Sunday, December 29, 2013

When Baby Has a Cold

Jack has his first cold.

Oh, I could talk about Christmas, all the lovely things our families gave our son and the joy of watching my son grip the wrapping paper and make small tears. But on Boxing Day, it all came to a screeching halt. But I'll go ahead and briefly describe the BC (Before Cold) era.

See, we had rolled into my mother-in-law's Christmas eve before the sun set, had dinner and put Jack to bed. We woke up to a picturesque sight. The ice storm that hit the province days before had the trees glistening in the sunlight. She lives in a small town and the views from any angle are all things charming.

We did Christmas dinner at my aunt's house and spent the night. I had too much wine. Then in the afternoon we headed on out to a family friend's house on the island, and then off to the Dude's aunt and uncle's for dinner. Jack seemed to be holding up well enough, but was clearly starting to get grumpy. So, sensibly, we left. In the morning, we would see the Dude's grandmother in the nursing home and then come back home to Toronto.

That totally didn't happen.

I can't remember when it started, but Jack started waking up crying. I always take the night shift. If it's rough, I'll just sleep in from 6:00 a.m. on and the Dude will handle the morning. But the crying wouldn't stop and he felt warm. Eventually I had to wake up the Dude and we brought our baby into the bed. The Dude got maybe a few hours of sleep. I got none.

While I recuperated from a night that was hell on wheels, the Dude and his mom brought Jack to the walk-in clinic. Verdict? A cold.

Now, I didn't know this, but A. a baby often has several colds in the first year, and B. they can last TEN days. 10. One-zero. Cue misery. I mean, we had obviously gotten away with something all this time never having dealt with a BC before, but it was here now and damn it.

We did not visit grandmother, we did not go home. We stayed at my MIL's and took care of business. This was nice. Food and drink were made available, no housework need be done and we could just focus on taking care of our sick baby and otherwise resting from caring for our sick baby.

And then I had to spend all night alone with him. The Dude needed to drive home and fatigue on the highway serves no one. So, I got the queen bed to myself with the baby and he laid on me all night, effectively keeping me awake until 6:30 a.m.

He'd wake up with a hoarse cry and I'd give him some formula. Then he woke up some more and I had no more supplies in the room, so I left him crying in the travel crib while I mixed him up another bottle. He woke up a lot to sob about his impacted breathing, and pitifully snuffle and wail. I'd give him baby Tylenol every four hours to keep a fever at bay.

In the morning I was relieved of my duties and I slept for 4.5 hours. But then it was go time and I was on the clock. We got home in one piece, and I did the night shift again when Jack wouldn't sleep in his crib, even with it on an incline to promote drainage.

So today, knowing that tomorrow I would have no sleeping in with the Dude back at work for two days, I got cracking. I researched everything and then I set out. I got my nails done first to give myself a break, but then I got serious.

1. Vicks VapoSteam. The Dude bought a humidifier and we have it running now. You add a little VapoSteam and it gives a little extra sumpin' sumpin' to the steam to help clear the sinuses.

2. Hydrasense Easydose. I use the regular full power stuff on myself for allergies and this stuff does not kid around. So we tried it. They come in capsules and we squirt one into each nostril and then wipe up the contents as they make their gross exit. (Okay, this is so gross, but one time it worked so well that a giant booger shot through to the other side of the nose and when I squirt up that side next, the capsule acted like a suction and sucked it right out. Incredible in its ickiness.)

3. Shower steam room. And! For bonus effectiveness, I put some of the VapoSteam in the shower and created this medicinal box of easy breathing. I ran Jack's bath and a whole bunch of stuff came out of his nose by the time the bath was over.

4. Vick VapoRub. Classic. We use just a dab on his chest.

5. Crib is still on an incline for drainage.

And for hydration, I added an ounce of water to the formula because Jack doesn't seem keen on drinking water on its own. And of course Baby Tylenol every four hours.

No screwing around.

So far Jack has woken up once, but went back to sleep. We'll see how well this goes. The Dude got Jack sleeping a lot for naps in the car seat (Again, the recline was the key) and I'm going to use all these tips and tricks to keep things going tomorrow.

I really do think my baby is a trooper, though. Not only is he going through his first cold, but he also cut two more teeth while at my MIL's. He could have been so much worse.

Oh, parenting.

But know what's great? He's been so snuggly and cuddly with me, and he can't do without his stuffed Big Bird. Precious.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Presents for Baby

So, what do you give a baby for Christmas? Do you go ALL OUT because it's your first time having a child of your own for the holiday? Do you skip giving any presents at all because baby doesn't know Christmas from Tuesday? Do you use the day as an excuse to buy your baby a few new age-appropriate things you were going to get him anyway, and simply wrap them up for effect?

If you chose the last one, you're like me. It's tempting to spoil your baby because love. But really, you don't want to get into the hoopla of overspending. It can create a bad cycle.

So, we got him three things. One from Pa, one from Ma and one from Santa. Then there's whatever else grandparents are planning to do and I'd say it's one happy little Christmas. Although, Jack would be just as happy if I handed him my smart phone and turned on the screen. Hell, touching the remote control is a good day for him. But oh well.

So, the things we got him are a puzzle, a block set and a tambourine.

The blocks are simple painted little things:

And I don't have photos for the other two, but the tambourine was fun. I took Jack into the toy store and, as I like to do, put various toys in his hands to see what he liked. Oh, he banged that tambourine around and smiled like he'd found some kind of candy Jesus. So, that was a win.

And the puzzle looked neato. Babies don't really do those, but this one is suitable for a one-year-old because the pieces can fit into various places. It's really weird for me to imagine Jack being able to use it. He's eight months old. He can't stack blocks even. He knocks them down and bangs them together. Hell, I remember when that was a big deal.

Actually, he's crawling now, and that's the current big thing. He's romping around the apartment like an elephant. He doesn't go on his knees, he's rump in the air and on all fours. It's adorable. Tiring, but sweet. It's amazing how endlessly fascinated he is with things like lint or handles or crumbs. And how much his discoveries point out how bad I need to clean the house.

I'm wondering if he'll like ripping wrapping paper. I'm not holding out hope he'll actually open presents, but if he at least enjoys the spectacle that is opened presents amongst ribbons and tissue paper, that'll be enough.

Oh man, a child of my own at Christmas. This is it. This is the beginning of the kind of holiday joy I've been waiting for. Squee!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby Food

I thought I would update Jack's progress with food. It's going... okay.

I meet with moms and babies every week and all I hear about is how enthusiastic the wee ones are about eating. And I see them eating plenty. And moms are swapping baby food recipes.

My little nugget? Well! I've tried making my own. He doesn't much care for the texture. Seeing as he was a late bloomer with even losing the tongue thrust and he's only go two teeth, I'm okay with him enjoying purees still. But they're from a jar. They're smoother, and he prefers this.

Yesterday I went to a Baby and Me program at an Early Years Centre and there was a baby food presentation. How convenient! I'm facing this right now. What wisdom would be in store for me? Perhaps I could learn some things that would improve matters.

*Snort* No.

I've complained about the breastfeeding lobby before, the militant lactivists who refuse to acknowledge formula as a valid food. Just in case you thought you were done with this sort of pushy nonsense, here comes the make-your-own-food people! The baby-led-weaning sorts are occasionally as annoying.

(I certainly don't think making your own baby food or doing baby-led weaning is inherently annoying. Oh no. Do exactly as you like to feed your baby. Take pleasure, you have my support and I salute you. But jesushchrist, stop telling me I should do the same thing because it's the best way. Just hush.)

So, this lady gives her presentation and proceeds to lie to the moms in the group. Oh yes. Lied. Like, flat out. I didn't call her out because she was so strong in her conviction that she planted a seed of doubt in my mind and I didn't want to risk being wrong in front of many people.

She said commercial baby food contains preservatives. This is a common misperception.

Now, there are many reasons to make your own food: cost effectiveness, using fresh food, taking pleasure in making it, creating your own flavour combinations. All very nice. But one reason is the misinformation that baby food has preservatives in it.

But how do they stay on the shelf without them? They are jarred with a vacuum seal. As someone who's made jam before, this is something I easily understand. You sterilize the jars, pour in the food, cap with a lid, and then they are boiled. The lid sucks in like a vacuum and they are now prepped for longer term storage. You can do this with any number of foods. It's not like eating things fresh, but it is healthy and non-chemical.

You can find this information on the company websites themselves, or from third parties. And all the ingredients listed on the jars.

It was very frustrating to listen to this non-fact-based ideology. I also know you can't feed your baby into a life of good digestive health. Hello! I was breastfed and my mom pureed all my baby food at home. I have irritable bowel syndrome. Shit happens. Or, you know, sometimes it doesn't. But moving on.

She showed us how to use a grinder to make our own food. And I did like that part. It took some mystery out of using a tool like that. But it was textured and lumpy. And I tried to feed it to Jack and he rejected it. And when I say "rejected", I mean he coughed dramatically and spit it out.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to be told "THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT!" only to have it not work for you, while the apparent inferior method is totally working. Awesome.

I do plan on eventually making his food, just to get the textures moving along. But he's only been eating, really, for about a month. And it was a struggle to get here, doing everything I could not to turn meal time into a tense situation or a battle. I want my baby to like food. Starting him on the less flavourful stuff (Commercial food) is not dooming him in any way. It's something I can build on. I need to start somewhere.

Yay, commercial food!

And in any case, in three months he'll be in daycare. Daycare has a way of getting you to adapt. I know because I went to one.

I just need to remind myself he's not going to go to kindergarten with me spoon feeding him purees.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mom Gets Out

Oh, I am the WORST! Yes, I kinda sorta quit blogging briefly. Why? Oh who knows. Laziness, I guess.

Or maybe I've just been kind of living it up a bit. Oh yes! I have had a slew of fun things going on around here.

I'll detail my awesome week(ish) away.

1. Paint Nite. The premise is this: you go with friends to a pub/restaurant and paint the same thing. There's a master to copy from with an instructor to guide you along the way. Everyone comes with with a different version of the same basic work.

Half done!

We all started off feeling like we were doing a terrible job and wondering what sort of crap we were going to bring home. I usually have a lot of artistic confidence that I'll be able to create something decent, but early on even I started feeling like it was all going to hell. But the beauty of Paint Nite is really in how simple it really is to make a good painting. We all wound up making something pretty nice.

With my friends!

But the best part was that everyone except me thought it would be lame, but were still up for it anyway. Turns out they all had fun and I got to feel good my pals were up for what they thought would be a crummy experience just to hang out! But seriously, though, it is a good time. And you get to bring home some art.

2. One Of A Kind Show. So, I made plans with a friend to go on a Sunday, nice and early in the schedule, and we moseyed. This friend, she's good at the moseying, and you need to be to see as much as you can. I did wind up getting some stuff that day: A stained-glass window and a new clock.

(The clock is for the living room. The Dude brought home a boring-ass IKEA clock that looks like something you'd see in a passport renewal office. So, I brought home a neato clock from the OOAKS. It now hangs in our living room looking like perfection. I had texted him a picture of it from the sales booth and received a very resigned text back. There is no fighting me if I want a cow clock.)

I really have a love for cows for some reason.

And of course I bought treats.

But I wound up going the next day too. My in-laws were in town to help my sister-in-law with the OOAKS and my father-in-law helpfully offered to babysit while I enjoyed myself at the show with my step mother-in-law (Seems like a weird title, but it's helpful to differentiate between the two mothers-in-law I have for the sake of clarity). So, why the hell not? Off I went from 9:30 to... 4:00.

4:00! I had no intention of being gone that long, but I got caught up in a whirl of obstacles. I did, however, manage to get my niece a present. I wanted to get her something special, as life has been a little up in the air and I've barely been able to see her at all. So I thought some clothes would be the thing.

I found this adorable jacket that was priced at $40 and when I came back ready to buy it, I saw there was a blouse inside that was marked $40. So I'd read the wrong tag initially. The jacket's real price? Not $40 after all. $250. I did not buy it. I was grateful to be spared the experience of taking an exorbitantly priced children's garment to the cash only to explain I thought it was $210 cheaper so I couldn't actually afford it.

Oh, and I also bought more treats.

3. My birthday party! I turned 31 this week and on Saturday we had my party. My friends all came and made merry. It was my first time playing Cards Against Humanity, which for some reason everyone thought I might be too delicate for. Apparently, I come across as something of a ladylike person, which I have no idea how. But it was a crazy game and we literally played until there were no more cards left.

How to describe this game... well, in one round the topic was Michael Jackson. Everyone picked the card from their stack of 10 to best describe him and the ones I can remember, although they were all wildly appropriate, were: Daddy issues, poor life choices, jerking off into a pool of children's tears (That one won).

Crazy thing is my birthday totally snuck up on me this year. 31 is no big deal. And I keep thinking about Jack's upcoming first birthday. My year has been measured by watching this wee guy grow and change rapidly. School used to be the marker of time. Then there was adjusting to no school. The seasons and birthdays and Christmas/New Years did that. And now there is a little person in my house showing me in a tangible way how fast time is truly passing. It's sort of upsetting. I mean, I love him and get excited about his development, but wow. Somehow I'm a mother to an eight-month-old and one day I'll be a mother to a child, and then a teenager, and then another adult. And I'll be old.

That's not really what I see or think about when I look at him. When I see my baby's face, I feel affection and warmth and pride. His little smile lights up my life. It's when I'm in bed trying to sleep that my eventual hardcore aging and demise start to creep in. That or thoughts of zombies. It's a sad fact about me that for some reason if I think about zombies, I just can't fall asleep.

But when I don't think about zombies, I think about my son, and taking him places and doing things. This will be his first Christmas. He doesn't understand a dang thing; we set up the tree today with him beside us and he gave zero fucks. He cares about the cats a lot more than he cares about our sparkly Christmas tree. But it's still exciting and sweet. It's the beginning of him learning about winter and the holidays.

And now it needs to be the beginning of bed time. For whatever reason, even after having a baby, I can't fall asleep at a decent hour. I suppose this is just the way I'm wired.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...