August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have been adjusting to life as a family of four and I think we’re just really starting to find our rhythm. Nick went back to work full time this week and Henry’s been hanging out with his sitter & her son Monday through Thursday for about 6 hours a day. This is great for Charlie and I being able to have some time together, even if it means him crying and fussing and nursing til he falls asleep. Things are pretty loud in a two bedroom apartment with a nearly-4-year-old and so it’s nice to have some time where it’s just the two of us, Charlie sleeping peacefully and me being able to shower/read/re-apply for Canadian Citizenship Certificates, etc.
The time between babysitter leaving and Nick getting home where I have both kids usually involves a TV break (so we can all hang out on the couch happily) or me carrying Charlie around in the Ergo so he doesn’t fuss and I can play with Henry. Making dinner is still an adventure, but I’m figuring it out, even if it means Charlie crying a bit because I can’t hold him all the time.
Nick has been taking “Summer Fridays” off for the month, so we can spend them together as a family. Last Friday, we actually made it into the city to go to the Museum of Natural History! Sure, Charlie and I had to make an emergency evacuation of the planetarium show because he wouldn’t nurse and wouldn’t stop crying, but it was all worth it! He just wants to sleep on you for a good part of the day right now, so we might as well carry him around in the Ergo (which he MUCH prefers to his stroller at the moment) anywhere we need to go.
Charlie is a champ when it comes to eating, so he’s grown a ton in the past month. His head and face are filling out along with the rest of his body. In the photo above he looks so much like my dad and brother! Also his skin is peeling, his baby acne is clearing up, and his darker hair seems to already be falling out in his bed while he sleeps. He’s also starting to wear some of his 3 month-sized clothes. I can’t wait to see what he’ll look like in the next couple months.
We’ve found a pretty good balance when it comes to spending time with both kids too. Whenever possible, Nick will take Charlie for chest naps in our bedroom while I hang out with Henry. I also do bath and bed time with Henry every night while Nick takes Charlie after I give him one last feeding for a while. Up until this week, Nick and I have had from about 8:00-9:00 to hang out in the living room and watch Netflix and eat popcorn together, but the last few nights, Charlie has refused to sleep until we both go to sleep at 9:30 or 10:00. The lack of time of having both kids asleep at the same time kinda sucks, but it’s worth it because he has been sleeping much better – only getting up 2 or 3 times a night to nurse! Such an improvement from Henry who would wake me up about 6-7 times a night.
I also caved and bought a Dockatot after Julia praised its magic. I’m sure that has something to do with the improved sleep ;) Thanks, Julia!
July 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have officially been a family of four for two weeks now! We already love Charlie so much that it seems like he’s been here for a lot longer, although we are still regaining our footing and figuring things out with this big change. The two biggest things we’re adjusting to are Henry’s new role as a big brother and the fact that we are pretty much bursting out of our apartment!
Henry has been used to having my full attention for his whole life since I work from home and he only has a babysitter part time so he’s had his ups and downs. Whenever I can, I make sure to put Charlie down or hand him to Nick so that I can just sit on the floor and play with Henry for as long as possible, giving him my full attention. I still do bedtimes with him too, which seems to really help. Despite the good and bad days, we are proud of how welcoming he’s been with Charlie. He just wants to hug him ALL THE TIME – sometimes a little too enthusiastically ;)
Charlie spends most of his time sleeping, eating, and as Henry likes to make sure to point out, pooping. He’s already gone from his birth weight of 7 lbs 14 oz to over 8 lbs 8 oz (as of last Tuesday)!
Charlie’s already been going out and about with us and has also met a few close friends like Unckie Paul!
They also took Henry to our amazing neighbourhood toy store and told Henry he could pick out one thing, whatever he wanted! Of course he chose an enormous and loud, but pretty cool truck crane.
Nick has been working from home for the past two weeks and will be home with us for another two weeks. With no family living around us plus Henry’s big adjustment to our new addition, it’s so helpful that he’s doing this. If it weren’t for my amazing husband and awesome sitter, I don’t know what I’d do!
The sleep deprivation isn’t as bad as it was with Henry, mostly because between already having a kid who goes through good and bad stages of sleeping, plus not sleeping well during the last trimester of my pregnancy anyways, I am kind of used to bad sleeps at this point. Also, as a second-time parent, I know that everything is a phase and in just a few months, things will get a lot better. Also getting up three or four times a night would be a lot harder without that cute face to look at!
March 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
This weekend, I flew to Toronto to see my friends and meet two of their new babies!
When I arrived Friday evening, I took the new Union Pearson Express train to Bloor station and headed over to Sarah, Phil & Alice’s place. I enjoyed it much more than a cab – cheaper, cleaner, and free wifi with elevated views of the city in the distance around the airport!
When I arrived at Sarah’s, I had hugs for Julia, Blake, and Sarah, then grabbed Alice for a selfie. She’s even more adorable in person!
After eating pizza at Sarah’s, I went home with Julia and Blake. Julia and I had a good old fashioned sleepover and shared a bed like little kids. Eventually Blake even joined us ;)
The next morning we went to La Cubana for brunch and were met by Sarah, Alice, Amy, and Karen.
What? She has a mouse hat too? Oh for goodness sake.
After we ate, we walked down past some cute Roncesvalles shops and arrived at Jana and Mike’s to meet Leo.
So adorably new and cute with amazing surfer baby hair!
Afterwards I met my sister at the hotel we were treating ourselves to that night. After lounging/catching up/charging our phones for a while, we took the subway to dinner at Burdock to meet Sarah, Phil, Alice, Julia, Karen, and Amy for dinner.
Jenn also fell under Alice’s spell (it’s not hard to).
The next morning, my brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne came to meet us at the hotel for breakfast.
Then Jenn and I had to visit Lululemon for some very last-minute yoga pants shopping before both heading home.
“Where were your boys in all this?” you may ask. These photos will answer your question.
Yeah, we all had a pretty great weekend.
September 2, 2014 § 2 Comments
Happy 10 months, Henry – you’ve reached double digits!
Man, is this little guy moving. For the past month, he’s been getting faster at crawling all the time. Our apartment is just not big enough to satisfy his need for speed, so we’re very lucky to have an atrium and playroom downstairs. He’s in the children’s playroom in the photo above – a room with cushy carpeting and lots of toys. It’s so perfect for those times in the day where you have already been on 3 walks, you’re out of naps, and there’s still an hour before bedtime!
However, crawling has taken a backseat to STANDING. Henry loves to pull himself up on everything he can. The coffee table, the wall unit, hinges on doors, his crib, windows… He has been having a hard time napping because all he wants to do is stand or bounce up and down while standing in his crib! Sure, he’s fallen asleep sitting up before, but standing is a whole other story. For the past few weeks, when he actually takes a second nap, it feels like winning the lottery!
Speaking of sleep, it’s been so challenging for the past month! We had to sleep train him for the second time a few weeks ago when his pediatrician pointed out that the reason he doesn’t want to eat solids is because he’s snacking 1-3 times a night. Also, he now has 6 teeth and drinking milk all night is not good for them.
The first time we sleep trained him, he was 4 months old and it only took 2 nights. This time, it took 5. He is sleeping through the night now – he’s just waking up anywhere between 5:00 and 6:00 am. 6:00 is like sleeping in now! (UGH). Here he is, yawning with his Dad and Grandpa Storch!
Life is just so exciting!
We’ve taken the East River Ferry to DUMBO a few times where we check out a very cool nautical-themed playground between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, visit a bookstore, get chocolate, and found out that Shake Shack has a stroller express line!
The ferry is a GREAT place to meet ladies, or so Henry thinks. Also a great place to see some very big splashes out the window.
As Henry gets older and eats more solids, I’ve been able to leave him for longer periods of time. I had my first client meeting in the city a few weeks ago, and on Saturday, Nick and I actually had a sitter put him to bed (his first time without me!) so we could go to a wedding.
His current favourite foods include yogurt, strips of whole wheat toast, Cheerios, rice crackers, multigrain cereal with banana, apple slices, and sweet potatoes. Brooklyn Label is still his favourite restaurant.
I hope I don’t look too tired ;)
August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’m thrilled to announce my brand new niece and nephew were born this morning! Welcome to Earth, Charlotte Catherine and Cameron Gordon Robert Martin.
The little ones were both weighed in at 4.6 lbs each and made it to 35 weeks of pregnancy! (Full term for twins is 37 weeks, but they rarely go that long.)
And my sister, Jenn – a total rock star at having babies – who looks beautiful and amazing after expelling two people from her body. (I don’t know how she did it! I looked like a zombie.)
Congratulations to the Martin family!
June 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
Henry is 7 months old this week! He is well on his way to becoming a little boy – every once in a while, I’ll snap a photo of him that gives me a glance into what he’ll look like when he’s a little older. It’s crazy!
He now has two funny little bottom teeth that he’s created a whole new scrunchy smile to show them off with. He’s still teething pretty seriously which has made for some bumpy nights. Fingers crossed those top teeth come in soon too.
He loves swinging at the playground every day. It’s funny how you get used to your routine of what you do to entertain a baby and sometimes forget that they are constantly growing and changing and can do new things every once in a while. Thank goodness for our wonderful sitter Sherry who gently prodded me into telling her she could give him his first ride on the baby swings about a month ago!
The nice weather makes things so much more enjoyable – the days go by so much quicker when you can fill them with walks (where you don’t have to constantly worry if your baby is warm enough), playgrounds, parks, and sitting on the grass, looking out over the East River. WAY better than trying to entertain a baby in an apartment for 10 hours a day!
He went to his first birthday party this month too! We celebrated Annie and Henry got to spend some time with his pal Rocco.
The biggest change in the past month was introducing solids. It’s such a funny thing to think about having to teach a tiny person to eat food. You’d think they’d want it, but they don’t! Henry started out eating avocado from his Boon spoon.
Then I started to actually make things like pureed/mashed sweet potatoes, pears, and bananas, and gave him multigrain cereal, so he needed to use a real spoon. It’s frustrating at first, but after a few weeks, he’s doing much better and actually ingesting the food. Hurray!
We did have a scary moment a while back – Henry might be allergic to nuts. That’s a story for another post. We’re keeping it light here, so more later.
We were so happy to have a visit from my parents this past weekend. That meant Henry got to go out for two lunches and a dinner, plus lots of walks, swings, and presents from Grandma and Grandpa!
All in all, Henry is such a delight. His funny noises, amazing giggles, and the one word he knows (“Mom :)) make us smile every day. Nick and I still look at photos and videos of him on our phones every night after we put him to bed. We just can’t get enough.
P.S. One of the best moments of the past month.
March 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
As I touched on in my last post, the first four months of Henry’s life were amazing and life-changing, but having a newborn baby is hard. Your life is turned upside down and all you can think about is doing the best you can, 24/7, for this tiny creature whose very existence is dependent on you. And I’ve mentioned this before, but as a breastfeeding mother, you just DON’T SLEEP.
However, things are officially completely wonderful. Henry has a whole collection of sounds and noises he unleashes on us/his toys/his mobile/the mirror every day and can even giggle now! He loves to put everything in his mouth, especially his hands. Every night, he soaks Nick and I with his splashes in the bathtub.
Henry has three sitters who watch him for a few hours each week. Of course, his favourite is still Annie, our good friend who watches him Sunday mornings so Nick and I can go to yoga together. It’s such a great Sunday ritual because not only does Henry get some playtime in with his crush, but it’s nice to be able to see her and do lunch every week!
A few weeks ago, Henry and I spent 5 days on our own when Nick’s trip to London collided with a New York snowstorm. Hank also managed to line up his latest leap with this trip which resulted in him only sleeping for 1 1/2 hours (or less) at a time. FOR 4 NIGHTS IN A ROW. We did a lot of co-sleeping that week, but Henry would still woke up crying and kicking me in the stomach. I was a zombie. Thank goodness for Lani coming to visit with Indian food one day and for one of my sitters showing up so I could go back to sleep for a few hours one morning!
The week after the sleepless week, something amazing happened – Henry finally dropped a night feeding! He would actually sleep from midnight to 4am. We decided he was finally ready to learn to sleep through the night. Luckily for all 3 of us, he caught on the second night! (I’ll save more about sleep training for a future post, after we’ve mastered napping.)
LIFE CHANGING, YOU GUYS. Oh, and since his sleep training coincided with his learning to roll over, this became his favourite sleeping position. I’m glad we stuck with the firm mattress/fitted sheet combo for safety’s sake, but every time I wake up at night, I check the video monitor to make sure he’s still breathing. (Oh, motherhood.)
After telling everyone I was giving my self-employed self a Canadian maternity leave of one year off, I’ve decided to see if I could take on a social media client part-time. This seemed like not only a perfect way to acclimate myself with leaving him with sitters (working in the next room while someone you’re still getting to know plays with your baby is such an ideal way to do it!), but also a great opportunity to make sure I use my brain for something else I few times a week.
Also, I’m wearing jeans now and they are actually comfortable! Not as comfy as leggings, but they weren’t before I was pregnant either ;)
Henry’s newest favourite thing to do is to “stand” while we hold his hands or arms. Lying on his back is just not as fun anymore! Nick just put together his exersaucer and although he’s a little young to play with everything on it, he’s in awe of being able to stand up without us.
February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
Henry will officially be 4 months old this weekend! This means that we are graduating from what some call “the fourth trimester“. Having made it out alive and still relatively sane, I have compiled my top things that I’d most like to share with new moms:
- Literally as soon as he’s born, get as much sleep as you can. Even though my labour lasted 35 hours, once Henry popped out, I devoured a bagel, downed a bottle of water, then stayed up to take photos and call my family. I was hopped up on adrenaline and didn’t want to sleep! If you’re in a baby-friendly hospital, the baby will be sleeping in the room with you and guess what? Effective immediately, you’re not sleeping.
- Once you’re home, give in to the sleeplessness. There’s nothing you can do to make your baby sleep through the night at this point (he needs to eat!) so just enjoy this time. It won’t last forever.
- Every parent will swear they instantly fell madly in love with their new baby. I contest this. Of course we have always loved Henry, but I think it would be more appropriate to describe these initial feelings towards your tiny newborn as curiosity and fascination.
- If you’re a busy body, aim to do just one errand a day. Then be proud you actually did it. After all, you’re recovering from labour, getting used to sleep deprivation, and adjusting to a totally different lifestyle.
- That first growth spurt at 5 or 6 weeks is just brutal. Mainly because it’s the first one and your formerly passive, cuddly, sleepy baby just wants to eat and cry, all day long, for days on end. Just let him eat as much as he wants and get a good book or TV show to watch while you’re waiting for it to end. It will end!
- Babies are very loud sleepers. They toss and turn and grunt and snort. Then when they finally fall asleep, you’re going to constantly check to see if they’re still breathing.
- Baby outfits consisting of pants, shirts, hoodies, jackets, shoes and socks are very cute, but a huge pain in the ass. Onesies all day, everyday! Preferably ones with zippers instead of snaps.
- After you hear or smell the poop happen, wait 5-10 minutes before changing the diaper. You (or the changing table, or the bookcase next to the changing table, or your Mom) will get pooped on. There’s a surprising amount of firepower.
- Buy nipple shields to use his second week of life. This is a little graphic for non-moms, but learning to breastfeed is like learning to play guitar: you have to build up calluses and then as long as the latch is correct, it won’t hurt anymore. Nipple shields will allow you to nurse through the healing process.
- Nursing pads are a must!
- If you don’t have big boobs, you don’t really need a nursing bra. I have spent the last 4 months in tank tops (BOOB Design is especially handy!) and button downs. I occasionally wear soft bras I can easily pull to the side as well.
- You are going to be HUNGRY! Get lots of healthy snacks and snack all day long. Stock your nursing area with granola bars, nuts, or any one-handed foods for midnight feedings. Also, lots of water.
- A breast pump = freedom. (Or as much freedom as you’ll get at this point.)
- Don’t be surprised if your grey hairs multiply like bunnies.
- Finally, it will get so much easier once they complete their third month of life. Hang in there!
[Disclaimer: thanks to my friend Leah, who is a midwife in Toronto, for reminding me to be careful with the use of nipple shields. Only use them when you really have to so the baby doesn’t become reliant on them and the milk production isn’t affected.]
December 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Henry is one month old today! It’s amazing how fast November flew by. I think I wore makeup a total of four times (pretty much only when I knew photos would be taken) and didn’t do any yoga for the first time in years. Henry had lots of visitors who were eager to meet him, including his Grandma and Grandpa Miller, Aunt Jenn, Grandpa Storch, Aunt Suzanne and lots of friends, including Uncie Paul (below).
Breastfeeding is now painless and although still unpleasant, I’m almost used to getting up 4 times a night to nurse. On average, I get about 6 hours of sleep a night and now drink coffee every morning. Nick & I have a great system where I go to bed around 9pm and he stays up til about midnight to feed Henry a bottle before going to bed so I can get at least 4 hours of sleep in a row. It was a little early to introduce the bottle, but he’s been so good with it and this way, I can actually stay sane!
He’s also been sleeping in his crib instead of his bassinet (which he hates) for about two weeks now which gives us all better sleeps. Video baby monitors with night vision are a must for our peace of mind at this young age!
We are just coming off a serious growth spurt where Henry wanted to eat constantly – sometimes 3 or 4 times in a row. It’s good to see my milk is going somewhere though; he’s already looking chubbier and more filled out. We have a pediatrician appointment today so we’ll see how much he weighs. His baby acne is also healing, which is such a relief because it was an exercise in willpower not popping those sore-looking pimples!
We have given him a bath about 4 or 5 times now (including one time where he peed on Nick before getting in the tub) and his hair is starting to thin out. I wonder if it will come in again in a different colour?
It will be exciting and fascinating to see what month #2 has to bring!
September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
We’re coming into the home stretch here – today I am officially 32 weeks pregnant, which equals 8 months! In 5-8 weeks, Henry will actually be here, outside of my body, and the recipient of many, many cuddles.
Here’s what’s happening in babytown lately:
- Last night, we had a tour of the hospital we’ll be delivering in!
- I am officially a slow walker (by New York standards, anyways).
- We have gathered a nice little collection of books for Henry and Nick has been reading Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus to him every night.
- On Friday night, Nick & I went to two social functions in a row and stayed out until about 11pm. All the standing and shouting over loud talking and music had me totally wiped! Good thing we are mostly homebodies.
- For the first time in my life, I prefer fruit to vegetables. I can eat half a small watermelon in one sitting.
- Prenatal yoga feels way better than my usual practice, Ashtanga. I’m cutting down from 3 Mysore classes to 1 or 2 a week and filling the void with more prenatal.
- Henry’s crib is due to arrive here any day, and thanks to all our generous friends and family, we have a healthy pile of stuff waiting for him in his future room.
In other news… A huge congratulations go out to Julia and Jay who just had their baby boy, Blake Xavier, last Monday August 26! Blake was born just two hours shy of his due date – I can’t believe it!
It’s also worth mentioning that Julia is the one who called me in late December, after just weeks of knowing she was pregnant, to tell me the news and that I had better get a move on so I can be pregnant with her. It’s been amazing going through this journey with both Julia and Kate. Thanks for going first, ladies! xo