We will soon feel the ocean breeze on our skin, as we venture back to the west coast to attend a family wedding this weekend. At first, we were dead set against bringing the kids, as a short week-end trip managing different time zones did not sound like fun. However, they're coming with us - so wish us luck!
I've been struggling to make a decision about daycare for Poppy, and I finally gave up her spot yesterday. The home daycare I'd found for her seemed absolutely perfect, but I may be staying home for a little bit longer than I'd planned, and it didn't make sense to pay for a spot we wouldn't be using. I was a bit of a stress case for the past few days… literally waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what to do. Isn't that the worst? You think that sleep would be a reprieve from stress, but sometimes it even invades your dreams. As great as the daycare was, I had to keep reminding myself that spending every day with her would be even better. The one-year maternity leave that we are lucky to get in Canada is absolutely wonderful, and I'm so thankful to have spent the past 11 months at home with my two babies. While it's going to be tough financially, I think extending my time at home for a few more months will be the best decision for our family in the long term.
Firstly, look at these grapes we have growing in our backyard! I have to give all of the credit to Tyler, as he's the one and only gardener around here.
Aside from his amazing gardening skills, Tyler is also a great friend, and is close with many of the guys that he grew up with. In fact, one of his best friends he made on the first day of kindergarden, and they remain great friends to this day. Two guys in his circle of friends got married this summer (I may have mentioned something about NOT bringing our kids to any more weddings), and they wanted to celebrate the bachelors with a weekend away at a cabin. Being men, they somehow were not quite organized and ended up having the bachelor party weekend AFTER they were both married. Better late than never, I suppose.
As of friday at 3pm I was a single mom, and I was a little apprehensive about how our weekend would play out. The weather was looking awful, and our bank account drastically low, so I wasn't sure what I would do with the kids all weekend long. I shouldn't have worried. We had a blast - venturing to the farmers market in the rain, visiting our local street fair, and hanging out at a bookstore with some hot drinks. Without anyone else to consult with, I got to make all of the decisions about what and where we would go. There was no 'what do you want to do?' back and forth, and no question as to who would do the dishes. Of course, it's a little sad when you realize no one else cares about Poppy saying dadadadadada… or the fact that Soren was so polite to the policeman at the street fair. Tyler and I talk a lot, even if it's just short texts during the day. By the time he got back today, I felt like I had SO MANY important things to share, but in actuality they are not particularly important, they are just the little joys in our lives that are so exciting in the moment.
It's good to have him home now, and our fingers are crossed that we may get a good nights sleep. After writing about Poppy's terrible sleeping on thursday, we tried the cry-it-out method at 3am (after I'd gotten up with her about 4 times since midnight). Shock of all shocks, she cried/fussed for about 20 minutes and fell back asleep!!! When we've tried this in the past she got more and more worked up, but listening to her cry we could tell she was winding down, and trying to go to sleep. She wasn't frantic or hysterical, which made listening to her cry more bearable (but still pretty hard). When the cries stopped we were seriously flabbergasted, and we didn't hear from her for several more hours. Since then her sleep has been inconsistent, but slightly better. Wish us luck!
I feel like broken record… but Poppy is the WORST sleeper. I made some silly recommendations awhile back about getting your baby to sleep through the night, but clearly I am not one to talk. Since she was about four months old we have been going through a sleep regression, but I've read that any 'regression' lasting longer than a few weeks is actually a real PROBLEM (no kidding), and needs to be addressed differently. The problem is… how do you address it?
We've tried moving her bedtime earlier, and then later. We try letting her cry on her own (briefly), or rush in and try to keep her 'calm' before she fully awakes. I've tried bedtime routines, nap routines, night lights, and calming lotions. Sometimes I think she had a "good" night, and I desperately try to recreate every single thing we did that day. I was briefly convinced that she must be cold at night, and therefore needs to wear footed pyjamas every night. Sigh. It is seriously exhausting to think about it all.
And here we are, at 10 months old, and nighttimes are a nightmare. I lie in bed before drifting off to sleep, literally nervous to fall asleep because I fear that little voice calling out and waking me in half an hour. So I toss and turn, and obviously she doesn't wake up, and it takes me two hours to fall asleep. And then? She wakes up. It's so frustrating because it is so random. Very occasionally, Poppy will sleep 8-10 hours without a peep. I know it's possible for her to sleep… but I can never count on it. As a person who likes to be in control of things, it's pretty hard.
So, where do we go from here? I am thinking about returning to work soon(ish), and the thought of using my brain seems completely out of the question when I wake up at 2, 4, 5, and then 6am. We have not committed to the 'cry it out' method, mainly because Poppy becomes hysterical when left to cry in her crib. It seems too sad… and she just gets more and more worked up. I am usually optimistic and think that next week will be better, but by this point it's getting hard to convince myself.
I am thankful that she is a happy babe during the day, despite her nighttime struggles. I'll keep dressing her in cute clothes and pretty bonnets… hoping that if I keep smiling I'll make it through the day. Oh Poppy… you are quite the special little lady!
From the moment we arrived in Kenora, Ontario, Soren was in heaven. He loved the boat, which was a total change from two years ago. We had been invited to spend the weekend at our good friends new cabin, on their very own island! Years ago Lauren and I spent a summer serving pizza at pizza hut, while spending every spare second working on our tans. At the time I'm sure we never envisioned having our own families (and cabins!) years down the road.
We explored her island, hung out on the floating 'party island', swam in the lake and went for a sunset boat ride. We also drank tons of wine, and ate the most amazing pork belly tacos for dinner. Mike made the top five on Master Chef Canada last season, so any time we are with him we know our tastebuds will be in for a treat.
As we were battling friday afternoon traffic out of the city, we talked about how much work it would be to own a cottage and have to drive two plus hours every single week-end. Once we arrived on the island and settled in to watch the sunset (with a glass of wine in hand), we totally forgot our earlier discussion. I understand why our friends make the commute each and every summer weekend. The city truly feels a million miles away. Thank you Lauren and Mike for being such fantastic hosts, and hopefully our crazy babes didn't dissuade you from having any of your own:)
While the babes and I go out a lot, it's often to playgroups or for meet-ups with other people. When we go to museums, pools, the zoo, etc, it's usually on the weekends and Tyler can come with us. We travel as a group of three less frequently, but I think we'll have to do it more!
On wednesday we had made plans to meet another family at assiniboine park, but they had to cancel due to illness at the last minute. It's difficult to change plans on Soren without advance notice, and he had really been looking forward to 'feeding the ducks', so I decided the three of us would go anyways. I'm glad I did - the weather was gorgeous, the kids had a blast, and I even took them to a restaurant for lunch, solo. I also had no idea feeding the ducks could be so fun! I'm sure I've done it at some point during my life, but I had forgotten how crazy the ducks get! Bringing along a couple pieces of stale bread proved to be a great decision, and we watched them fight over the little bits for quite some time.
Poppy is thrilled to finally be able to take part in some park action as she's perfected her stand (assisted). I can just tell she is dying to chase the rest of the kids around, and fly down the slide by herself. The only negative to travelling solo was the difficulty I had spotting Soren. The playground was so packed, and the daycare group (of which there must have been 100, seriously) were all wearing blue pinnys - matching Soren's t-shirt colour that day. Next time I'll make sure he's wearing something a little more outlandish…