Monday, April 26, 2010

List Lovin'

Since I didn't get a chance to write out any goals for March or April (for obvious reasons), I thought I would do a little goal-settin' (and other random-life-musin') in my very favourite of writing formats: the List.

(And let's choose the number 8, since Victor is 8 weeks old, as crazy as that is to say...)

8 things I'm loving right now:

-Canned mandarin oranges

-Re-watching Season 2 of Breaking Bad

-Victor's smiles (he has lots of them now)

-My 50D

-Hanging out with Sara and her kids

-The smell of Spring (it's finally here!)

-My re-emerging interest in pre-baby hobbies (scrapping, photography, blogging, etc)

-Sleep (when I can get it)

8 things I need to do in the coming weeks:

-Find an apartment (this is the big one)

-Start packing up the camp stuff (and cleaning up)

-Finish mailing out thank you cards

-Get our provincial health cards and licence plates

-Write to Jelena and set up some Skype dates with friends to meet Victor

-Start jogging (or some other form of exercise)

-Figure out some photography stuff (location hunting, etc)

-Record my 32-38 Week pregnancy V-log (umm, yeah, a couple of months late on this one!)

8 things I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks:

-Moving back to Sussex and civilization

-Hanging out with my family, my sister, and Sara more

-Sunnier and warmer weather

-Taking Victor out for more walks in the stroller

-Having the Internet back!!

-Victor being able to hold up his head up completely (he's really close now, but still needs a bit of help)

-Taking more pictures outside

-Not having to bundle up the baby or myself when we go out

8 things I love about Victor @ 2 months:

-His big, open mouth, gummy smiles when you talk or sing to him

-His many, many facial expressions (he has so many!)

-The little coos and noises he now makes

-The fact that he's becoming a better eater and sleeper

-His hair (come on, how can you not?)

-How he's always so happy when he wakes up in the morning and after his naps

-His love (or at least increased like) of water

-That he's still 'newborn-ish', but at the same time, becoming a little infant

8 crafty endeavours I'd like to work on next month:

-Sew a patchwork nursing cover (I have some cute fabric for this, I'll be sure to show it off once it's done!)

-Create a new blog banner (not to mention a general re-design, which it sorely needs)

-Continue knitting the blanket I started back in January

-Scrap a few layouts of the baby

-Finish and print the pregnancy Photobook I made in February, and create a few more

-Do another semi-formal (outdoor) photoshoot of Victor

-Continue working on my outstanding scrap projects (mainly the 52Qs)

-Create some artwork for Victor's eventual nursery

8 favourite pictures as of late:

Well that's about it, just a few things on my mind over the last couple of weeks. We're currently looking for an apartment in town and Dan is looking for work, so we're soon going to be on the move again and things are going to once again change. It's kind of hard because we just started getting into a routine, but it's ok, I like the challenge and it keeps things interesting, so I'm looking forward to Stage 2 of our move-home plan (Stage 3 will be buying a house, which I hope we can do later this year...)

Anyhoo, be back soon I hope, hope you all have a great week!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

7 things I've learned about myself in 7 weeks of parenthood

Victor @ 6.5 weeks

In the last couple of months since having Victor, I've discovered a few things about myself as a mother. Some of these things aren't the all-is-wonderful (or proper/correct) notions that some mothers have (or feel like they should have), but it's how I feel at the moment and my feelings are true, which is important when it comes to motherhood and parenthood. I don't think that it's fair or accurate to anyone to make being a parent seem all lovey and sunshine and rainbows, because even at this young, sweet, innocent age, it certainly isn't (not that only complaining about it is a good thing either; nothing bothers me more than mothers who are constantly complaining about how hard being a mom is...umm, hello, you CHOSE to have a child, suck it up!). Anyway, sorry, rant over.

So here we go:

1) My patience level since having a baby has...stayed exactly the same (meaning I don't have much).

This is something I feared before having Victor; that my patience (or lack of it) would get in the way of how I am as a mother. People kept telling me while I was pregnant that once I had my own baby, my patience would grow. Well, so far it hasn't (or if it has it's been very little.) As completely ludicrous as it sounds, I often lose my patience with Victor because he's not behaving 'rationally' (meaning he's crying and won't stop). It doesn't take much for me to get frustrated with him and start feeling like I'm going to lose it, so I think that it's going to take some work on my part to get better, because I know that as he gets older, my patience will be tested way, way, way more. Of course I don't let my anger or frustration get out of hand, I walk away from the situation if I have to (this is where Dan-and point #4-become invaluable), but there will be times where I won't be able to walk away and I'll have to learn to be more patient with my son and the trials that he brings my way. It's going to be one of my biggest challenges as a mother, I know this for a fact, but I'm more than willing to work on it.

2) I don't love-or even like-breastfeeding.

Now, working in Public Health for 3 years has definitely convinced (aka brainwashed) me into knowing that breastfeeding is the best possible thing I can do for my baby; that doesn't mean, however, that I do (or even have to) like it. I'm not sure if it's me or him or what, we just don't mesh that well I guess. I would say that it's tolerable (even calm and enjoyable) only about 50% of the time, the rest of the time I'm frustrated and wishing I could be doing something else. This usually happens when he's fussy and is having a hard time latching on, or is coming off 20 times in a feeding, screaming for no apparent reason, and making a HUGE mess on himself and me. Having to use a nipple shield isn't helping matters at all, it makes things even more frustrating since it takes more preparation/work than just feeding him normally would (luckily he's starting to feed once in awhile without it, hopefully by the time he's 3 months old he won't need it anymore.) Like I said, it's the best thing I can do for him right now so I will continue to breastfeed him exclusively until at least 6 months and aim to breastfeed for a year, bu for me it's not the blissful, bonding experience that some mothers claim it is. I prefer to connect with him in other ways, and I won't miss it once the year is up.

3) Speaking to my baby in French has been easy.

I wasn't overly concerned about this, but there was a part of me that wondered if I would be able to speak to him exclusively in French; so far, however, it hasn't been an issue at all. In fact, I'm starting to find it strange to speak to other babies (for example my friend Sara's little guy Eli) in English! When I'm talking to Victor and I don't know a word, I simply say it in English and move on, I don't stress about it because I'm sure as time goes on and I get more and more used to it, my vocabulary and comfort with it will grow as well. Now, learning to speak in a normal tone of voice might be a bit more challenging, since I'm so used to using my pet/baby voice when speaking in French, but I'm sure it'll be fine. The more difficult challenge will be finding books/shows/toys/activities/groups that are in French that we can both enjoy, because I don't think I'll feel comfortable switching to English with him in any situation, which is how I want it to be. I'll worry about that when he gets older though.

4) I can handle hearing-and letting-my baby cry.

I've heard of some moms who have said that it physically bothers them to hear their babies cry, or that it makes them feel bad and they feel the need to comfort their babies right away in order to stop the crying...not me. If he's crying, I can handle it. I mean, I always try to get to him before he gets too upset, but it's only because I know that the the more I let him cry, the harder it will be to get him to calm down, so that's why I do it, not because it bothers me one bit. In fact, if I try to comfort him and he just keeps crying, I will let him cry in order for me to calm down and regain my patience (see point #1 above). It's not the ideal way of doing things, but if I need the break, then he will just need to 'cry it out' for a few minutes. In the end I don't think that it will hurt him that much (I would say I do 'attachment style' parenting only 75% of the time, the other 25% of me is pretty tough.)

5) I depend on Dan way more than I thought I would (or than I should).

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't know what I'll do once my husband goes back to work. It's been such a relief and a blessing to have him home with me during these first few critical months. We've been acting like such a fluid and cooperative team, it's going to be extremely hard on me once he's not around during the days. From changing diapers to staying up with him at night; from passing him off when he's fussy to simple things like getting me a glass of water when I'm breastfeeding, Dan has been absolutely perfect. I guess I knew I would depend on him to some degree since I always have personally, but I've ended up needed him way more than I thought I would (or that I really should...dare I say I've been spoiled/lazy?) I need to start getting into the habit of doing things by myself, getting more organized so that things run smoothly on my own, and getting used to being alone with the baby for long periods of time, because otherwise it's not going to be easy (I'll report back on how I do with this one next month.)

6) Broken sleep isn't so bad.

Now, I'm pretty lucky because Dan helps out a ton, especially late at night, but even still, so far having only broken sleep hasn't been so bad. There have been a few times where I've felt tired, but for the most part I manage, especially during the day and in the mornings. My worst time is probably between 8pm and 1am, this is when I start to crash and where Dan comes into play. He will stay up with Victor while I head to bed at around 11:00pm or so, and most of the time I don't need to wake up until 3 or 4am (and then every 2 hours afterward), which is wonderful. I've gotten quite used to only having 3-5 hour stretches of sleep, and I think that as long as I can have at least one long stretch, I'll be ok until he starts sleeping through the nights...whenever that will be.

7) While motherhood isn't 'my destiny' or sole purpose in life, nor my absolute favourite thing in the world, it's pretty amazing.

Enough said. Even with all the frustrations and learnings and lack of sleep and messy clothes and poochie stomach, I think that being a mama has been really fun and cool so far, and I can't wait to watch him grow.

(Oh, bonus point #8-I have no issues with my baby 'growing up' or getting older or anything like that, I totally don't want him to stay like this forever. I want to see him grow and learn and become a little boy and then a moody teen and then a handsome young man, to me the excitement of seeing his life develop outweighs any sadness I'll have at 'losing' my baby/child. And time isn't flying by, at least not yet, but that may change.)

So that's that, my feelings at being a mom @ 7 weeks. As I said before, things are going really well, and I'm very happy :)

Be back later with some more pics and maybe even a-shock!-scrap layout.

Until next time,


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A quick update

Things are going really well for our little family so far, we really can't complain about much. Here are a couple of quick updates on each of the Flynnies:

Dan (aka papa): He's getting ready to start looking for work soon, which makes me sad/nervous. It's been so nice having him help me these last 6 weeks, it's going to be quite a challenge when he starts working. And although he's enjoyed being at home with us, I think he's looking forward to going back to work, he doesn't like being a 'bum', as we put it. Other than that, he's the same constant, calm guy he's always been; fatherhood hasn't changed him that much, which I'm thankful for (not to say he isn't a good father, he's actually a really great, involved papa so far, I couldn't ask for more from him...except to stay home with me for the rest of the year, ha!) He's also researching into what extravagance he wants to get for himself, since I got my camera earlier this week...I think it's either going to be a new Playstation or an instrument of some sort.

Geneviève (aka mama): Since finding work will be Dan's main task this month, my primary goal will be finding somewhere for us to live. It's quite the challenge, as Sussex isn't a particularly 'renty' kind of place, but there are a few spots I need to check up on, so that is going to keep me busy for sure, getting us packed up and moved, once again. I can't believe it, really, it's so fast! I also have my 6 week postpartum check-up this Thursday in Halifax, so that's good, I imagine it'll be a fairly quick deal, I have no concerns whatsoever about either myself or the baby, we're both doing great. I'm actually a bit surprised at how quickly I bounced back and adapted to motherhood, I think that I'm over the initial 'hump' of being tired and things are just getting better and better. Other than being a mama, not too much is new with me, though. I haven't had time to do much creatively, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I bought a new camera so I'm very excited to start learning and using it more. I have some photography goals I'm going to set for myself, I'm really hoping that I can meet them and take the next step, so to say (more on that later maybe). I also started a scrap page at my mom's house, my first since January! I really think that once we move back into town and get settled 'for good' into a new place, I'll be able to get into my old routines more (and add some new ones like jogging and going to the family resource centre), but right now I'm still really enjoying being 'isolated' out at the camp with Dan and Victor, just being a restful, new family.

Victor (aka bébé): He turned 6 weeks old this past Friday and is doing absolutely great. He's eating and gaining weight like crazy (I think he's probably up to 12lbs or so). He's sleeping fairly well, and even though he has hit a bit of a fussy spell lately, he's still a really good baby overall. Every morning he wakes up bright eyed and happy (after he has eaten), and that is usually when we can get a few smiles from him. He loves to look around and is starting to use his hands a little bit to hold/swat at things. He's definitely a mama's boy, but he spends lots of time with papa as well, which is nice (for mama especially!) He loves being put in his soft carrier and likes going for any kind of walk or drive (meaning he falls asleep right away). His neck is getting stronger and stronger and he can hold his head up for a few seconds at a time now. He likes to be in a sitting/upright position way more than lying down, so that means lots of time on our chests, working his neck muscles. He has found his 'squealy' voice/scream, and will sometimes cry like a maniac for no reason, but most of the time he's quite easy to console, so we can't complain. I can't wait for him to be able to hold his head up and start responding to us a bit more, but I'm also really enjoying him being a newborn.

Shimi (aka the cat): For the most part she's adapting really well to the new baby and new environment. I think that she really likes being out at the camp, she gets to be 'wild', so to speak. She caught her first mouse a couple of weeks ago, but for the most part just likes to hang out with us in the camp. She took a little swat at Victor one morning (bad kitty!), but most of the time she just ignores him. She's causing a bit of an issue for us since most apartments don't take pets, but I'm sure we'll find somewhere that will take her and will be good for her. She's still our same pretty cat.

Well I guess that's it, be back later with some more pictures of the baby (taken with the 50D, of course!)

Until next time,


Monday, April 12, 2010

My [other] new baby...

I am SO excited (and thankful to my husband for letting me get this extravagance)...a Canon 50D!! I've been wanting a new camera for awhile now, and this is a huge step up from my good ole' Rebel XT. It's going to be my camera until I can make enough money (if any) from photography to buy a 5D Mark I or II, and so far I loooove it. It's putting the passion back into photography for me (I was feeling a bit limited with my old camera.) I can't wait to get some shoots in with this baby!

A proper update to follow soon...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Oh, that hair...

He's become somewhat famous for it.

(Pictures taken at 4.5 weeks)