I am kind of over Cake Smashes

Cake Smashes are INSANELY popular to document the 1 year milestone.

Don’t get me wrong, I love icing covered toes as much as the next mama, but it’s just so over done.

That is why I did a “Strawberry Smash” for this little June baby.

Happy 1st Birthday, Miss S.

xox

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12 months

Maeve is one year and 3 days old today.

It is incredible to look back on pictures and video of her in her first few days of life.  How incredible to see how much a child grows, changes and learns in such a short amount of time.

I most certainly miss my tiny little baby girl.  So new, fresh, sweet, innocent.  Those early months were truly just filled with pure love and happiness.  I was euphoric. We made so many memories this summer and fall.  Family trips, camping, spending quality time together just basking in the joy of finally having our little family.  Maeve has always been a happy, content baby. Up for anything as long as she felt she was part of the action.

At the six month mark my post pregnancy hormones started to take a dip.  Winter hit and I was faced with my normal seasonal low coming on.  Maeve was a teething machine from 4-9 months with the stretch from 6-9 being the hardest.  She was a terrible sleeper and everyone was tired and stressed.  Sleep training attempts failed, my patience was tested, i was not happy most of the time.  I didn’t feel like the mom I wanted to be or had previously been.  I was definitely suffering from some late PPD.  We worked through the challenges slowly and I focused on looking for the good aspects of each day. We gave sleep training a 3rd try.  This is when everything started to turn around.  Maeve was finally on a break from teething and everyone was emotionally strong enough to work on more independence at night time. She learned to crawl on New Year’s day.  She took her first steps at the beginning of March (10 months 7 days).  She has just been learning non stop since then and life is back on track.

These days I spend all of my time in awe of her. Everyday I wonder how I can live with aching love in my heart.  It’s hard to contain.  I feel like I am on the verge of tears (of love and happiness) at any given moment.

Maeve is such a happy baby and I hear wonderful things from everyone that meets and knows her.  She dances every time she hears music.  She hugs and kisses all of the other kids she meets.  She doesn’t need time to warm up to them, she just instantly loves every friend she meets. I get the most compliments on her personality from the ladies that watch her at the Y while I work out.  They just love her and it makes my heart very happy. She waves at everyone.  No matter what gender, colour, ability. Everyone is a good and a friend that is she happy to meet and interact with.  It warms my heart to see the pureness of her heart at this young age.  This is a quality you don’t see in most people and I hope this is a trait she will keep as she grows up.  She loves to clap and blow kiss.

The rate at which she is learning is staggering!  I know all parents are in awe of their children and are proud of everything they do but this child is honestly so smart.  She is curious and up to trying everything.  She watches you and instantly it’s her turn to try to do it too.

In the last week she has learned where her belly button is, where her toes are, how to tell us she is “all done” (sign language hand motions).  Just today she blew my mind when she was breastfeeding and then did the hand action of “all done”, unlatched, got down and started playing. WHAAA??!

We gave her a kitchen set for her birthday and she knows to get the pot – with the lid – the frying pan and utensils and she “stirs the pots and pans” on the stove top. HOW?!?! how can she have a toy for 8 hours and know this?  Yes, she watches me cook pretty much every meal from the high chair but that learning curve is STEEP people.

She “talks” all day.  This kid wants to talk so badly.  We are on pins and needles waiting to see what her actual first word(s) will be.  Right now, however, she is mimicking tones like crazy.  It is babble for sure but the formation of sounds are so much like words or short two or three word sentences.  I don’t really know how to describe it properly. It sounds like words but it’s not words.  You definitely do a double a take like, “that sounded like… this or that… didn’t it”?!  If you’re thinking were crazy, overly proud parents that are grasping at straws, we’re not the only people of have heard it. LOL.

These days the adventures are non stop and we continue to just be so grateful for IVF and the magic it was able to bring to our lives.   I am so happy we didn’t give up hope (although there were many MANY times I wanted to).  I am happy we persevered.   We had a vision of a family and we powered through many terrible days and we are now living the best days of our lives.

xox

next steps, literally.

it started on march 1st but i haven’t had a the time to write.

there was magic in our extra leap year day.  so many awesome things happened this February 29th.  then on march 1st maeve made her move and took her first few steps!  she is taking so many steps at a time now.  it’s not quite walking as she’s is not fully choosing to walk when she’s moving around but i’m sure she’ll change over soon enough.

when she is interested in practicing she will lift her arms in the air so i can get her into a standing position.  she’ll walk to me and when she reaches me she gives me she gives a big hug and a super goofy smile.  she is starting to scrunch her nose up and make her jaw crooked.  it’s the most hilarious thing she’s done so far.  it’s so freaking cute but i haven’t been able to catch it on camera yet.

i wish i could add  some video but i haven’t figure that out yet.  it looks like you can only upload video if it has a URL?  so i guess i would have to post it to youtube to be able to post it here on wordpress?  any input on that would be greatly appreciate 🙂

1st Birthday

i know it will be here before i know it so, instead of fighting it, i’ve jumped feet first into planning little pigeon’s 1st birthday 🙂

that sentence makes my heart ache to go back to the day she was born and do it ALL over again but it also makes me so excited that our sweet little babe has come so far and is becoming such an amazing little person.

i was flip flopping between colour schemes and themes.  teal and coral? outdoors/camping? springtime? silver and purple? rubber duckies?

i was going CRAZY and so i just made a choice.  PINK AND GOLD.

i’m still not sure which invite wording to go with.  what style?  we’re only having family and a couple of mom’s (and husbands) that have been my rocks this first year and their little babes have turned into Maeve’s first best friends.  so that means i only need 6 invites and will mostly likely just send it out as an email.

 

FOOD! – the best part of every party 🙂  i want to have some fun foods that tie in the theme but i don’t just want a whole table full of sweets.  in any case, these few items looks fun and super easy to make.

 

DECOR – i love party decor!  all the little details coming together to make one big, beautiful picture.  however, the way our house is set up i can’t have one main focal point but i can have a few mini set-ups to have all the fun elements i want to have.

  • gold confetti
  • balloons floating above us
  • using up that left over gold paint from the bathtub 🙂 to make some beautiful flower vases
  • a photo garland with all of our favourite photos from Maeve’s first year
  • a gold runner on the main table
  • a “ONE” banner for the birthday girl’s throne 🙂
  • fun colourful confetti garlands.  cut with heart shapes because i already have that punch cutter
  • balloons filled with glitter because… why not?!

ART – i love incorporating a little bit of artwork onto a party table and i think these are totally do able.  the eggs filled with paint could be a fun activity for all the nieces and other family members to play around with and make a special piece of artwork for Maeve’s bed room when she moves out of the nursery.

 

THE OUTFIT – man, this one is hard!  i don’t know why but of all the elements of Maeve’s first birthday i am most stressed, for lack of a better word, about Maeve’s outfit.  wtf? LOL i have found myself spending so much time searching etsy shops for the right onesie.  do i just get a “1”?  in pink? in gold? or should it be a 1 and her name? then i think, nah, not a onesie!  she’s got to have a sweet little dress or outfit.  she’s our big girl now.  it’s going to get completely ruined once she digs into her first chocolate cake so why the hell do i care so much? hahaha

 

 

sheeeee’s bbbaaaaaaack

2 days shy of 18 months and my least favourite aunt is back in town 😦

i really thought i’d be lucky enough to not get my period again until after i stopped breastfeeding.  my babe doesn’t eat much solid food in the day, she’s still up to feed through the night, she uses me as a soother and i carry her close a lot during the day.

ah well, it was fantastic while it lasted!

what was i thinking?!

on wednesday i reached a very low piont. the lowest point i have reached since becoming a mother.  i am not proud of how i was feeling. i am not proud of the things i thought to myself.  i am proud, however, of the decision i have made and i am proud to be moving forward in a new direction.

on wednesday, after nights of terrible sleep training experiences, each night worse than the night before, i was tired and stressed to the max.  my head hurt, my heart hurt.  i knew something needed to change and at that point i was convinced it was my baby that need to be making that change.

on wednesday afternoon my baby girl had slept for 20 minutes over 6 hours.  i had gone through multiple tries at putting her down in the crib to nap and hours of crying that went along with those attempts. in the end, out of complete frustration, i just picked her up and took her to the living room. “if you don’t want to sleep, fine! stop crying! you got what you wanted!” she sat there in the middle of living room, 18 lbs and 27 inches and looking like the tiniest, most vulnerable baby i’ve ever seen. she just sat there crying. in that moment my heart shattered into a million pieces.

on wednesday at 2 p.m. i scooped up my precious baby and made a promise to her that this would stop.  sleep training was the biggest mistake i’d ever made for her and we were going to stop.  i cried and cried and told her “i’m sorry” over and over. i took her back up to her nursery and cuddled her close to my chest.  we rocked and rocked until we both fell asleep, which took all of about 10 minutes.  we slept together this way for 2 and half hours. when we woke up my baby girl gave the most special koala cuddles we’ve ever shared. she sat up and murmured ma ma ma ma and then would lie back down to rest her head against my heart and in that moment we were back on track.

on wednesday i remembered when she was a new little baby and i gave her every single thing she needed, no second guessing, no hesitation.  if she cried i was there in an instant. i made it better as fast as i could.  just because she is bigger now and everyone is telling me “she’s got to just cry a few nights and she’ll sort it out” doesn’t mean that that method is meant for her.  it may work for some parents and babies but clearly it was not working for us.  i decided that if she can’t sleep in her crib at night and wants to nap in my arms in the day then that is what i’m going to do.  for whatever reason she needs that right now.  that is what works for her and i’m going to do it.

on wednesday i remembered that this may be my only baby. my only baby. i know at some point i will look back at this time and give anything, anything in the world, to have my little 8 month old cuddle monster back.  the baby that loved my touch so much she wanted to sleep with me and cuddle with me all the time.  i don’t want to look back on this time and remember that i squandered it with stress and tears and anxiety and frustration.

on wednesday night i told my husband about the change i needed to make and he was 100% on board. we put sleeping training “to bed”. we did our same initial routine for bedtime that night.  my husband put her to bed with no tears at 8:30.  at 9:30 she woke up at her usual transition time.  she was soothed back to sleep and 20 minutes later when she woke up at her usual time again, the time when normally the crying and frustration would begin, we decided to try and see how she would do at night in bed with just my husband. we know that she is in love with boobs. she doesn’t take soother and if i’m within reach she will default to the boobs. so we took the boobs out of the equation.  at 10 p.m. the pair went to bed in the spare room.  i went to our bed. at 1:50 a.m. i heard my baby girl stirring and went to get her.  she came back to bed with me and ate for 10 minutes.  i took her back to bed with my husband and we all woke up at 7 a.m.

on thursday i went to the library and got a couple of books. i changed the batteries in my head lamp.  i got a comfy blanket. i downloaded a meditation app.  i decided to fully embrace this stage and look at from a totally different angle.  i can hold my baby and give her what she needs and let go of the “stuff” i thought i needed to be doing instead of loving my baby the way she needs my loving.

on thursady because i didn’t attempt to put my baby girl in her crib to nap we didn’t have one tear.  we had 3 naps totally 3 hours of nap time and i got a few chapters under my belt. we had happy play times and good eating.  that night we went for a family swim and did our same bedtime routine.  at 10 p.m. we all retired to our respective beds and at 4:20 a.m. my husband was bringing my baby girl to me to eat.  at 6:30 we were all up and laughing over coffee and rice cereal.

 

ask an expert

a friend of mine shared a discussion that will be taking place on FB tomorrow evening. the discussion is being led by a sleep training consultant.  i thought i’d give it whirl and take part tomorrow.

since trying to sleep train this past week we have more than a few questions we hope to get some input on.  we have had some very successful nights and some very terrible nights this week. it’s a learning process for all involved but most of all us!

our biggest questions and worries are:

– do all babies need the same amount of sleep?

they say all babies are different and to not judge how fast they meet milestones. so why is the amount of sleep a baby needs so cut and dry.  everything i read says, under no uncertain terms, that for her age maeve should sleep 3-3.5 hrs of napping and each nap should be at least an hour or an hour and half.  then she should get 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.  well my baby sleeps 1-2 hours a day.  unless were in the car, then she’ll sleep longer.  at least an hour long?! ya right!  then at night she’s up, wide awake for at least 2 hours.  at first we left her to CIO 5 minutes at a time.  we would rock her.  i would nurse her and she would not go back to sleep. then we were concerned because she would just not calm down. like not even close. then we realized that she was just wide awake. she is crying because she is just straight up not tired.  so then that opens a whole new can of worms!  do we stick to the training and just sit in her nursery in the dark?  do we take her downstairs to play?  is that setting it all back to zero?  do we train the wakefulness of out of her?  keep her in the crib and console her and encourage her to lie down over and over and over and over for hours while she screams?

– WHY is our baby wide awake for hours in the middle of the night?

is it because all babies do not need 3 hours of naps a day and 11 hours of sleep?  are we putting her down too early?  too late? are we missing “a window”? are we just doing all of this wrong?

– if we’re touching her and standing at the side of the crib while she’s falling asleep is that still effectively training?

my husband is like the baby whisperer.  for initial put down and after waking at transition he can touch maeve’s chest and look into her eyes and she will mildly cry and will slowly fall back to sleep.  this works for everyone and is the least stressful way of putting her to sleep but at the end of the day she’s not learning to sooth herself.  so are we doing it all wrong?

–  why does our baby wake 45 minutes after falling asleep?  why can’t she transition? we go in and comfort her back to sleep at this time.  is that completely failing at sleep training?

the only thing is, if we don’t go in at this transition time she will stand up at the side of the crib and cry until she’s gagging.  she will not lie back down. she can not calm herself. she will cry for an hour.  if my husband goes in and calms her, she’s back to sleep within minutes.

–  our baby wakes up at 1-130 a.m.. every night.  she can’t go back to sleep without help.

i nurse her at this time because by then she’s been 6 hours without food and i feel she still needs it.  sometimes i can put her down and she goes to sleep other times she is wide awake with no chance in hell of her going back to sleep.  why is she wide awake?  even when we were weren’t sleep training and she was up to nurse 4+ times a night she wouldn’t just be awake in the middle of the night.

this is all i can remember right now. i think it’s a good start.  now i just have to see how busy the discussion will be and how in depth the consultant will go with each person involved. looking forward to updating any answers i get.

the untrainable baby

the sleep struggle is the realest it’s ever been over at our house.  this baby is the most stubborn thing i have ever encountered.  at 8 months old she is harder today than she was as a brand new baby, as far as sleeping goes. she does not sleep more than two hours at a time through the night and will not go back to sleep unless i nurse her.  with her 8 teeth now my nipples are sore and tired and i am on the verge of quitting breast feeding every other minute. cry it out isn’t even a thing.  she will not stop until she gets what she wants.  i have stood by the crib not touching her.  i have stood by the crib touching her. i have picked up and put down.  i have nursed to sleep. i have rocked to sleep. today i actually just straight up left her. do your thing. cry. my heart can take it now because my nipples can’t anymore.  she cried for 20 minutes, full on screaming, until she almost puked (several times) and she would just not give up. if this is a phase, then i need to end. NOW. my husband and i have not had sex for probably 3 weeks because she is the biggest cock block on earth.  honestly, we’re never alone.  she makes damn sure of it.

there is a company that you can pay and they say you will get a “sleeping through the night” baby in 10 days or your money back.  that said money is a lot though. i can’t afford it.

what is a gal to do?