Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spit up nothing compared to baby vomiting

Today, Tristan vomited for the first time. I used to question whether he was throwing up or spitting up milk before since he did it a lot and it was very messy but after what I saw today, I would have to say that up until now he was just spitting up milk.

We were at my sister's place in Maple Ridge sitting on the couch when I heard a small strange sound from Tristan. I thought hey, a new sound! Then soon after that a fountain of vomit came out and spewed right onto us both, onto the couch and then on the carpet. M'aidez! Tristan's face was all red when it happened. Seconds after, he did it again! I now know what projectile vomit is like for a baby. Luckily, Jean-Louis and my sister were in the room and responded to the cry for help right away.

I was shocked. How did such a small body vomit so much fluid? Milk, cereal, peas mixed in with stomach acid. Okay, that was too much detail. Poor Tristan. The weird thing was that I totally didn't see it coming. He didn't act like he was not feeling well and he was rather mellow and we didn't move him much after I fed him.

We introduced a new food to him that morning. Mashed green peas. I fed that to him and then rice cereal. Maybe I fed it to him too fast and then we went driving for about an hour. Then I fed him breastmilk and it was quite hot. I mostly blame the hot weather for this. He was overdressed even though he was just in shorts and a t-shirt. That was actually the first time he did not wear a long sleeve and pants outside of the house. It turned out he still wore too much.

After losing that much liquid from his body, I knew he was dehydrated so we gave him water, just a bit at first. He mostly drank water and breastmilk after that. We decided to forget about the peas during dinner and only give him oatmeal cereal after his milk feeding. Hopefully, that was the end of it. We'll have to add that to the list of questions we have for our doctor tomorrow when we go for his shot appointment.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's after cereal? Broccoli!

That's right. Broccoli. We chose broccoli as the first food for Tristan after cereal. I wanted a green vegetable that wasn't too sweet and organic broccoli was on special at Save-Ons so voila! Tristan is constipated too so I thought introducing a vegetable soon would help him. It's been 2 days now since his last poop. I realized today too that we were overfeeding him cereal. We were probably giving him 2 or 3 times the required amount - oops. As a result, I increased his milk feeding for breakfast, decreased his cereal feedings, which included eliminating an entire feeding in the afternoon.

Now broccoli was interesting. I boiled cooked it and then it was pureed with the machine. When we fed it to him, he had this strange look on his face. That was the face I was expecting when we first fed him rice cereal! He was reacting to the texture of it, not the taste. He did eat all the broccoli we fed him. It was pebbly and too dry though. He made many faces and even coughed here and there. Yes, too dry. It was as though we were feeding him dry breadcrumbs or toast. We added some water to it and that made it easier to swallow. Broccoli was messy too and it stuck all over his face since he had sunscreen on. Definitely interesting. Well, a few more days of this and we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Being a stay at home mom is hard enough

I guess I really had to learn it the hard way by trying to be a full time mom and work part time from home. Lately, I just haven't been able to get much billable work done. I probably log something like 30 minutes every day and that's mainly to handle email and do a bit of research.

As a stay at home mom, I have to do all the baby stuff with Tristan as well as all the wife stuff like laundry, cook, ensure we have supplies and make sure the house is in order. Think of it as house management or project management for the house, if you are a geek. I also look after all the finances and take care of things for our side business. For instance, I had to make 2 phone calls today regarding our mortgage renewal and Jean-Louis' income tax assessment. Sorting those things out have been an ongoing task for a few days and the phone call basically consumed all of Tristan's nap time. Well, at least it is taken care of now!

When it comes to the baby stuff, I could make my life easier by not pumping breastmilk daily for cereal feedings and just use water. I could also simplify things by not using reusable diapers as much since they involve more time to maintain. I could leave Tristan in his sleeper all day too since we don't go out anyway. But I would feel like I was slacking if I did those things. There are already quite a few things that I don't do, which I probably should be doing. For instance, cleaning the house more often and properly cleaning his toys and feeding utensils. Going out more often too for fresh air, socializing, and a change in scenery. Ok, so it appears I could still be doing a lot more!

When one thing gets easier, something else gets harder. Moms all know this too well. Feeding Tristan is more work now that he is on solids. I have eliminated his breastmilk feeding in the middle of the night and that's going pretty well. Because he is not interrupted, he sleeps better through the night. However, wake up time is still around 6 or 6:30AM....zzzz. No, we haven't started sleep training yet :) Now, we're agreeing to start after his 6 month shot next week. So we say.

Tristan is just on cereal right now but I will be introducing veggies or beans soon. I find that he is constipated so I can no longer predict when he is going to have a poop. So much for potty training for number 2. His diet is about to change quite a bit so it will be even harder to guess. I don't know much about what and when to feed him so I'm going to a nutrition class next week to learn about it. Yes, one more new thing to add to my long todo list. C'est la vie!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Afraid of spoiling the baby

I just let Tristan cry in the exersaucer for 8 minutes and I videotaped a part of it so that he could see himself having a cow one day. I did it because I thought he was crying for attention. He didn't seem tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. I tried many times to place him on the floor so he could play with his toys but he protested. Usually when he is fussy, I would start to play with him first and then leave him but it didn't work this time. I finally carried him to calm him down and then I started it again. I put him down to play but he wouldn't. Fine. It was about time to feed him so I nursed him and after just one side, he passed out. Now, he is in his crib napping. So far so good. I was wrong. He was still tired. He usually naps 1-2 hrs straight but it wasn't the case this weekend and I thought maybe he was on a different schedule now.

I don't want Tristan to rely on me holding him or playing with him too much. I sometimes leave him to cry until it becomes a screaming cry and then I take him. I read that is bad since babies will learn that screaming works. Allowing them to cry a little bit longer each time is what you are supposed to do. It's hard for me, as his mother, to tolerate him crying so much with a wet face and choking on his salvia between each scream. I'm trying my best to be cool with it but babies can sense your emotions and know that you are really not ok. It's so hard to be a good mother when every thing you do or don't do gets criticized by someone. Jean-Louis thinks I give Tristan too much attention. But then again, if it were up to him, he would have had Tristan cry it out at his first month. We talked this weekend about this because I wanted him to see where I was coming from and understand why it was so hard for me. It may have helped just a bit but I'm not sure.

There will definitely be changes and Tristan will be allowed to cry more but at the level I'm comfortable with. I don't want to spoil him and I know I need to act fast or it will get much harder. As I see it, the window of opportunity is here since he is just 6 months old and it's not too late yet.

Yes, no more noise coming from the baby monitor! Looks like Tristan is still enjoying his nap :) Phew.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tristan is 6 months old

It's Tristan's half birthday today. Can't celebrate today though since Daddy won't be here tonight. He's off to a iPhone meetup downtown. These meetups take place once a month so he got the okay from us to attend. Instead, we will celebrate tomorrow night.

Tristan, Tristan, Tristan. He has become quite the handful. Today, he's a big crank. Other days, he is very good and plays happily by himself. Guess, it's a good thing we are not celebrating today.

Solid food has made Tristan's poops more solid. In its current state, I kind of like it. It's easier to clean and it doesn't leak much and stain his clothes. But he isn't even eating much rice cereal yet. The rice cereal has eliminated one of his poops so now he only goes twice a day. That's better also. The introduction to solids is the biggest change for him right now.

Tristan has outgrown more of his clothes. Some of the clothes from 3-6 months no longer fit him so I have put them away. He is not big enough for the 6-12 month clothes yet though.

Tristan sits very well now. He barely tips over now. We leave him on the floor and check on him every minute. He doesn't hurt himself when he falls but he does scare himself and then he cries.

His cries are starting to sound more like whines to me, which is totally annoying. I leave him and watch him sometimes just to see what he does. He seems to have a lot of perseverance. I can see him crying non-stop for a long time. Sleep training is going to suck - big time! The plan is to start a no-crying method this weekend, unless something else comes up.

We now have 6 months of experience taking care of a new baby. Here is to surviving this long! Woohoo! Tristan can definitely interact with us more and we love making him laugh. I think the laughter of a baby is one of the best sounds you will ever hear :-)

Perhaps the worst is behind us now but we still have a long way to go. We're not at the place where we can honestly say that we love to spend every minute with him. In fact, both Mommy and Daddy wish to have a break from the baby. I have been itching to travel somewhere. Sadly, this may end up being the first year we don't go anywhere :( Oh well.... I'll make sure we have a great summer anyway in Vancouver.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tristan's first taste of solid food

Yesterday, we fed Tristan rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. Woohoo! He seemed to have liked it. We gave him 2 tsp in the morning and then again in the evening. It got a bit messy since he wants to get his hands in there all the time. Now, I have a wet wash cloth nearby at all times. I was expecting a strange look from him but there was no expression. He ate it as though he had already been on it. It was a big moment so we took pictures and we filmed the feeding. Yeah, yeah... new parents here.

This morning, I pumped a bit too much milk so the cereal was extremely watery. That made it even messier since it would drip everywhere. I read somewhere that I should feed breastmilk first and then solids but since I had to pump and wasn't sure how much I could pump afterwards, I decided to do the reverse. The milk has to be lukewarm so I fed him the cereal right away. The potential problem with this is that he may get full on the cereal and not want much milk. Breastmilk is still the most important food for him right now.

Even after the messed up weekend, Tristan seems to be back to his routine (so far). He had a poop this morning at 7AM and then again after his breakfast. I can already see a change. His poop is a bit darker, firmer, and has a stronger odor than before. It's not horrible yet since this is just the beginning. The good news is that since it is firmer and more solid, it sticks better and there are fewer accidents on his clothes. Good thing too because we are getting low on our OxiClean Baby spray :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

6 months is a big transition

This Wednesday, Tristan will turn 6 months old. A lot of things happen at 6 months. We finally turned Tristan's cradle into a crib. The new bed sheets and mattress protective cover are on it and it looks great! The cradle is only good for the first 6 months and he is moving so much now - it was like he was sleeping in a box. I love the bedding we got from Dwell. It's pricey but it's super nice. Now, Tristan looks like a tiny baby again in the big crib. He's so adorable:)

The biggest change for Tristan, however; will be food! At 6 months, we have to start Tristan on solid foods, starting with rice cereal. We're actually going to start a couple of days earlier since Jean-Louis will be home and I want the big occasion to be captured on video. We just bought a few boxes of rice, oat, and wheat cereal. I also plan to get some dry lentils, beans, and chick peas. Tomorrow is the big day for Tristan!

Now that the weather is good, we will be going outside more often and that means Tristan has to be protected. I bought some sunblock for him and at 6 months, he can start to wear that on his body. I will be careful not to have him in the sun too long though. Don't want him to suffer from sunstroke or anything like that. We don't have to give him another reason to cry.

At 6 months, we are also going to start sleep training and that may lead us to the cry it out method - I'm not sure yet. Jean-Louis and I have to sit down and draft a contract we can both agree to. Potty training for number 2 might start soon too. One of my friends started her child at 5 months and it worked well for her. It might not be so bad since I can sort of predict when he is about to do it. He normally has 3 poops a day. Maybe that will change with the solid food introduction though.

What else? Well, they say you can't spoil a baby under 6 months so I guess it's time for us to be a bit more cautious and not give him too much attention. We are already carrying him less but that's partly because he's getting heavy. It helps that he can play by himself now too.

Technically, I could stop breastfeeding now. It's recommended that mothers breastfeed for at least the first 6 months. As long as I'm still home and working from home, it's pretty easy for me to do it so I think I will continue as long as I can and as long as Tristan still wants it. Besides, I'm only feeding like 5 times a day so it's not demanding at all. I am going to eliminate the one night feeding some time this week though since we want Tristan to sleep through the night. I think it won't be so hard since Tristan will be on solids and he will feel full longer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day is to blame for doing too much this weekend

Today is chore and recovery day. Both Tristan and I got off our routine this weekend and we need to get back on. This weekend was the first time we went out for like 5 days. Instead of taking it easy with just one outing and some small activities, we went out a lot and we're pooped.

On Saturday, we went walking for like 3 hours and we were sweating bullets since we overdressed. Then, I spent too much time cooking so we could have a nice meal. Tristan is not used to being at places that are too noisy or that have too many people. He doesn't know where to look and is easily over stimulated. He fussed so much we had to use the pacifier many times! When we go outside of the mall, he calms down but when he fusses again, it's because he's tired. He didn't nap much this weekend at all and didn't sleep much at night so he's been rather cranky. In fact, he's having a hard time napping right now. Again, too much going on and he's not used to it. Neither am I. I'm so glad to be staying home today.

We did have a nice meal on the weekend. We had lots of junk food and sweets but I also made us some fresh food. I made spanakopita for appetizers and mushroom and white truffle fettucine. It was a vegetarian weekend. So vegetarian that I had to sneak in a few breaded chicken strips just to have a bit of meat. I grew up eating lots and lots of meat, what can I say?

On Sunday, I got to sleep in - that's a good enough Mother's Day gift for me! However, I woke up to Tristan crying in his crib and Daddy telling me that our iPhone app got rejected. Great. It turned out there was a minor issue and we fixed it right away and resubmitted it. Unfortunately, we will probably have to wait another week before we hear back. That's how it goes apparently. Not a big deal for us since our contract is still in review. The app could be approved and ready for sale but it won't be in the store since our contract is not in effect yet. We should have started this long ago, I know. I will need to blog about that later so that others don't do the same.

We took lots of pictures this weekend. I wanted to dress Tristan up before he grows out of his nice French clothes. We also needed more pictures outside of the house, for a change of scenery. We got some great shots for our May gallery. You would think that since Tristan is almost 6 months old now, we ought to be taking fewer pictures but we haven't slowed down one bit. I think he's cuter now than when he first arrived. He won't look like this again. It's fun. I love taking pictures. Organizing and playing with the pictures isn't top priority right now though.

Hope you all had a nice Mother's Day. Mine was hectic but good. It was my first Mother's Day and I initially wanted a party but then, that would have just made it more hectic :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Babies that learn baby sign are smarter

We heard that you can teach babies sign language at 6 months of age. It appears that you can start even earlier. We want to communicate with Tristan better so here we go. He loves it when we move and use body language so this should be fun for him. Since we started, he seems very interested when we sign to him. This is work and learning on our part but we hope that it will pay off and we will be able to understand each other better.

This is now day two of using sign language to Tristan. We bought the baby sign book at Babies R Us but it's also available at Amazon for a better price! It's very easy to use and it's more than enough to keep you learning and teaching for awhile. We are starting with about 10 words which we are constantly using with him. These signs include Mommy, Daddy, milk, eat, toy, sleep, look, boy, red etc. We don't want to teach too much at a time. He has to get used to just a few first. The idea is to sign as often as possible. It feels a bit awkward at first and it certainly takes getting used to. It's a bit challenging too because you need your arms and hands to do it and we are always waiting for him to look at us first.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another productive weekend - can this keep up?

Tristan did not sleep well last night. His ability to sleep better at night is deteriorating or something. When he first goes down to sleep, he usually sleeps around 3-4 hours straight before waking up. Then he'll sleep maybe another hour and then we have to rock him or give him the pacifier. This repeats another 4-5 times before we actually get up. It seems to be his typical routine now but I'm not used to it. I wake up every morning feeling super sleepy and kind of jet lagged. Last night he woke up so frequently, we were both basically up since 4 AM. I think I may have had a 20 minute snooze somewhere in there. The entire time, I was trying to rock and hold him. Bringing him to bed with me did not work this time. I'm wondering when most babies start to sleep well at night? At this point, I'm starting to consider the crying it out method, at least some version of it. He'll be 6 months old later this month so he'll be more ready for it.

This past weekend was one of the most productive ones I've had. Saturday, I had a research meeting, then we submitted our iPhone app and then that night I got enough of our website done to make it live. On Sunday, I finished another page of the website, then we went shopping in Coquitlam. We finally bought our high chair for Tristan and some feeding tools. Every time we go to Baby's World, we always spend a ton of money. We also shopped at Babys R Us and Ikea. iKea just ended up being a food stop since the line up was too long. We didn't go grocery shopping really this weekend so we stopped by the Langley Farm Market on the way back and quickly grabbed a few fruits and vegetables (and a mango crumble pie!). When we are so busy, we don't eat well. We've been dining on frozen food and can food the past 3 days. On top of that, we have been snacking on junk food and sweets. I know it's terrible. I will make sure I cook something today.

Tristan sat in the high chair last night with us when we had dinner. The chair can do many things, which I like, but it's quite bulky too. Most of them are I suppose. We just have space issues at our place and there seems to be more baby things in the living room now than furniture for us. I will write a review for the high chair once we use it a bit more. Tristan is just sitting in it and playing for now. We're starting him on solid food in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

First iPhone app just got submitted to Apple

Woohoo! We finally did it. The day has come. The iPhone app we started back in October has now been released and we are just waiting for its approval to the App Store. We're very excited!

Today, has been a crazy day. I had a research meeting this morning for almost 3 hours and then we did our submission online and then I worked quickly on our website to make it live as soon as possible. Still got one more major page to complete but it's basically ready. Phew! What a journey this has been. Will talk about it more soon since Tristan is starting to fuss in between my arms here. To be continued...
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