Chester

Chester
Chester at 5:30 am on his 3 month birthday!

The Chester Diaries: Celebrating the feast and famine known as new motherhood.

Welcome to my blog! My name is Lara and I gave birth in April, 2010 to a baby boy. I've been calling him "Chester" since he was a little chestnut in my tummy. To commemorate his three month birthday, I wanted to write about the crazy, joyous and exhausting ride I've been having as a first-time mom. If you're interested in reading about the highs and lows of uncharted mommy territory as well as my unhealthy obsession with shopping, (particularly baby gear), reviews, and pop culture observations, then you've come to the right place. Be warned: This cute kid has a mommy who can be a bit of a potty mouth.

Note: This blog is no longer active but please enjoy Chester's journey from 3 months to 2+ years.


Tuesday, August 31

Vocalizing!

Chester started making some high pitched squeaking noises late last night.  I noticed his little cousin Riley making the same type of really loud squeals too when she came to visit at 7 months old.  I hoped he wouldn't make such ear splitting sounds but it looks like he's headed that way.

I also noticed something pretty amazing today when I set him down in his crib after changing him.  He seems to be mimicking the sounds from his mobile, particularly the bird sounds.  You be the judge:

video

Monday, August 30

4 months!

Happy birthday to my little boy who turns 4 months old today.  It's also my blog's one month anniversary!  I suppose at some point I'll share it with people other than myself and Tim, but for now it's nice just to have a record of events!

We've had an amazing month.  Chester regularly smiled before this, but now he is laughing all the time.  I thought smiles were sweet, but his laughs are on another level.  This month he also started really interacting with his environment.  Playing with his toys, trying to grab his mobile, and even reaching out to Tim when he goes to get him in the crib.  He doesn't do this with me.  Maybe he's had enough of me after being in such close proximity to boobs all day!

Chester still isn't regularly sleeping during the day, but he is a very good sleeper at night.  We've been lucky this way as he usually sleeps through, occasionally waking up a little early.  He's a pretty happy kid.  This whole month he's pretty much had his fingers in his mouth CONSTANTLY.  The drool is unreal.  I don't think he's teething yet though.  I just chalk it up to general, run-of-the-mill slobbering.

I can't wait to see what adventures this next month holds!

Friday, August 27

Chester's funny bone...

Apparently it's in his neck.

video

He spit up and I was wiping it off his neck...made this all important discovery.  haha!  Very cute!

Tuesday, August 24

The Thinkers.

Chester's grampy says he always looks so serious.  I'm thinking he's also got some Stewie from the Family Guy in him too...

Sunday, August 22

Weekly roundup

One of the most wonderful things about staying at home is I get to see Chester's daily developments.  There were a lot this week.  This is the first week he really started playing with his toys.

In his rocker, he'd really bat stuff around.


When he got in his swing, he would stare up at the mobile, expectantly waiting for it to turn.
With his stroller frog, he got very good at punching the frog's eyes to make the music turn on.  And even cooler, Tim said yesterday Chester was trying to hit the frog below the eye.  Once he figured it out and moved up a little bit, he just held his hand down and let the music play over and over.  Ok, cool to start.  That might get a little annoying!
One of the biggest things is not only his ability to grasp, but to understand that he's able to grab things.  (See previous purple nurple post!)


Last but not least, he's starting to really be able to roll onto his stomach on his own.

A truly remarkable week!

Tuesday, August 17

Sleeping with a new man




They say it gets easier at the three month mark and for the most part, "they" are right.  However, there are still days where it feels like I'm back to the first few weeks.  Non-stop screaming, fussing, tantrums, where Chester wakes up, won't sleep, and is angry all day.

Today was one of those days and it hasn't gotten easier to cope.  He woke up at 8 am screaming. Not sure the reason.  Babies apparently just do that for no rhyme or reason.  lol...  I changed him for what felt like, a bazillion times.  Again, something that I haven't had to do for a month or so.  By 4 pm, I was EXHAUSTED.  Usually I haven't required a nap.  And when I am tired, I can't sleep anyway as I'm so anxious about a lot of things right now.  Today though, I could hardly keep my eyes open.  I thought I'd try something different so I scooped a yowling Chester up and brought him into the bed with me.  I propped up the pillows on Tim's side like a fort, and put him down in the middle.  I know a lot of people say it's bad to sleep with a baby, but I am not worried.  I am a very light sleeper, and I don't move.  Chester was pretty wriggly when I put him in the bed.  I had to put him a little lower so his windmilling fists wouldn't punch me in the face.  He wouldn't go to sleep so I got his pacifier, grabbed his A+A blankie and he started to quiet down.  I passed out and I guess he did too.  I woke up two hours later, still in the same exact spot I had fallen asleep in, flat on my back at the very edge of the bed, and Chester was still asleep but woke up when I started stirring.  It was lovely to wake up with my little man.  And such a treat.  I always wish that Tim would wake up with me, but he seldom does as he goes to bed so late.  Now I have a new little man to wake up with.  =)

Peep, Quack and Chirp.

Tonight was a big giggle-fest for Chester.  It was the first time he laughed continuously for five, maybe ten minutes.  Daddy was bouncing him on his knee while mommy sang goofy songs.  I also made a song out of "There's nothing better than a duck."  My favourite phrase that Quack likes to say on the show, Peep and the Big Wide world.

I actually made a video recording of it so Tim could see him laughing since he only ever sees the back of his head when the giggles take hold.  It was pretty damn cute.  When Tim handed him back to me after his laughfest, he was still in the mood to play.

The cobra gets ready to strike.  (Missed the shot of a fistful of fingers in my mouth)
Not understanding why I'm not loving grubby fingers in my mouth.

Sunday, August 15

May the Force be With You.

Chester sounding suspiciously like R2D2...

video

Fun with WoW

One of the things that comes with parenthood is sacrifice.  Not getting to watch True Blood if your son is asleep in his swing is one of them.  (Hail the PVR!)  I went to read in the bedroom but wound up taking a very short catnap while Chester slept. He didn't sleep very long and I got treated to a little visit in the bedroom by my two favourite men.  Chester is a heavy breather, so I heard him before I saw him.  We were playing on the bed - Tim holding him, while I made goofy faces - and Chester let out a big laugh.  Not really a giggle, more like a guffaw.  Sounded like a not so smart donkey.  haha.  I heard Chester giggle a few weeks ago and it was different.  It was the first time Tim heard him laugh, giggle or otherwise, so seeing the look on Tim's face was priceless and sooo precious.  But back to sacrifices...

I quit playing WoW when I found out I was pregnant, and Tim scaled back dramatically.  Tim will still play nowadays but only after the little one goes to sleep for the night, with a little bit on weekends thrown in for good behaviour.  ;)

We took these as a joke.  Certainly not the model for good parenting, to be sure!
Level 1 noob
Learning how to ride on a ZA bear.

Showing off in Dalaran.  Rare Frost Mount FTW.

Saturday, August 14

New developments...

Every weekend I'm going to recap any new developments, big or small, that have happened throughout the week.


Over the past few weeks, Chester has definitely been crazy about gnawing on his hands.  It seems like every time you look at him, his fists are in his mouth where a loud sucking sound can be heard.   It's kinda great, as it's a built in pacifier that you can take anywhere you go!  On the downside, he gets pretty slobbery!  I noticed yesterday that he's taken to sucking on a finger.  Oh boy.  Wait till he discovers the joys of the thumb.  That will be the day!   I'm noticing that Chester has been really enjoying hearing singing.  If I belt out a little ditty, he looks at me shocked for a second, and then beams!  Too cute.
 
The most exciting development is he seems to be getting into more regular sleeping patterns finally.  I noticed last week that he had a nap right after his first feeding - I put him in his crib after changing him, and he'd amuse himself watching the mobile and then conk out.  He also had a nap after his afternoon feeding in his swing.  This happened a couple times last week so it will be interesting to see if this was sheer coincidence.  Two naps a day plus his bedtime, which is now from around 11 pm until 8 or 9 am is pretty good.  We are trying to slowly scale it back to an earlier time every evening but we want to do it gradually.  On Saturday morning he woke up screaming at 8 am, and the night before he had gone to bed at 11 pm.  Not sure what that was about but I suspect he didn't get enough food the day before as he kept falling asleep while eating.  Either way, it's nice, and quite a relief, to look forward to some quiet time - as well as perhaps a few naps here and there for myself?

Friday, August 13

Hiccups

Chester has had hiccups every day.  Even when he was in my tummy.  In fact, he used to hiccup so much - sometimes for an hour, a few times a day, it worried me.


video

Thursday, August 12

An Ideal Man

Today was a super busy day for Chester and I.  My friend Cleo came to visit plus we had a photo session later that evening.  I was concerned about getting the house ready for the shoot not to mention having hair, makeup and wardrobe done!  Thankfully, the planets aligned and my notoriously high-maintenance son was the perfect little boy for the day.  He had a nap after his first feeding, allowing me to tidy the house, get my outfits picked out and do my hair.  He enjoyed his visit with Cleo and her beautiful daughter Layla as one would expect when showered with kisses and hugs.  Cleo found him especially delicious and mentioned eating him more than once.  ha!


Cleo wondered where this screaming baby I talk about all the time was.  He's always perfect for company, then throws an epic fit when we're alone  Sure enough, this photo was taken five minutes after they left. 


I'm getting better at reading Chester's cries.  At first I thought his diaper was bugging him but then I realized the little guy needed a nap.  I put him in his swing, added a pacifier and his favorite monkey blanket and he was out like a light.  That gave me time to get my makeup done.  Now here's the thing...I haven't actually worn a full face of makeup since my baby shower.  And before that, I can't even remember how long.  A year maybe?  The problem with this is twofold.  One:  I have a huge collection of makeup so just trying to figure out what to put on, let alone where I've squirreled it all away, created a huge cosmetic tornado that left my bedroom in shambles.  The second problem, which is much more serious, is that I'm completely out of practice when it comes to application and ended up looking like a ghoul.  Here's where things get stupid.  I applied my makeup for black and white photography, yet I didn't actually ask Leanna, our photographer, if she was doing any black and white. Duh.  The jury's still out as I haven't received any pics yet, but here are some photos Tim took after the shoot. 
Arrgh.  Unflattering, no?  Looks like I got punched in the eyes one too many times...And even my excuse about doing my makeup for black and white won't hold up as the pics look no better.  Ugh.


After realizing how terrible my makeup looked, I'm concerned how my photo shoot is going to turn out.  Leanna is a genius photographer, but she's no magician!  haha...In the meantime, I wiped a bit of makeup off and tried to salvage our own makeshift post-photo shoot shoot!
I wish Chester had been a little more happy taking part in our first professional shoot as I really wanted pictures of the two of us.  Tim hates taking pictures so I have almost none of him and I together.  I have zillions of Tim and Chester though, as I'm not shy about busting out the camera for a photo op!  Tim's response to my grumblings is always the same, "You're always naked and feeding him!"  True.  And I look like shit.

One of the shots I wanted Lee to recreate was a picture taken of me as a baby with my mom. Unfortunately Chester wouldn't stop crying so I don't think we were able to get this shot.  We tried after she left and after fifty takes, this is the best that we got.
He's actually crying in this picture but it looks like he's smiling.  haha...He did smile quite a few times but the delay on the flash made it impossible to catch.  So frustrating!  I can't wait to see Leanna's photos and share them of course! 

Wednesday, August 11

The best years of my life.


Happy 5 year anniversary to my wonderful boyfriend Tim!  Every day has been a joy to spend with you.  And you gave me the best gift a girl could ever have.  A beautiful baby!!!


Here are some pics taken tonight on the roof of our condo to mark the occasion.





Tuesday, August 10

Paranormal Activity...lol

This is what Chester was doing when I tiptoed out to the living room to steal a few minutes to myself this morning.  Two minutes before he was asleep...  Haha.  He seems to know the camera is on him.  Creepy!

Monday, August 9

What a weekend...

Since I am by myself during the week while Tim is at work, I haven't had much time to take care of the ongoing problem that I've been having with my boobs.  When you have a screaming baby who wants food NOW, there's no prep time for hot compresses and massages, nevermind afterwards when your baby won't let you put him down after he's finished feeding.  Either because he's asleep on you, and you don't dare to move lest you wake him, or because he's beside himself because you've just taken him off of his dairy bar after an hour when he thought it was 24 hour, all you can eat.

So this weekend I had the luxury of a little bit of time to do prep work before feedings, and follow-up care.  I can say that all of this extra work did nothing for my boobs at all.  In fact, the one side seems even worse.  Instead of a white dot, the whole nipple has a whitish cast on it.  And when my baby hungrily chomps down on it, it feels like it's being held in place and worked over endlessly by a Singer sewing needle. 

Is there any relief in sight? 

Thursday, August 5

Breastfeeding, Blebs and Bundchen



I've always thought Gisele Bundchen was a butterhead, but now I think she's a bit of a douche as well.  This week the Brazilian bombshell who had a baby in December told Harper's Bazaar UK that there should be a "worldwide law" requiring mothers to "breastfeed their babies for six months."  Said Bundchen, "Some people (in the US) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think, 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?'"  She soon after recanted her statement on her blog, saying "I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge." 

I myself am exclusively breastfeeding, but I wouldn't condemn any mother for how she chooses to nourish her child.  Although I've run into my share of new moms who found breastfeeding "too hard" and gave up after a week or two, I also understand that there are many factors complicating the debate.  And really - if I had to choose between being pregnant and having to breastfeed, I'd choose pregnancy any day of the week.  Take today for example.  I woke up with my boobs throbbing.  I've had my share of crackled, bleeding nipples but this time it's different.  In the past I've put a dab of Polysporin on before bed and the pain goes away after a day or two.  (Did you know that's the best thing for healing?  The vast majority of women swear by Lanisoh to heal nipples.  I say, beware of false gods.  Lanisoh keeps your nipple nice and moist, which is a breeding ground for bacteria - and thus, infection.  This is a little known fact though.  Aren't you glad you visited my site?)   This time around though, the Polysporin isn't working, and after four days, the pain has been getting worse.

Yesterday I got rid of a clogged milk duct in my boob with warm compresses and a very hot shower, but today I'm back to having terrible nipple pain.  I also noticed two strange yellow dots on my nipple.  Desperate, I called the breastfeeding clinic at Women's College Hospital which has an excellent round the clock helpline.  The woman I spoke with, Anita, pinpointed the problem right away.  She said I had crystallized milk on the tip of my nipple, which is like a pimple, except unlike a pimple, it won't go away on its own.  Also known as a milk blister or a bleb, the only remedy is to remove the skin covering the crystallized milk and then squeeze it out like a pimple.  How do you remove the skin?  With a sterile needle apparently.  The thought of committing such atrocities upon myself made me weak and wobbly.  Instead I opted for the chickenshit route:  a warm, slightly rough washcloth which I rubbed until the area was raw.  I then picked off what I could, leaving a large, gaping hole.  After this, I was instructed to use a warm compress and then to immediately nurse.  I don't know how other people feel about this procedure, but the idea of taking a needle to my boob and then having a hungry piranha-baby feast upon your gaping wound?  Well, it's the closest thing I've experienced to torture in my un-Bourne-esque life.  Factor in a screaming baby demanding your undivided attention while you're trying to perform this neck-wrenching procedure and you have a recipe for disaster.

I have no idea if I removed the problem.  The area is so raw it's hard to see anything but redness right now.  I suspect this will be a long, painful process.  I need to "heal" the area enough to be able to see if there's stuff left in there.  And when I do, I'll have to "open it up" once more.  Ugh.  They say motherhood is the hardest job in the world.  And coming from a gal whose seen  her fair share of shitty jobs, I'd say that's an understatement.  But make no mistake, breastfeeding should be put at the top of the "Hard as Fuck" list when it comes to being a mom.

PS.  Gisele is still a douche.

Tuesday, August 3

The best gift of all.

What a difference a few hours can make.

I woke up from a very rare afternoon nap to find my left boob sore and hard.  I have a clogged duct.  My first one since breastfeeding.  I decided to use the pump for the day on the left side all day as my nipple has been killing for about 4 days straight.  The thought of Chester on this boob was too much, so I've been giving him only my right one, for double the time.  I guess the Medela Swing pump doesn't have enough torque, as I woke up feeling terrible.  With a lot of massaging and a shower in the evening, I eventually got rid of it, but the bigger problem of my nipple pain can no longer be ignored.  There is something in my nipple that is causing ducts to become blocked.  This is something I need to call the breastfeeding clinic about tomorrow.

Another amazing milestone tonight.  Despite all the pain I've been having with my boobs, during Chester's evening feeding, when he was done on his first side, he stopped, looked up at me and smiled!  This is the first time he's really looked at me and understood that the boob he was sucking on so greedily was attached to me.  The sweet, open, happy smile was almost like he was saying, "Thank you for feeding me.  I love you!"  And considering all the horrible nipple pain I've had, I couldn't ask for a more wonderful gift.

Giggle burps

I'm always looking forward to milestones, and today was a HUGE one.  This morning when I was changing him, we were going about our usual routine - Chester plays with the blanket, ducking in and out to peek at me.  This time however, he let out the cutest giggle!  I was thunderstruck.  A few days ago I thought I heard a giggle for a  millisecond but then I thought I might have imagined it. This also happened in the past with his first smile, not to mention his first kick while still in my tummy.  This time though, there was no denying it.  And he confirmed it 15 minutes later while he was bouncing on my knee.  I let out a burp and he looked at me, shocked for a moment, and then burst out into another giggle.  When I explained the giggles to my boyfriend Tim when he got home, he made sure to test out the practice by burping NON-STOP for a few hours to try to get him to giggle.  No go though.  And a pretty gross way to spend an evening.  haha!

Another milestone that happened was when I put Chester down to "suit up" for nursing.  This is when I don my robe and strap on my "My Brest Friend" breastfeeding pillow.  Usually he howls from the minute he's waiting until the second he makes contact with the boob.  This time however, I pointed to my pillow and told him he was about to eat.  He stopped crying and smiled!  Not sure if he truly understood or he was having gas.  Either way, two milestones in a day is something!