Becoming a big boy – Bo at 15 months

I feel as though I owe you (or, if nothing else, I owe myself) an update about Bo.  I feel as though I did a pretty decent job of avoiding the whole “second child syndrome” and I actually documented his first year of life fairly decently.  Of course, I was on maternity leave and his older brother was in daycare so I didn’t really have much of an excuse to be delinquent.  However, since returning to work right after his first birthday, I’ve failed miserably at keeping track of his milestones and development.

So, here we go…

At his 15 month check-up (which was a month ago), he weighed 24lbs 7oz and was 31 inches tall.  That put him in the 73rd percentile for weight and the 41st for height.  Of course, he still has a giant head (which I’ve heard is common among screen stars, so we’ll see where that leads him…)

Bo likes to take things at his own speed.  He has been behind his older brother when it comes to hitting developmental milestones and he still seems like such a baby to me.  He was in absolutely no rush to walk and was happy as can be to remain on all fours.  He enjoyed cruising and climbing (stairs, couches, you name it) but would drop to his knees immediately if you tried to place him on his feet.  He finally took his first real steps at daycare a couple of weeks ago (and the daycare ladies did an amazing job of catching it on video and emailing it to me at work, where I got teary at my desk, obv!)  Now, he practically runs and it has made our lives so much easier.  One might expect it to be harder to have a walker vs a crawler, however it was making it really difficult to spend time outdoors.  Bo hated being held or strapped into the stroller for long periods, but putting him down meant he was always in the dirt.  Plus, every pair of pants had ripped knees and he couldn’t wear shorts.

In other developmental news, he finally popped three more teeth, which has improved his mood drastically.  For a while there, the poor kid was a whiny mess with hands in his mouth all the time.

Between the new walking skills and the new chompers, he has settled back into his generally happy self.  It was touch and go for a while and I was worried that our good-natured baby was turning into a  grumpy toddler.  But I think it was just his body that was brining him down.  He’s much happier now.  He still loves Littleman more than anyone in the world.  Except for maybe me.  He is a MAJOR mama’s boy.  I’m not gonna lie…it’s kind of sweet.  By this age, Littleman was already totally into daddy and I was a second class citizen.  But Bo makes it perfectly clear (in a variety of ways) that I’m still his number one.  Sometimes I wish he’d give me a bit of a break, but I know it won’t last forever so I’m cherishing it for now.

So, feeding a toddler’s always fun, isn’t it?  The teeth situation made eating a disaster for a while.  He’s gotten a bit better now, but it’s still a challenge to figure out what he’ll eat.  He used to love sandwiches, but now he tries to stuff the whole thing into his mouth rather than taking bites.  He ends up gagging on it and spitting it out.  So I’ve learned to break things up into bite sized bits but, if I’m not watching carefully, he’ll jam too much into his cheeks and then, again, have to spit it all out.  Ugh.  He loves to feed himself and is good at eating oatmeal, yogurt, Cheerios with milk and, his favourite, egg salad.

Also, I’m still nursing.  I didn’t expect to still be at it, but, hence, this is where we are.  I’m only nursing him first thing in the morning and then right before bed, but he’s showing no signs of being done with it.  Littleman breastfed until about 14 months (and we had dropped down to only the bedtime feed by the end).  At 16+ months, Bo is still going strong.

Likes, dislikes and such…
Bo has a few favourite things.  He loves his stuffed bunny, which he sleeps with and likes to cuddle.  He enjoys books, but doesn’t really want to hear you read them out loud.  Instead, he insists on holding them himself and flipping pages.  His preference is books with textures (think fluffy animals or rough trucks) and he now knows when a book is upside down and promptly flips it over.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the pool at the farm this week and he really enjoys the water.  He was unsure at first (I never did parent-and-baby swimming lessons with him – mommy fail) so it took him some time to adjust.  Now, though, he wants to “jump” off the side and doesn’t mind going under water at all.

He pretty much enjoys anything that his big brother is doing, which sometimes leads to some unhappiness.  Luckily, Littleman is very good with him and will usually give up whatever toy he’s using to avoid a meltdown.  We’re so grateful that he’s such a good big brother.

Well, this turned out longer than I expected but, if you’re still actually reading, I think you get a sense of what Bo is like these days.  I’ll leave you with a few pics. 


Finally healing

Baby Bo is now more than two weeks old and I’m finally starting to feel like a normal new mom (i.e. sleep deprived, slightly dirty, forgetful, etc.)

I finished my antibiotics.  I saw Dr. P for a check up and, based on his exam, he doesn’t think my uterus is infected.  My urine showed a bit of infection, so it’s possible that the issue was a UTI all along. The follow-up urine culture was clear. I’m scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound soon, just to be sure that there is nothing left to be concerned about.

My nipples are healing nicely.  I haven’t bled in over a week and my cracks are pretty much gone.  There are moments when Bo still doesn’t latch perfectly or when he adjusts his latch so that he’s not on properly, so I’m not totally pain-free.  I still feel pain in between feedings, which is mainly just annoying. But, I’m not in excruciating pain anymore, so I know that we can work through this.

Now that I’m feeling so much better, I’m really looking forward to enjoying time with my boys.  Littleman has been such a good big brother so far.  Although it wasn’t our original plan, there is something to be said for the fact that he is three years older than his baby brother.  He’s much more mature than he was a year ago, or even six months ago.  He’s helpful and is able to do so much on his own.  Of course, he’s also used to being an only child so he still wants someone to play with him all the time.  We’re doing our best to give him some one-on-one attention whenever we can.

And Bo is such a good baby.  So far, he’s definitely calmer and more laid back than his big brother was.  Although he generally needs to be held to fall asleep, he’s perfectly happy to be put down after that.  He’ll sleep in his bouncy chair during the day and in his bassinet in our room at night.  Speaking of night, he’s slept a couple of 3-4 hour stretches at a time overnight, which is quite lovely.  My boobs are still adjusting to the longer stretches between feedings, but I’ll take it!

All in all, aside from feeling so crappy during the first week, the adjustment to a family of four has gone very well.  I’m sure there will be some blips along the way (especially once D returns to work!) but I feel very lucky for now.

photo 1

Trying out my play mat!

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Lounging on daddy!

(Another) false alarm

A couple of hours after I returned home from yesterday’s OB appointment, I started experiencing some mild contractions.  Although Dr. P had told me that he thought the membrane sweep would be successful and that I could go into labour as early as that night, I still didn’t really believe it.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d had contractions during this pregnancy so there wasn’t much point in getting too excited.

To make matters a bit more complicated, I had received a call from the daycare earlier in the day, telling me that Littleman had a fever.  That meant I had to pick him up and that he wasn’t allowed to return the next day (today).  Of course, when I brought him home, he had no fever and was totally fine.  But, it means that I can’t just worry about what my body is doing.  I have to make sure he’s taken care of too!

Anyway, D got home from work and I started timing the contractions.  We had dinner and hung out a bit.  Contractions were about 7 minutes apart.  I also noticed some pinkish mucus when I wiped, which was a first for me.  Dr. P had warned that I may get some spotting after the internal exam, so I knew this was nothing to get excited about.

Around 7:30ish, we decided to call my mom.  We figured it would make more sense to take Littleman over to her house to spend the night, rather than worrying about whether or not we would have to call her to come over to our place in the middle of the night.  We packed up some stuff for him and D drove him there.  I actually got a little emotional when they were leaving.  This could be the last time that he was our only child!

After that, I had a shower and then relaxed on the couch a bit.  Contractions continued but didn’t get any worse or closer together.  I decided to get into bed a read for a bit.  When things continued with no change, I finally turned off the light to try to rest between contractions.  This is where timing them got tricky.  I would relax and start to doze off.  Then a contraction would start.  I’d reach for my phone to start the timer on my app and then lie there through the contraction.  But after a while, I guess I would doze off when the contraction ended without stopping the timer.  The next contraction would come and my timer was all screwed up.  I gave up and decided that rest was more important.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep through any serious contractions and that I would certainly wake up if things were progressing.

After several hours of off and on contractions, lasting 7-10 minutes, things finally started to taper off.  Somewhere between 3 and 5am,they stopped all together.  Ugh.

I managed to get a couple of hours sleep after that.  My mom still has Littleman and will bring him back a bit later today.  If I’m feeling up for it, we may go somewhere to walk around for a bit.  It’s freezing outside so we’ll have to hit up a mall or large store.  We’ll see.

Needless to say, these false alarms are starting to frustrate me a bit.  I know my baby boy will come when he’s ready, but I also know how much harder the labour will be if I’m already totally exhausted from a bunch of sleepless nights caused by false labour.

As D left for work early this morning, he reminded me that “good things come to those who wait.”  I normally hate those kind of expressions, but he’s right.  A strong, healthy baby is certainly worth waiting for!

Operation Big Boy Room – the reveal

I realized that I shared some of our progress on Littleman’s “big boy room” but never showed the finished product.  Now that he’s been living in there for a few weeks, I figured it was good time to take a look at how things have been going.

Since baby #2 is on the way, we chose to move Littleman into the spare room, rather than make any changes to the nursery.  It was easier to tackle one room rather than two.  That being said, the spare room wasn’t exactly “spare.”  In fact, it was pretty darn full of every piece of crap that we’ve ever held on to and didn’t know what to do with.  After some major purging and donations to charities, we finally ended up with a blank slate.

Choosing a theme for the new room was pretty easy.  Littleman’s favourite colour is orange and he loves construction sites.  So when I came across some super-cute construction vehicle sheets at Target, I knew that was our starting point.  I didn’t love the comforter that went along with the sheet set – and it would have been too big for our Ikea bed anyway – so my mom offered to use the sheet set to sew us a duvet cover.  She cut down a twin sized duvet so that it would fit the kiddie bed.  While the bed is the perfect size for a little kid, Ikea doesn’t actually make bedding that fits it (aside for a fitted sheet).  They recommend either a cot duvet or twin duvet, but neither actually fit the bed properly.  That was annoying to me, so I was happy my mom was able to help with a solution.

The new bedding

The new bedding

With the bedding figured out, we decided to use wall decals on one portion of the room.  I found a bunch of construction-related decals on Etsy but then realized that Target sells some in the same line as the bedding.  And for much cheaper.  So we decided to go with those.  We chose to run the road between the bookshelf and the window, creating a little nook where the bed is.

The decals

The decals

At the end of the bed, used a bookshelf we already had to store a bunch of Littleman’s stuffed toys.  Within the closed doors of the bookshelf, we keep all his books.  That way he can reach them himself, but we don’t have to look at the messy piles.  It doesn’t matter how often I straighten his books, they always end up in a big mess!

Book and toy storage

Book and toy storage

Finally, we put a couple of simple storage cubes on the floor so Littleman has somewhere to dump his toys.  Most nights, he wants to bring a toy upstairs with him while he gets ready for bed, but he knows he has to put them away before he goes to sleep.  Having an easy place to chuck the toys has helped keep his room nice and neat.

Along the wall that you can’t see is a simple white dresser that used to be mine.  It needs to be painted (I’m considering orange, but may stick with white) and I plan to replace the knobs.  We also need a piece of art for the wall above it, which is totally blank and plain.

So, now that it’s all done, how does the kid like it?  He LOVES it!  The transition to the new room has gone amazingly well.  I think we waited until the right time to move him and he was really ready.  It only took a couple of nights in the new bed before he was sleeping through the night again (I think he would wake up and get a bit confused/scared at first).  When he wakes up in the morning or after naps, he calls out for us and doesn’t actually get out of bed (fingers crossed that this will last for a while!)  When people come over to visit, he takes them upstairs to see his room.  He calls his old room “the baby’s room” and really hasn’t looked back since he moved.  All in all, we’ve very happy with the result!

A great place to sleep!

A great place to sleep!

How’s he going to react?

I think my three-year-old is starting to sense how imminent the arrival of the new baby is.  And, I’m starting to worry about how he’s going to react when it actually happens.

Littleman is a pretty smart kid and we’ve been talking about the baby for many months.  I think he understands what’s going on as much as he possibly can at his age.  He knows there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.  He knows that it’s his baby brother.  He likes playing “baby” a lot these days.  But he’s also a typical first-born or only child.  He is used to having constant attention and one-on-one time.  He is not used to playing by himself.

We’ve been trying our best to prepare him for the baby’s arrival.  We have a couple of books about being a big brother.  We talk about the things that the baby won’t be able to do – the things that only a big boy can do.  We’ve practiced having him sleep at Nana and Nonno’s house (my parents).  But I’m just not sure that there’s anything we can do to really, truly get him ready for the change that’s about to happen.

As I said before, I think he’s starting to realize how soon this baby will be here.  He’s always been a daddy’s boy, but lately he’s been wanting mommy for everything.  This weekend, I got tons of cuddles and kisses.  When we were both around, he pretty much only chose me to do things with him.  That is very abnormal behaviour for him.

Now that I’m done work, I’m hoping I’ll have some more energy to play with Littleman  in the evenings.  I want to spend as much time with him as I can in these final days before the baby arrives because I know my attention will be stretched between the two of them once Bo is here.

If anyone has any advice on what else we can do to prep Littleman for the baby’s arrival, please pass it along!  I certainly don’t expect the transition to a family of four to be easy, but I’m willing to try anything we can to do to make it a little less hard.

37 weeks

Wow.  At 37 weeks, the end is truly in sight.  I dragged myself to work today in a bit of a blizzard, but it was easier knowing that I only have two more mornings left of commuting.  After Friday, I’m officially on maternity leave!

My biggest worry these days is how Littleman is going to adjust to the big changes that are about to come his way.  I think he’s starting to realize how soon the baby will be here (at least as much as a three-year-old can) and we’re finding he’s being a bit more sensitive than usual.  This morning, for example he decided he only wanted daddy and wouldn’t come near me.  He told me he didn’t love me, which of course, set off tears from both of us.  It took me a moment to pull my hormonal pregnant self together, but we talked about it and were both feeling better before I left for work.  But, I expect this is just a sign of what’s to come over the coming weeks/months.

Other than that, pregnancy continues to kick my ass, but as I noted yesterday, I’m doing my best to embrace it and enjoy whatever time is left.

Symptoms:  The acid reflux is still coming on strong and making me pretty miserable.  I’m medicating myself as much as possible and it helps a bit.  This is one symptom I’m hoping doesn’t stick around after the baby is born because it is NO FUN.

A new symptom this week (just to keep me on my toes) is carpal tunnel syndrome.  At least I think that’s what it is.  Most mornings I wake up with pain in my right wrist/thumb that kind of radiates a bit into my inner arm. 

Sleep:  Apparently I’m continuing to snore quite a bit, which causes D to sigh loudly and then head downstairs to the couch.  Sorry buddy, but I spend so much of my night awake that I’m not going to fret over snoring during the couple of precious hours that I actually sleep.  Not sure if this is somehow related to pregnancy or more a symptom of the cold I’ve been fighting and the winter dryness. 

Other: I’ve finally removed my wedding rings for fear of getting them stuck on there.  I don’t have any really noticeable swelling but they were definitely starting to feel a bit tight.


Three years ago this morning, with a pop and a gush, my life changed.  As I lounged in bed on January 31, 2011, my water broke, signalling the start of Littleman’s entrance into this world.

Being a mom is something I always wanted.  Being Littleman’s mom is something I couldn’t have dreamed of.

Looking at him now, it’s hard to remember what life was like before he arrived.  In three short years, he’s become everything to us.  I’m so proud of him.  He’s such a special kid.  He’s smart and funny.  He’s handsome and strong.

That being said, I’ve been suffering from some mommy guilt lately.

This has been a tough year for me and I worry that I haven’t given Littleman all that I could give.  I started 2013 being pregnant.  I suffered a miscarriage, which hit me extremely hard and I know that I wasn’t fully emotionally present for a long time afterwards.  Then I found myself pregnant again – this time with many weeks of nausea and exhaustion.  With some early complications, I wasn’t able to lift Littleman anymore.  And now, on his birthday, I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and am struggling with mobility and dealing with the aches and pains of late pregnancy.

I’m sad that I haven’t been on my A-game for the last of Littleman’s time as an only child.  Although he talks about his baby brother all the time, I know that he has no idea what is about to hit him.  He’s so used to being the centre of our universe and the change is going to be tough for him.

But today was all about him.  And it was a great day.

We decided to take the day off and keep him home from daycare so we could visit Toronto’s new aquarium.  We took the bus and subway to get there (little kid’s dream = pregnant lady’s nightmare!)  The place was jam-packed with people, but Littleman was on his best behaviour. 

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We bought him something he’s been asking for – Woody from Toy Story.  We also got him a photo puzzle, made from a family photo of the three of us.

photo 4


He requested a “Cars” birthday cake, so his super-non-crafty mama worked her arse off to make him one.

My attempt at a fancy cake.

I can’t believe my baby boy is so grown up.  Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet boy.  I love you more than you can know. 

Reflux sucks

It seems that I have the pleasure of experiencing a new pregnancy symptom – acid reflux. I have yet to figure out if there are particular foods that set it off, but I’m going to start paying better attention because I’m not enjoying these “barf burps” at all! For now, I’m popping the Tums and hoping for some relief.

It appears that lying down makes it feel worse, so I am currently propped in an awkward half-sitting-half-side-lying position.

D was just giving Littleman a bath and asked him when his brother was going to get here. Littleman answered, “when he’s born!” (Obviously, Dad!). So D says, “when is he going to be born?” Littleman says, “three days.” Yikes. Let’s hope not. Three weeks sounds a bit better to me. You hear that, baby? I’ll quit whining about reflux if you’ll hang in there a few more weeks. Thanks!

Toilet training my tot

Something I’ve learned in the past three years is that parenting  is tough.  Just when you get the hang of one thing, the kid moves on to a new and more challenging stage of development.  It never feels like I really know what I’m doing and it seems like we’re constantly winging it.

A perfect example of this was toilet training.  Right from the start, this is something that perplexed me.  I knew that, eventually, we all learn to use a toilet, but how on earth was I going to get my kid to do it??

Some people had told us about getting their toddler toilet trained in two-three days using the “stay home and be naked” method.  We considered trying that, but with our schedules, it just didn’t sound right for us.

Starting at around the age of two, Littleman started showing a bit of interest in the toilet.  There were a couple of older kids in his daycare class who were starting to be toilet trained and I think he was intrigued.  We rushed out and purchased a potty, a stool and seat insert for the big toilet.  He sat on the toilet a couple of times, but never for more than a second or two.  He flat-out refused to ever sit on the potty.  At that point we decided he just wasn’t ready.

Over the next several months, we often asked him if he wanted to try the toilet, but to no avail.  Then, last summer, at around 2 1/2 years of age, there was one small breakthrough: Littleman started telling us that he had to poo.  He wouldn’t go on the toilet – no way – but he would to stand in the same spot in our living room and tell us to go away.  Then he’d do his business.  We figured the fact that he could identify when he had to go was a good first step!

As we headed into the fall, he started showing a little more interest in peeing.  Some days his daycare teachers would tell us that he’d used the toilet at school.  He liked to tell us which kids wore underwear and which ones were still in diapers.  We bought some pull ups and told him he could use them if he started trying to use the toilet.  Around that time, we started to notice that, all of a sudden, he would pee every time we put him in the bathtub for his bath.  So, we started asking him to pee on the toilet before his bath.  We let him wear pull ups (he especially loved the Cars-themed ones), and it helped that he could pull them down himself.  We asked him regularly if he had to go and – although he usually said “no” – we would make him try every couple of hours.  Most of the time, he would pee when we asked him to.  We did go the “reward” route and let him have a little treat each time he peed.  Usually it was one little fruit snack, which he thought was “candy!”

Finally, after a few weeks of this, his daycare teacher said that she thought he was ready to start wearing underwear to school!  He was peeing on the toilet there and was staying dry in between.  In fact, he was usually even dry after his naps.  So, we bought a bunch of undies (so cute!) and we took the leap.

At that point, he still flat-out refused to poo on the toilet, but he would tell us that he had to go and would ask for a “regular diaper”.  In fact, often he would take off his pants and underwear and grab a diaper from the diaper bag himself.   The daycare teacher told us that it was pretty normal for a kid to have to master one (i.e. peeing or pooing) before getting the hang of both.  We continued to ask him to try the toilet each time he said he had to poo, but usually he turned down the offer.  Even the offer of a treat wasn’t enough to get him to try.  By mid-December, he started saying “I’ll try on Christmas.”  Good bargaining, buddy.

On Christmas morning, after opening most of the presents, Littleman announced that he had to poo and, as usual, asked for a diaper.  I reminded him that it was Christmas and that he had said he would try the toilet.  He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “it not Christmas today.  Christmas is tomorrow!”  Ha!  Nice try.  I pointed out that Santa had a come and we had just opened presents.  It was, most definitely, Christmas today.  His response?  “OK.”

We took him into the bathroom and helped him up onto the toilet.  He promptly asked us to leave him alone.  We stood outside the door, where we could still peek in and hear him grunting.  Finally he was done and announced “I pooed!”

Woohooo!  The kid actually did it!  Merry Christmas to us!!

It has now been more than two weeks and he has been using the toilet consistently.  We still diaper him at night and he wakes up wet, but (knock on wood) there have been no accidents during the day.  I’m so proud of him!  And, so pleased for D and myself, who are currently enjoying a couple of diaper-free months before Baby Bo arrives!

I think the main lesson I learned through this experience is that toilet training is a lot easier when the child is ready.  I’m sure he could have done it earlier if we had wanted to push it and try some of the other fancy techniques out there, but it wasn’t really worth the tears and fighting for us.  He did what he needed to do when he was ready to do it.  And there wasn’t really any reason to force it before then.

I still can’t really believe my little boy is almost three and that he’s doing so many big kid things!  I know there will be many more parenting challenges to come as he continues to grow up but I’m pretty happy about how this transition went for us.

33 weeks

At 33 weeks, the baby is the size of a pineapple this week.  And mommy feels like she’s the size of a house!  My body is starting to feel more and more awkward these days.  I have to sit with my legs wide open in order to be comfortable.  There is nothing cute about that.

I’m home sick today because I spent most of last night feeling like total crap.  Around 8:30 p.m., I started having awful stomach pains.  It was kind of a combo of heartburn and gas, with a touch of nausea and feeling like I needed to poop.  Basically, everything hurt from my ass right up to my boobs.  It finally settled down a bit at 3:00 a.m., at which point I knew there was no way I could get up and drag myself to work.  I’m feeling a bit better now, with just some lingering nausea and a lot of burping.  Littleman was home sick on Monday after throwing up a couple of times Sunday night, but is totally better now.  I’m hoping it was just a little bug and that I’ll be fine by tomorrow.

Symptoms:  Still having the odd contraction here and there but nothing that’s made me terribly worried.

Baby Bo seems to like hanging out around my bladder these days.  In fact, it often feels like he’s using it as a trampoline.  Peeing is becoming increasingly hard.  I’ve learned to sway from side to side and rock back and forth before I get off the toilet to ensure I’ve emptied as much of my bladder as possible.  But, inevitably, I find myself running speed-waddling back to the bathroom moments later to avoid peeing my pants when Bo gives me a good jab.

Sleep:  I’m so big these days that we seem to be running out of room for me, my pregnancy pillow and D in the bed.  One of us has to go, and sadly, it’s the pillow.  I’m still using the wedge pillow a fair amount, but, to be honest, I’m not sure there is anything that would help make sleep easier these days.

Other: Still feeling the nesting instinct pretty strongly, but we’ve made a bit of progress with our pre-baby organizing, which makes me feel a bit better.  Littleman’s room is very close to finished.  In fact, he slept in his big boy bed last night!  More to come about that transition in a separate post.

This week has also been a bit busy because my mom and I are throwing my sister a baby shower on Saturday.  I’m not a huge fan of showers but my sister loves this sort of thing so I’m doing my best to make it something she’ll really love.