Monday, March 30, 2009

Tristan rolled over but I missed the action

This morning during tummy time, Tristan rolled completely over for the first time. No worries, I had him on the camping mat on the floor :) No falls this time! I went to turn on some music on the computer and when I returned, he was on his back. Naturally, I went to grab the camera hoping he would do it again but nope. At this point, he was getting sick of tummy time and started fussing. We both got the feeling he was close to rolling actually. Last night, Jean-Louis and I both observed him on his side a lot in his crib. I saw the same thing when I changed his diaper this morning. Well, next time he does it again, I'll try to capture it on video.

Today, we also went to the doctor's for Tristan's 4th month shots. It was just 2 in the legs and he didn't cry as much as the first time. The next shot will be for his 6th month and it will only be 1 shot, which is nice. When we got home he had a huge nap. It was over 2 hours so I had to wake him up for feeding. I could see him sleeping much longer if I didn't wake him. I wanted to let him sleep or play or whatever he wanted to today since it was shot day. It's all part of the "babying him around shot day policy" I have in place.

At the doctor's we also found out that Tristan is now 14 pounds 7 ounces. Wow! For weight, he falls somewhere between the 50-75 percentile. That means he is feeding well so I'm happy :) I was a bit worried there because he spits up and vomits so much milk lately and I really didn't feel like I was producing much milk anymore.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Feels like a happy productive weekend

You know that feeling you get when things get done and you still have time to have fun? Well, that is how I feel about this past weekend. On Saturday, I put the finishing touches on our taxes and we went to Highgate Village to mail it. Phew! I have been working on those taxes for weeks on and off. At Save-Ons we purchased a few bargain items including 2 for 1 packs of croissant. I don't remember Save-On croissants being so good. Of course, they were just baked from the oven and we were super hungry when we got home. 12 croissants for $3.49 is so cheap! I always feel good about getting a great deal :)

We finally brought down the jumperoo for Tristan and am slowly increasing the amount of time he gets to spend in it. We took lots of pictures too of course! His exersaucer, once in the living room, is now in our office (Eeeks!). He enjoys that so much more than just being in his bouncy chair with toys. We're trying really hard not to spoil him so fast with these toys - else he will get bored really fast of everything!

Jean-Louis finished all his todos for our iPhone app Saturday so I know he had a productive time. Today, after I worked an hour for my work, I spent some time testing out the app and started compiling a new list of todos for him. Yeah, it seems like it never ends. Most of it was just about polishing it up though :)

Jean-Louis cleaned the house Saturday and I cooked for us. Today, the weather was beautiful so we decided to go out with the stroller with Tristan. It was a nice walk and I have to say I am totally out of shape. I'm starting to feel a big urge to run again. 15°C - I'm waiting for it to be 15°C first. As a treat for being so good and productive this weekend, we're about to watch Twilight. We just rented and downloaded it from the iTunes store.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A mommy's boy!

Man, I'm feeling like Tristan is becoming so attached to me. It's not enough that I'm present and he sees me. I actually have to hold him to please him. Arrggg! What the!!! All this clinginess will have to change or I'll go nuts. In fact, I'm holding him right now as I type - doh!

I was reading an article on CNN about wanting to get away from the kids. These days, I sure feel like I need a vacation away from Tristan. In this article, the father made a deal with his wife after the arrival of their first child. They split up night time duties and he chose the task of rocking the baby to sleep while his wife agreed to bathing. To his surprise, rocking the baby was the wrong choice and turned out not as pleasant as he imagined. His wife would finish her task in 10 minutes and he would spend 2 hours rocking the baby to sleep. While doing it, he would also "break every rule about putting babies to bed" - yeah, I laughed when I read that part :) It's so true though. Women, in general, are just so much better at care taking.

This article got me thinking, how come we don't do that? We should take turns or split the baby chores too, even if it's torturous for Jean-Louis. The father in this article wasn't let off so easily. Yes, we're going to try this!

A couple of days ago, Jean-Louis actually took over the task of bathing Tristan since he is not as fragile anymore. We decided long ago about the switch over once Tristan turns 4 months. I still help set things up for bath time. Putting the baby to sleep, however; is much harder so I have been the one doing it. Jean-Louis just can't do it - unless I allow Tristan to cry himself to sleep. This has been going on for as long as I remember. It usually doesn't take me long to put Tristan to sleep and he doesn't resist that much but when Jean-Louis tries, he freaks out. Some times, Jean-Louis is better off not even touching Tristan or he'll cry harder.

Bad, bad, bad. Just because I'm better at it, doesn't mean I should do it. In fact, I'm better at doing most things here but it's not fair that I do everything. When it comes to putting Tristan to sleep, he is associating me with that task so it just won't work with Jean-Louis. The more I do it, the worst it will get. He has to allow either of us to put him to sleep. Starting this weekend, Jean-Louis and I will take turns on alternating nights. We're definitely going to lose sleep over this but lately, we all haven't been sleeping very well at night. This week, Tristan decided to go on some weird sleeping cycle and wakes up almost every half hour to every hour after his mid- night feeding. We're going to need some good coffee this weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tristan fell off the stool and did a somersault

Tristan had his first accident today. In the office, we usually use the footstool for his morning tummy time exercise. Tristan was hanging forward so much that he tipped over and fell head first on the floor. I was looking at my email and starting up Skype when I heard a thump. I looked behind and saw him on the floor. I totally freaked out. He cried and I held him and I felt so guilty :( I fed him and then called Jean-Louis at work. Will a 4 month old be okay in a fall? He did land head first but we have carpet here. Jean-Louis did a bit of research and sent me the following links about babies who have fallen:
I still haven't gotten over the shock. I worried that there might be some neck injury or even worst, brain damage. It's a small fall but he is still small and fragile. With all the media attention these days on the "talk and die" syndrome since Natasha Richardson died from a head injury during skiing, I'm scared. I have done everything I could to keep Tristan healthy and safe. I can't believe this just happened.

Well, I've decided today not to do much and just baby Tristan around. I'm going to monitor him for unusual behavior. So far, nothing is out of the ordinary.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tristan is 4 months old

Another month has gone by and Tristan is doing great. He is a pleasure to be with these days since he smiles and laughs easily. He can grab and stuff toys in his mouth. And drool - lots of drool! He practically wears a bib all day because of it. If it's not drool, it's spitting up milk. I must be overfeeding him or something. Compared to other babies, he isn't that big so I figured I should try and feed him more but at times, he simply just doesn't want it. He's also not as focused on feeding as before, now that he is more interested in what is going on around him. For instance, he loves looking at my computer screen saver. It rotates through a series of nature pattern photos and he just loves to stare. When I try to turn and feed him, he has his head lifted forward trying to view the screen. If it's not my computer, it's our shelf of books. Well, what else is there interesting to look at in the office? I really should bring him outside more.

Tristan definitely knows me. I sense that he is becoming more and more attached to me as the days go by. One time, I was holding him by the computer surfing away and then I looked down at him and saw him staring intensely at me. It was like he was looking at my soul. I now catch him doing that quite a few times. He just likes to be with me and I know he feels safe. When he cries his eyes out (usually with Jean-Louis in the evening) and he is shaking and sobbing, I just hold him and he curls up and slowly calms down. It's nice to have that kind of power and affect on someone. It makes me feel special.

At 4 months, he is a bit in between clothing size. We're still dressing him in 3 month clothes that fit him and also 6 month clothes. Most of the 6 months stuff is swimming in him but oh well. You don't really find clothes that are 4 or 5 month in size. I guess because a baby's growth really slows down between 3 and 6 months. Gymboree has clothing size 3-6 months, which is nice. If you ask me though, it fits more like a 6 month.

Hair. His hair is growing but there still isn't a lot of it compared to other babies I know. It's this really soft fuss and at the front it's starting to spike a bit. It's cute though and you just can't help but want to stroke it. Little hair means less maintenance for us so that's great!

When I think about it, 4 months is actually quite a long time to be caring for a baby. Can you imagine babysitting for that long? We have all survived each other, which I think is amazing. I think we're doing pretty good caring for Tristan and he isn't that difficult of a baby. Jean-Louis would probably disagree if you asked him. I mean compared to many others, things could have been much worst for us. So far so good anyways. It's still one big learning adventure.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Multitasking, working with distractions and interruptions, and lots of planning

Oh boy! Today, I was on the phone with the guy I'm working for and Tristan cried in my arms. Yes, this is what I have to deal with these days. Luckily, the guy knows about Tristan and is very understanding. He was like "anytime you want to go, just say so." So it started out bad and I actually called him to postpone the phone call but then in the end we talked for nearly 2 hours. Tristan fussed, cried, then fell asleep in my arms. I had the phone against my chin, I had to open files on my computer, browse sites, check emails, and take notes. It went alright but it wasn't the greatest. My mind wasn't as clear and my responses could have been better.

If you want to work at home while taking care of a baby, you need to learn how to work with distractions, interruptions, and be able to multitask. A task that would normally take you 30 minutes may take you a couple of hours as a result. Like posting a blog entry for instance :)

Planning also helps to save you time and make you more efficient. However, that didn't really pay off for me much today though. I had scheduled a phone meeting between 2 and 4PM since that is typically when Tristan takes his long afternoon nap. Today, for the first time at home, he decides not to sleep then. When I called at 4:30PM to postpone my phone call, Tristan was already getting cranky because he needed to nap but hadn't yet. Go figure.

As frustrating and stressful as it may be, I think this is just the reality of it. As time passes, I think I can get better at working under this environment. Of course, it helps to work for people who knows you and truly understands your situation. The guy I work for is really nice and is awesome!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Phone in one hand and Tristan in the other

Today, I had to call the tax people. I waited until Tristan was asleep but when I was put on hold for too long and Tristan woke up, I had to go get him. Trying to jungle Tristan while on the phone sucks when he is fussing. With the phone right there too, the tax guy heard him loud and clear. I tried to hurry to get the information I needed. "So the amount in Box 38 gets added to the Adjusted cost base of column 3?" Frantically, I tried using the pacifier on Tristan to try and mute him. And of course it falls onto the ground - doh! I had to apologize to the tax guy - what else could I have done? It wasn't a client phone call but it felt a little embarrassing.

In the afternoon, I was on the phone with Jean-Louis, trying to discuss taxes with him and then later giving him the grocery list. Tonight, I was on the phone again but with SFU. Yeah, it was a big phone day! The alumni people were trying to ask for money and Jean-Louis just had to pick up the phone. Tristan was fussing again. I promised to take him tonight so that Jean-Louis could work more on our app. The guy on the phone heard Tristan and I was actually hoping he would excuse me for it but nope. We get a lot of calls from telemarketers and that sort of felt like one. I find them annoying.

Tristan doesn't exactly have a sleep schedule so it's a bit difficult to schedule calls. He typically naps for 30-45 minutes 2 hours after he gets up in the morning. His afternoon nap is longer and is usually between 1:30-3PM and lasts for around 2 hours. Then in the evening, he naps again for about 30 minutes. That equates to around 4 hours of napping a day and he sleeps around 9 hours in the night. For his age, that is normal according to the chart on babycenter.

How to have a productive weekend with a baby

Typically, we try to cram work in on the weekend while we both take care of Tristan. This usually results in us both working on and off for stretches of 10 minutes at a time, taking our time to get started, and killing time either by playing games or surfing tabloid news. When Tristan finally naps, we both catch up on house chores. Then before we know it, the weekend is gone and we really got nothing done.

In an attempt to get more work done, this past weekend we decided to try something new. It has been taking us forever to finish our iPhone app and I really wanted Jean-Louis to get moving on all the development to-dos I outlined for him weeks ago. For myself, I had to work on our taxes since I'm the family and business accountant and our website is still a long way from being done. Before the weekend started, I proposed that we take turns working while the other took care of Tristan. I wanted us both to have 4 hours of work each in the day. I was like "Let's try it out just for a day and see how it works!" It was Jean-Louis' idea to split it into 2 hour shifts, which made more sense since I had to breastfeed about every 3 hours. All our work time was logged and once the shift was over, we would notify the other person and switch. When it was our turn to take care of Tristan, we were also responsible for house chores such as laundry or cooking. After breakfast on Saturday, we wasted no time. Our plan worked like a charm! With 2 hours of uninterrupted time at each sitting, we both got lots done! It worked so well that we both ended the day having trouble sleeping since we were thinking so much about work. The next day on Sunday, we went back to our slacking (sort of). Oh well! We're allowed one day to slack and bum around. Anyways, this weekend was productive so we'll definitely give this a go again next weekend :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monkey outfit from Gymboree

It has been awhile since I have posted photos of Tristan. These were taken yesterday and today. Tristan is wearing a monkey outfit my friend bought for him from Gymboree, with matching socks. The monkey bib was a gift from another friend.

How do you feel about "cry it out" strategies?

Tristan has been very restless in his sleep lately. Some times he's dreaming and our ignoring him for a few minutes seems to work and he drifts back to sleep. Yes, he's still in his crib in our room so we can hear every whimper he makes. The same goes for him - he can hear every noise we make when we turn in bed or when Jean-Louis snores. We still haven't determined when to move him into his own room but it's not that simple. I think the layout of our house sucks for having a baby but all this is another blog post! So, back to restlessness...

It's not that hard to put Tristan to sleep, especially if we use the pacifier. Then, he would sleep 4-6 hours straight and I would feed him sometime between 3 and 5AM and he would sleep another good stretch for around 4 hours. This was the case a month and a half ago. Now, after his night feeding, he would wake up after about 2 hours and on and on it goes until I finally drag the both of us out of bed at around 7 or 8AM. The quickest way to put him back to sleep is to use the pacifier but then he would cry after 10 minutes because he has dropped it. Depending on how tired we are, some times we rock him and then put him back down so we don't have to use the pacifier. If we are lucky, he will sleep 1 hour straight after that. On very bad days, I put him in bed with me, on Jean-Louis' side, and I sleep on my side as far away as I can. Yeah, last night was a tiring one (yawn, yawn...). I feel like our day is totally messed up because of it.

Jean-Louis and I want to sleep through the night. I know that compared to other parents, we actually have it pretty easy. We both have a lot of things to do during the day on top of taking care of Tristan and we just can't afford to be tired all the time. Sleeping through the night will really help. We're thinking of slowly implementing the "no cry method" for sleep training that is described on babycenter. If that doesn't work in 2 months, we'll try the "cry it out" method. I hope it doesn't have to come to that. I have to say subjecting little Tristan to the cry it out method makes me feel unkind and guilty. Jean-Louis on the other hand, has little problem with it. He's a lot more harsh when it comes to discipline. I believe in discipline too but Tristan is only 3 months old. I think I whined about this in the last blog post.

We'll start sleep training on a Friday night (maybe in 2 weeks, when he is 4 months old) since we are bound to lose even more sleep from trying this. Maybe I'll have to start drinking coffee the following week. This weekend, I would like to try to cut down on his pacifier addiction.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Frustrated with work and baby

Watching Jean-Louis tonight trying to rock a crying Tristan to sleep, made me realize we are just not enjoying parenthood like we should be. As he rocks the baby and seeing the look on his face I can't help but think he must think rocking a baby is such a waste of time (more like a burden and he wished he could be doing something else). Not sure if he is really thinking this all the time but that is what comes to my mind watching him rock Tristan. I know there is so much work he wants to get done these days that caring for Tristan will need to take a backseat for a bit. But then, that seems to always be the case. If it's not the work, it's something else.

Jean-Louis should really be enjoying the moment and be with Tristan now while he is still a baby. That is what I keep reminding him. He's 3 months old - just a baby and he won't be for much longer! Yeah.... watching them tonight was a bit of a wake up call for me. Although I'm not as bad, I'm also trying to work lots more too and as result I do have to neglect Tristan more. I have become a work-alcoholic and I think it's largely because Jean-Louis is one. This of course didn't happen overnight. We've been together for over 10 years and it was a gradual process. If he is working so much, what am I suppose to do by myself? So I made myself work more and more and now there are times I just can't stop what I'm doing at all! It's sort of sad, I know. Poor Tristan. When he gets older he will be like us - glued to the computer and always wanting to work :(

This week was a tough one for me. Alone with the baby by myself again, after getting used to having Daddy around for a month. I only managed to get in 10 hours of logged work time, which was already a challenge. I feel guilty as a paid consultant and guilty as a mother. It is exactly this that I was scared of. Until I learn how to manage my time better, I will not accept any more work. For this reason, I have explained to my former boss who I'm currently contracting for that I just can't work right now and that he should go ahead and find a replacement for me. My decision to do that was because of the nature of my job as their Information Architect. There is a lot of client communication, which means meetings over the phone, time pressure on milestones, and they really do need someone close to full time. I can't even do half time (20 hours a week). It's not possible unless I set up daycare or a babysitter for Tristan. I'm still working as a consultant for another guy but that work is more flexible and I can really work at it on my own time. It's actually more enjoyable because it's more academic and there isn't really any time pressure. It's a bit of a relief to say "no" and take on less work but I do hope to be able to log more time. Sorry Tristan! The time I do spend with Tristan, I will try to enjoy it more.

This week I visited a daycare nearby. The Burnaby Children Centres Society is just a 10 minute walk away. It was the first time I left the house alone with Tristan. It was quite the chore to get there, with getting dressed and everything. Actually, it was the first time I left the house in 6 days. Yeah, I know - I'm terrible. Anyway, the daycare seems good. They are licensed to take 82 kids and there seems to be a lot of fun things for kids to do. If I was a little kid, I would love it there! Their little kids potty room is adorable :) They have music class once a week, French class, theme days etc. I'm hoping to get in for part time care starting this summer but I'm 100 something at the bottom of a wait list. I was basically told to get myself a backup plan. Oh boy! I'm not surprised though.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Interview with Daddy about his parental leave

Wow, it has been a month already since Jean-Louis has been home with Tristan and I. Where did all that time go! It certainly was useful having him around and I'm not looking forward to being alone again next week :( I know I won't be able to get as much work done anymore. Good thing we have a lot of leftover food.

Jean-Louis' parental leave now comes to a close and he will return to work on Monday. I thought I would take this chance to interview him about his experience at home with little Tristan. Below is the outcome of that interview :)

Susan: What made you decide to take a leave from work?

Jean-Louis: Well, you needed more time to work. At the same time I wanted to spend more time bonding with Tristan (and I wanted to work on my own projects).

Susan: What was your goal when you started?

Jean-Louis: There was no goal really. To submit our iPhone app :)

Susan: Describe your typical day with Tristan while you were on leave.

Jean-Louis: Early diaper duty, tummy time, more diaper duty, crying (for the baby, that is), nap time, play time, lots of carrying around, bath time assistance, more crying, and bed time.

Susan: How valuable was it to have me at home as well?

Jean-Louis: Since, you're breastfeeding, it's quite valuable. For guidance and for you to take him if I can't console him... it was quite valuable.

Susan: Could you have handled it all on your own from 9-5 Monday to Friday?

Jean-Louis: No. I would have gone crazy.

Susan: You took 1 month off for your parental leave. Was it enough?

Jean-Louis: Well, enough to bond with Tristan but not enough for the app (laugh, laugh...)

Susan: In that time, would you say that you have "bonded" with Tristan?

Jean-Louis: Yeah, I think so.

Susan: Was it what you expected?

Jean-Louis: It was better than what I expected in terms of dealing with the baby. I thought it would be more tiring and busier.

Susan: Are you glad you took parental leave? Would you do it again?

Jean-Louis: Yes. Definitely.

Susan: For all those expectant fathers out there, what advice could you offer them about taking a leave from work?

Jean-Louis: Make sure you don't start out by yourself the first few days. You need to slowly get used to caring for your baby. Make sure you keep a bit of time for yourself so that you don't get consumed by the baby.

Related Posts with Thumbnails