Monday, August 31, 2009

Come on Baby Light my Fire

A sleepless weekend became even more eventful on Sunday night.

After an hour and 20 minute nap with Hannah, we emerged to find daddy cooking dinner.
Tacos, yum!
As he put the finishing touches on the meal I decided to crisp up the taco shells in the toaster oven.

Well, after all was said and done they were a bit more than crispy. More like charbroiled. Yes, the fire extinguisher made its debut as flames started jutting out of the toaster oven.

And since I am luckily a fire virgin, I was shocked to see the white powder covering my kitchen after the madness. Needless, to say I am still cleaning up. I think I have wiped the counters down about 10 times now but there is still a light layer of powder everywhere. So happy the cleaning lady came last week. So much for foresight!

Lesson learned. Never heat taco shells on both trays in the toaster oven. And never use a fire extinguisher unless you really have to (which unfortunately we did).

Things in this household just continue to keep heating up!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

On the Verge...

Of tears, of giving up, of so many emotions.

It's 2:54 and I have already been in 3 times tonight. Just sent him in because I can't take it anymore.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a winning combination.

We have a baby naming at 10am. Really looking forward to hearing all of the moms of 1-3 month olds telling me how their babies already sleep through the night.

It seems like we are the only ones..or at least the only ones to admit it.

At this point denial would only make it worse...

Wish it was 7am (even if it means no more sleep). I can't deal with the stress of this anymore for one night.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Perfect Combination

Two nights ago we had a relatively good night.

One short wake up call at 1 am, after a 5 hour slumber.
Last night -not so good.

So I try to rack my brain to figure out why some nights are better than others.

Too few naps
The sleep sack
Bath time
A serving of cereal for dinner

I have ruled out the sleep sack on its own, but really think it comes down to a combo of all four.

So tonight, after hopefully a well rested day (she is currently sleeping on my arm), we will start off with some rice cereal at 5pm, followed by a 6pm bath, the nightly massage and snuggled into the sleep sack by 7:30pm.

Fingers crossed...otherwise I really am at a loss...and thinking that 5 hours of sleep was a real tease.

We'll master this eventually. I just hope its sooner rather than later.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Battle of the Boobs

My boobs are big.

Sure its all relative. I'm not touting a DD rack but (without divulging my cup size) I can tell you that since I was pregnant, things have not quite been the same.

Most women, I gather, would be thrilled. I, on the other hand, am not. More than a handful is a waste and my pre-pregnancy bust line was just fine. Oh, and did I mention that I could fit into a size medium top with much ease?

Now, I have a closet full of tops that are just too tight. As the Jewish holidays approach I took inventory of my wardrobe and let me tell you, there are slim pickings. But do I really feel like going to buy a whole new holiday wardrobe when I know I will spend most of my days in Lulus anyways? Definitely not.

I've managed to fashion a few outfits that can be updated with a pair of new shoes or some other accessories. But I fondly look forward to the day when I can slip into my shirts and shimmy into my sweaters, without feeling like I am busting at the seams.

Hopefully, that day isn't too far off.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home is Where the Mom is

We interrupt our regular sleep broadcast for a breath of fresh air.

You all know I'm tired...but you don't know much else about me, eh?

Well, after 3 years of employment as a marketing manager at Tommy Hilfiger Canada I have been laid off. No malpractice here or prejudice for the new mom. The company went down to a staff of 40 from 200+. On the bright side, my maternity leave can now be extended by about 10 weeks so I will be enjoying some extra time with Hannah next spring.

Fact of the matter is I didn't really want to go back anyways. I always dreaded the thought of leaving my daughter with a bunch of strangers at daycare. But unfortunately our financial circumstances don't allow me to be a full time stay at home mom.

My freelance career at Sweetspot and Sweetmama have all been in the hopes of working from home full time. I love marketing and PR, but I also love to write, so its definitely the perfect fit.

I have recently started doing some copywriting for an advertising agency. And though I didn't really want to begin until my mat leave was up I'm glad I did. Not for the extra money or the late work nights. But for the realization that working from home requires:
a) a child who actually naps allowing me to get some work done
b) enrollment of said child in daycare (at least a few days a week)

So with this revelation, I have re-assessed our daycare waiting list and added a few more to the roster for March 2010.

As much as I'd love to spend every second of the day with her, I'd rather have my evenings free to spend with her and her dad.

I've got 8 months to make it happen. Of course, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this blog will end up as a Julie and Julia (great movie!) if you want to contribute to my stay at home mom fund go ahead and click away on those links! With $31 in my Google AdSense bank I've barely paid for a week of $7/day daycare...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Facts of (Baby) Life

You take the good, you take the bad. And there you have the facts of life (with baby).

The good: Saturday night was amazing. Dinner with friends while the hubby babysat. And while I got to bed later than usual I was surprisingly only woken at 3:30 am. Yay for almost 6 consecutive hours.

The bad: Sunday night. 2 1/2 hours of trying to fall asleep. Followed by wake up calls at 12:30, 3:30 and 4:45.

Hey, I'll take a good day for everyday bad day. And a dose of a very young George Clooney wouldn't hurt either...

Friday, August 21, 2009


For those of you who don't know, I also write for and

Here is an article for all you Laval moms out there (or for you city moms who may just need a long drive to make up for missed nap time):

Can you feel the love?

Lovey. A term my best friend used to call her 20-something boyfriend.

Now, a term to describe the sweet comforting love thing Hannah will cuddle to fall asleep. Note how I say thing. That's because it has yet to be discovered.

She received a beautiful blanket from a few of my friends as a baby gift (thanks Julie, Maryn & Sammy). We tried it out yesterday but after waking up from a nap with it covering her face I got a bit worried.

(Yes, nap I said! Omitted that from my last post but she took 2 naps in her crib. Even though they were only 30 and 20 minutes long, still an accomplishment).

So I thought about taking an elastic and tying the blanket into a bundle. But then freaked myself out thinking what if the elastic falls off and she strangles herself?

A case of paranoid first time mom or a legit concern?

So my question to you is: What is/was your baby's lovey?

Baby Steps

Success can come in small packages.

They don't have to be 10, 8 or even 6 hour packages. In my case, 4 is just fine. After multiple early night wakings she eventually fell asleep at 11pm and then woke briefly at 2am until 5:30am.

She's been sleeping in our bed since 6am...

Those few extra hours may seem paltry to some, but I am feeling slightly rejuvenated.

We tried the Pantley pull of method and it worked quite well. When I placed her down in her crib she stirred slightly but then went right back to sleep.

Funnily enough, in those early night attempts (between 7 and 11), unfortunately the no-cry solution still led to cries. Ah, the joy of loving a child who hates to fall asleep!

It's all about baby steps...I'd say we're on the right track.

A few days ago I referred to the Wonder Weeks, where big developmental changes interrupt sleep. Well, I'm proud to say that Hannah is now sitting up.

I've always been a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. And my little night owl seems to be no exception to the rule.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confessions of a Sleepless Mom

I admit it.
I haven't been telling you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
It's not like I have been lying to you...I have just chosen to omit certain details from my posts.

I thought post Ferber things would be alright. But they've gone completely downhill. I thought if I gave it a few days I could avoid boring you with banter about multiple wakings. But unfortunately, two weeks later and still no progress.

It's at the point where she falls asleep at around 8pm and then wakes up every 2-2 1/2 hours until about 4 am. Then she gives us a whole 3 hour stretch until 7 am or so.

We are perplexed and realize that we have taken a total step backward in that she is totally using the boob to soothe once again.

Chapters must love me. I have picked up another book. Hopefully this one will work.

It doesn't promise miracles over night. It could take up to a month to see a difference. But unlike Ferber this technique:
1. Does not involve any crying
2. Will not be compromised due to teething, travelling or any other disruptions.

Tonight will be night 1. I have a feeling I will be tired tomorrow after trying to break her latch just as her eyes begin to shut. But nobody said this was easy right?! Other techniques I will be trying out:
1. Using the sleep sheep for soothing music
2. Coining a good night phrase
3. Finding a special object (like a blanket) that she associates with sleep

Full report tomorrow, that is if I can see straight.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Battle of the Brands

Rice cereal take two.

With a background in marketing, I wouldn never be swayed by sleek packaging or catchy taglines, right? Granted the hand drawn animals on the organic baby rice cereal box were so cute, I picked up the first box I could find without the "just add water" tagline. But Hannah is the decision maker in this case and this cereal just didn't make the solids cut.

Maybe the brown rice wasn't as yummy as a first solids treat. Maybe the timing just wasn't right.

So on a quest for a natural, breast milk-friendly cereal, I took the voice of experience (my sister's) and picked up a box of Beech Nut rice cereal while in the States.

Well, she may have grimaced at first but then, mouth-wide open and all smiles, she managed to devour an entire teaspoon serving.

If day two goes as well we'll be moving on to Barley in no time. Good thing I had the foresight to pick up a box at the same time.

So, fancy box, bright colours and organic claims just didn't do the trick. It may not have been the Pepsi Challenge but in Hannah's rice cereal challenge we found a definite winner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hair, hair, everywhere

Postpartum - big boobs, extra pounds, hair loss?

Tops are beginning to fit again, 5 lbs to go...almost back to my pre-pregnancy self.

Except for a blocked shower drain, full hairbrush and locks all over the floor. What's going on? Sure, my hair was shiny and thick during pregnancy but I guess I never stopped to think when my mane would go back to its original state.

And so the process has started. Hopefully it will be short lived. I think I am currently shedding more hair than a golden retriever in the spring...

In the meantime, a bottle of Drano and a Swiffer Sweeper have become my new best friends.

Friday, August 14, 2009

V Day

Vaccination day.

At 2 months it was a wonderful day (after the initial screaming) when she slept for hours on end. After a 3 hour dinner with friends, we placed her in her pack and play instead of her usual bassinet. She slept until morning.

Oh what a night!

So I was eagerly anticipating today's 4 month vaccines (a few weeks late due to our Calgary trip). With a list of things to do around the house this afternoon, we set off to the CLSC.

Luckily crying was kept to a minimum with the nurse we loved from our at home breastfeeding drop by.

Hannah fell asleep in the car on the ride home but quickly woke when I transferred her to the carrier.

I fed her about 3 times this morning but still no shut eye. So at 1:30 we set off on a walk to the park with Winston, our golden retriever.

Yay! Asleep at last! So we sat in the park until I can stand the heat no more. Hiking back up the hill to our house I'm envisioning all that will get done - cleaning, packing for a weekend in the country... But first I must clean the poop off of Winston's trousers (long dog hairs below the bum). Winston is a boy dog but karma is definitely a 5-letter girl dog today.

But as we roll in the front door her eyes magically pop open and my plans are put on hold. Then a crying cranky fit follows which ends with a dose of tempra, after a 98 degree thermometer couldn't quite make it to the end of it's time thanks to crying convulsions.

Now she is feeding (yes, all this was written with one hand on an iPhone) and will hopefully doze off at least for a little while.

Lesson learned. Expect the unexpected because nothing is a sure thing with baby.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Wonder Weeks?

So post Ferber it seems like sleep has gone completely downhill. Since we called it off she has been up almost every two hours at night.

Totally perplexed, my husband and I can't figure out what went wrong.

And then with some web research, I landed here and was introduced to the Wonder Weeks.

Mystery uncovered. At about 4 months of age, babies who may have been sleeping through the night suddenly flip a switch on their parents and start pulling all-nighters. And it's not just about staying up into the wee hours of the night but cramming down as much milk as they can get.

Seeing as Hannah was two weeks early, she really is only 4.5 months since she didn't "gestate" to term.

We actually succumbed to co-sleeping last night so I could keep her tummy full.

I've done my fair share of reading and never once came across this phenomenon. So if you're in the same situation as me, don't despair. We're not alone.

And hopefully the wonder weeks will be followed by only more wonderful months...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


We started rice cereal this morning.

Not because since quitting Ferber she's been up every 2 hours at night. Although I wish solids helped in that department. But because every time I bring a piece of food or a cup of water to my mouth, it is intercepted by her hand.

After doing my reading I headed to the mall to find the perfect cereal for a girl whose had nothing but breastmilk (and Pediavit) for the past 5 months. But when I started reading the packages that said "just add water" and included oil in the ingredients I knew this was not the route I wanted to take.

So we headed over to our health food store and discovered Healthy Times brown rice organic baby cereal. Fortified with all the vitamins and minerals she needs, I felt much better giving her a product that could be mixed with my milk and whose ingredient list was all natural.

So did she like it?

The expression on her face was worth a thousand words. What is this stuff?!
She definitely didn't hate it. But she did love holding the spoon and feeling it in her mouth.

We'll try again tomorrow morning and I'm sure little by little mommy and Hannah will be sitting side by side eating cereal for breakfast.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mission Aborted

I've lost faith in least for now.

Maybe she's just not ready. But after 7 nights of crying it out with no improvement in sight this just isn't working. Plus it's making her cranky during the day and has most definitely developed her vocal cords (not in a good way).

We'll let that first tooth break through, start solids and visit her doctor for a 6-month checkup in September. Then we'll re-assess.

And in the meantime, as long as anyone is able to rock her to sleep I'm fine with that. We have definitely made improvements in the boob to soothe department so let's take our success and run with it, for now.

So, you must be wondering, what will I write about now? To be honest, I'm not quite sure myself. But I am quite certain Hannah has something in store.

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off?'s on the way. Fingers in mouth, saliva, diarrhea, biting on mommy's nipples (ow!). Doesn't look like any teeth are breaking skin but there is definitely something looming under those gums.

So when she cries for 30-45 minutes a night is it the same old fear of missing out while she's asleep or genuine pain? We're on night 7 and nothing seems to be improving with Ferber aside from a few nights ago when she fell asleep in 10 minutes (after sleeping a total of 20 minutes since 9am).

In a moment of weakness tonight, I said f-ck the 20-minute waiting period and took her in my arms to comfort her. After she settled down she was asleep...but, as always, the minute her head hit the mattress she was in tears.

So what's a mom to do? Let her cry it out when she might be crying in pain or continue to rub her back until she is in REM and tip toe out of the room?

Maybe I have my answer as I type these final words and the crying begins to subside. Please, oh please, I hope I didn't just jinx myself :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hey Boys

Welcome to all the new boys on the block. With new arrivals in Montreal, Toronto and LA wishing you and your moms and dads a big congratulations and welcome into the world.

Looks like the spring girl boom just met its match!

Nighttime vs. Naptime

Information overload...that's what happens when you try to go by the book.

So I've made the decision to focus on getting Hannah to sleep at night on her own and putting the naps on hold for the moment. She settled herself in 10 minutes tonight (yay!). Hopefully its the progressive-waiting approach working rather than the over tiredness from sleeping a mere 1h45 since 9am.

As for the naps, as much as I hate it, I will rely on the car seat, stroller and boob (sleep associations) for now. I'll take the 10+ hours at night for the moment. Definitely an accomplishment in the past week.

One step at a steps you might say.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The title of this post may bring you back to the 80s, when Saved by the Bell was all the rage...and Screech was one of TV's finest nerds.

Unfortunately not what I am referring to.

I wish.

Rather, its the sound currently emitting from my daughter's bedroom. A high pitched squeal that is making its first time debut.

6:30 bath in preparation for an early 8pm bedtime. But the minute her head hit the change table for a massage and sleeper change, the tears began to flow.

I guess we won't be one of those families that mastered the Ferber method in 3 nights.

At least we can be (somewhat) light-hearted about husband seems to think this is great for expanding her lung capacity. Too bad it can't make our hearts expand just a tiny bit so they don't break with each screech.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hurry: Great Gifts

Looking for a super cute baby gift?

I was just a few days ago and wish this Baby Steal had come out sooner.
Amazingly they are still not sold out which is atypical of this site.

Ferber Night 2

Went out last night for groceries and came home to a screaming Hannah.

What could it be? Constipation? She hadn't pooped all day....for the first time ever. Teething? Do I feel something coming through?

With the Tempra in hand, we soon realized that we was just plain tired. Hmm...maybe this Ferber thing will get her to bed early. So after calming her down a bit, into her crib she went without a peep.

Until 1am that is. It lasted nearly an hour but she eventually put herself to sleep. Night 1 was easy compared to this! But with a sleep in until 7am I learned that nighttime feedings may not be necessary.

Now the confusion sets in when it comes to nap time. If I let here cry it out she will be crying all day long. But if I give her the boob will that confuse her again at nighttime? I think Dr. Ferber should have put his home phone number in the book for confused parents like me :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ferber Night 1

After a relaxing weekend in the country, which consisted of lots of reading, it was go time. I now knew how to solve my child's sleep problems which consisted of associations (boob, back rubbing) and sleeping in too late.

After the usual nighttime routine, I simply set Hannah down in her crib gave her a kiss and walked away. Of course, hysterical crying ensued. But after visits at 3, 5, 10 and 10 minute intervals she calmed herself down and fell soundly asleep. Sure the crying had my husband and I practically in tears ourselves. But the comforting element was that she usually cries that much on any given night. We're just usually there to rub her back.

She stirred again around 2:45 so I went in to feed her. She's only just shy of 5 months so considering it had been almost 7 hours since her last feeding I went to top her off. Again, I pulled her off before she could doze off. But one burp later, I placed her in bed and she was asleep again (with no fuss) within minutes.

So now its early into the morning hours and she is up and we're trying to keep her up. At this time, I usually nurse her in bed and we sleep until 9am. It seems to be harder on me than on her :)

Hopefully tonight will go as smoothly. And I'll be kicking myself for not trying this sooner!