Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mikkel is 14 months!!

  1. new words: "Apple" "Boo!" "Bey" (Birdy), "Ba" (ball), "WOW!" and barking like a dog
  2. now able to climb the fridge shelves, over the couch arm rests, up and down stairs, the coffee table
  3. free standing without holding onto anything and free standing while playing with an object. if you hold both of her hands and stand her in front of you, she'll walk as you walk backwards
  4. sleeps 730-6am on average, with 1-3 wake ups on any given day. naps 1030ish (x30 minutes) and 230pm (x60 minutes)
  5. favourite foods are: deli ham, toast with no crusts, crispy grapes, wedge fries, chicken tenders, Old Dutch Twist Popcorn, peas, and smoothies
  6. 8 teeth
  7. loves to eat crayons, take pens and write all over herself, go through my purse and play with my phone and keys, press the buttons of her sound machine, and unravel the toilet paper
  8. understands some tagalog
  9. loves the books Little You, Goodnight Moon, Eat!, and this little pig book with a finger puppet
  10. WALKING!!! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mikkel is 13 months!

  1. freestanding on command! and also makes the face below when standing.
  2. wakes up zero to 3 times overnight in the average span of 7:45pm to 6:15pm
  3. new words this month are "Yummy" "bye!" 
  4. able to climb up bed and sofa on her own (yikes!)
  5. always dancing to "Can't Stop the Feeling" and the "Party Freeze" songs

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happy List Fall 2016 (whoa!)

What's making me pretty darn happy lately...
  • with Fall in Vancouver comes the need of a denim jacket (closet staple!), keeps you warm during the cold days, but also cool enough for the Indian Summer afternoons. My favourite jacket is my 2 for 1 love; the Trucker jacket care of LEVI"s. By 2 for 1 I mean it's actually my husband's but it fit's me too, so we're 'sharing' -I mean i wear it all the time and it's in my closet :op 
  • our apartment faces South, and with that we get a lot of heat all day from the sun. With heat, comes stupid fckn flies always flying around our balcony as they're attracted to the heat radiating from our windows- and of course, if you open the patio door they zoom right in! i'm a sadist with these nasty poop, dead carcass eating machines and I love to kill them using the BRICO BUG ZAPPER found at Rona. They're kept in the mesh via static, and then electrocuted. i found this brand to be excellent with battery life, lighter on the hand, and most powerful. No mercy!
  • as Mikkel is no longer needing to be carried on the carrier all.the.time, i can finally wear tsome SENSIBLE heels! these boots are true to size, so comfortable (even if I need to carry Mikkel on the carrier for a while), and best of all, i don't need to bend down to put them on...easy slip, good to go! Good one STEVE MADDEN (Austin boots) for having mom's in mind (indirectly!) 

  • now that my Max no longer naps (!!), Max and I are bonding even more with our mom + son once a week dates. While sister is sleeping, Max and I slip out to go to the mall and have a little snack together- sure a lot of our time is spent at any store with toys, and food consists of fries, it's like life before a sibling for him. He loves sitting at the back of the bus, going up escalators, NOT bringing the stroller and best of all, not having to share his time. Next year he'll be in Kindergarten M-F (!!), this 1:1 time is a gift to enjoy my growing boy
  • my kids are dressed, fed, rested while i'm at work. no further explanation needed, thank you husband!
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. it's another round of adjusting to even less sleep now that work is thrown into the mix. i've been really happy with this concealer for awhile, it brightens up the under eye and gives me a more awake (i think) look. I make time to apply makeup daily so i feel like i have at least put some effort into me instead of just the kids or just the patients- like paying yourself first after pay day. take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.
  • Raisin Bran! does this age me? i can't tolerate other cereals out there right now. so many things are just too sweet, or too gross, and subconsciously i want the kids to eat this cereal too for said reasons and that there's no mascot. anyhow, besides that fact that I'm totally regular, it's satiating for the initial hustle and bustle of our mornings (then i eat McDonalds ha! kidding but also not)

  • this mantra, Let them be little because i often have to check with myself if what they're doing is age appropriate behaviour or if I'm imposing too much adult behaviour expectations on my kids and thus being a bit too stern. I need to chill!  

  • also, i find myself saying Do Hard Things to Max A LOT. instead of being a nag (ie. about swimming, about writing his letters, etc), i find these words easy to understand, challenging and yet encouraging. Though yes let them be little, but no to fcking around and slacking off y'know? I'm not a tiger mom. i'm almost planning to get a pennant or this statement hung on the wall, hmmm
  • my husband. he's stepping up to his responsibilities and has become more empathetic since becoming daddy daycare and having a taste of what it feels like to be needed relentlessly! however, he still has to be reminded that whatever work he's complaining about, the demands on me are ten fold. it's a start nevertheless.

What's made you happy lately?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nursing: Diary of my Back to Work!

Mat leave is officially over world (for the rest of my life)!
Now back to full time shift work, and really if you look at in reverse, it's also full time mothering- but  in my case with a better balance. On mat leave, it's day in day out routine. let's face it, mom's do the extra large breadth of the child rearing from 0-12months. As a full time RN, our shifts are 2 day shifts (0730-1930) and 2 night shifts (1930-0730) with 4-5 days off in between. Sounds awesome to have so many days off? yes it darn right is even though one of those days i'm basically fcked up trying to readjust my circadian rhythm without too much over caffeinating all the while trying to stay patient when lacking sleep.

I was fortunate enough to be given 1 orientation day shift on Sept 16th and 1 night shift on my own, after that- as in as I'm typing now, I'm off for another 10 days due to vacation and change in job overlap of days off. back to work feels like i just got my foot in the water and had a glimpse of when i can sneak in sleep and rest so i don't kill anyone at work (ha! but true). For Dad, great way to get a reality check on how hard it is to manage 2 kids and hopefully be more empathetic and take more initiative in helping out MOM.

This is a diary of my first shifts back in employment.

Sept 15- lots of talks with Max about how I'm going back to work and who's going to cosleep with him and wake him up, how to behave and be patient with dad as he's a creature of routine. He's been telling me, "mom i don't want you to go back to work!" with some tears shed by him. what truly has helped, and I'm glad he's old enough, is to tell him that 'Mom always comes back' and if he ever missed me, I'm a FaceTime away as well as a call. I remember it was harder going back to work when he was younger because he was so attached, less so now by a few degrees.

As for me, i remember when i had to go back to work after having Max; I had to have a goodbye cry (cries, even). Guilt, separation anxiety, annoyance that baby daddy didn't help so much with the child rearing and now needs a crash course in Max's scheduling. This time, I had no cry, ready to work (!!) absolutely needing change, slight guilt, and every presence of annoyance because again, do i need to mention that I DID 95% OF THE WORK with these kids while on mat leave?! I was really done. i also literally had to write down a schedule for dear husband on when things happen, what they liked to eat, and what options he had if something didn't work; not impressed.

Sept 16 0400: Baby cried per usual, i went out to feed her to get her back to sleep. Max woke up a few minutes later crying because he thought i left to get ready or go to work without saying goodbye to him. So once Mikkel went back to sleep, I scooped him up and we went back to bed and though i was officially awake from the overstimulation, Max resettled with some reassurance and although he stirred when i had to get up at 520am to get ready, i was able to say bye and he was content.

0600h: baby officially wakes up. breastfed and happy. Cried when i had to go leave and Gene went out with her to distract her.
0700h: SOS text from Gene to come home lol. At this time I also go a quality coffee treat (iced Americano) to fuel me up for the day.
0730-1930 (while at work): talked with adults. Great day. Had regular breaks and HOT FOOD. Got rest. Got quiet time and time to think. Practiced and reoriented my skills.

2000h: came home, Max had a shower with me, told me all the hiccups of the day he could remember, and his day at school. We had a snack and then went to bed at 2045h.

my sleep was pretty crappy this night as the 0700h caffeine drink i had not only fuelled me for the day, but also the night as my brain DID NOT turn off and I didnt feel mentally rested at all the next day. Yes, I'm that much of a quality caffeine virgin. for next set, I'm not sure if i will be opting for the espresso.

With Max's mat leave, i wanted to know anything and everything that happened during my time away. but this time, knowing that Gene didnt have the same resources i had (read: boob), and to save myself from getting upset at his techniques at a job that i appreciate is uber hard for him, i told myself to be just dandy that the kids were fed, had a sleep, and were alive. To boot, the house wasn't a disaster when i came home. Kudos to dad (mind you, he didnt volunteer much information either haha)!

Sept 17 0200h: baby wakes up, breast and back to sleep until 0600h.
id like to mention that by 0200 my breasts were ENGORGED like heck. I hadn't breast feed since about 0600h of the previous day. This also contributed to my poor sleep as my breasts were just in the way and was uncomfortable to sleep on my stomach, on my side, on my back. I'm not sure about you but when I'm engorged, i feel a sense of urgency and need to empty and a flight or fight response. Once the overnight feed started, the other breast actually started leaking which hasn't happened for the longest time. I'm surprised I didn't lactate at work!

Sept 17: This day is my pre-night shift day and the morning is treated per usual routine, except I'm completely still exhausted from the day before and I'm trying to not drink any caffeine as i need to sleep during the day to be able to stay awake for the rest of the night. On regular days, Gene wakes up at 9am, this day i think he himself was so exhausted from his experience of overstimulation that he woke up at 1100am.

1000h: Mikkel had her first nap, I took a 20 minute nap in bed with Max chilling on the iPad. did you know 20 minutes, according to literature, is enough time to regenerate and refresh for another few hours? more than 20 minutes, one is actually slower to recover and more groggy.

I told Gene that I wanted to have an official nap from 2pm - 4pm, or at least set aside some time to rest regardless of how much sleep time I get in that two hour window. I put the baby down at 2pm, crashed on the bed with Max per his request, again on the iPad. I slept for maybe 1 hour (?), didnt feel rested because the caffeine from the day before was still in my system I guess. Max was in and out of my room from 3-4pm and i basically just shut my eyes but didnt sleep. Sucks but still helps. Gene had the baby and cooked the rest of the dinner which i had prepped in the morning.

1815h: left for work, kids and baby daddy went to the park.

1930-0730h: worked. talked with friends. had a sleeping break.

Sept 18 0800h: home. Got a report that Gene had a shitty night (sensitive sleeper). He coslept with Max, but since he was a light sleeper and the baby monitor was on, he never really had a sound rest. baby woke up at 1am and had an hourly whine for a few minutes. She ended up waking up at 0545am and Max, who usually sleeps till 8 or 9am, woke up at 7am.

prior to coming home, i texted Gene that i was coming home within minutes so he can hide with Mikkel and i can sneak in to have a shower. Max seeing me is no longer a problem thank goodness. Before I shut the door to sleep, about 815am, Max says, "mommy, i slept with daddy but I missed you!" OMG I love how this kid loves me! I had a poor sleep from 830am until 1045am as i just had a shower, the house was noisy, Max kept coming in to visit as he was excited I was home, and it was just generally loud. Got ready for the day at 11am and took over the reigns as well.

I whisked the kids off at 12pm to the mall and my parents so Gene can rest.
Home at 4pm.
Life per previous routine.

Max and I crashed for night sleep at 845pm.

Work is much easier than home life because I get a BREAK. Both are equally rewarding in their way and I'm glad I can now use different parts of my brain and body. The lack of sleep I get is just so freaking horrendous. Next set I'm doing a full 2 days 2 night and totally not looking forward to it. When i reminded this to husband in text, the response I got was "Shit" (lol). What I am looking forward to, is next year when Max is in full day kindergarten and Gene can manage the 1 child while the other is away. It's like having 1 child all over again! haha. This is also another reason while i just love their age difference.

Thank to caffeine and makeup for their different powers!
'tis my new life.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

WTF Mikkel is 1 YEAR OLD!

hair: dark brown
eyes: light brown, not as light as Max
height: just under 29" 
weight: TBA after her Sept 13th vaccines

head: two upper front teeth appear to be making their way down, thus she's fussier than usual especially when she sees me leave or I'm not near her. I'm giving her Tylenol at night, less than optimal amount but just enough to provide some relief as teething can't be comfortable. funny with Max I didnt give him any drugs, but with #2 it's like fck it, why make her suffer? why keep her up at night? loves to dance and usually does some sort of bouncing while standing when she hears any upbeat music. I love Youtube Kids for those children's songs I don't know the words to, but can remember from my childhood.

^^ lefty!?! ^^

cries: As above with separation from me. she still really sucks at travelling in the car! this last month i changed her to front facing in her car seat because I just couldn't take the fighting between the two of them and because she's constantly screaming and crying. When we turned Max to front facing it was night and day with his fussiness, but with Mikkel it's no fighting and still screaming and crying just not constant. i'm still sitting in the back with them, and it's only a partial help. I'm sure it's because she loathes being restrained. maybe she's also car sick? i know i feel nauseated whenever I'm in the car. only time will tell when she can talk!

GI: usual mojo fries, eggs, peas, most meats- particularly chicken, green apples, she continues to like whatever she liked last month. she's truly in love with watermelon and has eaten so much! pineapples, mangos, cantaloupe, grapes, regular Cheerios; so far so good. she's been having 1 poop per day, usually after breakfast. this month she suddenly knew how to use a straw. i haven't bought any new drinking vessels because she's constantly dropping the sippy cup and straw cup on the ground after every drink and they're bound to break sooner or later. one annoying thing she started doing towards the latter part of this last month was sweeping food off of her tray at every meal unpredictably. by sweeping, you put various food on her tray and she just sweeps her hand over her tray and all the food goes on the ground. SUPER annoying. ahhh well, back on the tray it goes anyways. from what I've noticed, she does this sweep either when she doesn't like the food or she's getting full. maybe she does it to get a reaction too because she looks at me right after. smart! 

feeding: still breastfeeding as per plan. my current schedule is if she wakes up at 6am- feed, after breakfast - feed, maybe a whining feed to calm, and another feed prior to going on in anticipation of having a nap while out within the next 30 minutes. feed after lunch/close to 2nd nap, feed before bedtime as part of night routine.  if she wakes up after  625/630am, no feeding. breakfast asap around 7am, post breakfast feed, whiny snack feed, pre-activity/nap feed, after lunch feed/close to 2nd nap feed, then pre night sleep. this is about as much as i can wean right now as part of path of least resistance and so that i can help prepare her for my absence while at work.  SHE LOVES THE BREAST, like a magnet.  not sure what Gene will do, perhaps introduce milk to her in the next few days in a straw cup for the filled belly sensation. 

GU: finished up #4 baby dry and am now using #5 baby dry

^^ first pony tail! ^^

^^ first car! i have to add that this Step2 car has gone through 3 grandkids
 and has been with us since 2012. every kid loves it, and plenty of life left ^^

skin/body: squishy and loveable. no apparent skin issues except some bumps on her face which might be a reaction to my make up as is often near my face; nothing concerning.  this last month her and Max have been taking a bath in the big bathtub together, yay! she's a little dangerous though as she stands up a lot and doesn't realize how slippery it can get. she also keeps taking the tub plug off!

communication: says "daddy" "dad" "hi" "mommy" "mamma" "moe-moe or mew mew" (our cat) and "uh oh" after dropping everything on the ground (cute, but not).  she open and closes her hand when saying Bye. she points to things she wants every now and then.  if she thinks something isn't a good idea ie. to put something in her mouth, she holds it up to me to show me and to get consent. so smart! 

muscle strength: cruising, not yet free standing. hoisting herself up looks so easy for her but not letting go just yet. she crawls around the apartment looking for me, adorable! 

hands: when she wants the breast, she puts her hand inside my shirt and pinches my breast or cleavage and laughs. this doesn't happen all the time, only the time when her feed is overdue or due - especially when we're in the middle of a transit ride home or to somewhere. while feeding for night sleep, to which i just let my breast hang out, she usually looks at my breast and pokes and prods at my nipple while giggling. seriously, she loves the breast!

legs: continues to get so frustrated with skirts as they get under her and impede her crawling abilities.  if she only knew it'd be so much easier for her if she just walked! then skirts/dresses galore! she definitely has my and my dad's toe nails, I'm sorry Mikkel! haha

play: she likes this popup toy, but only knows how to close not open them up yet.
various books, opening and closing things, going through my stuff and scattering things around. toilet paper everywhere! she likes to eat crayons, and this month she learned to open up crayola felt lids and eat the felt tip! she likes to split Duplo apart and pull at cords and wave them around (yikes). 

sleep: this last month she moved into her own room with some inherited furniture from my sister. her first night alone she slept from 710pm to 740pm! WOW. Now, her bedtime routine starts at approx 7pm with bath with her brother, pyjamas, then play. books at 730pm, lights out and noise machine on at 740pm, breastmilk buffet and quiet time from 740pm to 8pm. hugs for a few minutes and down into the crib awake- no crying!! wakes up sometime between 545am and 620am without any crying or night feeds.

for naps: 1st nap approx 1040am-1120am on the carrier as we're always on the go. she definitely still needs this nap as she gets really irritable by 930/10am.  For second nap: if I'm at my parents house, she sleeps on the carrier while i go shopping at metrotown for 1.5 hours haha. but if I'm at home, which i try to make a point of doing more than half the week, quiet time 225pm, breastfeed to drowsy at 230pm, down in crib awake but sleepy at 240pm. sleeps usually until 345-4pm. hit or miss with a cry in-between the 45 minute intruder cycles, sometimes just a little whine, other times a 10 minute cry. wakes up cranky like Max when he was at that age.

how she sleeps: 1st nap on carrier, 2nd nap in crib or carrier, night sleep in crib. if in crib, in her own room with the heartbeat setting on the sound machine. my best investment this month was the V TECH DM221 audio baby monitor. i found that the first 2 nights of not having a monitor, i was constantly waking up to listen to her (we sleep with all our doors shut as the CAT wakes everyone up!). Naturally i wasn't getting restful sleep, so i got the monitor and it was a lifesaver. love love love the audio monitor! i didnt get the video monitor as i had read that they could be hacked by neighbours who access the frequency, SICKENING. 

as for me: Im ready for work, but as i say this, i still have 15 days off left. anxiety has partially set in. i haven't started studying yet for work but i have my stuff (scrubs/bag/lock/stockings ready). I'm sleeping well from 945pm to 540ish am solidly. it's basically quitting time for me at 8pm! Max is now no longer napping as per his choice so I'm forced to go to sleep early 930pm to benefit him but really, I'm passed out at 940pm anyways. this month i was able to free myself from responsibilities and was able to go out with friends for 2-3 hours on a friday evening (5-8pm including transit time) but i was receiving SOS texts from husband around 730pm as Mikkel is ready for sleep and escalating. he still hasn't put her down for any sleep. nor is he volunteering to do so anytime soon...so, his call (I'm annoyed and worried for HER). somewhat nesting again and donating so much again. on my birthday i went out for 2 hours by myself to ZARA heaven and was able to try on (!!!!) clothes and buy stuff i don't need. it was heaven, i felt rejuvenated and happy. oh the simple things in life :o) 


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