Monday, August 31, 2009

This is what happens when Sweet One sleeps for more than 45 mins in the afternoon, without me.

After more obsessing I finally decided to order the bag once I realized that it was actually larger than my diaper bag. Sweet One and I are going to Montreal Oct 1 and with the goal of avoiding the need for a pack horse to help me getting things onto the train, I'll attempt a small suitcase and therefore actually have genuine need for a larger bag! Yes. Still ridiculous, I know. For the first time ever I don't have any guilt about this somewhat superfluous purchase and it is on its way. So enough of that, I can shut the fukk up already! To top it off, I got a message from my sister on facebook:

I packed up a giant box of clothes for [Sweet One]. I'm not sure what size she is but this should be good from now until next fall. There's a winter coat but not a snow suit or anything, but i've probably got more stuff to add I just didn't want to dig around in [the boy's] closet when he was sleeping. I can probably get [my crazy husband] to send it off while I'm here but it's also missing the robeez boots and a few things like that, but I can send those off seperately. So there's probably a few hundred bucks saved on clothes right there, definitely way more saved than the cost of a Puddle Jumper, if you see where I'm going with that.....

She's funny. And I was about to go shopping for a fleece sleeper and long sleeved diaper shirts because it seems as if October temperatures are here already. I must admit. I'm completely jealous of my sister right now and it is not because she has four lug bags but because she is in the one part of the world I'd give anything to live in - Halifax. And after stalking her on Facebook I realized she'll be in PEI which is even better than Halifax! Truly. I want to live there more than anything in the world. I'd start packing now. Who cares if this house doesn't sell. It's the one place in the world I wouldn't have to think about. My main love of all things Canadian maritime is from Lucy Maud Montgomery. Her fiction books and even the Selected Journals of hers that were published make me know I could belong there. I visited it once and felt it in my bones. The idea of living somewhere I could actually belong is very appealing.

Sweet One sleeps and I'm at a loss of what to do since I've already watched last night's Army Wives. The result? One post that is boring and not much more than a stream of consciousness that is a little too close to what actually goes on in this brain of mine! But isn't Cavendish Beach beautiful?

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's kinda stupid, but it is how the gears work from time to time

I'm coming up on the 'end date' of my 30 days to fix a bad habit and I have to admit that for the first two weeks it was primarily the idea of rewarding myself with this beautiful lug puddle jumper (or this one) that kept me going. My house is not spotless but it is less of a gong show from day to day. I am happy about that. I set a goal and it was done.

Here is where my brain starts to act funny and not make any sense to my husband. In my world: I keep track of every penny we spend to make sure we stay within our means, the majority of the things I buy are necessities, I feel guilty every time I buy clothes even though my body has been morphing constantly over the past year and very little fits. But once in awhile I think maybe I can get something that I do not in fact need. I just want it because it's pretty and it would be fun to have.

So for the past few days I've been proud of accomplishing my goal and excited about the idea of having this lovely reward. But really, to spend that much on a bag seems extravagant when I have a completely functional diaper bag that works just fine. Do I really need this extravagance? Only once have I ever spent that kind of money on something like this. The milk factory requires that I need new tops for the new season approaching. It would be better to spend the money on that. In the end, the idea of actually buying something like this for myself seems absurd and ridiculous. I don't deserve it. The guilt is lying like dead weight on my shoulders (even though we have a little extra this month.) So we'll see. Will I for once actually think I'm worth a splurge or will my common sense and guilt win? (Strangely enough, my sister was about to buy me one for my birthday and I said I was fine with my diaper bag, but then I saw hers this summer and was very envious. I love the messenger bag she got me but it's not big enough for a diaper bag/food and a change of clothes for me when Sweet One and I go on our first trip solo.)

I'm ridiculous, I know. Big Love has no clue why I worry so much about something like this. I just do. For days on end! I seem to think that everyone in my house is deserving of special things here and there except for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If only I could hit the pause button

To my dearest, darlingest Sweet One,

As I rocked you to sleep tonight you grabbed my mouth. I blew it away and you laughed because you thought it was funny. With the room dark, save only the light slipping in from the studio, I could see your eyes completely focussed on me and your laughter. I'm sorry I had to end our playing for you to go to sleep. If I could pause these moments and hold onto them forever I would. But you must grow. We both will. I only hope that there are many more reinventions of moments like this one.

Love, your mama.

Monday, August 24, 2009

To the Fair!

I grew up in a town that has an annual Fall Fair and Rodeo. It has a pretty good one, at that, with the rodeo now being a part of the pro circuit. When we moved here we were told that the county fair here is one of the largest in the area which makes it something one has to check out now and then. Today we took Sweet One to see how she'd be around the animals and she really seemed to be enjoying herself. Hanging from my chest in a carrier, she made lots of noise and smiled as we walked around.

At the pig barn and I saw this mama pig with a little one not really feeding but rubbing its nose all over the place looking for something, with its siblings sleeping peacefully in a pile. I couldn't help but look at her and think: "I can relate!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Love: three stages of

Big Love showed up in my life at a perfect point in my life. But Irene Nemirovsky says it with much more grace than I:
"Some else to love, of course. But the way to find him (I mean a true, sincere love) is not to think about it too much, not to yearn for him. Otherwise you make the wrong choice. You imagine you see love in the first and most ordinary face you come across. I hope with all my heart that one day, later on, she'll remarry, but first she must find peace again."
And now, when the five strawberry plants I planted have only one beautifully sweet, red strawberry, Big Love picks it and brings it into the house for me to eat.

So I hope that our marriage last so that I never have to place this ad which was in the paper today:
BRIDAL GOWN valued at $1800. sz. 12 w/gauntlet & veil & 2 cremilin skirts. Worn once by mistake asking $400.
Then again, I only paid $400 for my dress in the first place!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Interpreting Time

You will never hear me say "the book was SO much better than the movie" or vice versa because when it comes down to it they are two completely different mediums and each have their own abilities. I adored the Time Traveler's Wife. I've read it twice. The second time I read it I saw a name in it and knew I would one day have a child by that name. (It wasn't a wish or a hope, it was something being struck within me that revealed a truth.)

Today Big Love took the afternoon off because he will be at work in the evening and I decided that it was about time I took a few hours off. I have not left Sweet One for that long before but knew that it was time. I saw the movie and in my opinion the movie was absolutely beautiful! I am not a critic and nor do I pretend to be but I really think that the movie was able to interpret the important parts of the book and make something wonderful.

When I got home it was clear that Sweet One was excited to have me back. When I held her she rested her head on my shoulder for the first time. It was great to go and have some time for myself and to come home to a baby who was both fully content with her Dad but ecstatic to have me home. (And it was good for Big Love to get some confidence in his ability to care for his daughter when I'm not reachable!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

When your car says a little too much

When people ask us what kind of things we've noticed in terms of culture shock, it's hard to pinpoint anything. But at the same time, there are little things we notice here and there that are completely different than we were used to in Canada. Take bumper stickers. We see many more of them with stronger beliefs and opinions stated. As my husband says, "it's so nice people tell us what we are supposed to think." Usually we just laugh them off. (If I see one that is in support of McCain for the past election I often will call out, in the safety of my own car with the windows rolled up, "sucks to be you".) Today, while driving home in my wonderfully air conditioned car (it's been high 80's with 75%+ humidity for awhile now with relief on the way starting tonight), I saw something that got me to the point that I couldn't laugh it off. A late 80's to early 90's, white extended cab Ford pickup. It wasn't a bumper sticker but individual stickers covering the entire back window to tell me, and all the other drivers, how stupid we were for our vehicles of choice (which after my experience in a 1993 Ford Taurus would NEVER EVER be a Ford car again):
If you're not driving a Ford, F(*** in an upside down U shape)K You!

Seriously? It's one thing to have an opinion but I think this takes it a little bit too far. Common courtesy, anyone?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Standing up for a healthy start

Big Love and I went out for lunch yesterday and even though there was nothing on the menu for Sweet One, she still ate. Any time I think I may have to feed her at a restaurant I always ask for a corner spot if possible because I feel uncomfortable doing it in public. Sweet One flailed in my attempt to get her latched as a newborn and now that she is older it is on again, off again depending on how much there is to distract her. I've tried the nursing bibs but she hates them. I really don't blame her. I don't put a blanket over my head every time I start to eat! At a restaurant in Toronto I felt guilty and ashamed for feeding Sweet One, despite the fact that I turned my chair to face into a corner. I envy those women who can be both relaxed and graceful when feeding their children in public. Right now with our very humid weather with temperatures in the high 80's, I'd love to be able to walk into an air conditioned place and feed Sweet One rather than peeling her off of me once we are done a 'hot lunch'.

I know how hard it can be to breastfeed in public but I also firmly believe that it needs to be treated with respect. Thank goodness there are people out there who will respectfully protest a woman being stigmatized for feeding her child. If I'm feeding Sweet One in public, that boob you might end up seeing for a split second isn't sexy to me. It is how I give my daughter the healthiest start in life that I know how.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Working through the barrens

Sweet One was quietly falling asleep last night as I read in bed. Not something I had been able to enjoy since she was born with her in our room! I came across this passage as if it were an absolute truth for me.

"To Harry it seemed the Barrens had relaxed. One day something relaxed inside and I saw things in a new way. The words came from an old book about an old botanist, and he felt the truth of them as they left behind frozen lakes and entered a land of flowing rivers."*

For weeks I felt like there wasn't any substance in my existence other than my interactions with Sweet One. Since our return from the vacation I had been self-medicating myself with as many reruns of Gilmore Girls and Beverly Hills: 90210 as I could muster. Desperate to check out. There were probably a few moments when the drool began to run down the side of my face! And then it slowly started to change. For about three days I was enjoying things more. I started laughing again, picking on Big Love, kissing him good night because I wanted to and not because I felt I had to. Rather than reminding myself that I was glad to be with Sweet One, it was pure joy to play with her. I was looking forward to posting about how great I had been feeling for so many days. Today was a day to celebrate and be spontaneous. I got the family in the car and we drove up to the nearby city (Big Love didn't figure out what we were doing until we were about 10 miles from our destination!). We had a great walk along the great lake. I was a goof all day and Big Love kept saying how excited he was that I "back". It was a good day. I was looking forward to getting home and having a quiet evening.

When we arrived home I crashed. I had no energy and didn't want to do anything. My 30 Day Challenge seemed as if I had been getting nowhere (despite the fact that the previous evening Big Love was commenting on how much difference there was), Sweet One hadn't pooped all day and it felt like I was back to the barrens. I've heard it said that growth is an erratic step - for every two steps that one takes forward, a small one needs to go backwards**. So maybe that's where I am now. I am desperately trying to convince myself that I am not being punished for my optimism (as I spent most of my teens and twenties doing) and that after all the excitement I need to take a break and rest a wee bit. I will hope for the best but prepare for the worst because that is how I function. Perhaps a chocolate cupcake will help!

*Late Nights On Air", Elizabeth Hay.
** The Artists' Way, Julia Cameron.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The other side of the wall

We didn't co-sleep, except when we were on holidays, but until two nights ago Sweet One hadn't slept more than a foot away from me. We had her little bed (a bassinet/playpen) beside our bed and that is where she would spend the majority of the night. I loved listening to her babble as she fell asleep, I found her breathing reassuring and comforting, and in the end I wanted her as close to me as I could.

I kept finding excuses as to why I didn't need to put her in her own bed - this way we only have to have a heater on in one room; I'd rather just grab her out of her bed when I need to feed her at all hours of the night than drag my ass an entire 3 feet to get her out of her crib; it's so much easier to sit up and pop the soother back in her mouth rather than walking into another. If the excuse didn't fit anymore, I'd find another. When it all boiled down to it, I knew I just didn't want to. I hated the idea of her sleeping on the other side of the wall, even if her crib was a mere two feet from it!

I'd been noticing that the bassinet layer, which doubles as a carrier and floor for the entire unit, had started to scoop in the middle. Probably from her becoming heavier and sleeping in the same spot. Now that she was rolling onto her stomach during the night I was concerned that this might cause a problem for her breathing. I was running out of excuses. I tried to ignore it but I knew it was at hand. That time when I finally had to let her sleep in her crib all night. She didn't need help falling asleep at night anymore; she didn't need me as much anymore.

I checked the precautions on the inside of the bassinet. "Do not use this product when the infant begins to push up on hands and knees or weighs over 15 lbs, whichever comes first." That was it. The manufacturer gave me the extra push I needed. Not quite 15 lbs but at any moment she'd be pushing up on her hands and knees (which she started today). To keep her in any longer would be selfish rather than helpful. Her 10:00 feed and diaper change occurred. Usually I would just pop her back in her bed and she'd go right to sleep but since things were changing, I needed to rock her a little bit. So I did. And then I put her in the crib, went to my bed and cried a little. (Ok, my crying was because of other things too, but my baby's growing up! I had just let her go a wee bit.) She slept well through the whole night. I would have too, had it not been so hot.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Who wouldn't want to win?

I've never bought a computer - ever. Often, I have been the home for computers that would otherwise have been thrown out. Currently, I have a computer someone made for me out of recycled parts. He worked at a place that dealt with computer problems that the big box stores couldn't handle. Most of the time if people had all but one part not working with their computer they would just buy a new one which left many decent parts needing a home. So he made me a computer. It works great after a few kinks have been worked out and honestly it is just as good as anything could have bought. I am probably one of the last people in the world to not use a laptop and so I'm trying to win one in this contest. There are 9 different bloggers involved in the contest. I'm sure that I'll probably have to eventually buy a computer but right now I only have my antiquated iPod because I won it and so maybe I'll get lucky this time, too!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Because I'm bored

It's another overcast, and therefore gloomy, day here in our small town. Big Love is with Sweet One in what I hope will be a nap for them. I can't think of anything to do and so as usual will just let the computer/useless musings on the internet fill some time. I found this on my cousin's facebook profile and so I thought I'd do it here. Anyone else up for it?

Learn 44 things about your friends, and let them learn 44 things about you!

1. Do you like blue cheese? No
2. Do you have a tattoo? No
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. What flavor of Kool-Aid was/is your favorite? Never had a favorite because my mom didn't buy it.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Only in the later months of my pregnancy.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? I like them
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Little Women, used to watch it every year with my sister and I can not think of the movie without thinking of her.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Decaf coffee or hot water with a lemon wedge
9. Can you do push ups? I actually got to a point where I could do sets of 10! That was a major accomplishment for me. Haven't tried them since I was preggers, though.
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? Other than the rings from my husband, the necklace that Montreal gave me for my birthday.
11. Favorite hobby? Watching tv and getting completely immersed in it to the point that it turns off my brain!
12. Do you have A.D.D.? No.
13. What's your favorite shoes? I love the pink, high-heeled sandals I wore for my wedding.
14. Middle Name? The same as my maternal grandmother's first name.
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? At some point I will need to find something else to do other than losing track of time doing nothing online; so nice that Sweet One is not crying for me; I wonder if I'll be able to brave going to a movie tomorrow morning with Sweet One - last time I went on a Sunday morning was when she was barely 2 months old and no one else was there.
17. Current worry? Whether or not I may ever find a friend in this town.
18. Current hate right now? Beating myself up for not being a perfect mama.
19. Pepsi or Coke? Coke - has been for years.
20. How did you bring in the New Year? Sleeping. Sweet One was born on the 7th and so my body was not up for much of anything.
21. Where would you like to go? New Orleans, New York City, Boston, other East Coast locations
22. Name three people who will complete this? We'll see.
23. Do you own slippers? Yes, they're old but still in decent condition!
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Black - I used to wear so much black that sometimes I feel like something is missing if I don't have any on!
25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets? Wouldn't know, but I'd love to try some bamboo sheets.
26. Can you whistle? Yes.
27. Favorite color? Red. and Yellow.
28. Would you be a pirate? After watching it on tv I realized that in another life I would totally love to be one of the Sea Shepherds.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower anymore. Hardly sing at all.
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Other than what I named Sweet One, it is Anne.
31. Favorite boy's name? I couldn't even think of a favorite boys name when I was pregnant, but I did like Silas.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? Sweet One. (oh, and watching another rerun of Gilmore Girls, I giggle so much.)
34. Best bed sheets as a child? I never really paid attention to them.
35. Worst injury you had as a child? Before I had even ever had sex, my groin acted up so bad out of nowhere that I spent a number of hours in the emergency and they didn't know what it was.
36. Do you love where you live? I love my house but not the town.
37. What did/do you want to be when you grew/grow up? Still don't really know.
38. Who is your loudest friend? I used to get pretty loud when I was younger. The more comfortable I am with myself the less loud I am.
39. How many dogs do you have? Zero.
40. Does someone have a crush on you? Yup, Big Love.
41. What is your favorite book? These days it is the Time Traveler's Wife.
42. What is your favorite candy? Dark Chocolate.
43. Favorite Sports Team? Roger Federer isn't a team, but I love watching him play.
44. What song do you want played at your funeral? What funeral?

Friday, August 7, 2009

I thought it was all figured out

When Sweet One was swimming around in my tummy, I spent a lot of time reading books and online trying to think of what I thought was the best way to do things. In my brain I had it all figured out. Her pacifier would not become a 'prop' and I would discontinue its use after 4 months. Small cloth diapers were sent to me from my cousin and I spent hours making a larger size. A large percentage of my energy during the third trimester was devoted to this because I was no longer allowed to exercise and I needed something to keep my mind off the negative possibilities of having my placenta completely blocking Sweet One's exit.

There are moments when being a mother is completely humbling because in the blink of an eye everything I thought I had figured out wasn't going to work. Take the pacifier for instance. This child loves, and I mean loves, her soother! Just this afternoon she was sitting on her blanket. The soother sat about two feet away and so she reached. Once she started going over too far she realized that she needed to slow down the imminent face-plant into the floor and so she put down her hands, opened her mouth as wide as she could and let her chin guide her towards the soother. She got it! At 7 months I have a daughter who has figured out what to do when she puts it in backwards and how to find it on the end of the bungee that is attached to the car seat strap. Oh well! If it keeps her happy, so be it.

Diapering has taken a different turn than I had expected, as well. She was so tiny in the beginning that even the newborn size were enormous on her. So we used disposables for quite some time. The diapers my cousin had given me never seemed to work for Sweet One and so we moved to gDiapers. As Sweet One grows there are a fewer number of refills in the packages which means the cost goes up and so I've recently purchased some prefold diapers. I'll see if these work and if they do I'll be both happy and frustrated. I spent a few hundred dollars on supplies for making diapers and countless hours at the sewing machine putting them together. If I really like how the prefolds work, they're good until 30 pounds thus making the time and money spent on the others completely unnecessary! (Now the next task is to figure out which type of laundry detergent to use. woo hoo.)

"Children make a liar out of you quickly." That's what my friend, a woman who has two children only a few years younger than myself, told me when I was first starting to realize that many of my plans were a waste of time. Yes, I do get completely bored with the mundane thoughts that run around my head each day pretending to have some significance (really, two posts now that seem interesting at first but then not so much after they're published). There are days when I feel the only thing different from the day before is the color and consistency of her poop. At times I feel like I have no idea of what I'm doing and just when I'm ready to cry Sweet One smiles, tries to eat my chin or squeals with delight. She may make me rethink everything but there are things that show me what is really important. This beautiful daughter of mine. Life is good, even if it is very lonely at times.

Day 5 is going alright. I have constantly remind myself to put things away sooner than later but having some motivation is helping.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And all because I split my pants

My daughter has been in her crib for nearly half an hour. It's pretty damn cute how she talks to herself, drops her soother on the floor and then smiles as I'm crawling under her crib to retrieve it. (Must remember to vacuum under there.) Three nights ago we stopped swaddling because I was afraid of her being smothered as she had just started rolling onto her stomach. The first night she did laps around her bassinet for an hour, trying to find a comfortable position and ending up on her stomach with her bum up in the air. One night it got quiet all of a sudden and so I went to investigate. There she was with two legs out of the crib and the most satisfactory look on her face! We haven't had any moments where she screams non-stop because I haven't rocked her to sleep and so I think we'll be ok.

As I sat down to nurse Sweet One around 9:15 this morning, I heard a noise. I stood up, grabbed my ass and realized that I had split yet another pair of pajamas. I had two pair of lightweight pajama pants and then I had none. (Neither pair were wripped from being too small, just old.) This problem combined with my underwear needing to be replaced after pregnancy stretched them(anyone know any good ones that won't make sausage links out of my hips?) brought about a spontaneous decision to drive up to the nearest larger center so I could do some shopping. I got most of what I needed but was quite surprised to find that neither Old Navi nor G_p had any shorts on sale. Hardly a pair in their stores to be found at all! I enjoyed a free tall decaf americano which also had a coupon for me to get a cold grande beverage after 2pm - two lovely coffees for only $2.12! Bullseye was shopped at - can't believe I never shopped there for the first year or so that I was in the area! Love it. A wee bit of grocery shopping also got accomplished. Sweet One was an angel but really, that was no surprise.

There was one surprise waiting for me when I got home: a clean load of laundry and the upstairs floors vacuumed (except for under Sweet One's crib)! I never expected splitting my pants would have such a positive result.

Monday, August 3, 2009

30 Days

I had a bad day yesterday. Felt like a shitty mama and an even worse housewife. There is one specific quirk I have that pisses me off to no end. Like my inability to clean up right after I'm done something or to put things away in their places. For example, every morning I make a smoothie and rather than putting my blender back in its place (a whopping foot directly behind where it sits) I leave it there until later in the day when I'm fed up with a clutter (and unfortunately very small) counter space. Or how I look at something that could be put away and rather than taking the 30 seconds it would take, I wait until it and forty three other things are lying around and I'm pissed because everything is a mess.

I read a couple blogs about changing a habit in 30 Days and decided I should fix this one. If I am able it will help me to stop beating myself up about it and maybe I'll spend my free time enjoying myself rather than practicing the art of self-flagellation. I will be realistic and understand that sometimes Sweet One may be hollering for me and it is not the time to clean the kitchen. If I accomplish that, I'm going to buy myself a lug bag that I am coveting but don't think I deserve (that's another issue for another time, I'm sure). I'll let Big Love decide if a difference is apparent.

So here goes Day 1.