I have just sent Harry Potter off to school. I don’t know who’s more excited about this costume, the boy, HRH, or myself.
Oh, heck. We know it’s the boy.
HRH built that broom and wand from scraps of wood in his school workshop. Here’s a better photo:
I made the robes from scratch; I think the material cost me all of $15 (yay for the bargain shelves at the fabric store). We bought the glasses, but that’s the only thing we purchased for the outfit. The crest is an iron-on transfer we printed out from an Internet image. If we’d had time we would have made the gloves and shinpads, too.
(Personally, I think the argyle socks make the outfit.)
This was so much fun. There is, alas, a no brooms-no wands policy in effect at school (no accessories of any kind, it’s a safety thing) which was very upsetting to the boy, because he desperately wanted to show them off (and I cannot blame him, because just look at how awesomely cool they are!). So we did a photo shoot this morning and printed out a couple of the pictures for him to take to school to share instead.
The school is doing their annual costumed Halloween walk just before lunch today, a police-accompanied neighbourhood tour that allows the kids to show off their costumes to the other kids and get some fresh air before they settle down to an afternoon of parties and haunted house activities the older grades put together for the younger kids.
There will be more pictures taken tonight, of course. I hear a very tiny superhero will be making an appearance…
I think Owlet gained a pound overnight on Tuesday. Suddenly she’s super heavy, and has filled out. I swear she wasn’t like that on Monday. (No idea what her actual weight is, but I’m willing to bet it’s about a half-pound more than her last weigh-in two weeks ago.) And she’s fitting her 0-3 mos sleepers perfectly, from shoulders to toes, no extra room. It’s obviously time to start sorting through the 3-6 mos box.
It’s like someone flipped a switch this past week. Daytime sleep is starting to settle down. I can get at least two naps of varying length out of her per day, either in the mei tei (which reminds me, we still don’t have a picture of that in action) or the swing, or, if I am very lucky, the basket in her crib. Her nursing has suddenly changed and become much more efficient, thank goodness. She’s better at being on her own in the swing for a bit, or in her basket looking up at the new pompom bug mobile we made for her, while I make bread or switch laundry. We put her in a bounce chair with dangly toys for the first time this week, and it was a great success. And oh, the smiles we’re getting! Dinner is such a social time for her; sometimes we can get away with putting her in the swing next to the table while we eat like we used to, but increasingly she wants to be up at the table in someone’s lap to watch everyone eat.
Owlet’s beginning to converse — not just random noise, but trading dialogue. It’s fun, especially when she smiles. What’s freaky is that she’s got this one “awl!” sound she makes. She did it on the changing table one day a couple of weeks ago, under her owl mobile, and I said, “Yes, owls,” and went on chatting to her. She makes it mostly while looking at that mobile, and it’s either coincidence or random repetition of the sounds we make when we point them out to her, but it really sound like she’s saying “owl” and it amuses us. She said “awl” to HRH last week, so he carried her into her room and put her on the changing table. She made a pleased little squawk and lay quite happily there for about ten minutes, watching the owls on the mobile move in the air. Spooky.
Sidebar: Why did we make our two mobiles? Well, I am less than thrilled with about 99% of commercial mobiles. They’re outlandishly expensive, not very attractive, have music that drive me nuts, and worst of all, most of them have dangly things designed to be looked at from the parents’ point of view. All the baby sees are bottoms or tummies of the critters. We’ve threaded the bugs upside down and the owls on an angle, so the baby sees the tops and faces. (I won’t say no if we find our missing simple-quiet-and-charming, no-longer-obtainable Peter Rabbit mobile, though.) And on top of all that, it involved the family in doing something creative to share with her. Not that anyone in this family needs help coming up with creative, crafty things!
Also noted: Everyone talks to babies when you’re out shopping. Everyone.
This past weekend Sparky and I were off at cello and HRH had Owlet alone, who was rapidly losing patience in the last half-hour before we got back. She saw a photo of me on the fridge and involuntarily lifted her arms towards it. HRH held her there for a bit while she stared at it, then tried to carry her off to look at other things but she fussed, so he took her back. I think we’ll print out large photos of her family members and put them in a binder or something for her to look at.
Finally, the poor girl is starting her first cold. Lots of sneezes, and snuffly noises when she nurses at night. They can’t grow up in bubbles, after all.
And here’s another carseat/handknits picture for comparison:
- dropped HRH off at work
- stopped by the pharmacy
- napped for two hours in the car seat, then ate
- went to the bookstore (a first for Owlet), ate
- picked up our mei tei with the hiboux on it
- went to the library (another first; I am set for new reading for a while)
- napped in the car seat again, ate
- met the boy at the bus stop with the new mei tei in operation, and we love it
- picked HRH up at work
And during those naps, I got two and a half loads of laundry done, one load folded and put away, cleaned out the fridge, baked bread, and did some spinning for the first time in ages, because I was waiting for her to wake up. I also had two meals, which was two more than I’d had a day or so ago by that time. The day wasn’t without its obstacles: there was a meltdown in a toy shop after glancing at a wall of Lamaze toys (fixed by sitting outside on a damp bench, cuddling and rubbing her back till she dozed) and another in the line at the bookstore. But we got through them without resorting to nursing, which I consider a huge stride forward.
Let me tell you, we were overdue for a fantastic day after several less than stellar ones. If Owlet naps, things are pretty much okay. If she doesn’t nap, then she doesn’t eat properly, and everything is a downward spiral of shrieking and doom. On those days I can’t put her down; she’ll doze in my arms but nowhere else, and she’ll snack on and off all day but never have a proper fill-the-tummy-tank meal.
I think part of the key is going out in the car. She fusses at getting into the car seat, but passes out pretty quickly if she’s already tired. And once she’s asleep in the car seat I don’t take her out, because goodness knows she desperately needs her sleep, and taking her out wakes her up and she won’t fall asleep again. And it’s good for me to get out, too.
I suspect she’s going through a developmental thing. Her physical digestive system seems to have settled, thank goodness; this seems cognitive, like she’s hit a new level and needs to work things out. Visual stimulation suddenly seems to be overwhelming for her; the high-contrast busy stuff babies usually enjoy looking at makes her cry. There’s a lot of comfort nursing happening.
This week her social insurance card and her Medicare card arrived in the mail, as did the provincial confirmation that she’s been formally added to our government family allowance payment, complete with retroactive funds. Now we’re just waiting for the federal allowance to be calculated.
I am not sure where the past two months have gone. My crumpled newborn has turned into an actual baby, and it sounds clichéd, but there are mornings where I wake up and look at her and think that she looks like a wholly different baby than I fell asleep with the night before. Her face has changed so much. It’s rounded out; her chin is now less pointy and more oval, and her cheeks have filled out even more. I’ve taken the newborn diapers and clothes out of rotation, and if tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment doesn’t show her to be well over nine pounds I’ll… well, I don’t know what I’ll do, because she’s longer and heavier and has more flesh on her twiglike bones. The CLSC finally gave up on us last check-in, saying that if the doctor was fine with the slow weight gain then we could stop going in every week so the CLSC could track us. I’m so relieved. It was stressful, going in every week and answering all the same questions, and undergoing all sorts of grilling and analysis over and over. She’s just a small baby. She’s thriving in every other way. [5 Oct: Nine pounds six ounces, thank you very much, or 21 g per day, and the pediatrician is very pleased with her exam. Take that, CLSC!] The doctor was particularly impressed with Owlet’s ability to prop herself up on her elbows and look around while on her tummy, holding the position for a really long time.
Things are settling down more and more. The shrieking for an hour to an hour and a half before passing gas or a bowel movement has vanished, thank gods. Napping still evades us, however. She spends a lot of naptime dozing in my arms, waking up and yowling if I put her down in her basket. I will also be pleased when she starts going more than sixty to ninety minutes between feedings, which each last between half an hour and forty-five minutes.
Her smiles are even more frequent now. Cooing and the baby version of conversation have also made an appearance, which is always good for hilarity. She likes pulling herself up on her feet and balancing on someone’s lap, clinging to their fingers, looking around then lowering herself back down. She adores the owl mobile the boy and I made for her; she lies on the changing table and coos at it with huge smiles, and will do so for a good twenty minutes so long as you poke it to make it move every time it comes to a halt. Last week she watched her brother eat an apple with the sort of intensity that suggests to me that we’ll be starting solids sooner rather than later; she also lifts her hand while staring at people eating with forks, unconsciously making the same sort of lifting motion, and stares intently at them while they chew.
Last week’s drama involved a letter from the civil registry telling me that her registration was on hold until I supplied information missing from my application, like immigration papers, both sides of my citizenship papers, my certificate of birth, and my certificate of marriage. This completely mystified me, since I was born in this country. I don’t mind admitting it freaked me out a bit, too, as I envisioned kilometers of red tape holding up health insurance card, social insurance number, and much-needed family allowance increases. I called the next morning and left a detailed message with the person in charge of my case, who was out of her office for the day. She called me back the next day and explained that my birthdate on the paper I’d filled in didn’t match the birthdate the doctor had entered on the hospitals’ sheet. (This wasn’t an issue last time; the form has changed, and whereas last time I filled in all the info like my social insurance number and Medicare number and so forth, now the hospital does half the work.) I confirmed the birthdate on my form was the correct one, she compared it to my health insurance file, and said that everything was fine, the doctor had miswritten a single digit, and she’d process the case right away. Why they didn’t double-check against my health insurance number in the first place is beyond me. On top of that, she said it looked like she’d sent me the wrong letter in error. (You think?) So today I got a letter of confirmation saying that the Owlet is an Official Person, and all the associated departments both federal and provincial have been notified, so her social insurance number, her Medicare, our family allowance cheques, and all the other credits that get recalculated because we now have another person in our family can finally go ahead as they ought to.
With the completion of the attic office (did I mention that? HRH finished the attic and it is spectacular; photos at one point) Bria now has her own room, which has made a huge difference in the energy of the house. We have somewhere quiet to go, somewhere to centralise all her stuff; she has her very own space, and it’s a huge relief. My mum came down for a week to help out while HRH and I went into overdrive on finishing the attic, moving my office upstairs, and making up Owlet’s room. We had a few people over yesterday to celebrate the attic being finished, and Owlet behaved charmingly, trading quiet and alert periods with nursing breaks.
Owlet with her owlet:
What? You want another photo of Owlet with her owlet?
One of the rare moments of daytime sleep:
Laughing babies are good for the soul:
Being a sibling is Serious Business:
But also fun: