Saturday, January 31, 2009

DeQuervain's Tendonitis

Jean-Louis had complained about wrist pain for a few weeks now but I would just tell him that he was weak since I was actually the one that was holding Tristan more.  It's true I have stronger arms and wrists than him since he sucked at climbing and I ruled :)  Okay, I wouldn't say suck but I was much better than him!

Recently this week, I started to feel a bit of wrist pain myself.  It's partly because I have been weak and dizzy and I haven't been able to hold Tristan as much.  So, when I had to hold him, I did so while sitting down and lifting him up and down.  That was beginning to take a toll on my right wrist.  Worried that our wrists may get worst, I did a bit of research and found out that we are both headed towards getting DeQuervain's Tendonitis, a painful condition caused by inflammation of the tendons in the thumb.  If you hold your baby a lot using improper technique, you may get this too.  It's important to make sure your wrist is always straight and comfortable when holding your baby. You don't want your wrists to be sore from this and if it gets really bad, you may even need to have surgery - eeks!  Now, that's something to keep in mind for all parents!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dunstan Baby Language

According to the Dunstan Baby Language website, the baby cry interpretation only applies for babies from birth to 3 months.  What happens after that period?  I am still unsure.  Right now, Tristan more or less still follows this.

"Neh" means I'm hungry.
"Owh" means I'm tired.
"Eh" means I need to be burped.
"Eairh" means I have gas.
"Heh" means I'm uncomfortable (e.g. I need to be changed, I'm too hot or too cold...).

We find that the first three, Neh, Owh, and Eh, are pretty easy to spot but the last two are questionable some times.  When it's a mix and they are crying for more than one reason, then it's easier just to check everything and see than to try and decipher the cry.

The following are videos I found on the subject.  Have a watch - It's pretty neat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tristan's first trip to Victoria

Now that I'm almost recovered from my stomach flu, I can blog about our adventure last weekend.  Last weekend, we brought Tristan on the ferry over to Victoria for Chinese New Year.  He met his uncle Wayne, uncle Bill, and cousin Jayde for the first time.  His grandparents, my parents, have not seen him since his birth 2 months ago.  We also got to visit my good friend and her family.  She had her baby boy just 2 weeks before Tristan arrived.

Overall, the trip wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be.  I was prepared to nurse in public if I had to but it wasn't necessary.  We carried bottled breastmilk with us on the way to the ferries.  This was the excess milk I had pumped the night before.  Tristan actually slept most of the trip so he wasn't that hungry and when he drank, he didn't need much.  We ended up throwing most of the milk away but that was okay.

I had packed plenty of clothes for Tristan, in case of emergency, and it was a good thing too.  He had several poopy accidents!  Since we were only gone for 2 nights, we didn't have to bathe Tristan until we got back but we had to be careful that he didn't get too dirty.  That was why I performed most of the diaper changes :)

In some ways, the trip was a nice relief for me since I didn't have to carry Tristan so much.  My parents, especially wanted to carry and talk to him so it was a break for us.  As a result, Tristan cried less.  My dad was very good with him.  He didn't cry when my dad carried him but when he was passed back to Jean-Louis, Tristan started crying again.  The fact that my dad can console Tristan probably makes Jean-Louis feel even more inadequate and me, less special.  I guess he is still too young to only recognize us.  He still allows most people to carry him.

Another thing I observed was that he started to suck his hand for the first time.  He hasn't found his thumb yet so he's got his knuckle in there.  I think it's good because this way he will be able to soothe himself whenever he needs to, instead of relying on us or a pacifier.

The final thing I wanted to report was that Tristan had his longest sleep on record in Victoria.  That first night he slept 8 hours straight!  Yay!  It hasn't happened again but I can't really complain since I only have to feed him once at night now.  He normally sleeps anywhere from 4-6 hours straight every night.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tristan's shot day and Mommy is not feeling well :(

I felt queasy half of the day yesterday when we came back to Vancouver. Then last night, after my shower, I vomited quite badly. I hate to vomit. I'm always scared to vomit when I'm nauseous. Unfortunately, it wasn't instant relief after that. Then I got the chills and went to nap. I felt like crap and all I could think of was how am I going to feed and take care of Tristan. I lost a lot of liquid, all my dinner and was really weak. I could not hold Tristan to feed him so I tried doing it from bed. He laid right up next to me and it was actually kind of nice. It worked alright but I don't think he got as much milk though. Boy, I hope all this is just a bad case of food poisoning.

It's terrible to be such a basket-case while taking care of a baby. It's hard enough doing it when you are healthy and can give it 100%. I was stressing out a lot so Jean-Louis agreed to take the day off to help out. Thank goodness. I have been queasy on and off all day. Now, I'm scared about what tomorrow will be like. I managed to have a bit of apple and vegetable soup today but that's all. I wonder what kind of breastmilk I'm producing as a result. Poor Tristan :( I'm still weak and have the chills and I just can't hold him very much. I have to sit down most of the time or I get dizzy. There is no way I can hold him and walk the stairs all day to soothe him. I'm using the pacifier more today for this reason and also because Tristan had his first set of shots at the doctor's office.

Tristan had 3 pokes in his leg. It used to be 4 but the new vaccines are combined in a way so there are fewer pokes necessary. It was bad enough for Tristan though. He cried so hard when it happened and then it was sort of fine. My poor baby. He's on baby tylenol right now.

I've been feeling tired all day and my back is killing me for some reason. What is going on? I hope tomorrow will be okay since Jean-Louis needs to go back to work.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How easy they forgive and forget

Tristan cries at the top of his lungs in the evenings when I leave him with Jean-Louis. I step out of my shower and I hear crying most of the time. If there is no crying, it's usually because he has passed out from crying. Jean-Louis always makes sure I hear about it when I go in the office as well. Tristan seems so mad when I leave him to cry like that. Then, we draw him a bath, clean, and change him. We go straight to the feeding from there and he is happy as a clown! He coos, signs, and smiles as he feeds in mommy's arms. It's not always with me. Jean-Louis could take him too and he could be playing and cooing. It seems like they are pissed off one minute and so happy the next. This happens throughout the day and I find it so interesting that babies forgive and forget so easily. Baby psychology... it would be so neat to study baby psychology. They are fascinating beings!

Speaking of crying, Tristan is crying more these days for attention.  It used to be because he was hungry or dirty or uncomfortable but now, he mostly wants to be held and walked around.  Now, we can't do this all the time and as a result, it does seem like there is more crying in the day.  Is this his crying peek or was it back at 6 weeks?  I'm a bit confused.  Anyhow, we've got one needy child here.  We're having to use the pacifier on him more and more too!  I guess everything is normal since he's certainly acting a lot like a "little baby" these days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tristan's growth spurt

Tristan has outgrown his size 1 diapers (8-14 pounds) and are now onto size 2 (12-18 pounds). Good thing they make diapers with an overlap in weight. He's really been putting on the weight and baby fat. He looks like one round chubby baby! It just struck me last night how different he looks since birth. We don't know how heavy he is but we'll find out on Tuesday when he goes to the doctors for his 2 month shots. We were suppose to have gone today but there is a new series of shots out and they want to put all new babies on it. Apparently, it means less pokes for the baby. That would be nice since 4 shots, one in each arm and each leg, sounds terrifying to me. He's only 2 months old man!

Here are pictures taken with Photo Booth from my iSight camera.  You can clearly see that he has grown quite a bit!

Taken December 6th, 2008:

Taken January 22nd, 2009 (Today!):

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tristan is 2 months old

Today Tristan is 2 months old!  I can't let the day go by without mentioning that :)  It's remarkable we have survived this long with each other.  We both have come a long way.

If Tristan's 2 month birthday is not enough to celebrate, today was also the inauguration of the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  Too bad we didn't have a cake at home... I don't know why I have all these sweet cravings.  It must be from the holidays and the fact that I tried to eat so healthy while I was pregnant with Tristan.  I'm finally free to eat what I like now :)  I'm still looking forward to having sushi and Vietnamese sandwiches.  I already had lots of brie cheese and patés.  Yummy!  Don't get me wrong.  I'm still trying to eat well since I'm breastfeeding.  My diet is just not as strict since Tristan is out of the womb now.

Also, it's my brother-in-law's birthday today.  Happy birthday brother-in-law!  Sorry, I try to keep everyone anonymous on the blog.

The BabyBjörn effect

We have the BabyBjörn baby carrier and we use it a lot. Since Tristan is so little still and his neck muscles are still weak, we have to face him inwards. For this reason, he gets really hot and since he can't see the world around him, he just falls asleep. This is what I'm calling the BabyBjörn effect. It's common for babies to fall asleep in slings and carriers since they are held close to you and are heated. Knowing this, it would be best to carry them when you know that they need to nap. Otherwise, they would over sleep and then end up staying up longer at night.

We have been out grocery shopping with Tristan many times. Because he is still small and light, we use the sling or baby carrier to take him with us. It works great since our hands are then free to pick out our purchases. I use the sling sometimes at home too when I need to hang laundry or simply to hold him and have my hands free to type at the computer or whatever. Because the sling goes around you on one shoulder, your back and shoulders do ache if you carry for long periods. It wasn't really the case before but I can definitely feel it now that Tristan is heavier. Overall, I love having the sling and Jean-Louis enjoys using the baby carrier.

My two guys happy together

I just had to post these photos of Jean-Louis and Tristan playing together. Jean-Louis spends a lot of time with Tristan but as I mentioned in a blog last week, they don't really like each other. Things are slowly getting better, I think. These rare happy photos were taken recently :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A busy weekend for Tristan

We try to do a lot on the weekends because Jean-Louis is home. This weekend was no exception. It was a rather historic weekend for Tristan. First of all, we went out with him Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - 3 days straight! That's a first. Tristan had his longest car ride also when we went to Kitsilano on Saturday to shop on 4th Avenue.  Boy, do I miss shopping :(  We bought things for Tristan, for me, and lots of delicious fancy bread for us at Terra Breads.  We had to stop by Starbucks for a bathroom stop too.  A coffee stop, of course!  Btw, the London Fog Tazo drink is simply Earl Grey with steam milk.  Nothing special and it costs nearly $5!  Before heading home, we sat in the car (parked along one of the side streets) and I nursed Tristan.  I used a scarf wrap to conceal the front and it worked rather well.  This was my first public feeding experience!  Tristan didn't drink very much though and he totally passed out.  Maybe it was too hot being covered up.

Today, we went out with the stroller for the first time. We bought it back in October, I think, and we're just using it now. Well, the weather has been quite miserable until now really. It is still quite cold though but I knew Jean-Louis really wanted to go for a walk.  Ah, it did us all good to get some fresh air.  Sometimes, Tristan and I would have weeks where we're only outside once.  I think at one point we stayed home 8 days straight!  Sounds a bit nuts but I'm totally fine staying home for long periods.  It's simpler anyway since it's so cold and I'm so busying with Tristan and daily chores.  However, it is getting warmer these days and lighter and I'm finally feeling the urge to get out more.

Bugaboo Frog Preliminary Review

Since it was the first time we used our Bugaboo Frog, I should just write a small review on it.  The ride is nice and smooth but the small wheels are a bit noisy.  Jean-Louis was good to point out the noisy wheels.  The bassinet attaches easily and the handle reverts nicely.  We were actually at Starbucks and I was stuck in a corner before realizing I could revert the handle to push the stroller the other way.  No problemo, I got out without knocking anything over :)  I should also mentioned that we bought the bottle holder for the stroller, specifically to hold our coffees, although that is not what it is meant for.  Inside the bottle, it clearly warns users not to place hot drinks in them.  We're sure it's okay - they just don't want to get sued!  We should warn that you should drink some of your drink first before placing it in since it may splash and make a mess.  That sort of happened to us when we tried to place a full cup in it.

So far, we are happy with the functionality of the stroller.  As for appearances, we love the red color and we felt rather "trendy" pushing it around our south Burnaby neighborhood.  Although, this type of high-end stroller really belongs in a chic neighborhood such as Kitsilano.  In six months, Tristan will outgrow the bassinet and we'll attach the larger seat for him.  I'm looking forward to taking him to restaurants with us so he can sit right up next to us at the table. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hoping Daddy will be a more effective helper soon

I'm thankful for having Jean-Louis here and appreciate all the help he is giving to Tristan and I so don't get me wrong here.  I understand that he was not brought up to take care of others really.  I guess his mom expected he would be fully taken care of by his future wife.  Sorry honey, you picked me and I'm not your typical stay-at-home mom.  In fact, I can't see myself only taking care of Tristan long term.  I love to cook but I don't like to clean and I expect everyone in the household to contribute to housework.  I always have.  As a young child growing up being ordered around to do chores while all the guys in the house got to sit around and watch TV, I threw many temper tantrums.  Tough luck Jean-Louis, you chose me!

So, if Jean-Louis is helping out, what is wrong then you're asking?  Well, he certainly helps out and since Tristan arrived, a lot of that help is voluntary too.  He just doesn't do things right all the time.  Okay, you're probably thinking he's a guy and that's totally normal!  When it comes to being able to console Tristan and calm him down and give mommy a much needed break, Jean-Louis seems to do the opposite.  In fact, putting Tristan down some times calms him more than holding him.  I demonstrated how to hold Tristan and how to talk to him and we even got Jean-Louis to wear one of my used breastfeeding shirts but nope.  Tristan could cry most of the day if I left him alone with Jean-Louis right now.  I sure hope this time passes and both Tristan and Jean-Louis learn to like each other more.

Jean-Louis must feel like crap too.  I sort of understand.  He doesn't know why Tristan doesn't like him.  Apparently, from talking with other fathers, it's quite normal for very young babies to be repelled by their father and to cry all the time.  Maybe in a month, things will be different.  I sure hope so because being with Tristan all day and then all night, I could certainly use a little break in the evenings.  Of course to be fair, in the evenings Tristan does cry more too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tristan's welcome party

We threw a welcome party for Tristan this weekend.  Most of the people that came already met Tristan but we never had the energy to really celebrate Tristan's birth with anyone until now.  I made spinach dip and bought some sourdough bread for some of the appetizers.  We also served foie gras on bought dried toast and my brother-in-law brought over some of the meatballs that he made.  For the main course, I made chicken lasagna.  Yes, 2 cooked dishes from me.  That was all I could handle!  For dessert, we ordered a chestnut cake from Maxim's and served cranberry bread that my brother-in-law made.  We also bought lots of chips and cookies too but we never got to opening any of them.

Tristan was passed around the room and we took pictures.  I had to disappear with him a few times to nurse him.  The party got quite loud at times with several conversations going on at once but Tristan didn't seem to mind too much.  We were surprised he didn't cry more.  The party was held between 11-3PM though. We thought the environment would overstimulate him.  Well, we're thankful he didn't embarrass us too much :)  I'm also very relieved that we survived the party!  I thought it was going to be too much work but it turned out alright.  Buying paper plates and disposable utensils and cups really saved us cleanup time.

Yeah, it's definitely challenging hosting parties and entertaining.  We probably won't have another for awhile.  Although Jean-Louis' birthday is coming up but maybe we'll just have a nice and quiet meal at home.  It's a good thing we're not the type of people that want to go out much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spitting up milk

This is my first blog entry from my iPod Touch! It won't allow me to type in the text editor under "Compose" so I'm doing it under "Edit Html."

It's 2:52AM right now and I've already fed Tristan 20 minutes worth of breastmilk. He would drink more but I'm not going to let him. Here is why. At night, he sleeps for longer periods so he's hungry and my breasts become very full. It's then very easy for him to overfeed. When that happens and then I lay him back down to sleep, he grunts and grunts and spits up. It had been happening a lot so now I will try to just limit what he drinks. Feeding is over right now and I have him resting on me in an inclined position so that the milk can flow down to his belly. I'm going to lay him down now and see if he still spits up. It has been about 8 minutes. I'll report the results in the morning, when I get up.

(The next day....) No spit up!  I'll stick to this strategy for now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The haunting cry of a baby

I hear or think I hear Tristan crying everywhere I go.  In the office, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in my dreams even.  When Jean-Louis watches after him and I try to nap, I hear him.  At night, I am always on the look out.  I am not a deep sleeper so I pretty much hear every noise he makes since he sleeps in his crib right at the end of our bed.  There is no escape and his cry, like all babies cries, makes you want to attend to him.  The cry of a baby is designed to be annoying else, parents would ignore them.  It is especially disturbing to me since I am his mother.  I close my eyes and I hear him cry.  Man, I sure hope we have reached the peak of his crying.

No, it's no fun dealing with a crying baby.  There is so much of it too!  The past few days with Jean-Louis home for the winter break, it seemed like Tristan only wanted to be with mommy sometimes.  I was the only one that could soothe him.  It makes me feel special and Jean-Louis inadequate.  We thought it was the smell so as a test Jean-Louis wore one of my breastfeeding shirts and that didn't work.  I think it's the way he holds and rocks him.  I also think it has to do with Jean-Louis' negative attitude and his lack of skills in trying to calm people down while talking to them.  I noticed this a lot when I was in labour and I had a very hard time relaxing on my own.  Anyway, all this means that I have to be with Tristan even more and it's more work for me!  I need to rest too and Tristan needs to recognize and want to go to his daddy.  In time, I'm sure that will be the case.

On a positive note, breastfeeding is really coming along.  My milk is just flowing these days and because of it, Tristan doesn't even have to suck hard to get milk so even if the latch is not perfect, it won't hurt and my nipples are safe :)  That's not to say I'm not trying to latch him on properly because I do but it's challenging since he's dressed heavily and I'm dressed heavily because of my cold allergy.  I'm actually impressed at how much milk I have.  And it's true, when Tristan cries, milk drips and I can hardly get it in his mouth fast enough without making a big sticky mess!  I think that's fascinating!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

An afternoon at the mall

Today, the 3 of us went to Metrotown on the skytrain.  It was Tristan's first trip on the skytrain.  We spent a few hours at the mall, which included a first trip to the family room to do a diaper change and then we also had a bottle feeding.  Normally, we only spend an hour away from home to avoid any diaper changes or feeding in public.  We are sort of clean freaks and for good reason since the mall is usually dirty and there are germs everywhere!  Plus, Tristan is so young and he hasn't had any of his vaccinations yet.

It's the first day of the new year 2009 and also my birthday.  Tristan is also exactly 6 weeks old today.  Once again, we couldn't really celebrate since there's still too much snow outside.  Jean-Louis doesn't drive in the snow so we had to cancel our party plan.  Tant pis :(

This is as special as it gets these days.  We went to the mall on a shopping adventure.  It was quite busy there since boxing week sales were still in progress.  On our way back home on the skytrain, Tristan cried and I was embarrassed since everyone stared at us.  We came home very hungry so we defrosted some frozen meatballs, cooked some pasta, and warmed up can pasta sauce for dinner.  In the evening, we rented 27 Dresses from the iTunes Store and watched that while we soothed Tristan from his evening cry.

BTW, Happy New Year everyone!
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