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…with a good ending

22 Jan
Jade had a great morning at the daycare. Cheryl, one of the caregivers, said that she played with her new friend Riley and the only time she cried (a little) was when she was put down for her nap. But she ended up sleeping for an hour (woohoo!) and picked all the carrots and tomatoes out of the curry she had for lunch.

All the activity didn’t disturb Jade’s afternoon nap, either, which was another worry I’d had. She definitely stayed a bit closer to me when we played this afternoon, but she wasn’t too bad — no crying when I put her down on the floor, for example.

She had a great time playing with Nanuq. He would go from the living room to the kitchen and she would crawl after him. Then he would turn around and come back to the living room and she would screech and giggle and chase him the other way. Then he started chewing on a rawhide and she would take it away from him (because all toys belong to her, of course) and he would gently take it back from her, which would make her screech and throw her arms around my neck, as this was the absolute height of hilarity.

By bedtime I could see the effects of her stimulating morning, so I think I may need to give her an earlier bedtime once she starts doing full days of daycare. I can see how I’ll appreciate my time with her all the more when I haven’t seen her all day. But I don’t think the days will be as hard to put in when I’m occupied with my job as opposed to trying to keep busy with house chores. Overall, though, it was a great experiment and a great experience.

A sad morning

22 Jan
Jen came and picked me up at 8:15 this morning and we drove with Jade to the Love-to-Learn daycare. I’m leaving her there until lunchtime today.

It’s taking me forever just to type these few words, as I feel extremely conflicted. The whole point of this exercise is to get her used to being at the daycare so that it’s easier on her when she starts having to go 3 days a week. So I want things to go well, including naptime and meals. Paradoxically, though, and illogically, I really don’t want her to adjust, because that would mean that she really doesn’t need me. I know that this really isn’t true, but I can’t help that I don’t really want to let go of my little girl just yet. Even just this little bit.

Snotty-nosed kids and rainbow laughter

15 Jan
Poor miss Jade seems to have come down with a cold.  She has nasal congestion that causes her breathing to sound as though she were underwater, particularly when her mouth is full of something (like a boob, for example).  Michael actually had to leave the bedroom yesterday morning because he couldn’t sleep through her usual first-thing-in-the-morning feed in bed with us.  At one point later in the morning, she sneezed, which caused the formation of an enormous snot bubble.  She seemed very surprised and tried to grab the bubble that was stuck to her face, with predictable consequences.
She seems to have even more snot today, but it hasn’t slowed her down an iota.  I’ve tried to aspirate her nose, but she hates that thing and cries when I spend too much time wiping her nose.  I suppose I ought to just leave it alone — there’s nothing really wrong with letting her nose get all crusty, other than people (including me) hate to look at it.  But forcing her to let me wipe her nose (when it really isn’t medically necessary, after all) seems like a violation of her body.  *sigh*  I clearly am way over-analyizing the whole situation.  Can you believe I actually haven’t had to deal with this yet?
On a less gross note, Jade’s new trick these past two weeks (besides talking incessantly, her new favourite words being "doo, doo, doo", and "nun, nun, nun") is to giggle and chortle like a mad being for — apparently — no reason at all.  She’ll jump up and down on the couch, laughing her head off, she screeches when the dog walks in our direction, she shrieks when she sees other kids running around, and guffaws when I sing along to the music from her car toy.  She loves being tickled and thrown in the air, and we can’t do it enough because who can get tired of hearing baby giggles?  The sound of our baby laughing fills my head with rainbows… the most beautiful sound in the world.

Babies mean constant changes

3 Jan

Did I forget to mention that Jade loves shoes?  Yes, she’s all of 11 months old, and she’s already got a thing for footwear.  She stands up at her little cupboard and opens the doors and pulls out all her shoes.  When she sees booties or baby shoes on the floor, she makes a beeline for them.  I didn’t start to have a thing for shoes until I was in high school.

Jade also seems to be into matching things.  It started with the shoes, I think.  There might be three pairs of baby shoes or booties on the floor, and she’ll pick up two that match and wave them around.  Yesterday, she got into the basket of musical toys and picked up a rhythm stick (the ribbed one).  Then she dug in the basket until she found the other rhythm stick (the smooth one).  And then she waved them around.  She did the same with the two kazoos (one yellow and one red).

Yesterday I realized that her morning nap was starting to move later.  I pulled out my copy of the "The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems" to see what Tracy Hogg had to say.  Sure enough, many one-year-olds start dropping the morning nap and moving to one long afternoon nap.  So I’ll go with the flow for a bit and see if we can eventually get the two naps merged into one.  Of course, first I really need to find out what the schedule at Jade’s daycare will be.

We’re going for a tour on Friday afternoon.  I’m hoping that afterward I will feel better about leaving Jade there for three days a week.  I already heard that the "infants" group that Jade will be in takes their lunch at 11:00 a.m., which is an hour earlier than I give Jade her lunch.  I’ll find out the schedule for the whole day and try to get her on it before she has to go there.  We’ll probably have a couple of days later on in the month where I will go there and spend part of the day with her, so she can get used to things.

And on the first day I leave her there and go to work, I think I will cry.

I know, I know, she’ll adjust just fine, I’m sure.  But I keep thinking, what if it’s difficult?  What if she stops sleeping through the night?! (Augh!)  What if she takes her first step while she’s there and I miss it?

As you can see, I’m having some emotions about the idea of going back to work.

However, I really like my boss and co-workers, and I’m moving into a cool new job in the same branch when I get there.  Plus there’s providing my family with benefits and a steady flow of cash.  (And then there are the "obligatory" facts that I didn’t work there for a full year after they paid for our move to Whitehorse and I got a top-up while on maternity leave, so unless we want to pay all that back to the government…)

So back to work I will go.

One of the veteran moms in the neighbourhood tells me she found it really difficult to back to work after she had her first baby, but that after a few days she started to feel better and even found she became a better mom because it was good for her to get out and use her brain and interact with adults.  Plus she liked being able to go to the bathroom on her own, although I personally haven’t found that to be a problem.  (I mean, geez, Jade is safe enough playing with her toys for the 76 seconds it takes me to pee and wash my hands.  Why else did we bother to baby-proof?)

At any rate, I’m supposed to start working for four days a week on January 29th, but I think I’ll ask if I can work three days that week, using up one holiday day.  Because if I have to be at work on the day Jade turns one (on January 30th) I will surely be a miserable, crying, unproductive basket case.  And nobody wants to see me like that.

Baby’s new tricks

17 Nov
It’s so exciting to watch Jade develop new skills!  I spent a few hours yesterday reviewing photos of Jade and marvelled at how much she has grown and changed in nine and a half months.  We got a chance to weigh Jade at the Healthy Moms lunch yesterday, and she came in at 16 lbs 8 oz, which means she is 6 oz more than two weeks ago.  I know it’s silly to worry, but it’s nice to know that she’s going in the right direction. 
For her afternoon snack, I grated up some cheddar cheese, which she was recently introduced to.  She thinks it’s okay, but isn’t that excited over it.  When I presented her with the grated cheese, (on a plastic plate on the floor next to her) she grabbed a bunch, but wasn’t in a hurry to put it in her mouth, and when I fed a little to her, she made a kind of "worried" face that means, "Einh, I’ve had better."  Crook came over to investigate what was going on.  Now Nanuq LOVES cheddar, but I’ve never offered any to Crook before.  He sniffed the bit that Jade was holding, which Jade found terrifically exciting.  I gave Crook a little piece of cheese for himself, which he quickly ate up, and Jade was finally convinced to put hers in her mouth.  Thanks to Crook for setting a good example!
Last week I went for lunch at a friend’s house and noted that her son, a couple of weeks older than Jade, was drinking happily from his sippy cup.  I’ve always taken the valve out of Jade’s cups, or just let her drink from a regular glass, because she never learned to suck on the cup spout.  Asheya explained that she took the valve out of her son’s cup until he learned water came from it, then replaced it, and he just started sucking.  That’s what I had tried to do, too, but that was almost 3 months ago.  Asheya’s boy just got a sippy cup last month.  So I decided to let Jade try again.  And what do you know, she got it on the first try.  Now she loves helping herself to her own water.
Jade’s newest game is open up the kitchen cupboards.  Mostly she ignores what’s inside (although she did knock out my kitchen scale the other day) and contents herself with banging them open and shut.
Yes, things are always exciting in this household!
P.S. Thanks to all of you who asked about my back and offered advice.  I feel good as new again, although I’m trying to be careful not to overdo things.  I really don’t need a repeat performance!

This girl was made for walkin’

14 Nov
Well, she’s not officially walking yet (c’mon, folks, she’s only 9 months old!) but lately Jade has been very into pushing things around.  It started with the tea trolley, then progressed to the footstool, and yesterday she went on to the kitchen chairs.  Today, Jade was walking around using the toy truck from Granny and Pop.  She looks so big walking behind it! 
I have a bad feeling about the night ahead.  She has a diaper rash, a mild rash on her face, and she’s already woken up once tonight with a stuffy nose.  I plugged in the humidifier and let her nurse a bit, then sat in her room until she fell asleep, mostly because when I left for a desperately-needed toilet break, she woke from her semi-asleep state into full hysteria.  *sigh*
Well, hopefully she’ll get over this cold (or bout of teething?!) soon so that we can get her back on the good sleep we’ve managed to enjoy for a week.
I recently got a "Drop-Shots" account that lets me share my videos — hurray!  (Thanks to Stacie, who uses it from her blog, so I knew where to find this service.)  I plan to upload some of the videos I took today of Jade walking with the car.  Those who want to see the videos should e-mail me for the URL.

Jade the musician

10 Nov
I forgot to mention that Jade officially became a musician yesterday.  She’s been playing with percussive instruments for a while (indeed, she turns many things into percussive instruments) and we often play along with the electric piano when I set it to randomly play one of the 100 songs in its memory.  We have a basket of small instruments (shakers, rhythm sticks, kazoos, harmonicas…) that I let Jade play with when the piano is doing its thing. 
One of her favourite instruments is a strange-looking instrument that Michael’s parents brought back from South America.  It’s shaped like a turtle and plays like a whistle or flute.  I always cringe when she grabs it because it’s made of clay (or something similar) and when she’s done with it, she inevitably drops it from shoulder height before going onto the next thing.  Plus, she usually plays with it by banging it on the floor.
Yesterday, while I was making the gravy and mashed potatoes for supper, Michael was keeping Jade entertained by playing with the basket of instruments.  As usual, she grabbed the turtle-flute, but this time she put it to her lips.  Michael laughed as she made strange noises, saying, "I think she’s trying to blow into it."
And suddenly, she played a note!
Michael and I both erupted in cheers, and she took the instrument from her lips and gave Michael a huge triumphant smile.  Then she played it again. 
I think she’s hooked.  And (in the words of Martha Stewart) that’s a good thing.