Thursday, May 31, 2007

The best things come in small packages

When Kiernan was born, I was surprised he only weighed 7lbs 1 oz. Not only had he been almost two weeks late (BLAH), but I was big, and the ultrasound I had had the week before had him weighing in at least 1-2 lbs more than that.
But that was ok, he was healthy. When we left the hospital I started bringing him to the well baby clinics run by the city to have him weighed and see the progress he was making. He was gaining weight like crazy - for weeks every time he was weighed a nurse would say something to express how great it was that he was gaining so much weight. And you know, it made me feel proud, like I was doing a really good thing, I was providing well for my baby and he was gaining weight - yay me and yay Kiernan.
His percentiles were good! He was tall, but not too heavy. And then he started sliding. We figured out the acid reflux thing, and the milk and soy protein thing and that helped, but the thing is, he's still sliding.
Today we had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician about the reflux, the allergies, etc. And the measurements from today had him at 10th percentile for both weight and height. I know that scales are different and the measuring can be different by different people, but it feels like he's stopped growing. And you know how I said it made me feel really good when he was growing so well? Well this makes me feel really bad, like I'm doing something wrong.
I know I'm not, in my head, I know that. I'm doing my best. And the doctor didn't seem overly concerned. She said he could just be a small guy. Which would be fine with me. But I know babies are supposed to maintain their percentiles. If he'd been in the 2nd percentile the whole time and stayed that way, I wouldn't be so concerned, but it's the slipping. I'm afraid he's going to slip right down off the charts, and then they'll label him "failure to thrive". Which seems so ridiculous, Kiernan never ever looks like "failure to thrive". :)
So what now? The doctor has referred us to another pediatric allergist to get another opinion and to get a sense on how to deal with the fact that Kiernan appears to have other intolerances that we're discovering as we introduce more and more food. The first available appointment is for the week I go back to work (in the 3 months!) - stunning!
The doctor also wants Kiernan to have a milk scan done (a series of scans that track the journey of a liquid after it's swallowed). That test is next Friday. We have to bring him to CHEO at 8:30 am. We can't feed him after midnight (which will be horrible) and we have to bring 16 oz of milk with us (I have a hard time accumulating 4-5 for a feeding). I am dreading this.
I'm going to try to figure out times of day that Kiernan prefers eating because for the last little while, we can't get him to eat supper about half the time (he just smears the food all over his face instead of eating it. He appears tired but once you take him away from the food, he stops doing it). I've bought a few more new things for him to try this week, and we're going to up the protein.
I'm ok with having a little guy. Little guys are cute :) I just wish so many people didn't seem to have issues with little being bad. And it doesn't help Kiernan is one of the smallest babies at mommy and baby lunch, despite being one of the oldest.
On the up side, his head was on a much higher percentile, to accommodate his genius brain ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More!!

I think Kiernan's got the sign for more!! woohoo! So exciting!! He's really starting to catch on to sign language! We've got the waving, we think he might be getting the gist of "all done" and more (which he does by putting his hands on top of each other on the highchair instead of fingers together in the air, but whatever) was happening pretty consistently for some smushed banana today.

Can you tell I'm excited? Cuz I am!
Cuz now he's going to be communicating regularly and I'm not going to be so confused all the time, right? :)

Wordless Wednesday: duck and ham


For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why do I blog?

I'm tagging myself for a meme that I read on Virtually There. Kind of lame, but I feel like doing it, so I am :)

So here it is, five reasons why I blog:

1. As a way to record this journey. I know I won't do it on paper, and I am motivated to keep on blogging and keep on tracking Kiernan's life because of the people who read and want to keep getting updates (particularly his grandmothers ;)
2. Being so busy, I don't have time to keep in touch with people the way I'd like. And there are so many stories to share, I don't want to bore people with "my baby did this, my baby did that". This way I get to get out all the baby stories I want to, and people can opt to read them or not.
3. Now that I've discovered that there exists such a thing as a "momosphere", I'd really like to be more of a part of it, and I hope if I keep blogging, it'll happen :)
4. It's fun! I enjoy writing the blog, and I enjoy reading other blogs and then being inspired to come up with new and creative things to write about.
5. When things get tough, I can get it out. And then people say nice things and it makes me feel better, even though I didn't actually have to go to someone specific and say "please make me feel better"

Why do you blog? Or why don't you blog? I tag Vicky to answer why she blogs now :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Photo treasure hunt - May 28

This week's photo is "in the tulips". I didn't go to the tulips and I think they're mostly gone so I'm going to have to be creative with this one :)
Drannie to the rescue. Kiernan was visiting with her this afternoon (to give overwhelmed mama a break) and she has tulips in her garden. tada!



For anyone who didn't get their photo in for last week, feel free to still add it (mirror), or the alternate (messy). I'm going to put people's name in the draw for the bibs for each submission they made over the course of the month as opposed to only people who submitted each week. So play!

Find out what this photo treasure hunt is all about at my original post.

The bibs up for grab (I still have to add the velcro, but they're practically done :)

How do they do it?

You know you're having a bad day when you're really really upset that your husband is leaving for work, convinced that he's thrilled to have the excuse to get the hell out of the house of screaming and feeling resentful that he won't stay home because family should come before work.

So be warned, I'm having a tough morning.

Kiernan has been crazy the last two days. Lots of inexplicable crying, sleeping really badly, if we can get him down at all. We feel like we've been fighting with him almost constantly for two days. This morning's nap lasted 10 minutes!!

I think he might be sick, but I'm basing that on the fact that Eric has been sick and my throat has started hurting. How long will it be until he can tell me what's wrong when he's freaking out??? Please don't tell me years, I will cry.

Guess what else, I have thrush again and my breasts are in agony. This also means that I can't pump because then the milk will be tainted so I can't store up milk and get someone else to watch him so that I can have a break when I'm starting to lose my mind.

Am I weak? Why is this so hard for me? Do other people really feel like this? Lately it's been so hard I think one child sounds like the perfect amount. I'm so tired of dealing with problem after problem. I know I've said this before but how do people stay home with tons of kids and not go insane? Or is Kiernan really THAT much harder that other kids?

Alright, I should say some positive things. Kiernan is 8.5 months old now and doing tons of new things I can brag about. Things he does between crying and freaking out ;)

- He can pull himself up if someone holds his hands and will walk while you're holding his hands.
- He imitates sounds and motions. After spending 24 hours with the girls at the cottage he started doing this thing where I thought he was eating something. We soon figured out he was imitating all the chewing and talking he'd seen. haha
- he's waving! it looks more like when he bang bangs on things, but he'll do it with a little coaxing.
- his new best friend is the baby that hangs out in all the mirrors around town. He LOVES that baby! :)

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. Or the day after ;)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

All about the free stuff

So I've posted about this before, but I'll probably do it semi-regularly because I'm all about sharing the wealth :)

I love free stuff, or discounted stuff. So I've been trying to figure out ways to get free stuff or coupons - all about saving money man - more money for that bigger house sooner. Or for trips. Or for going out. You get it ;)

So here are a few tips:

Contests

After telling people about Cool Mom Picks and the Opinionated Parent last time, I know of at least three prizes that were won (not to mention I've also won twice) so keep entering their regular contests, it's worth it.

Adventures in Babywearing is having a contest where you can win jewelery, or a gift certificate for jewelery. Check out her site and enter the contest.

5 minutes for mom has regular contests too, if you check regularly there are some worth taking part in. It's a Canadian site but not all contests are open to Canadians. They're really clear on what you can enter and what you can't though.

Don't forget about my photo treasure hunt. If you submit photos for any of the categories this month (I'm making this really easy people!) you'll be entered into a draw (one entry per photo submission) for two bibs made by me! They're pretty nice, if I do say so myself.


Coupons and samples

You know those surveys that come in the mail that ask you to talk about what you buy? Fill them out!! I've started getting tons of coupons in the mail. And they aren't the 10 cent off coupons, they're things like "get a free jar of montreal steak spice" or "get $3 off this product" or "$2 off that product". Do it, it's fun :)

I joined this site called BzzAgent where you get to join campaigns. They send you products to try out and you talk about it. When you talk about it, you get to give out samples and coupons. I got my first box of goodies last week and it's for Tabasco Sauce. If you like Tabasco Sauce and want a sample and you live somewhere in Ottawa, let me know and you can have a mini bottle and $1 off coupon. I'm planning on adding it to my hamburgers and chili this week - and I put it in my jambalaya last week. Yum! Also, they're sponsoring a study to see how word of mouth promotion works so if you want you can go to the Chit Chat study and say that you heard about the Tabasco Sauce from me and be entered into a draw to win $300 in gift certificates from Amazon.com. The conversation ID for that contest is 313579

Save.ca is great for other coupons. You choose what coupons you want and they mail them to you. They're good for about a month and you can't keep going back and ordering more of the same coupons (I learned that the hard way when I thought I'd ordered 12 and my package came with 1 since the others had all been repeats. Oh well. More than one name at the same address works though ;)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

BC and Alberta trip, days 9 and 10

We've been home over 4 days now and I still haven't gotten around to blogging about the end of our trip. But there were enough eventful happenings that I can't get away with NOT writing about it. So here we got, our last two days :)

On our last full day in Edmonton, we wanted to do something touristy that we thought Kiernan would also enjoy. So we went to the zoo!


Kiernan was generally more interested in the people at the zoo than the actual animals :)

Guanaco! (matching daddy and baby faces)

I really wanted to go on the train ride at the zoo. Apparently this is the lame train ride that they have for this year as they renovate the nice train, but it was fun :)

Downtown Edmonton:

The CN tower :)

We had to wake up at 4 am on Wednesday morning to make it to the airport 90 minutes ahead of time, as recommended by airlines if you're flying with an infant. We took longer than we thought and only managed to check out of the hotel at about 5:05. As I'm checking out I casually ask "are there any Tim Horton's on the way to the airport?" and the desk clerk says "which airport?"
At which point I freeze. Which airport? Which AIRPORT!?? Oh boy, this is going to be bad. We looked up airport and found one about 15 minutes away, we figured that was it. Nope, I find out the airport WE want to be at is actually 40 minutes away. And we have to get there, return the rental, check in, get to our gate and board the plane in under 90 minutes. GAHHH!
Here's the photo we got of our hotel through the truck window as we rushed out of the parking lot, no time for any nice posing!!

View of the city during our rush to the airport.


So we made it to the airport, returned the truck and made it onto our flight- we even had a whole row to ourselves from Edmonton to Winnipeg. Kiernan was fabulous and I just strapped him to me in Winnipeg to rush over to our flight from Winnipeg to Ottawa which we were pretty much just in time to board for. When we got to the gate we were pre-checked in by the flight attendant and asked to wait while some passengers de-planed; others were staying on the flight to continue on to Ottawa. So we're standing with a bunch of older couples, generally with one of the people in a wheel chair and this woman says to me "he's so cute, how old is he?"
Lara "8 months old"
Lady, in a slightly hushed voiced "my granddaughter gained 60 lbs when she had her baby and hasn't been able to get it off, now she's obese"
Lara "..."
Lady "It's really worth it to get the weight off after having had a baby, and you're a pretty girl"
Lara "uhhh uh huh" *blink*
Lady "it's the carbs that do it. I know it's more expensive to eat healthy, but it's really worthwhile"
Lara "uhh. ya"
Lady with a non-sequitor "So what end of town do you live in? We live in blah blah neighbourhood. It was a great to bring up kids in, we have a great big yard"
Lara "oh ya, that's a nice neighbourhood"
Lady "kids today don't want big yards, they want small yards because they don't want to have to take care of a yard"
Lara "well, I think the yards are smaller because developers try to fit more houses onto the land"
Lady "no, it's because kids today don't want to take care of their property"
Lara "uhh..." *blink*
Thankfully this is when we got called to board the plane and Eric (who'd been standing sort of behind us the whole time) says "did I hear what I think I just heard??"
Um ya, WTF, as if some lady just randomly told me I was fat and all young people are too lazy to take care of a yard. I mean, it's not like we LOVE to take care of our lawns, but seriously! eesh! And don't call me fat lady! good grief.

Ok, back to our trip.
This only worked for about 2 minutes, but overall, Kiernan was an amazing on airplanes.


Drannie met us at the airport and took us home. It's nice to be back in our own beds! And Kiernan re-adapted to being in his crib amazingly considering he got to essentially sleep with mom, or mom and dad, instead of being alone, for almost two weeks.

i love potatoes

I really do. Mashed or boiled or fried or baked or nuked. Yummy.

Today I made some for Kiernan. I was so excited to give him a new finger food... something I could in theory give him off my plate in a restaurant since he is so much more interested in that lately. He hated it! Boo! He made gagging and disgusted noises and would barely eat the rest of his lunch for fear it might also be potato. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Order of posts

Although I posted my trip updates out of order, I started drafting them in order, so scroll back down the page to read about the rest of our trip :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Teething sucks

You know what sucks being a first time mom? Not knowing how bad things can get and therefore wondering how far along the scale you are. Does that make sense?
Kiernan has been teething, for what now feels like forever. I swear I've been expecting those top two teeth for any second now for about 3 weeks! And then 3 days ago I noticed a bottom tooth to the left of his two current teeth had cut through!
So anyhow, Kiernan has been very uncomfortable and it's been getting progressively worse. He won't sleep at night for all the howling and grabbing at his ears. He pulls at his ears and whines during the day too. And Eric has a bit of a cold. So doubt starts to wiggle itself in to my strong belief that the ear pulling is a direct result of the teething. "geez, what if it's an ear infection. mining executive told me about how he knew a kid who couldn't have dairy who had BURST his ear drum three times by the time he was 10 because he had so many ear infections. we're flying in 2 days and that affects your ears. If he has an ear infection and it's NOT just teething...."
So we went to a clinic where I felt like a lameass when nothing was wrong. Kiernan was happy as a clam.
Oh well. I'm glad nothing is wrong and I don't need to worry about his ear drums bursting on the flights home. But god do I ever want all of his teeth to be in so we dont have to deal with the fits!

BC/Alberta days 7&8

Checking out of the Guest Inn and Suites, ready to make the last leg of our trip.

Here in Alberta we like to play a game called "where's the car?" (they're almost as hard to find as Waldo ;)


Talk about a different landscape! Those mountains disappear fast!


We went straight to the West Edmonton mall. Which was cool, but not really geared for people with babies. You would have a blast with older kids though (6-12)



We spent Monday with my aunt touring around some local malls. Kiernan isn't too much of a ham eh? ;)





So sleepy, time for a nap.

After this we woke up, went for dinner - started at Tony Roma's where we found out all their rib sauce has soy protein (BLAH) so we went to Wendy's instead and came back to the room and went to bed. We're going to spend our last day in Edmonton sightseeing - maybe going to a zoo! fun :)

Photo treasure hunt - May 20

This week's photo is a photo of baby in the mirror. Can't wait to see your pictures.

For anyone who didn't get their photo in for last week, feel free to still add it (family), or the alternate (messy). I'm going to put people's name in the draw for the bibs for each submission they made over the course of the month as opposed to only people who submitted each week. So play!

Here's my photo. An old photo - but one of my favourites.
Find out what this photo treasure hunt is all about at my original post.

The bibs up for grab (I still have to add the velcro, but they're practically done :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

BC/Alberta day 6

We started our morning in Prince George with some McDonalds' breakfast to eat in the truck and embarked on the most gorgeous day (scenery wise) of our entire trip. We took over 200 pictures this day - I had a really hard time choosing to post for this blog (which is why it took me so long to get this post online)

Photo ops at a rest stop.



Although the entire drive was gorgeous, the section between this rest stop and the end of Jasper National Park was the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery I can ever remember seeing.


We stopped for another picnic lunch in McBride, about an hour and a half before we hit Alberta.



The afternoon drive was often rainy, but still gorgeous.



We stopped for supper in Jasper. What a gorgeous little town!



"Hello, wanna be my friend?"

The animals in Jasper are obviously not afraid of people. We saw tons of wildlife on the sides of the roads.


This was the last, and my favourite picture from the day. Could you get any more breathtaking?

We drove on from Jasper to Edson, Alberta. I will spare you most of the details of how Kiernan screamed most of the way there instead of just going to sleep as we had expected. But we eventually made it to our hotel (around 11:30), despite the rain, the dark, and the freakout boy ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

bc trip - day 5

On Friday we said goodbye to Smithers.
Our hotel:

If you click on this photo you can see their message about the blackout :)

Smithers' mascot





It was a gorgeous drive, and not quite as grey as it looks in the photos.


Nice and snug in the back of the truck with the luggage.

We stopped for a picnic lunch lunch just outside of Burns Lake.

Do you like my hat?

Kiernan took the next leg of the drive.


Logging logging everywhere.
Before

After


Eric has been wanting to go to a stand alone A&W for as long as I can remember - but there aren't any in Ottawa. Unfortunately everything they serve has dairy in it, so I can't eat there. We have passed dozens of stand alone A&Ws on our trip as a result. This one handily has a gas station built into it. hehe This one was in Vanderhoof "the geographical center of BC" (fancy tag line :)

We love you Tim Hortons.


We arrived in Prince George about an hour later and after checking out a few hotels ended up at a Days Inn. We had less than mediocre ribs for dinner from the hotel restaurant with a side of spaghetti with sauce. Although I checked with them carefully about my restrictions, something must have been in there because we had a definite bad soy or dairy night with Kiernan last night. He was up on the hour wailing all night. boo. We tired.

This morning we set out to find ourselves a hotel for tonight. Our first hope was for Jasper. Ha! ;)

It is the long weekend so not only is everything really expensive in Jasper but it is also booked solid. Tonight we will be staying in Edson, 6.5 hours from here. Our plan is to put Kiernan to bed in the truck in Jasper and then drive the extra 1.5-2 hours after his bedtime. I may or may not have time to blog again until Edmonton (just to forewarn my most dedicated of readers ;)