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.

Your tired Mama.