I'm in the mood to gush about my baby

I don't consider myself to be a gushy mom, though my friends will undoubtedly correct me about this if they see things differently. I talk about Brandon, but I don't spend a lot of time telling everyone I meet how wonderful he is (even though it's true). Today, though, I'm not gonna lie - I plan to gush over my kid and if you're not in the mood, don't read this.

I had fun dressing Brandon today - he had on a Hawaiian shirt and pants rolled up like clam diggers and little baby deck shoes - so CUTE! Steph said he looked like Magnum P.I. I think Brandon's much better looking, though. Besides, for him to look like Magnum, I'd have had to dress him in size 6 months shorts so they'd be short and tight for that lovely 80s look.

This afternoon, I picked Brandon up early from Tracy's and we met a couple of other friends at the mall. We were taking advantage of a sale at the Gap and just as I was finally getting to the cash to pay (slow, slow lineup), Brandon had a complete meltdown. It was his first ever mall meltdown and it was just because he was hungry. Chantal, who went before me, was a big help trying to distract him, but we did hightail it out of there as quick as possible. I was getting "the look" from people. The "why can't you keep your baby quiet" look. I've always known that look exists, but it's very uncomfortable when it's being directed at YOUR child.

Later in the day, I took Brandon to Farm Boy to pick up a few things and, of course, the strap in the cart was unusable. He's usually pretty good in the carts, so I generally don't worry about the straps anyway. What I didn't realize is that since Brandon has started walking in the past week, he is no longer "pretty good" in the cart. The child actually stood up and tried to climb out of the cart at one point. I was both horrified and proud of him. Parenthood is rife with these moments of conflicting emotions I've discovered. He's a pretty determined kid, so I had to use the best distraction available to me in that particular moment (the one that also failed miserably at the Gap earlier in the day) - my car keys. This time, he wasn't hungry and they worked...well, until we got to the car and I had to take the keys away. That's always the tricky part.

Dinnertime was pretty exciting this evening as well. Brandon took about 10 steps on his own two separate times. It's so exciting watching him learn new things. He's always been such an eager little guy and as soon as he learns a new skill, he's anxious to use it as much as possible. I've tried to encourage him by letting him walk around holding onto my finger several times a day. He does most of the work that way, but has a backup that boosts his confidence. He ends up walking around cooing the whole time he's so excited. The child is just unbelievably cute.

After dinner we went for a bike ride, which is probably my favorite physical activity. It's interesting having Brandon along with us now. He just sits and watches the world go by and every now and then he'll start chatting away while Matt and I are talking. Occasionally, I look over and he's flailing his arms and legs, possibly because he wants to get out now that he's enjoying his new mobility.

I guess the bottom line is that I love this kid more than I can even express. He's the best adventure I've been on in life to this point; I look forward to each stage and the fun we have watching him grow and learn. What an amazing privilege to get to help a little one grow up - I am so incredibly blessed!

A la carte entry, i.e., a lot of random stuff...'cause it's been over two weeks

I won't get into two weeks worth of stuff - that's too much to write about. But I've been busy dealing with illness - first Brandon's and then before he was well, mine. He's doing much better now and I'm getting there, too. Stomach flu in a 1 year old is not fun. Though I did come up with an idea for Pampers - diarrhea diapers. I really think they should design a diaper that extends up to about the baby’s armpits and perhaps make the band around the top similar to the leg openings to prevent further leakage. Then, extend the leg opening down the thigh, also to prevent leakage. I would totally buy this diaper and I'm thinking most othe would too. It would save embarrassment, laundry and, most importantly, time. Because who has time to do laundry when you’ve got a needy, clingy, sick baby to take care of? Anyway, the idea’s out there - take it and run with it.

I took Brandon with me to the mall today to try to find a pair of overalls. We went to The Bay and I've always been frustrated by how close together they put their clothing racks in the baby department. Hello - stroller central. They really need plenty of room between them! Well, I was shocked when I went in there today and there was enough room to move around...halla-freakin'-lujah! It's about time. That is until I tried to go down one of the two or three aisles they have in that department. To make room for the racks, they shoved all the aisles really close together so now you can just barely fit a stroller through (that's one stroller - forget about ever trying to fit two). I wasn't going to say anything about it until Brandon decided to stick his arm out of the stroller right as I passed by a mirrored wall. His arm got caught between the wall and the stroller and pulled back at an unnatural angle. He wasn't seriously hurt, but he wasn't happy either. So, I found an associate to mention my concerns to. She was very nice and has kids of her own so understood and related to my concerns. I just hope The Bay and other retailers will get a clue and stop cramming so much in baby departments that you can't safely get through when you have your children with you. It's really enough to make me stop shopping at certain places.

I'm trying to think of a business to start - one that I can grow slowly while I'm working full time and eventually be able to generate enough that I can quit my job. I'd just like to have more freedom to choose how I spend my time and do things that I'm interested in professionally. I'd also like to be able to spend more time with my family. Of course, starting a business is a lot of work, so I'm not sure how I can pull it off. I do have an idea that I'm pretty keen on, but I need to do some research to figure out if it's viable.

Last but definitely not least, I want to give a quick shout out to the West-Carleton Family Health Team where Brandon's doctor is located. I called Friday for a last-minute appointment at 11:45. I was booked in for a 12:45 appt. (lunch hour), arrived at 12:33, was called back at 12:35 and was in the car leaving by 12:55. I've heard so many stories lately from people who have been forced to wait ages to see the doctor that I must say that this office is very prompt and considerate when it comes to people's time. Doctors do important work, but it doesn't mean that they should be over-booking to the point that patients wait hours for treatment. It makes me uncomfortable when this happens, because I know that the doctor is overloaded, will likely rush me through my appointment and could very well miss crucial details. This is, of course, true of any profession when someone is overworked. I'm just so very thankful that - so far - this team of doctors manages time and patient loads well. Kudos to them!

My big kid needs clothes, too!

Okay, so I’m kind of frustrated with buying clothes for Brandon. Actually, I’ve always been frustrated with it - seriously, why are baby clothes such a hassle? Especially for boys. I’ve got two beefs, though. One has to do with the sizes available. I got so excited last fall when I heard that Carters opened up here in Ottawa and I made the (long) trip across town to check out the store, specifically because I wanted to get sleepers. Now, I went when Brandon was 8 months old, but I needed 12 months sleepers, because he’s very advanced for his age. The store had absolutely nothing over the 9 months size. I waited about a month and went back - nothing. I give up now. Going across town is just not worth it - yes, even for Carters.

Yesterday, we went to Old Navy to find him a few things and once again, I run into the problem of finding clothes for a child that are bigger than 12 months. It makes me want to pull my hair out. What do clothing manufacturers think? The baby stops growing when they get to the 6 months size and then BAM, they’re 2T suddenly? Hello! I’m quite certain there are lots of babies who need these larger sized clothes and yet all I can ever find in the stores is 9 months and under.

My other beef about baby clothes is the prominent and abundant display of girls’ clothing. There are tons of styles, fabrics, patterns to choose from. For boys, they mass produce a bunch of different colours of the same exact thing and throw it on the side shelves out of the way of the girls’ things. I’ll admit, I can see why making an abundance of styles for boys can be challenging, but I think children’s clothing designers need a serious dose of creativity. I’ve picked through stores to fine one or two little items that are both cute and a good price and I think Brandon’s a well-dressed little man for it. But I have to deal with crap like going into The Children’s Place and finding that everything in his size is based on one theme. I can’t remember what it was, but I haven’t been back, because I wasn’t interested and didn’t think it was at all cute. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some really cute stuff from there as gifts from friends - I just wish I knew where they found this stuff, because I sure can’t find it!

Oh well, at least I know the selection gets better. I can always drive to Syracuse and buy clothes in the States - the selection is far better down there anyway.

Sleep is so overrated

This week has been one of those that I would have happily skipped in life. Too many unexpected things coming up at the same time as hard deadlines - neither of the two were related either. I try to be pretty flexible, in general, but when I’m down to the wire I start to go pretty rigid. So, needless to say I’m pretty stressed. It’s the perfect opportunity for some good ole comfort eatin’. Fortunately, there’s been no time.

My house is driving me crazy. I know that when you have children, it’s inevitable that the standard for cleanliness changes to a certain extent. I just never have seen it when I’ve visited my friends’ houses. So, when I look at how cluttered my house is - compared to its pre-baby state - I have nightmares about 18+ years of this. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a reach. I’m just looking forward to when Matt goes back to work so we can hire a cleaner to come and do some of the heavy cleaning tasks that we just don’t have time to do anymore.

We bought this house, which is only a little over 2,300 sq. ft., almost two years ago. I remember saying to Matt that we should look into getting a cleaning service to help us so that we didn’t end up working all week and then cleaning all weekend. He totally shot that down because we’ve always been able to clean our apartments within a few hours top to bottom. But this is more than twice the space AND has twice the number of bathrooms. And two of the bathrooms have huge tubs with two sinks. Wouldn’t you want a service, too? After Brandon came along, he decided he agreed with me.

Let’s talk about Brandon. We took him to the doctor for his 10-month check up yesterday and it was too funny. Every time his doctor shined a light in his eyes, or on his face, he’d get this huge smile on his face. He’s such a happy, happy baby! He’s also a big guy - in over the 97th percentile for height and weight. He’s over 31 inches long. That’s almost a foot longer than he was when he was born. And he weighs almost 2.5 times as much as he did at birth - 25.5lbs. I love my little guy so much. He’s so easygoing and laid-back that I feel bad when I have friends who struggle with their kids. I mean, I’ve hardly ever felt very sleep-deprived since his birth - he’s always been a good sleeper at night.

It’s too bad I’m not as good a sleeper as the baby - then I wouldn’t be up writing this right now…c’est la vie. Who needs sleep?