Dating My Baby

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Sunday, January 27, 2013. Filed under: , ,

During my time in Brazil, I wrote several times about dating myself. Ro was working ALL the time, and terrible hours, so if I wanted to be wined and dined, I had to do it (to) myself. Dating myself was something I became comfortable with. I'm a cheap date and I make good conversation (side note: I probably looked crazy making good conversation with myself... but I digress).

So, now that Stella is being less of a perfectly normal newborn baby crazy, I can finally get up, get showered and take her out of the house! It still only happens after 12 noon, but whatever. I have moved away from dating myself and I am now onto dating my baby.

The last two weeks have been particularly productive and, dare I say, fun! We went to the mall twice, went to our aerobics class twice, went to a doctor's appointment and on Wednesday we went to the movies! There is a special event here called Stars and Strollers where you can go see a regular, adult movie but you can bring your young children and strollers.

It's AWESOME. There were 3 other small babies there plus us, an elderly couple and a young couple who clearly thought they were going to see a normal matinee of Les Miserables. Haha, sorry dummies! 

Seeing as there are so few people, and it's a movie especially for parents and their babes, the normal movie-going etiquette is totally non-existent. I got there, parked my stroller and proceeded to take up 3 seats with my jacket, blankets, purse, baby bag, hat/coats/mitts, plus my popcorn and oh yeah, MY BABY.

Right off the bat one of the babies started crying. Did anyone bat an eye? NO! No annoyed staring. No loud, exasperated sighing, you know the kind... big exaggerated inhale and the loudest, slowest exhale you can manage without passing out, believing you are making your annoyed point. Nobody even paid attention. It was totally acceptable to stand up when Stella started getting fussy (of course it was at a REALLY critical moment in the movie...). But when I looked around me I saw two of the other moms also standing right in the rows just rocking with their babies. I fed her multiple times and even changed her as they had set up a changing pad right outside the door of the theatre. In one word - AMAZING. I had a great time and ps Les Mis is so good and I cried so many times... (keep in mind I have never seen the live production so that may affect my opinion).

So, here's hoping for another equally as fun week of dating my baby... I'm kinda starting to like her ;-)

Getting My Life Back

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
1 Comment

I've mentioned before that I've never had this 'maternal instinct' that many women have. I've never dreamed of babies and staying at home - in fact, for a while this was kind of my idea of hell. No offence to my baby! But seriously... staying at home, for an A-Type, Working-Girl personality like me, was really unappealing. 

But nevertheless, here we are. I am no longer the breadwinner, or even A breadwinner (aside from the taste testing and focus groups I now do to bring in an extra $20). This has been SUPER challenging for me. Add to it that it's currently -15C without the windchill... oh, and I live in crappy Suburbsville. I am feeling so isolated.

Yes, I am contributing to my family by raising my daughter. I'm not suggesting this is a small accomplishment because, trust me, it's not. It's just that sometimes it can get a little boring and repetitive. Cry-Change-Feed-Sleep-Cry-Change-Feed-Sleep... that's what we do (for now at least).  I schedule doctor's appointments just to have reasons to get out of the house.

So I joined a mama/baby aerobics class at a Recreation Centre (something I love having back again - affordable, varied types of recreation all under one roof). Today was our second class and I am starting to realize that Stella gets just as bored as I do being locked up inside the house all day (and in the basement to boot). At home she cries. A lot. Outside, though, she is magically entranced by the lights, sounds, voices, faces. I was able to lay her on an exercise mat for the whole HOUR of the class while I got my fitness on. She was pretty amused by me just dancing around her... and I was SO grateful that she let me have that time for myself. I'll totally act-a-fool and make funny faces to entertain her if she'll let me have that hour to sweat it out. Noooo question!

Later on, in the ladies' locker room, I chat it up with all the Italian senhoras who love babies and conversation. I breastfeed her and they are not shy to come up and touch her face, even brushing my breast as they do. They are comfortable with this. And because I have lived in Brazil, the land of no-modesty and familiarity, I am not embarassed by this either nor do I even find it strange. In fact, it's familiar, and I love it.

Today was lovely, with my baby and my 70 year old Italian senhoras. I would like some more, please.

Rule #1: Don't Shake Your Baby

Posted by Lindsey Costard on Thursday, January 3, 2013.

Stella is 2 months old as of yesterday. This is probably the first minute I've had to sit down and write a blog since the LAST time I wrote one, which was 5 weeks ago. And I only have time now because I'm avoiding unloading the dishwasher. Yes, I have one of THOSE now... and trust me, I miss the simplicity of dish-washing by hand. Simplicity of life, obviously. Dishwashers are definitely faster.

So, in the last 5 weeks I've learned a lot. I've learned how to make my baby stop crying, probably my biggest accomplishment in life, thus far! Yes, I did get a degree. Yes, I did give birth. But finally making your insane crying baby stop crying (after 2 months of non-stop day and night crying!!!!!)... beats all of them by a million times. I give all the credit to THIS BOOK, The Happiest Baby on the Block. From the minute I bought it in the middle of the night during a particularly desperate crying fit (I was included in that one), it has helped us put Stella to sleep. It helps us calm her down, when she can't calm herself down (which is most of the time).

I'm going to assume that she will be a passionate child, full of big emotion and expression. But for now, she just cries... the most demanding, needy sound you have ever heard. I would honestly prefer to listen to a jackhammer all day. At least a jackhammer doesn't need me to feed it 20 times a day. At least it lets me take a shower.

The cry doesn't start slowly, either. It goes from zero to someone is murdering my own mother right in front of me!!! It's INTENSE. I'll be honest. It makes me want to shake my baby. I realize now why that is the #1 rule of things not to do! It seems so obvious! Don't kill your own baby? Why would I...?- OH! Now I see.

On the amazing side (and yes there IS an amazing side... why would anyone do this if there wasn't something equally as awesome as there is horrible), I am witnessing human development from the first moment of life. It's fascinating. Babies are little geniuses, by the speed that they develop.

I am super interested in the language aspect of her growth. She speaks her own language of grunts and coos, trying to express herself in other ways than just crying. It's very cool. We want to teach her as much about language as possible - I can't believe she will have the opportunity to speak two languages fluently. It's brilliant. The same way we, as adults, are moved to tears I can see that she is moved to happiness. She can be crying one minute and as soon as her need is met she is all smiles and laughs and flirtatious eyes. Her smile is so genuine. Her moves to happiness move me to tears!

Yesterday we witnessed her holding her head up for several minutes while on her tummy before she became exhausted and slowly lay down. Amazing! Something we take for granted, being able to hold our own heads up and not relying on someone else to hold them for us.

Little baby is waking up now so my few minutes alone are over... I will leave you with this little video to watch of Stella holding her up head up for one of the first times. Hope my next free moment is less than 5 weeks from now...