18 Dec 2012 3 Comments
01 Nov 2012 Leave a Comment
As you remember, we went apple-picking at the beginning of October.
The trip was filled with fun and discoveries (for example, that my baby really loves apples!!!). And even though I got to capture some precious moments of Ivan enjoying the apples, I couldn’t get any NICE pictures as the mid-day sun was very harsh.
So a few days later I decided to do a home photo session for Ivan and his apples.
So I sited Ivan in a basket, filled it with apples and let him do whatever he wanted. First, he was surprised why I was doing this to him, but a moment later he noticed all those nice, bright and tasty-looking apples and started tasting one after the other. As a result, lots of fun and a big apple pie after the photo session.
11 Oct 2012 Leave a Comment
I had my friend come for a visit a couple of days ago to see Ivan. So she sees my son cruising around the house barefoot and she goes: “Oh, why isn’t he in shoes?”. “Well, he is indoors, so he doesn’t need any shoes to walk indoors. Actually my pediatrician recommended to let him go barefoot while being inside, – I answer. My friends insists: “No, dear, according to old school (she is in her late forties), babies should always wear shoes for the better foot development”.
I’d heard several times from several different sources that it’s VERY important to let the baby go barefoot whenever possible. And for me it was like the only way to go. When Ivan started walking, he was always barefoot at home. And i would even let him go shoeless on the grass, in the water play area in the park, at his playdate in the museum and everywhere else safe. I didn’t know about the old school “requirements” regarding shoes. This friend of mine quite confused me. So I went online to see what the latest information is. And I was surprised to read about other confused mummies consirns regarding “shoes or no shoes” issue.
So I thought this topic would also be interesting to whoever reading my blog. So I’ve done some research and here are the most common questions asked by mummies and the answers by the pediatricians.
Do babies need to wear shoes to ensure the proper feet development?
“Some people buy shoes for newborn babies because they look cute, but they don’t help the baby’s foot development. In fact, shoes or pajamas with feet that are too tight can interfere with babies’ foot development.When babies are barefoot, they can wiggle their toes, grip the floor, balance themselves, and push off with their feet muscles.”
By allowing the feet to feel the floor or ground, going shoeless helps kids develop their balance, strength, and coordination. And it also gives them a chance to feel different textures like grass, sand, soft carpet, cool and smooth hard wood floors or linoleum.
Babies need shoes to protect them from the cold surfaces.
Infants’ feet do not have to be protected from the cold nearly as much as some adults think. Babies need no more protection for their feet when crawling on a cold floor than they do for their hands. The reason most adults are concerned about exposing their babies’ feet is because they are used to having their own feet always covered and protected, and are not accustomed to a little bit of exposure. Babies actually thrive on it.
If the surface is too chilly, then have your child walk around in something flexible, thin-soled, and not at all restrictive, such as socks, booties, or soft-soled baby shoes.
When do I need to buy first shoes for my baby?
When the child starts walking outdoors. He simply needs shoes to protect his feet from cuts and infections.
How to choose the right shoes for the baby?
Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez says: “Look for shoes that are almost like going barefoot—lightweight, soft, flexible material such as leather shoes or canvas sneakers. Get shoes with skid-proof soles to prevent slipping and falling. Make sure the shoes are wide enough for your child’s foot to lie flat, and long enough for a little extra room to wiggle and grow, maybe one-half inch beyond the toes. It’s normal for babies to have flat feet—most children naturally develop arches by 6 years of age, and you don’t have to worry about buying shoes with special arch supports.”
So my advice to you: let your baby walk barefoot as much as possible!
*Note! The article is for your information only! Please consult your pediatrician if you have any questions.
14 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
Ivan turned 10 month old on September 9th. It’s been almost a week that I’ve been trying to make this post. But we’ve been living in such hectic pace lately (packing, moving, renovating, decorating, photo shoots, editing, etc). And on top of that, Ivan has been having a fever of 39 C. for a couple of days now. For the first time in his life.
Ok, now in more details and pictures about last month.
- First of all, my mom came for a 2-week visit.
- Second of all, Ivan started walking! On his own. I didn’t even notice how. He is very independent. He learnt all by himself. And no back pain for me. Yay!
- We moved to our new apartment! No pictures yet. I need to finish decorating and post some pictures later this month.
Can only say that we all love it here. It’s our very first, very own home! It’s a bright and spacious 2-bedroom apartment with a huge balcony and a salt-water pool in the building.
- Ivan got his 2 other bottom teeth. 8 in total.
- Ivan was invited to his very first birthday party.
- Ivan learnt to play hide-and-seek.
- Ivan learnt to share things. Like for example while he is eating his rice cracker, he shares it with me. Hi bites, then offers me a bite and so on. But he wouldn’t share with everybody. You have to be his friend. My mom was honored with a cookie bite only at the end of her stay:)
- As for the food itself, Ivan has baby cereal in the morning, than vegetable puree for lunch and meat with vegetables or pasta for supper. And breast milk, fruits, crackers, bread, yogurt or cheese as snacks.
- As for sleep…Ivan does 2 naps during the day (sometimes just 1). As for the night-time, it’s all the same: bedtime at 6:30-7 PM, gets up at 7:30 AM with 1-2 feedings during the night.
- I did several interesting photo shoots last month
Like a photo shoot of this adorable baby boy Maxim
…and this adorable couple on their wedding day
Overall, it was an intensive but very positive and productive month!
11 Aug 2012 Leave a Comment
Oh, boy, it was a tough month!
First of all, in terms of weather. It was very hot and humid in July. And since we don’t have air-conditioning in our current home, you can imagine how difficult that was for Ivan and for all of us. There was a positive side of it though (as always): less laundry…MUCH less. Ivan spent the entire month in a diaper, no clothes on (except for the walks).
Second-of-all, Ivan has been teething very badly for the past month and especially for the past several days. And that means very challenging feedings, extremely difficult process of falling asleep, shorter and fewer naps, whineing, fatigue and chewing everything.
Apart from that:
- Ivan is starting to walk. He is already able to stand without support for about 10 seconds. And he has taken some attempts to make a couple of steps on his own.
- Ivan has changed his nap routine. Now instead of 3 beautiful naps a day, he does only 2 (If we are lucky enough). But what frustrates me about that is that he would be tired and rubbing his eyes and yawning but when I put him down, he wouldn’t sleep. He just wouldn’t. He would roll and walk around his crib, whine or scream or bablle. And when I come up to him, he would ask to take him out. But when I pick him up, he would push me away. If I put him on the floor, he would start whineing, if I put him back to bed – he would cry, and if I try holding him or breastfeed – he would push me away. So what does he want? It’s really frustrating. Maybe I am doing something wrong. I mean, it was all perfect before, I could see when he would need a nap and it worked all the time. But now I just can’t figure out what he wants at a certain moment.
- Ivan babbles a lot! Da-da-da, na-na-na, wa-wa-wa, ta-ta-ta, ba-ba-ba all day long. Everything but mama
- We have tried potty. He even did his first pee and poop in the potty. But still doesn’t understand what it’s all for. Besides I heard it’s not recommended to start potty training if you have moved recently or going to soon. So I decided it was a little bit to early for us to start potty training right now.
- As for food… I continue breast feeding. And we do solids 3 times a day. Up to this day we have tried: different types of cereal, vegetables (squash, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, avocado, sweet potato, corn, potato, green peas); meat (chicken, veal and beef); fruits (apple, banana, strawberry, melon, blueberries, grapes, cherries) and cooked egg yolk.
His most favorite are sweet potato and squash. Ivan doesn’t really like meats, nor fruits.
- Ivan loves music! And dancing!
And putting his hands up in the air!
- As for the activities… We are still taking “aqua-stroller” class.
We have also attended some meetups for moms (meetup.com), like “baby waterway” (pictures below).
As for me…I am tired. I have already posted about that here. Just tired that every day it’s the same thing. Tired to feel tired. Tired of Ivan being tired and not being able to fall asleep.
On the bright side, there were some pleasant moments as well.
- Girls night out at a Brazilian resto
- Received a nice gift from Bags of Love (iPhone cover)
- My blog made it to the Top 100 pregnancy and parenting blogs by Online Ultrasound School.
And that would be it. Hope next month would be more positive!
09 Apr 2012 1 Comment
April 9th, 2012. My baby Ivan is 5 month old!!! Every day brings something new! Literally, every single day there is something new. Time goes by so fast. It can’t go any faster. I wish I could slow it down sometimes and enjoy those moments even more!
1. The past month overall.
The beginning and the end of the past month were challenging. Teething, teething, teething. During those teething days Ivan doesn’t sleep during the day, wouldn’t sleep in the stroller, refuses to nurse, cries all of a sudden and just fussy all the time.
The middle of the month was the best time so far!
Ivan has finally developed his schedule.
7-8 AM – wake up; nurse, diaper change, arms & chest massage, dress up for the day, then some bouncer or play mat time while mom&dad have their breakfast.
9-10 AM – morning nap till 11 or 12.
From 12 till 18:00: nursing, diaper changes, play time, outside time, story time, one or two afternoon naps; legs, stomach and back massage.
At 18:00 we start our bedtime routine: I wash and massage Ivan’s face. Then we take a bath either just me and Ivan or all three of us. Then I get Ivan in his pyjamas, nurse and by 19:00-19:30 Ivan is sleeping.
From 19:00 till 7 AM Ivan usually wakes up 3-4 times to nurse, poop and have his diaper changed.
Since Ivan learnt rolling over, he’s been sleeping mostly on his belly. And sometimes on a side.
He is napping in his crib and doesn’t mind bright room any more (last month he would only fall asleep in master bedroom because it’s quiet and always dimmed. And he was also napping on our bed. He wouldn’t nap anywhere else).
I am still breastfeeding. But Ivan has been showing a lot of interest in our food. And especially in my tea mug! I used to breastfeed him in the morning sipping my tea (I can’t start a day without a cup of tea!!!). I can’t do it anymore because every time Ivan would see my mug, he would try to reach it.
So two days ago I gave Ivan some water in a sippy cup. He was so excited about it. I think he was more excited about the cup not about the water. He was all wet at the end but he wouldn’t give the cup back.
And today was a big day! We started solids. After listening to my friends, pediatricians, nurses at CLSC and everybody else, I decided to start not with the rice cereal like my pediatrician had recommended but with a sweet potato puree. So I skyped my mom, Vitali got the camera ready and here we go, Ivan ate his first solid food. Again, he was more excited about the spoon. He is very adventurous. He is open to everything new. Like his mama.
Ivan is working on his crawling and sitting. I also saw him trying to lift his body on the rails in his crib, so the same day we put the crib mattress at its lowest position.
6. Ivan LOVES water!
We started 2 swimming classes with Ivan. One of them is swimming class for babies. It’s a half-an-hour class in a small pool with warm water. Ivan is in my arms all the time doing different exercises: swimming on the stomach, swimming on the back and so on. The other class is “Aqua-stroller”. It’s a one hour class for mamas with babies. It starts with placing the babies in the “strollers” on the water. And then we start our aqua-aerobics class each holding the baby’s stroller by the rope and interacting with the babies all the time. And the second part of the class is with the babies in our arms. The thing Ivan loves the most is when he is on his tommy (I support him under his chest and his legs), I place a toy in front of him and he tries to reach it kicking with his feet and trying to swim with his arms, squealing with delight. It’s so funny. I’ll try to get Vitali go see the class and film it next week.
I love being a mother more and more every day. I am getting more and more attached to him. If before I could leave Ivan with my husband or my mother-in-law and go do my things, then now it’s more difficult for me. I am like a mama-bear: wanna be always close and protective. Before I was sure I would send him to the day care at 6-9 month. Now, I am not so sure. Don’t think I would do it before he is 1 year old. At least!!!
Ivan is starting to show his affection more and more. He recognizes people. He greets people he knows with a smile!
My most favorite moments ever are the one-on -one moments! He looks at me with such a love! While nursing he is looking at me and touching my face. And when I burp him he puts his arms around my neck and tries to kiss me on a chick. It’s so cute!!!! I love this!!!
Last month we got a mortgage pre – approval with a bank. And now searching for a condo.
I’ve also been working on my portfolio.And did my first ever baby photography session.
Here is a couple of pictures from that photo shoot:
Our projects for the next month:
1. Find an apartment
2. Try to push Ivan’s bedtime to 9PM
3. And my personal project – create my photography web site.
10 Mar 2012 1 Comment
Ivan turned 4 months yesterday!
Overall it was a very good month. We are done with “baby massage” class. We are still doing the “infant stim” class. It’s been much easier to put him down for a nap during the day thanks to the workshop on “baby’s sleep” in our “infant stim” class. His night sleep stayed pretty much the same: he goes to bed at around 9 PM, wakes up 2-3 times a night to eat and finally wakes up at 8-9 AM.
The highlights of the month:
- He rolled from his back onto his tommy on March 3rd. Then he forgot about it for a couple of days. But now….he can’t stop. Especially at night. I nurse him, rock him to sleep in my arms, hold him in my arms for another 15-20 minutes (to be sure he is asleep), then put him down in his crib and …ooops, eyes wide open and Ivan is trying to roll over.
- Another thing that keeps him awake is his feet. He has discovered his feet recently. And since then they’ve been always up in the air. Last night I went to bed at 4 AM!!!!! Ivan just wouldn’t sleep, trying to roll over or trying to reach his feet.
- He is very good at grabbing and holding things. He can now hold his toys and play with them.
- Ivan loves singing! This past month he’s been singing all the time. When I sing him a lullaby he sings along! I am serious! Or he would sing solo! Especially I love it when he is in my arms, looking at me and singing for like 3-5 minutes. Then he closes his eyes and falls asleep. I feel the happiest and the luckiest mom on Earth. There is so much LOVE, ADORATION, ADMIRATION, JOY and TENDERNESS in his eyes. Those moments are just priceless.
- It’s been almost a week since Ivan has stopped sleeping in his stroller. He is so bored there. He wants to be out and look around. My every attempt to go get some groceries or some other things done ended up going back home with Ivan in one hand and the stroller in another.
- The best experience of the past month: all 3 of us taking a bath together. Ivan loves it!!!!
09 Feb 2012 2 Comments
My baby is 3 months old! OMG, so fast!!! Time flies!!!
Ok, so what has Ivan been up to last month?
- He is finally able to hold his head!!!
- No more swaddling!!! And unswaddling! Ivan loves freedom! Swaddling worked for us for about 2 weeks. After that every time I swaddled my baby, he would quickly find the way out. So no point in swaddling him any more.
- Ivan and I, we started taking 2 courses: a course in baby massage and infant stimulation class at a local community center. And we just love love love it! In the baby massage class we (moms) learn how to give our babies massage. It’s a 5 week class and we learn one body part at once. And it’s not only about massage. It’s also about socializing. I get to meet and talk to other moms. And Ivan gets to meet other babies. It’s been so fun to watch him in a new environment. He is so curious! He is so interested in everything and everybody! And he is so charming! He has even got his first kiss from a 8-month old baby-girl. She crept up to Ivan and ooops…gave him a kiss on his nose. It was hilarious!!!
And then the infant stimulation class is a 10-week program where we sing songs, play with the babies and talk about different things with the moms.
- The beginning of the month was quite tough. Ivan got his 2-month vaccines (3 vaccines at once). So that day and a couple of days after he was a “vegetable”. Sleeping all day long.
But I don’t know what happened after: either he was fighting those viruses he had got or smth else, but he was so fussy and cranky and irritated. He couldn’t sleep during the day. At all.
- The middle of the month was a “piece of cake”. After I started giving Ivan massage on a daily basis, I noticed he became calmer. Much calmer. He went back to napping during the day.
- But the end of the month was …very sleepy.It’s been a week and a half that Ivan is sleeping literally all day long!!! He wakes up to be fed, changed and then he is off to sleep again. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining! No way! It’s such a miracle: he can sleep at daytime again! And noise doesn’t matter. We don’t have to tiptoe anymore. I know he is gonna start teething soon and won’t be sleeping as peaceful as now. So I am enjoying this sleepy period…when we are at home! But not when we are in a class. He naps before going to the class, he naps on the way there. Then he wakes up as soon as we arrive. And he looks fresh, playful and happy.But 15 minutes after he is tired again. And there is nothing in between these two stages: he is either super smily and happy, or fussy and hysterical. And he wouldn’t fall asleep in the room with all the babies, nor he would be lying in my arms. I have to get up, hold him upright (Only upright!) and go to a quiet room. So the last infant stim class we spent in another room.
Well, I guess he is going through a growing stage where he needs extra milk and extra sleep!
Vitali has been on the paternity leave since January 3rd. So YAY! Extra help!!!It gives me a chance to take a photography course and attend some meetups at my photography club.
Happy! Happy! Happy! Feeling much better about myself now! Love being a mom! Love my baby!Love breastfeeding! And I am so proud to be a mother of a 3-month old baby. I am proud of myself for being in a good shape. I like it when people say: “Oh, you must have been adopted the baby. Because you just look fabulous!”
Well, Thank you!!!!
- Ivan is 1 month old today! (happymotherdiary.wordpress.com)
- Baby Ivan is two weeks old! /”baby blues” (happymotherdiary.wordpress.com)
- 2 months old! (happymotherdiary.wordpress.com)
- Massage for Infants (journeytosatori.wordpress.com)
22 Nov 2011 1 Comment
Tuesday, November 08, 2011. It was a long day for both me and my husband. We woke up at 5:50 AM because my husband was doing a morning shift that day. On the days like this I usually wake up with him, make him breakfast, see him to the door and go back to bed. But that morning I had a DR appointment at 10AM. So I decided there was no point in going back to bed. So I stayed awake.
10 AM Here I am at the DR. She checks me….and I am sill at 1cm! I am 2 days past my due date and no progress. So she schedules an induction for me for November 14th. Oh man, I am so disappointed at this point. I don’t want to be induced. I know that in case of an induction the contractions are artificial which means they are much more painful. And there is also often a risk of C-section. Witch I don’t want either.
16:30 My husband gets back home from work. We spend the evening watching TV and having supper.
22:00 We go to bed.
11:15PM I wake up feeling a huge gulp of warm liquid coming from inside me. I wake my husband up saying: “Honey, wake up, my water has just broken”. We both jump out of bed. (I wish I could see our eyes at that moment). I jump in the shower. Vitali calls a taxi. Everything is already ready to go to the hospital but we both start running around the house trying to figure out what to do and what to take with us. My husband takes the sheets off the bed and hangs them to dry them up (they were all wet because of the waters broken. I am all shivering…scared, nervous but excited. Then we get in the taxi. Feels like the ride to the hospital is taking forever. The water is still coming out. I am all wet: my boots, my jeans, everything.
We walk in the hospital, get registered. Then they take me into a small room, make me sit in a chair and monitor my contractions for 15 or 20 minutes. (Oh, common people, let me get these wet pants off). Then they realise the monitor is not working properly, they readjust the settings and make me wait again. 15 more minutes later they come in and say: “Your contractions are very irregular. Let us check if your waters really broke. If not we will have to send you home”. SERIOUSLY? Don’t you see I am ALL soaking wet??? They check me and yes, my water has broken but I am still 1cm.
Then they move us to the delivery room. They suggest to start the IV right away to stimulate the contractions. But I prefer waiting another couple of hours to see if they start on their own. We wait. I feel the contractions but it doesn’t hurt. On the opposite, feels like fun.
November 9, 2011
3AM They say my contractions are still not strong enough so they have to put me on Pitocin. Oh well. (NOTE: I really hoped for a drug-free delivery: no epidural, no other drugs).
5AM Contractions are getting more and more powerful. But I am still able to talk at this point . My husband is napping in the chair next to me.
6AM Ok, it’s getting difficult to deal with the contractions on my own. And I am frustrated with my husband who is still sleeping. How can he sleep so peacefully when I am in so much pain? So I wake him up and ask him to massage my back during the contractions. They are already 2 minutes apart at this point.
7AM My DR comes to see me. She was on call at the hospital that night but now her shift is over. She is asking me: “So, are you gonna take the epidural?”.
- No-no. I told you, I don’t want any epidural.
- OK, you’ll see how it goes. But I think, you should just take it.
I was pretty much dissapointed with her attitude. I thought the DR should support the patient whatever decision he makes.
And I really don’t want an epidural! I really hope to do it on my own.
7:30 AM I can no longer stay in bed. So I get up and start trying different positions (walking, standing, leaning on the wall and on my husband, squat position, on the nursing ball), breathing technics, we play the music, I read my affirmations. The contractions last for 60 sec and are 2 min apart. And Oh boy, does it hurt!!!! The easiest for me is to stand and lean on the table. My husband continues to massage me. But it’s not helping any more, even making it worse. So I ask him to stop. He doesn’t know how to help me at this point. He is nervous. He starts eating everything we brought as snacks: apple puree, snack bars,cheese… And it’s pissing me off to be honest. But I say nothing.
In my head I’m saying to myself: “Lucky men! They don’t have to feel such pain!”, “This is my first baby and the last one. That’s it. Never again”, “I can not do this any more. Should I take an epidural?” I start panicking. I wish I could just say: “Ok, stop all this. Let’s continue tomorrow”. But I know I can’t stop this. I am in LABOR! I can’t turn it back. I have to do it. But I just don’t get rest between the contractions. I don’t feel strong any more. I feel like crying. I just want somebody to feel sorry for me. But I say nothing to my husband. I know it’s very difficult for him. He doesn’t know what I feel. But he can definitely see it. So I just say nothing. Besides, I literally have no time for this! There is no break between the contractions and I am not able to say anything during the contractions.
11AM. I REALLY CAN’T DO THIS ANY MORE!!!!!!!
I ask to check if there is any progress. I feel like I am ready to give birth. I feel the baby really low. They check me. And I am …….. 3,5 cm only!!!! OMG! They say the most important is to get to 4cm, after that it usually goes 1cm every hour. Which means it will take me another 7 hours MINIMUM!!!
OK. GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
11:15. The anesthesiologist is on his way. I can not endure such pain any longer. I feel like I’m gonna die at every contraction. Waiting for my epidural feels like forever.
The anesthesiologist is finally here. I get my epidural. Everything goes great. Thanks GOD! I open my eyes and I see my husband crying. He can’t see me suffer from such pain.
They put me in bed, attach all the monitors, the tubes with the medication. And I can now relax!!!
Oh, it feels much better every minute.
12PM. I feel great! I am in love with life again. And I am hungry. So I send my husband off to get something to eat.
13:00 We have lunch. And then my husband falls asleep in his reclining chair. And he sleeps till like 3PM. I try to get some rest and sleep too. But they come and check on me every 30 minutes or so. So I’m staying awake.
16:30 I am bleeding a lot . Actually too much. It means the placenta has already started to detach. Wich is not good for the baby – not enough oxygen. I have to deliver ASAP but I am not fully dilated yet. They say I am at a risk of getting a C-section. They even get everything ready for the surgery. Oh, God knows how much I don’t want C-section. I start praying. I breathe and think of my baby. I think I am sending the oxygen to my baby helping him to breathe.
17:30 PM. I ask Vitali’s mom to come. I need to distract myself. I need to talk to a WOMAN who understands what I am going through.
My back hurts of staying in bed for so long. I am having a fever. I feel tired and very thirsty.
18:00. Vitali’s mom is here. Contractions are back. They decreased the epidural so that I would feel the contractions when pushing. I feel ready to deliver. They check me and my body is still not ready. Oh, GOD, please please please!!!! I didn’t go through all of that to get C-section.
19:00. The baby’s heartbeat is unstable. He is suffering but keeps fighting. What a strong baby! They check me….an I AM READY!!!! Thank GOD!!!!!!
19:30 PM. I start pushing. I know I have to deliver fast. So that the baby doesn’t get tired. So I push very hard. They even say I am very good at pushing. I think my husband was impressed too. He told me after that I looked so concentrated! I looked like I knew exactly what to do!
It was actually the best part of the labor. I really enjoyed feeling my baby coming down. But it was also the longest part! Those 30 minutes felt like forever.
20:10 Baby Ivan is born. They pass me that little blue body. Where did this little person come from? Is this my baby? Am I a mother now? Is this my son?
Yes, thoughts like that were in my head. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. My husband told me my eyes were pretty crazy when I saw the baby! I remember my feeling as well. It’s totally indescribable!!!!!!!!!
It’s a miraculous baby! So healthy and so strong!!!!
Apgar score: 8/8/8
- Evan’s Birth Story (mindofmandi.wordpress.com)