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Note: This blog is no longer active but please enjoy Chester's journey from 3 months to 2+ years.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, November 30

Happy 7 months!

Can you believe it's been a month already?  Happy birthday to little C who turned 7 months today.  As per tradition, these were taken this morning when he finally decided to awaken from his slumber WELL after 9 am!

Milestones this month include him starting to talk.  Well not really talk.  More like random jabber.  Although he does say something that sounds suspiciously like "Dada" over and over which I'm not exactly thrilled with.  lol... Other neat things:
FU toys.  Remote = Win!  I think we watch too much TV.
He's started to sit up.  Not really on his own though and certainly not unassisted, although I think he's past the Bumbo stage.

Rockin' the Saturday Night Fever split.
He's gone from the sink to the big boy tub.



He's enjoying his toys, kicking his feet, and splashing around now that he has some space.

He's begun to eat.  He seems to even like it now.  He's digging peas, pears and sweet potatoes.


He's starting to enjoy water quite a bit.  I'm going to try the sippy cup now that he seems to have mastered the bottle.

 Lastly, he's been crying a lot in the last few weeks and he hasn't been nursing well at all.   It's non-stop crying/whining/freak-outs all day, which is a little OTT after dealing with it for days on end.
We suspected teething since it's been going on for MONTHS on end with no teeth in sight.  But finally, we noticed the appearance of two little front teeth on his bottom gums tonight.  They haven't broken through but you can clearly see their outline.  Uh oh.  Does that mean they're going to break through any day?  They weren't there last week. Looking forward to all the new things that will happen in the next month.  We'll be right in the thick of holiday season.  Chester's first Xmas and our first as a family!  So much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 29

Bumper Stumpers

Chester loves his crib.



He especially enjoys wreaking havoc in it.


After all, there are no small challenges.  Only small people.



Whether it be trying to push a loved toy to plummet to an unfortunate demise:



With gleeful abandon and not a stitch of remorse...




No toy is safe.



Then of course there was countless attempts at The Breakout of 2010.




Between bonking his head ever single day, throwing binkies and lovies through the slats and hooking his feet through the bars when he's asleep, the crib bars have been an endless battle of fetch, not to mention hazardous.  This kid shows no signs of slowing down.



So after so many shenanigans, enough was enough.  We brought in some breathable bumpers.



They're pretty thin but at least they're safe.  And better than nothing.



So what did the kid go and do?  He took one look at them and yanked them down.  Ho hum.  Old hat.  Then he proceeded to bonk himself in the noggin.  Sigh.  That kid shows real talent.

Sunday, November 28

Chester's Movember

Every hipster doofus on Facebook seems to be sporting a moustache this month for Movember.  Might as well start our guy early.  Since facial hair is hard to come by still, this special 'stache comes to you via prunes.  Wasn't thrilled with them on the first day but on the second, he was eating better than he ever has.  So far peas and prunes are a hit.  Everything else is blech.

r
Chester added the goatee no charge.  You're welcome.



Clamping his mouth shut for the spoon's arrival.  This is in fact, the only time in known history (when Chester  isn't sleeping) that his mouth is closed.

Tuesday, November 23

Screw you Liz Pantley

Ok, so I hate this stupid No cry nap solution book. Worst. Advice. Ever.

Don't buy it.

Monday, November 22

Jive Talking

I've always said that if Chester's first words were Daddy instead of Mommy he'd be gettin all his grub from Daddy's boobies from therein. Well what did the little stinker go and do last night? He said DA-DA! Tim seems to think he's just talking gibberish but I'm skeptical. Hey kid, can you say "F-O-R-M-U-L-A?"  What do YOU think?

video

Saturday, November 20

Spin spin sugar...

My mom was commenting on the dexterity displayed by Chester when he's spinning his little salamander globe on his jumper. I did talk about it in a previous post but I only included a picture. I'm posting a couple little videos. Thank my mom for that. =)


video

A good display of fine motor skills in this one. My mom was duly impressed.

video

Friday, November 19

Funky Food Guide

No crib nap today.  Chester wouldn't make it a hat trick.  Little stinker.  Instead, I thought I'd recap his recent foray into food with this little pictorial.  We already tried pears, then peas.  This is his next two on the list.  Carrots and bananas.

Carrots were definitely not a fave.  They do show up nicely on camera though.  Maybe he's an autumn?












My fave pic.

He is starting to enjoy water.  At least there's that...

Next up was bananas.  I think after he got over his initial gagging and shuddering, he actually enjoyed them.  Although he wouldn't let on of course.  That would show weakness. 

"Bananas are gross...yet I'm going to suck every last drop off my fingers."

Never knew bananas were such a pretty lipgloss shade until now.  lol...

So little.  Let's see if he looks any bigger in a month.

Thursday, November 18

Two times lucky

His monkey friend.  It's like looking into a mirror, no?

Day Two of Operation Crib Nap went pretty good.  I think I overreached when I tried to get him down for a nap in the morning.  He was kinda whiney so I thought, 'why not give it a shot?' Instead all he did was play with his toys.  One thing that was super amazing?  He actually changed the music on his mobile himself!  The sleepy music we use to get him to drift off to sleep he changed to a more upbeat tune.  My jaw dropped when he did it.  Clever kid.  He actually did it twice - the first time he hit the fourth (lowest button) and the second time, he hit the second button - an even more upbeat tune.  At that point I decided to give up on trying for Nap #1.  I'm just going to keep in mind that this is all about baby steps.  We gotta learn to walk before we run.  I need to perfect Nap 2 before trying for the second!  (I do think the afternoon nap is more important than the first, hence why I'm giving it #1 priority.)  I actually don't mind if he has his first nap in the front room for now.  When I start my job again, I can just duck into the office and get some work done.  The funny thing was as soon as I took him out of the crib and sat him on my lap, he became instantly whiney (tired) again, so I sat him in his little chair and after a few minutes of rocking him, he was out like a light.  He only slept from 11:54 to 12:30 but that's probably because of the tappy tapping of keys. 


Not digging the boring music mum.  Let's put something FUN on the jukebox!

After having such a disappointing nap attempt I wasn't holding out much hope for my afternoon try but it actually worked out pretty well.  Chester was extremely grouchy.  He wouldn't even eat properly.  What I did was end my feeding early, take a break, have a sandwich, let him jump out his aggression on the bouncer, and just when he seemed to get a little tired, I did a fast nursing, changed him and put him down in his crib.  (I'm trying to get him to sleep as close to nursing as possible as I don't want to have a five hour gap between feedings like I did yesterday.)  I closed the curtains, shut off the overhead lights and got one of his favourite binkies.  (He's really enjoying the Bjorn Free's lately.)  I got him the same little bear and I sat beside his crib, reading.  It took him a little longer to settle today.  I brought him in around 2:20 pm and left the room at 2:40.  He was still madly sucking away, so not completely asleep.  And yes, he had his feet through the crib again, but not as far out as the day before.  The results?  He slept until 5:05!  He was pretty grumpy when he woke up though.  He screamed his head off the second he gained consciousness I think.  This is how I found him when I walked into the room post nap, pillow marks n' all.


Note the poor bear's head shoved through the crib bars.

I think he might have actually stayed down longer had I not started making clinking noises while I emptied the dishwasher.  I actually snuck in an hour nap myself.  I'm just getting comfortable with him by himself in the crib in the afternoon so it will take me a bit to relax and maybe enjoy a longer snooze.  Going for the hat trick tomorrow.  Hoping that this isn't just a fluke.

Wednesday, November 17

Eureka!

Sleeping sitting up.  His way of protesting quiet time.



Chester has always been a little stinker when it comes to naps.  He refuses to take them, plain and simple.  Considering most babies sleep for 16 hours a day, more if they are a newborn, it's shocking how little he sleeps.  Especially when it comes to how much of a fuss he kicks up when I try to put him down for a nap.  For the last six months he's been pretty much been nap free except for when he's nursing.  Then he'll conk right out, thus ruining his feeding as well as frustrating the hell out of me when I sit for 20 extra minutes (on top of the 30 minutes a side), waiting for him to fall into deep sleep to move him.  This always resulted in him waking up.  In the first few months, he was absolutely indignant that I had the NERVE to try and move him.  He'd look around, clock his new surroundings and holler bloody murder.  Sheesh.  Nowadays he just wakes up, looks at me and smiles.  But I did notice something new happening in the last few weeks.  Two weeks ago he actually started having a couple of naps here and there.  I saw the cues - the whiney crying, the rubbing of eyes and I'd scoop him up and put him in his swing with a pacifier.  Not only did he not wriggle and protest like he normally does when I try to place him in his swing, he greedily accepted his pacifier, closed his eyes and fell right to sleep!

Last week was even better - despite stupid Daylight Savings Time switching back to Standard (which totally kicked my ass every single day when I would wake up at 6 or 7 am) he slept almost every day for at least one nap.  A couple of those days he even had two solid naps!  I was told at around six months he would start to fall into more regular patterns.  Is he actually doing things normal kids do?  Is that really possible??

The one problem is I'm still not able to do much during those rare naps.  Heaven forbid I try to make anything to eat.  Typing makes him thrash and wake up, pissed off.  Even quiet mouse clicking is intolerable.  Enough!  I really needed him to go in his crib.  The world needs to start turning again because dammit, mama has things to do.  I did try him once last week in his crib.  He slept for about 40 minutes.  Not enough for a restful sleep apparently.  My mistake was leaving his little lamp on so he wasn't in full darkness.  I was terrified that the click would wake him up!

Desperate I bought a book my naturopath recommended, The No Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley which arrived yesterday.  I haven't read it yet but I started to leaf through it today while he was nursing.  The turning of the pages would make him buck off and swat at it though so I had to stop.  Sigh.  When he started getting a little whiney today while he was already in his swing with a pacifier, I thought I'd try something different.  I changed him, put him in his crib and got a cute little teddy bear from his basket of new baby shower toys.  I gave him a pacifier and the new toy, flicked on the mobile with the same song he uses to go to bed at night, and sat there with the lights on and read while he fiddled with his new bear.  After a couple minutes I turned all the lights off except that one lamp and within about 10 minutes, he was fast asleep.  I then turned off the lamp and sat there for a few more minutes before leaving the room.  The one bad thing was his feet were sticking through the bars of the crib!  It was probably his way of foiling  me, thinking that I wouldn't leave without moving and thus waking him.  Wrong again kid.  I left him like that.  Houdini knows how to get his feet out.  What??  Do I look new little man?  I closed the door at 3:09 pm.  He began to stir at 5:38 and woke up at 5:46!  More than two and a half hours!  What a great nap!  (Wondering how long TOO long a nap is though?)

Fresh from his FIRST ever long nap in his crib.  Yippee!


Talk about progress right?  I haven't even begun to read the book but it's already helping.  haha.  I'm hoping to make this a daily ritual.  I know it might not work every day, but I'm going to try to at least get him in the habit.  I just have to decide on establishing a time.  I'm going to try for one nap a day in the crib.  And if I dare to dream big - even two.  He actually had a short one hour nap this morning but out in the living room in his rocker, and again, not what the experts consider restorative sleep.  I was very curious to see if it affected his ability to go to sleep tonight.  We can never get him to bed before 10 pm - usually it's closer to 11, but tonight we got him in his crib by his normal time.  (The first time in a couple of weeks actually.)  He did his usual crying jag when we left the room, but fell asleep about 10 to 15 minutes later.  I`ll take that.  Let's see what time he wakes up tomorrow and start it all over again.

Tuesday, November 16

Down in the dumps

Not sure if it's the weather change or being cooped up in the house but I'm feeling a little blah lately.  Four people I know got promoted in the last couple weeks and while three of them are amazing and very deserving, the other, who is someone I worked with in the past, is totally lazy, clueless and conniving.  And here they are just moving up, up and up in their career!  I know I am where I want to be, which is at home with my son, but I think it's normal for any new mom to feel like life is passing them by a little.  I also think it's ok to allow yourself to feel bad every once in awhile.  Unfortunately, this is one of these times.  Hopefully it will pass soon.

Flashing the cute so as not to get in trouble with the momz...
Moving on from my silly pity party, something really scary happened this morning with Chester.  My first real fright as a mom - immediate and visceral.  I put him in his Bumbo to play with his musical bus while I did some stuff on the computer and I heard him let out a whiney cry.  He usually does this when he rolls his bus out of reach, which is my cue to roll it back to him.  It's like fetch, except I'm the dog and the bone is his toy.  Anyway, did I ever get the scare of my life when I turned around to find him lying on the floor, flat on his back, staring up at me!  I had no idea if he hit his head but he seemed ok.

Watching him recreate his escape.


I know you're supposed to say "uh oh" when your little one hurts himself but I got really upset and burst into tears.  He seemed ok though - no crying.  He even smiled and giggled when I picked him up.  I guess he feeds off his mother's tears!  I am not sure how he got out of his little chair, but he didn't earn the name Houdini for nothing.  Not the nicest posting but hey - they can't always be highlights.  Sometimes you need to throw in the lowlights as well.  That's real life n' all.


Sunday, November 14

Peas and Thank You

The pears were a little sour so after four days, we switched to peas.  He seems to have been tolerating it a little better than the sweet stuff.  But today was a breakthrough.  Maybe it was the introduction to his new high chair.  Or it could have been having an audience on hand.  Either way, this was the first day he actually opened his mouth when he saw the spoon coming his way.


Look how little he is in his new chair.

Hmm...is it time to eat?

Yum! 


Taking it like a champ.


Still trying for the Oscar...



Check out the video of the little man in action. Pretty damn cool.

video

Thursday, November 11

We Remember


This morning before his first feeding, Chester was sitting on his daddy's lap and I showed him a picture of Tim's grandfather.  He was in the first wave that landed in France on D Day and was awarded the Military Cross for action in Normandy on June 28, 1944.  While my mother's ancestors were killed by the Japanese and my father's by the Germans, Tim's grandfather fought for the hard won freedom we enjoy today.  In 1976 he also had the honour of meeting The Queen who actually stopped to talk to him amongst the rows and rows of  assembled veterans.


Queen Elizabeth II at CFB Chatham on July 16, 1976.

He passed away one day after Tim's birthday in 2009 and is greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known and loved him.  I only met Tim's grampy a few short years before he died but am the better for knowing him.  I didn't have too many opportunities to spend time with Len but I do remember him stealing me away for a tour of his retirement home one snowy day.  He showed me everything from the movie theater to his parking space in the garage.  Out of all the stops we made, the highlight was the library where he paused to show me a book about the residents and proceeded to give me the lowdown on every single "girl" in the building.  He cared about everyone.  We were gone so long that Tim was starting to wonder what happened to us.  Tim was also a little envious that he never received an extended tour.

I'm sad Chester never got the privilege of meeting his great grandfather but I've always felt that Len and his dear wife Edna have been watching over and taking good care of us.  I've also had the strange feeling they played a part in the miracle that is Chester.  Being a little older, and having endometriosis since I was in my early twenties, I didn't hold out much hope for being able to have a child.  I picture Len up there, charming the ladies and getting in the good graces of the Commander in Chief himself - maybe having a beer after an evening of great conversation, throwing an arm around his shoulder and asking for a wee favour for his dear grandson and his little lady.  We are greatly honoured to have him live on in our son.