Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cohen, the teacher: Lesson 4

(Cohen and Madame)

(I hope this little boy doesn't mind some drool on his tie...)

(Cohen and J saying goodbye)

Cohen got to see his third grade students again yesterday. And Jon got to come due to a cancellation at work, which was so awesome. The theme was "emotions". And Cohen was serious, as usual. The kids were wondering about Cohen's red little cheeks. I think it's teething? I dunno. I thought Cohen looked cuter than ever in his preppy little plaid button-up. I love how interested the kids are in Cohen. I got lots of questions, like: How often does Cohen cry? What did Cohen feel like on the airplane ride at Christmas? What makes Cohen scared? How did Cohen feel when he got off the airplane? Did Cohen like the airport? Does Cohen ever smile or laugh at home? If so, how often? How does Cohen feel when people come to our house? What do you do when Cohen cries? Does Cohen ever cry in the nighttime? If so, why? They are super curious.

PS: See the last teaching day here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

first avocado

Now that Cohen has passed the 6-months mark, and our nurse has given us the go-ahead to give him "real food", we are trying all kinds of things. I know you are supposed to try each food for like 4 days straight, but when you get a good avocado around here, you have to see if your baby likes it. He did. He liked it more than the other foods we have tried, for sure (ie. applesauce, rice cereal, sweet potatoes).

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The gift of the morning nap

Cohen's sleep changed drastically somewhere between 3 and 6 months. I have written about it before. Not only did his nighttime sleep change, but his naps become so much shorter. Cohen slowly went from sleeping an hour at a time a few times during the day when he was around 4 months, to only napping 5 minutes every hour at 6 months. These 5 minute naps were not too fun. He was not rested at all.

So now that he is sleep trained, he naps for at least an hour straight every morning. This is what our mornings look like lately when I don't have to go to work:

Wake up at 7 am. Jon gets Cohen up, changes him, hangs out with him while he gets breakfast on the go. I usually get an extra 5 precious minutes in our bed. Then I nurse Cohen (usually while still in bed). Then the three of us sit together at the kitchen table. J and I have breakfast, and Cohen plays with his applesauce. My favourite part of the morning, for sure.

Then Cohen spends some time on his little mat while J and I get ready, make coffee, etc. J heads to work  at 8:15 while I do laundry, tidy up, listen to music with Cohen in the Ergo. When Cohen starts to seem sleepy (between 9 and 9:30), I take him in to his room, read him a few stories, turn on the white noise, and lay him in his crib. And he falls to sleep within minutes. He doesn't cry even a little bit. It is amazing, and I can hardly believe it every time.

I usually throw on my workout clothes, do one of those high intensity 20 minute workouts, then shower. That alone is such a gift. For the last many months, my showers were rushed, with Cohen in his chair in front of the bathroom door. And working out was something that happened a few times a week after J got home from work. Anyway, after my shower I sometimes just sit for half an hour reading blogs, or a do dishes, or make cookies. That hour to myself refreshes me so much. I am always so excited to go get Cohen from his crib after that. He is always smiling, and in such a good mood. I can tell that his morning nap is not only good for me, but also for him.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

library list

I've been reading a lot, as usual:

1. The sleepeasy solution. We got this book because of of my favourite bloggers* recommended it. What I liked about this book is that it was simple to read, and gave really clear instructions.

2. The girl with the dragon tattoo. I know I am a little late to this book. It was soo good. I read it in a few days.

3. Stitches. I got this one for J for Christmas. It is a really quick, interesting read.

4. Maus. Another graphic novel. This one is amazing. I would highly recommend it. Be ready to get a little emotional though.

5. Catholic all year. This is actually a blog that I just can't get enough of. I am not religious at all, and I strongly disagree with some of what she writes, but some posts are interesting and helpful. I mean, she has like a dozen kids. She knows what she is doing.

* I have been reading Jo since she was single and writing for Glamour.com. Now she is married with two kids. I love her, and referred to her posts on motherhood so many times since getting pregnant. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

On the weekend

Jon and I are trying to learn French, as usual. In the past we have listened to french audio books in the car, and we have tried podcasts. This time we are going all in with a Rosetta Stone type of program. So far, I really like it. Now I know that "tu" and "vous" mean basically the same thing. 

I have started making baby food for Cohen. I used this recipe for the applesauce, because I trust Deb for all things food-related. Though really, you just cook the fruit or veggie until very soft, then whiz in the food processor with water. 

I also made sweet potato puree, which was so tasty, I ate a bunch before filling the ice cube tray. 

And I made my own rice cereal by grinding brown rice in the coffee grinder until it was very fine. Then I cooked it in water. Then added breast milk. It looked like thin white glue, and he did not enjoy it. We also let him try a soft boiled egg yolk on Saturday, which he could not get enough of. 

Jon's desk area. He is a proud father and husband. The plant in the corner was a gift from me when we were casually dating. There is also a jawbone and a vertebrae from our frequent visits to the beach. 

The snow was all gone on Saturday. We still bundled the little guy up for a stroll. 

Dude fell fast asleep in his sled on a long Sunday morning walk in the new snow.

This was our first weekend since Cohen has been fully sleep trained. We used to take advantage of the weekends to sleep in. No more. Cohen is up at 7 am, and we don't want to mess with his schedule, so J and I get up at 7 am too. It means that J and I have had our coffee, have gone to the gym, and had breakfast all by 10 am. It also means that we are ready for bed by 11 pm. It is a bit of an adjustment, but I think it works out pretty well.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

6 months old!

Cohen is 6 months old today. He is starting to look like such a little boy to me! His personality becomes more apparent all the time. Some things about him lately:

- After sleep teaching him a bit (with this book), he is now sleeping 7 pm to 7 am, with a dream feed or two in the night. What a gift sleep is. I can't believe how much better I function with solid sleep. The strange thing is, when jon and I chronically weren't getting more than a few hours a night, we just sort of got used to it, and functioned fine. Sleep is strange that way.

- Cohen weighs 15 pounds 9 ounces. He seems so big to me, though I think he is pretty little for his age.

- He got his first dreadlock. I think it's because his thin hair is so long, and he moves his head back and forth when he is going to sleep. We are not going to cut it out. We think it's cute.

- He loves looking at himself in the mirror. He always gives himself a huge smile.

- We are still exclusively breastfeeding, though we are going to be introducing some veggies over the coming weeks. These days when I nurse, he runs his little hand all over my face, as if he is feeling for something. It is so funny and cute.

- He loves bath time. He splashes so much, and plays with his rubber duck. 

PS: See updates from 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 14 weeks, 16 weeks, and 5 months

Monday, 13 January 2014


We are struggling with sleep around here. Little dude is such a sweet little angel, but he is really not into sleeping. We blame ourselves...

For a few months (from age 2-4 months), Cohen slept like a pro from 11-7 every night. He was swaddled and in his crib at the end of our bed. It was awesome.  But then somewhere around four months, he got too big to be swaddled, and he suddenly needed to be comforted every few hours at night. And we started using the pacifier at night because it was easy.

Then we went away for a few weeks at Christmas. We decided to co-sleep during the trip to save ourselves from lugging the travel crib around. It was awesome at first. He would wake up a few times in the night, I would nurse while laying in bed, then we would all fall back to sleep. But then eventually it got to the point where he needed to be held to fall asleep, and he needed to be comforted every hour or so, even when he was sleeping with us.

By the time we got home from our holiday, he was officially a co-sleeper. And he needed to be nursed to sleep. And he needed his pacifier all night. He could be sound asleep, and we would try to gently transfer him to his crib, and he would wake up and flip out as if something terrible were happening. So we accepted it, and we would get into bed with him at 8 pm, and I would nurse him or Jon would replace his pacifier every half hour or so all night long.

And during the day time, he basically needed to be held at all times. His daytime naps were about 5 minutes long, and he needed one every hour, or he would be super irritable.

We are in the process of a little sleep learning. For us, I think it was necessary. I really feel that Cohen was not getting enough sleep to learn and develop skills, let alone just function. I am already seeing an improvement. I will update again next week.Wish us luck!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Power outage


(little dude)


I can't believe it's been a whole week since the power outage in Newfoundland. Almost the entire province went dark. We were out of power for around 20 hours, which is tough when you have a baby. Our biggest priority was keeping the little dude warm. We layered him in three sleepers, and of course he slept with us that night. It was cold. Probably around 5 degrees C inside. We all wore toques, and J and I each wore a few sweatshirts. We put every single blanket we own on the bed, and we cuddled. I felt pretty grateful that Cohen is still exclusively breastfeeding. It was just one less thing to worry about. I was also really grateful that J has all our camping gear meticulously organized in our basement, so we were able to find our headlamps easily. The power company is now telling Newfoundlanders to reduce their power consumption to avoid another massive outage. We'll see what happens during the next cold snap.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

this weekend

These pictures are from last weekend, but we plan to do more of the same this weekend. We just got this carrier in the mail, so we are eager to try it out on some of the smaller snowshoe trails. We really love taking Cohen to do outdoor activities, even when it's cold outside.

Also, we got iphones. I think I am going to love it, though right now I am not into the touch screen.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Hotel Review: Hampton Inn and Suites, St. John's, NL

We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites by the St. John's airport both before and after our Christmas trip. Since we live almost two hours from the airport (and we have a little baby), we almost always have to stay at a hotel near the airport in order to avoid too long of a travel day. We don't mind, though, as long as the hotel has a pool!

Price: around $150 including tax. average.
Bathroom: Nice. The shower felt pretty luxurious, though the toiletries were not great.
Pool: Yes, but it wasn't operational when we were there, which is a big issue for me. If the pool is down, I think it should be mentioned on your website.
Breakfast: Included. There was a waffle station, some pre-made omelets, sausages, and also all the usual continental breakfast stuff: cereal, oatmeal, toast, juice, coffee. The dude working at the breakfast bar was super nice, which is huge. Cohen and I were down there by 6 am because ya know, Cohen is an early riser.
Wifi: Yes, free
TV: Good. We watched more dragon's den.
Location: We were really happy with the location. There was a Boston Pizza right beside, which we walked to. There was also a Winners 2 minutes away. And close to the airport of course.
Parking: Free. This was awesome for us, because we took the shuttle directly from the hotel to the airport. We left our vehicle in the hotel parking lot for the whole Christmas vacation.


- I really don't love it when the pool of a hotel is not working, and they don't inform their guests. If we had gotten an email about it the day before, I would have for sure booked us elsewhere.

- The shuttle bus they have was broken down when we flew back in to the airport. The hotel said they would pay for a taxi instead. That was cool, except that it is impossible to get a taxi at the St. John's airport. We watched while all the guests of other hotels jumped into their shuttles, while we waited 45 minutes for a taxi.

- Another really weird thing about this hotel is there is no restaurant. We stayed there on NYE, and wanted room service. The best we could get was Boston Pizza delivered (and alcohol was not an option).

- The tap water tasted horrible. I have no idea why. So we bought water at the little mini-store they have at the front desk. Water = $3. Ben and Jerry ice cream pint = $12. Just FYI.

-Overall, I liked this hotel, and would stay there again for sure.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Christmas vacation

(Cohen's cousin reading to him)

(baby's first pair of Nikes. from Nanny DD)

(in his Christmas best)

(baby's first flight)

(crazy snow and ice in Toronto. and a purple unicorn)

(almost home)

Some notes on our Christmas vacation:

- Cohen met his cousins for the first time. Our niece, Olivia, was all about helping me with Cohen. She helped my bathe him, dress him, read to him, play with him, put him to sleep. It was the coolest thing to see. 

- We spent Christmas Eve with my sister-in-law's in-laws. And it was awesome. Our Christmas Eve meal was pasta with scallops followed by the best salmon I have ever had. I so love Christmas eating.

- Christmas day was spent eating and drinking and rainbow looming. Seriously, this toy (the rainbow loom) has a bit of a learning curve. Olivia and I spend hours figuring out how to make these little bracelets. I would have loved this as a preteen. Actually, I secretly loved it as an almost 30-year-old. 

- Our little man did excellent on his first flight (and his second, third, and fourth flight too). Changing a diaper in the tiny restroom of the plane was challenging though. But that's a whole other blog post.

- This time last year, I was incredibly sick (morning/all day sickness), and could only eat honey nut cheerios. This year, I totally made up for it. I ate tons of my mother's Kahlua gingerbread men, butter tarts, spiked eggnog, and rice pudding. All so good. 

- We spent NYE in a hotel room in St. John's. I think we were asleep by midnight. We ordered food and watched bad TV. And I loved it.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Back from vacation

We are back home after an amazing holiday. We spent half our time in Toronto with Jon's sister, and the other half at my parent's house. We returned to Newfoundland to find a ton of snow and an empty fridge. Still, it is so good to be home. I have lots of things to share, but for now, a sweet picture of our little guy taking a bath in my parent's kitchen sink. He loved it. 
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