Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year of the family

I keep doing this... I know. But I really have a good reason for my disappearance this time.

Honest.

And here she is.
I had another baby! (On a side note: look at that little squishy face. Mmmm... squishy face.)

And now, life with 2 under 2 is a tad bit crazy. Throw the holiday season in there too and you may understand why blogging has taken a back seat.

Anywho, it's New Year's Eve today. I'm generally not the type to "reflect" on the year gone by. But 2011 has been quite the year for my little family and I. And since I don't have much of a plan for myself for 2012, I've actually been reflecting quite a bit.

In 2011, my little Anna turned one. In the same year, I had a baby.
(Anna says: "Let me touch your face over and over again, baby!")

This year, our family lost a great man - my father in law. My husband has grappled with losing his Dad and his own role as a Dad as well.

2011 was the year I went out on my own and started my own business.

And 2011 was also the year in which I learned that my body is really not my own for now. (But that's perfectly okay). I not only finished up nursing my first little one this year, I also grew another human being. And I'm now back to nursing again. And while I may not enjoy the fact that my body is holding onto fat, my hormones are crazy, I can't enjoy more than a glass of wine at a time, and my shape is forever changed, my body is doing something incredibly important for my children. So for now, I can live with my pancake bum and everything else. All in the name of my kids' health.

In 2011, Andrew and I took 3 vacations. (Lah-dee-dah! Look at us!) We went to Florida, New York City and took a trip to a cottage in the summer with friends.

But the most important thing I've realized is that 2011 was the year I became complete. My family is complete. Andrew and I have two little girls. Our lives together are just beginning. We have so much to look forward to.

So maybe that's why I've been reflecting.

2011 was a big year for me. And I have a feeling 2012 has even more in store for us.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Mom felt this way, too??

Isn't it interesting how the world just sort of stops when your kid is sick?

You enter into total "Mommy Mode" and it doesn't seem like a sacrifice at all to spend the better part of your night sitting upright in your toddler's bed, 37 weeks pregnant, your neck stiffly resting on the cold corner of the wall, as your little one lays up against you so she can sleep without coughing.

Right now I'm spending my morning sitting on the couch with my little red-cheeked, glassy-eyed Buttertart. I'm also letting her watch as much Max and Ruby as she wants while she drinks water and picks raisins out of the oatmeal I'm trying to feed her.

My poor thing has a bad cold - combined with teething (I'm convinced). And when she feels like this, I find I'm sort of in awe of my reaction now that I'm a Mom. What I mean is - I never really realized the intensity of this crazy maternal, primal instinct that kicks in. I want to make her feel better. I need to make her feel better. I must make her feel better.

I remember when I was sick as a kid, my Mom would run her fingers through my hair to soothe me. She'd sit with me until I relaxed and nodded off to sleep. She would bring me tea and toast and rub my face and tell me she was here for me. And it all instantly made me feel better.

At the time, I just thought my Mom was doing what Moms do. (Don't get me wrong - I was extremely grateful. Even at 32 years of age, there is nothing like my Mom when I'm sick or down or out of sorts.) But now I realize she was doing what she had to do.

There was something inside of her that desired to put my health and comfort before hers.

Which made me realize something else... I'm special enough for her to sacrifice her sleep and her comfort... really? She did this just for me??

Yes. It took 32 years for me to start thinking these thoughts. (I'm sorry, Mumsie!) But I get it now.

And I will be totally patient for the next 30 years and a few months with Anna.

But... if it takes even longer for her to get it? It's okay. Because sitting in the dark listening to her soft breathing for 45 minutes is not only okay... it's quickly becoming one of my new favourite things to do.

You're totally worth it, kiddo.

You can't resist me in a froggy hat, Mommy. You're putty in my hands.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who am I really?

I’m struggling here.

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is that makes me different from every other mom blogger out there. What’s my angle? What’s my niche?

And guess what I’ve realized?

I’m so not unique.

I’m a white, English-speaking woman. I was born in Canada. My parents were born in Canada. My grandparents were born in Canada. I have a white husband. We have a very pale little 21-month old girl. We live in a big suburb. We’ve got a semi-detached, back-split home. We’re due with our second child in about 3 weeks. And then our little family will be complete. Mom, Dad and 2 kids.

It’s undeniable. I’m a total cookie cutter.

I asked my mom what made me different as a parent blogger (since she always offers a very unbiased and objective opinion of me… as moms are known to do). And she said, “Well, you aren’t a lesbian, a visible minority, a full-time working mom or a full-time stay at home mom either. Maybe that’s what makes you unique!”

She loves me and she’s cute… but I’m not sure she quite understood the question.

So I decided to take a good, hard look at my life. How am I different? Would I call myself cultural? “Honey – remember that time we went to Quebec and ordered our Subway sandwiches in French? We’re so ethnic, aren’t we??”

Would I call myself out-of-the-ordinary? Hmmm… I’m a sleep-deprived mom who wears Lululemons and loves Starbucks lattes. A bit of a dink, perhaps. But different? Maybe not.

Then I realized something else.

Despite all this, I have stories worth telling. I tell them with passion. I tell them with humour. I let other parents out there know that sometimes I mess up. Sometimes I get depressed. But – holy crap – this is the most amazing experience in the universe, and we should be talking about it. We should be learning and growing from each other. We should be enjoying it.

In my older blog, I wrote about my pregnancy and all about Anna’s first year of life.

Shortly after having her, I experienced this moment. I remember feeling it so intensely. And needing to make sense of it all. Did my words help any other new moms? Maybe. I know for sure that it was cathartic.

When I started getting out and about with Anna, we experienced this. And I learned about the power of the simple things in life. Of happiness.

And when Anna had just turned one, I experienced this moment. It made me realize how much my life has changed. How much love I felt. How incredible everything was now – just because she was here.

Sure, all Moms love their kids and talk about how great they are. From that perspective, I may not stand out on paper to the folks at Todaysparent.com. But I’ve got a unique, amazing, incredible life. Every moment I’ve had since getting pregnant with my first daughter has taught me this.

Through the laughter and the tears, each experience helped me realize I’m not the only one going through this right now. Each experience has made me realize how incredibly lucky I am. Each experience has made me who I’m meant to be.

A mom.

And that’s a pretty unique, incredible thing.

Pray for mojo!

So you've probably noticed I've lost my writing mojo.

I haven't been around for almost 2 months! What the what? It's so not like me to not blather on and on about Anna and her lack of sleep or whatever cute (or gross) thing she's done that day. (Yesterday she ate floor food. Don't know how long it had been there. Yes. I'm still Mom of the Year, folks.)

Anyway. I can explain it away with all the typical things... I'm in my last trimester of this pregnancy and tired all. the. time. I'm still working here and there. I'm trying to do my Christmas shopping and get prepared for Buttertart #2. You know - you've heard it all before.

But really, I think I just needed something to light a fire under my behind. I needed something new to write about. I needed the ever-important Something Different to Blog About.

And that's when I heard about a call for new parent bloggers for Today's Parent. But not just *any* new parent bloggers. Parent bloggers who are different. Unique. Enviro-parent bloggers. Dad bloggers. Parents who blog about life raising their quintuplets with their same-sex partner in their small little town.

That's totally me, no??

I'm entering anyway. Stay tuned, folks! New blog post to come!

You lucky ducks.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shame spiral, averted!

Sometimes I get a little glum for a moment. Not for long - just a quick minute or two.

Usually after looking at my pregnant naked ass in a mirror. (Why do I do that to myself again? Ignorance is bliss. Must remember that.)

Anywho. So I'll feel a little "ugh" for a second or two. Which I find generally leads to two very different reactions:

Reaction 1: I enter into a deep, deep shame spiral where I start wondering when or if I'll ever be within my healthy weight range again and ends with me screaming "WHY ME??" to the heavens as I point at my stretch marks.

Reaction 2: I realize that people all over the world are dying or starving or dealing with horrible things, so the fact that my thighs are lumpy is really a minor detail and I should shut the eff up before someone slaps me.

The other day, I was feeling frumpy and tired and sorry for myself. But before Reaction 1 or Reaction 2 could start rolling into action, I sent the hubster a quick note. (I was bordering on the shame spiral and felt the need to repent for my sins.) So I emailed him this:

"I know I've been tired, sick and kind of irritable lately. Just wanted you to know that I love and appreciate you."

The hubster replied within a few minutes. With this:

"I love you too. I know this pregnancy has been a hard one and we both are tired, pretty much all the time. There's an end in sight, just a couple more months. I'm so happy you're my wife. I'm so happy you're Anna's Mom. Love you forever."

And that was it. That was all I needed.

When life gets me down, when I'm embarrassed or blah about how I look and how I feel, sometimes I just need someone to tell me they love me.

That's what we all need and want, isn't it?

I don't care who you are, how gorgeous your body is, or what material things you've got, rolling around naked in a million dollars on your 300-thread count luxury sheets ain't going to feel as good as being told you're loved. Being told that you're good enough. That someone thinks you're perfect just as you are.

So, there's no need to slap me. I get it now. Andrew loves me. Anna loves me. And I love them.

Shame spiral averted - just in time for Thanksgiving. How appropriate.

I'm a lucky lady. I know who I'm giving thanks for this weekend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Runny noses and other things...

So here are a few things I've been marvelling at lately...
  • Food. Are you aware what a wonderful invention a warm chicken tzatziki wrap is? (I'm eating now. You can probably tell without much guessing that I'm hungry. Ah, pregnancy.)
  • Daycare. I'm not sure if I love it or hate it. I sort of dislike it because my wee, young, little munchkin is with strangers and, as I'm neurotic, I find myself thinking things like, "I wonder what she's doing right now? I wonder if she's okay. Or if she's sad. Or if her nose needs wiping. Is it weird that a stranger wipes her bum? It's weird." I sort of love it because Anna gets to do fun things. I get to work uninterrupted and guilt-free. And she sleeps well at night on daycare days. (How I love that little perk).
  • The runny nose phenomenon. It seems to take forever and a day for it to go away. Is it possible for a runny nose to last over a month? I swear it seems like it's going to be that long before she's healthy again. And when it *does* go away... there's another one just about a week away, waiting. And snickering. Ready to take over her sweet little nostrils with disgusting goo.
  • Nursing bras. They cost a LOT of money, yo. I did my research. I looked around on a few sites and shops. And I decided, finally, after much humming and hawing, that my girls are worth it. I'm going to be wearing these bras for the rest of my pregnancy and for about a year after having baby #2. My boobs deserve to be held in a nice package that doesn't shape them all weird or make me look like I'm 92 years old, wearing my laundry-day undies. So. I have $274 worth of nursing bras on their way to me as we speak. The girls are worth it. They really are. (Must keep telling myself this).
That is all. Have a lovely day, Mamas.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coffee talk

Last night I went out for coffee with some Mom friends. We - of course - spent the majority of the evening talking about our kids.

Here's what I learned:
  • Almost all of us have babies/toddlers who still don't sleep very well.
  • We're very in awe of the couple of Moms whose kids are good sleepers.
  • All kids have a bit of a tough transition to daycare at first... but they all get used to it and learn to love it.
  • Some of our kids don't eat well, some will only eat well at daycare - never for Mommy - and some will throw their food at us, throw it on the floor or even give themselves facials with their lunch, rather than eat it.
My conclusion? We all have normal kids. (Hurrah!) They're all just being kids - doing their thing, making life somewhat of a struggle for us Moms... but being incredibly cute and wonderful and fantastic at the same time.

Ah, these coffee nights. I love em. I really do. After reconnecting with some of the awesome Moms I met on mat leave (and meeting some new Moms, too) I always leave feeling refreshed. Calm. At ease.

It gives me a chance to actually talk to real, live grown-ups about what's going on and to find out that most Moms? Are dealing with the exact same things, too. I must have lucked out with the Mom group I joined because they're all wonderful, supportive women.

I've actually only met one Mom who was kind of holier-than-thou. You know the type, right?

"My child had 40-50 words by the time she was your child's age. What's that? Your daughter has 3-5 words? Well I'm sure she's fine..."

Or... "I don't give my child any product from a cow. My children will never consume cow's milk. If anything, they *might* have goat's milk one day. But only if it's organic and from a free-range, all-natural grain-fed goat."

Excuse me while I list off my daughters favourite foods. Uh, let's see... cheese, yogurt and homo milk - all from the regular aisle at the grocery store.

Anyway. Had a great evening. Reaffirmed my belief that Anna's a normal, happy, regular kid. And I'm doing a good job.

Thank goodness. Cause Anna's stuck with me.

Jeez Mom... if you're gonna post pics of me, at least make them current. I have more hair in the current ones.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes

So many changes in such a short little time for my little nugget.

Anna’s completely moved into her new room – with toys and clothes and books and everything (it’s not just a bed anymore). She’s starting daycare full days next week – 2 days a week. She’s getting used to Mama not being around as much. And before you know it, the new baby will be here.

I even thought (for a nanosecond) of testing out potty training with her. The reason being… when I’m in the washroom she comes in (there is no such thing as privacy in the loo anymore), grabs some toilet paper and “wipes” herself. She’s showing signs of knowing what to do. And yesterday morning, she trotted out of her bedroom when she woke up, marched straight to the change table in the nursery, pointed to her bum and went “ooooo….” with a squinty face. She had pooped and wanted me to change her promptly.

Such a smart little kid, she is.

Anywho. With all the new things going on, I think potty training can wait. Not to mention, she’s still teething off and on, which is extremely unpleasant for her and everyone else involved.

I guess these are all just more signs of my little Anna growing up. (Sniff, sniff.)

Every once in a while I think, “My goodness, she’s so grown up.” It happens when I watch her run around – so quick and nimble on her little legs. Or when she walks hand-in-hand down the street with me, pointing and waving at people and cars and dogs she sees. Or when she sleeps in her big bed.

But then again, she’s still got very little hair and doesn’t say much. And she still likes Mommy to lie next to her when she can’t get back to sleep. She still wants Mommy to hug her and cuddle her when she’s upset.

And it reminds me that she’s not so grown up just yet. I’ve still got time. She’s still my little baby.

And an amazing little baby, she is.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Answers to your questions

Hey Mamas. How y'all doing today? Me? I'm fine, thanks for asking.

So a LONG time ago when I was actually blogging regularly, I asked all of you lovely readers to let me know what topics you'd like me to tackle. And now - a good 5 months later - I will respond to your questions. How lovely and prompt of me, no?

Question/Topic #1:
"How about post baby birth control? I'm curious to know what other women are doing. I've tried to avoid going back on the pill, but my hormones are crazy now that I'm moving up in my 30's."

Ah, post-baby birth control. This is something I'm obviously very good at. (This is a joke, you see... because I done got knocked up again and all). But this is an interesting topic to me. Once I spit out baby #2, I don't plan on going back on the pill. It's just not for me anymore. And since hubby and I have discovered that we're VERY fertile (I won't go into detail) I'll have to be quite concerned/aware of this afterwards.

So... since I'm not well-versed on this topic, do any of you other Mamas want to offer up your suggestions? What do you do?

My first (and, admittedly ONLY) thought has been to make the hubster get the snip. If I have to carry the kids and give birth to them - he can deal with a little snip here and a little snip there, no? Is that wrong? That's really my only thought on this topic so far. I'm kind of stuck on it. Lucky hubster.

Question/Topic #2:
"I know you're not there yet Hez, but can you ask your Moms about second pregnancies? How is it different from the first - showing sooner? Morning sickness that is actually worse the second time around?"

As you can see, I'm so incredibly late in replying to these comments, that I'm actually 26 weeks pregnant now. So I actually AM there. I'm 26 weeks there, yo.

My second pregnancy has been VERY different from the first. I was sick as a dog for the first 2 and a half months. I puked. And when I puked, I would pee my pants. (Gee - the snip solution is sounding better and better, no? My husband's never had a giant head pushing on his bladder day in and day out. He doesn't have to feel the fear of God every time his nose gets a tickle in it and he's out in public.) I had horrible skin. I was EXHAUSTED and had very low energy. My hair was falling out instead of becoming thick and glorious like it did the first time around.

Things have been much better in my second trimester, but I'm still pretty damn tired. I still pee every time I sneeze (this certainly didn't happen THIS early last time). My skin still kind of erupts every now and again. But all in all, I can't complain too much right now.

Oh - but another difference? I did prenatal yoga and walked throughout my entire first pregnancy. I even jogged up until 23 weeks or so. This time? Not a lick of exercise. Nada. Nothing. Unless you count lifting chocolate covered almonds from the bowl to my mouth. I like to do lots of reps and sets of those.

Question/Topic #3:
"I would be interested to know more about what people are feeding their little ones. Olivia is 10.5 months now and I struggle to come up with new food ideas for her. She can eat some of what we eat, but not quite everything yet."

Another topic that I may not be the best one to answer. The reason being - Anna's been teething off and on for a while, and for the last 2-3 weeks, she barely eats anything.

She's literally living on Cheerios and milk, toast and cream cheese, apples, applesauce, yogurt and bread sticks. Nice and well-balanced eh? Last night we actually managed to get her to eat some pasta which had a veggie or two in the sauce, but when I ask her if she wants to eat her squash, for example, she scrunches her face up and yells "Noooooooooooooooooooo!" at me.

So - yeah. I may need my experienced Mama friends to answer this one for me as well.

Phew. It feels good to get caught up! (In a slightly half-assed way).

Look for instalment two - coming soon. I promise I'll answer the next set of questions before I birth this baby in another 14 weeks.

Honest.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Question of the day

Does your child have any sort of predictable wake-up time?

Anna doesn't seem to.

A few days ago, she got up at 5:30 and would NOT go back to sleep no matter what. The next day? She slept until 7:30. Today it was 6:15am. That's a big window each morning.

I feel like I need to go to bed at 9pm every night, just to ensure I get enough sleep. You know, since I never know when I'll be up.

Anywho. So there's not much for me to blog about today. Just wondering if any Mamas are still reading (with all my gaps in posting, I really don't blame you for not reading). If you actually are still reading, weigh in on the Mom o' the Day Question, would ya?

I'm curious.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Big girl

A few nights ago I had my very first real and true parenting moment.

It happened after Anna went to bed.

I walked by her room. Looked at her empty crib. And tried really hard not to cry. (The one, lone toy and her two baby blankets laying inside made this extremely difficult, however.)

My baby was sleeping in a big girl bed.

Sniff, sniff... She's so not a baby anymore.

Up until now, I understood when other Moms talked about sobbing as they put away the little clothes their baby no longer fit into. I just didn't have my own experience. I got it - but I didn't relate 100%.

Now I get it.

It's very exciting that Anna's getting bigger and reaching new milestones and becoming more and more like a little kid instead of a baby. It's fascinating to see her develop and to discover how much she understands and comprehends. But at the same time - it's sad to think that she's growing out of the baby phase. It's sad to think about how quickly that time goes.

The other night, when I lay with her in her bed as she drifted off to sleep, I had a fleeting moment where I thought "Maybe I shouldn't lay here until she falls asleep. She'll need it every night. It'll start a bad habit that we might not be able to break for a long time."

Then I looked at her cute little chubby hand, opening and closing over her soother (she plays with it to get to sleep) and I reached out and stroked her soft skin on that delicate hand. I ran my finger over her eyebrow in a soothing motion, watching her be lulled to sleep by my presence. And I thought to myself, "How long?"

How long do I have before she won't need me (or want me) around, touching her and hugging her and kissing her? How long will it be before we're too big to fit into bed together and she'd rather sleep by herself? How long until she's an honest-to-goodness big girl, asserting her independence and no longer in *need* of Mommy?

Yes, she's only 19 months (almost), so I may be getting ahead of myself here. But man, those 19 months went fast. Now I find myself wishing for time to slow down. I want to savour every moment.

So, baby experts be damned. I'll take our bad habits for as long as I can get them.

Because there's nothing like laying in bed with my little girl, cuddling her close and watching her eyes close as she drifts off into a happy, secure sleep.

That, I've discovered, is what this life thing is all about, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our gift

"I really am your gift. I am not just a little person who needs to be "raised" and taught, and taken to activities....I came to the people in my life to bring a message: slow down. Feel. Be. Over and over again. When you do, you will notice immediately, that I am not an obstacle to your work, or inconvenience to your daily life. Instead, you will come to appreciate my honesty, humor, presence and love."-- Bruce Scott

I read this quote this morning on Facebook and my eyes started welling up.

What a beautiful, beautiful reminder, no?

When I'm feeling tired and at my wit's end and not sure what to do about Anna's moods or her teething or the fact that it's so hard to take care of a toddler while pregnant and working from home... I must remember this.

I must remember that Anna is a gift.

My goodness, Andrew and I are so lucky to have her in our lives. She constantly amazes us with the things she learns. She gives back to us every single day through her smiles and her laughs and her hugs. When she wants me to hold her, I feel nothing but unconditional love. When she leans in to give me a kiss, I feel pure happiness.

She is a gift.

Andrew and I were given her to bring us closer together, to make us better people, to learn to love and be patient and kinder to everyone around us. To take joy in the simple things. To find happiness in everything we do. To just feel... so lucky.

Our cup runneth over.

Thank you, Anna. Our little gift. All wrapped up in an incredibly cute package.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Indoor play. Ideas, anyone?

Hello there. Remember me?

I’m the person who started this blog and told everyone to read it and asked you to “like” it on Facebook and then I disappeared off the face of the planet.

Sorry bout that. But… there you go. Life happens. And now I’m back!

As most of you know, I’ve been pregnant and exhausted and taking care of Hurricane Anna and working and trying to find endless things to do to keep Anna occupied and happy and all that.

So I’ve been a wee bit busy. Such is the way of the world when you have a toddler though, right?

What’s new with all of you?

Anna’s cutting new teeth. She now has 9 teeth. Only 23 more to go! (Is that right? That seems like a lot.) Oh, teething. The bane of my existence.

The good news is – we were on vacation while she was teething so the kids and the sun and the beach and the lake and the ice cream provided a very nice distraction for Anna.

The less good news is – vacation is over. Which means – back to trying to find things for Anna to do to keep her occupied and having fun.

Honestly – the kid is bored with her toys. She wants to go outside the minute she’s done breakfast and gets really mad if we don’t let her. What about rainy days? What about when it’s too hot or too cold? I can’t reason with her – so I end up having to listen to her whine and screech at me most of the time.

Good times… Good times.

So here’s where I ask the seasoned Mamas for some tips. What’s a non-crafty Mom to do with her kid inside?

(I say “non-crafty” because I “liked” Play at Home Mom on Facebook to give me some ideas for indoor play with an 18 month old. Yeah. The tips and ideas on that site are for people that are WAY more crafty and resourceful than I am. They make everything from scratch – like glue and paint and sensory boards – and have these HUGE, really well organized play areas for their kids, so it doesn’t matter if they get rice and sand and coloured yogurt everywhere. One of the Moms built a giant bubble out of some kind of see through paper in their backyard for their kid to run around in, for pete’s sake.)

I digress.

So – other than colouring (Anna likes it for about 5 minutes) or play-doh (which she intensely dislikes for some bizarre reason), what can we do inside?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby #2

I'm feeling maternal guilt for poor little unborn baby #2.

At this point in my pregnancy with Anna, I had blogged pretty much every day about every little detail. How big she was (baby is now the size of a peach!), how big I was, what sort of things we had done to get ready for baby, what I was thinking, how I felt, etc. etc. I think I'd even written a few of those "Dear baby" posts. (Such a cute first time Mama thing to do, no?)

This time around, I haven't done much other than take my vitamins every day and sleep with the snoogle each night. Other than my big ol' belly (that's popping MUCH earlier), I honestly keep forgetting that I'm pregnant. Even though I'm 20 weeks now. Half way there!

So I think it's about time to make sure the second child doesn't consistently feel the "second child syndrome".

My 20 Week Pregnancy Update:

How far along: 20 weeks. (Or 19 weeks, 6 days depending on which due date I go by: The 19th of December or the 20th.)

Symptoms: Feeling pretty good! Last time around, I had some annoyingly consistent acid reflux... but this time it hasn't been too bad. Woo! Other than being totally exhausted, I can't complain much. My skin has finally cleared up. I'm not nauseous anymore. It's going okay so far.

Weight gain: About 10 or 11 lbs. I'll find out for sure tomorrow at my midwife appointment. I think I was close to 15 or 16 lbs. last time around. Running after Hurricane Anna must be helping!

Movement: I've just started feeling the baby move around over the past week or so. I have a theory that this baby is pretty chilled out. Not much gets the little thing all riled up. Good thing this is my second pregnancy. If it was my first baby, I would have been totally freaking out that I couldn't feel the baby move every second of every day.

That's about it for now. Hurricane Anna needs my attention. Sorry, baby #2. I promise that I'll be totally and completely fair with my time when you arrive.

Love,
Your tired Mama.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Sleep Issue (again)

After the last post, my heart went out to the commenter who wondered if her son will ever, ever sleep.

Oh, how I remember those days.

I believe it was mostly in my other blog, (or was it here? I can't remember... I'm sleep deprived). But basically, I've given a thorough account of Anna's sleep issues over the past year and a half.

I remember trying absolutely everything to get her to sleep. I tried putting her to bed with a night light, without a night light, feeding her cereal right before bed, rocking her, letting her cry it out, lavender creams, singing and shh-ing her while standing over her crib, gradually tiptoeing slowly towards the door, so she wouldn't notice I was gone, putting one of my shirts in her crib so she could "smell" me.

I even remember lying on the floor (before Anna could stand up in her crib) so she couldn't see me, but could hear me shh-ing her and saying things like "Mommy loves you. It's just bed time".

Sigh.

Desperation (and lack of knowing anything else) makes you do silly things.

It was a long 13-15 months. It was 13 months before Anna slept through the night finally. And it was around 15 months when she started going to bed easily. Now? We brush her teeth, read her a book, put her to bed and leave and that's it. She's out.

It's freaking bliss.

Of course, she still wakes up around 4 or 5am and needs to be soothed back to sleep with a bottle of warm milk... but there you go. I'll take it.

The point is this. I tried absolutely everything I could think of to get her to sleep. And, as frustrating as it is, it just took time. That's all she needed.

Just like with rolling over, crawling, learning to walk (and just as learning to talk will be), Anna figured it all out on her own. With time.

So if you're struggling right now with the lack of sleep, I feel you. I feel your pain big time. And I know it doesn't help much right now... but one day, your little one will probably just figure it out on their own as well.

At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel, right?

Until then - I strongly suggest you do whatever it takes (whether it's what you're "supposed" to do or not) to get the little ankle biter to sleep.

Save your sanity.

That's all us Mamas can really do, right?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily routines

Anna slept until 7am today.

I will repeat this for emphasis... 7am.

As in, 7 in the morning. Not 5. Not 5:45. 7.

Needless to say I'm pretty happy. I've had my breakfast and my coffee and with a good night's sleep, I'm rarin' to go. Woo!

So - onto the topic for the day.

Daily routines. For those of you that stay home with your kids, or even for those of you that work... what does your day look like when you're home with the kiddies? I'm interested in hearing what other Mom's do.

Here's our daily routine (roughly).

Wake up time (anywhere between 5-7am): Get up, go downstairs and watch a few cartoons while I have my coffee. Or, depending on Anna's mood, we'll have breakfast together right away.

8:00-8:30am-ish: Anna plays in the living room/downstairs TV room while I clean up the breakfast dishes. Then we'll play together for a bit. (Usually means me chasing her around the house trying to tickle her or "helping" her colour).

8:30am: We go upstairs, get Anna dressed, then I put her in her crib with some books or toys while I have a quick shower.

9:00-10:00am: Go outside - either to the park, or to the backyard to play in the water table and kiddie pool.

10:00am-ish: Come home for a snack (usually because I'm hungry!)

11:00am: Play a bit more... either around the house, or outside. Anna's new favourite thing is to play in the car. Bizarre. Or we'll run an errand or two...

12:00pm: Lunch.

Anywhere between 12:30 and 1:oopm: Anna goes for her nap. I do my work, clean up the house, do the dishes, sometimes put on a load of laundry, make any calls or appointments I need to do... etc. etc.

2:30pm: Anna wakes up - and usually has a little snack. Then we have to try and find a way to fill the rest of the afternoon. Yesterday we went to an Early Years Centre. Sometimes we go back outside (it's been SO hot this week though). I've really got to think of some things to do to keep her occupied in the afternoon. (Tips? Advice? Info?)

4:00-5:00pm: Andrew comes home. (Yay!) We start getting dinner ready. Usually eat around 5 or 5:30 so Anna doesn't get too hungry.

After dinner: Lately Andrew and Anna have been going for a swim together while I do some work. Last night, we all went together. Anna loved it. Too cute.

6:45pm: Bath time.

7:00pm: Quality time with the Wiggles. Anna has a little snack again if she wouldn't eat much dinner while she watches a bit of Wiggles.

7:30pm: We go upstairs, brush our teeth, get Anna's room ready for bed (fill up the humidifier, etc.) Then we read a story or two, and at 7:45ish, Anna goes to bed.

That's my day. I'm finding the mornings are alright - but the afternoons seem LONG after her nap. Most play date things are in the morning... so what do you do with your kids in the afternoons?

Let's hear it, Mamas. What are your days at home with the kidlets like?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh, Anna... You're driving me crazy!

Just when I thought I couldn't possibly take one more temper tantrum...

Just when I thought this stage was never, ever, ever going to end...

Just when I thought Anna was never going to wake up happy or be in a good mood in the morning again...

Just when I thought her new normal was slightly miserable off-and-on all day...

... I went in to get her up this morning and found a happy, smiling baby. She wrapped her arms around my stomach before I even had a chance to pick her up and rested her chin on my chest as she looked up into my eyes and grinned.

All is forgiven.

(For now...)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eff you, happy sigh

Oh. My. F@#$*'n. Goodness.

The *happy sigh* from last post is over. It's so over. It ran out the door as soon as it possibly could. It laughed at me on the way out, even.

Why's that, you might be wondering?

Well. I can answer that with a number.

7,897.2.

That's the number of tantrums Anna has had today. The last one - and the worst one - was just a few minutes ago. Great way to end the day.

I would love to say I'm a perfect Mom who did everything right. But I lost my cool, yelled at her, and (of course) made it worse. Sigh... (And now I have intense amounts of Mama guilt. Ugh. Worst type of guilt ever.)

Naturally, the evening got even better when I happened to come across an article that explains why toddlers have tantrums and what NOT to do. (Lose your cool and yell at them? Yeah, don't do that. That makes them feel rejected and awful and it's not their fault and yeah, you suck, Mom.)

So that's my day and evening.

If I weren't crazy and preparing to do this all over again, I would SO be running for a glass of wine right now.

*Tired sigh*

Surviving the road trip

Here's something I advise against:

Taking your 17 month old on a 6-hour car trip, then getting to your destination and making that child sit in the car the next day for another 2+ hours or so and not letting the poor thing play outside at all because the mosquitoes are so bad they might carry him or her away.

Phew. Quite the weekend.

I'm glad we got to visit family and all. But it was a tough way to find out that Anna does not take kindly to being forced to travel.

She was MISERABLE the first day we got there. The next day, she was the happiest kid ever. She basically cheered up just in time for us to make her get back in the car the next day and do the 6 hour car ride all over again.

However, I must say a HUGE thank you to everyone who gave me advice and tips on travelling with your toddler. The DVD player was our saving grace. And the goldfish. The goldfish were awesome at keeping her quiet.

(Thank you to Mamasmacks for saying that "good parenting" can go out the window on these kinds of trips because we basically sat Anna in front of the little TV and stuffed her full of snacks. Woo! We rock at this parenting thing.)

I'm concentrating on the Wiggles here, Ma. Leave me alone. Oh, and don't expect me to blink. It won't be happening anytime soon.


So today, Anna's grouchy as ever. And I'm exhausted. Safe to say that travelling with a toddler ain't easy. And it appears to take several days to recoup.

Of course, being pregnant can't help. Last night I had the worst sleep ever because my sciatic pain started acting up. And my back sort of hurts from carrying Anna around. Last time I was pregnant - I felt awesome. This time - I pee every time I sneeze, I'm achy and more tired than I ever thought possible.

Is it just me? Other Mamas... how did you fare in your second pregnancies?

Anywho. Andrew's home from work, we've had dinner and now he's taking Anna down the street for an evening swim.

And I'm putting my feet up for a second.

*Happy sigh*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer fun

Were you aware that a water table and a kiddie pool were this amazing?



This is yell-your-face-off fun, yo.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Things

In no particular order, a list of new things I feel you should know:
  • I think I've crossed over to the dark side. Yesterday I actually picked up "The Best of the Wiggles" DVD. 12 non-stop songs sung by incredibly annoying grown (yet, rich) Australian men.
  • I tricked Anna into eating veggies big time - in both her eggs and her her pasta. MWA HA HA... Screw you, scurvy!
  • Back to the Wiggles. I've created a monster. Anna insists on watching TV when she gets up in the morning. If I don't give in to her and put the Wiggles on, there's no way I can make my breakfast or coffee or her breakfast. So I let her. And now she expects it every, single day. Mama guilt.
  • A friend of mine who's also pregnant told me that her OB said with your second pregnancy, "you feel like it's going to fall out of you onto the sidewalk in the end." Awesome. That will be pleasant.
  • We're going on a 5 hour car trip on Friday. Any tips/advice on travelling in the car for that long with a toddler? We're going with Grandma and Grandpa too. Grandpa just isn't as used to the toddler stage (read: patient) as the rest of us are.
  • One more question... how old was your toddler when you transitioned them to a bed from the crib? And how did you do it? What worked?
Okay. I have to go get more coffee... The Wiggles are now singing about a dancing dinosaur. Anna's smiling and pointing, but it's just too early for me.

Must have coffee.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back again. This time for real.

Whew. It's been a bit of a sad, stressful, busy, etc. etc. time lately.

Sadly, my wonderful father-in-law has passed away. His funeral is over. The hubster's back to work. I'm at home again with the buttertart. Much change going on.

So we'll see what the near future holds for all of us.

I haven't worked from home in so long, it'll be interesting to see if I can get some freelance jobs here and there again. I really do prefer to work at home - despite the fact that my last in-house job was awesome. So right now, I'm happy.

I'm jobless. But, I'm happy.

What else? Oh yes... and I'm pregnant! So the buttertart has to make room for buttertart #2 (arriving just in time for buttertart season, in fact... December 20th is my due date. Christmas baby!)

I have been seriously sick and tired with this pregnancy. I'm still not completely out of the woods, despite the fact that I'm 16 weeks now. Kind of annoying since I expected this pregnancy to go like last time. (Anna only made me sick for 2 weeks... then it was pretty much smooth sailing).

Alas, no 2 kids are the same, are they? Anna's a total soother baby. I bet the next one won't want anything to do with it. Anna wasn't a great sleeper. This next child WILL SLEEP. As god as my witness, MY SECOND KID WILL SLEEP. (Or Andrew and I will not survive. I swear, if I have to experience 13 months of sleep deprivation again... you may want to pretend you don't know me and avoid me at all costs.)

Anywho. So hopefully I'm back to regular blogging. All you Mamas out there need to know that you're not the only one who can't get your toddler to eat anymore. (Anna used to eat everything. Now she shakes her head, scrunches up her face and says "No... no... no" to almost all healthy foods. Chips, on the other hand, are apparently the most amazing thing that was ever created. Chips are a big-time Anna pleaser.)

(On a side note: I learned a nifty little trick for getting her to eat. It's called ketchup. Seriously... dip their food in ketchup and suddenly the kid will eat anything. And lots of it.)

You also need to know that other Moms won't be calling Child Services on you because of the ridiculous amounts of bruises and scrapes on your kid's legs. (I know, because Anna is a walking/running hurricane who is constantly skinning her knee and bruising her legs. Somehow, I'm still allowed to be her Mom. Who knew?)

(On yet another side note: At the splash pad this morning, Anna fell exactly 4 times onto the concrete in front of the same Mom. She didn't even bat an eyelash. I was all prepared to hang my head in shame and hustle out of there with Anna, until her little boy showed up with bandaids on his legs. We exchanged knowing smiles at each other.)

You also need to know that if you're pregnant with your second (or thinking about becoming pregnant)... your belly will pop out WAY sooner, you'll be WAY more tired than last time, you won't have any interest whatsoever in "What to Expect While You're Expecting" or other pregnancy literature and you'll probably eat sushi and drink diet soda like nobody's business.

So... that's all I've got for today. Anna's napping now. And since I'm wiped ALL the time (and yes, I am taking my iron pills, Mom...) I think I'll go lie down for a quick snooze while I can.

Ah, the joys of working from home. Especially when you don't actually have any work to do at the moment.

(We'll worry about the whole money thing later... for now, I must nap.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fathers

Big sigh.

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Here's the thing. I've been busy with work, have had a lot on my mind and have been a wee bit stressed out lately. (But don't go feeling sorry for me... I'm okay, really I am. It's my hubster I'm worried about).

So Andrew's Dad has cancer. It started two years ago, in his kidney.

Unfortunately, it's been spreading. And some of the medications haven't been working. Fast forward to today, and he's in the hospital, not doing well.

It's now in his brain.

Andrew, Anna and I went to visit him in the hospital on Father's Day. It was the first time I'd seen him since he started going downhill rapidly. He really didn't look the father-in-law I know. His face and legs were really skinny. His body was swollen. I was a bit taken aback at first.

But when he looked at Anna - I saw him. I saw Peter again.

His face just transformed. His eyes lit up. He smiled broadly. And he spoke to her in his Grandpa voice, she knows and loves.

He got tired, and asked us if we would mind cutting the visit short. Before we left, I brought Anna up close to him. She wanted to stay in my arms... but we stood right next to him to say our goodbyes.

Peter looked up, his eyes focused on her face, and said to me, "Thank you, Heather. For Anna."

I nodded.

And then he said something that made me overwhelmingly sad... but also content at the same time. He said "I'll be there at Christmas. You may not be able to see me. But I'll be there."

I broke down as I nodded at him. Tears stopped me from saying what I really wanted to say.

I wanted him to know that I knew he'd be there.... That he'd always be with us. Because we won't let Anna grow up not knowing who her Grandpa was. She'll know how he loved pirate stories - Treasure Island, in particular. She'll know that he told corny jokes. She'll know that he was a teacher at one point in his career. She'll know that he was one of those guys that everyone loved because he was so kind and funny and thoughtful. She'll know he was an amazing Dad to her Daddy. And that he always made her Mommy feel special.

But most of all, she'll know that his face lit up whenever she entered the room. She'll know he adored her. She'll know that according to him, she was just the most amazing little girl ever.

I couldn't say it, but I hope he felt it when I squeezed his hand gently.

I hope he knows.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

8 signs you're not ready for your baby to grow up

Look at me! 2 posts in one day! I'm so productive and efficient. Weeee!

Without further adieu, my new post...

8 signs you’re not ready for your baby to grow up.

  1. You keep calling her “the baby” even though she’s a full-on toddler. For example: “Where’s the baby? Oh, there she is… feeding herself with a spoon, talking to Dada, jumping up and down and filling out her online application to Montessori”. Yeah. She ain’t a baby anymore.
  2. You refuse to put away her baby clothes. Sure, you have to use the Jaws of Life to get her into those one-piece footy pajamas. But they’re pink and cute and have ladybugs on them! You’re not ready to retire the ladybugs!
  3. You cried when she moved from size 2 to 3 in diapers.
  4. You cried when you stopped nursing.
  5. You cry when you think about her doing anything.
  6. You like to try and hold her in the cradle position, despite the fact that she struggles like an ant flipped over on its back, pushing you away, straining her neck, using her core muscles like she’s never used them before to get up and out of that godforsaken hold.
  7. You find yourself saying things like “I just had a baby…” and then feel ridiculous when you have to follow it up with “…16 months ago”.
  8. You keep changing her on the change table, even though her head dangles off one side and her legs keep kicking the box of wipes clear off the table on the other side. She totally still fits. Like… totally.

Work, work, work...

Today is Day 20 of the Downtown Full-Time Work Thing.

I fear there is no end in sight.

Kidding. I’m being dramatic. Who complains about having work when you’re a self-employed freelancer?? I’m crazy. I know.

Anna seems to be adjusting finally. Mama – on the other hand – still isn’t. I mean, I don’t mind it I guess… It’s fun to be in a vibrant, exciting part of the city. The lunch options are awesome. The shopping is great. I get to talk to grown-ups each day.

But the truth is, I’ve discovered that I’m one of those people who really likes being at home with their bambina.

Yes, I got a bit squirrely during the winter months (I’m chalking that up to cabin fever). But in the end, I like the routine we have going at home.

I like getting stuff done around the house. I like playing outside with Anna, or going new places with her. I like doing my freelance work while she naps. And then playing some more before Andrew gets home for dinner.

Sure, there’s no security. I make less money. I never know if I’m going to have a paycheque coming in or not…

But having time to run errands is great. Getting to see as much of Anna as I possibly can while she’s still wee is awesome. And – let’s face it – chilling out in my lulus can’t be beat.

So, what about you guys? Do you like getting out into the Real World every day? Or are you more of the stay-at-home types?

And if you’re the stay-at-home types… what sorts of things do you do with your kidlets to fill the days?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My 16 month old (almost)

Anna's going to be 16 months old on Saturday.

(Pausing to let this fact sink in to the first-time Mama who can't believe her little wee baby is a walking, gibberish-talking TODDLER already!!!!)

In honour of Anna's up-coming month-a-versary, a little recap...

My 16 month old:
  • Is about to get her 5th tooth. It's *just* about to pop through the gums.
  • Says things in the most SERIOUS way. Complete with hand gestures, furrowed brow and everything. Of course, it's all gibberish. So far, all we can decipher is "Ah-dah, adah!"
  • Fully understands what we're saying to her. Like - "Anna, is it time for a bath?" Her answer? Quickly hustling up to the bathroom, yelling excitedly and then trying to climb into the tub, fully clothed.
  • Would probably starve if bananas weren't invented.
  • Has just started wrapping both arms around my legs and sticking her head in between my thighs in classic, little-kid fashion. So. Cute.
  • Likes you to know - in no uncertain terms - when you are sitting in her chair.
  • Loves water. Hates juice. Has a slight allergy to milk. (But also loves it.)
  • Would rather chew on her toothbrush than brush her teeth. But really, really loves her toothpaste.
  • Climbs up onto EVERYTHING.
  • Loves books, her little table and chairs and her shapes puzzle.
  • Has taken to pooping right after we put her down to bed for the night. I think it's her way of saying "Um... no. I'm not ready for bed yet, thanks."
  • Has soft, soft skin. And even softer hair.
  • Is apparently starting to look more and more like me lately.
  • Adores being outside. (Just like her Daddy).
  • Is THE BEST little human that ever lived.
So says her very unbiased Mom.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Life whispers

So who watched Oprah’s last show?

For those of you that missed it, there were no guests. No surprises. It was just Oprah talking. For an hour. Which I thought would be slightly boring, I admit.

But, as I watched Oprah impart her wisdom on us, I found myself thinking. Thinking deeply. (That Oprah… she’s good, isn’t she?) I was thinking a lot about what she was saying and how it applied to my life.

What am I meant to do in life? What’s next for me? What’s my real passion? Am I following it? What is my life whispering to me? Am I hearing it?

And then I turned on the American Idol finale and no longer thought any deep thoughts. (Woo, Scotty!)

Later that night a good friend of mine posted a clip of her 4 year-old son’s school concert on Facebook. He, along with a class-full of other fresh-faced little ones, was singing about fishies.

When the curtain opened and he saw his Mom and Dad in the audience, his entire face lit up. And then he shyly launched into the fishy song. (Complete with hand actions).

After watching that clip I thought to myself “My god. This. This is it.” Those innocent, proud, happy little kids singing about fishies, smiling broadly and thrilled beyond belief that their parents were there to watch them. Yes. That is what life is about.

For the most part, life can be pretty mundane. We drag ourselves out of bed every day to follow the daily grind. We make money. We spend it on our homes and food. We sometimes go on vacations. And we’re happy with what we’ve got.

But then something incredible happens. And your eyes are opened wider and your heart gets even bigger and you realize you’re even happier than you knew.

After watching that clip, I realized what Oprah was talking about. I know what my passion is. I hear my life whispering to me.

I hear it every time I see Anna’s face smiling at me from her crib, first thing in the morning. I hear it when she hugs me and rests her head on my shoulder because she just wants a snuggle. I hear it when she runs to me and laughs and smiles.

I feel that passion every time I remember that this happy little human is the way she is in large part because of my husband and I.

I’m a Mom. And when I walk into a room, someone’s face lights up, just for me.
Oh yes, I hear my life whispering to me. I hear it loud and clear. And it’s saying:

“Hez... You really got things right.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hi there. Remember me?

Oh, god... I am AWFUL at this lately.

So - you may have noticed I've been MIA lately. (Or you may not have noticed at all and this is news to you completely. If that's the case... Hi guys! I've been MIA lately.)

The thing is, I've been doing a full time gig for the past 3 weeks that involves commuting to the big city and everything. So I leave the house at 7:30 in the morning and don't get home until 6pm. Just enough time for me to help feed Anna dinner, give her her bath, play with her for a bit, try to chat with the hubster, get Anna to bed and then drag my tired arse up to bed myself.

Which leaves little to no time for blogging. (I barely have time to update my Facebook status lately, let alone try and write in full sentences and paragraphs.) Woe is me.

Anywho. So I hope you guys stick around to read on after the next few weeks. I should be able to find some time to get back on track in the near future.

In the meantime... here's a little update on All Things Anna.
  • She's almost 16 months now. WTF??? When did that happen?? She's not my wee little buttertart anymore.
  • She cries every morning and clings to me when she realizes I'm leaving. Break my heart much?? Sob.
  • She has 4 teeth... but we think another one may be on the horizon. She's drooling like crazy and keeps biting everything. She actually bit my toe the other day. (Which? Ew. It wasn't a "fresh-out-of-the-shower" toe.)
  • She's not really talking... but she says Mama and Dada and Wow. The rest is kind of gibberish. But from her perspective, she's totally having full-on conversations.
  • She's still obsessed with belly buttons.
  • She RUNS. She doesn't walk. She's all Forest Gump-like now.
  • I happen to think she's super cute. From her uber-soft skin to the adorable way that she gives kisses... She's my favourite little thing in the universe. (Even more so than peanut butter. And that's saying a lot.)
  • (I love peanut butter).

Friday, May 13, 2011

This is a shiny, happy post

I’ve sort of noticed that these posts I write can sound like I’m complaining. Or that I’m finding motherhood ridiculously tough. Or that I’m not happy.

Which is too bad, because all of the above is not true.

So, I shall say here and now, for all you lovely Mamas to witness: I LOVE BEING A MOM! I love my little Buttertart. Man, she’s funny. She does this thing right now… Since she’s fascinated with belly buttons, she likes to point everyone’s belly button out to the ENTIRE ROOM. Which means you MUST lift your shirt up and bare your stomach for an audience. If you don’t, she can’t properly point out where your belly button is. You know – just in case you weren’t aware.

Anyway. I digress.

So, yeah. I’m happy. Things are good. 99% of the time I talk about fun, light topics, like the Royal Wedding or how good the movie Bridesmaids looks (which I’m going to see tonight, by the way! Woo!)

I think you guys seem to only hear from me when I’m wondering about something, or perhaps doubting myself or when I’m having an off day.

Which really isn’t the “real” me.

The real me is all jokey and happy and silly and likes to randomly yell out “I KICK. And I STRETCH. And I KICK!! IIIIII’MMMMM FIFTY!!!!!!” (Source: Molly Shannon, SNL. Frickin’ hilarious.)

Anywho – so I’m going to start the weekend off right. I’m going to be shiny and happy and I’m going to wish you a lovely weekend with your little ones. May there be much smiling and laughing this weekend. In FACT – may you laugh so hard that your guts hurt and your ass twitches.

And on that note, I’m going to sign off.

After all, there’s never a better way to end off a post then with a good ass-twitch comment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who wants a kiss??

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I’ve taken a brief hiatus while stuff has been busybusybusy with me.

Alas! I am back. Did you miss me??

So. Here’s where I talk about a topic that is probably near and dear to every Mom in the universe. The issue of time.

When I was pregnant, everybody said all these things to me about having your first baby that sounded really cliché. You know “Enjoy them at every stage because it goes so fast”. “You never know what being tired really means until your baby arrives.” “It’s the most rewarding, amazing thing you’ll ever experience.”

You know, that kind of stuff.

I believed everything they were saying – but it just didn’t really mean anything to me until I had Anna. Then I thought, “Oh! This is what they’re talking about. I get it now.”

The same is true for the time thing. I’d always heard Moms saying they were so busy and that there just wasn’t enough time to do everything. And again, I believed them… but I didn’t think much of it.

Now I know first-hand about this never-ending search for time.

My days are filled with taking care of Anna (a full-time job on its own), doing heaps and heaps of laundry, trying to work out at least 3 times a week, eating, sleeping, getting myself to look respectable (a much larger task than it sounds really), taking Anna to activities to keep her engaged. Oh – and also trying to make a living so we don’t have to resort to eating cat food.

I also struggle to find time to do things like grocery shopping, tidying the house, running little errands, writing my blog and keeping in touch with friends so that on the off chance that I have an evening free – I actually still have a friend or two to hang out with.

My goodness. I definitely did NOT know from busy before. (Or, did I and I just don’t remember??)

So my question for you Moms is this:

How on earth do you do it??

How do you survive? How do you manage to get everything done? Is your BlackBerry your little lifesaver? Do you let some things slide? What is your secret?

Tell me something encouraging, ladies. And I’ll plant a big, wet kiss right on your lips.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Are these really my boobs from now on?

I'm back! Here's a post I wrote about a month or so ago. I also entered it into a writing contest, so I was waiting to see if I would win before posting it here. Guess what? I didn't win. Crazy, crazy contest people. This stuff is gold, no?? It's gold!! Enjoy the read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They say your body is never the same after having a baby.

Pre-baby, I would think, “Well, who the heck are they anyway?” as I rolled my eyes. Really? Come on. How different can your body be?

To which I now say: Ha!

My sweet little pre-baby self. She was so innocent and cute, no? She thought such adorable things. Let’s all look at her with knowing smiles and pat her head whenever she says, “I don’t believe it”.

As much as I hate to admit it… the clichés? They’re all true. Before having my child, my body was decent. I could stand to lose five to ten pounds or so, but I was fit. Nice, perky boobs. I only peed when I wanted to.

And now. Oh… now.

My baby is almost 14 months old.

And I’ve experienced all of the following first-hand:

I have not lost 20 of the 38 pounds I gained during pregnancy. (ACK! It’s been over a year, people!) The weight did not fall off easily from breastfeeding. Lies. Complete lies.

I’ve only had my period twice. (Hi… Hormones? Can you regulate at some point soon please? M’k? Thanks.) On a side note – woo hoo! On another side note – huh. I wonder if I’m pregnant this month.

My boobs are both Nell Carter-giant while extremely soft and floppy at the same time. This seems to be scientifically impossible.

Oh. And I pee when I laugh, sneeze or jump up and down. I thought this was only a joke used in movies and TV shows for cheap laughs. Turns out it's true. Hurrah! I'm so excited.

(Also? If my husband uses the term “snissing” to describe something I’m doing one more time, I fear that all the romance will be officially gone from our marriage.)

I’ve also got a few of the typical body changes – you know, the stretch marks, the ungodly amount of hair loss (I’m still shocked I’m not bald) and the sexy muffin top.

So, I think it’s safe to say that “they” were right. Your body isn’t the same after baby. Not even close. And, if it is, you’re not human. You are most likely part droid, and have much bigger problems than floppy boobs.

The funny thing is, before I had my baby, when I asked a friend about the whole “ripping” phenomenon of birthing a child (with complete and utter horror clearly visible in my eyes) she answered, “But it’s all so worth it.”

I nodded and smiled. But at the time, I didn’t understand what she really meant. I knew it sounded like another one of those things everyone tells you about having a baby. But I didn’t quite get it.

Not until I had my little girl. And experienced a million seemingly small moments first-hand.

Like this morning. I went into my daughter’s room to get her up for the day, and her entire face broke into a smile. She shot her arms straight up in the air as I got closer to her crib, showing me she really, really wanted me to hold her.

She wrapped her tiny little arms tightly around my neck and brushed her soft, sweet cheek against my face. I could feel her head nuzzle into my neck and her body soften against me.

And she stayed like that. We stayed like that.

It was then I realized that motherhood has changed so much more than my body.

I’m now the lucky and loving recipient of gummy grins. I get to kiss chubby elbow dimples whenever I want. My days consist of tickling soft tummies. I’m an expert in styling cute, wispy bed-head hair and cleaning up cheerios. I now know all about that unconditional, undeniable love my friend was telling me about.

And, most importantly, I have a lifetime of moments like I had this morning.

The snissing is so worth it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My apologies

It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm sorry (for anyone who misses me, that is!)

I'm not just having one of those days... or weeks... But one of those months. Can't seem to get my shit together. Can't seem to get caught up. A million things to do. And very little time to do them. Blah...

So anyway. My apologies again, and hopefully new blogs will follow soon.

Stay tuned folks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The things I say.

Things I have said today thus far:
  • Come here sweetie. Let me smell your bum.
  • What have you done??
  • Can we not play on the toilet today?
  • Man, your teeth are sharp.
  • Stairs are not for biting, sweetie.
  • Look at you! You're brushing your teeth! Oh... wait. Okay, you're actually just putting your toothbrush in the shoe. That's cool, too.
  • How about you don't put your fingers in there, m'kay?
  • If I have to watch Murray and Sam and Jeff and the blue one once more... I might lose it. You don't want Mommy to lose it, do you?
That is all.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This isn't really a Mama post...

...but it was on my mind. So there you go. A "not so" Mama post in the Not the Only Mama blog. Enjoy!

Whenever I get a bit glum, I have to try and remember to step back for a moment and think about what really, truly matters in life and all the good I've got going for me.

So that's what I'm going to do right now.

It's like Oprah always says. (Yes, I'm quoting Oprah. I love her.) Anyway. As Oprah says... You have a choice. You can either be a victim and feel all sorry for yourself. Or you can learn from it, move on, and be a better person. (I'm paraphrasing here... but you get the idea).

Therefore... without further adieu -

Hez's List of Things She's Grateful For:
  • When I was sad today and reached out to my family, you know what happened? My brother called me right away, my Mom called me right away, my Dad emailed me, my husband hugged me and made me cabbage rolls for dinner and my daughter smiled her 3-toothed grin at me. I'm a lucky gal.
  • My body is fit and healthy. Enough so to carry me through an 18km run on Sunday. And again through a nice little 5k tonight.
  • I have a nice home. An amazing family. I live in a cute little community. I have fantastic friends. (Really - why was I glum again??)
  • Did I mention the cabbage rolls? (They were really good).
  • I won FOUR free coffees during Roll Up the Rim this year. If that doesn't deserve a big, ol' "Woot!" I don't know what does.
  • Coffee in general needs to be on this list. Very grateful for the java.
  • Wine also deserves a special place on this list. Mmm... wine...
  • My daughter regularly walks up to me and shoots her arms straight up in the air, indicating she'd like me to pick her up. Melts my heart every time.
  • My in-laws are fantastic.
  • I'm basically surrounded by love.
My cup runneth over, yo.

Aaaahhh... I feel much better now. Thank you for obliging me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Depression? Or just a case of the Mondays?

I wonder if other Moms of toddlers deal with this. Or if I'm just weird.

Here's the thing.

Anna's 14 and a half months old. So it's not like I'm brand, spankin' new to the Mom thing. (I'm not "seasoned", but she's not a 2 week old little buttertart anymore...) And yet, even though I've gotten into the groove of the Mom thing, I still find myself slightly depressed now and again.

Can you get postpartum depression 14 months after having your baby?

Actually, I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm depressed. But I have these moments where I fluctuate between: "I freakin' love my life! I'm so lucky to be home with my baby and watch her grow!" and "What the heck am I doing? Why do I feel so lonely and down?"

I think part of it is not having friends or acquaintances to interact with on a daily basis. I mean - I see people on a daily basis. But talking to the lady at the Metro check-out just ain't the same as having a discussion with a friend. Or a coworker you really like. Or a Mommy buddy you used to hang out with.

I'm also trying to juggle taking care of Anna full-time with working freelance, training for a half marathon, working out, trying to lose weight, keeping the house tidy, my constant battle with laundry and fitting in conference calls and meetings with the folks in the outside world.

Not to mention the fact that I'm always worrying about whether or not Anna's getting enough interaction with other babies, if she has enough opportunity to learn, etc. etc.

But mostly - it's the lonely thing.

I'm a social gal. I'm just not used to not having friends/family to talk with or spend time with. When Andrew comes home from work, I descend on him and instantly start asking him a billion questions, just so we can chat. (Poor guy doesn't know what's hit him sometimes).

I always feel busy. Yet I also feel down at times. The answer isn't going back to work full time, because I really don't want that. But I'm sort of at a loss as to how to turn this whole thing around and start feeling better again.

Anywho. Sorry for the Monday morning pity party... I just felt like I needed to unload.

Do any of you guys ever feel this way? What have you done to fix it? Am I just suffering a case of the winter blahs? Or do I really need to make some kind of a change in order to be 100% happy again?

I don't know.

But I do know this: Anna's napping. It's time for me to make another coffee and curl up on the couch for a bit. (This is the part where I totally love my life.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have no forking idea what to call this post

This is sort of related to the food thing...

Question for seasoned Mamas with older kids: At what age do kids normally use utensils?

Let me give you the back story. Anna's 14 months old and she still can't feed herself with a spoon or fork. If we put food on the spoon for her, she can direct it to her mouth. But then she hands it back to us to put food on it for her.

We sort of practice with her - but not regularly. Do they sort of just pick this skill up when they're older? Or should she know how by now?

Let me know if my baby is normal, please.

(Just kidding).

On a side note - I haven't forgotten all your awesome topic suggestions. I'll be doing some much better blogs soon. I've just had a bit of an all-over-the-place week. Any of you guys ever feel like you never have enough time to do things for yourself - like write? But then, when you look back on the day, you can't figure out why you didn't have time??

Welcome to my world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The food issue

So nobody wanted to touch the vaccination thing, eh? I don't blame you.

Then again, I'm sort of having trouble finding motivation to continue writing every day with all this radio silence, ladies! (I'm wagging my finger right now).

Am I sort of just talking to myself? If I am, that's totally okay. I can look back on these posts when/if I have a second kid to remind me of everything... But if you're out there and are on the fence about commenting - I bet other Moms would love to hear your perspective.

Okay. On with the food.

Finding enough variety when it comes to feeding your kid is an on-going challenge for me. Anna's staples are crackers and hummus, toast and cream cheese, bananas, pears, yogurt, oatmeal and goldfish. I constantly worry that she's getting enough of all the food groups.

At dinner time, I try to sneak some veggies into her meals, but she is not interested, thank you very much. On the other hand, give her meat and she goes to town. She LOVES her meat (even pork. Who knew you could eat pork with just 3 teeth?)

When I asked my fellow Mom friends for some food ideas, here's what they said:
  • Ritz crackers with cream cheese is a fave for G&W. They also like Mandarin orange segments, grated apple, cheerios, mini rice cakes, blueberries, shredded cheese, bread sticks, minigo
  • Does Anna like tomato sauce and pasta? I can hide any veggies in lasagna or on a piece of pizza. Also one book I have suggests sneaking stuff in muffins or even smoothies.
  • One of my coworkers made the brownie recipe from this site and added carrots and squash to the mix - deelish!
There were also some great tips in the comment section from the post I wrote about Anna bringing scurvy back.

Of course, after writing that, I decided to try giving her some veggie sticks (like cucumber) and she loves them. She actually wants to snack on cucumber every day now. This kid. Who knows what's going through her little noggin.

Someone also asked when I'm going to let Anna have her first taste of chocolate. Since she had a birthday in February and there just can NOT be a birthday without chocolate cake in our house, she's already had a taste of the crack. Mind you, she had her one taste and that was it. Her reaction wasn't like she was SO into it that she couldn't believe she had stumbled upon this glorious, glorious food (I don't know if she's my kid.) So I haven't offered her any more.

If she's willing to snack on hummus, why offer her chocolate, right? It's not like she wants junk and I'm just being a meanie by not giving it to her. She actually doesn't want it. (Again - don't know if she's really my kid.)

Same with liquids. I'd be interested to know what you guys give your kids to drink. Since Anna's not breastfeeding anymore, she has a lot of water. (She loves water, so juice is a no-go for her in our house). I give her milk at least once a day, but not as regularly as I used to. I think she has a bit of a sensitivity to milk (even though she LOVES it). So all she gets is water - and lots of it. Which is great. But should she be getting more milk? How much is enough, really?

Anyway. I'm not sure if this helps. I hope there's some good info for all you Moms also struggling with the food thing in your house.

Oh - here's one more link. It's to a page about baby finger foods from Wholesome Baby Foods. Some good ideas.

Good luck fellow Mamas. May the veggie and legumes force be with you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vaccinations. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Thanks for the topic ideas ladies! I promise to address them all soon.

However, I'm going to need to do a bit of research on post-baby birth control and second pregnancies as I don't have much experience with either one. (Unless you count being too damn tired and busy to have sex birth control??)

Anyway - something sparked my interest from the last commenter (who had some really great topic ideas - thank you!)

That is - vaccinations. Also known as: a topic that I like to avoid, along with religion and politics, whenever I'm conversing with someone I don't know really well. But - since we're not face to face right now, and I can't see you wagging your finger at me, I feel it's okay to tackle this topic here.

When it comes to vaccinations, it seems to me that the thing to do these days is delay them. But I have to admit - I don't really know why. (Other than the study that says some vaccinations can be linked to autism). I'm not well-versed in all of the vaccination debate. I admit it. Yet - I did read an article while pregnant that pretty much refuted that study.

So, I sort of figured - who am I to tell a doctor with a ga-gillion years of schooling and studying that I know more than him when it comes to vaccinations and the health of the next generation?

I trust my doctor. I don't think he has a hidden agenda. I think he's doing what he knows to be right. And, since I don't know more than him, I'm going with what he says.

Anna's had all her vaccinations so far.

In fact, when I was pregnant, I had the H1N1 vaccination. (Gasp!!)

The thing is - I was told that I was high-risk and my unborn baby could get really sick if I didn't get vaccinated. Then I was told by many very passionate people that I could be doing a SHIT load of harm to my baby by getting the vaccination.

You're damned if you do.

Anyway - does this make my decision right? Does it make it wrong? No. Who the eff knows what's right, really? It's like the whole car-seat thing again. You're told one thing... so you do it. Until one day when they find some new research and you start doing something different.

I don't think we've really reached that point in society where it's clear to everyone that vaccinations are harmful. So - Anna gets them. I actually think we're lucky to live in a country where the vaccinations are readily available to us and our children have a shot (no pun intended) at a healthy life, free of many serious health problems.

But that's just my opinion.

I'm not saying I'm right or wrong. It's just the way we decided to go on the whole vaccination thing.

What about you guys?