Happy Birthday Austin!

Hi Baby,

Happy 1st Birthday to you!! I can’t believe that it’s been a full year that you’ve been here with us!! It feels like just yesterday, and at the same time, I can’t even remember life without you.

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With the turn of your first year, I’ve spent so much time reflecting on those early days when everything seemed completely and totally overwhelming and insurmountable, and like we would never “get it”. I remember the very first time that your Grandma and I took you to your first doctors appointment out of the house, and neither one of us could figure out how to open up your stroller for the first time, so we had to ask another pregnant lady in the parking lot how to do it. Your mama had a major meltdown in the car about that one, I felt like such a failure for you that day. It’s truly unbelievable to think about the two of us on that day, compared to now.

You have turned into such a cheeky little monkey, with the best little personality! You are such a busy little beaver, always on the move with somewhere to be or something to do. You are a total pro at standing up and cruising around on anything and everything now, and I know you’ll be walking ANY day (God help me). You also love to babble and you’ve started imitating a lot of the things that people say to you which is SO super funny. Right now, you love to make a noise that sounds a lot like “SHEESH”, which is hilarious because we say that a lot around our house, and you seem to have picked up on it! You have the biggest, deepest belly laugh too, and sometimes you get laughing so hard (usually at something your Dad is doing) that you literally fall over!

You’ve started daycare now my love, and it’s breaking your mama’s heart. I miss you so much when you go, and it just kills me when you have a sad moment there and I’m not there to make it better for you. I think all things considered, you are doing really well with the transition, but it definitely isn’t the easiest on either of us. I can’t believe how exhausted you are when you come home at the end of the day! That must mean that you are learning lots and having lots of fun.

You’ve been doing a lot better with your drinking water and orange juice (still not a milk boy), although you still don’t regularly drink from your cup. You do love your solid foods though, so I’m trying not to worry too much. I’m hoping that whenever you get a chance to read this letter, that you’ll laugh at your 1 year old self who SO steadfastly refused to drink anything!

We had about a week long birthday celebration for you, starting on Tuesday (your actual birthday) and finishing on Saturday with a family get together). Your Grandma Dianne was here at the house with us on your actual birthday, and it was such a nice, quiet night. You don’t love huge crowds or big scenes, so it was the perfect quiet environment for you to really let loose and enjoy the evening. You had THE funniest look on your face when your Dad brought your birthday cupcake and candle around the corner (ask me to see that video one day please – you will absolutely die laughing), and I will never forget the way your eyes were shining with delight. You weren’t a huge fan of the cupcake icing, but I don’t blame you, you’ve been eating pureed kale and peas for the past year, so it’s really no surprise that icing doesn’t taste good to you. It’s onwards and upwards in the food department from here, and I’m sure your 1 year + foods will be much better than the infant foods were!

Saturday’s get together was a ton of fun for all of us too. We kept it pretty small and just had our families, and your Auntie Lindsay and Lee here, but it was a bit of a mad house anyways with your Uncle Neil & Kaitlyn’s puppy Hayley and Auntie Lindsay’s and Lee’s new puppy Bennett! Oh my gosh, the puppies were so cute and funny together, and when we added you into the mix, it was so hilarious. You got a few good licks to the face! You were a bit tired by the end of this party, so your cake didn’t go over very well, but you had a bit more fun with the leftovers later on in the evening.

You have changed me in every way possible my love, all 100% for the better. I have so much more empathy now for people in all situations. I’m a little better at going with the flow, although I still do like things to be planned out whenever possible. My heart is full of about 1000x more love and appreciation for health and for life. I’ve never been more clear in my life on my priorities and what matters to me. I truly have you to thank for so much.

I am so, beyond proud of you and everything that you’ve accomplished this year. You’ve been such a good little baby, and although there have been a lot of really hard moments, when I look back at them now, none of them seem that bad at all. I would give just about anything to rewind and live this year over again; even the hard parts. I will hold dear to my heart and cherish the memories of our sleepy mornings, hours on your foam mat, endless driving around Burlington with Iced Capps, Mommy & Me classes, sing songs, silly faces, crazy antics around the house, diaper blowouts, and all the rest of it for all the days of my life.

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I am trying my best to channel my wistful sadness into excitement for all of the happy memories to come. I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun this year is going to be with you as a 1 year old, but I know first hand now, how fast time goes. So my promise to you going into your 2nd year, is to do my very best to not let the hard parts upset me, to roll with the punches and keep focused on the bigger picture (that’s YOU!), and to drink in all of the moments as they happen.

I love you now, I’ll love you forever and ever sweet baby. Happy 1st Birthday!

All my love,

-Your Mommy xo

PS Mark my words – the Leafs win the cup in 2019 😉

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11 Months

Happy Sunday!

I can’t believe that this will be my last Austin update before my little monkey turns 1!!! I keep replaying over the question “how old is he now?” and my answer of “1!” in my head, and it just sounds completely bizarre to me. This has absolutely been the fastest year of my life, even though some moments have definitely not felt like they went by overly quickly 😉

Austin has been so much fun this month, as always, and constantly makes us laugh. He’s been changing every day, and is currently in the awkward “I really desperately want to walk, but can’t quite do it on my own yet” phase, so the poor guy has taken a few nasty spills trying to get himself up and on the go. He pulls himself up to stand on EV-ERY-THING, and has gotten really good at cruising around while holding onto furniture (or other humans, toys, or whatever else he can get his little paws on lol). He’s also gotten really good at crawling up the stairs! Eeks! He loves to scramble over to the stairs and start climbing up without anyone behind him, and then turn around to look at you with a cheeky grin like “See! I’m doing it on my own!”. Little turkey!

It’s been a little while since I wrote about my own recovery, but I’ve been feeling really good, and have been proud of my progress mentally and physically over the past few months. I really do feel like a new person since my “Surrender” post, and am confident that things are going to be okay for me in the long term. I haven’t tackled any high impact exercise for several months, and I’ve found that my body really does feel better not doing impact stuff for now. Maybe one day I’ll dip my toe back in that pond, but for now, I’m happy being able to attack resistance training with some vigour, and that has to be good enough for me. Now that I’ve been feeling really good, I’ve been feeling the itch to get myself back in shape, and really want to find another day or two a week that I can get to the gym beyond my two classes that I teach a week. It’s a work in progress!

We are getting more and more settled into our new house every day, and the renovations are almost done!! I’m hoping that they will only be here finishing up a few small tasks for one more week, and then out of our hair for good!! The thing I’m most excited about is having Austin’s playroom all setup for him to really go wild in. I’ll post pictures of it once it’s all setup and ready to go!!

All About Austin – 11 Month Edition

Favourite Foods: Well, if there was ever any doubt that Austin was my son, his absolute passionate love affair with eating has squashed any and all of it. I’ve never seen a child love food as much as Austin does! He’s still obsessed with shredded cheddar cheese, but he also loves pretty much all juicy fruits like watermelons, oranges, strawberries, blueberries…you name it. He’s also a big fan of chicken most days, and will spend up to a half hour just sitting in his high chair grazing on whatever you give him! There are very few foods that he doesn’t like!

Car Seat: Austin is pretty much outgrown and way over his bucket car seat, so for his first birthday we’ve got him the big convertible car seat that stays in the car, and I can’t begin to tell you how T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D I am to not have to deal with that huge, heavy car seat anymore!!! I wanted to just start using the car seat right away, but Matt is making us wait for his birthday….grumble grumble.

Soother: He’s recently switched over to a new “soothie” brand soother with this stuffed animal giraffe hanging off the end of it LOL…he’s had it since he was born, but never showed any interest in it…now he’s always boogie-ing around with a giraffe hanging out of his mouth, and it just cracks me up. This one has been good for him in his crib because it’s easier for him to find in the dark, which saves us from having to get up and get his soother for him 2,500 times a night *fist pump*

Drinking Strike of 2018: Still going strong. We had a little bit of success a few weeks ago, and sometimes he will drink from an open cup, but it isn’t consistent, and it isn’t a lot. The most he will drink is freshly squeezed orange juice, but he really doesn’t dig water or milk to drink on its own (little does he know, we’ve been sneaking whole milk into his food for months now…mua ha ha ha). I have moments where I get super frustrated about this, and why it has to be so hard like this, but for the most part, I’m comfortable that he’s getting the fluids he needs in some way or another and that he’s healthy and hydrated. I haven’t made another follow-up with our pediatrician, but probably owe her a phone call…. sigh.

Daycare: Shoot me please. I literally dread Austin going to daycare and me going back to work every day like it’s the plague. I know that it’s going to be a nightmare. Like I’ve written before, Austin is a really shy little baby in public, and really prefers to be at home or with his family that he knows and trusts. I’ve tried to leave him in a child minding once before and it went terribly. I just know that daycare will be the same. Everyone says that kids get over it quickly, but I don’t think that’s true for Austin, and I really am not okay with the idea of him crying his little heart out thinking that I’ve abandoned him 😦 break my heart 😦

First Birthday: I’m working away on planning Austin’s first birthday party and although I don’t want time to go by because I am truly the transitions coming in October, I am super excited for the celebrations! We’ve already done a cake smash photo shoot which was amazing and super fun, and I’m planning a few fun things to do with the pictures during  the party! I’m really hoping that it will be a fun day for everyone, but most of all Austin!

 

Well, I think that’s all for now, but we have a huge month coming up! Austin’s birthday, a trip up to Manitoulin Island for my cousin’s wedding, Thanksgiving….it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I’ll be back with an update around Austin’s birthday – but wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you following along with our crazy roller coaster of a year! I’m so thrilled to have the memories from the last year documented on this blog, and to share them with you. Knowing that you’ve been out there following along has given me the kick in the pants that I needed to keep up with it, so THANK YOU!!

-Sara xo

9 & 10 Months

Holy Bananas, it’s September 1st. Where the H did Summer go?

I’ve never been a huge Summer lover like a lot of my friends seem to be. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Summer for any reason, but my heart has always belonged 100% to the Fall. Crisp, dewy morning air, cool evenings, knee high boots and sweaters, plaid everything, trips to the farm, pumpkin treats, Thanksgiving, Halloween…alllllllll of it is a big yes please from me! And now we have another reason to love the Fall: Austin’s birthday!

Can we take a minute to let that soak in please?

Austin’s 1st birthday is just over 2 months away. It honestly feels like no more than 6 weeks ago that I was writing my big welcome to the world post and now I’m almost the mother of a 1 year old. Insanity.

It’s been a GIGANTIC couple of months over here in our little corner of the world; we’ve moved since my last Austin update! I’m writing this post from our brand new couch set in our brand new living room, surrounded by a mountain of boxes and chaos! Although we’re still very much settling in, our new house already feels so much like home, and we are sooooo, so super happy here.

We live on an absolutely amazing circle now that backs onto a gorgeous park, and we’ve had such a wonderful experience already getting to know our neighbours and other people in the neighbourhood.  It’s the type of place where people leave containers of dog treats and bowls of water out on their front lawn for people walking their dogs to stop and help themselves, and everyone you pass on the street waves to you, even if they’ve never met you before. We are soooo excited and feel so lucky that we snagged this house on the circle. We are doing some renovations on the lower levels of the house, and those should be wrapped up in the next few weeks, which will allow us to get fully unpacked and settled with things in their final homes.

Austin from Boston has been a champ through a VERY chaotic couple of months between packing and moving and unpacking, and has really made this whole process as smooth and easy as it could have been on us. It has been a bit of a challenging couple of months in another way though.

About 5 or 6 weeks ago now, Austin started to start refusing his bottle at feedings. It started off gradually, and he just wouldn’t finish his full bottle. Then progressed to him not wanting the bottle at all for certain feeds. Then progressed to full on bottle refusal. He is also refusing all cups and different bottles. We’ve been struggling a lot trying to get liquids into him in any way, and seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern now with him getting all of his liquids mixed into his pureed foods, by eating water-rich foods like watermelons and oranges and by giving him liquids on a spoon…but we are now stuck in a really stressful position where his pediatrician (yep, got ourselves one of those now….sigh) wants to run some really invasive and traumatic tests down his throat to see if there is a physical problem that could be preventing him from drinking. My mama bear horns are coming out big time, and I’m feeling super defensive of my little man. My issue with the whole situation is that Austin is doing so incredibly well in every way, aside from the drinking strike of 2018. He’s well hydrated from all of the milk in his foods, full of energy, great appetite, eats solid foods like a CHAMP, gaining weight like crazy, progressing with his development and milestones well, and is just all around my happy, cheeky, stubborn little guy that I’ve known from Day 1.

A lot of people have told me over the past two years to trust my gut, and that my mama instincts won’t often lead me astray. And really and truly, my mama instinct is telling me that this is a behavioural thing that will eventually pass or evolve. I’m really digging in my heels and preparing for a fight on this, because I won’t be agreeing to subjecting Austin to any tests unless (God forbid) his health took a downturn.

Put your money on me folks, I can take this pediatrician lol

ANYWAYS… this whole situation has been a huge source of stress and worry for me, but in and amongst all of that, Austin has been doing amazing!

All About Austin – 9 & 10 Month Edition 

Favourite Foods: Holy crap does this kid every love his solid foods now! He eats like a horse (not unlike his mama lol) and LOVES shredded cheddar cheese more then anything on the planet. He shovels fistfuls of it into his mouth at a time. Also really loves my garlic green beans, strawberries and oranges right now!

Least Favourite Foods: Still not a big fan of prunes lol also doesn’t love creamed corn… what can I say, when he makes up his mind about something, he makes up his mind! (See: Drinking Crisis 2018)

Sleeping: Reeeeally well, I feel like we’re finally somewhat out of the woods with the sleeping disaster of the past 11 months. He sleeps through the night pretty consistently now, and is up around 7am every day. We’ve found ourselves on a 2-3-4 schedule during the day, meaning that he naps about 2 hours after he wakes up in the morning around 9ish, then about 3 hours after he wakes up from that nap around 2 – 2:30ish, and then goes to bed about 4 hours after he wakes up from that nap around 7:30 – 8:00ish. It’s working really well for us, he’s like a little clock now, gets tired and cranky right on the button!

Mobility: Houston, we have a stander. Austin’s latest and greatest trick is scrambling over to any and everything he can get his hands on and pulling himself up to stand. He thinks he’s soooooooo clever lol I just love it! He’s taken a couple of nasty spills toppling over before we could get to him, but seems to be pretty resilient. He walks around holding onto our hands now as well, but is still pretty unsteady on his feet even while holding onto our hands (we call it the drunk Elvis walk because his hips and pelvis go a little crazy while he’s doing it LOL). He’s definitely working on it though, and is super determined to get walking, even though I think it’s still a little ways away!

Personality: More and more of Austin’s personality is coming out every day, and it’s becoming very obvious that our sweet little baby is a shy one. He really doesn’t love the group setting, and really prefers to be at home in his environment with Matt and I. At home he’s a total clown, always full of big laughs and smiles and getting into everything…but in group environments, he is really scared and shy and clings onto Matt or I with all his might, normally while crying 😦 I’m not really sure where this has come from, because we’ve been going to Mom & Tot classes together since he was about 3 months old…. but it’s something that we’ll have to work on together because……..

Daycare: We have a start date for daycare….October 16th. My heart shatters into a million pieces every time I think about it. Because Austin is really quite shy and reserved in a group setting, I really don’t know how he’s going to do at daycare. I can’t even think about it to be honest, it just stresses me out and upsets me 😦

Birthday Celebrations: I’m starting to work on planning Austin’s first birthday party!! Eee!! I’m so excited for it (although I also want time to STOP), and in true first time parent style am going way over the top I’m sure. I’m toying with a few ideas for the party right now, but want to start getting things locked down soon!

Guaranteed to Make Him Laugh: Throwing him in the air (lol), stooping down quickly with him in your arms, blowing on his face so that his hair blows off his forehead (lol), making animal sounds (duck quacks are his favourite), hiding around corners and jumping out and yelling PEEK as high pitched as you can, sticking your hand up his onesie shirt and ticking his bare chest, blowing raspberries on his bare belly…. the list could go on and on and on. I swear Austin spends 75% of his day laughing, and my god when he gets laughing can he ever get going! His laugh has evolved into this real little person laugh, and sometimes he laughs so hard that it stops making sound LOL it just kills me…

Fall Fun: I am sooo excited for all of the Fall activities to come this year! We took Austin to the pumpkin patch last year when he was literally about 10 days old, but this year should be quite a bit different! He will be 1 by the time we go to the farm, maybe even walking!? I’m planning a couple of trips to the farm for sure, and starting to think about our Halloween costumes too! Last year we just took him dressed in a lion costume over to my parents house, but this year I think he could handle a few houses of trick or treating! We are trying to come up with a good “trio” costume for Matt, Austin and I to be together….

Favourite Books: I was worried very early on in Austin’s life that we weren’t reading to him enough, but man oh man are we making up for it now. We probably read about 20 stories a day to him, no word of a lie. He LOVES books so much, they are his absolute, 100% favourite thing to occupy himself with. His very favourites are “The Little Blue Truck” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. He also likes “Brown Bear Brown Bear” and “I Have to Go”….and really any other book he can get his hands on! I’m so happy that he likes books and likes to be read to, I really hope that this continues!

All in all it’s been a busy and stressful, but also wonderful couple of months. I promise to be back here again BEFORE Austin’s first birthday! In the meantime, enjoy the start to Fall! Grab your plaid scarves and pumpkin scones!

-Sara xo

 

 

Surrender

Hi Friends,

Today I’m switching gears a little bit from my normal baby chat and Austin updates to tackle a big behemoth of a topic that I’ve been rolling around for a long time now.

Things have been pretty good around here; renovations at our new house are well underway and Matt and I are going through everything we own and trying to purge as much as we can leading up to our big move on August 25th. Austin has been doing more and more each day, and is just so much fun to hang out with, and we’re getting ready for a road trip up to Sault Ste. Marie next weekend to take Austin to meet my mom’s side of the family and spend some time with his Great Grandma!

With all of this wonderful stuff going on, I’ve also been fighting a constant battle against the fear, anxiety and sadness over the state of my body and the long term prognosis for a full recovery from our birth. I met with a specialist this past week who had an incredibly bleak prognosis for me, and basically told me that he would bet that I would have issues for life as a result of our birth experience. It’s been tough. Extremely tough.

Today I wanted to talk a bit about the underlying issues that I’m starting to see at play here. And that is the concept of expectations vs. reality.

Expectation is a nasty little bitch responsible for so, so much unhappiness in this world, don’t you think? How many hundreds of thousands of times have bad things happened because someone is pissed off, or sad, or disappointed or upset that something didn’t go the way that they expected it to go? It seems that we (in general, I totally see exceptions to this rule even within my own circle of family and friends) just aren’t as receptive to adjusting our expectations (or better yet, dropping expectations completely) as we should be to maximize our own happiness. I’m culprit number one for this.

I’ve been struggling so much looking at the long term prognosis for the rest of my life, because there’s a good possibility that it won’t be quite what I had expected. For some naive reason, I expected to be in perfect health for my entire life. I expected to be the super mom who ran marathons, did tuck jumps that awed and inspired her kids, all the while baking the best chocolate chip cookies on earth, being present for every activity they have, and being the best wife on earth. Now that something has happened to me that is threatening many aspects of this, I’m having a really hard time adjusting to the new reality of what could be.

So, just throwing it out there. What if we all worked to drop the expectations completely. Completely

Instead of expecting things to go a certain way, and then being devastated when things don’t turn out quite that way, what if we worked together to have goals and dreams and aspirations, but agreed to surrender to what is, instead of what could have been.

I wish every day that things had gone differently with our birth. I’ve cried a million tears or more over it. I’ve lavished more self-hate on myself in the past 10 months then you can begin to imagine; hating my body for how badly it failed us that day.

But the fact of the matter is: I can’t change how things went down that day. I just can’t. What’s happened has happened, and there isn’t anything I can do to change that.

And so I’m trying a new approach. And that is to surrender. Surrender to the past, because nothing can be changed back there. Surrender to my expectations for the future, and letting go of what I think should be, and being okay with what is.

I may not be in perfect health for the rest of my days as I expected to be. My body may not work 100% as I hoped it would, and I may deal with issues earlier in life then I had initially thought I would. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t live a wonderful, happy, rich and fulfilled life.

And so, I surrender. I surrender to what is in the past, and I surrender all expectations and what I naively thought I was owed for the future. And oddly enough, surrender feels like the greatest victory I’ve had so far.

Surrender

8 Months

Happy Canada Day from Matt, Austin and I!!

Well, actually, it’s just Austin and I over here for this long weekend; Matt is away for the weekend on a canoe trip with all three of his brothers and his Dad for a retirement celebration for his Dad, so Austin and I are holding down the fort here for the weekend, along with Matt’s mom!

It’s been a while since Austin and I have had an extended time without Matt around, but we’ve been managing well and having lots of fun together so far. In fact, truth be told, I’m actually kind of enjoying having my little muffin all to myself!

Austin is just about 9 months now, and he is in this absolutely amazing stage of his life where he interacts with us so much now, is so quick and easy to make laugh or smile, and has this cheeky, determined, focused little personality that comes out more and more every day. I’m pretty much just absolutely obsessed with him and nothing makes me happier then making him laugh his little buns off (and man, when he gets going, can he laugh his little buns off! LOL)

I thought for this update, I’d do a bit of a different format and tell you….

All About Austin (8 Month Edition)

Favourite Foods: Baby Mum Mum crackers (veggie flavour) and sweet potato puree

Least Favourite Foods: Prunes, Peas, Green Beans and Creamed Corn (lol the kid is crazy when it comes to the corn, I think it smells so good!)

Sleeping: Pretty well! I’d say about 4 – 5 nights a week he will sleep through the night for us, and the other nights he will be up once max. Not too bad. I will say that I’m feeling even more tired then I was before though; possibly because we’re starting to catch up on a little bit of sleep now?

Naps: Pretty consistently every 2 – 3 hours during the day…progress!

Crawling: Army crawling!! A few weeks ago, he started to show signs that he was interested in getting on the move, and sure enough, over the past few weeks, he’s progressed to doing what we call the “drunk inchworm” across the floor in pursuit of his favourite toys LOL…it’s seriously so funny to watch. He hasn’t quite made his way onto all fours yet, but I’m sure it’s coming! He’s pretty good with his inchworm though, I must say!

Favourite Toys: The remote control (HANDS DOWN), and my car keys. Go figure. Also, pretty much any household item that he isn’t allowed to have. Here’s lookin’ at you Swiffer.

Swimming: Like a little fish! We did another round of swimming lessons this month, and he’s still loving it! He LOVES to kick, kick, kick his little legs, and pretty much does it non-stop when he’s in the water!

Shots: Next set of vaccines is scheduled for this coming Friday, and I’m dreading it. I just despise the thought of anything hurting him, or making him feel unwell. Sigh. We will also get to check his weight and height at this appointment, and I am looking forward to that! The last time we weighed him was back on April 19th and he was 16 lbs 5 oz. I’m  hoping that he is at least 18 or 19 pounds now!

Loves to Laugh At: Pretty much anything LOL, but especially loves when I make elephant “clomping” sounds, especially when I walk around with him on my shoulders, also loves having his belly tickled, or when you play peekaboo around the corner with him. The higher pitched the “PEEK”, the bigger the laugh. Also, when I lower my sunglasses and look at him in the rearview mirror in the car. LOL. I pretty much spend 75% of my day trying to make this little guy laugh.

Speaking: Consonants! He pretty regularly babbles “mamamamama” now, and we’re pretty sure we’ve heard lots of other consonants in there as well! I don’t think he really has associated me with the words “mama”, so I’m not calling this his first word officially, but he’s doing pretty well with his babble speak!

Wearing: Still mostly sleepers around the house lol….I just don’t have it in me to get him dressed in nice clothes when we’re just playing around the house, but I do try to get him dressed in some of his cute little clothes when we go out to art or music class. His 9 month clothes are getting too small for him already though….almost time for another wardrobe update!

Vacations: No more for us for a little while! We are taking a family trip with my family up to Manitoulin Island in October for my cousin’s wedding, but apart from that, we are sticking around town for the summer! I’m hopeful to take Austin to the park a bit more when the weather cools (the F) down a bit, and maybe to the splash pad when he gets a bit more mobile and can enjoy it more!

In general, it’s just been a really, really awesome month for us. I feel like we’re settling into our roles and our family dynamic so well, and really finding our groove. I just couldn’t be more in love with Austin; just thinking about it wells me up sometimes. I would do anything for him, literally anything; he is the absolute best part of my day and I just feel like this is exactly what I was put on this earth to do. It feels really good.

In other news, Matt and I have been busy as bees with all of the renovations at our new house (which we took possession of back on June 1st – EEK!), and it’s looking amazing so far! We’re 3 weeks into the 8 week renovation now, and the entire house is really starting to take shape and feel like it will be a really handsome family home for us.

The original owners of this house lived in it for 40 years, before selling it to the last owners who renovated the first three levels and sold it to us. I just love the idea of breathing new life into this house and bringing a new family into it to love on it again. I’m probably the most excited to have a big playroom in this house for Austin to cruise around in, and a huge park in the backyard; our small townhouse living room is really cramping his style now that he’s on the move!

I’ve been still working on my recovery, and am back off of high impact activity again after changing physiotherapists to a new (and very good) one, who advised against it for now. Honestly, I’m fine with that, because any exercise at all is just a major stress inducer right now for me because sometimes it brings on symptoms and problems for me. I’m also dealing with a lot of anxiety and mental trouble with healing and accepting what my body is now, and how it functions for me (or doesn’t). I’d like to say it’s a work in progress, but I’m honestly not even really working on it right now. I’m feeling a bit stalled to be honest.

Anyways – I think that’s it on our end! Wishing you and your family a very happy Canada Day, or 4th of July long weekend, and I hope your home is as full of love and laughter as ours is right now!

-Sara xo

 

 

 

 

 

6 & 7 Months

Hello, Hello!

It’s been such a beautiful Spring and start to Summer here in Burlington, and once again, time has slipped away on me. Our sweet little monkey is 7.5 months old now, and should be applying for his Drivers License annnyyyyyy day now 😉

So, so much has changed and evolved since my last update! Austin continues to grow and change sooooo much every single day, it is totally blowing my mind, and I’m doing my best to soak in every single moment with him the way that he is right now, because I already know that what they say is absolutely true: time flies.

We’ve just finished our first round of swimming lessons and are gearing up for round two over the summer, and we are also doing another round of the same art class that we did in the Spring! Now that Austin is mostly able to sit on his own and has a bit more control, he is totally loving all of these activities and it just makes my heart sing to see him have so much fun!

In other news…..

Vaccines

Houston, we have a vaccinated child! Holy catfish…that was a mission and a half. We ended up finally being referred to McMaster Hospital for Austin to get his shots under observation for the first time, and his appointment was April 19th.

It was super stressful, and heart breaking to watch him get his shots (I cried more then he did lol); I just hated the thought of him feeling pain and wondering why I was letting somebody hurt him. He really did take the shots like a champ though, and hardly cried at all! My mom came with me to the appointment because Matt had to work, and we hung around the hospital for an extra couple of hours in the food court just in case, but all seemed to be fine, and he slept for most of the afternoon, and was otherwise his happy, cheeky little self. I was a nervous wreck for the next couple of days after he got them and basically didn’t let him out of my sight for a second (including over night), but finally conceded that all seemed to be well and he was safe from the crazy reaction that Matt and Troy had when they were babies.

Now that all seems to be okay, we have some catching up to do with his vaccines, so will be doing them every 2 months until he catches up at 1 year old and then should be back on track. Phew.

Austin’s First Cruise 

Since my last update, we actually took our second family vacation with Austin on board the Allure of the Seas cruise ship for our friend’s wedding! It all worked out pretty great, because my family came along with us on this trip, meaning that Matt’s family had one vacation with us, and then 8 weeks later, my family got one!

I was nervous (as usual) about traveling with Austin and about being on the cruise ship because of the germs, but I was relieved that this time he had had his vaccines before we left, so at least was somewhat protected from the really nasty stuff.

The flight there was pretty uneventful, the airline took pity on us and got us an infant bassinet, so he actually got to lie down and sleep for a good portion of the flight! In general, he was a really good little baby for us the entire cruise. We hung around on the boat mostly, which was far from a hardship because this boat was absolutely huge with so many things to see and do!

It was a little challenging for us to actually get off the boat because that ports that we were in (Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten) were all sizzling hot, and it was a bit tough to keep his temperature cool, but we did manage to get to the Hard Rock Café in Nassau (Matt and I used to make fun of tourists who travel to these exotic locations and then eat burgers at the Hard Rock….we are totally those people now lol), and also to Maho Beach in St. Maarten, which is the beach famous for being right in front of the runway at the St. Maarten airport, so the plans come in super close to the beach! We didn’t get to see a landing like we had hoped for, but we did see a pretty good size plane take off, which was cool!

I was so proud of Austin for how well he adapted to the boat and the new surroundings, and the very uncomfortable pack and play that he had to sleep in…poor little baby. We had a couple of rough nights, but he always rebounded and managed to pull it together for us to enjoy the day with him. Our little world traveler!

We had a bit of a rough trip home, because an unexpected thunderstorm system moved in on the Fort Lauderdale airport as we were sitting in the terminal waiting for our flight, and they actually closed the airport to all incoming / outgoing flights for 45 minutes!

Well that’s a first.

We ended up being delayed about 5 hours, which would have been challenging in the BEST of circumstances, let alone with a 6 month old! Austin from Boston just kept rolling with the punches though, and napped for a bit, and was otherwise pretty agreeable in  the terminal. He was understandably a little fussy on the flight; poor baby had been in transit for the entire day, and had just had enough. I felt like crying too!

Thankfully, we don’t have any more big trips planned with Austin for this year….we made it! Lol…I may end up wishing for these days of traveling with a little baby vs. a mobile toddler haha

Solids

By George, we’ve got it! We struggled so much at first with transitioning to solids, and I was so baffled by this because both Matt and I love food so much lol, but Austin just wasn’t into anything we were giving him at all and totally refused all of our attempts for the first couple of weeks straight.

We finally realized that the key was consistency (isn’t it the key for everything baby related? Sigh). We found that as soon as we committed to doing his solid feeds EVERY single day at similar times, things started to fall into place.

Oh, and I also totally gave in and started adding a dash of cinnamon to his oatmeal in the morning….THAT went off like a house on fire!

Oh my gosh you guys, I don’t think there’s anything I love more in the world then feeding Austin his purees. When he likes the taste of something, he gapes his mouth open like a fish, and will sometimes just sit there waiting for you with his mouth hanging wide open and these huge, excited eyes like “I’m waiiiiiiiiiting!”. I die. He adores his cinnamon oatmeal in the morning, and we’ve been experimenting with all different kinds of veggies, fruits and veggie / fruit combos in the evening. His favourite is probably sweet potatoes right now, and least favourite is (shockingly) peas and green beans lol (nothing wrong with this boys taste).

We’ve also been giving Austin these dissolving crackers called “Baby Mum Mums” that have been so great for teaching him how to eat actual solid foods, and also a great distraction for him to munch on / play with in his high chair while we eat meals!

With purees going so well, we are planning to start introducing more and more “real” foods in the next couple of weeks, but aren’t putting too much pressure on all of us just yet. He’s still drinking most of his nutrition in the form of breast milk, so the solids are more about learning at this point.

One more (very sad) note on this topic, we’ve had to stop our early morning nursing sessions because our little dinosaur has developed four razor sharp teeth, and was gnawing on me like a carrot stick 😦 he drew blood a couple of times, and so we decided that we would stick to pumping and bottles to save my poor nipples. It really made me so sad to stop nursing, I truly loved those early morning sessions where he was so sleepy and cuddly. That being said, I am also really proud that we are still going full steam ahead with pumping and that he is still on exclusively breast milk at almost 8 months. The only reason that I have for wanting to stop pumping is that I’m kind of eager to see if there is any further improvement in some of my recovery symptoms once I stop producing milk…but I’m willing to keep going for the time being, with the ultimate goal to make it to 1 year. We’ll have to wait and see!

My Recovery

I’ve been feeling so much better recently, and am back to doing just about everything that I want to do in the gym now. I still struggle quite a bit with my mind if I’m being honest; in particular with anxiety about my symptoms returning, or worsening, or creating new problems as a result of my exercising and lifestyle.

I’m trying to work on this anxiety and obsessing, but some days it really gets the better of me. I really am growing increasingly more and more frustrated that this type of injury is allowed to happen to women giving birth these days, and that more isn’t done for us afterwards to support us and make sure that we can get back to our lives symptom-free. Honestly, if it weren’t for my own proactiveness, I wouldn’t have seen one single practitioner after my completely useless 6 week check-in with my family doctor (who had no idea that I had even suffered a fourth degree tear, and hardly looked up from her computer when I told her).

I’m grateful to be where I am, but I still have symptoms some days that worry me. Whether or not I should be worried, I’m not sure. I have one more specialist appointment in July, and hopefully that will tell the tale and help me put my mind at ease once and for all, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled to be able to live mostly symptom free and to be back doing what I love.

Sleep

I never quite know how to answer the question “‘so, how is he sleeping?”…I always say something like “Good…I think….”. The truth is that every night is a bit of a roulette wheel, and we never quite know what to expect. He’s been doing much better then he WAS during the teething hell weeks / month, that’s for sure.

We can definitely count on him going down for bed between 8pm – 9pm. From there, on a good night, he’ll make it until at least 4am or later, get up for a feed and then back down. On a really good night, he’ll make it until about 6:30am or 7:00am, and then he’s up for the day. On a not so good night, he’ll be up around 1:30am for a feed / snuggle, and then back down until 4am or 7am (there is no in between lol).

When you look at it laid out like this, it really hasn’t been so bad in the past few weeks. I came down with a nasty cold last week, so that was a bit tough, and Matt thankfully stepped in to do a few night shifts for me and help me get some rest, but all in all, I feel like this schedule is pretty manageable. We still haven’t done any sleep training of any sort, but we are just doggedly forging ahead, sticking to our schedule, and hoping that when he is truly ready, he will give us that glorious 12 hour night that we dream of lol

Our New House

Eeeeeeeee you guys!! We are SO in love with our new house and our new neighbourhood, and we haven’t even moved into it or taken possession yet! We’ve been total stalkers and drive past the house all the time, and we’ve even taken our stalkerness to the next level and started driving over to our circle to go for walks through the park behind our house.

We are sooooooo in love with it.

The park and the trails behind the house are so beautiful, and we just can’t believe that we are going to be able to give Austin and his siblings their childhood with all of this literally outside their backdoor.

We’ve signed our contractor team, and plans are to start work sometime in July, with lots of planning work and potentially demo starting in late June. We can’t wait to get these lower levels renovated so that we can move into the house! Our target is to be in the house by September 1st, and we just can’t wait!

My First Mothers Day 

My first Mothers Day was a few weeks back now, and it was a wonderful day. Matt and Austin got me some beautiful flowers and a set of matching shirts that say “Mom”, “Dad” and “Baby” which we wore all day haha

I’ve been kind of overwhelmed with how much love I have for my sweet baby and for my little family these past few weeks. It’s always been there, but for some reason I’ve been noticing it even more these days.

Everyone knows that mothers love their babies, but I don’t think anyone except another mama knows just how much. Sometimes I just feel like I could cry looking at my perfect little baby, and I wonder what on earth I ever did right in this world to deserve him.

Not a day goes by when I’m not SO thankful for Austin, and all of his hilarious little quirks. He’s in this amazing stage right now where it’s so easy to make him laugh, and he smiles so easily and freely. He has this impish little grin that people comment on all the time, and a long belly laugh that he can’t really control once he gets going, it’s a full on giggle attack!

I am so excited for all of the stages to come, but the one that we’re in right now is pretty wonderful, and I wouldn’t trade one day of it in.

Austin’s Favourite Things of the Moment

-Any high pitched noise that you make (his favourite right now: when I go “CHIME!” in a high pitched voice lol)

-Riding around on his Daddy’s shoulders

-Jamming any and everything he can get his hands on into his gaping little mouth

-Our remote control

-Our cell phones

-Listening to music (in particular, The Wiggles, God help us)

-Kick, kick, kicking in the swimming pool and the bathtub!

Phew! I could keep on going, but this is turning into a behemoth of a post. We really couldn’t be much happier over here, and are just loving each and every day with our little man. I hope to be back with another update before too long!

Enjoy the start to summer!

-Sara xo

 

 

Happy 1/2 Birthday Austin!

April 9th, 2018

Dear Austin,

Happy Half Birthday Baby! You are 6 months old today, and I just can’t believe that you’ve been here with your Dad and I for half of a year. It seems like no time at all has gone by, and at the same time, we can’t imagine (or remember!) life without you.

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The past 6 months has been a complete whirlwind, and your Dad and I have bumbled along the way as best we can. You as our first baby have admittedly been a bit of a guinea pig for us as we learn the ropes of this whole parenting thing, and thankfully, you’ve been a relatively easy-going baby and have made it fairly easy for us.

We had your 6 month check-up today, and you weigh 16.1 pounds; nearly exactly double your birth weight, and right on track! Wahoo! You’re also tall baby boy, 27.5 inches long to be exact. I hope that you hang onto your height, I’m sure it will serve you well throughout your life. In general, your health is great, and I thank the universe every single day for it. I have no greater fear on earth then something going wrong with your health, and I am grateful for every healthy day.

We’ve just started trying to feed you oatmeal baby cereal, and it’s pretty hilarious. You just HATE it, and usually purse your lips and spit the cereal right back out at your Dad and I. We’ve taken to parading around in front of you like circus clowns trying to entertain you and keep you happy so that there’s a chance you’ll eat it; but you ain’t no fool, and most of the time you just look at us like we’re crazy. Maybe we are!

You’ve been going through a really tough development stretch for the past few weeks (and teething….yikes….), and have been pretty unsettled during the day and night. It breaks my heart when you are so upset and I can’t seem to fix whatever is bothering you. If I’m being totally honest, I’ve felt a bit for the past few weeks like I haven’t been the greatest mother, because I just don’t know how to help you, or how to soothe you when things are upsetting you. I know that we will get through this rough patch together, and I’ll keep doing my best to help you through my love.

My favourite part of the day is still the morning when I go to get you from your crib, and you look at me with this look of absolute sheer delight and excitement (sometimes you even screech out loud with excitement!) and reach your arms up for me with the  biggest gummy grin of all time. No matter how rough the night has been, or how tired I am, that moment makes up for it. Lately, I’ve been picking you up and taking you to our guest bedroom mirror to sing a “good morning” song, and you seem to like that a lot.

You are doing more and more every day now; you just love to roll from your back to your tummy and then back to your back again, and sometimes when I turn my back to you for 20 seconds, you’ll string two or three rolls together and travel across your mat on the floor! I know that you’ll be mobile before too long, and I have a feeling you’ll be a busy little bee because you’re always kicking and squirming around like you just can’t wait to move!

We are starting to see more of your little personality come out now, and I think that I see a lot of both your Dad and I in you. You seem to be quite introverted when we’re out in public; a little more reserved, quiet, like to be close to your Dad or I….but when you’re at home or somewhere else where you’re comfortable, you really let loose and love to shriek and scream and roll all over the place. Both your Dad and I are introverts at heart, so maybe you’ll be like us. You also seem to hate getting dirty or messy at art class (which makes me laugh because your Dad so wants you to be a messy kid…ha!).

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I am so torn right now between being so excited for you to grow up and all of the fun that we will have, and desperately wanting you to stay my little baby forever. Sometimes when I’m rocking you to sleep, I remember the early days when you used to not even take up the length of my torso, and now your long little legs are all curled up, pushing against my legs. Those sleepy moments in the rocking chair are a very close second-favourite moment for me….I wish that we could stay there forever sometimes.

Your Dad and I have just bought a new to us house, and we plan for this to be the house that you grow up in! We plan to move in this Summer once some renovations are completed on the house, and I  just can’t wait to spend lazy Summer days out in the park with you, or to teach you to ride your bike on our beautiful, quiet circle.

I hope and pray that whenever and wherever you read this letter that you are living a wonderful, happy and fulfilled life my baby. No matter how big and strong you get, to me, you will always be the cheeky, giggly, snuggly little baby that you are right now.

There are no words to properly express my love for you; but I hope that I don’t need to, and that you know how much your Dad and I love you. You are the single greatest thing that has ever happened to either one of us, and our lives would mean nothing without you.

Happy Half Birthday my baby – your mama loves you more than anything.

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-Mom xo

(PS Please, please, please will you sleep through the night for me tonight….pretty please?)