The Pressure to De-Pacify

I’m growing increasingly annoyed by the people that suggest that we allow Jacob to have his pacifier too much. He has it for naps, and bedtime and there are times throughout the day that he will see it on a table or near a toy and he will gesture or fuss for it. We have had numerous people say that if we don’t get him off it by the time he is 1 years old that we will regret it – that he will struggle and struggle to be without it…Fair enough, I’ve seen 4 year olds with pacifiers and wondered why? I just don’t think the mark is 1 years old…I personally think between 18 months and 2 years old. Aside from the fact that I just think it’s not the end of the end of the world that he has the pacifier when he wants it – I also have some other strong opinions on the matter.

First – most people are suggesting we”wean” him from the pacifier at 1 year old; I am opposed to this particular age for a strong reason – When Jacob was alone in the NICU without us, they gave him a pacifier for comfort as it is proven that being in an incubator causes high stress in infant as recorded by monitoring brain activity…From the moment they started giving him the pacifier in thaat NICU he has been attached and I just don’t feel ready or willing to take that away from him yet. Secondly, a week after his first Birthday, I will be returning to work and how fair is it that we are taking away two forms of comfort at the same time. As it stands now, i am sure that my return to work will be difficult on him, having had me home with him for a year, and it would break my heart to say no mommy, and no pacifier (or sousou as we refer to it in our house)…I just can’t do it to him….so at one year old, mommy is out and the pacifier stays until a time that we deem it appropriate.

An Angel Called To Rest

Since the day that I found out I was pregnant I have been involved in an online community called Just Mommies for women who are pregnant, parenting, trying to conceive, or experiencing the loss of a pregnancy/stillbirth. I have found that he particular women who were in my birth club/parenting club were unlike any other women I had met on other message forums. I found these women to be compassionate, vibrant, and overall just a fun group of ladies.

During my time on the boards I came to know a woman who was carrying twins, who later found out that her twins had something called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. i had never heard of this syndrome until she explained it to us – we followed their trials and celebrations with sadness and worry at times and excitement and joy at others. I personally came to love the lives of both of these girls. The smallest of the girls has had a lot of medical struggles since she was born and recently we heard news from her mother that things were looking “up”. We all celebrated with excitement at her totally rad and cute hot pink hearing aids. How could anyone not love this child? This child who taught us all to fight against all odds….This angel who gifted us all with the importance of what it means to never give up….

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you all that sweet Aleah (last name with held as I do not have permission form her mother to share that) has passed on from this world. She leaves behind a Mother, a Father, and a twin sister who all grieve for her and love her; she was just 9 months old, she was beautiful and she was perfect. Everyone in our parenting group is grieving for this loss – and wishing we could support this mother and father in every possible way.

I will miss her….I will miss hearing Aleah stories. She lifted my spirits more then I could ever have told her, more then I could have ever told her parents – she gave me hope that my own child could survive despite medical problems at birth. I feel a special love for this child – who I never met – but who gave me all the hope in the world.

I have to believe in an afterlife – that Aleah is healthy and well and perfect now that her physical body is at rest. I have to believe that there are great things in store for her now beyond this life that has just passed. I have to hold ono the knowledge that there is a Heavenly Father above that loves her and is watching over her until she can be reunited with her parents and sister some day.

Heavenly Father please bless this child who the world loved so much.

Melissa

Daddy and Son

Sometimes its fun after being home all day alone with Jacob to sit back and watch him play with his father – it is moments like these that I am grateful that Jacob has a father in his life who loves him and enjoys spending time with him.

SUPERBABY!!!

NO WAY DADDY I’M NOT LETTING GO!!!


TEACH ME TO PLAY THE DRUMS!


SHHHH DON’T TELL MOMMY!!!


SMOOCHES!!!

Doing, Loving, Experiencing, Learning

Sometimes when I hear people speak about the way they parent I find my self drifting into a state of semi-consciousness where I hear what they are saying, and I want to respond but the words don’t come out. There exist out there groups of parents who follow various “styles” of parenting which have been dutifully named by the doctors that claimed to have invented them – or basically the doctors who were the first professionals to say on record “this type of parenting works best”. I grow increasingly weary of these so called professionals and their “ways of parenting” and I suspect that it is my own experiences as a parent that has led me to have these feelings.

I have been blessed with Jacob – a happy, curious, and beautiful infant. He only fusses or cries when he needs something – he is cuddly, affectionate, and smart – he is all these things and yet we do not subscribe to any “style” of parenting, except our own. I suppose if I were to give our own “style” of parenting, it would be -“doing, loving, experiencing, learning” – I am tired of hearing arguments for various parenting styles such as “attachment” or “traditional” – why can’t it just be that people are doing what people feel is best for the needs of their family.

In my direct relationships with people who practice particular “styles” of parenting I have found them to be self righteous and at times ignorant towards the people that are not following similar ideas as them. I have heard people say “my baby is happy all the time because I practice “attachment parenting” but the truth it’s not because of the “practice” of attachment parenting – but really its a deep down commitment of love and effort towards your child – attachment parenting (and I am only using this one as an example) is a term coined by physicians use to lure parents into purchasing their products. It doesn’ t not matter if your child is co-sleeped or if they sleep in a crib – what matters is that they are loved, cared for, provided for, nurtured, and wanted. I am not trying to bash “styles” of parenting but I’m trying to speak to the people that do try to jam it down other people’s throats, the ones who make other people feel like crap because they do not do what they do, they do not parent how they parent – thus they are less superior or their children are less attached or secure.

So whether you co-sleep or not, whether you introduce solids at 4 months or 6 months, whether you circumcise or not…we are all parents, putting forth our best effort – no one “style” of parenting works better then another in my opinion – something that works well for one family does not work well for another – the same way that one particular style of learning works for one child but no so much for their sibling. Parenting is not about style, it is not about books or theories, it is about commitment, it is about love, it is about security – whichever way you accomplish these things with your children is good in my eyes – it is right and it is good. I invite you to say to yourself that you are doing well as a parent – to stop comparing your self to the self righteous know it alls out there – to stand up and applaud yourself as a mother for doing it your way – the way of hard work, the way of trial and error, the way of experience, the way that works for you, and the way of love – we are really in this for the betterment of our children – not to make each other feel horrible because we chose to parent differently – we are not breeding cookie cutter children – and therefore we should be invited to use different styles of parenting – the ones that work best for us.

Fighting the Fever….

The past two days have been miserable! My angel has a fever today for the THIRD day in a row. On Saturday and Sunday he was his normal smiling happy self for the entire morning and then BOOM between 3-4 pm a fever would attack him out of no where. His fever was at 103.3 but we were always able to bring it down to 101-102 with Tylenol! This morning he woke up a little “out of it” and by this I mean not really having a lot of energy, seeming to be still tired, etc. We gave him his bottle and he threw it up…bummer. I could feel he was getting hot so we gave him some Tylenol as a preventative measure since he felt the same as the previous two days – I just didn’t feel right about subjecting him to another round of thermometer meets butt. A couple hours later I felt I should take his temperature and it was at 103.9 – sigh – my poor angel is fighting off another virus I suppose. I gave him more Tylenol and he’s been sleeping in his crib ever since – I went in once when I heard him stir but he had just thrown up a little in his crib – maybe he has a strain of the flu that he wasn’t protected against with his flu shot – whatever it is, I want it to go away!!! We’re off to the pediatrician’s at 2pm for his 8 month check up so of course we’ll have him evaluated for the fevers – I hope its not something he’ll need antibiotics for.

In other news, we spent the weekend around the house primarily. We did go and check out the old navy sale and do some returns at the Eaton Center downtown…it was pretty fun! We checked out the sales and ate at the New Orleans restaurant that has the yummy Cajun food! I thought this might cheer up the thread a bit…here is Jacob in his new duds..INCLUDING a cute swim suit for hitting the beach at Wasaga with his nana and papa!

8 Months Old: A Letter

Dear Jacob:

Today you turned 8 months old. This morning your daddy brought you into my bedroom to tell me that he was leaving for work and I needed to get out of bed to be with you – I turned my head to look at you and when I did you squealed and smiled and your eyes light up – as if to say “here I am mommy – look at me! I’m eight months old today”. I grabbed you tight and pulled you away from daddy and into the bed with me – and before you got excited about being with mommy – you turned with a wiggle and smiled big at daddy – as if you were saying “I love you too daddy”. We spent a half an hour in the big bed this morning – talking, laughing, smiling with each other and I caught myself thinking that I could spend my entire life just doing nothing except playing with you; wouldn’t life be grand if that were the case?

I’ve been learning so much about you as I sit back at watch you grab tight to the reigns of life. I think you and I have the same curiosity about life – we both are wonderer’s and thoughtful people and I see this in you – the way you explore everything – the way you’d sit for ten minutes just twirling around a peek a block trying to figure out how to get to the little plastic puppy dog trapped inside. Even this morning as I pried the cat food out of your tiny hands I thought to myself that if I were your age I’d probably be really interested in what was in that dish too. I sometimes feel that your life is going by faster then I would want it to and while there are days that I wish I could watch your life in slow motion – I am very much in love with the vibrancy of how you change, everyday.

This morning when we were at baby club you had left me sitting without you because you wanted to crawl to the middle section where the toys were. It wasn’t very far away from me but I watched you in awe – picking up toys and trying to figure out how they worked. You sat there playing and I knew you were thinking about me – because every two minutes or so – you’d look up and over at me, smile with your two toothed grin as if you were saying “I’m right over here mom and I’m glad you’re still right there watching me”. One of the other mom’s tried to call you over to her and you got up on all fours as if you were going to her – then you stopped, sat up and turned to me, looking as if for my approval to spend time with another mommy – I smiled with my whole heart and said “go ahead Jacob” and off you went. I love that we have our own secret ways of communicating – I love that and I love everything about you.

Last night as I lay in bed I wondered if you knew how much I loved you – I wondered if I showed you enough and if you knew that I was your mother – and then we have days like today where in your own sweet and gently way you let me know “mom, I know how much you love me” – and then you smile at me, reach for me, touch my face and I confidently feel my heart warm because I know that you love me too. I imagine there will be days when you’re older where I will frustrate you, you might even become so angry one day that you say “mom I hate you” but I want you to know that no matter what I will always love you – nothing you could do could ever cause me to stop loving you – and I hope that you never have to say “mom I hate you” even if you don’t mean it and even if its only for a moment.

Your dad and I always joke that you will be our NHL hockey star or maybe our Major League Baseball grand slam hitter – and you can be one of those things if that is what you want – or you can be a musician, a banker, an astronaut, a chef, a policeman, a doctor – you be whatever you want to be my sweet child. I want you to live life with passion – a passion to become someone who lives life with a purpose – whatever that purpose may be. I hope that you are a dreamer like your daddy and I are – and then I hope that you step back, look at those dreams and go for them – no matter how difficult it may seem – we’ll be there for you sometimes carrying you, sometimes holding your hands, sometimes walking beside you, and sometimes watching from a distance – but wherever we are – whatever we are doing – we are loving you, encouraging you, and most importantly we are dreaming right along with you.

I can’t believe how much you’ve changed in such a short period of time. I feel like between 7 months and 8 months you’ve really started changing from a completely dependent newborn to a more independent, curious, and ambitious infant. I’m watching you crawl, stand, smile, get teeth, eat, and sit up on your own and I feel like I am winning a great prize in life – watching you learn about the world has been the best thing I’ve ever experienced and I can’t wait for more Jacob…I can’t wait for more.

So as we celebrate your 8 month birthday today Jacob – here are my random thoughts for you.

Never stop being who you are – we love every inch of what and who you are becoming.

Your smile is the greatest part of my day – keep smiling and sharing it with the world so that the day’s of other people can be impacted by your smile too.

No matter where you are, no matter who you are with – at any given moment you can expect that I am thinking of you, loving you, and wishing I was with you.

Experience every second of being a child with the excitement and wonder you are showing us now – before we all know it – childhood has passed us by and we don’t marvel at the greatness of the world as much as we should – Thank you for letting me marvel again.

Never be afraid to show feeling and emotions – be happy when you are happy, be sad when you are sad, be joyous when you are joyous, be frustrated when you are frustrated – I will be right there with you, experiencing those emotions with you as if they were my own.

Think Big and Dream Bigger…

I love you Jacob, entirely

and forever

Mommy

Please Mum! No More!

Look at my poor child! He is not a happy camper with his mommy in this picture! I was trying on some clothes that we had purchased recently to gage when I suspected he would fit into them and he got super tired and frustrated! He did NOT want to try anything else on….it all ended with the above sweater which I had purchased for him for next fall. I promise Jacob…from now on Mummy will only make you try on ONE thing per day. Ha ha!

I’m trying hard to do better with the clothes shopping for Jacob – between his grandparents, gifts and the stuff I buy I hope that Jacob will get some wear out of his clothes this summer and we won’t have a closet full of stuff that goes unused. So far I’ve done a pretty good job of making sure that Jacob wears everything that I’ve purchased or that he’s received as gifts but this summer I’d like to have a wide variety of tops, then some basic bottoms, and a few rompers and special outfits! Some of the stuff that we have gotten him for the summer is still REALLY huge on him…like these rompers for example…


If he doesn’t grow some by the summer he will spend his days in these romper gowns as I like to refer to them. I am sure he will do some growing between now and then but there’s a lot of room to grow in those outfits for sure!

Our most favourite new summer clothes are on their way here from Florida! My mother picked him up almost the entire new line from gymboree called Little Rome! It is to die for cute! I mean totally cute and awesome! The above romper with cars on it is from that line as is this shirt here that I had Jacob try on…(dont mind the pyjama bottoms..ha)


Lastly I want to share two pics from the Under the Sea line at Gymboree that I am just in LOVE with…so much in love with it that I went today and bought it in a different colour!


Maybe when I go back to work I’ll something more to do with my time besides take my baby and go to the mall! Haha….

A Sweet Gesture

Today when I checked the mail I had received a card that said the following:

Dear Michael, Melissa and Family,

Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. Ellie was a good friend and a loyal companion. She would have thanked you for the kindness and affection you have given her over the past 5 years. She knew she was loved and that your thoughts were with her in her final moments. We hope that soon the pain of loss will fade into warm thoughts and memories of the happy times spent and shared together.

Sincerely,

Rathburn Animal Clinic

I am very touched at this letter – It feels good when people acknowledge how much a part of the family a pet can be.

I Wasn’t Dead…The Baby Was Sleeping!

When I woke up this morning I thought I was dead – if it wasn’t for the fact that the alarm was wailing in my ear I would have continued sleeping (or thinking I was dead). I got up and went to the bathroom and peered in Jacob’s room – it was silent. I said I peered but it was more of a silent creep up to the door, a tiny push so the door doesn’t creak and a peek over the top of his bumper. What I discovered was magnificent – a sleeping baby. Now to some of you you may think “magnificent” is sort of overkill when describing a sleeping baby – you have obviously not spent time with the mother of a teething infant. Let me tell you….sleep is the best thing these days and last night was the FIRST time in 1.5 weeks that Jacob slept right through the night – I am still sitting here soaking in the glory of the morning – knowing full well that I’ll go to bed in an hour and be interrupted by the shrieks of an almost 8 month old at 2am – oh well, he’s worth it.

After waking up with such an enthusiastic mood I thought surely nothing could happen that would ruin my day – a word to the wise – never think you’re invincible – your day can always be challenged! I had spent the morning keeping my eye open for surprise challenges that were going to be popping up in a host challenge that I am participating in. I knew I had to run to the bank so when they hadn’t appeared by 12:10 I realized I could no longer post pone my trip to the bank so I bundled Jacob up and off we went – while I was depositing the money we needed for the month to pay our rent, bills, etc. Jacob started wailing – perhaps a symptom of teething or perhaps he was singing along with the homeless man who was sitting in the bank lobby serenading the tellers who had informed him that the police were coming to have him removed – either way he started wailing and I was distracted by him. I was trying to comfort him and put the money in the bank at the same time – I left the bank feeling accomplished until I was almost home and realized I had forgotten a few zero’s on the bank machine and instead of putting in the ACTUAL amount I had deposited – I had typed in $5.50….I was mortified! I called the bank from my cell phone only to find out I had to wait 5-7 business days for the error to be fixed – whatever I was ticked – so to add salt to the already gaping wound – when I got home exactly 35 minutes to the second I left – the surprise challenges had been posted and the winners already proclaimed – it sucks to be some days.

Perhaps the highlight of the day came when Mike came home early from work by 3 hours! That was fabulous and we were able to head right out and get our grocery shopping done; we needed it BADLY! After spending 170 dollars (our highest grocery shop yet) we were on our way home to a dinner of macaroni salad and roasted chicken….we fed Jacob, bathed him, played with him and sent him off to bed….then we sat down for a little tube time and now I’m here righting out the sob story of my day to the world – fabulous.

I hope tomorrow is a better day – Jacob tries Mango’s for the first time…thrilling!

Just t excite you all – here are some pics in reference to my story yesterday about Jacob giving kisses to his Bear BoBo – I told them to “rent a room”.