacrificing my child's safety just for convenience. But I do appreciate the calm that is the car ride home now. And since we are in the car together 45-60 minutes a day, that is not a small piece of the pie.
Although the downside? She has become a back seat driver: "No mommy, go THAT way." Every 10 minutes. Even if "that way" is into a field of trees.

But I urge you ALL to read and review the above links and make an informed decision for your own child. I don't judge anyone who decides to forward face (people in glass houses, after all), but I do encourage everyone to at least consider extended rear facing. In short, do as I say, not as I do :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Product Placement and PTSD

This morning I gave K two options of shirts to wear. One has winnie the pooh on it, and one has flowers. Immediately she starts chanting "winnie da pooh, winnie da pooh" and dancing around the room she is so excited about wearing winnie the pooh. ::sigh:: my daughter is 21 months old and already the corporations have her brainwashed. I didn't think I was going to have to worry about the name brand stuff for another ten years. I guess I was wrong. I can hear my hard earned dollars falling down the drain already.

Also, this great article was posted by a friend on Facebook yesterday: Colic doesn't harm babies, but it harms parents

I seriously thought I was reading about my own life, right down to the fear of alcohol and bouncing on an exercise ball until you broke your back. About dreading walking in the door, worried your husband was going to get up and walk right out of it and not come back, and dealing with the feeling that you wanted to throw your baby out a window. It made me cry and made me feel validated at the same time. It is still hard for me to think about the first 6 months K was home.

Its the story of colic and its grip on one couple. They describe coming out of raising a colicy baby as having Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Nothing could describe it better. I still hear imaginary babies cry when no sound is being made. I still sleep with one eye open fearful of when K might start crying. It has not been easy on our marriage. It has made us question whether K will be an only child (more on that in another post, maybe). It makes you feel terrible as a parent because you can't comfort your child, and many times, you can't love your child. There is no greater guilt then that, IMO. (well apart from actually killing someone maybe?) Thank you Mike for expressing what so many of us find difficult to do.

Was becoming a parent worth it for all of this? Ultimately, for me, yes it is. Despite the continued sleep issues, despite the hellish first 6 months (or if you ask my husband, hellish first 15 months), this is the greatest thing I have ever done. K does everything with passion. She doesn't just live life - she attacks it with zest and energy. She makes every day entertaining, just as she makes every day frustrating. Yes, she cries hard. But she loves hard too. We will lose hours in a haze of tickle fights and hugging and kissing contests. She amazes me constantly, and gives me great joy. She gives me a reason to come home at the end of the day, and a reason to wake up every morning. I think she is just more intense about everything, including being a newborn.

looking contemplative:

and looking mischeivous:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

want to play along on Wordless Wednesday? Click me to see more.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

This is a fairly common thing in the blogosphere every Tuesday. Since I have been devoid of regular updates, I thought this would be a great way to get out some of the recent adorable things K has been up to.

{one} K loves her time-out chair. She will purposefully throw food from the table, then look at me hopefully and say "time-out?". I think this defeats the purpose, but I want to remain consistent (throwing food = time out) so into the timeout chair she goes, happily. ::head desk::

{two} K's bedtime minions are growing. She doesn't have a single lovey, but currently in her bed are 1) a small cat, 2) a small bear, 3) a small bunny, 4) Lulu (her dolly), 5) not one, but two pillows (one for each side of the crib), 6) her blanket and 7) Snowy, a very soft white dog that is the same size as she is. God help me if she asks if the kitchen sink can come in with her next time

{three} She can now ride easily on our shoulders, which makes walks much easier. She is almost, but not quite, ready for piggybacks. She kept dropping her hands from my neck, but loved the concept of it

{four} if I am sitting on the couch, she will scootch behind me, put her arms around my neck and go "I love u momma". ::swoon::

{five} is very possessive if other babies - or dogs - try to sit in my lap. She will immediately jump up from what she is doing and try to get in too.

{six} I have trained her in the morning, so instead of asking to watch cartoons, she will come downstairs and go "watch email?" Our TV is also our computer monitor, and whenever she would ask for Elmo, I would say
"mommy just needs to check her email first" and she would happily play for 10 minutes while I did just that. Now she ASKS for it. Awesome!

{seven} she is starting to show signs of empathy, which I really like. She will cry in compassion if her cousin or best buds are hurt and crying. She loves to give kisses and hugs if someone hurts themselves.

{eight} if she really likes what is eating or drinking, she will smack her lips and say emphatically "delicious!"

{nine} she can climb the rope/wood ladder thingy on the playground all by herself. I am constantly amazed at how much she is growing physically and what she can take on.

{ten} she can sit on the big girl swing and hold on, though the concept of leg pumping to get air alludes her.

So there you have it, a bit of a glimpse into the world of K. And because I can never post without em, some recent pictures:
having a particularly good hair day. I have discovered the beauty of the comb (not brush!) + water combo in the morning. Also, this is her "watching Elmo with incredible intent" stare.

water play with Grandma.

moving so fast now she moved out of my focus point :)
I also love her jaunty stance in this one

loving the slide again

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Arts n Crafts time

My apologies for falling off the blog bandwagon. We have been on vacation and with limited internet time. But I am back, and armed with entirely too many photos to share with you.

To kick things off, I have been meaning to share some of K's craftiwork with y'all. She has weekly craft projects at daycare, and I read a suggestion somewhere in the blogosphere to take photographs of the artwork. that way the artwork itself doesn't take up too much physical space, but the memories will always remain.
here is some of it:

picture frame for Father's Day:

french impressionism:

Poem for Mother's Day:

Easter Eggs:

And this is what happens when you leave a toddler all alone during art time:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kids say the Darnedest Things: Vol I

I have been meaning to talk about K's word explosion over the past few months. I had grandiose plans of getting it all on video and sharing it with you live and in person. But I always forget, and she seems to clam up when I put the camera on.

Around 15 months her talking, which had always been decent (she was a babbler, and of course a screamer, from early on), just went nuts. She was a parrot - anything we tried to get her to say, she would at least attempt, if not nail. In the past few months she has been working on her 2-3 word sentences, ABCs, counting, nursery rhymes and even jokes. She also has great retention for locations of items around the house, and even her grandma's house.

She can now:
recite the full alphabet song (though several of the letters are not intelligble)
count from 1-10 and sometimes up to 15
correctly identify blue and green (about 75% of the time)
correctly identifiy most common animals and their sounds
correctly identify common household objects and favourite toys
knows all the main people (and animals) in her life by name
sings - twinkle twinkle, old mcdonald, zoom zoom - going to the moon, patty cake, itsy bitsy spider
correctly identify the letter "o" (not sure why) - all other letters are still hazy

her favourite phrase is "oh no!". Of course accompanied by dumping out an entire box of toys, or letting spaghetti fall to the floor.

the funniest is she likes to tell jokes or be sarcastic. She often will call us "silly mommy" or "silly daddy", or place an object on her head (like a car) and yell "car head!" while laughing maniacally. yesterday in the car she kept taking her toy train and placing it behind her head. then she would look at me (through the mirror) and hold her arms up in a "where's that" gesture. I would say "where's the train, keira?" and then she would "find" the train and triumphantly show it to me. Just like we used to do when we first learned peekaboo.

Of course, with all this, comes the "mine" stage. Like her toothbrush, shoes, a water glass. Basically anything her eye can see is "mine". Like the train station we pass every morning is "my train" and she gets upset if I don't stop and let her play with it. I truly hope this is a short phase because sharing is not currently in her vocabulary.

Sorry for all the words. Here are a few recent pictures to round things up:

her "oh no!" face
(I shared this already on my photo blog. apologies to repeat readers)

chilling with her Aunty Tara and Uncle Alan

giggling over a private joke with her shoe

Keira is 19 months old and I am already concerned for the cell phone bill costs considering how much she talks

Monday, July 19, 2010

My sick baby

We just got over a nasty fever. Spiking at 103 over several days. Thankfully no other symptoms accompanied the fever.
After 4 days of Buzz, Woody, Winnie the Pooh, Elmo and Simba many times over, the fever broke.
I did pop off a few shots of K sleeping peacefully in her fever induced state. We rarely see this since she usually thinks sleep is for sissies, especially in daddy's arms in the living room!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Memories: Canada Day

Only 2 weeks after the fact. I am getting better!
On Canada Day we hit some local festivities at a train museum/city park with my good friends A, M and their little A's. Candy was consumed, balls were thrown, day old chicks were petted. fun was had by all.

playing with shutter speed on the model train:

goat side-eye:

squee! 8 week old pittie puppy

I swear to god they were having fun:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Meet Lulu

Lulu is pretty important in our house. Wherever K goes, she goes too. She came with her own stroller. The stroller has a canopy and basket. My husband talked the seller down to $5 I think for both of them. Best $5 we ever spent.
Her lovely green blue eyes:

Lulu rarely spends more then a few minutes in the stroller until K pulls her out to carry her. That's about how long K herself lasts in a stroller before demanding "down".

just a post dinner stroll - galoshes, pjs and a pram:

oh and the photo above won me a weekly photo challenge over at one of my favourite blogs, the Paper Mama
So I get to tell y'all that in fact, I am awesome :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Teddy Bear Picnic

In the rain? Sure, why not. Another annual neighbourhood festival/parade, known as the Teddy Bear Picnic. They even have nurses on site to provide teddy checkups and prescribe them a clean bill of health. It started to drip in the morning, but thankfully never settled into full downpour.

terrible shot of me, but I am rarely in photos, so I have to take what I can get (and I am too lazy to edit it)

mounties and bagpipes to start. Not cliche or anything

James Dean of the Bear crowd

peanut gallery

a pirate Shriner. Whoda thunk it?

looking for the next big thing:

which was the Falun Gong marching band

We moved onto the fairgrounds to find some friendly faces

fun was had by all

showing off her massive intelligence - rings are mastered, so next = astro physics!

who thought this was a good thing to bring to a children's festival?

tensions are starting to run high

and on that note, bye bye!

Hats Off to You

If you are still patiently waiting for updates. ::sigh:: I am so behind. wanted to share a few street festivals with you that we attended back in June. And the OCD in me won't let me post new stuff till I catch up with the older posts I want to do. That makes for quite the backlog sometimes.

This is Hats Off Day, a great neighbourhood street festival and parade.
classic car show

vintage neon sign

Wondermom juggles 4 kids in a double stroller and backpack combo

and just in time for a self portrait

K did great in the Ergo and even fell asleep on the walk home. I am looking forward to more hikes with her in this come fall when its not so hot!

next up: Teddy Bear Picnic!