Sunday, December 25, 2011

Darwin: 5 months

Darwin is finally at a stage in his life where he is starting to adapt to the foods I eat and so he can handle the gas a little better. My mom is visiting and I couldn't be happier. She has been so helpful with housework and of course watching little Darwin and it has allowed me to get some extra rest and do other things like blog and catch up on my favourite shows. She loves to sing to Darwin and he just loves it. When he cries her singing always seems to calm and soothe him no matter how hungry or tired he is. It's the perfect solution and always works.

One big accomplishment is that we have successfully transitioned him to his crib. Once a finely decorated, empty space is now a comfortable haven for our sweet pea. Well he doesn't quite sleep through the night regularly as he did in his bouncer but I don't really mind feeding him 2-3 times a night. I find that he's gaining more weight since he's eating a lot at night and in turn my milk supply has increased quite a bit. I'm no longer struggling to satisfy his hunger in the day and he is therefore, I believe, taking longer naps in the day.

Peter especially feels like he can more happily enjoy playing with Darwin and he seems to be more accepting of Darwin when he is fussy or needs to be entertained. We have less arguments now that Darwin is older and less fussy and this has given us the freedom to spend quality time together.

Rhea so kindly picked up probiotics for Darwin and I which should help the gas issue and aid in digestion so I'm looking forward to feeling the results in a few days. She also brought a mixture for colic and teething which is all natural so I'm glad to be using that for Darwin.

Darwin also loves to go out and meet friends and new people and just loves to drive around in his carseat. Sometimes I'll take him for a drive so he can take a nap and so I can have a break from him. But of course I seem to miss him when he is asleep.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Darwin is 3 Months

Darwin has been growing so well over the last few weeks mainly because he has been eating so much that I can barely keep up. At his last appointment at the Wit Gele Kruis on October 31, 2011 he weighed in at 12.4 lbs. He has been surprising us so much with his development these days.

For the first time he started talking, of course in his own way, but with the use of vowels and consonants! We were so impressed with him and I even got it on video. I try to have random conversations with him regularly and I have also began to casually teach him signs for mama, dada, eat, milk and finished. He seems to really pay attention well especially since he likes to observe my hand gestures. Just something fun to do to pass the time.

He has also been putting a lot of weight on his legs and just loves to be held in the standing position. Looks like we will have an early walker so it seems. We still swaddle him as he has a strong startle reflex and also likes to grab his face with his hands. I let his legs move freely, however, for proper pelvic and leg muscle development.

He normally loves baths, ever since he was a newborn, but lately he has been screaming I think due to his burning a$$hole.. he has been pooing a lot lately which could be the culprit, I use Penatan cream which his grandpa David gave him since he once used the same brand on Peter.

He still doesn't nap much in the day but I can usually get him down for a couple of 30 to 45 minute naps and lie with him and get him to sleep for an hour. Or he'll just sleep on me while I'm watching a show or working on the computer. He sleeps quite well at night, normally 7ish-7ish with two feedings in between (one at 12ish and the other at 4ish)... so he's fairly predictable at night. I get on average about 6.5 hours of sleep since I go to bed around 9-10pm and am awake for about 1.5-2 hours at night... not too bad.

In his first month he slept in his bassinet but as he got older and bigger he became more fussy and likes to sleep in his bouncy chair, courtesy of my friend Beth. I've put him in his crib numerous times and he has slept well but soon noticed that he was spitting up. I realized that he needs to sleep on an incline to minimize reflux so once we have the air conditioner installed in his room, which should be happening in a day or two, I will prop up the mattress and let him sleep in his room again.

He's getting so big these days. I've started to reminisce about when he was a newborn. I have been gazing at pictures and videos of him at just a few weeks old and it just gets me emotional. I love him so much..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Darwin Nalin Kroll

Today I finally have a second to write about how my life has changed since I gave birth to my beautiful son Darwin Nalin Kroll who is now 11 weeks old. Now, looking back, pregnancy was far easier than raising a child, not to mention a newborn, and what was I thinking when I couldn't wait for the day I could hold my son in my arms. It seems forever ago but I did enjoy being pregnant aside from the swollen ankles and feet.

Pregnancy was really easy for me. I seemed to have a more extreme urge to go out and do things that I had been putting off for months to years, including doing pending renovations. I guess that perhaps I was just excited to be a mother but at the same time knew that I could never complete my to-do-list once I had a child to care for. And I was very right about that.

These last (almost) three months have been very time-consuming. All my time and energy has gone into taking care of Darwin and also just adjusting to being a mother both physically and emotionally. For one, I have never been at this weight (pre-pregnancy) ever in my life-- I am now 128 lbs-- and do not know when I will ever get down to my pre-pregnancy weight of 115 lbs. There goes trying to get down to 112 lbs before I got pregnant. Thankfully I have adjusted quite well emotionally and I would have to give a lot of credit to my mom who stayed with us for over 2 months to help care for the little one. Damn, was she ever good. She did everything for me, even take Darwin when I needed a break.

During the first 2 months of raising Darwin it was quite difficult for me to get used to caring for him. I felt that I needed to produce more milk (I am breastfeeding) since it seemed as though he was always hungry and never interested in sleeping in the day even though newborns are supposed to sleep for about 15 hours a day or more. Darwin would maybe sleep 2 hours in the daytime. So this meant that I had a lot less time to myself and for naps. But, since he was up in the day he would sleep fairly well at night which made for a more or less rested mommy.

I did however realize that I had to quickly change my diet since whatever I was eating was effecting his tiny little digestive system and giving him a lot of gas and cramps. This was keeping him up or waking him up from a nap and it took me weeks to adjust my diet to suit his little tummy. I eliminated eggs, most dairy, nuts, onions, garlic and citrus from my diet which was difficult since these comprised a large part of my diet. Oh well, as long as Darwin could sleep better I had no problem with that. To this day he gets very mild cramps and seems to prefer his bouncy chair (which was given to me by my friend Beth as a last ditch effort) and it has just been the best solution.

These days Darwin gets about 5 hours of sleep in the day and sleeps for about 10 hours at night with 2 feedings on average throughout the night. He is so much more calm now and ever since I have included foods and herbal concoctions into my diet to increase my breastmilk the supply now flows really well thus providing more than enough food for my baby. So he is satisfied! I still pump at night, mainly due to engorgement of my right breast and also to have a bottle in case I want to go out or give him a little extra at night before bed. Peter normally takes care of that and so he gets some bonding time with his son. Darwin also seems to love that very much since he doesn't see his daddy all day. My mom was in charge of these feedings when she was here and thus developed quite an attachment to little D. She still misses him dearly after being gone for over 2 weeks. I totally understand-- Darwin's such a cutie pie!

Last week Darwin had his first round of immunizations and it was also the first time that I really worried about my son. He had a fever which we were able to keep at bay by administering paracitamol suppositories. Poor Darwin slept on his dad for hours that evening as Peter watched UFC and then in the early morning slept on his tummy in the bed with us for the first time. He really just wanted to be comforted and, hey, I don't blame him. His fever cleared the next afternoon and he was back to his normal smiley self again.

These days he's been smiling a lot and I just love that he is such a happy baby. Not too long ago he was suffering from so much gas that it made me feel so bad that I was hurting him. This gas in particular was from restaurant food and I just had to accept that I could not eat out unless it was a salad or... MacDonalds which seems to not effect him... very strange! He just smiles at everything and loves to be playful. He particularly loves getting bathed in his tub and for the last month has been flashing me a smile to let me know how much fun he is having. Oh I just LOVE him!!

I never thought I could love someone so much. Of course I love me husband but this love is different. I carried the little guy for 9 months inside of me and painfully and naturally gave birth to him. It's a love like no other and it will only grow stronger as he grows. I mean, don't get me wrong, there have definitely been times when I just want to get up and leave the room with Darwin in it when he doesn't want to sleep or he is having gas pains but of course because I am adjusting to giving all my time to another human being.

That's the one thing I overlooked. That I would have a lot less time for myself but at the same time not really care so much. I used to be obsessed about working out and now, if I just can't do it then so be it. Although, this will have to change at some point when Darwin is older can play on his own. I definitely have to lose those 15 lbs and get back into shape so my clothes fit again. I refuse to buy new clothes, since I just love the ones I have and also do not want to start feeling comfortable at a heavier weight..

I am now starting to feel more liberated... to do laundry, read, continue with my volunteering, hang out with Pete, cook and go out with friends without feeling that I need to constantly cater to Darwin's needs. Overall, he is a very good boy and I really just had to get the hang of being a mother, a parent, a caregiver. That's who I am now, there's no turning back... and I wouldn't have it any other way :) I love my Darwin now and forever..

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Planning for the Nursery

Over the last couple of weeks I have been planning for the design of the nursery for my baby. As I have already purchased the furniture and have decided where each piece will go (matching taupe crib, wardrobe and change table from Mom & Co.) the next step is to choose the paint colour.

After looking through numerous pictures and blogs to give me some ideas for wall colour and design I came up with the idea to hang wallpaper on one wall which will have the crib adjacent to it for contrast. And after much mindful debating I chose a navy blue and beige plaid design which would complement the furniture and window and door in the bedroom. But I had to be okay with not painting the other walls blue since it would not match the wallpaper and upon realizing that blue is not the only "boy colour" available I made the choice to go with a colour that would complement the wallpaper. This colour turned out to be some shade of brown and, although I have not yet chosen the exact colour, I have an idea of what it will be and I am very happy with it.

I had originally had the idea to paint or order some sort of simple mural for one of the walls like a tree with flowers, but after finding out that I was having a boy I could not really decide on a design and I also did not know who I could find to help with such a design since I have little artistic talent. I happened to stumble upon a google image of a beautiful nursery in which one of the walls had a blue, white and grey argyle design that mimicked a boy's sweater and I thought it was brilliant. However, after visiting the blog on which the image was posted I withdrew my initial desire towards such an idea since it was actually tediously drawn and painted by the mother-to-be. And although she posted very detailed instructions for the design I was not about to get my hands dirty for such a task. So that is how I decided on the wallpaper idea.

The main issue with my wallpaper idea, which I only realized after the fact, was that I could not find it on the island in which I live, Curacao. So I thought the next best solution would be to order it online and either ship it to my address or my family address in Canada and they could subsequently ship it to me. I chose the latter.

I am almost 23 weeks and I almost have everything I need to get started on the nursery. I just have to buy the paint. As well, I still have a few minor repairs that are still pending such as the hardware replacement on the window, installation of a screen for the window which I have already ordered and purchased and installation of a ceiling fan which will be done after I have painted the room.

I actually won't be doing any of the painting myself since I am pregnant and it is not advised but will hire someone to paint and to also patch some holes in the wall sand parts of the walls. My husband and I will hang the wallpaper since we want to make sure it is done correctly and seeing as wallpaper is not sold on the island, how can I be confident that the person I hire will even know what wallpaper is??

I also recently purchased a crib bedding set online from Amazon and shipped it to my family address in Canada. My mom will be bringing it with her when she comes to stay with me for a couple of months when I have the baby. It is a 4-piece set which includes a comforter, fitted sheet, dust ruffle and bumper. The design is plaid with beige, chocolate brown and a dark navy blue/black. After searching through hundreds of designs I found it on an online American store but it was out of stock. And just when I thought I would have to continue my tedious search I found the same set on Amazon. Now, looking back I think that it would have been wiser for me to choose the bedding before selecting a wallpaper design. Nevertheless, I found exactly what I was looking for, but it required additional effort and patience.

There will still be a few additional things I will need to purchase to complete the room such as a rocking chair or recliner with small ottoman, wall hangings, curtains, change pad with cover, wash basin and a lamp. I am really looking forward to seeing the outcome of this project and it has been a lot of fun so far. I'm really glad that I started the project when I did because there are so many factors that need to be considered such as the length of time it will take to receive shipment of various items like furniture, wallpaper, etc. and the time you will need to spend on purchasing items and completing repairs.

I have posted pictures of the wallpaper and bedding that I have selected for the room.


Blue Mountain Wallcovering (Design by Colour)
Banana Fish Spot Crib Bedding for Nursery

 Finished Nursery (missing curtains, bedding and... baby!)

Human Nature vs. Human Behaviour

Recently I watched the Zeitgeist movie (Part 1 and 2) and it has really made me think deeply about my original thoughts on human nature and our predispositions.

Firstly, I have had a chance to ponder about the human desire for believing in God; a belief that is mythical and therefore untrue. But is it really the desire of the human being to be drawn to such things that are believed in mass or is it something that has almost forced us to behave in this way? Is it then also our desire due to our nature of greed and selfishness that has attracted us to money and material things? Is this human nature or rather human behaviour that has drawn us in the direction we have taken?

After watching the aforementioned movie, I have come to the realization that a lot of how human beings think and act are a product of what has been perpetuated in society for thousands of years. From the time of pagan belief systems to the creation of Jesus and to the building of monetary systems, human beings have been subject to a power that is far more greater and dangerous than they have ever believed. The power to manipulate and control.

I have already said in my previous posts that human nature plays a strong role in the progress of human society and that is still true. Manipulation and the desire to control human beings is a product of none other than human beings, and this is a natural quality that is selected for the banding together of groups and the individual need for stability and security. However, when human beings in large groups are controlled and manipulated by a few individuals for their own personal gain, it is not so much human nature which is at play but a behaviour that has been stimulated from societal systems such as money and power.

During pagan times, a time of a much simpler society, people worshiped the cycle of the sun and the stars in order to better understand the world in which they lived. As societal systems became more advanced this was later translated into something that was more manipulative for the personal gain of a few individuals who had the power to play with people's minds. The creation of religion and the belief in God took advantage of human nature and forced people to behave a certain way or they would be subject to punishment. And later, as government became more complex and a monetary system was established, people were further forced to comply with laws that they were not involved in creating. So in essence human beings were forced to behave as prisoners for a few individuals who's human nature was overtaken by their own creation-- the system of profit-making.

A profit-driven societal system is what exists today. The controllers of such a system control the people and they control the creation of money. The monetary system was once based on something of value-- gold, a natural resource-- but today money is created from nothing and therefore places a debt on the government that needs it, or in other words on the people. Humans are thus forced to work for the powerful few and feed them through addictive consumerism. It is a vicious cycle that continuously increases the monetary debt on society and forces human beings to comply to its effects of ever-increasing interest, inflation and manipulation and never-ending slavery for the people. For the powerful, the result is the opposite. They continue to steal money from the people through profit-making systems and war and gain more power through this endless cycle.

Human nature has essentially been hijacked by the societal systems which we have created or ignorantly helped to create. Is there any hope for the future of humankind? Can humans regain their natural way of life and overcome such behaviour that has been forced on them? Can we break away from slavery and fight back against these powerful dictators who have themselves been manipulated by their own creation of monetary structure? Technology may help us to overcome this disaster since it will free us from a profit-driven societal system and give human beings more power to make decisions for their own governments. It will free us from one of the largest profit-making markets, oil, and instead harness the power of natural solar and wind resources. And humans can be brought back to what is more important in life which is the control of their own lives rather than being controlled by others for their own personal gain.