why I don’t want Magnus to sleep through the night

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Almost every mom or dad I know has one goal, to get their baby to sleep through the night.  And at one time I did too.  When Johannes was little, this was my goal.  I couldn’t wait for him to sleep through the night so I could rest.

But things are different now.  Being a mom of a four year old taught me just how fast time passes.

With Magnus I’m not in a hurry to have him sleep without interruptions.  At night he wakes up and wants to nurse.  I hear him cry, I rub my eyes awake, pull up my hair, and tiptoe down the hall to his room.  I pick him up and sit down in the old chair in his room.  He nurses quietly but quickly.  When he’s done, he pulls off, lays his head down on the nursing pillow and snuggles into me.  I let him stay like this a few minutes before giving his little cheeks kisses and putting him back in his crib.  They are fleeting moments these night nursings.

Tonight when Magnus cried out for me earlier than usual I thought about him sleeping through the night, and though the sleep would be nice after all, I have a choice to make.  And I choose to get up every night, sleepy and only half awake.  Make my way down the hall to his tiny room and cuddle him like he needs to be cuddled.  There are worst things in life than being wanted by your kids.

Asking For Help

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Early Thursday morning I woke up feeling different.  The pain in my stomach quickly turned into nausea, and the slight chill I had been feeling evolved into a full blown fever.  I had the stomach flu.  At 32 years old, I experienced my first ever stomach flu, and it was awful.

At 4:30am Magnus woke up to eat and it took everything in me to get through that nursing session without vomiting.  I was ill.  Brutally ill.  I quickly told Michael that I suspected I had food poisoning and asked him to stay home to help me.  I made a half attempt to message my coworkers and let them know I wouldn’t be available that day, and proceeded to get through the next 10 hours in a state of constant sleep interrupted only by trips to the toilet.

Did I mention it was bad?

Somehow I managed to nurse Magnus during the day but I don’t remember it much.  By 1pm I was feeling well enough to call my mom and ask her to come over and help me pack Johannes’ clothes for his trip, and also to have him sleep at my parents’ house on the chance that the next day I wouldn’t be fit to drive him.

I asked for help. I reached out.  It was the best decision I made.

Mom’s often don’t ask for help enough.  As thought its a badge of honour to trudge through life battling the impossible and making it out with battle scars to prove just how worthy we are at motherhood.  I fell into the same traps when I had Johannes, but I’ve learned.  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, its a sign of having an amazing support system around me. Its a sign that I care enough to take care of myself so that I can be the best mother I can be to my children.  Its also a way to show these boys that its ok to be vulnerable, to ask for help and to receive it when the time comes.

I thought of all this last week, as I lay in bed, wishing I hadn’t eaten that leftover piece of salmon from the fridge.  We are not alone, us moms, and we don’t have to do it ALL on our own.

**the photos are completely unrelated to my experience, just some bits and pieces of my life this week that I want to remember just so.**

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Making Some Changes

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Magnus is days away from starting to crawl and everything he encounters inevitably ends up in his mouth.  This is when I start to get compulsive about cleanliness and making sure everything is tidy, dusted and hair free.  But its not just about that.  Its also about the chemicals, about the products we use around the house and whether those are safe for little hands.  And I’m not really referring to the fear that Magnus may get a hold of one of our cleaning products and accidentally ingest it.  No.  I mean what about the chemical residue that the bleach we use to mop up the floors might leave on his tiny hands.  And then what about those tiny hands going into his tiny mouth.  Am I being neurotic?

Regardless whether I am or not, these are the thoughts that go through my mind as Magnus becomes more mobile, and just as we go into full Spring cleaning mode.

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About a month ago I discovered The Laundress non-toxic cleaning and laundry products and after trying out the detergent first, decided to make the switch for the whole family.  Natural, non-tox, eco-friendly, bio-degradeable and smelling amazing it was a no brainer.  And if you order three products or more you can get 20% off when you enter code BLUEBIRD20 at checkout.  If I had to tell you my favourite three products they’d be the Baby detergent which smells so good, the Scented Vinegar which cleans surfaces so well and the Fabric fresh which I now keep by my bed side table and spray on our sheets before bed.

Who doesn’t want to smell clean laundry when getting cosy before bed?

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S E V E N

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on him: Hux baby X tee and Alphabet leggings found here

Magnus turned seven months the other day.  He’s becoming such a big boy and really trying to keep up with his big brother.  Everyone tells you that time goes by even faster with a second, or third baby, but its hard to imagine until it happens to you.  I feel as though he’s changing in the blink of an eye.  Unlike when Johannes got older though, this time I’m prepared, and genuinely excited.  I love what’s to come, and can’t wait to see how Magnus changes, the funny things he will do and say, and getting to see him take his very first steps.

Sweet Magnus is big but gentle.  You wouldn’t know that he’s overtired, EVER, because when he is tired he simply gets a little quieter and gigglier.  He loves to nurse, especially at night, and I’m completely ok with waking up to do this, I almost cherish those moments.  Magnus now gets up on all fours, and has discovered that if he wants to get somewhere he can.  Be it through wiggles, or lunges, or rolls, he is mobile, and crawling is just around the corner.

There are no signs of teeth yet, but that doesn’t stop him from eating or chewing.  What started off as a reluctant love affair with food, has now evolved into a true love.  There is no food that he has tasted yet which he doesn’t love, and unlike how I was when Johannes was a baby, I am much less cautious this time around.  If Magnus wants to try it I let him, be it chunks of bread or strawberries or bites of banana, I’m kind of all for it.

My car rides are a bit noisier now.  Johannes has found an audience in his little brother and so the silliness is at an all-time-high.  Magnus in turn finds his big brother hilarious, so no more quiet peaceful drives for me. I am almost certain that Magnus’ first word will be “farts”, because he hears it over and over and over again.

S E V E N – its treating us pretty well so far.

Spring Weekend

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For the first time in months we had a gorgeous weekend full of sunshine and warmth.  It was so wonderful to spend hours and hours outside.  To do our groceries on the main street full of little shops.  To take the kids to the park and watch them play.  To run outside again on the lakeshore and BBQ outside in our back yard.  We had a taste of what’s to come and all of us including the kids couldn’t be happier.

In Toronto it gets pretty cold in the winters, and for what feels like eternity, we hardly get to enjoy the outdoors.  So at the slightest glimpse of warm sunshine every family heads outdoors. We greet our neighbours again, marvel at how much the kids have grown and start to clean up our gardens.  Its sort of a tradition almost.

One thing I realized I desperately need, is a new running stroller.  A double one so I can run with both boys.  Its much too hard to let Johannes ride his bike along side us.  Constantly watching to make sure he doesn’t fall, and being limited by the distance we can travel.  So this week I’m starting that journey to find a stroller I can use with both kids, so that I can start to truly get back into shape.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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