Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas: Just the 3 of us

This year it was just the three of us again for Christmas. We were all sick and Tristan was quite contagious. To mark the occasion, we made our traditional Christmas meal. I like turkey but Jean-Louis doesn't so we had both a small turkey and small ham. The problem was we couldn't cook them together since our roasters were too large to fit in the oven. Because of this, it took about 3 hours longer to prepare the meal. We also had stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean salad, and apple-cranberry streudel. Everything was homemade this time :) Well, we bought our pumpkin pie but we actually ate that for breakfast. It has been four days since Christmas and we are still eating leftovers!

We dressed up a little more than usual so that we could take some nice pictures. Tristan looked all festive! It's too bad he was feeling rotten. We were lucky enough to capture some decent shots so I'm happy :)

There were no decorations this year. Again :( Next year we promise to decorate since Tristan will be 2 and may actually enjoy them. I already bought some decorations from the recent Boxing Day sale so we'll definitely have no excuse now! Celebrating Christmas will really be for him and I hope to make it special next year. I think it's important to create a magical experience for kids during the holidays. Those will be the fond memories they carry with them throughout life. I really think so. Let's cross our fingers we don't get sick next Christmas.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rash from the common cold virus

Tristan developed a rash all over his body a few days ago. It scared us that morning when we found his entire back, forehead, and neck was covered in red patches. His body was covered too but it wasn't as dense. Jean-Louis thought it was the chicken pox. In fact, he woke me up that morning saying that Tristan had chicken pox. I thought it might have been a heat rash. Others thought it was a heat rash too when I described it.

We went to a nearby walk-in clinic that day on Saturday and the doctor diagnosed it as a common cold rash. He said it must have started on Thursday since I noticed a bit of it on Friday. The doctor says that if you get it, you only get it once in your lifetime. As adults, most of us have already gotten it. It is contagious and can spread easily among young children. Once the rash goes away, Tristan will have antibodies for them. It's so strange I didn't know about this before. Maybe we all had this as babies when we got sick and don't remember any of it? Normally, the rash lasts maybe 5 days. We were told to treat Tristan with a bath using Aveeno soothing baby bath treatment. It is also important for him not to get too hot since that makes the rash worst and to keep him hydrated. We followed all the recommendations and we're pleased to say that the doctor was right :) Tristan's rash is pretty much all gone now! Now all we have to get rid off is his nasty cough and runny nose.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby has a fever and is not himself today

Today is definitely an off day for the baby. Even when he experienced his first cold, he was still playing and getting himself into trouble. He woke up with a fever this morning and went to bed tonight with a fever as well. I started to give him Tylenol in the late morning. For most of the day, he has been very mellow and sleepy. He barely ate anything for lunch but lucky he did eat at dinner.

He normally cat naps twice a day for about 15-20 minutes each time but today, he slept on and off starting from 1PM. He slept for maybe 30 minutes and then I tried to give him a snack. When he refused, I just let him play in his highchair but to my surprise, he was falling asleep! I didn't keep track but he must have slept at least 30 minutes in the highchair. After that, I let him out to play but he would touch a few things and then just lay on the ground. He didn't sleep at first but then he dozed off again! I would have thought he would be even more cranky and fussy if he didn't feel well. Seeing him all mellow and not wanting to do anything worries me even more. Throughout the day, he had a temperature of around 38.5 C. I took his temperature under his armpit. It's definitely a fever so if this continues for more than 48 hours, I'll go to the walk-in clinic.

Whenever the baby is not well, I always try to figure out what happened. Jean-Louis and I have recently acquired itchy throats and are coughing so it could be us. Actually, Jean-Louis has been sort of coughing for about a week now. When we went to daycare last Friday, I noticed one of the staff members were sick and a couple of kids were coughing. We were not in a lot of contact with any of them but it's possible we caught something just being in the room. My nephew was coughing a lot and we had dinner with him and his family on Sunday. Or maybe I under dressed the baby at home? He was fine yesterday and we have been in the house for 48 hours. I find it peculiar that we are all feeling a bit sick because we all had our flu shots. Tristan had his shots about two weeks ago. None of what we have or what he has should be the common cold. Of course, there are still risks of getting sick even with the seasonal flu shot. Maybe we would all be a lot worst if we didn't get vaccinations.

Could it be teething? No, it can't be. He is teething but he was fine all the past times and we didn't even give him Tylenol at all. Ok, I'm going to stop guessing. Hopefully, things will be more or less back to normal tomorrow. Too bad I'm not breastfeeding anymore. He certainly could use my antibodies now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Daycare preview week

Gradual entry week is now over. On our next visit, Tristan will actually be attending daycare.

The week went well. It was definitely a nice change of scenery for him. He was touching, exploring, and interacting with everything and everyone in sight. The biggest difference was that I was able to actually sit down and watch. No yelling necessary and no chasing after him so it was a bit of a vacation for me :) Even though it was a bit of a hassle to get dressed and pack him lunch, it was worth the trip.

It may seem like the same old thing every day but there are always stories to tell. Today, one of the babies got sent home for having a fever and not eating anything. Her mom came in to pick her up while one of the staff went through the sick form and procedure with her. More Christmas gifts arrived for the staff members from another baby's parent. It seems like all the parents are giving gifts to the caregivers. That makes sense. It got me thinking about how we could show our appreciation for taking care of Tristan down the road. While I am home, I can definitely bring in homebaked goods. Would that be sucking up? I wonder if the staff favors children whose parents are very nice to them.

All the staff members are telling me that Tristan seems like he will fit in easily. Today, they were impressed with how much he ate by himself. I have to admit, I made it fairly easy by packing him easy foods I knew he would eat. His lunch included leftover beef stew mush with cheese wrapped in a tortilla and then pinched into finger size pieces, chunks of yam, and peas. This was followed by cubed cheese and a mix of fruit.

The staff was also impressed that Tristan didn't cry at all when they changed him. I didn't even think about it but I guess they have seen enough kids to tell that Tristan will be fairly easy compared to other babies. I am very relieved to hear it :) I want this to be as easy a transition for him as possible. Since I have no immediate plans to go back to work, I will only leave him there part time even though we are paying for a full time spot. I will stay with him for a hour or so the first day as well. After that, we will just see how it goes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gradual entry into day care

This week we are introducing Tristan to day care a few hours each day. We started going yesterday and so far, there doesn't seem to be any problems. Yes, I am there with him so he doesn't flip out but I try to wander around and I let him do the same. He only clung onto me a few times but it was around the time of his nap and he hasn't been sleeping too well lately. We can clearly see two more teeth coming out so that may have something to do with it too. Some of the day care workers mentioned that they think he will be okay when I leave him at day care. I sure hope so.

The day care is pretty laid back. It's too cold right now and since a lot of the kids don't walk very well, none of them will go outside. They basically just roam around the room and play with various toys and interact with the staff members. There are 8 infants in the group and at least 2 staff members there at all times. They have to maintain the 4 to 1 ratio. From what I can observe, there are usually more on the floor, some times even 5 people since some of the staff from the other group come by to sit around too. Currently, there is a girl that is being trained there as well so there will always be 3 staff.

In a way, it is so strange being there. It's a bit boring because all you do is sit around all day, unless there is something to do like feeding or changing diapers. I think what it is is that the place is baby proof so you don't ever have to get up to chase babies away from things that could be dangerous. That is sort of what makes my life harder being at home alone. The staff interacts with the kids by reading to them, cuddling with them, singing, or whatever and some times they even just socialize with other staff members. Things are under control and the pace is rather slow. Pretty much everything we stay-at-home moms do, they do. Because of the nap schedule, it's rare that all 8 infants are up at the same time. During the lunch period, they are all expected to be up and eating together and that is the most hectic time of the day. I never really thought about what a day would be like at day care so I didn't know what to expect.

I'm running out of questions to ask so I'm not sure what to do with myself for the rest of the week. I think I will just try to encourage Tristan to play more with the others. I know he can play well independently but I want him to learn how to share and play with others. I could try to interact with the other kids more too but then I would just feel like one of the staff members. Some times, I feel like maybe I should ask if they need help with anything but I don't think that should be my role. I should probably just stay out of it and be more of an observer. Man, If I feel like this, I can't imagine Jean-Louis doing this with Tristan :) He would feel totally uncomfortable and totally out of place and want to end gradual entry after a day!

Here is a summary of what I have observed so far:

  1. Friendly staff
  2. Staff doesn't lose their cool (ever!)
  3. Babies get to do crafts
  4. Staff uses baby sign
  5. Lots of small toys and books
  6. Don't see anyone using their cell phones or tech gadgets
  7. Baby kisses are given on their neck or heads
  8. Highchairs are spray cleaned and disinfected after each child

  1. No one takes off their shoes in the room and a lot of babies are crawling
  2. Only 4 highchairs in the room
  3. The room is pretty small and they stay in it all day
  4. Strollers need to be parked outside the building (due to fire hazard)
  5. Don't see water being offered to children regularly

I'll report some more by the end of the week. I kind of feel like a spy. I have never done this before so it's a learning experience for me too. I hope Tristan will interact with everyone and become more comfortable with all the staff members by the end of the week. It's a nice change for him this week to be out and playing with others. If anything, I hope he has a good time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby can't talk but he can sign some

We are still waiting for Tristan's first true word. He babbles right now and noises such as mama, dada, and a bunch of others come out but he doesn't know what any of them mean. Apparently, Jean-Louis was a late talker but I don't know about myself.

We started to sign to the baby when he turned six months and we still are but two months ago we sort have slowed down. Now that he is 1 year old and beginning to understand more, we're trying to sign more again. A lot of time we just forget to do it. It has been over six months now and I think he is making a lot of progress in the signing department. Here are the signs he has been consistently doing for us with an understanding of what they mean:
  • more
  • milk
  • ball
  • clean
  • bed (sleep is harder so he signs bed when he is tired)
These are the questionable signs:
  • sun
  • book
  • eat or food
Signs we did not teach him but he is coming up with himself:
  • self (he pats himself with his hand)
  • diaper change please (he touches or squeezes his diaper from underneath)
  • smelly (we all fan away the stinky smell by our nose)
He also sort of understands some of the words we say even though he cannot repeat them himself. Here are some that I have noticed:
  • doggie
  • train
  • water
  • pillow
  • "give to Mommy"
  • music
  • no (to some degree)
So far so good! It's definitely nice to have him communicate with us even before he can speak. Our favorite is when he can tell us he is tired or when he wants his milk :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 month vaccination day

Today, we took Tristan to the doctors for his 1 year vaccinations. He got poked four times, one in each limb. The ones in the arms hurt more since they have to be in the skin so those were done after the legs. Poor baby :( That is the most he has ever had in one visit. Like most of his past shots, he took them quite well. He cried initially and then stopped. At the end of it all, you can kind of sense that he was learning and he had this fear in his eyes whenever we grabbed his arm or leg. Now, we have to wait until at least June 1, 2010 for his 18 month shots.

During the day, he has been a bit crankier than usual. I gave him Tylenol twice so that should do it. It also didn't help that he went for his shots during his usual nap time. He was so tired afterward that he actually fell asleep in his highchair as I was feeding him his yogurt and fruits during lunch. I cut the lunch short and put him down in his crib. Because he only had the one nap today, that could also explain his crankiest tonight. We decided to put him to bed 15 minutes earlier. Tomorrow, I am interested to see how this will affect his mobility. If he is sore, he may not want to walk as much, which would be great for us :) I just don't think we would be that lucky.

I was surprisingly calm taking him to the doctors. I guess because we have all had so many shots lately that it seemed like another routine visit. Two nights ago, Jean-Louis and I had our H1N1 and seasonal flu shots. The shots themselves did not hurt. About 5 hours after, we both started to feel soreness in our arms, especially the side with the H1N1 vaccine. The morning after, I was super sore and felt like I was getting a bit sick. Apparently, all this is normal and may last a couple of days. After all, they do inject you with the disease so that your body can recognize and fight it the next time you encounter it. Well, that is sort of the idea behind vaccines. It's just so uncomfortable not being able to sleep on your sides because both sides hurt. That first morning, I actually felt so awful I had to take Tylenol. Now aside from sore arms, I'm fine. I think my body is broken from pregnancy and birth since I can't explain how I have become so fragile. So this week, the entire family is experiencing aches from vaccinations together! Next week, will be Tristan's turn again: his second doses of the flu vaccines :(
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