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Fun-Filled Summer

26 Sep

Timothy and I have been busy these past few months. Not only did we travel (car trips to Montreal and Ottawa, a week in a cottage, a few weeks to visit grandparents all the way in Russia) – we also took lots of classes: swimming, baby sign language, library nursery rhymes, community centre singing, baby massage, playdates, etc. It’s fun!







Giggles on a Late Night Ride

15 Sep

Traffic is crazy in Toronto today. One major highway is closed (for repairs?) and the other one closed, too (accident?) – so it took us two hours to get home. It was way past Timothy’s bedtime.

At first he was staring out the window (I was sitting next to him in the back seat). I thought he was about to fall asleep since his naps were very short today. And then I caught him staring at me. He saw me look and smiled. I smiled back. He started laughing excitedly, inviting me to play and talk with him. Honey on my heart – these days Timothy rarely laughs; his teeth bother him too much, I guess.

I looked at him and said “dzzzz!”. Timothy laughed. I made a longer “dzzzzzzzzzzz!” – Timothy laughed harder. He touched my face with his warm, sticky hand, said something to me. I replied: dzzzzzzzzzz! More laughing.

By the time we got home it was 9:30 pm. We decided to forgo pj’s today. Lately he hates changing clothes and often melts down completely during the evening change. So today we did just a quick diaper change.

No tears.

I hope he sleeps well. Sometimes when he’s overtired, instead of sleeping through the night into late morning hours (like I used to), he starts waking up every 2-3 hours. We shall see…

Touching Morning

14 Sep

Timothy woke me up, I went into his room. It was about 7 am. I picked him up, brought him back to my bedroom, nursed him while catching a bit more shut-eye.

My husband emerged from the shower and crawled in bed. Timothy immediately lost interest in nursing and put his pudgy little hand on hubby’s cheek. Then another one on his nose (and, well… in his nose, too). And then he started talking. Looking very serious, he shared his thoughts with my hubby, gently slapping his face. Then turned, flashed me a smile, and went on slapping my husband’s smiling face.

I love mornings like this 🙂

Timothy is 7 months old

10 Sep

Timothy is 7 months old. Timothy is 21 pounds. Timothy took his immunization as a pro – he didn’t even notice it. Like at all.Like not a sound.Yes, I was nursing him, but still – they did stick a needle in his thigh!

Timothy had his first real accident last week. He’s sitting up pretty well now – I always leave him with the breastfeeding pillow around him, as he he still falls every now and again – but this time he tried to reach a toy that was too far in front of him, fell on it and broke his gum. Bloody saliva was rushing out of his mouth, I felt so bad. He cried for not even a minute – I till ache…

Timothy was extremely whiny last week. It felt like someone snuck in his bedroom in the middle of the night a switched babies. He was whining, He almost never smiled, and nothing helped. He would get distracted for 5 minutes – and back to whining. But he was eating well, sleeping through the night, pooping-preeing and all… Until he pulled my finger into his mouth and I discovered that he’s got his first tooth! Luckily, he’s now back to being his usual sunny self, smiling and giggling 🙂 And hey – sleeping through the night while teething? Only whining, not crying? He’s one tough boy!

I love it when he claps hands. I feel so proud – all moms envy me. Non of their babies clap hands yet 🙂 (yeah, and Timothy shows no intentions to crawl, while others do… I know… but still – clapping with excitement is so cute :)))

Timothy had his first baby sign language class last week – he liked it.

He also had his first swimming lesson. My husband actually was in the pool with him – I don’t think I would’ve been capable of pulling my baby under water… But Timothy was a real champ! Diving? No biggy for him. He just makes funny faces upon resurfacing 🙂

I love my baby boy. Oh, he’s growing so fast…

Baby Food Need Not Be Boring

6 Sep

Awesome website with baby, toddler and kids recipes:

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep

2 Sep

I am going to post a few things – primarily for myself – on what we did really right, whether on purpose or just happened to guess, to get Timothy to be such a good sleeper. Almost all of this should start at birth – I doubt it will work if you start doing this later on.

Timothy has always been an awesome sleeper, from the get-go. I attribute it to a few things:

1. I focused on staying calm all throughout my pregnancy. I stopped reading news, I watched only cartoons and romantic comedies, I read positive books, and so on. I deeply believe it contributed to my baby’s calmness.

2. I never kept Timothy in my hands after feeding for his night sleep. At first it was simply because my belly was too sore after the c-section, I couldn’t handle his weight’s pressure (and he was born almost 10 pounds). So I would pick him up, feed him, put him down. And I tried to calm him down without picking him up (unless I thought he was hungry) – again, because it was too painful. His naps were a different story, but this post is about night sleep.

3. I did not co-sleep. I believe/suspect that some of the sleep problems arise from the closeness of the milk-smelling boob. It wakes babies up and they nurse and nurse and nurse endlessly through the night. Imagine sleeping in a bakery or coffee shop or something similar (whatever tickles your appetite). Right after the c-section, for the first 3 weeks or so, Timothy slept in a moses basket in my bed. Moses basket so that I won’t roll over him. I put the basket as far from myself as possible so that he won’t smell me, but close enough so that I can pat his back or give him the pacifier without sitting up (again, because of the post-c-section soreness).

4. I did not bathe him in the evenings. For one, I read that bathing too often leads to stripping his tender skin from good oils (which might cause eczema and stuff), and then I didn’t want him to rely on bath to fall asleep – because obviously I won’t be able to bathe him every single night for the rest of his childhood – and what then? Sleepless nights and hysterics?

5. Put him in bed drowsy, slightly awake. I nursed him in the evening, but he always woke up a bit while getting burped. I would put him in his crib half-awake and leave the room. Again, it might be just his character, but he never protested – for the night-time sleep (naps were trickier, I often had to rock him a bit).

6. No pacifier for the night. After the first couple of weeks, I decided not to give pacifier for the night sleep. Reason: I have zero interest in jumping out of bed repeatedly through the night to stuff the pacifier back in his mouth. Timothy is almost 7 moths now and he still cannot figure out how to put the pacifier in his own mouth. For his naps, I often have to go in and reinstall the pacifier. At night he is used to not having it.

7. Environment: I invested in good blackout curtains and humidifier. I focused on creating very crisp distinction between day and night. When it’s night time, time to sleep – it’s really, really dark and there are no distracting noises. The humidifier goes shhhhhh, the blackout curtains allow me to put him to bed at 7:15 pm now and they keep him asleep until 7-8 am. I can see on the video monitor that he wakes up every now and then – but he opens his eyes, sees that it’s dark and settles back to sleep. Again – when he naps, he wakes up and sees that it’s day time – and calls for me.

8. Let him sleep at night! I heard from many, MANY people that in the first weeks you have to feed the baby every 3 hours. As in waking the baby up to nurse – so that you’ll have enough milk being produced (and so that the baby gains weight properly). I LOVE my pediatrician for advising me on waking Timothy up only through the day hours – and letting him sleep at night as much as he wishes. There are so many babies whose nighttime sleep cycle was ruined in the early days and it took them months to stop nursing every 2-3 hours at night.

9. As opposed to setting up a bassinet in our bedroom, I moved into Timothy’s room. On the one hand, it allowed me to not jump to his side at the first peep (so as to avoid hubby’s sleep disruption). I read that often babies settle back to sleep on their own – while if we jump in to soothe them, we actually wake them up; and we create bad habit, too – they get used to it. On the other hand, when Timothy turned 3 months old, I simply moved back to my bedroom – and Timothy never noticed. I think it’s a more humane way than having the baby sleep with you in your bedroom, and then not only kicking them out to another, unfamiliar room – but leaving them there alone! that must be scary.

10. Gradual go-to-bed time extension. Timothy was sleeping 12-4 or 12-5 when he was born. Once he started sleeping until 6 am, we moved his go-to-bed time by half an hour. If he continued sleeping until 6 am, we moved it another half hour, and so on. A couple of times earlier bedtime caused him to wake earlier – then we went back to the previous, later bedtime, and tried moving it again a week later. Timothy is almost 7 months old and he now goes to bed around 7:15-7:30 pm.

11. Pay attention. If the baby cries, it doesn’t mean the baby is hungry. Don’t stuff your boob in his mouth every time he peeps! He might be just bored, he might have difficulties falling asleep, he might be hot or cold… Try to pay attention and guess what’s wrong before you create a habit of nursing during the night hours.

12. Swaddling. I swaddled him for the first… I think 4 months. I stopped once he started escaping the sack the minute I put him down – I now cover him with a muslin blanket, ensuring that it touching his face on one side. He loves the familiar smell of it. I try to send either the blanket or the bedsheet to laundry – but not both of them simultaneously, to always have something familiar smelling in bed.

13. Magic number. All throughout the changing schedules and moving bed times, I noticed there is a magic number when it comes to getting your baby to sleep. 9 pm doesn’t work? Well, try 9:05. Or 8:45. Or… well, you get the idea. I don’t have any rationalization behind this, but it works, weirdly enough.


Timothy still is a pretty bad napper. Timothy still nurses once around 5-6 am. But that’s okay. He sleeps until 7-8 am afterwards. And overall, he gets a really good night time sleep – and gives me plenty of time in the evening to spend with hubby, or read, or do laundry – or even go out with girlfriends after 8 pm 🙂

Timothy’s New Achievements: Dancing, Seating Up, Blowing Raspberries

17 Aug

Timothy sleeps now from 8 pm to 5 am, nurses, and then sleeps some more until 8-9 am. Bliss!

This morning, he woke up around 8 am, but I wasn’t ready to wake up yet. We sleep in the same room as we’re staying currently in my parents’ house. He was playing in his crib and then started complaining: he turned around and his face got stuck under the bumper (I don’t have bumpers at home as they are not recommended, but my parents found the ones that used to be mine…) I rescued Timothy and got him into my bed, nursed him and then put him down to play. And that’s when he started to wiggle, shaking his head side to side; actually, shifting his whole body in this fashion. He was DANCING!!!

We do a little dance each time we change the diaper, I sing a song I made “we changed the diaper, diaper-diaper, we changed the diaper, diaper-diaper” – and I wiggle him. So I figured he learned to dance on his own! Now if I stand and dance, he watches me and responds with his wiggle-dance, so cute!!!

My parents taught Timothy to blow raspberries. Now feeding him is a dangerous feat. You feed him carrots, and then he blows a massive raspberry, covering everything in orange spray :/ So not only he and his high chair get dirty – I do, too! But he’s so adorable 🙂 And it’s so much fun watching my parents on all fours on the flour with Timothy, blowing raspberries in turn 🙂

Timothy is sitting up so well! Now when we go for walks, he sits up in his stroller, turns around, watches whatever he wants. He is so big, now that he sits up unsupported!

I love my baby. He is so adorable 🙂

6 months

13 Aug

With a bit of a delay – here is the 6-month update!

Timothy is 6 months old already. Half a year! In another 6 months, he will be one year old. He will go to daycare.

We bought and installed the real carseat – he outgrew his infant carseat. He weighs about 21 pounds. I feel so emotional about this milestone. No more infant carseat. He is not such a baby anymore…

He seats up pretty good. I sit on the floor behind him with my legs stretched on either side of him, just in case. He does fall over – but he stays seated for 5 minutes without falling, especially if he is occupied – with toys with buttons, for example.

He stands firmly, too. Two or three weeks ago I pulled him by his hands, intending to get him to sit up – but instead he stood up! And he does that ever since. I hold him by his hands, for balance, but he stands up on his own – and loves it! Giggles and performs semi sit-downs with excitement 🙂

He is one strong baby.

We proceeded from cereals to purees – he loved his carrot puree; pumpkin gave him a bit of a rash on his bum. At least, I think that was pumpkin that caused it. I am waiting a few days before I try again.

Not even once did he have diaper rash while he was EBF…

Two days ago he had his first grown-up poop, which wasn’t liquid. It was a real poop. It wasn’t dry and hard, and Timothy didn’t cry (in fact, I don’t even know when he pooped – I just noticed the smell afterwards) – but still, I got worried that he might not be getting enough liquids, so I am figuring out how to get him to drink water. He refuses water from bottle. He drinks quite well from a cup, but it’s hard to ensure he doesn’t gulp too much. We are experimenting with sippy cups now.

He learned how to pass objects from one hand to the other. It feels like he is doing this now just because he enjoys it – picks something up with his right hand, passes it to the left hand, bring the left hand to his far left, then back, passing the object to the right hand again. It’s fascinating to watch.

He plays. He loves picaboo. He blows raspberries. He especially enjoys it when he eats (spitting cereal in every direction).

He discovered shrieking. Which is fine when it’s an expression of delight, but the other day he was shrieking in a very shrill fashion when he was crying – he got me scared. I thought he was in pain! But no, he was just exercising his vocal cords…

He loves noses. I lean to him and he touches my nose, always ending up with his fingers in one of my nostrils :/

He is very gentle – he touches things gently. There are some toys he knows he can yank, but usually he is gentle and he releases when I touch his hand. So there’s no hair pulling and I can wear necklaces, no problem. He touches the necklace, admiring it, but doesn’t yank.

Now that Timothy seats up, it’s so much more fun playing with him, like building block towers (soft, fabric blocks) and letting him destroy them 🙂

No teeth, although teeth are bothering him.

He sleeps from 8 to 8, still waking up once to eat, around 5 am. He naps 3 times, sometimes four (if he wakes up earlier than usual).

And he is starting to manipulate. It is so obvious that he sometimes cries consciously trying to get my attention, overdoing it. I am trying to react without overreacting, to send signal that yelling won’t get him anywhere 🙂

Ah, he is growing so fast…

Going transatlantic. Part 3.

10 Aug

Timothy was whining all the way to my parents’ house. I read that generally babies adjust very easily to new time zones: they sleep when it’s dark, so I put him to bed around 10 pm (Moscow is so far north that it gets dark very late in summer). I went to bed around midnight and, despite the sleepless previous night, I wasn’t sleep at all: it was 4 pm Toronto time, not the time to sleep at all.

I was in bed next to Timothy’s crib, and he was very restless – waking up, whining through sleep, crying. I nursed him around 6 am and then we fell asleep in my bed (I finally got some sleep).

He woke me up a couple of hours later (and that was all the sleep I got that night). He was so hot I immediately went looking for my mom, to ask for a thermometer. Timothy was looking pretty lifeless, there was a… sort of fear and lack of understanding what’s going on with him. I have never seen my baby so passive.

He had a 38.1 fever.

I got scared and we called the doctor. By the time they arrived, his fever was down to 37.6. The doctor said his throat was fine, his stomach was fine, and the fever too low to give medication – better to let him fight whatever it was.

Timothy was weak and whining all day long, but his fever was  gone by the end of the day – only to be replaced by screaming fits. He was obviously teething. He was chewing on everything, crying… I gave him baby advil drops and he had a good 2-hour nap. I gave him more before bed and then more when he woke up, screaming, in the middle of the night.

He woke up fine. No teething, no fever, no nothing. After that, he’s been back to his usual sunny self.

And yes, he sleeps during the nights – he almost didn’t notice the 8-hour time shift. Although the fever might be attributed to the long flight – who knows?..

Me, on the other hand, is a different story. I didn’t sleep that first night when he was whining, I slept the third night with exhaustion, and then didn’t sleep until 5 am, and then slept, and then didn’t… I am all over the place. And then yesterday I got sore throat and a 38.4 fever :/

The fever is gone now, but I am still very weak and my throat is killing me.

But, you know, my parents are so, so happy to see us all…

Going transatlantic. Part 2

9 Aug

The surprising part was that waking up my baby boy was no problem. The windows were open, it was bright daylight inside, so even though it was 2 am Toronto time, when I picked Timothy from his bassinet, he gave me a broad smile.

Frankfurt airport is one of those annoying airports where they bus you to the terminal. They brought two buses and just sat there, waiting for everyone to get on, packed as sardines (I spent my time trying to guard Timothy from people’s luggage), and brought us to the building. It was a 3-hour connection, but it took me so long to get through security (folding-unfolding the stroller, again! and then I beeped so they did the search thing with the little radar), to find a changing room, to nurse, to buy something for my niece in the duty-free, that by the time I was done with all this stuff, it was boarding time.

Timothy was sleeping-eating-watching. He was so awesome!

So I am sitting at the gate, surprised they aren’t boarding, when someone approached me and told me they switched gates (why do they always do that????)

Racing through the airport, jumping the line (yay to flying with babies), sweating the stroller-folding, timothy-stranger-holding routine, and we’re aboard the plane for the 3.5 hours to Moscow. We had the whole row to ourselves, so after take-off I put Timothy down on the seat next to me and stretched my legs to prevent him from falling. But when the turbulence started, I had to take him in my arms and that’s when the dangerous thing happened: I fell asleep with Timothy in my arms. Man, just imagine if I dropped him… Yikes. Thankfully, all was well – and I didn’t sleep for long, I am guessing 20 minutes. And that was all the sleep I got that night/day.

Arriving in Moscow, I was instantly reminded just how inconsiderate everything is there. I was given my stroller at the airplane door, and then… had to carry Timothy in a stroller three floors down. Just fantastic!

Gladly, the customs lineup was fast, the baggage was already on the conveyor, and we were in my dad’s and sister’s arms in no time.

After about 5 minutes in the car I realized I needed to nurse Timothy, so we stopped on some parking lot, I nursed him, and we proceeded. Timothy was exhausted, looking unhappy, and whining.

To be continued…