Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Two Years!

Refusing to cooperate for a birthday photo

Oh, how I've changed in just two short years. A few months ago, I received a flyer in the mail for a medical education conferencce in San Diego. It offered 22.5 credit, almost a quarter of what is required of me over a two year period and was only $350.  It was to be held from Friday to Sunday morning, so I would only need to take one day off from work, and with such a quick flight I  could leave early Friday morning and still be back in time to shop and meal prep on Sunday. I decided I couldn't pass on such an opportunity to prudently use my CME funds. Oh, and did I mention that I'd have two whole nights to myself for the first time since Kate was born? As some of you may remember, I had recently spent my first time away from her, but it was with my parents. I was looking forward to sitting by the pool without a chaperone. Preferably while sipping an adult beverage and reading a book. 

Yet, as it goes with so many things, the fantasy in my mind was much better than the reality. The conference itself was great, but while the Easy Bay was suffering an oppressive heat wave, San Diego was grey, overcast and barely 65 degrees. So much for sitting by the pool. I used to really enjoy conferences for the opportunity to meet other clinicians and explore a new city. I'd often seek someone else who was attending the conference by herself and invite her to join me for dinner at some local and popular restaurant. As I had been up since 4 AM to catch my early flight, I was so tired and I felt that I couldn't make the effort to engage with anyone else. I ended up needing to cut my trip short as my cousin was somewhat unexpectedly in town, so I changed my flight and left Saturday afternoon. What surprised me is how relieved I was to be going back home. How much I missed home. As an only child, I always thought I'd mourn the loss of my alone time after marriage and motherhood. Yet here I was, all alone, and I was lonely. I missed Husband, Kate and Tyler kitty. I shivered my way though a nice meal at the hotel's waterfront restaurant and went back to my room, changed into my bed clothes and watched The Rock on TNT, which is one of those movies that we've seen over a dozen times, but always have to watch whenever we find that it is being shown. It all felt very anticlimactic for my big night all to myself. Maybe it would have been different it had been bright and sunny and I could have had my time by the pool.

Likes: Showers! Thanks to everyone who chimed in on how to help our situation with the bath. A few days later she walked into the bathroom when I was about to get into the shower and just stripped down and announced that she wanted to join. Problem solved! She loves the shower and it's more convenient for us. The only issue we've had is that she likes it too much and will demand, "I want shau-wer" a few times during the day. We've been trying to explain the situation with the drought and that we only shower once a day, unless we get dirty, which apparently was an invitation for her to draw all over herself with markers so she could score a second shower. 

"Giggle" As I've previously written, I've been trying to avoid any iphone time with her, but I finally caved. She had been refusing any attempts at cutting her nails and one day she scratched me with one of her talons. I turned on the iPad to the sign language videos that I had downloaded for our flight home from London. (in hindsight, it wasn't a good idea to use a sign language video while I was trying to cut her nails, but it worked.) Too well. After we were done, she started demanding (and using the 'more' sign) "more giggle." (I have no idea where she came up with the term 'giggle') "MORE GIGGLE!" "GIGGGGGLEEE"  and cue major meltdown. I was and yet wasn't surprised how she could become so hooked after that brief encounter. She was still requesting "giggle" for the next few days and if she spots my phone, she identifies it as "giggle". We did give in an get a phone for her. Sort of. I was passing an table of clearance items at a baby supply store and found a toy mobile phone that teaches numbers in English and Spanish. One day when her nap was out of sync with my swim practice and gave her the toy phone and some snacks as she sat in her stroller parked by the pool. I've worked out how often I need to get out and check in on her if she's awake during swim practice. A cup of milk will give me about 500 yards. If it's a repeating set, I'll get out after each interval to give her a new food item, but on this day, she didn't fuss at all and I stayed in the pool the entire time. My coach noted that she seemed to be talking with herself on her phone. I was so happy to see that she was starting to use her imagination to entertain herself. 

Her Vacuum. I'm trying to establish that we don't get a new toy everytime we go to a store, but on a recent trip to another baby supply store, she was able to keep herself distracted by pushing around the display model of a Dyson vacuum (it seriously looks like the real thing). I had a 20% off coupon that was about to expire, so I thought it would be a good use for it and bought one for her. She seriously loves it and will vacuum along side me. I'm thinking any toy that encourages cleaning is a good investment. (Random note about vacuums: we used to be total Dyson snobs, especially as one of my University flatmates was somehow related to the famed inventor, and we beleived that they were worth the high price. However after we went through three models within seven years, Husband decided to do some further research and went with the Hoover for pet hair. So much better and one third of the price of Dyson. 

She's become obsessed with my glasses. 

Dislikes: Getting dressed and staying dressed. We've entered into the 'clothing optional' phase, where she wants to run around naked. We're trying not to make too much of a big deal as a). we're hoping it's just a phase. b). it's been really, really hot lately. and c). we've had to revert back to doing some naked potty training. She does seem to be interested in picking out her clothes (and once went out her her jammies as she could only open the drawer for night wear) so I've moved all her clothes to the bottom drawer and I let her pariticipate in selecting what she wants to wear. 

She also doesn't like Pandora ads and will freak out demanding "More Music!" She also does not like it if I join in singing or dancing with her. I've been told "No, Mommy." 

Diapers: So, by the time I took my week off to work on potty training after Memorial Day, she was pretty much completely using the potty for #1 at home. My goals were to get her to poop on the potty and to manage outings. Our first trip out was an EPIC FAIL. We went to Buy Buy Baby and as soon as we entered the store, I told her it was time to put her pee-pee in the potty and she went on the toilet. So far, so good. Perhaps too good and I was probably feeling more smug than I should have been. We barely stepped outside the bathroom and she pooped. Back to the restroom to change. A few minutes later, I was looking for a larger sized sleep sack. Kate had wandered off, but was still in my peripheral vision. I heard someone say, "Is this your child? He or she is peeing.." Ugh! Back to the bathroom again! BBB has a fenced play area for children, so I dropped Kate off and ran two aisles down to pick up a pack of wipes. I couldn't have been gone more than twenty seconds. When I came back she was wet. Face palm. It was a good thing I was purchasing some more training pants and we went through all the ones I brought with us. I figured that she has to have accidents in order to learn. Plus, I reckon that many other babies have had their share of accidents in Buy Buy Baby. 

She did get much better as the week progressed. When ever we would arrive at a store or restaurant, our first stop is to locate the bathroom, so we can put pee-pee in the potty. She did well with prompting, but I would discover that when she annouces "pee-pee" in a store; it means 'I need to go NOW' or 'I am going NOW!' At home, she can take her sweet time, pick up a toy or book along the way, and still make it, but not when we're in public. After having a few misses because we didn't make it in time, I changed out our diaper bag to The Potty Backpack. A backpack is much easier to wear than the over the shoulder diaper bag and I can be ready to spring into action at barely a moment's notice. The Potette travel potty is the best thing since sliced bread. It can be used as a seat reducer (although Kate doesn't like it and will use a 'big girl potty' in public) or you can put a bag over the seat and it stands on retractable legs to be a potty placed on the ground. Twice, we've copped a squat in Safeway to quickly catch a pee. (Fortunately, no one else was in the aisle) 

There are some other essential items to carry in your diaper/potty bag that I wish I had seen written down somewhere before we started venturing out of the house: It was recommended in my potty training book to carry a wet bag and some dry pants, undies and socks. Maybe it's just not applicable since it's been so warm and we're not wearing socks, but I found I needed to carry an extra pair of shoes. Sometimes two pairs, as when kids have an accident; it goes right into the shoes. Eww. Gross. I have to give a shout out for Crocks. While I'm not too fond of them for adults, they are great for kids for this reason. You just throw them in the wash with the rest of the wet clothes. I also discovered having some old washclothes on hand is very useful, although wipes are still essential, they're not absorbant enough to clean up a major accident. Something else that would have been handy to know ahead of time; you don't need to be super sterile and bleach the kiddie potty every time she pees, just using regular baby wipes will suffice. I noticed a fine rash on the back of Kate's thighs and concluded it was from the Chlor.ox bleach wipes I was using. Cue Mom Guilt. 

We did hit a small set back (interestingly, it was while I was making final edits to my potty training post). She would be willing to sit on the potty in public when prompted, but wouldn't go. (Recently she voiced that a toilet in Tar.get was "dirty" -it was stained on the bottom, but the seat was clean- She didn't pee on the potty and had a miss right as were were walking out of the bathroom. When we were at home, she would announce "pee-pee", we would do our 'run, run to the potty', but she would stop abruptly in the hallway and then walk back to where she was playing. I tried prompting her by bringing her to the bathroom and I got the full on, crying, screaming, meltdown of refusal. Oh shit. I was partially blaming the regression on the fact that Husband was away (he was away during the week I took off and was away for part of the following week and again for another week) but I was determined to stay the course and to push through. I fed her more fluids as she played in the kitchen and when I could tell she needed to pee, I slipped the potty under her and scored two catches before her bed time. The next day she was back to not only using the potty, but having the same sense of satisfaction, "I DIDIT" and was wanting to flush and clean the potty with me. I'm finding now that she is wanting a bit more independence. We were out in public and she tried to push me out of the stall, so I had to wait outside. At home, I hang out by the bathroom door and just ask if she needed help wiping and washing her hands. I remind myself that the potty training learning curve is not linear on a daily basis. She'll do really well and pee when prompted and tell me she needs to go in public; then come home and have a total miss. Sigh. It will all come together. Eventually. 

Clothes: I came to pick up Kate from Day Care one day, and I discovered that she had grabbed a pair of Pepp.a Pig underwear from someone else's cubby and was trying to put it on. While I was impressed with her initive, I had to explain that we don't wear other people's underwear. The next day we went shopping for undies. I was noticing that she would pee a little bit into her training pants on the way to the potty. She was getting most of the pee into the potty, but the pants were wet enough that they would need to be changed. Every time. My book suggested that the training pants are sometimes thick enough to feel like diapers, so putting the undies on under the training pants can help. We also switched from the one piece pajamas to separates to make it easier to go potty in the morning. I wasn't as emotional about parting with the onesie PJs and they were a pain in the ass. Plus these new PJs look so comfy, I wish they came in my size. 

Sleep: We've had no wake ups before 6 AM since my last update! Yay! Actually she's been sleeping later in the mornings as we have been pushing her bed time out a little bit. It used to be that we'd start to get her ready at 7, be finished with milk and stories by 7:20. I would leave the room at 7:25 and she would usually be asleep by 7:30. Lately we've been starting the process closer to 7:45. Some of this is due to the fact that I'm trying to wait for her to pee one last time, but also because it's still very light out as we just hit the longest day of the year. While I really like it when she sleeps passed 7 on a weekend morning, I'm a litte annoyed with the later bedtime, as it is cutting into my evening time.  However,  I'm finding that our cuddle time on the glidder is starting to feel awkward as she's getting too big to sit on my lap. As a result, it's getting shorter and shorter and I think she finds herself uncomfortable and starts pointing to her crib. She's now started requesting to take Baby and Kitty to bed with her. I do have to go back in and remove Baby from her crib, as the doll 'cries' if you squeeze her, so if Kate rolls over on the doll, it will cry and a few times, I've been woken up by the doll's cry.

Eating: A month or so ago, when she was at the start of the horrific GI virus and didn't feel like eating; I gave her some diluted Nak.ed brand blended juice in order to get some calories in her. Now she's hooked on "soup". Like "giggle", I have no idea where she came up with this term as we've never served her any soup and rarely have any ourselves. She's also hooked on "coco [coconut] water". Oh, and remember when I was that mom who insisted on preparing all of her child's food herself? Yeah, those days went out the window when I discovered these:

Now packing her snack bag is a snap! Just drop one of these bad boys and you're done. I also picked up a maze tray (pictured below) from the same Babies R'Us clearance table as the learning numbers baby mobile phone. (I love it when impluse buys turn out to be great investments). She seems to be eating better since using this tray. Incidently, while Tyler has stopped batting his paws on the shutters in the middle of the night, he now starts meowing incessently between 4 and 5 AM. I'll get up to check that he has dry food and if his bowl is full, I'll let him meow-it-out. Just like CIO, it works for cats too as his meowing time has dropped from over an hour to 10-15 minutes. Still it's enough to wake me and sometimes I can't fall back asleep, so it prompted another 'Help! My cat is being an asshole!' email to the vet and she suggested getting him a food puzzle bowl, so he'll be more stimulated and won't meow out of boredom. I just think it's so interesting that similar tactics work for pets and kids. 

Milestones: I think she must be working on manners at Day Care, because it seems like overnight she started saying 'please' and 'thank-you' all the time without any prompting; but I also wonder if it was merely a matter of time. I think back to two month ago when we were in LA and the other mother was admonishing Kate over her lack of manners and I want to flip her off. She also recognises that you are supposed to acknowlege when someone sneezes (or coughs, as she can't quite distinguish) and she'll say "Achoo". I had a coughing fit one morning and she kept repeating "Achoo. Mommy" "Achoo, Mommy." It is so adorable, I don't want to correct her. She's also become very good at saying sorry, and in particular if done something like stepping on your foot, she'll rub it as well.

My pediatrician wanted her to know at least three colours by her second birthday, and I'm pleased to report she knows the full rainbow, plus a few new colours. Although she knows the proper name and sign for 'orange', anything orange coloured is "Lylah" after Tyler. An orange toy airplane is a "Lylah plane". The Indian food truck that is tikka masala coloured, it's a "Lylah truck." Her other new colour is "bluazul". I've been working the Spanish, but apparently I confused her into thinking it's one word. While she doesn't speak too many Spanish words, she does recognise the words. We'll look at her big book of Spanish words and if I ask "Donde esta el perro?" she can point to the picture of the dog. 
She's also started singing a few songs. She doesn't yet know all the words, but she can keep up with the cadence. Much like an adult singing along to the radio. She knows "Ba-Baa Black Sheep" "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the Alphabet Song. She also started saying "I love you" to me and Husband, as she learned the phrase after singing "The Wheels on the Bus". That annoying song proved to be good for something. 

Health Issues: I just realized that she hasn't needed to make any visits to her pediatrician since her last well baby visit at 18 months. I thought we were going to break that streak when she had a fever over 4th of July weekend, but it was quickly resolved. I had stopped trying to put on those stupid toe splints to help her overlapping toes and I just couldn't bear the battle every night. Eventually, they became misplaced and Husband ordered some more online. Not only did she cooperate with letting us put them on, she didn't want us to take them off in the morning. (Crying is sometimes involved) Now she actually reminds us that we need to put them on at night, and even tries to put them on herself. Who is this child and what has she done with my daughter? 

Activities: We finally started soccer! Last year, I learned about a soccer class for two year olds that is held on Tuesday mornings, very close to our house. I've been stalking their schedule all year long, waiting until we could finally register for their summer programme. Kate apparently does not share my enthusiasm, as she is just not getting into soccer. She doesn't want to participate in any of the games (except when they play 'Red Light/Green Light) and would rather dive over the inflatably bumpers that define the soccer space, or vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv (Kate just jumped on my lap to give her input) she'll want to walk along the the stone wall. As a former gymnast, I'm starting to recognise that she has an apt for gymnastics. A few weeks ago, I found her placing herself in a sort of downward dog position, and I started teaching her how to do a forward roll. I think I'll start looking into gymnastic classes after this soccer session ends. While I loved my experience in gymnastics, I'd rather see her participate in soccer, [field] hockey, swimming or tennis. 

Looking Forward to... This is really silly, but it will be nice and simple to merely say "I have a two year old". I've struggled with telling people her age after she turned one year. I know people without kids especially become annoyed when you report your kids age in months or fractions, so I had to say "she's  a little over a year... she's a year and a half (yes, I said half -deal with it).. she's almost two years..." While brings me to what I'm going to do with these updates. I told myself that I would switch to reporting on a quarterly basis, but as you can read... they've become quite addictive to me... so you may be subjected to Kate 2.125 and 2.375... Sorry. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

One Week Later...

Thank you to everyone who gave advice about our big girl bed transition. Husband consulted a few of his colleagues with kids and received much of the same recommendations; skip the toddler bed, involve her in shopping for the bed and blankets. Maybe hold off on setting up her kitchen to avoid inviting distractions during bed time. As my parents are due to visit in just two weeks, I figured we would put this transition into action during their stay. Kate, of course, had other plans.

It had been a busy weekend; I had a swim meet, one of Kate's playmates had a birthday party and Husband had to do all the grocery and farmer's market shopping, which took me more time to write lists and instructions than it does for me to do the actual shopping. We were all really tired on Sunday night. Kate and I did our usual bedtime routine. While we were snuggling on the glider, she pointed to her bed and I kissed her good night and placed her in the crib. As I joined Husband in our room, we could hear her talking to her baby doll and stuffed animals as she was drifting off to sleep. Husband commented about how awesome she was and how we were so lucky to have a baby who went to bed so easily. Basically... he jinxed us.

I went into the kitchen to do my meal prep for the week. It was nearly ten o'clock and I heard her wake up. She'll occasionally wake herself up and then quickly go back to sleep. This was a more urgent cry and I had the feeling that she wasn't going to fall back asleep. I went into check on her and discovered her diaper had leaked and her shorts were soaked. (as it was really hot, we skipped putting her in the sleep sack that night) Fortunately, her sheets were still dry, so I didn't have to strip her bed. I changed her, cuddled on the glider for a few minutes and then tried to put her back in her crib. She stood up and started crying immediately. I kissed her good night and left her room, closing the door and preparing for a Cry-it-Out session. I returned to the kitchen and suddenly the crying became louder as did the noise from her sound machine. I was familiar with the sound machine becoming louder. Often it indicates that Tyler entered in her room. Yet, he wouldn't enter her room while she was crying, especially in a full on melt down. I knew what this meant.

My suspicion was confirmed when I went into the hallway and saw her walking into our room. Oh shit. The moment (one of many) that I've been dreading. She can't be contained by her crib. As it was hot and we were so tired, we decided just to let her sleep with us. Of course, no one sleeps well when she sleeps with us, and I think the last time she slept with us was when she had an ear infection just before New Year's Eve. At one point, she kicked me in the head and Husband eventually went to sleep in the guest room. As were comiserated in the morning, Husband and I hoped this was just a one-off and she would go back to sleeping in the crib like the little angel she has been.

Ha! Yeah right. The next night I went through our routine (I even ditched a department dinner meeting so keep her routine on track or at least help Husband with a toddler who won't go to sleep) but when I put her into the crib (using the sleep sack again) she stood up and cried. I left her room and went into mine. She joined me a few minutes later. In one of her blog posts Jamie Glowacki discussed the crib to bed transition and her super nanny recommendation is to keep bringing them back to bed [when they come into your room] without talking or engaging with them. She described the first night with her son, he popped up about 20 times, then next night only 3, and by the third night didn't wake up at all. Three nights? I could deal with that. So Husband and I took turns silently carrying Kate back to her crib. The only trouble was that she was getting out of it before we had even left her room. The sleep sack didn't slow her down at all. She was like an Olympic gymnast on the pommel horse; quickly swinging her legs over the side and sticking a graceful landing. We must have tried to put her back over 20 times in a 15 minute time period. It was absolutely futile. Husband decided to close our door, thinking it would at least delay her from getting in our room, although it wasn't locked, she couldn't open the door and cried outside our door for about 20 minutes before falling asleep.

Meanwhile, I texted my cousin and inquired if the crib converted to a toddler bed. She responded quickly and confirmed that it did, but I was contemplating taking a hacksaw to the front panel if it didn't. Earlier that weekend, I found an Allen wrench while sorting though Kate's drawers and at that time, I couldn't figure out was it was for. Now I knew. A few minutes later, I took off the front panel to her crib and we had a toddler bed. I picked Kate up off the floor and successfully transfered her to the bed, where she stayed the night.

Fortunately, I was off the next day, so Kate and I went to a baby supply store for a bed rail and gate for her door. I should mention that I was a bit rushed during this trip as I forgot the diaper bag. If she had an accident, the only thing I had for her was one of her sweatshirts to tie around her waist. I should have had more faith in her (she used the potty at the store twice and stayed dry) and should have been more careful with my purchases as I came home to discover that I had picked up the wrong size bed rail and the box for the gate had previously been opened and re-taped (indicated a returned item) and was missing the installation instructions and a few necessary pieces. [Face palm] #MomFail.

However, I remembered that when we visited one of Kate's school friends who has a twin bed with a bed rail, Kate was having quite a bit of fun diving over the rail, so maybe that rail wasn't such a good idea. I picked up a pool noodle during our shopping trip, so I decided to give that a try. I was particularily drawn to this idea as the noodle is one of my least favourite training tools, so maybe I can make some peace with the noodle. Or at least it was satisfying when I did used the saw to create a custom fit. We had an extra mattress, as my cousin gave it to us with the crib, but we decided to get a new one for Kate. The original one has been stored under her crib and I soon discovered that it easily slides in and out. The spare mattress could be pulled out to offer extra protection, should she roll over the noodle.

I was feeling pleased with this set up and was really hopeful that it would work. Maybe for 6 months, so we can defer the twin bed transition to the end of the year? I can keep my baby's room set up the way I arranged it for her just a little bit longer. Emotionally, I look in her room now and I still see the crib. She's still my baby. Logistically, I haven't figured out what we want to do with the glider. It's so comfortable, but we don't have room for it in the living room. The other functional piece of furnature is the changing table. Although we are only diapering at night now, it's still useful for getting her dressed an applying sun screen in the morning. Plus it contains her hamper and a few other storage drawers.

The first night I put her into the newly converted toddler bed, I laid down on the mattress next to her bed (after explaining that I would only be staying on the pull out mattress while she is getting use to her new bed) She fell asleep quickly and I was able to leave quietly. Then she woke up at 2:30 in the morning. We tried just putting her back in bed, but she kept getting up over and over agian. We both had busy days ahead and really didn't have the energy to keep going back and forth. Husband and I took turns lying on the toddler mattress while she fell asleep. It wasn't ideal, but we figured this way, she's sleeping in her bed and we're sleeping (sort of). There were three wake-ups on the first night, and one every night after that. Even if she goes to back to sleep quickly, I sometimes truggle to fall back into slumber as I'm waiting to see if she wakes up again. It hasn't helped that Tyler is still incessently meowing arount 4 AM. In fact, I'm writing this at 4:30 in the morning after I finally fell back to sleep after being woken up by Kate at 2:30 and then again at 4 AM by my FUCKING CAT! I can handle one of my children waking me up at night, but now both. I decided to put Tyler back on kitty Prozac and he's been quiet for the past two nights.

We picked up a gate (with all its pieces) over the weekend, so we can at least contain her in her room. She's still waking up once a night. I'm hoping she'll magically stop these once a night wake-ups and go back to sleeping though the night, or else I have to figure out how to get her to sleep without me (or Husband) laying down on the spare mattress. I have one idea I'm trying for tonight. The other transition we addressed last week was switching from whole milk to 2%. She really wasn't eating well last week and maybe was needed more calories at night. So I gave her a cup of whole milk before bed (even though she ate a decent dinner). We shall see.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Big Girl Bed Advice

Pausing from our regularly scheduled programming: I have a few posts in progress; Kate's 2 Year Update, a review of her party, a situation involving a messy house and feelings of jealousy toward pregnancy announcements that I hope to publish before those babies are actually born. However, I could really use some guidance from my most trusted counsel right now.

As I've written before, I'd like to keep Kate in her crib a long as possible. Like until she starts Kindergarden. I fear bedtime will be much more difficult if she can get out of the crib, I fear her waking up in the middle of the night, or early in the morning... Yes, I know these fears will need to be conquered, but I was hoping to delay as long as possible. As Husband and I have observered Kate try to climb out of her crib while she is not in her sleep sack, we acknowledged that we should start researching toddler beds and ideally purchase it and have it ready to go for that day when she climbs out. I figured I would start the process after Kate's party. Well, the second morning after her party, I went into her room and found her leaning over the corner of her crib while trying to swing her legs over the edge. Yikes.

So here is where I need your help. I don't know where to start even doing research on beds. There is a Mom and Pop children's furniture shop near us, and although I'd love to shop local, I think this store mostly does fancy bunkbeds. What kind of bed? Low to the ground? A Day bed? Bed edges -yay or nay? Does using a swim noodle really work? Am I totally overthinking this?

Then there is the grandparent effect. My parents will be visiting during the first two weeks in August. I have been planning to remove the changing table from her room and replace it with the Ikea kitchen I got her for her birthday/finishing potty training. I wanted to have my Dad help me set up the Ikea kitchen, as I know Husband won't get around to it for a while, and I can bill it as a Daddy-Daughter project. Now I'm also thinking it would be helpful to have my Dad on hand to set up the new bed, as we may have to re-configure her whole room.

However, is it going to be harder to train her to use the new bed while my parents are there as a distraction? It is harder to get her to go to bed while we have visitors as she senses that everyone else is staying up having fun without her. Usually my parents attend to her when she wakes up so we can sleep a little longer (the benefits of having relatives who are early risers and are still on east coast time) Will this encourage bad habits? Where do you get that clock that changes colour when they can get out of bed?

So I'm feeling so overwhelmed by this, probably because a fellow blogger prepared me that it's going to be an emotional event. My baby isn't a baby and is officially a big girl. I'll be getting rid of the crib for good as I won't need it any more (I know it's my choice not to try for another baby when I have embryos available, but it still makes me feel sad) Anyway, thanks in advance for any words of wisdom anyone can share.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Whoa! We're Half Way There!

As this year has reached the half way mark, I thought I'd look back at my goals and write an update:

1. Continue Whole 30 lifestyle. I did two rounds back to back and was very successful (Ugh, that sentance sounds like Donald Trump). I gave up Coke Zero, I stopped adding Spend.a in my coffee or tea. I learned how to make better food choices. I lost weight and felt good about myself. I had the confidence to wear a two piece not only to swim practice where there are really fit twentysomethings; but also to Baby Swim -where there are judgy moms. I managed to hold most Whole 30 principles even while I wasn't constrained by the rules. I had a necessary drink on election night, but brought my own paleo food to Thanksgiving dinner. Then I really got derailed in December. I feel like I'm starting over again. 
I did another Whole 30 in January but was disappointed that I only lost 2 pounds. I did it again in March and lost a little more weight. I had a horrible GI virus in early May and lost more weight, which I was able to keep some of it off, but I'm also learning the number on the scale is merely a number.

2. Improve my score on the Body Fat Test. I have this coming up and I'm clinging to hope that I made some improvement since October, but I'd really love to achieve a personal best by the end of the year and improve from where I was in 2014. Update:  I dropped 3 pounds of fat and added 2 pounds of muscle even after my holiday indulgences; my personal best is insight for my retest in June. 
So, my restest in June was essentially the same as it was in February (actually it was slightly worse). It was the wake up call I needed to turn the train around. Husband and I recently met with a nutrition coach at our gym, who designed a program of counting macro nutrients for us. It's even a bit harder than Whole 30 (although it allows a little more freedom) as you have so plan what you are going to eat for the day ahead of time and absolutley stick to that plan or have alternatives lined up. I am determined to reach a new PB by October.

3. Maintaining friendships. My challenge for this year is that at least once a month I have to reach out to someone and plan an activity. I also need to send more emails to connect with people who are important to me. Liking pictures are dropping the occasional comment is not enough
I got together with two friends in January, and I was going to be cheeky and count all the friends we met up with during our visit back to England in February. The we just got really busy, between swim meets, and our LA trip, and various picnics and parties, we haven't had much time, but it seems that we're being really social, right? Still need to make more of an effort.

4. Be more politically active. Contact representatives, do some work with local activist groups. Attend the next protest rally. Do more than just posting links on as most of your friends already share your opinions. 
OMG, I haven't done anything. Yeah, I was hoping Trump would be impeached by now.

5. Read at least one book a month, which must be purchased at a local book store. I think I struck out for January. The only new book I picked up was The Whole 30 Cookbook (which I picked up at Costco)98. I flipped through it cover to cover, but I didn't make anything. 

I read Harvey Karp's Happiest Toddler on the Block and the Tiny Potty Training Book, not sure if they count. Insane Clown President by Matt Taiebi (which was really a collection of his published articles for Rolling Stone). When ther was a renewed interested in George Orwell 's 1984 around the inauguration, I picked up a copy. I read exerpts of the classic in college and I always acted like I had read the whole book, so I decided it was time to acutally read it. I aslo picked up Al Franken's Giant of the Senate.

6. Keep up with blogging. I started this blog over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 and submitted 34 posts. I wrote 160 in 2013, 91 in 2014, 48 in 2015 and 21 in 2016. This blog means so much to me and I want to continue with it. 
With this post I've reached 13 so far, so I'm on track to top the number from 2016.

7. Spend more 'Face Time' with Husband and make sure we spend less time on devices while we are together. Although as I write this, we're in bed; me typing on the iPad and he's finishing work on his lap top
As I type this, I'm on my iPad and husband is asleep. We're going to try to have 'Wine Time' in the evening, where we sit and chat without devices or the TV. It's a bit of a throwback to my parents who would spend 1-2 hours each night drinking wine and chatting each night (when I was growing up, sometimes we didn't eat dinner until 8 or 9 at night). Technically, we're not drinking wine due to our new diet plan, but 'Wine Time' sounds better than 'La Croix Sparkling Water Time!'

1. Hit my metrics for responding to messages, reporting results and closing charts
So far I've been reaching my metrics and haven't been fined for deliquent charts

2. Submit a proposal for a lecture and next year's conference
I'm still a little disappointed that I wasn't chosen last year, so I have a bit of a 'why bother' attitude, but I think I'll do a little more research into topics that have been covered recently and I'll see if I can hook them by coming up with something original.

3. Write an article for a peer reviewed journal
I actually received an invitation to write an article, so now I need to select a topic, oh and find time to write.

1. Be able to do 5 strict pulls up and 10 kipping pull ups I'm actually close to this one, but I'll be away from the gym for nearly three weeks while we go to England and then I'll have to start all over again.
I actually didn't loose too much while I was away. I've been able to maintain doing 5 strict pull ups, but max at 7 or 8 while kipping. Still working on building up to 10 and achieving a strict chest to bar. Every year on Memorial Day, our gym has us do "Murph" a hero WOD named after a soldier who was killed in action in Afghanastan. It's one mile run, then 100 pull ups, 200 push ups 300 air squats and another mile run. The true way to do it is to do the pull ups, push ups and squats in order (while wearing a 20 pound vest) but we're encouraged to partition the work. I did 20 sets of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats. I thought my pull ups would bail on me around 60 or so and I would have to use a band to finish. I was surprised when I reached 70 still maintaining by groups of 5. Then I started breaking into 3 and 2, then 2-2 and 1, and finally 2-1-1-1, but I managed to do all 100 pull ups. It was a huge PR for me and was made sweeter by having Kate watching me.

2. Work up to doing a WOD at the Rx weight. Increase 1 kilogram at a time
I need to push more on this. Recently, while I was setting up for a WOD, a fellow mom came over to me and have me her weight (which was heavier than mine) as she was going to get something heavier. "Here" she said handing it to me and picking up my selected weight to bring back to the rack, "you can do this weight," she encouraged. She was right and I thanked her for giving me the push I needed.

1. Set a PB in any Free or Fly distance (note, picking a new distance to enter for the first time doesn't count)
Leading into my Short Course Yards (SCY) Meet in April, I hit a PR by attending 4 practices a week for 4 consecutive weeks and this practice stuff must really work as I achieved 4 PRs at that meet. I had my fastest times in the 50 and 500 Free as well as my 50 and 100 Fly. I was really happy with my times in the fly as I've been working on developing and maintaining an over-under pattern (breathing every other stroke). I know it's not necessarily the key to being fast as Michael Phelps breathes every stroke, but I dropped 4 seconds in the 50 and 7 seconds in the 100. I've extended these goals to get PBs in both the Long Course Meters and Short Course Meter Championships.

2. Swim the 100 Fly in Long Course Meters
Just signed up! Yikes! I've also decided to do the Brute Squad Challenge in November. It's a 200 yeard Fly followed by a 400 IM and then 1650 Free. My main motivation is to earn the T-shirt they give to finishers.

3. Attend a clinic to work on starts and turns
I haven't seen any clinics that have been offered, but I watched some videos on you tube and was able to make some adjustments in techniques which have improved my turns.My coach recently issued a rare compliment on my turns, but I'm hoping it will show in my times.

1. Try running 5Ks with Kate
We did a race in March. The greatest challenge with running with her is keeping her in the stroller as she wants to get out and walk herself. Fortunately, the race had an Alice in Wonderland theme and many runners were dressed in rabbit costumes, as well as some wore the shirts that were distributed on race day, which also had pictures of rabbits, so I was able to distract her for most of the race by trying to have her find the rabbits. We were signed up for another race, but it was over the weekend of the GI bug, so we gave it a miss.

2. Do some practice runs in my neighbourhood
This has not happened.

3. Run a half maration (I acknowledge this is the one goal I probably won't reach)
Not even close.

1. Accomplish potty training by the end of the year
Hopefully we'll be completely diaper free for day time and napping by the end of the year. I feel she's about 75% potty trained at this point in time. She is completely using the potty at home and is getting better with outings. We've had two successful dinners out where she has stayed dry. We worked our way out of a slight regression and I'm trying to find a balance between making sure she has access to the potty, but not over prompting. The other challenge is Day Care. I send her off in her undies, but if she has an accident, they put her into pull-ups. They don't start working with potty training until kids are 2, but as I know she can do it at home, I'm really keen for her to use the potty regularly at day care.

2. Work on language aquisiton with her, continuing signing and introducing Spanish
She going through another language burst and I'm sometimes surprised with the words that come out of her mouth. Although she only knows a few verbs, she is starting to make short sentences. Most of them start "I want ..." She isn't speaking many Spanish words, but we read a lot of books that are in Spanish and English, so she recognises the words. We'll look at her picture book and I'll ask "Donde esta el perro?" and she'll point to the picture of a dog. Sometimes she needs a little prompting with signing. She doesn't sign too much on her own, except the 'more' sign, but she'll sign with me if I sign to her, so that's a prompt for me to do more signing.

3. Send my in-laws photos and updates on a regular basis. I was sending her monthly photos to them, but as I'm not doing monthly photos any more, their updates have dropped off.
Oh shit. I don't think I've sent any photos since I sent them the photos from our trip. Wait, did I ever send them those photos? Oh fuck. Going to send a photo dump right now.

4. Host a successful birthday party for Kate
Working on this one! I spent hours trying to tidy up our back garden to make it look decent for our party, which included an ill-fated attempt to grow some grass in the back garden. I ended up developing rapidly progressing cellulitis in my thumb which required a trip to the ER for IV antibiotics and an Incision and Drainage with irrogation. I borrowed a bouncy castle from my cousin (as the ones from most rental companies were too big for our yard) and even with her smaller sized one, kids could be bouncing off the sides of our house or into a stone wall. It would take a big arguement with Husband before I finally arrived at the conclusion that we couldn't have the party at our house. I also discovered, that while last year I bitched about having to do everything myself for her party, I never involved him in and of the decision making as I incorrectly assumed that he wouldn't care anyway. It turns out, he actually has some good ideas (like finding a different venue) and can do things like calling around and making reservations. Husband also offered that he would rather get catered food, so he can enjoy the party without the pressure of cooking. I still feel like I'm writing endless lists and always thinking of things I need to do, but so far it hasn't feel too overwhemling. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks.