Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Wish

You know, it's funny how us new parents take for granted everything we have to make our lives with our babies easier. Everything you could ever want, need or imagine is available to us. There are a few things that have come out even in the past 5-ish years that people tell me they wish they had when their babies were small.

Some of those items are:

1) The Bumbo Seat - for those of you who don't know, a Bumbo chair is a foamy formed seat that hold babies up when they can't quite sit by themselves yet. I've also found it handy to feed Vaughn in since he is a squirmy little dude and can't still for more than 2 minutes at a time. At least with the Bumbo chair, I can keep him better contained and it's easier to get the food in his mouth.

2) The Sleep Sack - oh Sleep Sack, you are divine! The sleep sack is like a little sleeping bag for babies. What I like most about the sleep sack is that Vaughn cannot get his legs stuck between the crib rails, causing him to scream in the middle of the night. I found this out when Vaughn outgrew his first sleep sack and I hadn't bought him a new one yet. They are delightful.

3) The Travel System - I don't know how long they have been around, but I'm guessing not very long since I've been told how lucky we are to have one. The car seat clicks into the stroller so you don't have to transfer baby back and forth. Especially handy when baby is sleeping and you have mega shopping to do.

4) The electric double breast pump - Sorry if this one makes you uncomfortable, but hey, it's my blog and I can write whatever I want on it. Most people know we had trouble with breastfeeding, and since I was able to buy a hospital grade breast pump, my boy was still able to get my milk with relatively little effort on my part - I have a machine that takes care of it for me. Had I not been able to get one of these machines, Vaughn would have been on formula (not that there's anything wrong with that, but wasn't my first choice) and it would have cost us a lot more to feed him. Sure, pumping has been a minor inconvenience, but it really is just part of my day.

5) The heat click bottle warmer - I have a bottle warmer that has a metal disc in it that you snap. The snap causes a chemical reaction in the gel-like substance, causing it to harden and warm up. You wrap it around the bottle, and voila! you have a nice warm bottle a few minutes later. To reset the chemical, you just boil it in water for about 10 minutes until it goes soft and clear again.

6) The Diaper Genie - a wonderful disposal system for diapers. It contains the smells and makes removal oh so easy.

These are just a few of my favourite things. I've also been thinking about things I wish I had when I was pregnant, or wish I had now:

1) Baby Radio - there should be a radio station that has baby sounds 24/7. This station would help one to prepare to be a parent with a baby in a vehicle. It would start with lovely little baby sounds such as cooing and giggling that make you smile, but then slowly change to a whine and then downright screaming crying - these sounds will play right when you are stuck in heavy traffic and can't pull over. Then, just as you pull over, baby radio will change back to the lovely cooing and giggling. Then, baby radio will laugh at you.

2) "Real Baby" baby scented products - why are babies portrayed as such sweet smelling little angels? There should be a line of baby products expecting parents can buy that ease them in to the odors that are about to enter their lives. Baby puke body spray (you're going to be wearing a lot of it), breastmilk poo scented candles to start (tealights and maybe votives), graduating to the ever-fragrant just-starting-on-solid-food poo scented candles. Also, there's nothing like the smell of yeast that grows in baby's fat folds - perhaps that could be a diffuser scent.

3) Poop stoppers - I don't know what it is that turns a baby's bum into a power tunnel that ends at their hairline, but you would think that the people who make diapers could engineer something that stops crap from creeping up so far.

4) Glow in the dark soothers - this should be a standard - nothing is worse than trying to fumble around in the dark when Vaughn is crying and just needs his sucky thing.

I'm sure there's more, so feel free to add your ideas...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dog Tags

Last night I went out to a movie with my friend Blackie. I highly recommend "an education" - I also think this movie should be nominated for Oscars.

I came home via Elbow Drive and when I got to the top of the hill by Stanley Park, there were 2 dogs running loose and they were in the middle of the road. I pulled into an alleyway, jumped out of my car and tried to get the dogs to come to me.

One dog came immediately and I was able to get her into my car. The other dog I could tell was very afraid and possibly not the brightest dog in the world. I had some popcorn left over from my movie and tried to entice the dog with that. Ruh-ruh, she was having none of that and took off in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, thanks to me, traffic on Elbow Drive has come to almost a complete stop, except for the few people here and there who were impatient and thought honking was an excellent way to calm down an excited animal. I know in my experience, horns have such a soothing sound about them and dogs respond so well. Idiots.

I followed her and ran into a guy with a dog on a leash - he had seen what was happening and tried to coax the loose dog with his dog. Nope, she kept on running, but she looked like she knew where she was going and she was off the main road which was the important thing.

Random guy and I ran back to my car to see if the dog I had secured had tags on her. Yup, her name was Ruby and she had a phone number on her collar. I called the number and her owner knew exactly where I was and came to get her. She just sat so patiently in the car and I think was so happy to be in a warm safe place.

The lady explained to me they were so excited to finally get out of the house they got away on her. I guess that's what happens when they don't get out for a few days because of the cold weather. I know what that's like - I've had Larry take himself for a walk and it's scary not knowing if your dog is ever coming home.

All's well that ends well (hopefully the other dog made it home, I'm calling today to check) but I just wanted to say what a good thing it was that the dog had a tag with her name and phone number on it. It made getting her home an easy task.

And for Pete's sake, if you see a dog loose on a road, try and get it off the street. Without your horn.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What's New?

Oftentimes, people ask me what's new and my response is usually something related to Tim and/or Vaughn. One day my friend Alicia said after I told her what's new that that was fine, but she asked what was new with me. Me, hmmm, I haven't thought about me in a while. My life consists of the following:

I wake up in the morning, feed Vaughn and get ready to drive Tim to work. I may or may not get a shower. Usually not.

I drive thru Starbucks on the way home while Vaughn naps.

We get home, I feed Vaughn his cereal and fruit and set up his playmats and Jolly Jumper.

Vaughn plays and jolly jumps and then takes a nap.

While Vaughn sleeps I will either nap, do some stuff around the house, catch up on e-mail or have a shower - depends on the energy level.

Vaughn wakes up, has a bottle.

We usually go out and do something at this time of the day - it's a good time to visit with friends, go to the zoo, for a walk, whatever.

Come home, feed Vaughn fruit and then he goes down for a nap. If I'm lucky, he'll sleep for 2 hours.

When he wakes up, we'll play, Jolly Jump and then I feed him supper at 4:30.

At 5:30, he goes to bed and I start cooking supper.

So, my life is pretty routine, not a lot changes from day to day and not much is new. I don't know what to say to people - I spend my days taking care of my baby and my nights with Tim. I wish I had something else to say about my life, but I really don't. I don't think it's boring, every day is a new challenge with Vaughn, but I feel like I'm boring people when I tell them how he likes to smush his food all over his face and how I laughed when he wiped blueberries in his eyes until they started to sting and then he cried and then it wasn't funny anymore (for him anyway).

What's new? Nothing and everything all at once. My life has changed so very radically and I'm still trying to come to grips with it. And now soon I'll be going back to my office job and I'm in for another change. How do I juggle work, family and somehow try to maintain some sense of self in there as well? It's tricky, but millions of women do it every day, I'm no different and it's not new. However, it's new for me and I am having struggles.

My biggest struggle right now is coming to grips with the fact that someone else is going to take over raising my baby. I will not see him for the majority of the time he is awake for 5 days of the week. How on earth do I trust someone else enough, and will they cherish our son as much as we do? Gosh, this is hard, really hard.

I wish I could go back part time to start, ease myself back into this. And it sucks that I have to think about this right now. Unfortunately, child care space is at such a premium here in Calgary and places are booking months in advance. I'm starting to do interviews now, because this is one thing I'm not leaving until the last minute.

I guess there is something relatively new though - we've decided we're going to go away at Christmas. Tim has 10 days off and has never been West of Banff so we're going to go on an adventure to B.C. We're going to stop and visit Laura and anyone else that wants to see us in Vancouver and head over to the island to spend a few days with Peahead. If we have time and energy, we'll zip through Seattle for a quick hi how are you and then make our way home via Spokane. Sounds like a whirlwind trip but I won't get another chance to go that way for a while I don't think. To borrow a quote from my very favourite Broadway show, Rent, "no day but today".

What's new with you?