Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have an addiction. It's been ongoing for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I took 4 sugars and 2 milk and now I'm down to 1.5 sugars and a generous helping of milk, cream, eggnog, soy creamer, flavoured creamer or (on holiday mornings) Baileys. When I was pregnant with Ashton, I cut down my Timmy's to a medium at first. Then I couldn't stand the smell of coffee so I started drinking those French Vanillas and English Toffees from Tim Horton's. With Camryn, I loved coffee. I started drinking half-decaf.
Ashton spent much of his early life going through drive through with me. His first word? "Double Double". Sometimes, he would scream it at the girl at the window who gave me my coffee. Now, he easily recognizes the Tim Horton's logo. He will be going about his business playing with his toys while Jesse is watching a hockey game and as he turns to get something, he sees a Tim Horton's logo on the boards at the hockey game and stops to point and say, "double double!". He pretends to drink coffee out of reusable cups and says "mmm...double double".
I do make coffee at home all the time so I'm not one of those complete Timmy's junkies that go there every single day. Every time I have coffee, Ashton needs to come and smell it. He inhales deeply and says "mmmmm". If I accidentally leave an empty cup out, I almost always catch him drinking the last remaining drips. He turns to me and says, "yummy".
Camryn has a different view on coffee. Every time I have one at home, she cries. My morning routine is to get Ashton up and dressed and eat breakfast with him (where I have my coffee). Camryn is a big fan of sleeping so she usually sleeps till just after. If I have my coffee, she wakes up that instant in a rage. If I don't, she stays sleeping. I have tried many different tactics to test my theory that my daughter hates me drinking coffee:
1) Getting up at 6:30 or 7am (seeing as my kids sleep till 9 most of the time). Nope, she wakes up.
2) Sometimes Camryn gets up at 7 to nurse. She always goes back to sleep afterwards. Except if I put her back in her crib and go make coffee.
3) Waiting till after Camryn wakes up, nursing her, putting her in the swing or bouncer and making coffee. Nope.
4) On Jesse's days off, letting her hang out with him. WAHHHHHHH.
As I am typing this, I have a cup of coffee in front of me (hazelnut, brewed at home with some soy creamer). Camryn is in her swing. She is groaning, which is her warm-up.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Potty training

In mid-December, Ashton started to show some interest in bodily functions. This child is an absolute ham. He cracks me up. We were at my parents' and we were going out somewhere. My mom said, "I'm just going to go to the bathroom first", which prompted Ashton to jump up from his toys and chase after her while yelling "PEE!! PEEEEE". He hung around outside the closed door to the bathroom the whole time she was in there while making "psssssssssssssssss" noises.
Prior to this, I hadn't thought a lot about potty training because he didn't seem to be ready. Also, he just turned two in November. I was waiting for signs of readiness and I got them.
A couple days after he chased my mom to the bathroom, we went to a birthday party for a friends' daughter. When we go to anyone else's house, Ashton tends to go exploring so I spend a lot of time keeping him out of trouble. He kept running down the hall and stopping dead in his tracks at the bathroom door, pointing at the toilet and exclaiming, "PEE!". Later, he found a stool that he decided to sit on. The stool actually converts in to a potty, which is cleaned out and no longer in use as my friends' daughter is older. When he made the discovery that the stool lifts up to reveal a hole, he was totally exstatic and sat on the hole while making pee noises and saying "PEE! PEE!".
Then a few days later, Jesse was giving him a bath. Ashton expressed the need to poop and so Jesse had to do some quick thinking and pop Ashton on the toilet. He went on the toilet, although was a little freaked out about it...but yay!
A few days before Christmas, Mom and I went for some last minute shopping while Jesse and the kids hung out at my parents'. I purchased a potty for Ashton at the consignment store that had all the bells and whistles. It speaks two languages, has a sensor that turns red when the child pees in it, has a flusher and a fake toilet paper roll (both sing songs and praise the child). At first I thought that the bells and whistles might be a distractant but as Ashton is often cautious about things, I opted for it. After playing with said potty at the checkout counter with mom, the saleslady and the customer behind us, we left and trotted down the street with potty in hand. I put it in my trunk before we continued to another store. As we closed the trunk and walked away, we could hear the muffled sounds of the potty singing praises from inside the trunk.
We put the potty in Camryn's room as we were going to wait until after Christmas to start the training. He accidentally stumbled upon it when we were in there and sat on it and said "Peepoo potty!". He figured out where the power button was. He made it speak French. He sat on it and danced. I was wondering if a talking one was such a good idea.
Yesterday, we moved it to the bathroom and put him on it. We have it turned off though and the back is against a wall so he can't turn it on. He hasn't peed on it yet but whenever he pees in his diaper, he yells "PEE!" and runs to the bathroom door and takes his pants off. We put him on the potty for a minute but we know he's just peed. He's super excited to pee in the potty though...he sits there for a few minutes at a time but nothing happens. He'll get it eventually.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Welcome little Camryn

Camryn Riley was born on October 21st. She was little, weighing in at only 9lbs 1oz. This birth weight only seems small because Ashton was 10lbs 7oz.

In the weeks leading up to her birth, I felt as if I had a whole medical team. I was seeing my doctor once a week, plus the obstetrician on a fairly regular basis due to the fact that I had Ashton by c-section only 23 months before Camryn's due date. I really wanted Camryn to be born naturally. I was advised that she seemed to be large and we could run in to the same problems as last time so I didn't get my hopes up. On the Monday (the 18th), it was my due date and I went to the obstetrician. We booked the c-section for the 26th and I was totally bummed out. Seeing as Ashton was 12 days overdue and was induced, I didn't have much hope. Two days later, I woke up minutes after Jesse left for work. I knew that things were happening. The contractions were brutal but short and further apart. I got Ashton up, changed him and we had some breakfast. I didn't want Jesse to come home yet because I wasn't sure how long this labour business would take this time and felt I could hold down the fort. I mostly laid around and Ashton played. Jesse took an hour break and came home for lunch and helped out a bunch. Ashton had his nap and the pain got worse and worse. Finally, even though the contractions were far apart, they were so insanely painful that I called Jesse home 30 minutes before he was off work as we had a 40 minute drive ahead of us. He came home, tossed the bags in the car and put Ashton in his carseat. We dropped him off at my parents and went to the hospital. I got a shot of morphine and went back to my parents. The morphine dulled the pain a little bit. It was amazing how different this was from last time. I was in back labour with Ashton but not with Camryn. They both hurt so badly but they were different kinds of pain. I lay around because when I moved it hurt. When the morphine wore off, I went back in and was 6 cm dilated and in labour. 4 hours later, Camryn was in my arms at 3:35 am.

In comparing the two, Ashton was a c-section and she was not. Ashton's labour was 14 hours, hers was 4. I pushed for 3.5 hours with Ashton and 30 mins with Camryn. Ashton was back labour, she was not. For his birth I had morphine, laughing gas, an epidural and finally a spinal; with hers, I had morphine and fentanyl. His delivery itself was virtually painless, hers was painful. His recovery was painful, hers was less painful. I have had two completely different births. I think I'm good with that. Pretty sure I don't need a third at this point.

My pregnancies were brutal. Hers was much worse. I went in to my second pregnancy in fairly good shape. I was doing ballet and being active a lot. I danced for part of my pregnancy but I started having back spasms that sent me off work and in to physiotherapy. They hurt a lot and I couldn't do a lot with Ashton so I felt really guilty for that. We got out of the house but I felt bad for not being able to run around with him. Funny because everything was immediately better once she was born.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Real food

Blogging twice in one day? Practically unheard of.
I have had food on my mind lately. Not because I am pregnant, although the baby has dropped and my stomach holds so much more now.
When Ashton first started eating solids, he would pretty much eat anything. Yup, up until 16 or so months (around the time he weaned himself) everything was fair game. Salmon, chicken, pork, turkey, not so much beef though. Any sort of bread product. Any non-green vegetable which included mostly root veggies (potato, sweet potato, yam, turnip, carrot), cauliflower, all fruits (except green ones). Nowadays he hates salmon, sometimes will reject chicken (not always), hates turnips, carrots and white potatoes (but if you cook them as oven fries, they are fine), still hates all green fruits and veggies (ie: kiwis, broccoli). I feel that we are sort of stuck in a rut for meals.
Breakfast: Unsweetened applesauce of some sort. If this isn't part of it, there is mutiny. Often we also do pancakes. I like to make them, freeze them and pop them in the toaster in the morning. We've bought the Eggo ones for days that homemade isn't there. Sometimes I make muffins and we do muffins. We've tried other things. Sometimes if it isn't a pancake, we get a scream and smash. Eggs are a no-go (except at dinner...odd?).
Lunch: We used to do sandwiches...bread, cheese, deli meat. Fruit for dessert and some yogurt. And then I decided that deli meat is nasty. So I discovered pork roast (again, beef roast wouldn't fly). It's so easy because you just cook it for a couple hours and then take it out and slice it in to deli-meat thickness. And it's a huge hit. So we like to mix up the food groups. Always cheese though as he won't drink milk. Sometimes crackers, pita, naan bread for the grains. He loves peanuts and those Ritz peanut butter cracker things so I figured that peanut butter would be a good option. I made a "pizza" using naan bread spread with peanut butter with some sliced up banana on top. He loves banana and he loves naan bread so he'd love this right? Nope...he slammed it and screamed and looked appalled.
Dinner: We try to give him stuff we eat. Biggest hits are a hash brown casserole and oddly a beef taco rice casserole that is slightly spicy. If we have a chili or tomato based thing or any other pasta that isn't macaroni, he's like "forget it".

Milestones and memories

This blog is becoming a place where I want to record ongoing memories and milestones of my children. I am finding it so odd that Ashton is growing so fast and I keep wondering "Will I remember this stage?" and I want to remember. Two nights ago, I was lying on the couch being pained by awful BH contractions and Ashton was standing at the coffee table with his dinosaur magazine. He was flipping through the pages and babbling to them and pointing to things and then nodding and turning to the next page, etc. He was so careful with the pages and just looked so grown up. He doesn't talk yet but he has words (Mom, Dad, yogurt, banana, bird, meow, moo, baaa, rawr, etc) but he sounded like he was talking with his magazine. I thought to myself, "Will I remember this moment when he was 22 months old and doing this?"
It is 11 days away from Camryn's due date and I have been thinking a lot to what Ashton was like as a baby. Ashton is still my baby but when she comes, I have been told that you realize that your firstborn is actually NOT a baby but a little boy in comparison to your second child.
One of my favourite memories of motherhood so far:
When Ashton was a couple months old and cranky, I would lie on the couch with my knees up and put him sitting so that his back was against my thighs and I would hold him steady and rock my knees back and forth and sing to him. I would sing Beatles songs like "In My Life" and "Blackbird" and he would stop crying as long as I kept rocking and singing. Before Ashton, I always thought that I would never sing to my kids. I'm musical, yeah but I don't sing. I pretend to sing a lot of the time at certain functions (when I was involved in Guiding for example). But here I am, a mom and I sing to my kid every day. I sang to him in the womb, I sing to him now. If he's grumpy now and I try and sing to him, he shakes his head "no" and screams at me and tries to swat me away. Singing is for happy occasions these days.

Anyway, Jesse has been taking Ashton to sportball for a couple weeks and I decided to go watch last week. It is so fun to watch! I am astounded at what my little man can do. I watched him kick a football off a cone, chase a hula hoop, play with a parachute. This week, it's hockey.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ashton's big boy bed!

We ordered Ashton a big boy bed. Not just because the baby is coming (although we felt it was beneficial to do it now so he's not perceiving her as stealing his crib) and not just because the kid is practically tearing off the bars to the crib. But we thought he was genuinely ready. We just thought it would be harder - and it might be once the novelty has worn off.
Let us first run down how Ashton sleeps. Once he gets to sleep, he's amazing but the going to bed part is something special. When we put Ashton to bed, he's immediately quiet for about 5 minutes or so and then the rumpus begins. On a good night, he just lays there for about 30 minutes sucking his thumb and gently tapping his feet on the wall. Most nights, he spends an hour chatting to himself, screaming happily and doing who-knows-what (what can a toddler confined to a crib really do?) So we were expecting to spend nights sitting by the door, putting him back in the bed every 2 minutes or less.
Two days ago (Thursday), the bed arrived. To be specific, a twin mattress and boxspring. It arrived during nap time and coincidentally, Ashton decided to not nap so the delivery guys were able to put it where I wanted it. To say he was excited as soon as he saw it would be an understatement. He was crawling all over it as I was making it. After it was made, he crawled right in and under the blankets. That night we went to prenatal classes, which we do in my hometown because that is where the baby is to be born. Ashton went to my parents. We stopped by Wal-Mart on the way home to get a bed rail. It was a late night so we put Ashton in his bed, where he sucked his thumb and tucked himself under the covers while I assembled the contraption. We took him out to install the bed rail and then tucked him in and said goodnight. Five minutes later, I made sure the monitor was still working (his room is not really in earshot of ours) and it wasn't so Jesse snuck in to fix it. Amazingly, Ashton was still in bed exactly where we left him. We both woke up at 2am to movement sounds. We were able to determine by his breathing that he was still asleep but just rolling over a bit. Normally I don't wake up to that but my mommy rader was on. After that, the alarm went off and he was still sleeping. Jesse and I showered and while the shower was on, he was definitely awake and still in the bed. Post shower, we checked on him and he was sleeping. When he woke up finally, an hour or two past usual time, he stayed in bed until I came in the room.
Friday afternoon, he had a nap. He had been looking forward to this all day. The question, "Ashton, would you like a nap?" was answered with a very definite nod "yes". So he had a nap with his usual pre-nap babbling but he didn't leave his bed. I know this. I listened very closely. Again, he woke up and waited for someone to come in before he got out of bed. That night, we thought that he wouldn't stay in bed. We figured that the last night was a fluke because he was tired. He won't possibly stay in bed after napping so late, would he? He did...and again, stayed in bed. He was awake for a little bit before falling asleep and this morning, was up close to 8 and didn't leave his bed again until we came to get him. Then he slid himself backwards off the bed in his usual style, ready to start the day. This morning (Saturday), Ashton has been obsessively piling almost all of his belongings on the bed and climbing on. He has indicated to me on several occasions that he wanted a nap. As he normally naps close to 2pm, I said "Ashton, are you sure you want a nap? It's only 10" and he nodded yes. So I figured it was worth a try anyway. So I put his stuff away and put him in bed, where he lay comfortably with a thumb in his mouth. Then I left. Soonafter, I heard a noise..."doiiiiing doiiing", the familiar sound of a doorstop. A sound that indicates that a toddler not in bed. When I entered the room, all the stuffed toys and extra blankets from the shelf in his room were in bed. He was not. I said "Ashton, are you sure you want a nap?" and got the usual answer. So I cleaned up his bed and he climbed in and tucked himself in, thumb in mouth. I left again, heard some noise and realized that the light was on again. I entered the room and as soon as he saw me, he quickly removed all the toys that he had piled on his bed and climbed back in, assuming the thumb sucking position. Five minutes later, the light was on again. I said "Ashton, I don't think you want a nap. It's early for your nap and if you don't want to nap right now, that's you want a nap?". This time he answered me by running out of his room and in to the playroom. Let's hope we have success when it is actually nap time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The second time is scarier!!

So I have been thinking a lot about birth this time around and how it will be different. I remember feeling fairly accomplished after birthing Ashton because despite the fact that he was a c-section, I laboured for a fairly long time (as far as I am concerned anyway). I remember so much pain and not being able to ease it. The epidural kind of sucked because it dulled the pain but the pressure was intense! Ashton was posterior so it was excruciating pain for the most part. My prior sense of accomplishment has been turned in to a sense of fear for this one. Over the last few days, I have talked to a lot of people about this. My mother with her 36 (?) hours of labour prior to a c-section, friends who have had one baby, friends who have had 2 babies, and Jesse. I feel a little better now. Last week was a fairly intense baby week. On Thursday, Jesse and I went to prenatal class. We are going again as a refresher and to sort of feel more focused on the baby since we're both so busy with Ashton and life and whatnot. On Friday, I went to the Doctor and found out that I am very likely to be able to have a V-bac. This IS what I want and here are a few reasons:
-If I am scheduled to have a C-section, I will feel less of a sense of accomplishment. I guarantee's just the type of person I am and feeling accomplished is very important to me.
-If I am scheduled to have a C-section, they will not do it until 41.5 weeks, which will be roughly close to the date that they would induce me if they induced previous c-sections (which they don't). At this point, I will probably have one anyway (although my Doctor assured me that they will try to naturally get me to go in to labour first). And if I haven't had this baby by 41.5 weeks, I will probably have exploded.
-Recovery with Ashton AND my newborn. I have a wonderful man, wonderful family and friends but I'm going to have to be on my own at some point. My c-section recovery was ridiculously easy the last time but it is major surgery so I might not be that lucky again.
So V-bac it is, hopefully. I have been referred to an obstetrician so hopefully that will clear things up.

Jesse and I have enrolled Ashton in a sports program for toddlers that will be running from September to December. Jesse will take him and we're really excited for this! We are both really hoping that it will be something nice for him for around when the baby comes. Ashton has shown a lot of interest in kicking and throwing balls (and just running around holding them). Jesse is completely thrilled about taking him to this. Working full time hasn't given him a huge chance to take Ashton to things like this too often.

I absolutely adore my son. Yesterday, I walked in and saw him sitting beside the desk and he had almost completely covered himself in neon pink post-it notes. When he saw me, he passed me one and then assisted in passing them all to me to help me clean them up. He is very willing to clean up usually...we make it fun!
These last 2 days, he has woken up from his nap screaming. Usually he wakes up happy and I can prepare him a snack before I go in to get him because he just plays and chats to himself in the crib. These last 2 days, we snuggle for awhile when he wakes up screaming. When I ask him questions like "Are you hungry/thirsty?", he shakes his head no. He just cuddles me and then he's fine. Today, he cuddled for awhile on my chest and then pointed to his dresser. This indicated that he wanted his comb. So I brushed his hair and then he brushed his hair and he was happy. He also likes to use my hairbrush to brush my hair. We have lots of fun styling hair.