Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dad's birthday/retirement party

This past weekend, we went over to Victoria to celebrate my Dad's birthday and retirement. The weather was beautiful and we got a chance to video some of it on our HD camcorder. It's definitely much easier to travel with Tristan now. It was a bit stressful not having a travel bed for him though. It wasn't practical for him to sleep on the floor so we had to put him to sleep in the playpen. I know you aren't supposed to let babies sleep in the playpen but it was only for one night so we just did it. I was also worried that since we were traveling, Tristan's schedule would be totally wonky and that he would not be able to sleep on his own. He has been on sleep training for over 2 weeks now and we didn't want one night to ruin it. I don't think it would have ruined it anyway since a baby forgets in 3 days, isn't it? Luckily for us, he only cried about 25 minutes before passing out.

Tristan got to see more family members, which is always a good thing. We also saw my friend and her kids. All this socializing is great for him. He wasn't too scared and didn't fuss much when others held him. I'm glad!

Every time we are in Victoria, it is always so calm. The city and its people are so easy going and relaxed. I do miss it. It's hard to imagine how I could survive living in Vancouver since I spent most of my life in Victoria. Then again, Vancouver is quiet compared to Paris. Every time we are there, Jean-Louis always comments on how it would be nice to live there instead. The reality is, there just aren't that many jobs for us. But it would be nice.

On the Sunday, we celebrated my nephew's 2nd birthday. It's the terrible, terrible twos, if you ask me. My sister sure has her hands full. If the twos are like this, I sure don't look forward to it. Tristan is already driving me nuts! Yes, busy weekend and we're glad to be home, as usual. There is no place like home :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First Father's Day for Daddy

When asked, Daddy says he had an okay day. For me, it was like any other week day. We did have a nice breakfast though. Coffee, warm croissants with nutella spread, and a pineapple taro bun. After that we worked a bit. I also got to finish off a movie I started creating ages ago in iMovie so that was great. In the afternoon, Jean-Louis had to run an errand and he was gone for a few hours. In that time, Tristan had one of the biggest poops I have seen from him! Luckily, it didn't smell as horrible as it looked. It was a reusable diaper though so I had to rinse it in the toilet - gross! He evacuated so much that I think he is good for a few days now.

Daddy arrived home at dinner time and we had a small celebration, mostly with leftovers from yesterday's meal. After we fed ourselves and Tristan, I cut Jean-Louis' hair while Tristan sat in the exersaucer watching us. Yes, he cried but just a bit. It definitely wasn't as bad as all the previous times I cut hair. Tristan can play by himself a bit more now, plus he is starting to learn that we cannot hold him all the time.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tristan is 7 months old

There goes yet another month. Hooray Tristan for making it this far! Hooray Mommy and Daddy too!

Tomorrow we will be enjoying cake. We actually bought it today and decided to just have it tomorrow to celebrate both Tristan's 7th month and Daddy's first Father's Day. Felt a little silly getting 2 cakes so we didn't :)

What has happened in the past month? Well, our contraction tracker app got released, but I've already blogged plenty about that :) Tristan has been mostly good in the past month and is doing very well. He is practicing sitting and rolling a lot. He can't crawl yet but he looks close. He keeps sticking his butt in the air and he sort of wiggles his way on the floor so he's close! His arms are strong since he gives himself tummy time in his crib but he hasn't quite learned how to move on his knees yet. Lately, he has been very active too and he is quick! Maybe it's time to baby proof the house a bit more.

Tristan is eating more and more solid food. He's still a vegetarian at the moment. We're going to introduce meat into his diet this month. Right now, he is enjoying rice and oat cereal, vegetables, fruits, lentils, and tofu. He's still on breastmilk but I am only feeding him 3 times during the day. We also give him water from time to time in his sippy training bottle so that he can learn how to drink on his own.

We started sleep training Tristan last week and we are still recording data tonight. I will be blogging about this shortly to report on the progress. Sleep training has been a challenge for all of us.

Another big change I have noticed is that he cries a lot less with Jean-Louis now. In fact, if you ask Jean-Louis he will actually admit that he somewhat looks forward to coming home from work to see Tristan now. It takes Tristan a few seconds but his face lights up when Daddy greets him after he enters the house. It's lovely to see :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sample video using the Sony HDR-CX100 Handycam

Here is a comparison video of footage I took from our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 digital camera and our Sony HDR-CX100 camcorder. Just to be fair, the video I exported in quicktime is larger than the original resolution of video taken with the camera. Sorry, it had to be a link off the site. I initially tried a smaller version directly on this blog but blogger optimizes the video before posting it and as a result, you just can't see the difference much. Boo blogger! And no, I didn't want to make it public to all on youtube so no to youtube videos.

Check it out: video comparison featuring Tristan (of course)

I took screenshots of the 2 videos so you can see the resolution below.

If you had the patience to see the video, you would have to agree that the camcorder video is quite stunning in comparison. Needless to say, we are loving our new camcorder :) High definition videos rock! It's our first camcorder purchase and so far so good.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Still breastfeeding after almost 7 months

I'm so glad to have kept up my breastfeeding. After a difficult birth and postpartum, I was really tempted to give up breastfeeding early. I hung in there, even after 3 breast infections, and am so glad I have made it to this mark. It's so much easier now. I went from feeding 12 times a day when Tristan was born to just 3 times a day now. No sweat!

There are so many benefits to breastfeeding for the baby and also for the mother. As more and more studies are done, we seem to learn even more benefits. Add leaner body mass for a child as they grow older as another benefit of breastfeeding. Something else I learned recently was that you don't have to give birth to breastfeed. I sort of assumed you could when I read about re-lactating. If you have developed breasts, you can be milked, I guess.

Tristan is so much bigger now. I almost don't view him as a baby anymore. He has grown into this little human. I used to think it would be weird to breastfeed a small child but I can now understand why some people do it. You get used to it and it's just not weird to you after awhile. There's also the attachment and I would feel bad weaning him off of the breastmilk if he still wanted it. My goal at the very start was to make it to at least 6 months since that was the recommended age. I made it and since it's so much easier now, I don't mind going longer. My current goal now is 1 year or when Tristan no longer wants it, whichever is earlier.

For all those mothers who are just starting out. Yes, it is so very hard but as time goes by, it gets so much easier. Don't quit. It's amazing when I think about it. So proud of myself :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Baby sleep training underway

No more procrastinating - we finally started sleep training Tristan this past weekend. I have to say, it is a lot harder to handle than I thought. I was okay the first 1 or 2 times he cried it out but after that I just felt horrible. I'm just looking at him right now in the exersaucer and his eyes are puffy.

For the sleep training, we are implementing a modified version of the Ferber (or cry it out) method. On Friday night, Daddy placed him down when he was tired and left the room. When he cried for 2 minutes, Daddy went in, picked him up until he was calm again, and then put him back down for 3 minutes. We basically repeated this according to the times we agreed on, which were 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 12, 12..... until he passed out. When it was nap time, I would take over since I'm the one responsible for most naps. Gradually, we removed the picking up and putting down and only went in the room to pat and kiss him. We would do this every time he woke up or when he would sleep or nap. Let's just say over the course of the weekend, he cried a lot. Once this is over, I'll post the outcome of the sleep training.

If I tell you that prior to sleep training, Tristan was already sleeping through the night and naps 1-2 hours straight twice a day, you may wonder why we even need sleep training for him. There are days where he doesn't sleep well or cat naps during the day. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. The real problem is that he still depends on us to fall asleep or fall back asleep. That's our fault since we wanted our sleep badly and got in the habit of helping him to sleep since he was born. In order to remove his dependency on us rocking him, sucking on his pacifier (that is a big one!), or us nursing him, we need to train him to sleep on his own.

I'm actually having trouble sleeping these days. Too many things to think about and now with the sleep training stress, I am having trouble going back to sleep after getting up to pee at night. Maybe after we are done training Tristan, I should work on sleep training myself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Contraction Tracker app for your labor contractions

When I was near the end of my pregnancy with Tristan, I had the idea of creating an app for us to use to time and record my contractions for when labor strikes. Jean-Louis wanted to get into the iPhone development business so I suggested that we make something we could use right away. Timing contractions is fairly simple and it was the perfect entry app for us. It actually turned out to be not that simple. After a lot of brainstorming, research, UI design, development, and testing, our Contraction Tracker app is finally in the iTunes app store.

What does it do? Well, it is more than just a contraction timer. It times, records, and plots your labor contractions. It also tells you whether you are in pre-labor, early, active, or transition labor and it alerts you at the recommended time you are supposed to head to the hospital. There are other small features too and you can change your settings at any time.

So far, we are pleased with how it is doing in the app store. We have been selling several apps every day. This is such a niche market so it's great.

For more details, check out the Contraction Tracker on our website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

1st iPhone app party

It was not the best weekend to host the party since most of our friends could not make it but we still had a blast. We had our first BBQ of the summer in our newly cleaned patio. The patio could still be cleaner but at least we can see the dirt now :) For the barbecue, we made hamburgers, based off a meatball recipe from our Greek cookbook. We also had hot dogs, beef and lamb skewers, and smoked zucchini and bacon. That was all we had on the grill - honest! On top of that we had nachos with cheese dip, potato chips, vegetable pasta salad, and cake. We had a herb salad too but I forgot to prep it. Anyway, with such few guests, we now have food for the week. That's great for us!

It didn't rain and it turned out to be a beautiful day. Jean-Louis started out cooking but then the hamburgers started to fall apart since he was pressing on them too much. After that, I had to take over. Unfortunately, all the hamburger pieces at the bottom of the grill created a lot of smoke and then came the fire. It was hard to control. It was definitely a good thing I took over! Barbecuing is just not Jean-Louis' thing. Actually, cooking is just not Jean-Louis' thing :)

For Tristan, he got to smell the great BBQ food and he got to socialize. We fed him milk and mashed pears. One day, he will get to enjoy all of the great BBQs I will make for us. Until then, he'll have to eat all the boring baby food I make.

Friday, June 5, 2009

We're in! Our 1st iPhone app is now available

The iPhone app we started to build back in October (?) has finally been released in the iTunes Store. With the arrival of Tristan, we thought we would never finish the thing but we did it! Check out the Contraction Tracker in the iTunes Store near you :)

I will have to blog more about it later. We found out about its release early in the week and have been scrambling to update the website and fix things online. I'm still having problems switching servers with our hosting company. We're slowly working on promoting the app as well since this is really our window of opportunity. We've already buzzed about it on Twitter and now it's my turn to blog a bit about it :) Without much promotion, we have already sold quite a few units. We are surprised but maybe it's not too surprising since it's considered high season right now for having babies, no? I'm so glad to see that so many people have chosen our app over the 10 or so others that do a similar thing in the app store. I'm really looking forward to reading some reviews.

I'm also planning a celebration party for our 1st app. It's taking place tomorrow. The cake was ordered early in the week and we're likely going to have a barbecue. I have to finalize the menu today and then grocery shop this evening. So much to do today but it's okay because for the first time in days, we actually had a good night sleep. So glad the heat wave is gone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Parent & Infant Group at Bonsor Recreation Center

Today, I got Jean-Louis to take a vacation day from work so that he could bring us to the nutrition class at the Bonsor Recreation Center. It's part of the Parent and Infant Group gathering they have every Monday 10:30-12:00. If there was one class I was going to go to, it would be this one. Our visiting nurse told us we should go to this one and I have a lot to learn in this area. To our surprise however, the nutrition class was swapped for the class on "sleep." I got Jean-Louis to call before we left to make sure it was still on but they must not have understood him. Anyway, I guess I will trot myself and Tristan over there next Monday to attend the nutrition class.

It was our first experience at a parent group get together. It's pretty much like what I had imagined; moms and their babies, strollers and toys everywhere, fussy babies etc. These groups can't last very long because after about 30 minutes, babies start to get cranky all over. Tristan was no different. It was around his nap time though.

Jean-Louis was actually not the only father there. There was one other guy and he had a fussy baby! It was interesting to see babies all around Tristan's age, what they were wearing and all the baby products. I saw a Stokke stroller, other Bugaboo strollers, and we had the same toy as at least 2 other moms nearby. There was a mom right in front of us breastfeeding - I'm sure Jean-Louis liked that (not!). Although I think she was using her breasts as a soother for her baby. She had really tiny breasts too for someone lactating. As anti-social as we were, we left after the session without having talked to anyone. Tristan was also asleep and we wanted to leave without waking him.

The experience was nice. The talk was okay. We already knew most of the stuff being presented. There were a few good points we took away from it. Sleep issues are personal and if you don't have a problem with your baby's current sleep, then it's okay to continue doing what you are doing. Don't feel like you have to change things because your mother-in-law doesn't approve or your neighbor doesn't approve. I thought that was a good point.
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