Monday, March 28, 2011

Why I can't watch TV

I used to watch TV all the time, all kinds of shows, sad shows, scary shows, funny shows.  But now, since having Jackson, I can only watch the happy shows.  If there is a kid in it, I really can't watch.  I used to love Private Practise.  But I can't watch that at all now.  Ever.  Even Grey's Anatomy has me in tears.  The only things I watch now are comedies, and my sci fi shows lol.  Everything else makes me cry.

I just finished watching the end of an episode of House.  I saw the preview and it was about a sick baby, so I didn't plan to watch at all.  But there was nothing else on so I flipped over.  The mom basically gave her baby skin cancer while in utero and baby was dying.  The end result was that mom could save the baby by waiting 9 days for treatment for her cancer, or have the baby go through chemo.  Mom did exactly what I would do, save my baby!  No matter the cost to me.  All in all it was sad. 

Now I'm watching Income Property, which is much happier lol, a couple buys a house and wants to renovate their basement so they can have a rental suite in the basement.  Much better.  No babies, no one is sick, no one is dying.  Nothing bad happens.  This is the type of show I watch now. 

Since having my son I cry over things that didn't used to bother me.  Reading the news, watching the news, I can't do that any more.  I live in a little bubble of not wanting to think about bad stuff happening to anyone.  Don't get me wrong, I've always been an "emotional" person, able to cry at the drop of a hat.  I get upset, I cry.  I get angry, I cry.  I'm really happy, I cry.  But I notice now that it's changed, I am somewhat able to handle my own emotions now, though I do still cry, I try not to do it in front of the baby.  I have had my moments of course, when he had colic really bad and all I wanted was some sleep, I cried then.  But it is much less than it used to be.

TV though, that gets me every time.  Heck I cried during a cooking show where people lost challenges and had to go home... yeah.  So this is why I can't watch tv any more. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Walking and Jogging...oh my!

When I was younger, like 11 or so, I loved to run.  I would run with a cross country team in school, and loved the feeling of flying.  It was amazing.  Then I got bronchitis and was never really able to do it the same way, so I stopped.  Periodically I try to take it back up, to get back to that flying feeling.  Usually to try and lose weight, which is an ongoing battle for me. 

Once again as spring is here, I want to run.  I found a plan, couch to 5k it's called, and supposedly over 9 weeks I can go from being a couch potato to running a 5k, or 30 minutes.  I plan to start in a week, I was supposed to have 3 weeks to get back into walking daily.  But I was sick most of last week so no walks got done.  I will be walking this week, 30 minutes 3 times, at least.  Then I start the jog/walking plan.  I will be starting with just me and the dog, before getting Jackson from daycare.  And eventually I'll do the workouts after dinner with the jogging stroller too. 

My hope is that I will be able to go jogging with baby and dog 3 times a week, and walk the other days.  I want to take the baby and dog to hike in the woods eventually as well on weekends.  I think I will need to upgrade my Ergo to a bigger, toddler carrier.  I have one in mind but it's not cheap.  Not by a long shot.  But being able to carry Jackson in the woods, and hike comfortably would be a nice thing. 

Ultimately the goal is to lose weight, but realistically it's to be healthy.  I want to grow old and enjoy my son, to someday have grandkids and be able to enjoy them as well.  And shorter term I'd like to have another baby, and know that being at a healthy weight would make that easier.  Certainly it would be a lot easier to keep up with my little whirlwind if I weighed less.  Plus it would be good to show him a healthy lifestyle.  He has "bad genes" on both sides with the donor and myself also being overweight, being active will be important for his health. 

I really want to love to run again.  I can still remember the feeling of it, over 25 years later.  I feel this is my time, my chance, and I will enjoy that feeling again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Doing it all wrong

When you start to tell you are pregnant, you start to get lots of advice, and to learn about all the things you shouldn't do.  Well I firmly believe in following your own intuition, so if you want to throw that advice out, do it!  I did quite a few things that are big no no's, and we survived. 

When my son was about 4 weeks old we hadn't slept more than 2 hours in a row since he was born.  He had bad gas, some colic, and would cry and cry.  I tried swaddling, holding him, the only way he'd fall asleep was on me, belly to belly.  So I was desperate.  And I put him to sleep on his tummy.  Five hours later I woke up in a panic, sure I'd killed him.  He was fine, though I often wonder how long he might have slept if I hadn't gone poking around to see if he was still breathing.  He is now still a tummy sleeper, and I have to admit, I will likely do the same with the next baby. 

Another moment of desperation at 6 weeks, there just wasn't time to warm a bottle, he was screaming for food and the 10 minutes it would take to warm it up was torture, so I just gave it to him.  I had one in the warming process in case he totally rejected the cold one, but he took it!  And has ever since.  I stopped warming them at all, and never looked back. 

Then of course there's the fact that I answer every cry.  My mom says I'm spoiling him.  I think I'm teaching him that if he needs me I will be there.  When he is older, and can understand a little better, we can work on teaching him how to express himself without crying, and how crying doesn't get people what they want.  Well, crying and throwing a fit doesn't any way. 

Then there's the way I chose to introduce solids.  I tried purees and cereals, I really did.  But it never felt right.  Which is when I started to search for a better way, and found Baby Led Weaning.  It felt right, and has been amazing.  My little boy will eat anything you give him.  We had pad Thai for supper tonight and he gobbled it up.  Give him Mexican, Chinese, pizza, roast, fish, anything! and he will eat it.  He loves his veggies and his fruit, potatoes and rice.  I have yet to find a food he doesn't care for.  But of course I hear about it from family that they don't approve.  I have to say though, when I compare him to other kids that will still only eat purees, or hot dogs and chicken nuggets, well I'll take my little adventurous eater any day.

It is a unique thing to be a single mom, there isn't another parent to share the duties, no one else is going to question your decisions, it's all up to you.  For me, that's a great thing.  I like being the one in charge, the one to decide where we'll go, what we'll eat.  I like being able to trust my intuition, and not have anyone to argue it with me. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Single choice

When I first got pregnant, by choice, I was excited.  And a little lonely.  My best friend stopped speaking to me, I'd just started a new job (higher pay...woot!) and my family was all busy or lives out of town.  So I started to search for other single moms.  I joined some forums and started reading the posts.  Wow, a lot of single mom's complain about the fact they are single moms!  It was all complaining about the ex or complaining about the lack of money, complaining about the situation... I couldn't take it!  I figured, fine, I won't be able to connect with any single moms.  Alright then.  So I had my son. 

A few months later, after the initial insanely tired, sleep deprivation just doesn't seem like a big enough set of words to describe it, stupor I once again returned to the Internet.  Determined that there had to be some other single mom's out there who were happy about their situation, who maybe even chose it?  And there it was.  Single mom by choice.  Books, groups, even a local group!  Wow!  Mom's just like me! 

Well sort of.  I read more about these amazing moms, the thinkers, triers and doers, the other moms.  And I realized how lucky I had been.  How lucky I am.  I got my son for the price of a pizza and some awkward conversations.  I didn't go to a clinic, or pay for expensive drugs, I didn't have a bunch of tests, and I didn't take a bunch of tries at it. 

The result for me has been two fold.  On the one hand I feel a little bit guilty, that I was lucky and things were so easy for me.  On the other hand I know that having another child is possible, that it's possible to be a single mom to more than one, and I now have the tools and resources to go about it in a different way.  I have also seen these amazing women who persevere, keep trying, iui after iui, then ivf, then donor embryos or eggs, it amazes me the lengths women will go to, to be a mom.  And while I know I can do the same, I certainly want another child to help complete my family, I only hope I have the same strength.  I am truly grateful to have found this group of women, to even know they exist.  It gives me strength and hope, that when I start my journey for a second baby I will have support.  That I am not alone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When mama is sick

I'm sick, I think it's the flu or something.  All I really know is I have a fever and feel like crap.  And taking care of a toddler is really hard when you feel like crap.  But mama does it any way, cause that's what mama's do!  Daycare is closed because the provider is sick, so baby was home all day with me.  And of course he had a short nap, which means I only got a short nap.  But we survived!

It started yesterday after taking Jackson to the clinic and getting him some antibiotics.  While waiting for his prescription to be filled I started to feel a bit achy and icky myself.  So getting home I took some tylenol and as soon as he was asleep, I went to bed too.  I felt better and he was back to himself, even eating!  And running around :-)  He is so active and all over the place when he's feeling good. 

Last night was brutal, I took whatever I could to get rid of the fever and tried to sleep, but he was restless so I woke up every 30 minutes or so, listening.  And at 6am he woke up crying, I was bad and gave him a bottle and left him in bed.  He went back to sleep and got up at 8.  The extra sleep was nice, but I was still not feeling great when we got up.  Carrying him up and down the stairs, trying to find something for him to eat, it was all rather painful.  I actually laid on the couch and put his movie on for him.  He is such a good boy, he brought me books to read to him and sat on the couch with me. 

And then it was nap time.  I should have done dishes, or vacuumed or something, but I had a nap too.  And felt better for it.  Looks like daycare is closed again tomorrow, so I have another day of me being sick and home with the baby.  And missing more work.  Hopefully I feel better than I did today, but I'm doubtful. 

I will say that it is possibile to be sick and still be able to take care of a little one.  It's hard, don't get me wrong, but it is possible.  It gives me hope for when I have another one, because I was quite sick with the first pregnancy, and expect that will happen again, so it will be possible to take care of Jackson while pregnant and sick.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

The daycare dilema

About two months before I was due back at work I was in a bit of a panic, I had put my name on the city's waiting list for daycare and had not heard from any of them.  So I started calling them all, no spots.  So I checked the local online ads, called a few, checked them out... oh dear... not quite what I was looking for.  Then I found one!  Woo hoo!  She was located close, well priced for my budget.  She had a little boy about the same age as my son, perfect!  I said yes lets go for it, but kept an eye on the ads just in case.  Very glad I did. 

A week after I said lets go for it, and a week before he was due to start, she changed her mind.  So back to the drawing board.  I was lucky, I found another place, on the way to work so easy for drop off, and her little guy was a big older but about the same development level.  And she had cats.  Don't ask me really why that was important, I mean it's weird I'm sure but I felt better about the daycare provider having pets.  So we started.

It was a slow transition, took two weeks of gradually taking him for longer times.  And he cried.  A lot.  At drop off and pick up, sobbing as soon as I got him into the car to go there.  And then the comments about starting at 7am, which she'd been fine with but now he was the only one there that early.  Add in everytime I went to pick him up he was strapped in his bouncy/rocking seat with the TV on.  So my mommy feelings were going nuts.  And I started looking again. 

And found another place, right across the street from me!  It costs a lot, more than I wanted to be spending, no subsidy, but she's right across the street!  He loves going, no crying, has fun, she's great with the kids.  They do crafts, he's learning things, and there's 4 other little boys he plays with.  Oh, she has two cats :-)  One is a kitten she got not too long ago who loves to play with the kids.  It's great!  Right?

Except that she's been sick 6 days since I started at the beginning of January.  She also had two days off for dental surgery.  If you're adding it up that's 8 days already, and we're not even done 3 months.  She has 8 days of vacation booked so far for the year, and of course 4 days over Christmas.  I'm finding it difficult.  I only get so much time off in the year, and hate to have to use it all up in such a short time, and to have to still be paying her for the time.  I mean I get she's earning a living at this, but it's a lot of money. 

And so I'm back to my debate, do I stick this out, or do I start looking again.  I have kept his name on the lists with the city for the daycare centres, they don't start until 18 months so it'll be awhile before he can go there any way.  There is one right across the street from work, it would be super convenient, but if I am sick and want to stay home in bed, I'd still be taking him there for the day, and then coming home.  There is one on the way to work, that I wouldn't get subsidized for, but it costs the same as what I'm paying now, and in a year would go down a bit actually.  But he's not on the list. 

I guess for now I'm stuck with what I have, and he is happy and learning a lot there so it's not like he's suffering.  The problem is with me I guess.  Hopefully when the weather gets better she won't be sick so much.  Ah the joys of being a mom! and the difficulty having to make all these decisions with no backup.  Even having to cover all this extra leave on my own. 

I guess it's not all that bad, I do have one friend who has a daughter two months older than my boy, and she still hasn't gone to work because of issues finding daycare, so I've been lucky to find the one I have.  Like I said, she is great, and he loves going there.  I like the location, it's so convenient, I even manage to fit in a quick workout most nights before going to pick him up.  So it's not all bad, just been a bad few months I guess. 

I suppose it doesn't help that I have this desire to be able to stay home with him, to be a stay at home mom, but as a single mom there's no chance of that.  Not unless I win the lottery :-)  Which I guess you have a buy a ticket to do? 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sick baby

Jackson is sick again.  He work up last night with a pretty bad fever, and it took awhile to come back down.  He was up for awhile, and we both got little sleep.  But he seemed fine this morning.  Then he didn't eat anything all day except for some strawberries.  And his milk.  He loves those bottles of milk lol.  His fever came back this afternoon, and he didn't nap well.  So I got him to bed early, but he woke up after a couple hours sleep, and now is back to bed for the night.  I hope. 

He had an ear infection about two weeks ago, took his antibiotics, with difficulty, but now I think it's back.  So it has me worried, and wondering.  Are antibiotics the best choice?  The research all seems to be mixed, some say give them, some say don't.  I do read about giving probiotics with the antibiotics, so I'll be getting some of those too.  It just worries me because it's like he didn't get better, so they don't seem to have worked the first time, does he need stronger ones?  More doses?  It's so hard to know.  I will be calling his doctor tomorrow and hopefully getting him in to be seen. 

Having a sick child is really hard.  They can't tell you what's wrong so you are left guessing to a certain extent.  I mean I can tell when he has a fever, or a runny nose.  But the cause of those things, and the other symptoms he can't express, are what worry me.  Does his ear hurt?  I'm not sure, he's been tapping his head with his palm, like an "it hurts" movement, but is it a headache or an earache?  Or just nothing.  He had a messy poop, but he hasn't had any real solids in two days, so that's kind of understandable.  And probiotics would probably help that. 

And of course when toddlers are sick they don't understand why they don't feel good, and why they're so tired, why they can't play all day like they are used to.  So they get even crankier, and fight you on going to bed and sleeping.  It's hard.  It's hard when they don't eat, when they are so little, they can lose weight so easily.  He is a big boy, and he normally eats well so I hope that when he feels better he'll get back to his weight.  I can't even think of things to offer him that he will eat, and even that isn't working very well.  Even water is being turned down.  But he is drinking his milk so I feel a bit better because of that. 

Hopefully tomorrow we'll find out if it's still his ears or something else.  And if he is put on antibiotics again, I'm asking for it to be twice a day instead of three times, three just doesn't work for a toddler.  And we're going to get some probiotics, xylitol too if I can find it.  Anything I can do to make him healthier and happier I will do.  Anything for my baby!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Helpful Family, maybe not...

My family has generally been really great since I had my son.  My parents helped me out financially while I was on mat leave waiting for my work to start paying my benefits, and letting me visit them quite often.  They even got a crib so he doesn't have to sleep in his play pen.  My sister was there in the delivery room, though she missed the birth because she went home and they didn't call her back in time.  And this probably sounds silly but I'm a little bit angry at her right now.

Two weeks ago I had some hours booked off work, had to be used up or I'd lose them, so I was planning to go to Ikea.  My parents sent me money to get Jackson a little table and chairs for Valentine's Day, ok so I was late getting there but it's hard to take a 1-year-old to such a busy store.  I was also going to pick one up from them for a friend of their's granddaughter who was turning 1.  But then Jackson got sick.  And I had to take two days off to stay home with him.  I couldn't take him to Ikea sick, and there went the hours I had to use up. 

So I called my sister, she works like 5 minutes from Ikea.  I sent her the link to the set I wanted, there were 12 in stock, and she could go on her lunch hour, it would take like 15 minutes!  But she didn't go.  All week.  And then this past week she's been off for March break with her two kids, who are 11 & 15.  But again, she didn't go.  Turns out she didn't really want to go and do this for me.  So I made plans, I'm taking baby this morning, as close to when they open as possible, and I'll get a few other things too, since I'll be there any way.  But I checked online and they are out of stock now.  And they don't have any others that I like, or for a similar price.  So what now? 

I'm angry.  It isn't so much that she didn't do it, more the fact she's complained to my mother that she had to do and didn't want to.  Well then don't say you will!  If she had said she wouldn't have time or couldn't make it then fine.  But to say one thing and then not do it is frustrating to me.  I have a limited budget being a single mom, now I have to spend twice as much to get something nice, if they even have one there.  And my time is quite busy on the weekends, since I can't go out in the evening to get things done. 

Add in all the things I've done for her, and her kids, and it really strikes me that she isn't the same type of person I am.  And then I notice all the little things, like how they live a 5 minute drive away but never stop by to see us, and how they only invite us over when it's a special occasion.  How she doesn't like some of the things I do with my son, and is quite vocal about the "best" way to raise him.  How she doesn't go visit my parents but makes me be the messanger, transporting gifts and things back and forth between them. 

So I guess the point of this is that I can't rely on her, so the network I thought I had is one less.  Which I suppose is not the end of the world, but it is frustrating.  It makes me realize I need to integrate my friends in better, especially the ones who have offered to watch Jackson for me, or pick things up for me.  I never take them up on it, but now, I think maybe I need to ask for help, from those who will actually give it. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My family dream

When I was a little girl I had three cabbage patch dolls, they were of course all the rage at the time, but I find it funny now that I had three.  Two boys and girl.  You see my "perfect" family, the one I dream of, has three kids in it, two boys and a girl.  I have my first little boy, and he is quite awesome.  Having him really showed me how much I love being a mom, and how much I want to have more kids.  The strange part I guess, is that there is no daddy or husband in my perfect little family dream.

I read about SMC's who gave up their dream family, decided to have a baby on their own and let go of the dream of husband/father.  For me, that was never really part of it.  I have had relationships, I do like men, and I lived with a guy for about 4 years.  But I don't feel like I need one.  I will be perfectly happy on my own. 

Admittedly there are moments when it would be nice to have another person here, someone to watch the baby so I can run to the store and not drag him out with me, or take the dog for a walk for me.  Even just the past few days when he's been so sick with an ear infection and chest cold, it would be nice to have someone else here to cuddle him.  But I know I will manage, and survive, and we will be happier for it. 

I am a bit sad, I know I don't have the time or finances to have three kids.  It makes me sad, but I will work as hard as I can to have a second one at least.  I am working on cleaning up my finances, sorting out my debts and saving for what I want.  I am sticking to my budget and have made some decisions about saving.  I know that I also want to buy a house, but to buy a house before I have another baby means I won't get to do that until I'm 39 or 40... so the baby will likely come first (unless I win the lottery of course!). 

I have a list of things I want to do before I have another baby, getting in shape and being healthy is top of the list.  Saving a certain amount of money is right up there as well.  And timing things so that Jackson is in school when the new baby starts daycare is in there as well.  Having the goal of my perfect family makes it a bit easier to do these things.  To save when I'd rather buy a new whatever, or eat an apple instead of a cookie.  It's also driving me to work hard now, to work on getting a promotion at work and therefore earn more money, who knows, maybe if I do that I can save faster and may have time for a third baby, or to buy a house that much sooner. 

I have a 3 year plan, and a longer 5 year goal.  I know that by 5 years we will be living in our own home, and by 3 years I will have another baby in my arms.  But having those long term goals seem so far off, so I also have some closer ones.  Like seeing certain dollar amounts in my savings account, and buying certain items we'll need for the future.  Even planning on getting a puppy next summer, Jackson is too young this year but next year he should be bigger and able to talk more. 

I am being flexible though, knowing that life changes in a moment, that things can happen that mean you have to spend or save, or change course.  All in all, I am happy, and content, but I know that my future holds this family life that I dream of, that my baby boy is just the beginning of it, and that we will be the family I dreamt of all those years ago, playing cabbage patch dolls in the backyard.