Happy 2 month birthday to our little girl, Astrid. It feels like we’re getting the hang of being parents and she’s establishing a more predictable routine. It hasn’t been all sunshine and beach parties, but things are getting easier, especially over the past 2 weeks.
The biggest change is that we feel more rested and less exhausted than we did last month. I’m not sure if that’s because we’re adapting to life with less sleep or she’s sleeping better. Probably both.
Parenting is becoming less of a chore and more fun. Astrid is more interactive – she smiles, makes happy baby noises, and reacts to sounds and objects around her. She really loves the mobile Emily made for her. When she’s awake and happy she’ll stare it for up to an hour as it slowly spins above her. She also likes hanging out with her stuffed animal friends – Maurice the mischievous monkey, Pauline the perky penguin, and Ekua her elephant spirit guide.
Last week Emily took Astrid to the library for story time. Astrid was the youngest baby there and slept through the whole thing, but Emily learned a bunch of kids songs that she enjoys singing with Astrid.
We still don’t have a life outside of the baby and it’s tough to plan anything. Astrid doesn’t have much of a schedule, except for one day a few weeks ago when Emily freaked about sleep training and tried putting her on a rigid nap schedule. That proved to be more effort than it was worth, so now we’re back to letting her nap when she’s tired.
For the most part she feeds every 2 1/2 hours during the day and spends the rest of the time awake and playful or cat napping. Her only scheduled activity right now is bath time – Wednesday and Sunday evenings around 8 pm. It helps calm her down and sleep better. We try to get her to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 pm.
We’ve been lucky she’s been developing some good overnight sleep habits over the past two weeks, without us having to stress too much about it. Most nights (fingers crossed), she goes to bed at 9 pm and sleeps until 2 or 3 am (a good 5-6 hour stretch). Then she feeds and goes back to sleep until 6 am. At 6 am, I take her and Emily goes back to bed. We do playtime for an hour and then I try to get her to nap for an hour.
During the day, she cat naps for short stretches (up to 30 minutes) in the stroller, carrier, or on the floor with a soother in. The only way to get her to have a long nap is to put her in the swing. It usually knocks her out pretty quickly. I don’t know if that makes us lazy parents or smart parents, but it sure beats having to push the baby around in the stroller. At least this way we can do other stuff, like eat, cook, and watch Netflix, while she’s napping.
Astrid is a very regular pooper. A pretty consistent 5 poopy diapers a day, and you have to be careful when changing her because sometimes she tries to sneak one in before the new diaper is on. We’ve started a tradition where you get a donut every time you’re pooped on. It was Emily’s idea (she’s had a few poop explosions while breastfeeding) and I think it’s just an excuse for her to eat more donuts. But she usually gets one for me too (even though I’ve only been peed on), so I’m not going to argue with yummy vegan donuts.
My biggest triumph of month 2 is successfully bottle feeding Astrid. I’ve done it 3 times now and it was pretty easy (twice at 6 am while Emily slept). We’re lucky that Astrid has no problem drinking from a bottle. We know a few babies who refuse to.
So the plan is to occasionally pump and I can take care of the odd feeding. That way Emily can leave the baby for more than 2 hours during the day or get a full night’s sleep when she needs it. It’s also nice for me to be involved in the feeding.
So we’re two months in, Astrid is healthy and happy, and we couldn’t ask for more. She has cradle cap and sensitive skin (she gets heat rashes easily and has some eczema on her legs), but otherwise she’s very healthy and gaining weight and a good rate. We don’t want to jinx it, but she’s a really sweet baby.
Last week my lovely wife surprised me with a Okanagan birthday adventure. We spent the day hiking in Kelowna and then retired to the luxurious Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon.
I knew it was going to be a good day when a rainbow lit up the mountainside as we drove through Abbotsford. I was a bit slow snapping a picture, but it was perfectly formed on both sides.
In Kelowna, we hiked along the Myra Canyon trail, formerly part of the Kettle Valley Railway. Half of the trail was still covered in snow, but it was still an easy hike with some epic scenery. The trail has some huge trestle bridges, most of them rebuilt after the devastating forest fire in 2003.
After our hike, we checked in at the luxurious Sparkling Hill Resort. I never knew this place existed before, but it’s damn fancy. Designed by the Swarovski family, the resort is packed with crystals everywhere, including the washroom signs.
The spa was the highlight, with so many little touches elevating it above the usual. The outdoor pool had fabulous views of the mountains and Okanagan Lake. The indoor pool played classical music underwater. There was a walking path with knee deep water that alternated between hot and cold to help improve circulation (it felt like torture). The steam/sauna area had a number of unique rooms, including the experience showers that simulated thunderstorms and tropical downpours, a rose scented steam room, a sauna with a bucket of rocks that were repeatedly heated and then dunked into cold water, and the igloo with ice to rub on your body. There were also some quiet areas to relax and enjoy the view.
It was a decadent birthday experience and a step beyond anywhere we’ve stayed before.
I celebrated my 30th birthday in style this year, with an all-day party combining my favourite things in life – running, gaming, and eating. I went for a 32 km run in the morning, competed in a Geekathlon in the afternoon, and hosted a dinner party in the evening with loads of yummy vegan food.
Early in the morning, I went for a 30+ km run. Amazingly, I managed to convince 4 friends to join me. Dan and Katie ran the first 12 km, Owen ran 25, and Dustin ran 32 km with me out to Burnaby Lake and back.
Later in the afternoon, I invited my 12 nerdiest friends to compete in a Geekathlon, inspired by Hirtle’s 30th birthday. The round robin tested everyone’s geek-fu, pitting pools of 4 players against each other in bouts of crokinole, Jetpack Joyride (ipad), and Bomberman (xbox). The final event was a 6-player showdown of King of Tokyo with the top 2 players from each pool competing in the A-Final, and the bottom two in the B-Final.
Katie got a bonus point for the geekiest outfit.
At 8:30 AM, there will be a 30k run. Meet at the Cambie Running Room. Several people will be running 10-15 km and turning around early. Erica and I will run the full 32 km.
At 3:30 PM, there will be a limited-entry, multi-event Geekathlon (inspired by Hirtle’s 30th birthday). Read on below for details.
At 6:30 PM, there will a party with food and drinks. Absolutely no birthday gifts, but you can bring something to share, like cupcakes, alcohol, or a board game.
Welcome contestant12 to geekathlon3.0
[firstname.lastname@example.org]$ diff geekathlon birthday
< The Geekathlon is a multi-event competition to determine who the biggest geek is.
< Buttons will be mashed, boards will be gamed, reflexes will be tested, and alcohol will be consumed.
< Prizes for the winners.
> The birthday celebration will happen after the Geekathlon.
> Food will be eaten, alcohol will be consumed, conversation will flow, and the Geekathlon champion will be crowned.
> No gifts allowed.
[email@example.com]$ who -q
cdnveggie – Chris
theladiesman – Dan
thefury – Ben
wachunga – David
exortech – Owen
thegentleman – Neil
thebrit – Simon
thekat – Katie
marathonsprague – Erica
captaincaddo – Barrett
ultimatecoughlin – Michael
powderhound – Justin
dubes – Brian
[firstname.lastname@example.org]$ locate geekathlon
[email@example.com]$ which events
/events/1/finger_flicking_board_game_2_player – Crokinole
/events/2/reflex_testing_video_game_solo – Jet Pack Joy Ride
/events/3/melee_video_game_4_player – Bomberman
/events/Final/battle_royal_board_game_6_player – King of Tokyo
[firstname.lastname@example.org]$ cat boo.txt
( ( .-“”-. A.-.A
\ \/ \/ , , \
\ \ =; t /= MEOW
\ |””. ‘,–‘
/ // | ||
[email@example.com]$ rm .bash_history
Good luck contestant12. See you at the Geekathlon.
I think December-babies must work extra hard to ensure their birthday parties stand out from all the other holiday festivities. There’s no other way to explain the two awesome birthday parties I went to in the past two weeks.
David Hirtle hosted a Geekathlon for his 30th birthday party. Attendees competed to claim the Geek gold medal with events featuring a classic video game (Sonic), computer game (Star Control), card game (WoW), board game (Settler of Catan), and nerdy trivia. I did ok in most events, but my Geek-fu wasn’t nearly as strong as my competitors. I’m thinking of hosting a follow-up for my 30th birthday in March.
Emily and Tina’s annual joint-birthday party was themed after the Portlandia Put a Bird On It skit. It was great to see all the creative costumes, with lots of birds and hipsters on display. Lots more photos here.