countdown

Maddy in her cozy bag jacket

The day that Madison was born was obviously a day that completely changed our lives forever. There aren’t going to be very many life changing events like that one, but I’d have to say that Sunday is going to be pretty close. In just a few days, we’re moving to Calgary. (Cue all the comments about the cold weather here…) Yes, we know that Vancouver is rated the top city in the world to live in once again. It’s not like we don’t love it here, and we certainly didn’t expect that we’d be leaving our families and pretty much everyone we know to move to another province… Especially so soon after our baby was born!

But sometimes an opportunity comes up that you just can’t say no to.

It’s scary, for sure. We only know a couple of people in Calgary. We’re leaving our families and our friends, our support network. We’re leaving our hockey teams. It’s sad, too. I don’t think we’ve ever felt so close to our families as we have since Maddy was born. It’s like she has brought everyone together. She’s the first grandchild for any of our parents, so obviously the news that we are moving away was not met with a lot of joy. I know it will be hard for them to be away from her now that everyone has fallen in love with the little miss, despite her sometimes difficult disposition. She’s just so damn cute. One smile or gentle touch from her washes away all memories of the massive meltdown she may have just had.

I booked our flight to Calgary earlier this week and I just about had a heart attack when I clicked the “one-way” option instead of “round trip”.This week has been all about counting down. Our last weekend in the house, when we had a little going away party. The last Mom and Baby group on Monday. Our last Wednesday in this house. Murray’s last day in the office on Thursday. Our last Huskies hockey game on Friday night.

I talked to my mom about this yesterday, how this week is all about “lasts”. As you’d expect, poor Lola has been dreading the day that we move since her little granddaughter won’t be coming for her weekly visits anymore. So what she said really amazed me. She said “But next week will be all about firsts.”

I’d never thought of it that way since recently we’d really been focusing on all the things we’d be leaving. I guess it brought some perspective back to us – it reminded us again of why we decided to go. Yes, it will be really hard to leave our families and our friends, but we’ve got an exciting new start in Calgary. We have a great opportunity for our family with Murray’s new position and we believe it will be the best thing for us in the long run.

So – here’s to all the “firsts” that we’ll be experiencing. All of our “lasts” will stay with us, of course, but just like we created a new life with miss Maddy, we’re going to create new memories as a family in our new home.

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resolve

For the most part, Madison sleeps pretty well at night. Yes, she’s had her bouts of trying to kill us by reverting back to multiple night wakings, but usually she goes to bed at around 8PM, wakes up once around 4 or 5AM for a feeding, then wakes up happy and cooing at 8AM sharp. It’s the naptimes that suck.

I’ve been reading a lot. Like, more than I did in university. I’ve read tons of articles online, and am now on book #3 on establishing good sleep habits. (I’ll try to write some more baby book reviews at a later date.) I’ve read the No-Cry Sleep Solution, and although I think it has some good points, I just don’t think it’s going to work for our Maddy. The Baby Whisperer seems like a better fit for us, and I’m now reading Baby and Toddler Sleep Solutions for Dummies. I have also enlisted the help and advice of other moms (and dads) via Facebook to see what their experiences have been like. Much to my disappointment, it seems that pretty much everyone has had to endure some amount of crying in order to get their babies to nap.

Yesterday was Day 1 of my experiment. It didn’t go very well. She woke up at about her usual time, and by 2PM she had napped for only 20 minutes. I had put her in her downstairs bassinet with a pacifier and told her to have a nice nap, then had been going back in increasing longer increments to try to soothe her, then leave her again. As expected, she wailed and wailed. At noon, after an hour of crying, I decided it was time to just put her in her carseat and take her for a drive. For me, an hour is the max I’m really prepared to let her cry for. I may change my mind later on, but for now that’s my limit. I just don’t think it’s right to let her go longer than that at this point. So, we took a drive and she quieted down, and I assumed she had fallen asleep. No such luck. She was awake when we got back home, so away we went again for another drive. This time she fell asleep, but only for 20 minutes, enough time for me to have most of my lunch. Even though she was crying, I decided to finish my meal. I changed and fed her, and predictably was falling asleep as I nursed her. Back in the carseat she went after eating, and this time she managed to sleep for almost 2 hours. In the evening, it was the same story, though, with her refusing to nap at around 6 and electing to scream instead. She was exhausted at 7, but we kept her up for another 45 minutes so she would have her usual bedtime. I was stressed to the max worrying that she would sleep terribly at night because she hadn’t had adequate sleep during the day.

It was a long and frustrating day for both of us. I managed to keep it together (barely) during the day, but fell apart as soon as Murray came home. I guess I just needed to vent my frustration and disappointment that I had been bottling up all day. I’m sure most new parents are reduced to tears periodically, but honestly it sucks. I do my absolute best for my Madison, but she is one tough customer. I have to keep my resolve that this will have to be done at some point, and the longer we wait, the worse it will be, so I have to just gut it out.

There is one passage in the book I’m currently reading that I need to highlight and remember. It has to do with “setting limits with love” and giving her the chance to adapt to new expectations.

Of course, you’re biologically wired to react to those piteous shrieks, so you need to recognize this situation as a chance for your angel to learn. You’re not just being tough, you’re being wise.

So – I write this post as Maddy is upstairs learning that she has to have an afternoon nap, and I’m learning that closing the door and doing something for myself is good for both of us in the long run.

Right?

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