Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kara at 15 weeks

Tomorrow, Kara will be 15 weeks old. For those who — like me — always thought that stating a baby's age in weeks over-complicates things, that's 3-1/2 months. Now I realize why a baby's age is stated so specifically. One week can make all the difference between a baby who does or doesn't have colic, or a urinary tract infection, is high needs, or experiences The (dreaded) Witching Hour. True to the "symptoms" of The Witching Hour (which will forever be capitalized whenever I refer to it), Kara's still overly-fussy in the evenings, but having late-evening walks with her calms her down immensely.

On a related note, thank God for the man who developed the Baby Björn carrier.

I've had quite a few friends and family members say that I seem to have adjusted to motherhood with aplomb and I wish I could say that I agree with them. The fact is that I experienced what was probably low-grade post-partum depression, a truth which I wanted to make clear, in the hopes of taking away some small part of the stigma attached to it. As I've discussed with Roy (thanks for being "my rock" yet again, babe!), I think the only thing that saved me from experiencing severe PPD is the fact that I was able to remain fairly objective about everything I was thinking and feeling. That isn't to say that I didn't have days in which I honestly hated my life, but I was able to operate under the belief that — if I could just get through another day, or week, or month — that things would have to improve.

Matt, for his part, has done a fantastic job of being supportive by taking on all kinds of tasks and chores around the house in lieu of me feeling I have time to do any of it myself, taking Kara off my hands when I need him to and — most importantly — being positive when I couldn't be. I'd also like to send big, appreciative shout-outs to Caty, who's been an awesome aunt and a damn great kid sister; to Miriam who has made time for us when she could; to Stacy and to Lisa for sharing their experiences as first- and second-time moms with me; to Emma for having a kid concurrently and therefore being able to spend time hanging out with me and talking about all the previously-lame-o Things Moms Talk About; and to Laura and Andrew for offering to be around whenever I need it.

Thanks also to everyone who's emailed to see how things are going. Just having the odd bits of adult interaction when you spend all day trying to think of things to say/sing to/do with a baby is a Godsend.

I can't say that my life has returned to the normal I experienced before Kara was born, I honestly don't think it ever will. When I think about it, I realize that that life wasn't really all that great, any way. What I can say is that every week brings with it a new set of rewards (like Kara practicing her laugh!) and a clearer path towards the new day-to-day, or week-to-week, or month-to-month life that my family and I are going to have.

So, here's to good friends, good family and a good life.

P.S. A little tidbit of information I didn't know before having a baby: babies don't know how to fall asleep on their own. They have to be "helped" to sleep until they can learn to do it for themselves. I really wish someone had told me that before I gave birth.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OMG! It's a food-related post!

Since Kara's been born, I'm afraid I haven't had much time to devote to being in the kitchen.

My culinary excursions have been limited to a single batch of these cookies, a few iterations of pizza bread (usually featuring President's Choice pre-packaged, pre-sliced chorizo, rather than bacon), and a few portions of fish, including the cornmeal-crusted, pan-seared halibut featured above. Fish has been kind of ideal as a food while I'm breastfeeding: it cooks quickly, is high in protein, usually low in fat, and the fat it does contain is correlated to improved brain function — something I'm hoping to pass on to Kara.

In related news, Matt's been doing a great job of doing the cooking while I've been taking care of our daughter during the days. He's learned how to roast chicken (quite successfully), roast pork tenderloin (also excellent), make a meatloaf (which was tasty), make a shepherd's pie (which was fantastic) and is going to be roasting beef tenderloin tonight. Unfortunately, he has no interest in starting up a food blog, so those of you who are actually keen to find out what's cooking in our kitchen will probably have to wait another handful of months, until Kara's old enough to allow me to be in the kitchen while she amuses herself.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

A pic for her devoted fans

Just thought I'd share this photo of Kara in her sweater.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

They grow so fast...
...and thank God for that!

It's a disappointing setback to have Kara develop a urinary tract infection so early in her young life. The antibiotics seem to be giving her a case of diarrhea — a fact I'm trying to mitigate by giving her probiotics). As a result, the initial discomfort she seemed to be experiencing due to the antibiotics has abated.

Kara no longer experiences colic or colic-like behaviour. I can't say exactly when her last episode was, but it was probably mid-day for a few minutes. It always seemed to precede a big poop or burp, so I'm going to back up the countless parents' claim that colic is due to gas. I'm glad that chapter of her existence seems to have ended.

Still, 8:00 pm 'til 11:00 pm is a time during which we can consistently count on her to show us how she earned the nickname, "Polly Pissy Pants". During that time, she constantly fusses: she seems hungry, but quickly refuses the breast, then has a big burp, then seems upset that we haven't been feeding her, a slightly wet diaper seems to bother her far more than during the day. The one time she didn't exhibit this fussiness was during a day in which her morning and afternoon naps were interrupted by a grocery trip and visitors, respectively, resulting in a long late-afternoon nap. Unfortunately, sacrificing daytime sleep in the hopes of having her take a nap later in the day is probably ill-advised. Once this behaviour passes, I'll feel like we've cleared the last hurdle which her newborn-self had difficulty with.

Of course, then she'll probably start teething.

In the meantime, the hard work of addressing her need to be held during the first 9-and-some weeks of her existence seems to have paid off. She's quite comfortable with being on her own for stretches of time, sleeps soundly and for increasingly-longer stretches (there tends to be a 4-hour chunk per night now), and she's taken so well to her crib that she's capable of falling asleep in it on her own with minor coaxing.

Her head control is excellent and she's already working at sitting (she can "sit" by leaning forward onto her hands for short periods of time) and standing (she's insisted on putting weight on her legs while being held upright, and seems to really enjoy being in the standing position — probably so that she can have a better look around).

Yes, she's growing quickly, but — for right now, at least — this is a fact I'm quite happy about. Seeing her independence flourish is genuinely delightful.