Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thanks for almost ruining my Anniversary Dinner Critical Mass!!!

For those of you who don't know what Critical Mass is, click here.

Last Friday, Hubby and I went for our 7th Anniversary Dinner. We wanted to go to the Fish House, but instead ended up going to The Cannary. While I have nothing against The Cannary, and we indeed had a very nice meal, we had a coupon to go to the Fish House, and I hadn't been to the Fish House in forever. Plus, this was our first night out ever since BabyL was born. So, yeah, I was really looking forward to the dinner.

Now that we have BabyL, it's quite difficult for us to go out whenever we want to, we have to arrange for babysitting well ahead of time. And because of last minute family obligations, we had to move the dinner to Friday night from Saturday night. Let me tell you this was headache enough as I had to do a lot of discussions and negotiations late Thursday night. It didn't help that because we moved the dinner night, we had a much narrower window to have our dinner.

During Friday morning, Hubby realized that the Critical Mass ride was that evening. To get to the Fish House, we would have to drive through downtown, and we never know where the bikers' route is. So we had to change our plans, because we didn't want to get held up in traffic and because of our narrow time window. I was really looking forward to this dinner because 1) it's our anniversary, 2) we very rarely get out, so my evenings out are more precious to me now and 3) I hadn't been to the Fish House for a very long time whereas I've been to The Cannary several times and just wanted a change.

Hubby is a road biker, and he bikes to work at least once a week. When the weather's good, he aims to get 3-5 rides in. And he's road biked around town for recreation plenty of times. So I think he should know and understand the frustrations that road bikers experience. He thinks this is the wrong approach as well.

As much as everyone would like to live in a utopia, the reality is that this city wasn't originally designed for bikes, and the city needs to spend money in other areas of the infrastructure. I would say that over the last decade, the Lower Mainland's bike paths have improved tremendously. Yes, there could be better improvements still, and perhaps things aren't laid out as well as they could be, but it's already pretty darn good from what it was 10 years ago.

Pissing people off every month doesn't get your point across. Wasting my tax money because the police need to get involved for traffic control doesn't get your point across. Having a business lose my patronage because I didn't have a large enough window to sit in traffic while I waited for a bunch of bikers block my path doesn't get your point across. You can't have everything, and frankly, I would like to see my tax money go to improvements to public transit.

So yeah, thanks for almost ruining my Anniversary, and almost ruining the first night I've had out without the kid since he was born. Thanks a lot.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Telogen Effluvium

As this article states, it starts at three months postpartum. I started noticing a great abundance of hair loss around this time. I'm normally a hair shedder. Ask Hubby, my hair is normally everywhere, and most noticeably on the drain catcher in the bathtub. But this time around, I was literally getting a fistful of hair coming off my scalp every time I combed my hand through my hair. It's gotten to the point where I noticed (and at least one of my friends) that I was developing a bald spot.

My friend suggested I go for a haircut, so I did. I needed one anyways, as I'd probably had gone 5 months without one. As much as I love my hairstylist, this time, I think she may have missed on the style front. I have "mom hair". She cut my hair a little shorter than what I wanted. I suppose that it will grow back, but she at least helped me cover up the bald spot a bit. She also gave me "magic hair" powder (product review to follow) which I really like.

Hopefully this hair shedding business will stop soon, because along with the flabby belly and the spit-up stained clothing, this mom can only take so many blows to her self-image, ha.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The ABCs of Keeping Cool

After last week's heat wave, I thought this article might give you some tips to keeping cool without having use more electricity.

The ABCs of Keeping Cool

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mr. Nosey

I was going through some pictures of BabyL when he was just a newborn. BabyL was such a wee little thing. And with all newborns, he only expressed emotions through crying. I remember saying that wouldn't it be neat if he could at least smile so that I had some idea if I was doing things okay with him.

Well, BabyL's been smiling since after his 1 month birthday, and within the last month, has learned how to laugh. He also babbles a lot, and will give a very huffy sigh when he's bored. I also have a pretty good sense when he's frustrated with something. He still cries though, and with the crying, there are tears. He didn't have tears when he was born.

BabyL is also a very curious little boy. He likes to look at EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING. He will get distracted when he's feeding, when I'm trying to put him to sleep, when we're out and about. He's been like that since day one, but now that he's able to hold his head up pretty well, he will spin left and right and left again to look at EVERYTHING. He will tilt his head at the most uncomfortable positions (well, uncomfortable-looking to us) to see his world.

Sometimes we try to figure out what he's looking at. It could be a brightly-coloured object. It could be some interesting pattern. It could be the way that light shines on something. The other day, Hubby and my mom went for a quick walk before BabyL's bath. They noticed at one point that he kept on looking up, up, up. It turns out that he was looking at the tall trees that lined the trail where they were walking. Like I said, he looks at EVERYTHING!

(I would have entitled this Mr. Curious, but apparently the Little Men Series only has a Miss Curious, go figure. Mr. Nosey was the next best thing!)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Nursing pillows - a rant

I would like for you to take a look at the images below and tell me what is wrong in the pictures:

Yes, all three women are cuddling their babies, bonding with them as they nurse, but that's not what the problem is.

The problem is that none of the nursing pillows on the market encourage proper posture! All three women are hunched over their babies! This encourages back problems. I mean, it is discouraged to sit like that when in front of a computer, so why is it okay to sit like that when nursing a baby? Their backs should be straight, shoulders back, chest out. They shouldn't be resembling hunchbacks.

Let me tell you that I have pretty bad neck, shoulder, upper back, middle back, lower back and hip pain before I got pregnant. Yes, I had back problems coming out of my ying-yang, so I know back problems. I went to countless chiropractic, massage therapy and gym training sessions to help fix the problem and strengthen my back. I also took regular baths and stretched as much as possible to help maintain good back health.

Since having BabyL, the nursing has not made it better. My neck upper shoulder and back and middle back problems have flared up again. Right now I'm seeing my chiropractor (for an unrelated matter, but he still fixes my back) to help alleviate the problem. I also need to stretch the muscles out regularly. There are days when I'm clenching my teeth because of the back pain. Let me tell you I'm very much looking forward to not having to nurse any longer.

My other rant is that I actually need my hands free when I'm nursing. Sometimes when I'm nursing, that's the only time I get to eat. My baby tends to fuss at the breast, so I also need free hands to deal with him, I can't always be holding him. As much as you can say otherwise, this is my reality.

So you product manufactures out there listen up: make a pillow that is
  • height adjustable (I have the last pillow, and while I like it, I still need to prop it up with a small pillow underneath so that BabyL can reach my boob),
  • allow my hands to be free,
  • not allow my baby to roll off, ever.I've had to catch BabyL more times than I can count
  • I can easily use with one hand, as the other hand is holding the baby or doing something else
  • is eco-friendly, meaning that you make it out of organic, bio-degradable and sustainable materials, or it can be easily recycled. This includes the process of manufacturing it. No waste people! Plus there shouldn't be any toxic substances that my baby can inhale or ingest and most importantly,
  • promotes proper posture.
Once you have all that in one nursing pillow, then you will have created the perfect nursing pillow for me. I have yet to find one pillow that meets all my criteria.

"I hate breastfeeding"

I read this article from the Globe and Mail a little while ago. While I'm finally out of the Newborn Hell, I certainly can relate to this woman's emotions. She has it tougher because she has no one, other than her husband, to help her, but only when he's not working. I had lots of helping hands around the clock, and I still had several meltdowns and dark moments, so I can only imagine what it was like for her.

The reason why I'd posted this was because there are so many rosy pictures out there about the first month with a newborn, especially if it's your first one. No one knows how hard the adjustment is like until you actually go through it yourself. I don't think she hates the act of breastfeeding itself; it may be the sleep deprivation talking. But I recall resenting the fact that I was 1) healing from the delivery 2) trying to figure everything out 3) feeling like I was chained to this kid and resenting the feeling, 4) resenting the fact that I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't even enjoy my baby, even if it was only for a little while, and not being able to sleep when I wanted so desperately to, and 5) not given the time to adjust properly to this change in my life, or the rest to heal like I wanted to.

BabyL now takes only 5-20-ish minutes to feed, and his naps can be as long as 3 hours (one day he napped 4.5 hours, and he would have slept longer, but I woke him up. It probably was the heat wave we were experiencing), so things have gotten better. My nipples aren't hamburger meat any longer once I knew it was my forceful letdown that was causing the problem and I knew what to do to remedy that. However, breastfeeding is still a struggle for me because of the constant backaches of being hunched over, I still have forceful letdown issues which means that the kid won't always want to eat, and the sheer boredom of sitting there for many, many minutes.

So yeah, I still hate breastfeeding.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So I'd managed to have some non-BabyL time last weekend, and without Hubby. Hubby stayed at home to take care of BabyL (and did a spendid job), while I went with a a friend to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

My friend whom I went with only read the first book and watched the first movie, so she really has no idea as to what was going to happen. I did encourage her to read the synopsis of all the books, but I think she'd only gotten through the synopsis for this movie and that was about it: she was watching this movie more or less blind. From that point of view, she did say that the movie was enjoyable and she was able to more or less follow the plot.

I have some major quibbles myself about the movie:
  • Other than reveling who the Half-Blood Prince was, there was no other explanation as to why this person was the Half-Blood Prince, and more importantly, the significance of it
  • The girl who played Lavender Brown over-acted
  • Although they included the big scene near the end of the book about finding the third Horcrux, I felt that the significance of Horcruxes themselves were kind of glossed over in the movie -- trust me when I say Horcruxes are much more significant than you realise (if you haven't read the books)
  • I still feel that they didn't emphasize that Snape was very reluctant to kill Dumbledore
  • There was a lot of other significant detail in Book 6 that is very important in Book 7 that they completely left out.
Having said that, I still enjoyed the movie for what it was. Book 6 gets darker still and the overall mood of the movie reflected that. To be fair to the movie producers, I felt that Book 6 was overly long and that J.K Rowling didn't have to put in a big epic scene of Harry and Dumbledore looking for the third Horcrux in the book. Of course, at the end of this movie, it was clearly set up for the next two and final movies in the series.

I feel what will happen for Movie 7a is that a lot of the significant detail that was missing from the previous movies will be added and fleshed out. And Movie 7b will pretty much be the fight to the finish. I think it was a good decision on Paramount's part to split the last book into two movies because of the tremendous amount of detail that shows up in the book. Not only will this finally satisfy the book lovers, but Paramount will milk this francise for what it's worth (no cynasim, really!)

I give this 3.5 out of 5.