Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lots of firsts in our house this week

We have had a great week of firsts in our house. Aidan is almost 6 weeks old and he's smiling now!! His first real smiles were on July 24th (Auntie Kathy's birthday), when he smiled a few different times. He now gives us a couple smiles a day. I love it when babies start to smile - those toothless grins are just too cute!! I can't wait till he starts smiling back at us. :)

Kirsi has been doing super well with her potty training the last week also. She's been peeing in the potty when we put her on it for a while now, but this week, she's been telling us when she has to go! She's gone poop in the potty almost every day now and knows to tell us. She loves doing the "poo poo dance" (a silly little dance and song that I made up the first time she did it) and getting stickers for her potty triumphs.

Yesterday was a huge milestone for Kirsi, and one that I hope we can keep up. She fell asleep on her own!!! Her nap time fell at about the same time that Aidan needed to eat so I told her that we had to hurry. We read two stories and then went to her bed to lay down and sing a song. She wasn't settling down at all and I knew Aidan would be crying very soon. So, I told her that she had to be a big girl and go to sleep on her own. I told her to sing to her babies and animals and that they could all have a nap together. I asked her if she wanted to do a tent with them too and she thought about it and said, "Yeah, sure!" She didn't want me to go but she understood that Aidan needed his lunch, just like Kirsi needed hers and that Mommy had to give it to him. Within 15 minutes, she was down. Woo hoo!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Starting a new routine

Thursday, Der went back to work so that meant the start of a new routine for us. Granted, my mom is still here but it's one less set of hands to help out during the day. I'll have a month to get used to it and then my mom goes back home. It's good that I'll have the transition period because it's going to take a lot of getting used to.

With Kirsi, I got a routine established pretty quickly. I knew what I needed to bring with me if we went out and I pretty quick at getting out of the house. But now, with two kids, it's a different story. I'll get one of the kids ready to go (usually Kirsi first) and then the other one, but in the meantime, someone needs something else. A dirty diaper, someone has spit up, a spilled drink, whatever. I have to get the timing down for this new ball game!! :) Right now, I need to anticipate an hour to get out of the house.

Aidan isn't really on a schedule at all. He tends to eat every 3 hours or so but it's not at any set time because his feedings throughout the night aren't the same all the time. And we still have some rough nights where he takes a long time to get back to sleep, which means that I'm super tired in the morning. Thankfully, those nights aren't too often any more.

Kirsi still looks forward to her outings so we try to get out at least once a day. She loves going for walks so that's an easy way to get out of the house. The shopping mall is still a highlight too, so we can always go there for a while and she'll be happy. We got back to going to playgroup on Thursday mornings also so she gets to see her friends then. Now that school has started again, we'll be able to get back to seeing our Nido friends too.

I would like to get into a habit of doing yoga with the kids every day. I did it religiously with Kirsi and we both loved it. I honestly think it helped her so much in her development so I'd like to keep it up with her and start it with Aidan. I'd also like to do it myself. I have my 6-week post-delivery appointment on Monday so I should get the go-ahead to start exercising and getting fit. We have the ellipitical trainer in the living room now (the only place it'll fit!!) so I want to do that at least 3 times a week too. I need to get back into shape - it's been far too long since I felt like I was somewhat fit.

The diet is a little tougher right now because I've had to make quite a few modifications to it to accomodate Aidan - no spices, no chocolate (though that's a good thing for the diet!), no citrus, no gaseous veggies and no sauces or foods with vinegar. It seems like decaf coffee in moderation is OK, thank goodness!! You don't realize how little flavour food has without herbs and spices. I had to do this with Kirsi too, but by the time she was three months old, I was able to slowly reintegrate foods. The only thing that I couldn't eat for a full year was chocolate, not necessarily a bad thing!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One month old!

Aidan is one month old today. Wow! In some ways, it feels like he's been part of our family forever and in other ways it's so hard to believe that he's already a month old. He's getting bigger every day - his little legs are even starting to get a roll. :) His head is getting rounder and his cheeks are filling out, which makes his little dimples easier to see. We go to the doctor on Tuesday for his one-month checkup so we'll know how much he's grown then.

Since we got back from our little trip to Santa Cruz, we've been busy trying to fight off colds. Kirsi was the first to get one and she's still dealing with it. Der is now the one fighting off a nasty cold but he's having trouble sleeping so that isn't helping any at all! Poor little Aidan is also fighting off a cold but hopefully the antibodies from Mommy's milk will keep the worst of it away. So far, I've been able to avoid it but I'm being so anal retentive about keeping clean hands and not getting too close to Der or Kirsi.

We have great news - Der's mom's surgery went very, very well and she's recovering well also. Thank you to everyone who included our family in your thoughts and prayers.

Santa Cruz

On Monday, Mom, Kirsi, Aidan and I headed south to Santa Cruz, a little town a couple hours south of Santiago, for a little getaway. Mom has been to Santiago twice but we haven't really gone to many places so I figured we needed to get her somewhere. When she was here in December and January, we did a day trip to Pomaire and to Vina del Mar, both of which were great. So, this time, I decided to take her to the famous Colchagua Valley with all of its world-class vineyards.

The drive down went pretty well - Aidan slept the whole time and Kirsi was in a great mood. I did OK but didn't enjoy it - I absolutely hate highway driving. Thank goodness Der and I have the agreement that he does the driving (unless he's not there!) and I do the childbirth. I thought we had taken the wrong turnoff because we couldn't see signs anywhere for Santa Cruz but in the end, we were on the right path and we got to the town. We had never been to the B&B before but we had the address and a map so we thought we were good to go. We would have been but there were hardly any street signs!! So we ended up driving past the Plaza de Armas in big circles 5 TIMES because we couldn't find the street!!!! After 45 minutes and a lot of frustration, we found it, completely by chance.

Our room was really nice but freezing cold! They had a heater in the room but it really didn't do much except to cut the chill. We spent some time there at first, unpacking and such. We went out to see the town - not much to see really - and book our tours for the next day. We found one place that was open at 5:30 for gringo-hour dinner and then headed back to the B&B. Kirsi discovered The Backyardigans in Santa Cruz (we had satellite TV in the room and don't have it at home) and she liked them.

After a cold night, we were ready to go the next morning and headed out for our first tour at 10:30. We drove through fog and mist to get to the vineyard. So much for the weather forecast that I checked out before coming!!! We were all bundled up for our visit. Aidan was in the Moby wrap and had two blankets over him, so he was snug as a bug in a rug. I only brought one fleece for Kirsi and it wasn't really enough so once we got inside the building, our guide found a little blanket to bundle her up in. Mom and I wore layers and were OK. Vina Santa Cruz is about half an hour west of the town of Santa Cruz and it's a new vineyard, only 4 years old. It's in a beautiful location and the main centre is beautifully done. Our tour started by taking a cable car up to a hill above to look at the three exhibits of Indigenous groups in Chile - Mapuche from the south, Aymara from the north and Rapanui from Easter Island. It was really cool and the view would have been amazing had the valley not been covered with mist! Then it was on t0 the wine-making area and then some testings! I had a couple sips of each wine and really liked a rose that they had.

After a leisurely lunch, we headed to our next tour at the Vina Viu Manent. This is a much older vineyard and is a huge business. They export 98% of their wines, mainly to Europe, the U.S. and Brazil. The guide showed us some old equipment that had been used throughout their 110 years of operation. They had to use machinery made of iron up until the 1990's when the Pinochet government fell because the cost to have stainless steel machinery was so incredibly high that most places couldn't afford it. Machinery made of iron wasn't the best for winemaking as there was residue that could be passed on to the wine. So, that's why Chilean wines weren't exported until the 1990's. It's only been 20 years or so that Chile has been on the world market for wines.

The highlight of the tour for Kirsi (and for me too) was the ride in the horse-drawn carriage through the vineyards. The owners of the vineyards are very involved in equestrian and they have a ring and jumps set up on the property and actually have lessons available to the public. Unfortunately, it was too cold a day for any horses and riders to be out. But the carriage ride through the vineyard was still very neat. Our guide told us all about the different grape varieties and the process of growing the grapes. Then we made our way to the wine-making area and then on to the tasting. We tasted the "house specialty", a Malbec, but it was not a favourite of mine, that's for sure. I did really like a late harvest wine, a Semillon, which I normally don't particularly like. It wasn't too sweet or syrupy - it was very tasty, light and fresh. So, of course, I had to buy a couple bottles. ;)

After another early dinner, we went back to the room. Kirsi had been absolutely fantastic the whole time we'd been here but she had hit the wall. After two days with no naps and a cold coming on, she was exhausted. At bedtime, she fought sleep tooth and nail and did not want to cooperate at all. Mom and I made the decision then and there that we'd be heading back home early the next morning. Forget about the museum or another way home...we needed to get Kirsi Bear home and back into a routine.

Memory Tag (from Giftieetcetera)

Memory Tag!!

1. Add a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments. I can't wait to see what people remember.
It'll be fun! I tag all of you!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Enough bad news for this family for a while

This past week has been a rough one for our family. First, it was Der having "bitchy bowels" as he calls it. He's over it now but it took a few days to get out of his system. Then, I had the rough bout with mastitis. I'm still on the antibiotics but at least I'm feeling better. Then, we got the news that Der's mom has to have surgery next week; we've got tons of people praying for a successful outcome. Anyone else wanting to join in the prayers is very welcome! And then, yesterday, Mom found out that her dog, Hunter, had to be put down because he had a stomach tumour and wasn't doing well at all. I think we've had enough bad news for a long time!!!

Aidan is growing every day. He's filling out and isn't that tiny newborn small anymore. His little cheeks are getting chubbier and you can really see his dimples now. Funny how he has dimples because no one in our immediate family has them. His dark hair seems to be sticking around; by this age, Kirsi was losing the hair she'd been born with and her light hair was starting to come in. Aidan has dark hair and long, dark eyelashes but his eyebrows are really blond. I wonder if he'll be light or dark. His eyelashes make me think of my brother Bruce's - dark, long and curling up.

Kirsi is so much fun to be around. She's quite the little girl! :) Every day, she comes up with new things to do and say. I've started to keep a quote book handy and writing anything funny or cute that she says there. My friend, Julie, gave me the idea and I think it's a great one, especially for us scrapbookers. Yesterday, we were in the car and were backing up. We saw a little dog on the street and Kirsi said, "Look out dog!" Just like a grown up. Our little girl is growing up right before our eyes. We need to get the video camera out and have it ready at all times too.

She's big into pretending now. She just started putting on my watch, looking at it and telling us what time it is. She takes out her play food and kitchen and makes us all something to eat. After she's done cooking it, she tells us, "Hot, hot! No touch! Blow on it!" It could be a muffin, chicken, hot dogs or coffee - it's always hot, hot. :)

We're having our first rainy day here in weeks. When Mom first got here (on Father's Day), it was cool for the first few days and a little rainy. But since Aidan's been born, the weather has been beautiful. Unfortunately, the warm, balmy weather means worse smog. So, this rain is welcome!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I've got mastitis and it sucks!! I had it twice when I was nursing Kirsi but it was nothing like this. I had a very sore breast and it was red so I knew that I had to get in to the doctor to get antibiotics relatively quickly. Both times, I went in to the doctor the day after the symptoms came. This time, though, the symptoms came on super quickly and hard. Not only did I have the pain and redness in the breast, I also had flu-like symptoms - aching joints and muscles and a fever. Der convinced me to go to the ER on Sunday night (about 3 hours after I first started getting symptoms) and it was a good thing because I felt worse and worse as the night went on.

We went to the ER out here in La Dehesa because it's so much closer, but of course, the doctor had to send me to Vitacura to see the gynaecologist on call at the main clinic. Here in Chile, they don't have family doctors; every doctor has a specialty area. So, if you have a bad cold, you go to a respiratory specialist or if you have girlie issues, you go to a gynaecologist. They run tests and then if they can't find anything in their field, off you go to another specialist. Anyways, so we had to go to the main hospital. The thing is, I knew it was mastitis so I just wanted the meds so I could start the treatment and go to bed!! As the night wore on, I started getting really weak and dizzy and was starting to space out. Good thing Der came with me and drove!

The doctor saw me, gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. He told me that if I wasn't better after 24 hours of antibiotics that I needed to come back. I had a rough night Sunday night but I slept a lot. I couldn't even lift Aidan up or hold him up to burp him so Der was up a lot with him after I had finished feeding him. Yesterday was rough too. I had no energy to do anything but lay down and I was in a lot of pain. I didn't even have an appetite!! Nothing appealed to me for food - you know how sick I must have felt if I didn't feel like eating! ;)

So, off I went to the clinic again. Thankfully I got an appointment out here so I didn't have to go back downtown, but unfortunately, it wasn't with my doctor. As we got to the clinic, Dr. Buhler was just leaving and he told me that if anything like this happens again to just call him and he'll fit me in, no matter how booked up he is. He told me to up the dose from what the other doctor said for the first three days and then to go back to a smaller dose for the remaining four days. I went in to the other doctor (who I had the appointment with) and after checking me out, he said that things are looking OK, even though my breast was much redder. He said that was likely due to the warm compresses that I had put on, like the other doctor's orders. But he said that there is no abscess yet, which is very good news. So, no more compresses, a higher dose of meds and I should be good to go. This morning, I'm feeling much better so hopefully, I'm on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

First doctor's appointment

Aidan had his first appointment with Dr. Ronco today. All went well at the appointment and our little guy is doing well. He gained 165 grams (about 0.3 lbs) in 8 days and Dr. Ronco said that was a good gain. Aidan eats well but isn't a little porker about eating. I remember how much and often Kirsi ate, though we're sure it's because she was so hot and thirsty. What a difference! Dr. Ronco told us that since we're in the middle of the flu season that we need to limit his contact with other people, especially children, until he's 6 weeks old. He told us that we can blame him when we have to tell people that they'll have to wait to meet Aidan. :) We are to go back to see the doctor when Aidan is a month old.

Aidan is such a sweet little boy. He still is sleeping a lot and wakes up to eat and get his diaper changed. But, he's getting more alert and is staying awake for longer periods of time. It's so neat to see him looking around and taking in everything. I love this newborn stage so much! They're so tiny and helpless and sweet!!!

Kirsi is doing well. Today, Gramma, Kirsi and Mommy had a girls' outing and it was good. We went grocery shopping at Lider and Kirsi got to push one of the kiddie carts (those things are the best!!!!). After that, we went for coffee and muffins at Starbucks and it was great. We sat on the comfy couches and just hung out. It was good for us to reconnect this way, without Baby Aidan with us. Kirsi did much better on this outing than the last one so let's hope that the trend continues. :)

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my doctor, 10 days post-delivery. Dr. Buhler was happy to hear that things were going so well on all fronts - my healing and recovery, breastfeeding and Kirsi's transition to "Big Sister". I really like him as a doctor - his laid-back and humourous attitude during my pregnancy made me feel totally at ease. He never once made me feel worried about anything or paranoid about something. But when it came to the delivery, he was 100% business and I felt totally comfortable with him and he did a fantastic job. All the other women from our little community (the teachers at Nido) who have gone to him have had to have c-sections so I was a bit concerned about that but that just didn't even come up with me at all. I'm glad to have broken the trend! When we were talking yesterday, he said that he has learned over his career to limit the number of patients he has so that he can develop a better relationship with his patients and their family. Now, he tries to have only 4 deliveries per month, an average of one per week, so that he can give the care and attention that he wants to to each of his patients (as well as his own family). I gained even more respect for him after hearing that as you don't always hear that from doctors.

We're still having fantastic weather here. Today, it was sunny once again and the temperature got up to 17C (according to Der's mom who saw the weather in Santiago on TV). It has been gorgeous weather ever since Aidan was born. It's so nice for going outside with Kirsi. The downfall to this weather is that the smog and pollution are disgusting. The air quality is horrible; you can't even see the city anymore. We need a good rain to clear the air (but I don't want the cold temperatures that come with the rain!).

Phuket - Be Nice or Get Out

The second part of our December break was spent in a little AirBnB 3m from the beach in Phuket, Thailand. The majority of our time was spe...