Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like. . .

I'm not actually sure.

The obvious answer is Christmas.
We've officially had the car stuck in the driveway, twice! Special thanks to the kids at church (college and down) who came and got us out the other day.
The ground is white with snow as far as the eye can see (which lets face it is pretty fair on the prairies) and the temperature has plummeted (I believe the windchill was at -21 when I stopped looking)

There's really no denying that winter has come to our sleepy little hamlet.

I even convinced hubby to let my decorate for the upcoming season and start playing Christmas music, although both were more Peanut related decisions this year. I couldn't wait to show Peanut the tree with the lights all aglow (a personal favourite from childhood) so up it went.
Also, Peanut won't nap without his favourite music on, this has meant 5 months of veggie tales, at some points going in the background all day (there's a solid test of your sanity and love of child, although seriously the snarky remarks in the background were awesome - the first 300 times). In a small act of grace, it turns out Christmas music is an acceptable alternative for singing vegetables, who knew?
Either way I'm taking advantage of our slight reprieve from singing produce.

The thing is this, Christmas has always been a favourite time of year. This year, even though I'm excited to share it with Peanut for the first time and hubby for the third, I'm still struggling with the transition into motherhood.

Winter means pretty snow (yep I said pretty but a fall of brown mud and dead plants makes me anxious for fluffy white flakes) but it also means drastically reduced mobility for this mama, especially now that I've got a little one dependent on my sometimes nonexistent balance. We rent on the edge of town and the roads can get interesting, meaning lots of time at home just me and the babe.

Hard for someone used to knocking out 4-6 classes a semester.

It also looks like my sanity saving neighbour (who, incidentally, became a mama the day before me) may be moving away this Christmas as her hubby's got job applications in all over the country.

It makes me sad, which is natural. Even introverts need some social contact but when you're still fighting the post baby blues the potential of a season of weather induced isolation is disheartening, even at your favourite time of year.

So, now my challenge is to find ways to make the most of this first winter with Peanut and our last sane season for a time (that's right folks, hubby starts his thesis proposal soon, the end of the MA is near (ing) )
I'm just not sure what activites are appropriate for an almost 6 month old, aside from our usual reading, tummy time, baths, diaper laundry (not an activity but really could be my job title for how often I'm washing, why do kids always dirty their diaper the minute you put the last load in the dryer?

Well, at least this weekend I can introduce Peanut to a little bit of history, anybody else gearing up for the 50th anniversary of Who?

The Language of Sparrows

I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

On the outside, Sierra and Luca are at opposite ends of life. One just beginning the world at her fingertips, the other reflecting on a life mostly gone. Yet, the bond of secrets, grief, and a love of learning tie these unlikely friends and their families together against the odds.

I'll confess I'm not one to pick a book on a whim these days. Life's too busy and too many recent whims have ended up a bust, especially within modern, Christian romance.
I was thoroughly surprised when I found myself eagerly tearing through Rachel Phifer's novel with eager anticipation and hope for a happy resolution for my two favourite characters.

Sierra is a young and brilliant high school student whose life is directed through her grief at her father's sudden and unexplained death.
Sierra was definitely a favourite character and a book highlight.
Having worked with youth and grieving families (Interesting summer job one summer) Phifer's portrayal of her grief at the multiple losses in her life (father, home, school, relationship with her mother) was believable and well written as revelations throughout the story moved Sierra through the rollercoaster of her grief and healing.

Luca, as the gruff older gentleman even his son doesn't trust was a surprising favourite of mine as the story progressed. As his life (love?) story is laid out I found myself more and more drawn to the man much like Sierra. Honestly, this became a huge point of connection in the story for me as a reader as Sierra's relationship begin to mirror the reader's entrance into Luca's life.

If you've read one of these before you know I don't like giving out major plot spoilers but my one beef with the story does tie in slightly. Most of the pacing within Sparrows is well done. The slower portions echoing the time it takes to gain trust with those who are wounded. However, Nic, Luca's son, hits a crises near the end of the book, which becomes a major plot point when there wasn't the time to wrap it up nicely. This may be a stylistic vision of the author but I generally prefer books that allow themselves the time to end when the story is ready and not before hand.

All in all, this was a great novel and a fairly easy read. Given the right audience I would highly recommend this novel.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guess who's 5 months old

I can hardly believe our little peanut is already 5 months old.

I also can't believe I still haven't healed from his arrival, oh the joys of EDS. Oh well, our little guy is certainly worth the extra pain.

So how do we sum up another month?

Well, peanut is finally getting positive reviews from our doctor's visits. We weighed in at a respectable 16 pounds,more than double our birth weight! Reflecting back on the days of decreasing weight and slow gain makes those 16 pounds all the nicer to this Mama's ears.

Just look at those cheeks!

On the flip side, our little peanut is getting big! 
This has meant somewhat tearful packing (please tell me I'm not the only mama who gets misty packing away tiny little outfits) of clothes that once seemed ever so big and tracking down some new ones in the 9 month range.
I can't even begin to explain how grateful I've been for our carrier during this process (or colic, daily trips, teething, church, everything else under the sun, seriously these things are dead useful). 
During the pregnancy, I researched like a fiend in order to find the best options for parenting with a disability. It was actually pretty discouraging the lack of applicable resources I could find. However, I'm in love with the carrier our beyond awesome doula introduced us too.

Seriously, our CatBird Carrier calms peanut right down which makes sense because at 5 months we still can't get enough cuddles (which mama is very happy to provide), it helps him feel secure, and gives space for some introverted time when we're out and he gets overwhelmed. 
For my part, I love the big comfy straps and how simple it is to put on. It even looks great which is a huge plus for me. 
I'm really curious how it will hold up once I put on the support belt now that Peanut is getting to the right weight for some added support but I'm thinking it will just be one more thing to love (once I get over the fear of actually attaching it!)

Okay, back to Peanut :)

We have now added two beautiful bottom teeth to our milestones, and announced their arrival loudly and at great length :( 
Poor guy does not fall into the category of easy teethers.
I'm am getting an education on teething remedies, not quite the research project I was looking for but nice of Peanut to help his mama out on that ;)

We also introduced some purees to our repertoire. New favourites are: green beans, squash, applesauce, bananas. 

Peas, on the other hand, have been upgraded to most vile substance on earth. Apparently we'll have to introduce those again later . . .

Every day Peanut continues to figure out his limbs and how to work them, although,this month did have a set back. Almost half way through the month I sat him down in his crib while I straightened out the laundry only to have him flip himself over and get his feet stuck between the crib slats! Not only was he mad to be stuck but he scared himself flipping over and has refused to try rolling over ever since.
Trying to encourage him to move and not be frightened of rolling over will definitely be a goal for this month.

Speaking of goals,

Our month 5 goals are pretty simple this month.

Goal 1

Learn to nap somewhere other than Mama's lap or the carrier.

Goal 2
Work more on Goal 1 :P

Yes, it's true. At 5 months, Peanut still refuses to sleep anywhere that is not in direct physical contact with someone. At least, that is the daytime routine. Nights are pretty awesome but days . . . oh brother. Little dude almost decked his grandma when she tried to put him down for the night.

Any other Mama's (or Papa's) have a stubborn sleeper on their hands? Any tips for getting them down for much overdue naps?

We're setting up a playpen to be a safe nap space and so far (one hour in) it isn't a complete failure but we will wait and see how this goes.