29 January 2010

6 months

my little one is 6 months. i cant believe it; half a year she has been here. which is pretty crazy and the most wonderful thing in the world. and i have decided that instead of writing out what cool, new things the little chicklet is doing this month, i will show you all in pictures.

little ele is eating all kinds of food

she has mastered sitting up by herself.

and can even balance things on her head!

eleri has also really started to take notice of other babies. whenever we get together with our baby friends, she giggles, stares, smiles, and tries to grab the other babies. here she is, with her friend grace, just staring. she is so fascinated.

she loves music. her face ligths up and she starts to bounce up and down when any song comes on. she is even trying to learn to play the guitar.

6 months also marks the start of our swimming classes. she LOVES the water. she splashes around and kicks her little feet. interestingly enough, she even likes going under water. in class we practice under water swims and she always comes up smiling. here she is hanging out in her bathing suit before we went to class.

ele loves to do whatever we are doing. in this case, she had learned the joys of playing on the computer

but the BIGGEST change this month is that my little one is trying to walk!! she is still so tiny...but she wants to move. she is constantly standing up and bouncing. the past few weeks she has tried to take little, tiny steps around our coffee table. she only makes it two or three before falling over, but its a start. in the picture below, i managed to catch her right before she fell over (and burst into tears) she made it about 3 steps!

ah, my little baby. little ele you are such a star! i cant wait to see what surprised the next six months will hold! happy half year birthday chicklet.

27 January 2010

a day in the life...

recently several people have asked me how my days have changed since i have had eleri. that answer is really simple. i used to go to work everyday, now i stay at home. and that is AWESOME. i am so fortunate to be able to stay at home with the little chicklet all the time. i wouldnt trade these moments for anything. seriously, anything.

but apparently people want more detail than that. so the following is what a typical day looks like for ele and me.

5.45am: get up to help rhys get ready for work. get his lunch together, pack his bag etc... then i go back to sleep once he leaves.

8:45-9:00am: get up with ele. she usually sleeps until 9; very rarely does she wake earlier than that. i would like to say that i get up earlier and tidy things up and get ready for the day. but i dont. i sleep as long as possible and we get up together. everyday.

9 to 11am: the baby has a bottle (weaning, woo hoo!) and then we play. sometimes we read books, or play with the dancing elmo, or have craft time. craft time is basically where i give eleri markers or paint and let her do whatever she wants. we have some great pictures because of it. we also make cards and take pictures for the grandparents.

11ish: nap time. she sleeps for about 20 minutes every morning exactly 2 hours after she has woken up. its like clock work.

11:30ish to 12:30: play. i usually put on a baby einstien or a "your baby can read" video. its like video school. i clean up the kitchen and get her next feed ready.

: she gets a bottle. and then our afternoons vary depending on the day

Monday: baby yoga
Tuesday: NCT girls and baby tea, cakes and playgroup
Wednesday: baby swimming classes
Thursday: baby and mom outdoor exercise class
Friday: mom and baby errand running day.

2:30ish: she sleeps for about an hour, give or take what we have done in the day.

3:30 to 4:30: play time. i use this afternoon time to have "school" we practice walking, crawling, talking (you know, the mamamama, dadadada, bababab sounds) we do flashcards and reading and make a fun game out of learning. because i believe you are never too young to learn. and at the end of the day, it doenst really matter if she is learning or not because she is hanging out with me. and its quality hang out time :)

4:30: another bottle.

4:45-6:30: play some more. usually on the play mat or in her exersaucser thing.

6:30: daddy comes home and takes over. i use this time to finish up laundry and dinner and the baby gets to hang out with daddy.

7:15: daddy puts the baby in the bath, gets her in the pj's and gives her to me to feed. I am still doing the night feed.

no later than 8pm the baby is asleep and in bed. we wont hear from her again until about 8:45 or 9 the next morning. Rhys and i usually eat about 8pm and then just hang out. we either watch some t.v or play a board game. usually scrabble because thats our favourite. i have some tea and he has some biscuits, then we have a chat and go to bed about 10:30 or 11. and start over again the next morning.

so thats my day. before ele it was work, work, work. and now? well, now its just awesome!

26 January 2010

thats not quite what i meant.....

wow. talk about backlash! when i write a blogspot, its written from my opinion. sometimes facts are included, but its mostly my opinion. i dont always want to include a disclaimer because, again, if i am writing something, its written because it is my opinion.

but perhaps i needed a disclaimer on the last post.

i have gotten quite a few comments from people. and from those comments, even the nice ones, its clear that i was a bit misunderstood. so here is what i really meant...

bottles are fine. there is nothing wrong or bad about bottles. i just never wanted my daughter to use them. i wanted to by-pass the bottle step. we tried once when she was about 8 weeks so rhys could feed her. but i was not a fan of the pumping, freezing, thawing etc... so that was a one time deal. . i wanted to go straight from breastfeeding to sippee cups to regular cups. i just didnt want to use bottles. it was my personal opinion. if you use bottles, great. i dont have a problem with anyone else using bottles. it was just something i didnt want to do. i am not judging the bottle users of the world. i have now joined your ranks. and its great. so again, no judgements. just an opinion.

second. formula. again, i am not judging you if you use formula. i am now using formula as well. i just didnt want to. again, a step i wanted to skip. if you have used formula from day one, that is fine. every baby, every family, every mom is different. i am not here to criticize. i am just saying i was really anti-formula. i am not anymore, but at no point was there judgment.

those were the two main issues that i felt i needed to get out of the way. i didnt mean to confuse or offend. so apologies to those who have said they felt it was a personal attack. it was not. the point of the blog post was to point out my crazy ideas pre baby and how i have had to learn flexibility. it was not aimed at anyone but me. i dont like to offend people, but that doesnt mean i will stop writing my opinion. cause i wont. and thats just how i roll :) plus, when i write my opinion it opens up the forum for others to write their ideas and opinions. i love the banter that comes from a post that causes comments. i just dont like the comments that accuse me of being judgmental. because that is a far from the truth as possible. there will never be any judgment in things that i write. everyone is free to do what they please. just as much as i am free to write and think what i please.

happy middle ground for everyone! :)

24 January 2010

so much to learn

we are on day 5 of weaning. about 3 weeks ago i was not ready to give up breastfeeding. its just so convenient. i can come and go as i please, never having to worry about packing anything, cleaning and sterilizing anything. you just cant beat the ease of it. then, about 2 weeks ago it hit me. suddenly i was ready. i wanted my body back. i wanted to be able to eat whatever i wanted and not have to worry about how it would affect the baby. i wanted to be able to run as far as i wanted without worry about how it could affect my milk production. i wanted to be able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy shirts. i was ready. and then about a week ago, i discovered little eleri had 2 teeth. and that pretty much sealed the deal. i was done breastfeeding.

i just had to figure out how to wean her. and wean her quickly.

so we are on day 5. i have learned more about flexibility in the past 5 days than i thought was possible. i had so many ideas about what i would and wouldnt do when i had a child; i was pretty quick to tell people my opinions. and in the past 5 days i have had to eat all of those words. i was anti-bottle and anti-formula. i am now using both of those things. because at the end of the day, its not about me and my crazy mom ideas; its about what is best for the baby. and right now, the only way ele will take formula is in a bottle. so thats what we are doing. and its not that bad. in fact neither a bottle nor formula are the end of the world like i had pictured them to be.

and the last post i wrote? about no teething pains? well, i am eating those words now too. last night the poor, little one had a combo of teething pain and constipation due to the formula and solid food combo. she woke up at midnight and didnt really stop crying until about 7.30 this morning. it was a rough night. for both of us. I was trying so hard not to be frustrated, because it wasnt eleri's fault. she was in pain and had no other way to get her point across than to cry. and i couldnt leave my poor little baby to just cry in her crib. so even though i said i wouldnt be one of those moms who constantly picked up/rocked/held their baby...last night i dont think i ever put her down. and it didnt stop there. i brought her into our bed and cuddled her there. even though i said i wouldnt let her sleep in our bed. oh the best laid plans...

and after a night of no sleep, i also had to eat my words about no one than one baby einstein a day. she has watched, oh i dont know, maybe 5 of them. yup. baby einstein, the free babysitter. how awful is that?! i am using no sleep in 24 hours as an excuse, but again, having to go back on something i said.

so the point of this all? its not to tell you what a bad mom i am. (i promise, i am not as awful as i seem!)or even to say how stupid some of my ideas were pre-baby (really? whats so bad about a bottle and sleeping in my bed anyway?) the point is to say that being a mom is really about being flexible. well, for me at least. everyday is different. and that is probably my favourite thing about being a mother. you never know what tomorrow will hold and that fits perfectly in with my personality. i love the adventure that motherhood is. but along with that comes not so nice surprises, like early teeth, constipation, formula, bottles, sleepless nights and so many others things yet to go. flexibility is a MUST.

so here is to day 6 of weaning. and many more days of learning what it takes to be the best mom i can be to my little chicklet.

16 January 2010

where did THOSE come from?!

tonight rhys and i were at tesco getting a few necessary bits and bobs. i was leaning over eleri's pram when i saw them. they were right there, plain as day. two big, shiny, white teeth. TWO TEETH!! seriously?! where did they come from? these teeth were not just starting to poke through, they were really out there. like real teeth.

getting teeth for the first time is a pretty big deal. you think i would have been more aware. arent babies suppose to have teething pain? drool more? bit everything? get fussy? you know, some kind of outward sign so that the mom knows what is going on?! i was sure i would notice (especially since i am still breastfeeding) but apparenty not. i had no idea my child was getting teeth. and then one day, there they are. TWO TEETH.

rhys i gone to the bathroom when i made this discovery and it was all i could do to not run into the guys stall just to tell him that little ele had teeth. and then, for some strange reason, my eyes welled up with tears and i started to cry. i just couldnt help it. it was such a strange feeling. she is growing up. and while i love that she is changing so much everyday, the teeth thing just hit a different cord with me. she is not such a little baby anymore. she has teeth. thats a BIG girl thing. she is not even six months old yet and she already has two teeth. it is just all happening so quickly. so i wandered up and down the baby isle in tesco, tears streaming down my face, smiling at my big ele. two teeth and all.

13 January 2010

the melting pot

the British came for religious freedom, the Spanish came for riches, the French for territorial increase and the Irish for political independence. But it wasnt just those countries. The Germans, the Dutch and the Belgian, the Polish, the Italians, a good mix of everyone set sail for the shores of the new world. they came to build a new life for themselves and their families. they came to found colonies and together, they built a new country. a country built upon common values and ideals. a country literaly built by blood and tears. a country built by immigrants.

for the past several years immigration has been a very touchy subject. debates range from a complete open door policy, to just limited and specific immigration, to closing the doors altogether. opinions cover an equally wide specturm. and you are guarenteed a heated discussion if you bring up immigration in a group. political carrers can hinge upon immigration views. it is an issue that so many people take to heart, it is rarely discussed camly and with a level head.

i too have some strong opinions on immigration. well, to be fair i have pretty strong opinons on most things. But when thinking of immigration specifically, at one point or another, i have covered all areas of the spectrum. but tonight i saw a story of immigration that really touched my heart. and even though it doesnt take much, the story brought a tear to my eye.

it wasnt even suppose to be a story about immigration. it was american idol actally. before you judge, rhys is away all week. i am by myself. the baby had just gone to bed and i wanted something cheesy and unintelligent to unwind to. so cheap, reality tv it was. there was a young, teenage boy who was auditioning. both his parents had immigrated to america from nigeria. they had met each other whilst attending university, married and had 7 children. The whole family was there with the boy. The mother was dressed in traditional african garb. the father was dressed smartly dressed in a 3 piece suit. All the children were stylishly, but modestly dressed. and the entire family was very articulate.

and it hit me. is what it is all about.

the parents came to america for education. they came to give thier family a better life. and even though it was obvious that they still maintained quite a bit of their nigerian culture, they had equally embraced the american way of life. the son was auditioning for ameican idol for goodness sake. how much more 'american' do you get than reality tv? that is what it is all about.

historically america has been referred to as the 'melting pot' i think whilst it is important to be cautious about who and what is coming into the united states, its also important to remeber that we are a nation of immigrants. unless you are native america or have native american heritage, you and your family immigrated at some point in the line. and isnt that was makes us so great? i am firm believer that america is such powerful country because of the unique foundation upon which it was built. the nigerian immigrant family on american idol reminded me that immigration is not as cut and dry as it is often made out to be.

the boy made it through to hollywood although based on the judges reaction, i dont think he will make it beyond that. but the reaction from his family was touching. his sisters were jumping up and down and screaming, hugging him and dancing around. his mother and father just smiled, clasped their hands together and thanked god and america. they thanked god and the nation for blessing their son and their family. and it made me cry. theirs was a family who truly appreciates what america has to offer. they have fully embraced the chance they were given. it was a lovely story. and it was a good reminder.

i dont know the answers to the immigrant debate, but i do know this, we are a country of immigrants. and at the heart of it all, their story is our story.

11 January 2010

so much going on

hey friends. thanks for all the emails and such, but dont worry, I am fine. I am keeping the blog and i will have a post soon, i promise. but there is just so much going on. you know how it is.

i have been home for a week. by the time i finally walked through my front door, it had been 46 days since i had been home. that is too long to be away with a baby. its great to be back.

but its busy being back. we started infant swimming classes last week, plus our regular yoga and reading lessons. but cleaning and grocery shopping. just normal life things after being on holiday for 6 weeks. so its busy.

but i will write again soon. this week sometime. promise. never fear faithful readers, a post is coming soon.