I haven't blogged in a very long time, there were many times when I wanted to but because of tiredness or just plain laziness, I never got around to it.
I always kept a journal as a child, and all throughout my teen years, even in college. Then somehow I kicked the habit. I picked it up again while pregnant with my little darling, and from time to time I would jot down a quick entry.
I saw a beautiful almond green notebook Wednesday at Hema that made me want to write again, but ended up setting it back down on the shelf.
Now I wished I'd bought it because I have a burning desire to write about what hurts and I don't have a notebook.
"There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes." --- David Platt
This seems to echo what is in my heart best right now.
Went to the organic store just up the street to get my fill of weekly fresh fruit and veggies and spotted some blueberries in the fruit aisle. I remember I'd try pureeing blueberries for baby Madeleine last year this time but she just ended up not eating it. It was very sour. But I got them anyway, washed them and dumped them in a bowl that I set out on the tea table and left to fix up lunch.
When I came back in the living, both baby and blueberries were out of sight. With the balcony door open, I panicked for a brief moment until I saw little curls. The bowl was sitting between her little legs, all the while popping blueberries into her mouth and watching cars go by...
I think I had 5 blueberries tops.
We have a history of eczema on my side of the family, both my dad and sister have it. R. has dry skin. So my little darling has been struggling with really dry skin since birth and bouts of eczema for a year now. I think comparer to some children hers is ok, it's only in some areas (left ellbow and wrist) and we have it under control by moisturizing constantly.
She only has it on her left wrist.
I wonder if that's what wakes her at night because she'll be scratching away by the time I go in to get her back to sleep. I trim her nails as much as I can but she still manages to scratch till her wounds bleed.
The pediatrician recommends corticoidal creams but no way am I going to use that on her, especially if it's not severe.
I googled some and came across Scratchsleeves. They were exactly what I was looking for. 2 days into wearing them and her wrist has cleared up a little. I am now waiting for my Lovely Greens Neem Balm order to arrive, I've heard it does wonders for itchy, inflamed skin.
Oops I have not blogged in months yet so much has been happening in our lives...
Where shall I start?
Madeleine is 15.5 months old now, she understands so much, both in French and in Chinese (though probably a little more in Chinese for now since she's with me almost all the time). She says, or attempts to say a lot of words in both languages, however, it's one word - one language. She babbles tons.
She's getting the hang of potty training, these days she hardly poops in her nappies anymore. The best part is, she has the word for potty (popo) so she says it when she wants to go half the time. And when she's on the potty she wants her story! Sometimes she won't get off for it, and sometimes she'll get on it just for a story. At one point a few weeks ago I felt like all my potty effort was for nothing, then these past few days being at her grandma's with her older cousins, she has made tremendous progress!
She is saying it first thing in the morning after having nursed and we'll whizz off to pee in the potty.
Yes, still breastfeeding. R. and I talked about setting limits during the day. We did that and it just backfired on us at night. So we stopped that. I mean I stopped that since I'm the one who gets up at night. Nursing is for comfort now, and whenever she needs reassurance she comes groping at my shirt saying "Nehneh nehneh." Sometimes, when people tell me she's too old now for that, when I make her cry because I won't give her nehneh just because others are judging me; I wonder when she'll ever wean...and then I think to myself, she'll wean when she's ready....but that sure as hell isn't anytime soon!
Sleep is...a sensation I have long forgotten. I've taken her to see countless doctors, osteopaths, chinese acupuncturists, etc for her sleep issues to no avail...Madeleine doesn't sleep longer than 4 hour stretches, and generally wakes up after 2-3 hours of sleep. She has some eczema on her left wrist and wakes up scratching...maybe it's that? Some tell me she won't sleep through the night until I wean. She's also at that age where separation anxiety is at its max...some nights I cry when she cries...but most nights I cuddle her up real tight in her snuggly blankie and take her in to our bed.
One night not so long ago, must have been back in March, R. and I were up late watching House of Cards and instead of the usual ear-piercing cry when she wakes up, we heard "Mama!" We both thought it was the neighbor's kid or something. Couldn't believe it was our little monster calling for me. I went in her room and saw her sat up in her bed waiting for me...I mean for my nehneh.
Besides nehneh, she also loves to go to the park, to swim, to watch Petit Ours Brun. She loves animals, doggies, kitties, duckies, horsies, insects.
As for me, I'm supposed to be writing my 30 page dissertation on Sogdians, but I only have 3 pages for now. It's for June I think...just thinking about it stresses me out. It is very hard to get any sort of work done with Madeleine's crappy sleep pattern, but that is the way it is. So I'll have to figure something out.I went out to my first concert in...I dont even know how long. It was Justin Nozuka at La Maroquinerie with G. ;-) It reminded me of Canada, though I didn't know of him back in the day. Especially liked Blue Velvet Sea. Makes me feel at peace with myself.
I'll try and get an entry in before Madeleine's new cousin arrives ;-), that means before June. R.'s sister is having a little boy!
Madeleine blew out her first candle yesterday!
Well her Daddy had to help her a little.
The days preceding her birthday I was really excited thinking wow! She's going to be ONE in a few days! But on the actual day, it just felt surreal. We decided to throw a little party with friends and family, there were 2 other babies about her age. Madeleine tried to play with them (ie: sticking her fingers in their eyes and mouths...fun), but maybe playing is too big a word at this age. They tried to socialise the best they could for little babies, but for some reason it just kept ending up in tears in their mamas' arms.. It was really cute, though. Of course, they won't remember this day at all.
I was going to be a diligent mother and make her a cake, but failed to because there just wasn't enough time and I had too many other things to get ready for the party, namely, handing in my homework for school on her birthday........ So I strapped Madeleine in her wrap and R. and I rushed to my school where I pretended I didn't have a sitter for the day so I had to carry her to class. I just wanted to hand in my assignment and get out of there, it was the last class anyway...so that's what happened (R. hid somewhere while I did this).
R. wanted to get her a cake from Sugarplum Cake Shop but I insisted on making her one. I got raspberries, heavy cream, eggs etc but then I got realistic about things and decided I didn't want to be completely desagréable (or an angry crazed woman) on the day of my little girl's bday, so we let the professionals do the work! And it was a very good idea. It was a beautiful 3 layered carrot cake with creamcheese frosting. Delicious! In fact I had some for breakfast this morning and will be having some for my snack.
Madeleine had a bite and spat it out...that's just means more for me!
I wanted to update for Christmas or atleast for my own birthday but it has been pretty crazy. It has been a very long, hard, tough but rewarding year. Can't believe my baby is one, not because it went by fast (because it didn't really...) but because she has grown from a helpless little newborn to a spirited, determined little toddler.
She said her first real word a few days after the new year and guess what it was.....PAPA. She loves saying it. And she also manages a BEHBEH sometimes when she sees a baby or her baby doll.
I'm not jealous, really I'm not. And I await patiently the day she calls me Mama (for now it is sometimes Mapa, Bobwee...or just the sucking sound when she wants to nurse...).
I started this blog a year ago, can't believe it's already been a year and that last year this time, I was supposed to stay put and wait for Madeleine's arrival. Those were some restful times I tell you, reading till 3 AM because I had trouble getting to sleep from not doing much all day, waking up past 10 AM not because I had to, but because I felt like it, drifting about the apartment in pjs day in and day out, just relaxing...well that hasn't changed very much, I meant the pyjamas part.
Now for some stats.
A year later, I still spend 90% of the time in pjs because there isn't really any point in getting dressed only to have Madeleine slobber some sort of food on me 30 minutes later, or just digging her head into me for a hug and smearing snot all over. That's now, at the beginning it was either baby barf or poop or milk let down. Oh the joys of motherhood.
99% of my clothes just look shapeless on me now. When I do get a chance to go out (ie: going to class or work, very exciting things), I run to my wardrobe all excited to "dress up"...only to change outfits atleast 3 times and come to the conclusion that I SERIOUSLY must.get.new.clothes. And end up wearing my pj tshirt because that atleast looks half decent. Yeah this pretty much sums up my fashionableness these days.
I have a friend who is having a baby end of January, in fact, her due date is give or take a day's difference with Madeleine's. They have just set up the crib and all and that takes me back to last year this time when R. set up the crib with Marc's help. I remember bugging him about it because I really wanted our place to start looking like an actual home for a child...in retrospect, I maybe should have been reading more about co sleeping and buying a smaller bed for her for the first few months. Because 50% of the time, Madeleine sleeps in our bed still. She does enjoy the occasional jump around in her own bed though. I felt a smile creep to my face when she told me eargerly about the crib all set up and ready to go.
I guess the most post worthy news, other than what's trending fashionwise chez moi, is that Madeleine is a toddler. She took her first steps on the 14th of November, one mid morning while R. and I were both present. R. was very excited and I felt very proud of my little girl. We have a video on R.'s phone that I will get for my next post as he's not here right now. So this is it! The toddler adventure begins!
She is now in many aspects no longer a baby, of course she'll always be my little newborn. She babbles all the time about god knows what, loves cats (kitties more) and dogs, protests when she dislikes something (ok this isn't new at all), toddle about the apartment, "dance" when she hears music, the list goes on. I will say this is a lot more fun than those newborn baby days. I can show her things and she'll react usually very enthusiastically.
In a month's time it'll be Christmas...I have an idea of what to get her...then it'll be her birthday. And that is a whole other story, any 1st pbirthday party ideas are very welcome!
This post should have been published sooner but I didn't have time to get to it.
My little girl is past 9 months now and she is just getting to be so much fun. Now that she's mastered crawling, she's up on her feet but not taking any solo steps yet...only if I take her little hands to guide her. Her personality is really coming through, I mean, it was already present before but now she's just like a little person, a little somebody who has quite a sense of humor and can be a real tyrant screaming and kicking (and scratching) if she doesn't have her way. Man sometimes I wonder if I made her that way by always caving in, but she's just so STUBBORN. 9 months in, she still HATES diaper changing and will throw a fit almost every time it happens. She just hates being put on her back, maybe because she thinks that means time to sleep and of course we all know now she HATES sleep time.
Sleep, let's not even go there, that'll just get me depressed...she is no longer taking the binky and will only nurse to sleep. This has been going on since mid September...and she has been waking up every hour/2 hours at night these past few weeks...so I will pass this subject.
But I will say that I'm no longer putting so much pressure on myself about breastfeeding. And might I just add I will continue to breastfeed until...well, until I decide it's time to stop, which for me isn't anytime soon.
Madeleine has been going through intense separation anxiety for a few weeks now, she literally cries when I leave the room. This is making me nervous as I'll be back at work come November, and though she does great when her Daddy babysits her every Wednesday when I'm in class, I don't know how she'll be with her Grandma ALL weekend long. Her grandma has been coming to practice but she says she's afraid of her crying...well, she is a BABY, she will cry at some point. She kind of flipped out when she had to change her nappy on Sunday and Madeleine was screaming for dear life and scratching herself everywhere. I don't know why she does this but she has done so since very young, she just SCRATCHES herself until she bleeds especially on her wrists and arms. It drives me insane because when her nappy is off she'll start screaming and scratching down there, and when there's poopy in the situation it gets so messy!!! So I told Grandma she could leave her in a disposable nappy that I'll change her into in the morning before I leave unless if she does a number 2................
I'm a bit sad about going back to work on weekends...right when my little sweetpie is getting to be so expressive and fun. She understands a few words now like turtle, duck, doggie, kitty, and clap your hands. When I say gou gou (dog in Chinese, but litereally "dog dog"), she'll look for it and when she sees it she'll start kicking her legs. And if she's close enough she'll try and grab its nose. We may need to get one because she just loves Pookie so much. Just kidding, no dogs for me before Madeleine's old enough to handle one. I remember as kids my parents ended up doing all the dirty work. We'll be missing little Pookie who is flying off to the Ivory Coast with G. for a few months...
She points at things and claps her hands. She'll look up into the sky whenever she hears a helicopter flying by (there are a lot here where we live).
At night, when she'll kick me and her father into a corner as she spreads out on half of the bed. To the outside world, she appeared to be a small baby while in the womb. I'd even wondered if she was a dwarf baby because my tummy just didn't seem to grow. Over these months I've come to realise this girl needs her space!
Oh man she's crying...time to do some nursing... tata for now....
It pretty much happened over night, she was still scooting backwards 10 days ago and all of a sudden one afternoon while I was clearing out the humongous pile of laundry in my room she started to crawl. A few shy steps at first and then she was off! And now there's no stopping her...she is all over the place, and she's getting pretty good at it. She's also pulling herself to a stand or sometimes even just getting up from a squatting position and will topple over. I've been told it shouldn't be long before she starts walking.
We must absolutely start some serious baby proofing for the apartment.
Here is a little video of her today...
Home again and the last few days of summer sunshine have been replaced by gloomy rain. Summer has come and gone. L'Ile d'Yeu is a fantastic little island, and I'll go back, maybe in 2 years, when Madeleine will be a little older. She was a very good sport though, only cried a bit when we settled her onto the bike, but once it got going, she was the happiest baby on the block! She really enjoyed the beach, more than I did since I had to sit out in the shade with her most of the time and had to keep her from eating sand. She just kept shoving sand in her mouth! I don't know why!
In a few days' time, it'll be back to school for me! I went to my old university the other day to enroll myself in the master's program and just felt really old when I saw the other students. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that I felt dead tired and also Madeleine was on me in her baby carrier...I guess I just realised I can no longer have that carefreeness I had from my undergrad years. I remember while being pregnant my mother told me once I become a parent, I'll never sleep the same. Very wise, very wise indeed. I definitely do not sleep the same, but I also don't live the same anymore. I do EVERYTHING with Madeleine, and I mean everything...from eating to going to the loo, to going shopping to sleeping....everything. Even taking a shower. Going back to school will be the first time I do something without her. We'll see how that goes. I won't have many hours of class, but it still feels like a pretty giant step. Next comes going back to work...but that's not just yet.
I sort of knew I had a strong minded girl...but I wasn't expecting stubborn. She is trying to crawl (but going backwards instead), pulling herself to a stand, trying to wave, babbling, and eating on her own. In fact, for about 3 weeks now, she's refusing to eat any kind of pureed anything. She only eats what we eat and by herself, thank you very much! I keep trying to feed her baby food, and she just shuts her mouth real tight. When I do manage a bite, she spits it out. Why bother? Bring on baby led weaning and finger foods!!!
|Honey and the Moon||