Disney World Reflections

 We just returned from a week at Disney World and it was an incredible trip.

I went into this trip with a mix of excitement and fear. I thought our kids were too young (3 and 19 months) for a Disney trip but we figured we would at least be in a place where their behaviour wouldn’t be a problem and they wouldn’t have too many limitations or be able to break things. This was our first family vacation and our first flight with both kids. This is the longest the 4 of us have been together without any help, breaks or support – not even kidding. Sure it as a lot of work but it went way better than I had anticipated. I thought I would be desperate to drop them off at daycare this morning but I wasn’t.

Why we stayed on Disney property:

  • When Daniela and I went to Disney World for our Honeymoon we impulsively purchased a Disney Vacation Club membership (a timeshare). This has turned out to be a really smart purchase for us. This was our first time actually using the timeshare but we have been able to rent it out each year.
  • Disney’s magical express picks you up from the airport and brings you to your resort. It’s easy transportation and they also send you luggage tags so that your checked baggage doesn’t need to be claimed when you land, they just deliver it to your room a few hours later.
  • Disney Transportation System brings you to all the resorts and to disney springs. Picks up from the resorts roughly every 20mins. Most busses go directly to where you want to go so it’s the fastest way to get anywhere and drops you off right at the entrance for the most part.
  • Not having any moment in the trip that isn’t “Disney” is pretty awesome.


What I planned ahead of time:

  • Park tickets – I purchased tickets for everyday we would have time to go to a park. The cost of an additional day goes down for every day you add on so it seemed worth it. In retrospect I would have gotten 5 days instead of 6 and had one day just to relax at the pool or go to Disney Springs. We could’ve added on an additional day if we wanted to.
  • Fast Passes – I booked fast passes for Saturday and Sunday because we had planned to meet up with someone and she booked hers so I just copied. I didn’t do fast passes ahead of time for the other days because I didn’t know what our plans were and I didn’t really know that much about them. I ended up booking most things the night before which worked out just fine.
  • Airport Parking – we had a 6am flight and I didn’t love the idea of a cab with no carseats with the kids. We debated a hotel near the airport that offered park and fly but it was more expensive than I had predicted and reading reviews about the shuttles not being dependable stressed me out. I decided to prebook parking right at the airport. It was garage parking so no matter what the weather was upon return our car would be in good shape. The parking garage was connected to the terminal via shuttle train that ran every 7 mins. I found a promo code and I think it was totally worth it.
  • Disney World App – I downloaded the app. It’s awesome and you can get all the information related to your time at Disney. You can book fast passes for everyone in your party, book dining reservations, view park maps with current wait times for the attractions. You can access the photo pass photos and you can get recommendations about what is happening near where you are at any moment.
  • Disney’s Memory Maker – For $150 you can get unlimited digital access to the photos that are taken on some of the thrill rides as well as from any of the photographers in the park which includes in the general areas as well as at the character meet and greets. I went back and forth about this because it’s a big chunk of money but in the end we decided it was worth it in order to get family photos. It also proved to be worth it because it meant when Dylan was screaming and trying to get away from characters one of us could be with her and the other one of us could go with Carter to meet the character which he wasn’t quite ready to do on his own and we still got some great photos. We ended up with about 150 photos taken on a good quality camera. Totally worth it to me. You also can ask the photographers to take pictures for you with your own camera which is nice but not having to deal with the camera was very nice. They get sent to your phone on the Disney app and you can download them from there or you can access them on your computer.


In our checked bags:

  • Clothes for the week – We stayed in a room with washer and dryer so we didn’t have to over pack. We had exactly the right amount of clothes which was lucky.
  • Mickey Shirts – I wanted the kids to partake in disney apparel without the price tags. I purchased them matching Mickey Shirts on sale at Old Navy. They were simple, adorable, and affordable. I ended up finding Mickey Shirts for Daniela and I before we left as well. It was a fun thing for us.
  • Camera – We barely used this. We took most photos with our phones and used the Disney Photo Pass/ Memory maker which allowed us to have family photos. The waterproof case we have was great though and fun for the pool but totally not necessary.
  • Some food: see food section.

In our Carry-on:

  • Snacks – I packed bento box style containers with snacks for the flight to Orlando and then we were able to refill each day for our ventures.
  • Carriers – I brought two carriers. I didn’t know what our plans would be and I thought it was better to have one for each kid. In the end, we would’ve been fine with one even though we ended up using both (and at the same time), I don’t think it was necessary.
  • Maclaren Twin Triumph – We decided to get a double umbrella stroller for the trip. It folds up easily and is small. It’s side-by-side seating so they could share snacks but they were also able to fight which wasn’t great. Both kids fit comfortably and the seats recline. We hoped they would nap in it but for the most part they did not.
  • Two CARES harnesses – We had to get a ticket for Carter obviously so his harness made sense. I borrowed another from a friend in the off chance there was an extra seat available for Dylan and she would miraculously sit still. Neither of these things happened. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on a seat for her because that would’ve made the trip that much worse.
  • iPads – We brought two. One would’ve been fine probably. Dylan doesn’t really care about it yet and she took the attention of both of us at anytime where we would’ve used one. Carter spent the whole flight on his.
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What met us at the resort:

  • 4 Brita Water bottles – I had read somewhere that the water in Orlando tastes like sulfur. I hate buying bottled water and I would end up drinking anything but I didn’t want the kids or Daniela to not stay hydrated. In the interest of keeping everyone drinking water I purchased these bottles. They improved the taste of water but truthfully, I didn’t think it was all that terrible to begin with. I was glad I purchased these.
  • A frilly skirt that a friend sent. Carter owned this as his Princess skirt. He looked adorable with it on.
  • Food was supposed to…more on this below
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Our Room(s):

I tried to figure out ways to maximize our stay using our timeshare points and decided we would do a 1 bedroom suite for 4 nights and then move to a studio for the last two nights.

  • 1 Bedroom Suite – Included full Kitchen, pullout couch, pull ouch chair, eating area with high chair, Standard bathroom with bathtub/shower, washer dryer, vacuum, king size bed, 2 TVs, Master washroom with Jacuzzi bathtub and giant shower stall.
  • Studio – Queen bed and pull out couch, standard bathroom, mini-fridge, microwave, toaster and sink with 1 tv and small table with two chairs.

I think the room we preferred would be obvious. It was incredibly worth it. In splitting the booking I wish I’d done the studio at the start and then moved into the bigger room (especially with getting our groceries so late) but it was fine. It was nice to come without much dirty laundry.

Food:

Our room for the first 4 nights had a full kitchen so we intended to do some cooking of basic meals.

  • I packed the following: Made Good Granola bars (kids love them and they have a full serving of vegetables), Popcorn kernels, himalayan salt, coconut oil, can of soup. We like popcorn a lot but don’t like microwave popcorn so we brought everything to make it on the stovetop. This was a REALLY good idea. It was easy to pack in our snacks for the day and was a nice snack at night.
  • I had planned to order from Garden Grocer but my mom generously gifted us an amazon giftcard so I decided to try ordering from Amazon Prime Pantry. I spent way too much time looking through options and putting together and order that gave us meals for 4 nights, breakfasts, snacks and diapers. I set up delivery so it would arrive the day before we did so that it would meet us there with no delay. When we arrived it was not there. When I checked tracking, it indicated that it was delayed and would arrive 4 days late. after a terrible flight with a cranky toddler I called Amazon’s costumer service and wasn’t the nicest person. The person on the other end was incredibly nice though. She looked into it and contacted UPS who apparently did not know where the package was. It was just missing. She said they could send it out again but it would take a minimum of 4 days to get there because Prime Pantry must go through ground delivery. This didn’t make sense for us so I said no. They refunded me and gave me an additional $20 credit which was nice.
  • In a pinch I picked up pretzels, a box of pasta, soy milk, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, jelly and bread from the resort store. Not cheap but not ridiculous and at least gave us some staples.
  • I re-looked at Garden Grocer to find they have a 48 hour requirement for delivery but the next day I just went for it and ordered from them. Bonus for them is that you can order beer and produce. Ordered some beer, sauce, lentil soup, fruit, yogurt for the kids, almond milk, more crackers, bagels and muffins. This was an unfortunately carb heavy trip. Garden Grocer was awesome. They delivered the food and bell services refrigerated what needed to be until we were able to grab it.
  • Restaurants – We don’t eat meat (aside from some fish) and don’t consume dairy for the most part. We are pretty much loose vegans who eat fish and eggs. We don’t check every ingredient but we don’t get anything that obviously has dairy products in it. This obviously resulted in some added limitations for dining.
    • Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom – Our first day there we stopped here for an early dinner. When we told them we don’t eat meat they gave us some extra menu items that had tofu which was awesome. We got sweet and sour tofu and the Tuna Nachos. It was fantastic. It was a meal I’d go back for.
    • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Magic Kingdom – Veggie burrito for us which was the only option without meat (requested the fajitas without meat and they told me they couldn’t do this for some reason). Kids got a cheese quesadilla that came with carrots, grapes and milk. Toppings bar was awesome and meant we could have a ton of guac, peppers and different salsas.
    • Boma – Buffet restaurant in Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Villas which was just a short walk from where we were staying at Kidani Village. We went for breakfast. There were many vegetarian options and I think if we had requested vegan options they would have made them available. The coffee was good.
      The quinoa breakfast was tasty. It was nice to have some fresh fruit and salad. If I went back I wouldn’t do it for breakfast but it was an okay meal and filled us up before our groceries arrived.
    • Tangierine Cafe in Epcot – Falafel Platter. I heard mixed reviews but our experience was great. Falafels weren’t dry and had a lot of flavour. Platter was piled high with hummus and salads and a ton of olives. Pita left something to be desired but that’s not what I was there for really.
    • Citrus Garden Delivery – My online searches prior to disney made me think that getting take-out delivered to a resort was pretty much impossible. I had friends coming to do dinner with us one night and thought it would be more enjoyable if we ate at the room and the kids could relax, watch tv and then go to bed while we got to catch up. Room service looked unappealing. Ordering from the restaurant in the hotel seemed really pricy. I decided to ask at the front desk if there was anywhere we could order Chinese food from and they offered me a menu of an off-site restaurant. It was inexpensive, quick delivery, and decent. Had I known this was an option earlier in the trip I may have ordered another dinner in and looked at other options.
    • Mr. Kamals Vegetarian Cart in Animal Kingdom – We brought enough food for lunch but wanted a little something more so we got some falafels, hummus platter, and veggie samosas from the cart. They were small snack size portions but were pretty tasty and not too expensive.
    • SciFi Drive-in at Hollywood Studios – We had planned to see the fireworks at Hollywood Studios on our last night and we decided we would try to do a sit down dinner as well. I looked at our options and went with the SciFi drive-in because i thought the running movies would be decent entertainment for antsy kids and their menu had a few veggie options. Daniela got the grilled salmon salad which was pretty awesome and I got the veggie burger which was also really good although I wish I’d gotten the cucumber salad instead of sweet potato fries which were more sweet than salty. Kids shared the Grilled salmon kid’s meal which was served with green beans and israeli couscous, apple slices and milk. Overall it was good food but the seating wasn’t ideal and I wish I’d looked into more because there is the option of sitting in bench seats in a Car which is two across or at tables. The novelty of the bench seat was cool but not being able to see each other or chat wasn’t.
  • reasons to not take dylan to a restaurant…

Things that were awesome:

  • MagicBands – Disney is now using these for everything. They open hotel room doors, they are your admission to the park, they are your fast pass, you can buy food and other items on them from the resort stores and they use them to pull up your info if necessary at the front desk. They were fun and easy.
  • The animals outside our hotel – I knew they were around the hotel but I had no clue that they would be so close. Honestly, Daniela packed her binoculars so she could see them…she barely needed her glasses. They weren’t there all the time obviously but they would eat right outside and we loved seeing them.
  • The resort pool – we could’ve happily spent a lot more time at the pool but our days were over booked. There was an awesome big water slide, a small water slide and then a full water playground. There were 2 hot tubs and one lagoon style pool that was relatively shallow. There were towels available right at the pool as well as life jackets for the kids. It was never crowded at all and the water was warm.
  • Fast passes for character meet and greets – Carter was really interested in the characters but hesitant. He wanted to meet them but didn’t want to get too close at first. Not having to wait in line and being able to go see them each day made things easier for him. He wanted to see Mickey 4 times!
  • The performances and parades – They were happening everywhere. You didn’t even really have to plan to see them you could just stumble upon them. It was fun for the kids, required no wait (though we did wait for the parade one day). The kids loved dancing at animal kingdom and they loved seeing the acrobats at Epcot.
  • The Community Hall at the resort – Open from 9am-10pm they had all sorts of craft projects. Some were free and some were a nominal fee. They had toys and blocks and a pool table and fooseball table. The also had a TV playing disney junior and another set up for xbox or wii though no one was ever using them when we were around. We could’ve spent a lot more time in here.
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Things I’m sad we missed:

  • Fireworks – We didn’t see any. We didn’t really plan to see them because we tried to do meals at the hotel. We planned to see them on the final night but Carter asked to go back to the hotel and it was all for the best. We were all exhausted. Kids fell asleep earlier than most nights and it gave us a chance to pack up but I’m sad we missed them.
  • Rides – We missed a lot of rides at magic kingdom where there were the most rides. I only went on one ride without the kids (Daniela got on a few).
  • Evening entertainment at the resort – By the time we got back to the resort each night there was only time to eat dinner and then get ready for bed. It would’ve been fun to watch a movie outside, or participate in the sing alongs.

Things I would’ve done differently: 

  • Booked a longer trip – we only had 5 full days there. Sure it was a decent length of vacation but there is so much to do and we didn’t get around to a lot of it.
  • Skipped Hollywood Studios and maybe even Epcot – While I like these parks there was much for the kids and ended up not feeling all that worth it. If the trip was longer I would still include Epcot but if not I would just do Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.
  • Another alternative to skipping those parks would have been to get park-hopper tickets instead of single park tickets. This would’ve let us go to epcot for a little while and then head over to magic kingdom or vice versa. It would’ve given a little more flexibility and we could have gone for evening activities at other parks after animal kingdom shut down for the day.
  • Already stated, but I would order from Garden grocer and I would purchase way more produce. Even Dylan ate 4 bowls of salad when we got home last night. We missed a high veggie diet.
  • Booked a later flight on the way there – We had a 6am flight to Florida. This meant we had to wake the kids up before 4am. They didn’t get back to sleep at all and they didn’t have a chance to move around at all before the flight. They were a terrible combination of antsy and exhausted. Dylan was extremely difficult on the way there. It wasn’t fair to anyone.

Overall it was a fantastic trip and I already feel desperate to go back. I thought the kids were too young, but they weren’t. Most of our issues were a result of planning that I could’ve done better (and will next time).

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4 Months

I’m painfully exhausted. That is the biggest thing to report. I get a great night of sleep and then feel exhausted 3 hours after waking up. I’ve started to feel quite a bit of movement which is a few weeks earlier than I did with Carter. I’ve also been having little muscle twitches in my abdomen.

My boobs are sore. I do not remember this being such a constant feeling last time but that could just be a failed memory. My belly is bigger although I’ve gained less than 5lbs which is wild to me. I’m attributing it to bring more active than last time because it is for sure not because of my eating.
We have an ultrasound in about a week and a half and I assume the will confirm my feelings that we are getting another little boy! Daniela is holding out hope for a girl though.

I’m not uncomfortable at all yet. I had a massage the other day and spent a full hour lying on my stomach. I couldn’t do that at 10 weeks pregnant the first time around!

I can’t wait until the kicks are stronger.

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1 Month

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2 Months

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3 Months

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4 Months

I think this is my final month of wearing this shirt for a photo unless I want them to start getting ridiculous.

My son has a brother.

My little boy will have a little baby sibling this summer.  He will be a big brother and I will get to witness the ups and downs of their relationship from the start.  They will share a room and toys and our attention.  They may be best friends, or not.  They will have similarities and they will have differences and I will catch myself comparing and contrasting them daily I’m sure.

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The thing is, there is another one.  There is a little boy out there that is their half-brother that they may never meet.  He is nearly 5 years old now and the only glimpse of him I’ve had is a phone picture of a phone picture when he was about 6 months old in a snowsuit.  I know very little about him aside from the fact that he has parents that wanted him more than anything.  I donated my eggs to them in 2008.  They know quite a lot about me, I know nothing about them.

I was 22 when I embarked on this journey.  After years of interest in the idea of egg donation I saw a classified ad in a local publication of a couple looking for egg donor.  I matched their expectations of being Caucasian with dark hair and light eyes.  I am tall and university educated with an array of interests and I’m healthy with a long line of healthy family.  I went for the preliminary health screening and questioning at the couple’s clinic and then was moved along for a info session and psychological screening.  Nothing phased me much but I think back on the screening often now.

I was asked a question that didn’t seem to matter at the time: How would you feel if you donated to this couple and they had a child and then you were unable to conceive in the future?  At the “mature” age of 22 I had no interest in having biological children.  I was already married and my wife wanted children but we were both comfortable with the idea of adoption or she would carry.  At 22 I was quick to respond that this was not an issue for me; having biological children was not important.

A funny thing happened during that donation cycle.  While my body was pumped full of hormones and many follicles in my ovaries matured for the purpose of giving another woman an chance to be a mother, part of me changed as well.  For the first time in my life I had a desire to be pregnant.  I started to think about carrying a child and being a mother in a very different way.  Dialogue began between my wife and I and our plans for future parenthood took a different path.  She was relieved that I would be interested in carrying because while she was willing it wasn’t top on her list of interest.  I donated 4 more times in the next few years and in those years my desire to bare children solidified.  I wanted a baby with my genes.

At 26 we embarked on journey to conceive.  We had decided to use one of the clinics/doctors that I had done a donation cycle with and we made our picks from a sperm bank.  We decided to go ahead and do medicated cycles because we figured it would increase chances and be more cost efficient (fertility drugs are covered by my benefits plan).  We did 6 IUI cycles (5 of which were medicated).  At the end of this the doctor had no clue why it wasn’t taking.  I responded well to the drugs, I had high quality eggs, I was young.  There was no answer but there were a couple options.  We could continue on the road we were taking or we could try IVF.  I wasn’t scared of IVF because I had been through the worst of the procedure as a donor.  We decided to go for it.  It failed…for some unexplained reason.  It was at this point that my mind was racing.  I feared exactly what I had discredited just a few years ago.  What if there was a biological child out there from my eggs but I would never have the option of raising a biological child?  What if it was the fact that I had helped another couple that I couldn’t help myself?  Why wasn’t Karma on my side?

Shortly after the failed attempt we were successful at home with a “fresh donation” from a friend of a friend and self-insemination.  I don’t have to necessarily worry about those worries and questions anymore but I have different ones.  No part of me regrets the decision I made to be an egg donor but I regret how I went about it and the contract I locked myself into.  I regret not requesting an open donation.  I did not understand the gravity of my decisions; I believed I was mature and now I look back and feel like I was just a kid.  This psychological screening checked in on a me I can no longer relate to and the impact of egg donation on my life is tremendously different than I anticipated it being.

I will compare my children and notice their similarities forever and at this point I wonder if I will ever stop wondering about the little boy out there.  I wonder if I will get over my curiosity about his personality and facial expressions.  Will he face similar challenges to my own children? Will he excel in the same areas? When the child is older he has access to my information (if his parents share it with him) and he could get in touch with me.  My questions may be answered some day but there is an equal chance I will never know and my children will have missed out on the opportunity to know this person that has half of the same genes.1459748_10151725559797493_379809758_n (1)

The big 1.

At 3:48am my son officially turned one.  

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So much has happened in the past week.  

-Carter started daycare and did far better than we could have expected.
-Carter picked up germs at daycare and got far more sick than we could have expected.
-We had to cancel Carter’s little bday get together with our adult friends so that we could just focus on the boy and nurse him back to health.  In the end I think this was better for all of us.  We really needed time together after the week we had had and he needed to be able to be extra needy/clingy/tired/fussy.
-Carter, after no interest in standing or walking for months, took his first steps.

That last one is pretty major and I’m still in shock.  We’ve been trying to get him to stand unassisted for months and he just wouldn’t for any longer than a couple seconds.  Yesterday my friend put him into standing position and he stood and my wife called him over to her and so he just walked to her.  Just like that.  I should add that he fell over after a few steps and never did more than about 6 steps at a time all night before tumbling but he is showing interest.  He is excited about it.  It’s such a major milestone.  I love that it happened the day before his birthday because it makes me feel like he is a procrastinator.  If this is true, he will drive me mental but we will have lots in common.

Today, I no longer have a baby.  I have a toddler.  This would be far more bittersweet if I didn’t have a babe on the way.  Now I can focus on the excitement of having a toddler.  

Sometimes I can’t keep up with myself.

It’s been a wild few weeks.

Taking on a new job so soon after returning to work was something I was feeling great about and I really am still happy that I did it but I’m exhausted.  I love using skills that have been lying dormant in my toolbox of competencies for so long.  I love all the reading and I love that people are interested in what I have to say.  I am however, exhausted.  I think about work a lot and I spend time after I get Carter tucked into bed trying to get ahead before the next day (or really, trying to catch up).  My time for blogging has been so minimal, but so much has happened.  I guess this will just have to be my recap.

Carter’s First Halloween:

Carter celebrated his first halloween with his favourite girl.  Daniela and I had intentions of having him as a raccoon and we would be a green (compost) bin and a garbage bag.  In the end, we had a raccoon with two regular human moms.  Good enough.  Violet was a mouse which was most appropriate.  We tortured them through a photo shoot earlier in the month when it was a little warmer and the leaves were beautiful.  Carter was not really interested in participating and complained to Violet about the whole deal.

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Looking like two little old women.

After a few hundred photos we gave them a bit of a chance to just hang out and stand up, which is all they really wanted to do and despite being placed further apart Carter moved closer to Violet and she turned into him to create the worlds cutest picture.

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Just a moment to themselves.

Potty

I had no interest elimination communication.  I thought it was ridiculous and a waste of time.  Our neighbour who has a three year old son has been overly generous in giving us all the hand-me-downs.  When her son finished potty training this summer he told her they should give Carter his potties because he is a baby.  My neighbour was a little embarrassed to pass them along but asked if I would mind if they could do it symbolically if we didn’t want them.  Well that was just silly, of course we took them.  I am all about hand-me-downs on most things!  Well, Carter was showing that he understood what “tinkle” was each night when I was telling him to tinkle as he was getting out of the tub.  I thought I would bring up a potty just for him to get used to and the first time I put him on it I told him to tinkle and sure enough he did.  A couple days of that and he poo’d as well.  He goes almost immediately when we put him on and it’s nice to have just a few less dirty diapers to deal with.  I have no interest in him being potty trained this early but when it’s easy, it’s great to let him figure it out.

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Light reading.

Teeth

This was by far the worst weekend we’ve had in a while although when I look back on it it was really just some tough periods of it.  We had some really great moments too.  His molars are working their way through and he goes through episodes where he can’t stop screaming.  He clutches at his face.  He wiggles and yells while we hold him and shrieks when we put him down.  He won’t let anything near his mouth and it’s just terrible.  He couldn’t sleep Saturday night and was up until almost 1am.  I had been very concerned about day-lights saving but that was apparently a naive worry.  Yesterday afternoon there was just nothing we could do to make him feel better.

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I should clarify that he is covered in beet juice here.

Eating

Carter loves food.  He eats more than I do.  He has decided he is pretty much over bottles.  He has one before bed and occasionally he has one during the day.  I was a little concerned about it but the doctor and the naturopath both said that as long as we are giving him a balanced diet it’s okay.  It’s a lot of fun to see him enjoy food and I find that I’m doing a much better job of meal planning for Daniela and I when I also have to make sure that I have food for him.  I love giving him new things and seeing him choose what he would like to eat from the options on his tray.  His favourite snack is roasted seaweed and he will never turn down oranges.

Baths

In September Carter got fifth disease which is a pretty boring virus with a fever for a few days and a rash that he didn’t seem bothered by but looked pretty gross.  The rash has been sticking around and he’s had dry scaly red cheeks that wouldn’t go away.  I asked the doctor the other day at his 9 month appointment and she said I need to stop bathing him everyday (She said I should only do once a week for now).  This was heartbreaking.  There is nothing better than bath time.  I stuck to it and we are seeing a lot of improvement but I miss the time that he is so happy.   I miss splashing with him while he giggles.  Last night after the brutal teething afternoon (and beet juice) I decided he deserved a bath.  It was the most peaceful part of the day.  He babbled on and played with his toys and laughed as I poured water over his head.  I’ll try to continue to cut back but I think they are necessary on the hard days.

photo (8)Me Time

I went out on Saturday night to a friend’s house party.  I haven’t been out for an event without Daniela or Carter since he was born.  I wasn’t all that excited about going and kind of just wanted to relax but I knew I should go.  It proved itself to be a good choice both because Carter screamed the whole time and because I had a really good time with some coworkers.  It was nice to be myself in a social situation and not have any distractions.  I think we all need a little time to regroup.

 

First Real Weekend

This past weekend was my first real weekend in 8 months! Weekends became synonymous with being busy and having to visit with friends and family but this weekend we reserved for ourselves!  We didn’t make any plans out of the city which means the world to me.

Despite the cranky days Carter had been having, he woke up Saturday in a perfect mood!

blog25We went to the 519 (The city’s queer community centre) for a drop-in play time and carter crawled around reaching for different toys.  He was enamored with the man that was running the programming.  He has always had a thing for facial hair but this was above and beyond.  He ate a ton of snacks while we were there and enjoyed the circle time songs!  Just before we left he settled in with Mama to read a book.

Reading with Mama

Reading with Mama

We went grocery shopping and hung out with our pup and Carter was just so happy the whole time.  He babbled on and on about everything.  Saturday was one of the best days I’ve ever had with him.  A friends dog was staying with us for the night and Carter LOVES this dog (Pencil).  I would say that Pencil loves Carter.  Pencil came up for bedtime activities and Carter was thrilled.  After playing on the bed and reading some books I put Carter and Pencil into the crib and they played together for a while until they both fell asleep.

Snug with a Pug

Snug with a Pug

It was the icing on the cake for a wonderful day!

Sunday was equally awesome with hanging out with a friend from high school.  Carter was a charmer and ate half of my brunch!  He can eat!!

Carter and Kat at Brunch

Carter and Kat at Brunch

My favourite thing is that Carter now is okay to fall asleep somewhere and be transferred into his bed.  This is far better for me because we can just lie in bed together playing until he just shuts his eyes peacefully instead of him getting upset when he gets put in the crib and struggling until he falls asleep.  I really value this time each night with him.  Nothing compares to the feeling of the weight of a sleeping child.

Asleep in my arms.

Asleep in my arms.

I hope every weekend is half this wonderful!

 

 

I survived.

I survived my first week of work.  I was spoiled with pictures sent to me all day and even a drop by visit during one of my lunch breaks.  Carter was all down hill after the first day.  He really gave Sarah a hard time the vast majority of the time.  He seems to be teething but I don’t know for sure.  He absolutely has a cold though.  Poor guy is all stuffed up.

Squeezing out a smile for Sarah

Squeezing out a smile for Sarah

It’s really not as bad as I thought it would be.  I miss him terribly but I’m able to focus on work.  I’m able to listen to CBC radio and I feel like I’m finally hearing the news for the first time in 9 months.  I have conversations with people that aren’t either all about my baby or constantly interrupted by said baby.  It’s actually kind of nice.  I can’t believe I’m saying that.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  If I could be home, I’d be home in a second but I have to make the best of it.

Putting in some hours at the office

Putting in some hours at the office

I’ve enjoyed making dinner for Carter and sitting down to watch him eat followed by bath time.  These are two of my favourite things.  Watching him enjoy food is really exciting and bath time has been his favourite since he was born.  On the days of constant fuss, I have given him multiple baths just for a break from it.

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Hanging out in the tub!

He’s getting more and more interested in foods.  I can put piles of different things on his tray and he will try each one of them before he mixes them all together.  He stuffs his little mouth like a hamster sometimes and this week the result has been a big mess when he sneezes.  He cooperates with the spoon if I’m feeding him something that requires a spoon (yogurt, oatmeal, chopped spinach).

Working the spoon in the least efficient way possible.

Working the spoon in the least efficient way possible.

Bed times have been hard.  He has decided that 6:30 is a reasonable time to hit the hay the past few nights.  This means I get very little time with him.  After his bath I rub him down in coconut oil and sing to him and then read a few books.  He loves playing with the blinds next to the bed that is in his room.  While I know I should just put him in the crib and let him get to sleep, I’ve been lying there with him and letting him play himself to sleep and then I lie there a little longer as he’s tucked into my arm.  It’s just not enough time.

Night night!

Night night!

This week has been huge for me.  I’ve accepted that I can do this, and so can he.  Even though it was a tough week for him, I know he can survive without me.  He’s a champ.