Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Nutshell Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Gave birth. Learned how to be a mother. Well, started learning.


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made an official resolution last year. This year, Chris and I have resolved to get in better shape, and to support each other in that goal.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um, I did. Does that count?


4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.


5. What countries did you visit?
None.


6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Excellent exercise habits. (Note: this is the exact same answer I had last year too. Clearly I have issues.)


7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 24, 2008 - Gwen's birth. Every other day is a blur!


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth, without a doubt.


9. What was your biggest failure?
It's a tie - breastfeeding, or the failure to get back my pre-pregnancy body.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Norovirus. SUCKED SO HARD. 48 hours after Gwen was born, I had to (a) work on recovering from labour and birth; (b) learn how to parent a newborn; (c) deal with the roller coaster of postpartum hormones; and (d) expel violently from all orifices everything I'd ever eaten. The fact that I picked up this treasure of a virus from the hospital where I gave birth is a sterling recommendation for home births.


11. What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my new haircut. Possibly Gwen's swaddle blanket. Maybe even yoga classes, which was the first thing I started doing for myself by myself after Gwen was born.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine. Chris's. Sally and Janice's. Gwen's.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
"Dr" Hales.


14. Where did most of your money go?
Groceries. Car payments. Student Loan. A gym membership that I'm not even using.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Gwen learning to crawl.


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"Goodnight, Sleep Tight".


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder? Happier, though I was pretty happy then too.
ii. Thinner or fatter? The same, which is tragic since this time last year I was five months pregnant.
iii. Richer or poorer? Poorer. Maternity leave does that to a person.


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Taken more pictures (of the right moments).


19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating junk food. Obsessing over breastfeeding.


20. How will you be spending Christmas? We spent Dec. 23rd with my in-laws since the weather for Christmas Eve was unpredictable. We had Christmas Dinner with them and the Kellers as well. Christmas morning was peaceful, with just the 3 of us at our house. We'll be going to Powell River this weekend to see my family.


22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes, with my daughter. She is awesome.


23. How many one-night stands?
None.


24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Office.


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope.


26. What was the best book you read?
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
"Snack Time", Barenaked Ladies' kids' CD. I recommend this for anyone who feels that kids' music doesn't have to be insipid and repulsive.


28. What did you want and get?
A good birth and a healthy baby. To complete a half-marathon in the fall.


29. What did you want and not get?
My prepregnancy body back by the end of the year.


30. What was your favorite film of this year?
"The Dark Knight". One of maybe ... three? ... films we've seen in the theatre this year.


31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33. I went down to Victoria to be with a friend for a medical procedure.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to breastfeed.


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Baggy mismatched clothes spattered with someone else's bodily fluids. Glamourous!


34. What kept you sane?
My husband and my friends. Blogging. My blogroll.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I originally had "John Krasinski" here, but I'm going to change my answer. if you interpret 'fancy' as 'have the most affection and admiration for', instead of making it all crushy, then I would say these three ladies are tops with me!


36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election of Barack Obama.


37. Who did you miss?
My best friend. No time for our weekly chats these days.


38. Who was the best new person you met?
My daughter! Plus many of my new friends: Jessica, Bridgette, Alison.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Here's the thing. Whether you trust them or not, people are going to do (or not do) as they choose. If you choose to trust them, you can deal with the consequences of their actions as they come, instead of tearing yourself apart every day worrying about what they may (or may not) do.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"These memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Gwen: Month Eight

Dear Gwen,
You are two-thirds of a year old today. I am numb with amazement.



There have been many changes this month. You got your first tooth, and then a few days later you got a second one. I think another one is coming in now, because your fist is in your mouth at every available opportunity. You also learned how to crawl. A friend of mine reported that when her son began crawling, his temperament improved vastly, as he could now exercise so much more control over his environment, company, and activities. This happened for you, too, but it only lasted a couple of days. It's as if this new skill of mobility enabled you to see how much more there was in the world to explore, and you're never content until you've explored the hell out of it.



To this end, you've been spending a lot of time on your knees or even on your feet, leaning against whatever object you can find to support you. This results in a lot of falls, either because you chose an unsteady obect for leaning, or because you have no idea how to get back down to all fours safely. (If you would just learn how to sit already, you might be a whole lot safer moving between those two positions!) You've gotten more bumps and boo-boos in the past two weeks than in the previous seven and a half months of your life. And the fun, I know, is just beginning.



Your newfound mobility and the power it brings you ensures that you are never, never still. If I want you in my lap, I have to tolerate your constant squirming as you twist your entire body from side to side, trying to see the entire room, making sure that you don't miss anything. You are not the kind of baby we could easily take out to a restaurant or other non-baby-centred activity. While I miss the cuddles and the feeling of you drifting off to sleep in my lap, I have learned to treasure the moments when you do relax in my arms, which come just before and just after sleep. At the end of our bedtime routine, I sway gently near your crib with you in my arms, singing a lullaby, and inevitably your body melts into mine and you lay your head on my shoulder and snuggle in. This never fails to melt my heart, and it's the favourite moment of my day. Another high point is when you wake up from your nap, hair rumpled and eyes dazed, frowning and blinking as you try to take in the fact that the world still exists. You move slowly during this stage, slowly enough that you are satisfied to rest in my arms and even nurse for a few minutes before your energy returns and you need to move on to more exploring.
Another development this month is that you have learned how to whine. I have always known that I despise whining in older children, but I had no idea that a pre-verbal baby could also produce that sound, the one that's developed to pierce straight into a parent's ears, burrow into his or her brain, and trigger the cerebral cortex, thus immediately entering "Stab Self in Eyes, Ears, and All Vital Organs Until that Hideous Sound Stops" mode. Your whine sounds like this: "nnnnnNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!" and because I haven't figured out yet what makes you whine, I am not very good at making you stop. Stabbing myself hasn't worked yet either.


Ten days ago, I did something new. I left you with your dad for an entire day and went to Victoria with a friend. I was gone for over eight hours, the longest we've ever been apart. You were absolutely fine, had a good time with your dad, and took your naps right on schedule. I was fine too. I can't believe that leaving you like that every day is only a few months away.



The diaper rash I was so worried about last month has gone away. I think stripping your diapers made the difference. It's probably something we should do every few months, regardless of your skin condition. You continue to enjoy solid foods, and I think in the next month or so you will start to be able to feed yourself a little better (which is good, because the dull and painstaking process of feeding you is starting to wear thin for me!). We've introduced fruits a couple of times now, and on some days when I'm really organized I manage to give you real food more than once a day, as well. The only food you have outright rejected so far is pears, though 'they' say you have to offer a food up to 30 times before concluding that your child genuinely dislikes it, so there will be more pears in your future. When I get around to it.



Another intriguing change this month is in the different ways you relate to your dad and me. When you first wake up, or when you are scared or hurt, you want your mom, and you make that quite clear. But no one can make you laugh the way your dad can. He makes you giggle loud and long and with absolute and perfect delight. The two of you have so much silly fun together, and I just love to watch.
This month, you also got to experience your first snowfall. As soon as I could, I got you into your snowsuit, took you outside, plopped you down on the ground, and took some pictures. I soon realized this was ... kind of all there was to do, with you and your first snow. You could barely move in the snowsuit, so crawling around to explore was out of the question. And your hands were inside warm cozy mittens, as they should be, so you couldn't touch the snow to learn about its strange texture, temperature, and taste. So after snapping the obligatory "Gwen's first snow" pictures, in which you are staring at me like you're trying to figure out what the hell I'm so excited about, I took you back inside, took your snowsuit off, and set you back on the course of your normal day with a resigned shrug. I guess next year's snowfall might be a little more exciting for you.

We love you so much, Gwen, and every day you amaze us with your strength, your intelligence, and your wonderful personality. We are so happy and proud that you chose us to be your parents.
Love,
Mama




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wizards in Winter - Christmas Light Display

I watch this video every year, and every year I tear up. I'm not even sure why. I think it's a combination of many things: the emotions that seem so intensified at Christmas, the pure magnificence of the piece of music, and my intense admiration for someone who does something - even something silly and whimsical - with their entire energy, bringing it to the point of excellence.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gwenlog

Day 7 of being trapped in the house due to snow. Parents still cruelly preventing me from pulling down the Christmas tree. I'm sick of milk and I hate all my toys. SEND HELP.



OH CRAP THEY CAUGHT ME ABORT ABORT.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I win at packing! But lose at Christmas!

I want you all to know that I did a phenomenal job packing for today's trip. Like, probably the best packing job I've ever done.


(That's IT. Seriously. Me + Gwen for four days and three nights. I ROCK!)

(Um, except obviously her playpen and Bumbo chair are not pictured here. The playpen is for sleeping and the Bumbo is for eating, since Gwen is not enthused about sitting in people's laps. (Or anywhere, really.) But luggage-wise? This is it. I am proud!)

Naturally, our trip was cancelled due to a blizzard warning. When your city's Fire Rescue Department sends out an emergency alert advising residents to stock up on lights, food, medicine, water, pet food, and gasoline - hmm, it just might be a hint brick from the Universe saying STAY THE HELL HOME. So, that's what we're doing.


I am very disappointed to be missing out on the English Family Christmas this year, a tradition that's been going for six years now. It feels strange that our extended family won't be as big a part of Gwen's first Christmas as we'd planned. But ultimately, what's important is that the three of us are together, we're safe, and we'll have our own quiet little celebration. As Chris pointed out, if ever there was a Christmas for plans getting screwed up, it might as well be this one, when Gwen doesn't know the difference.



I do, though, and I'm a little bit perplexed as to how to ensure that the upcoming Week of Being Stuck At Home With Gwen will be different from Every Other Week of the Year When I Am Stuck At Home With Gwen. It's still my Christmas too, and I want it to be a little bit special. I guess now I have to figure out how to do that.

But! More importantly. Behold my packing!


The Diaper Bag/Ferry Bag.


The above bag is all we need to bring on the ferry to keep Gwen fed, clean, and somewhat entertained.
Contents include:
Burp cloths (including a Christmas-themed one)
Three disposable diapers*
Plastic bag for soiled clothes
Whole-grain sugar-free "O" cereal in case Gwen suddenly shows an interest in finger food
Toys
Entire clean outfit in case of blowout
Receiving blanket because I have a bizarre fear of going anywhere without one
Long piece of fabric that turns into a wrap like this, for carrying Gwen
Nightlight clipped on edge of bag, not so much for the ferry but for latenight Gwen attendance in homes with unknown layouts
Diaper Cream
Disposable Wipes*
Changing Pad
Not pictured: The bottles and formula I would have added to the bag if we'd actually headed out this morning.


The Overnight Bag

Along with the diaper/ferry bag, this bag would have accompanied us into my aunt's house. It contains everything we need for dinner, sleeping, and the next morning.
Contents include:
Change of clothes for me
My jammies
Change of clothes for Gwen
Plastic bag in case of soiled clothes
Two pairs of socks for Gwen
Burp cloths
Three bibs, including two that are Christmas-themed
Container of wheat cereal
Dish and spoon
Jarred baby food**
Her reflux medicine and syringe
Baby Tylenol
Receiving Blanket
Fancy dress for dinner
More diapers*
Jammies & overjammies
mp3 player & speakers (we use this to play the hourlong track of ocean wave sounds she is used to while she sleeps; it helps soothe her, and cover other household noises)
Not pictured: Her lovey, "Mooey", which again would have been thrown in the bag this morning.
**Not something she gets at home, but seems a good plan for when we're travelling and don't have any idea whether the food will be suitable for her.


The Gibsons Bag


This is the bag containing everything needed for Gwen and I to spend two days and nights on the Coast with my sister. The previous bag could have happily stayed in the car during this time.
Contents include:
Changing pad
Gwen's bathing suit (we were going to go to the pool while there)
Swim diapers
Receiving blanket
Plastic bag
Burp cloths
More clothes for me
My bathing suit
More clothes for Gwen
More diapers*
More jammies for Gwen
More disposable wipes*
More jarred baby food**
More socks for Gwen
Not pictured: the jar of formula and bottles I would have added this morning if we'd actually been heading out.


*While at home, we use cloth diapers and wipes for Gwen, but when travelling, we do disposable. Mostly this reflects our respect for our hosts' homes and our unwillingness to fill them with stinky soiled diapers.


A post about luggage. How freaking lame. At least I'm not totally alone in the weirdness, though. And taking the photos in anticipation of this post made all the UNpacking I had to do today, a little less painful.


I'm now feeling a little blue over Gwen's lack of opportunity to wear the lovely Christmas clothes she has. She has two Christmas-y dresses, and last week I even went so far as to plan out which dress she would wear to which event, to make sure they got equal play (this is important when one of them was bought by a grannie! A grannie who was annoyed that the costume she bought Gwen didn't get worn for the Official Trick or Treating!). I thought Gwen could wear her red dress for the baby Christmas party on Friday, but that party got cancelled because of the snow. Then I thought Gwen could wear her lovely gold dress for the dinner tonight, but now we're not going. Church on Christmas Eve is looking pretty darn iffy as well. For the last few days, since we haven't been leaving the house at all, Gwen's just been wearing the same pair of jammies all damn day. This does *not* contribute to feeling like Christmas! Sometime in the next couple days I have got to pull it together, dress that girl up, and get in the spirirt.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Packing Shame

I'm currently in the midst of packing for a trip. On Saturday, Gwen and Chris and I are catching a morning ferry to Vancouver, stopping to visit Sally & Dean (& Finnegan), and then proceeding to Coquitlam where we will be meeting with the entirety of my mother's side of the family (18 people in total) for a holiday gathering. The next day, we drive back to Horseshoe Bay where Chris gets the ferry back to Nanaimo and Gwen and I follow my sister and her family back home to the Sunshine Coast for a little visit. (Sara bought a house a whole year ago and I haven't even seen it yet! Plus, funtime for cousins.)

Packing has never been my strong suit and since I became a mom it often dawns on me with sinking dread before a trip that I have to pack for two. Unfair! I've actually travelled enough with Gwen now that I have a list on my computer of every item we might possibly need, and it's my habit to go over this list before a trip and select the applicable items.

My current dilemma is whether I should pack one bag for the one-night stay at my aunt's house and then another bag for the two-night stay at my sister's, so I don't have to haul three nights' worth of stuff in to my aunt's place. This points back to my packing shame. I always feel ashamed when I arrive at someone's house with huge gigantic piles of stuff. I don't know exactly why I feel this way, where it comes from, whether it's rational, or whether anyone else feels this way*.

In any case, the one-night-bag theory is kind of moot when you consider that the gigantic items - the playpen and the Bumbo chair leap to mind - need to come in anyway, so who's going to notice what size my bag is at that point?

Oh! Also hate: the idea that in addition to the FURNITURE listed above, I will be arriving with (at minimum) a bag for Gwen's stuff, a bag for my stuff, and a diaper bag. Gah.

So, tell me what you think! Moms, when you travel, do you feel a little weird about bringing so much damn stuff with you, or do you not care? Do you manage to get by with less? Hosts and hostesses, how do you feel when guests arrive with umpty-eleventy-billion bags for an overnight stay?

*Though I will point out that in this post - which you should read anyway, for it is awesome - having "the smallest diaper bag" seems to be presented as a compliment. So there's some subtle but valid confirmation that I'm not alone in the belief that packing light is preferable.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Snowy Update

It's snowing like mad here. Supposed to get another 15cm today. The same thing happened on Saturday, and we ended up staying overnight at the in-laws (we were there for dinner and didn't want to risk driving home). I'm quite surprised there is still traffic on the roads at the moment, but I'm betting within 15 minutes that will change.

The snow changes our plans quite a bit for the day. Karen was supposed to come over for Gramma time, but we decided to cancel that - not only should she stay home in case her power goes out (since they live in a rural area), but heck, it's not like I'm going to drive anywhere in this mess. I didn't really have anything critical to do anyway - my shopping is done, I was just going to hit the library and the gym and drop off a Christmas card to a friend.

Fortunately, Chris decided to stay home too. He was planning to drive to Port Alberni for work today. I was terrified that he'd get stuck out there and I'd be alone with Gwen for a day or two. Not that I couldn't handle that, of course, but having some backup is extremely helpful!

Speaking of Gwen, since this blog is supposed to be about her, I should report that she can now crawl. Having a mobile child has already taught me some interesting lessons, such as the true filthiness of my floor. I already knew neither of us were great housekeepers, but when I pick Gwen up from the floor and her clothes look like I've been using her tummy as a duster, well, there's a problem.

Also. Why is it that Gwen cannot manage - despite persistent efforts on her part - to get her veggies into her mouth, but dust bunnies make it there every time?

Gwen is also sleeping very well. There is not a shred of exaggeration when I say, "sleep training changed my life". It changed all of our lives. We've been 'on the program' for five weeks and naptime/bedtime is so much less of a challenge now. One misconception I had about sleep training is that it would lessen over time and that by this point, there would never be any tears, but that has not proved to be the case. I would say that most of the time Gwen goes to sleep without any kind of trauma, but once in a while - say, 15% of the time? - there is still a brief period of fuss and drama before she drifts off. I guess after the first night, when she cried for 14 minutes, I thought that time would progressively shorten every night until it was no crying, none of the time, and that has not turned out to be the case. Still, it's so much better than it was, and I'm so proud of her (and us!) for getting through the tough parts. I now have confidence that she can sleep pretty much anywhere, given a few familiar items and rituals.

I've been doing a lot of random tidying and organizing in the past couple of weeks, which I suppose is an effort to make room for our Christmas loot (and by "our" I mean "Gwen's"). I've had the freedom and ability to do this because a) I've been getting enough sleep at night to have the energy to get it done, and b) Gwen has become a much more contented girl as her mobility and independence have grown. For the past few weeks, before the mechanics of official crawling completely fell into place, she's been kind of semi-mobile: throwing her arms forward and dragging her lower body along behind her. There have been long periods of time, up to an hour even, where she is utterly happy to just mosey around the floor, exploring all kinds of things, while I sit nearby or putter around at some task or other. She's happy to know that I'm there, but she doesn't demand my attention. It was that perfect 'sweet spot' where she was mobile enough to entertain herself, but not mobile enough that I had to watch and follow her every second. I think that second stage will be arriving any day now. We'll be installing the baby gates today, by the way, and fullblown child-proofing will be getting underway next week.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Whiiiiiiiine.

I have a nasty head cold. I think it's the third one I have had since giving birth. This is remarkable for two reasons: first, because when I was pregnant I had no colds whatsoever the entire time, so I've kind of forgotten how awful being sick is. Second, because when you are a nursing mom you can't take any freakin thing to make you feel better.


It's a very, very bad sign when you spend the entire night fantasizing about decongestants. Not winning the lottery, not discovering a calorie-free ice cream, not even a guaranteed method of getting your baby to sleep for 12 hours straight. Just plain old cold medication. The stuff that dreams are made of!


Even herbal stuff is contraindicated. I tried buying some herbal tea that was supposed to help decongestify me, but the box said "Not for nursing mothers". Even echinacea is off the list. The only thing I can actually take is Vitamin C, and whether that will even do any good is up for debate.


Seriously, how do other moms deal with this? I've had three colds this winter already, and we all know that being a mom increases the odds of getting sick as our kids share their toys and germs with equal devotion. And some moms breastfeed for years. Are we supposed to just suffer through the repeat illnesses, clinging to our Kleenex boxes and slogging around in a daze? There has got to be something out there that's safe for nursing moms. Otherwise we're going to flood the world with the force of our collective mucous.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Healthful Eating Habits

One of the things I really want my daughter to achieve is a healthy relationship with food. I've mostly given up on genuinely achieving this for myself, though I can fake it really well. I've been pondering the ins and outs of this for the past little while as I introduce more and more foods to her, and try to lay the groundwork for her eating habits.

I've been attending Weight Watchers meetings for over three years, and we spend a lot of time at those meetings talking about, for lack of a better term, the psychology behind eating habits - whether healthy or not. We talk about comfort eating and emotional eating. Lately when I listen to and participate in these discussions I think not only of my own long-established habits and attitudes, but how I can help Gwen in the formation of her own habits and attitudes.

Thinking like this has certainly allowed me to see where those unhealthful habits get formed, though. We're dealt it right from the start. Take comfort eating, for example. As adults, we know we should eat for fuel, not for emotional comfort, and we strive to break that connection. But for an infant, there is no division between comfort and food. When Gwen was so tiny she couldn't even understand that I was a person, when all she knew was that she felt good and safe when I was nearby, she also learned that I was the source of food. The feel of a mother's skin, the scent of her, the warmth, the connection, the love ... and food. All in one. Is it any wonder we form those associations?

Nowadays, Gwen is getting most of her nutrients from a bottle, which she can mostly hold herself. She eats solids once a day and usually nurses (if only briefly) 2-3 times a day. And more and more, those nursing sessions are all about comfort, connection, and cuddling, rather than nutrition. I know because recently I counted how many times Gwen sucked before swallowing during nursing, and it was about 15 times. It used to be she would swallow every 2-3 sucks, but there's just not that much milk there anymore. Moreover, the times she requests nursing are emotionally dependent times: when she is tired, when we've been apart, when she's hurt. My point is, Gwen is definitely forming those comfort-food associations.

And let me be clear, I don't think there's *anything* at all wrong with that. I'm enjoying breastfeeding all the more now that it's a somewhat rare activity, and it makes me feel really good that I can make her so happy during those moments. And I'm certainly not worried that because she has those associations now, they will continue through the years and doom her to a lifetime of poor food choices. I just think it's interesting to observe how the habits that are so derided in adult life are all but impossible to avoid in the early months and years. And to wonder where one draws the line, and how.

Another interesting phenomenon is that of social eating. In our culture, it's hard to find any instance of social communal behaviour that doesn't include food - and usually, way too much of it. Think about it - the main event of the major holidays (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) is a gigantic, gluttonous meal, and the theme of many others (Valentine's Day, Halloween, Easter again) is stuffing ourselves with chocolate and candy. Birthday parties centre around cakes. Anniversaries and other celebrations are marked by going out for dinner. You can't even get together with a friend or colleague just for the sake of conversation - you're "going out for coffee".

This is a major bugbear of mine, and I have some ideas about how to mitigate the negative effects of these customs as Gwen grows up. For example, I'd love it if we spent part of those humungous 'feast days' going for a walk as a family. (I'd love it even more if the meals themselves were healthful and well-portioned, but until I'm willing to take on the task of making and hosting them myself, I can't complain too much about that.)

On a smaller scale, we know that sharing meals as a family is a healthy thing to do. It builds our family connections, and there have been studies done to show that girls who eat dinner with their families on a regular basis are less likely to experience eating disorders. It's one of my goals for the New Year to get the three of us eating the same meals, at the same time (right now we have three separate meals at three separate times!). I am really looking forward to re-establishing the tradition of family meals, which was a cornerstone of my own upbringing.

But once again, looking at this from an infant's perspective turns the idea on its head. The nutritionist at the Health Unit encourages us to let the babies feed themselves when they begin solids, because spoonfeeding your baby is an interactive, attention-giving experience, and babies may overeat just to keep the interaction going. That is to say, the babies might be grooving more on the social aspects of the meal than the nutritive ones. (Obviously, with our teeny little 15-pound 7-month-old, this isn't exactly a huge concern for us.)

So let me get this straight. We don't want to teach our kids to associate mealtime with social interaction, because it might make them overeat. But then again, we want to establish mealtime as a family event that we share together, because that will make them less likely to have eating disorders. What a minefield! It's no wonder most of us have bad eating habits.

Just like everything else about parenting, you just do your best and cross your fingers. Wish I had time for more thoughtful conclusions on the topic, but the little darling is awake and I must run!

Friday, December 5, 2008

News from Gwenville

  • Gwen's two bottom front teeth continue to rise. They are now occasionally visible without placing your whole head inside her mouth. Feeding her is becoming a risky business as she is quite likely to bite.
  • Gwen is working *really* hard at learning how to crawl. Her latest mode of locomotion is to pull herself along with her arms, not realizing that her legs can get in on the action too instead of just dragging behind like useless appendages. She'll get there.
  • Gwen is becoming incredibly active and into things. In the 30 seconds during which she lies on the counter after a bath, being towelled off, she usually grabs the objects within reach - keychains, phone cord, and two power cords - about 4,839,015 times.
  • Many other moms have put up their Christmas trees and report that their babies show no interest in them. Based on the previous two items, I am thinking that this lack of interest will not occur in our house, and as such have decided to delay the Christmas tree until December 23rd. We'll probably take it down on the 27th. This is very, very unlike me.
  • We are taking Gwen to get her pictures done with Santa on Monday. I am a bit apprehensive about this, as she is not too interested in strangers at the moment. I feel sure we're going to end up with something like these.
  • Gwen is learning to wave bye-bye. Bye-bye, Gwen!
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