Sioux Lookout Spring

At the Sioux Lookout Library

Whew! 4 weeks of work have just flown by. Sitting on the couch, post-call, with coffee in hand, I feel like I am just surfacing for a big breath that I have been desperately waiting for. I am happily off this week to be, sans-pager, just a Mom again!

It has been a month of adjustment for all three of us, well four if you include Ada 🙂 We are now settled back into our beautiful home and have been enjoying fabulous spring weather on Abram Lake. The ice on the lake doesn’t seem to be budging, although the snow is gradually retreating, inch-by-inch.

A sunny afternoon walk on the ice
Kicksledding on Pelican Lake – Henry, Ada, Blake and I
Out for a snowshoe on Abram Lake

A bright sunny day on Abram Lake

Blake, the stay at home Dad, has been really enjoying the sunny, warm weather. Last week, he brought out one of his new toys – an ice boat that he bought last year. If you’re like me and are scratching your head, wondering what an ice boat is, it is essentially a small metal sailboat on metal runners. A perfect play toy for Blake who loves to sail and windsurf. Now he can keep sailing on the ice too! He and our good friend Caleb rigged the boat up and have been spending hours on the ice having a fantastic time jibing around the lake to the surprise and confusion of on-looking ice fishermen.

Blake and the ice boat

Our friend Caleb

For me, my transition back to work was, in many ways, a challenging one. It felt like one day I was standing on the edge of the pool, nervous to take the leap in and the next I was frantically swimming to keep above water. The most difficult part was forcing my brain to emerg from my post-baby fog, into the rapidly-paced world of medicine.

Early morning smiles

Thankfully, the health authority that I work for has allowed me to return to work part-time, however, anyone in medicine knows that there is no ‘part-time’ really in our job! I am definitely working less than before Henry was born, but clinics, shifts in the ER, on the maternity ward and during the nighttime providing physician support by phone to all of the fly-in nursing stations in the North have accumulated into 40hrs+ a week. Leaving the house before Henry awakes and arriving home just in time to put him to bed has been difficult to say the least.

An early morning post-call snuggle in my ‘on-call’ bed

Long hours aside, it has been interesting to me to see how being a mother has changed my perspective and my practice. These observations have been subtle, but seeing the many sick babies and small children through the ER and clinic have pulled on my heartstrings in ways that I had never expected before.

Besties, just hanging out.

Back at home, Henry, Blake and Ada have being doing fantastically in my absence. These days, in the mornings, Henry and I get up early, have a snuggle in bed followed by breakfast together (i.e. I pump while feeding him a bottle and while eating cereal). Then, I pass him off to Blake and head out the door to work. Blake and Henry settle into their morning routine of coffee (for Blake) and more milk (for Henry) on the couch before Henry goes down for his morning nap. Their days are then filled with… well, let me just quote Blake here:

Celia – ‘Blake, what do you and Henry do while I’m at work?’

Blake – ‘Well, usually he shits himself, then I change him, then I feed him, then he sleeps, then he jumps around in the Jolly Jumper, and then I throw him on the bed a couple of times, or we go next door or go for a walk… I don’t know, we just hang out!’

Although it hurts my ego to say this, they are getting along just perfectly without me!

Henry helping Blake in the garage
Henry’s new party trick!

Tired out Dad & Ada, asleep on the couch after Henry’s in bed

Being a Dad is hard! Blake feeding Henry while also taking care of the boys next-door (Brooks – 4, Hunter – 6)

Over the past two weeks, Henry has really taken a leap in his motor development. At his 5-month birthday, he began to sit unassisted (although still has a bit of trouble with balance!) and has been rolling and pivoting all over the place while on his belly. He’s getting so close to crawling. He has mastered moving backwards and this week he has figured out how to drag himself along the floor towards a toy with a lot of effort! It’s so fun to watch his personality develop. He is a determined and opinionated little guy, but also so easy-going. He is usually content to just hang out for stretches of time in his Bumbo chair, in the Jolly Jumper, on the couch or on the floor on a blanket as long as you’re nearby and chatting or singing with him. He loves watching the world around him and has lots to say about what he sees. His eyes open wide and he waves his arms and wriggles his legs whenever something excites him – like seeing Ada, a funny noise, a song, etc. Hilariously, he ‘discovered’ his penis last night after his bath. He was quite pleased about that one and was laughing and smiling!

In the sleep department, we had a rocky transition during our first few weeks at home, due to a big change in time zones,  a new room and being put into the crib, but Henry has settled back into his old routine.  Thankfully  the sleep training has still held on and he will usually sleep from 7pm-6am, although he still wakes up once in awhile around 3am. This has been a true blessing for me, as I have been doing lots of night shifts and knowing that he is sound asleep and isn’t needing Blake nor I throughout the night is a big relief. We will see how long this lasts though as he still doesn’t have any teeth and has managed to not get sick despite the germs I’m bringing home from the hospital.

Henry fast asleep outside in the Chariot. I read that it is common practice in Iceland to leave babies outside in strollers to nap. So, if Henry falls asleep on our walk and is still snoozing when we get back, I just leave him to ZZZZZZZ outside (only if it isn’t too cold!)

Lack of teeth aside, this week, we set him up in his chair and gave him his first real solids. So far he has tried apples, oranges, noodles, carrots, celery, peanut butter and banana. It has been hilarious watching his expressions when experiencing new tastes and textures. I have a feeling Ada will really like this next phase of Henry scattering little bits of food all over the floor!

First solids!

On the social front, in true Sioux Lookout form, since being home, Henry has been out and about to various pot-lucks and get togethers. He is incredibly easy going and always surprises me at how at ease he is in the arms of his many adoring followers 🙂 At home, it is a joy to spend time with him. Like every parent out there, I melt whenever he giggles – usually laughing at being tickled by me, thrown in the air by Blake, or licked by Ada. I have tried numerous times to video these adorable moments, but as most special moments are, they are spoiled when the camera comes out.

Easter isn’t complete without making nests 🙂

Easter egg hunt outside – Brooks and Blake going after their loot!

At our neighbours for a neighbourhood Easter brunch

Hunter counting his eggs

Henry and Keith at brunch next door

Family Easter portrait (plus Brooks who ADORES Blake and never lets him leave his sight!)

‘Boys in the Bay’ – all the boys on the couch at Easter dinner

Easter dinner – Yum!

Soooo much drool!
Enjoying a sunny afternoon walk with our dear friend Lianne

Henry is really into people’s faces these days! He loves to poke you in the mouth and nose 🙂

Having fun with our friend Kirsten

Next week, Blake, Henry and I are will be heading on another new adventure! As a family doc here in Sioux Lookout, part of my job requires me to do week-long clinics in fly-in First Nation communities. Since I couldn’t bear leaving Henry and Blake for a whole week, instead, we are all going together to Lansdowne House or Neskantaga First Nation. If things go well, we will be going there monthly… Henry better get an air miles card since he will be a well traveled little baby!

Much love, and so sorry for the long hiatus in posts!

The new table that Blake and my Dad made over Christmas

Reading his morning storybook

Helping me cook dinner

These days, reading is more about chewing on the book…

Loving life in the sun!

Being a baby is exhausting!

Going after anything and everything on the counter

Out for our first Spring run post-knee surgery

Don’t worry Mom, I’ve got this feeding thing covered

Opening an Easter gift from my Mom

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