Archive for the ‘decisions’ Category

Reno or Move?

When DH and I bought our house, it was just the two of us with an idea of 1-2 kids. Now that there are four of us, we’re starting to wonder if the house can really meet our needs the way we want, especially as the kids get older.

So, now we’re trying to decide whether to stay and do renovations or to try and find a different house that already has the things we’re looking for.

What kind of person are you – a renovator or a mover?


Labour Plans: Older Child(ren)

We’re starting to get a bit worried about our lack of plans for Evan for when I go into labour. We don’t have family around that we can call any time, day or night. We also aren’t comfortable with asking anyone to be on call 24/7 for several weeks (because who knows when Jelly Bean will decide to make his arrival? He could be six weeks early or two weeks late).
Worst case scenario is that DH takes care of Evan – but that means he most likely won’t be with me during the birth.
If you have more than one child, what did you do with them when you went into labour (especially for those of you who are in the same boat as us and don’t have family in town)?

The Desire?

Before we had Evan, we had this seemingly huge desire to have a child. We planned for months when we would even start trying for a baby. We bought books, talked to new parents, had his nursery done months before his arrival, and did everything we could to be prepared to become parents.

We always thought we’d have two kids, but neither of us feel an overwhelming desire to have another like we did with Evan. In fact, we’re starting to come to the conclusion that we just might not ever feel that way, and maybe that’s not what we should base our decision on.

So, I come to you, my wonderful readers. For those of you who have more than one child, did you have the same type of desire as you did for the first? Or was it more of an intellectual decision?

Did you have the same desire for a second child as you did with your first?
Other (explain in the comments) free polls

First Birthdays

Evan’s first birthday is coming up and I’m not sure what to do for it.

It would be cute to have a little party for him. The problem is, we have absolutely no family in the area, which would be ideal for a first birthday. So, if we want to go this route, we would invite a few friends over (some who also have kids), have cake, etc. But, I don’t want people thinking we’re inviting them just trying to get presents out of them or something. And, really, how interesting is a 1st birthday for anyone but the parents?

I’m also thinking we could just do something as a family. I could make him a small cake, take some photos, maybe go somewhere he’s never been before. I mean, it’s not like he’ll remember it, so doing something small would be fine.

Another option is, since his birthday is close to Halloween, to throw a little Halloween party. But, then I think his birthday should be, you know, about him.

If you have kids, what did you do for a first birthday? If you’ve been to a first birthday party, what have you seen that you liked or didn’t like?

Coming to Terms

It’s now less than two months before I start my new job (no news to post about that yet, unfortunately, as it’s still not “official” – though I’m getting all the meeting notes, am going to an event this week, and my name is going on conference abstracts). I’m not sure I’m ready to go back, but I guess most mothers feel the same way.

For the past week, I’ve been dreading it so much that I considered not taking the job and staying at home with Evan. But, thinking about it more, that’s just not what I want to do. Sure, I really wish I was able to take full advantage of the 1-year maternity leave here in Canada, but am I willing to give up this opportunity because I have to start work a couple months earlier than I would like? The answer is no.

The great thing is they are being incredibly flexible with my needs because I’m doing them a favor by starting work earlier than I have too. I’ll be working strictly from home in June and July, and potentially August. After that, I will probably work something out where I can be working from home some of the time.

Evan doesn’t start daycare until August, and even then I’m considering starting him on a part-time basis so it’s an easier transition. Him being at home while I’m working very well might pose a problem, so I am considering hiring a mother’s helper or something to help out with him (any tips or suggestions on this?).

I am worried that I’ll be having to work extended hours, in the evenings and weekends, and have to travel all the time. I know that I need to hammer out these details with my future boss so he knows what I’m willing to do and I know what his expectations are.

I am worried about going back to work, and wondering if it’s the best thing for Evan and our family. But, as with any big change, I think it’s worth it to see how it goes. If worse comes to worse, I can always leave the job. I just need to come to terms with my feelings about all of this, and that it’s okay to not be 100% excited about it. After all, my priorities in life have changed over the past few months, so it makes sense that my expectations for a job would too.

Solids Confusion

Evan is at that age where I am considering seriously starting solids.Seriously” meaning to try them once a day and actually get him to…you know…eat. We have tried a couple things with him in the last week: we gave him a chunk of banana that he put in his mouth and made a “what-the-heck-is-this?” face; I gave him an apple core that he licked; I tried giving him some brown rice cereal, which all dribbled down his face.

I’m wondering if I’m starting too early or if I should be trying different foods. But, there is so much information and confusion out there about when to start solids and what to start with.

Evan’s GI doctor told me that the latest literature is showing we should be starting solids at about 4 months. Evan’s pediatrician said to start some time between 4-6 months, whenever he’s showing the signs (sitting upright in a bumbo or highchair, showing interest in our food, waking up at night or earlier in the morning, not being satisfied by breast milk or formula, etc. — which he is). A doctor of a friend of mine says absolutely DO NOT start until 6 months.

Then there is the what: some say to start with whole grain cereal mixed with lots of liquid since it will be closer to breast milk/formula, making the transition easier. Some say absolutely DO NOT use cereal because there is really no nutritional value and it doesn’t teach them about food texture. Some say start with banana because it’s easily digestible and very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Some say absolutely DO NOT start with banana because then they’ll expect every food to be sweet and will create a picky eater. Some say to use purees because it is easier for them to eat. Some say absolutely DO NOT use purees, but use chunks of solid food so they learn different textures and how to eat different types of food. Some say absolutely DO NOT use chunks because the baby could choke.

And round and round we go.

Holy crapola, batman. Information overload! And contradictory information at that.

I know, with this many opinions out there, clearly this is one of those things you should just trust your gut on and do what you think is best for you and your baby. The problem is my head is reeling from all of the do’s and don’ts that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

What’s funny is I know this is one of those things I will look back on and wonder what I was so stressed and worried about.


A post by JLK over at Pieces of Me (so glad she’s blogging again!) has prompted me to write about our desire (or lack there of) to expand our family at this point in time. There are so many factors to consider. Let’s break it down!

Between Sept. 2009 and Dec. 2010 we stressed over “trying”, experienced a miscarriage, tried again, had a somewhat difficult pregnancy, Evan was born early, he was in the NICU for his first week, and then had another week-long hospital stay a month later. Add to that Evan being a pretty fussy baby (even though, thank God, he sleeps well at night), that makes up a good percentage of our life span.

If there is a next pregnancy, things might go better, but there’s a better chance things will go worse. Because of my history, we might experience another miscarriage (or more), and there’s a higher chance the baby would come early and therefore may have health issues. Oh, and don’t forget that I’ll be older. Apparently that never helps. Yay biological clock.

I know some women who had a baby at the same time as I had Evan are already thinking or talking about having another child. They say they can just feel their family is not complete, that they know another baby is out there waiting to join their family.

DH and I do not feel this way at all. In fact, we feel so happy and complete with our current family that we just can’t fathom what it would be like to add another to the mix.

The Only Child Syndrome
So many people (who aren’t only children) love to say how awful it is to be an only child. “They have no one to play with”, they say. Or, “It’s so nice to have more than one child when you go on vacations so they can keep each other company.”

First of all – I think my brother and I got along for a grand total of 2 months, 1 week, and 3.5 days of our childhood. Yes, we could be forced to get along on vacations. But, the majority of the time we either fought or ignored each other. And we were pretty good with each other compared to others (DH and his sister used to get into serious physical altercations sometimes involving flying pogo sticks).

Second of all – anytime I ask an only child if they felt like they missed out on having a sibling, most say no. We asked a friend of ours the other day about it, and he said he’s starting to realize now that it might have been okay because then he won’t be solely responsible for his parents when they’re old and decrepit. Most of them are interesting, well-adjusted members of society – or at least the ratios of normalcy don’t seem to be any less than those with siblings.

I don’t think wanting Evan to have a buddy on vacations is a good enough reason to have another child. If that’s the only reason, he can bring a friend. At least that way he gets to choose his companion.

Granted, if my parents felt this way, I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

Our Needs & Wants
DH and I have hobbies, and there are things in life we would like to do. Right now we have the time, energy, and money to make sure all three of us have a very good life. If we add another child, sacrifices will have to be made, and you can bet your ass it wouldn’t be Evan’s needs or wants on the chopping block. This is an important consideration that I don’t think too many people think about. Some people call it selfish, but we don’t want to be a martyr to our child(ren). Our happiness counts for something too.

Moving Forward
Even though it’s sad at times to see Evan grow up so quickly, we are fascinated by the changes. It’s amazing to watch him experience and learn new things daily – to go through the stages of life. This might sound really strange (perhaps two Physics PhD’s can be a bit on the analytical side), but we feel like having another child is like moving backwards. All of a sudden you have to go back to “trying”, go back to being pregnant, go back to the newborn stage, etc. etc.. It seems like life would be in a rewind or repeat mode.

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from the above what we’re thinking right now! But, one thing I’ve learned in my nearly 32 years on this planet (well, as of this Wednesday – YAY for my birthday!) is to never say never. Because I would like to have my childbearing days behind me by 35, we’re going to wait until summer/fall 2012 to revisit things.

How did you decide to not have children, stop after one, or to have more? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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