Sunday, November 28, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lilah

This is probably completely boring to anyone who isn't me or the Hubs, but I finally caught Lilah singing on video.  It sounds vaguely like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to me.  Or "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep."  Or "ABC's." Take your pick.  To you, it may sound like none of the above, but of course I'm biased so I think my child is the next Charlotte Church.  Well, not really, I'm a bit more realistic than that.  But if she develops the ability to carry a tune and make it halfway recognizable, she will have done me very proud and will, in my estimation, be more musical than 75% of the North American population*. 

*Statistic pulled out of thin air and may be slightly skewed by the viewing of too many seasons of American Idol and Canadian Idol.  But still.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday of Few Words: A Toddler's First Encounter with the White Stuff

The weather forecast for Friday night called for unusually cold temperatures and snow.  Snow!  On the 20th of November in Vancouver! Of course, having a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and zero knowledge of meteorology, I felt more than qualified to say, "Pshaw!  I'll believe it when I see it!"  (Yes, I'm unbelievably cool - I say things like "pshaw.")  This of course meant that I neglected to charge the battery of our super duper awesome camera and had only the little point-and-shoot with which to document Lilah's reaction to the surprisingly thick blanket of snow we woke up to on Saturday morning.

Hey, what's this cold white stuff all over the ground?

She doesn't own winter boots or a snowsuit yet because, you know, her mom knows better than those silly meteorologists.  We never get snow before Christmas in Vancouver!  So it was rain boots and a muddy buddy with lots of layers underneath for our li'l Lilahbility. 

There's a rumour going around (probably started by those gossipy busybody meteorologists) that this is going to be an unusually cold and snowy winter in Vancouver.  I might just be starting to buy into the hype!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Bedtime Routine

Ah, the bedtime routine.  When Lilah was about four months old and were trying to encourage longer stretches of sleep at night, we concocted a bedtime routine.  We dreamed that this would one day become a sweet, soothing ritual between parents and daughter.  So far, we've got the "sweet" and the "ritual" parts down pat, but "soothing"... well, sometimes, maybe.  Our nightly routine goes a little something like this:

Around 6:45 pm, we brush Lilah's teeth, wash her face, and massage her tear ducts (she has one that is still blocked, and we have an upcoming appointment with an opthalmologist to investigate).  The success of these endeavors depends on her general mood and health, as well as whether or not she is teething.  Some days it is a full-on wrestling match.  The victor is very seldom the contender with the biggest muscles, but rather the one who is not afraid to use both volume and pitch to her full advantage.  Needless to say, I'm crossing my fingers that Lilah has inherited my strong, cavity-resistant tooth enamel.

Next come pajamas (another wrestling match, on some nights) and saying night-night to the kitties and Daddy.  By this point, she is often making the sign for "milk" and pointing to my boobs with increasing urgency.  So I whip her into the glider and she nurses.  This is often a serene bonding time for the two of us.  Occasionally, it can turn into our third wrestling match of the evening.  Sometimes we joke around and I tickle her or pretend to munch on her fingers and toes, but usually she just gets right to business and I rock back and forth on the glider, enjoying the closeness of her and relishing in the one time of day when she is stationary, which affords me the luxury of burying my nose in her hair and snuggling in tight.

When she is done nursing, Lilah usually pulls off abruptly, sits up, and starts chatting and wriggling as if she has ants in her diaper.  I have to quickly whip out a book to catch her attention before she launches herself off my lap, so I keep several bedtime-themed stories in the pocket of the glider for quick-draw action.  In the interest of keeping things completely routine and calming, I used to read the same two board books to her every night.  I was practically superstitious about it, like somehow if I switched up the books, the entire routine would fall to pieces and she would go on a sleep strike.  But I finally realized that there are only so many times you can read "Goodnight Moon" before you want to throw the "bowl of mush" at the "old lady whispering hush." Or something like that.

After two stories, it's time for me to sing to her.  Early on, I chose "Christopher Robin" as our bedtime song, mainly because it was what came to mind when I tried to think of a soothing, sleepy song.  I learned it at camp, so it brings back memories of campfires and marshmallows.  But now it has taken on a whole new meaning.  Some nights, I am totally on point, and I secretly fantasize that I am a Glee cast member, wowing my audience with my lullaby skills.  Those nights, I sing loud and proud.  Sometimes, Lilah, too, fancies herself a musical prodigy and I have some serious competition.  Other nights, my voice comes out all flat an nasal, and is barely louder than a whisper.  Those nights, I omit the vocal flourishes and extra choruses and just stick to the bare bones of the song.  You'll be shocked to hear that those nights often coincide with the multiple wrestling matches.
Lilah with her bunny at 10 months old
By the end of the soothing notes of  "Christopher Robin," Lilah is usually sucking her thumb and clutching her bunny lovey tightly.  That's when I whisper in her ear about what a sweet, special, little girl she is and how much Mummy and Daddy love her and how we will always love her, no matter what (ie. no matter how many wrestling matches she instigates).  Then it's time for her sleep sack. 
Conked out in her sleep sack at 11 months
At this point, I turn on her white noise, turn off her light, and rub her back.  She usually lays her little head on my shoulder, sucks her thumb and twirls a strand of my hair.  After a little snuggle time, I give her a kiss or two, lie her down in her crib, rub her back some more, give her butt a few pats, and tell her, "night-night."  I creep out of her room, taking one last look over my shoulder as I close her bedroom door.  Then I breathe.  Sometimes it's a sigh of relief.  After a tough day, it's nice to finally have some me time.  But more often than not, it's a sigh that expresses how full my heart is - of love, of life, and of, well, fullness.  Another day is done; a day full of the wonder and adventure and dramatic ups and downs that only a child can fully experience and appreciate.  And I'm left still wondering what hit me and where the day went.  My little whirling dervish is down for the count, and a few hours later, I will be too.

Of course, I almost always find some excuse to sneak into her room, stroke her little blonde head, and put my hand against her back to feel her even, rhythmic breathing at least once more before I head off to bed myself...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sleep (In)Compatibility

The Hubs and I are compatible in many ways, but the temperature at which we sleep is not one of them.  I, who am almost always freezing cold during the day, become inexplicably overheated when I sleep.  I give off an insane amount of heat, which all gets trapped under the blanket and boils me alive at night.  The Hubs is the exact opposite.  He is almost never cold during the day, but often wakes up in the middle of the night shivering under my open-window-light-blanket regime.  My tendency to sleep hot became especially pronounced while I was pregnant with Lilah, and during the early days of nursing.  Now that I'm pretty much back to normal, I only wake up sweltering once or twice a night.

Come April or May, or as soon as I can make a case for it, depending on what kind of spring we are having, we take the duvet out of the cover, and just use the duvet cover as our blanket.  In the fall, the duvet goes back in its cover and we are once again blanketed in a cloud-like layer of down.  (Ah, the beauty of the wedding registry - luxury furnishing on someone else's dime!)  This year, I finally relented to the Hubs' begging in late October, and the duvet is back in its cover for the winter.  I love the weight of it, and I don't sleep well without a blanket on, but most nights I wake up sweating and have to throw off the covers, only to wake up half an hour later shivering.

Short of sleeping in separate beds, which seems a little sad, not to mention the fact that we lack the space for it, I'm not sure what the solution for this situation should be, if any.  Any other hotties like me out there?  Creative solutions to our sleep compatibility conundrum are welcome!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday of Few Words: Whistler

We decided to make the best of the stat holiday on Thursday and make it a four-day weekend.  We headed for the hills (er, mountains, actually) and drove up to Whistler for a mini family vacay.

Lilah checking out the view from our hotel room

The view

We spent a good deal of time at this sweeeet playground

Trying to climb up the slide, as always

Playing peekaboo

The remnants of snack time left on her face

Convincing Lilah to go down the slide for a change
(I did mention we spent a lot of time at this playground, didn't I?)

You may recall a little thing called the Olympics that Vancouver hosted in February?
Whistler was the stage for many of the mountain sports.
Unfortunately, we didn't entirely do our homework and hadn't realized the gondola would be closed for fall maintenance, so we weren't able to go up the mountain and take in the views, but we still managed to have a great time and get lots of fresh mountain air.  In addition to practically living at the playground, we did some other fun family things, like attending story time at the library and swimming in the hotel's pool (which is code for trying not to boil Lilah alive in the hot tub).  Oh, and let's not forget the spa!  Okay, so that's not so much a family thing as a mommy thing, but I think we can all agree that spa time for mommy does bring the whole family closer together.  My shiny purple toe nails totally count as family bonding, okay?!!!

I know you don't understand this right now, Lilah, but one day you will see
that Mommy spending three hours at the spa is actually in your best interest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday of Few Words

Some shots taken with our new camera lens:

Up close and personal

Lilah takes a trip to Upside Down World

*Both photos taken by the Hubs - he's a natural, I tell you!  (I'm jealous.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Needy Mama

I have become one very needy mama.  Ever since Lilah stated giving kisses on a reasonably reliable basis, I find myself constantly asking her, "Can I have a kiss?" and, "Give Mama a kiss," and "Lilah, Lilah, Mama wants a kiss!"  There's a good chance I may sound like a creepy mom stalking my own baby.  But I can't help it.  And occasionally my begging pays off, and she throws a little love my way.  Those two seconds where she grabs my ears as if they are handles, pulls me in close and plants one on me with a big flourish of "Mmmmmwah!" are totally worth the rejection my requests are met with the other 75% of the time.  And I'm totally willing to overlook the fact that she's a sloppy kisser with bad aim and I usually have to wipe her slobber off my entire face.  Her kisses are only marginally less welcome when she has a runny nose or food all over her face.  Man, the things I put up with - I must be one smitten kitten!

Attempting to steal a kiss from the Lilahbility

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 2010 Recap

Amber Strocel does a monthly recap and has invited others to play along and link up. So here's what I learned in October:

1. Now I get why the Pumpkin Patch is a yearly tradition for so many families.  Definitely on our to-do list again for next fall!

Pumpkins and apples and mud - what could be better?

2. Running for the Cure still puts a lump in my throat and goosebumps on my arms.

3.  Talking about your blissful sleep inevitably ends in poor sleep.  Nobody likes a braggart, not even the Sleep Fairy.

4.  Sometimes people can surprise you with a good deed when and where you least expect it.

5. You can't beat the colours of fall.

6.  I have a lot to be thankful for.

7.  I really should stop making fun of the size of the Hubs' head.  But I probably won't.

8.   It might be time to consider a one-piece bathing suit or tankini for my indoor swims with the kiddo.

9.  Consignment shopping for kids' clothng is fun, cheap(er), and easier on the earth.

10.   I have never been much of a fan of Hallowe'en, but I quite enjoy it now that I have a child to make it all worthwhile.  The littles in their adorable costumes, the pumpkin carving, the smell of pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven... quite lovely, actually!

She doesn't look thrilled, but take my word for it, she had a blast!


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