Monday, June 28, 2010

Fearless swimmer

Last summer when I took Sweet One to the local rec center and then to the lake at my grandma's house, she had absolutely no desire to be in the water. This summer I bought a little kiddie pool for her to get used to a collection of water outside of her bathtub in preparation for some Parent-Baby swim lessons.

When it was time to walk into the kiddie section, Sweet One started walking and didn't stop. She had a mission and nothing got in her way! She walked where she could, sat on the edge for a moment and then turned around to get back it; kicked around a little and put her face in the water. When we got to the places too deep for her I carried her around - well, all I really did was keep her floating as she squirmed and reached for all the toys in the water that she could get her hands on. She was brilliant! I was so proud of her and completely surprised at how brave she was. Because of the lack of enrollment for the baby class, we were moved to the toddler class and she was doing better than a few of the 2-4 year olds.

I'm looking forward to the rest of our sessions where she can interact with some more kids and enjoy the water - although the next three days aren't supposed to be warm so an outside pool might be interesting!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A sermon in defense of toddlers

I'll be the first to admit that I do not go to church regularly. Yes, my husband works in a church but right now I go more out of obligation than a genuine desire to be a part of the congregation. Usually we sit about three or four pews from the front on the outside with friends of ours. Then again, to say that we sit through the service is a complete misnomer. Sweet One is constantly on the move and I have no desire to try and restrain her. If I did, I know that there would be nothing but screaming. Following her around the sanctuary is also one reason why we don't go every Sunday - I do not like feeling so conspicuous and constantly chasing her is exhausting. (Even as a child I wished I could be more invisible during the service but as a PK, that is nearly impossible.) I don't know how many times members of the choir and the church have come up to me and said, "I love how you let her freely roam" and the congregation's smiles when she has made her presence known does help me feel better.

After not being at church for a few weeks and knowing that I won't be going next week, I decided to go today. (I just finished sewing Sweet One a seersucker dress that had to be shown off!)

For the summer, our church has decided to go to one service instead of two and this week was a bit different in that the young man who was in charge of the day camp over the past week or two did the sermon. Because of these two things the pews were quite full and with us arriving just as church started there were no aisle seats to be had so I sat at the back with the ushers. (There we go, I'm pretending that I will actually occupy my seat again!) It ended up being a great place to sit because there was a big open space for Sweet One to walk around in and do her thing. Every once in awhile she would make a noise but nothing that was unacceptable.

During a hymn Sweet One danced in circles and laughed. Halfway through the hymn I noticed an older woman shaking her head in frustration at Sweet One's sounds. At first I felt like I should silence her as a lumpy feeling showed up in my stomach. But then I reminded myself of how much this congregation loves her and that this poor old, cranky lady is the first to ever negatively react to Sweet Ones presence in church. A short while later as the young man finished up his sermon he said something along the lines of: "The next time you're in church and a toddler is making noise behind you, relax! At least there are children in the church. And the children are the future of this church." Of all the defensive lines I had running through my head, this definitely said it the best.

(As we left the church the friends who sit in the front said they didn't even hear Sweet One so she really couldn't have been that loud!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One month of garden

One month ago this garden was planted and I dare say it is doing well. The potatoes are taking off, as are the tomatoes. I think I have a critter eating a few of my bean plants but hopefully it won't be too bad. In the bottom right hand corner there is a big blank spot because I planted one more row of lettuce yesterday and will do a third in a month from now. The blank spot just above that is supposed to be parsnips. I haven't grown parsnips before and there are only a few. I wonder if the birds have been scattering them as they have many of my carrot seeds. I have two types of beets growing and they are growing - these are some of my favorite vegetables and so I'm excited to have two varieties this year.

That's my garden update. My sleep was quite fragmented last night from a yappy neighbor dog, Sweet One waking up a few times, the humidity that was driving me mental and storms that seemed to be everywhere but right above us. So, it's me and the couch tonight and I desperately hope that both Sweet One and I get a better nights rest tonight!

A bientot. (Yes, I realize I'm missing a few accents. But that's as french as I'm getting - Sweet One beckons. Too much sun in the windows to sleep is my guess.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reinventing date night

Our evenings are often spent in the living with something on the telly occupying my brain as a means to shut it off. I keep telling myself that we're not missing out on dates because we never used to go on them much anyway. Trying to be careful with money, we rarely went out for dinner and only ventured to the big cities for a concert three or four times since we moved here. Our last guests kept insisting how important it is to have some time - just the two of us - regardless of what we did.

With a bottle of chilled white wine left over from said friends, we decided to take it out onto the porch after Sweet One fell asleep. Despite getting the table and chairs when the in-laws were here, I had spent very little time using them.

Before we knew it, almost two hours had passed. My quiet husband who keeps most things locked up in his brain until he fully understands them talked just as much as I did. We laughed at ourselves and our families, shared our worries and were able to reconnect and focus on each other in a way we haven't for awhile. Surprisingly, the conversation wasn't even about Sweet One! A husband and wife enjoying each other's company.

No longer do I feel like we need a fancy restaurant or brilliant concert to attend in order to have a date. I need to stop going directly to the tv every night once Sweet One is asleep and enjoy my husband's company. We have made a date for next Sunday night. We'll pick up a bottle of wine and then maybe some lovely chocolate!

(Sweet One had a bit of a difficult day and now with my gin and tonic I am sitting across the table. It is nice not to have my brain numbed immediately!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Learning about love

Sweet One seemed to want to run around outside rather than for a ride in the car to the local home improvement store and so Big Love put his shoes on and was ready for some play in the sun. My friends and I left for the store.

About 45 minutes later we returned to the house. One of my favorite pictures was in front of me: Big Love sitting on the grass while Sweet One walked around him looking and picking at different things in the grass. "They're still outside! That's not at all surprising. She could spend all day outside," I said as I stopped the car.

I got out of the car and heard Big Love say "Let's get you some water," to Sweet One as we walked up the stairs to the house. I reached for the knob, turned it and was immediately stopped by the locked door. "I locked you out of the house?" "Yes. But the good thing is that none of our windows open from the outside! That's also why I need to get the sippy cup."

In my excitement to be with my friends and think of what I needed to get ready for a trip to the store, I locked the door automatically without even thinking that it was unnecessary since Big Love and Sweet One would be home. I just stood there, dumbfounded and humbled. I looked at my friends and I looked at Big Love: "If you had done that I would have been pissed and gotten mad at you!" "I know."

There are so many little moments like this where Big Love teaches me what is worth getting upset about and what is not. And what it means to patiently and completely love someone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mama, One!

I walked into the living room and there was a cracker completely broken up and left on the floor.

You have to pick this cracker up.
Shakes head and continues to point at the tv.
You don't get to watch another Backyardigans until you pick up this cracker and give it to Mama.
Shakes head and squeals a bit, while continuously pointing at the tv and avoiding looking at me.
I will turn on Backyardigans if you pick up your cracker.

This went on for a few more minutes. Then she picked up one piece and threw it on the floor. Not acceptable. I picked her up, sat her down in front of me and the cracker, and she finally picked up all the pieces. It was a little hard, but I won!

Monday, June 14, 2010

It doesn't get much better

I am lying in bed. Anything outside of the glow of this little scream is a dark black that swallows up everything. My daughter is fast asleep in her crib. My husband is sleeping next to me. In the guest room/studio are two of the most important people in the world to me. They are here for a visit and I have been beyond excited. We had a late dinner of Pinot Noir and Spring Veggie Pizza.

Sweet One greeted them at the airport as if she had just seen them yesterday! Such a difference from either visit with her grandparents. (And strangers in general.)

And so I have two and a half days to make the most of their time here. We're just going to hang out and spend time together. My words fail.

I'd also be this excited if it were my sister and her family visiting. Or my friend from Montreal. Not that there are any competitions going on. It's just funny how I had so much anxiety about the two sets of grandparents coming and now there is none. I wish we didn't need sleep so I could have more time with them!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SWX - letters used a lot more than I thought

On Tuesday I was cutting some onions and just after saying "man this knife is sharp" to myself, I realized that I had cut my finger. It bled like a bitch. I called a retired doctor friend of mine who told me to put gauze on it. I didn't have any gauze and he said to use bandaids but 10 minutes later he and his wife (she was a nurse, they met in a hospital in Philly) were here dressing my finger.

Luckily I already had a doctor's appointment the next morning for an adjustment and so my doctor, who I think is an awesome doc, fixed me up. Because I'm a woman who has not given birth as God intended, I can honestly say it was one of my most painful experiences. I cut the skin right off and got to a vein. When my doctor pulled off the gauze, after I had soaked it for awhile, he was pinching and trying to get the blood to stop on its own. Unfortunately, this did not work and he had to use silver nitrate. "It will sting a bit," he said. But he lied. It fukkin' hurt and as I desperately tried not to yell and/or cry, I said so. It wasn't fun.

So now I try to type without a ring finger. Do you realize that once on the computer, the ring finger is an incredibly busy finger with every s, w and x needing it! I never imagined just how much it is used but the previous paragraph required it 32 times!

So that's why I haven't be here in a few days because it is annoying to adapt. (Was is the hardest word to type.) Tomorrow I'll be able to take the big chunk of gauze off and wrap it myself with something a little smaller.

Thankfully Sweet One has been sleeping better. It was hard the first night with her hollering and fighting it off for an hour. This afternoon she slept for just under 2 hours. She's been amazing at listening to me this week - made being her mama pretty easy. She is now at a stage where she wants (enough w's and s's?!) to walk down the stairs rather than crawling but she didn't want to hold both of my hands because this giant white poofy thing on my hand was freaking her out! I do think her eye teeth are making their way through and it breaks my heart for her to be in pain.

Monday, June 7, 2010


On page 679, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines fuckwit as: vulgar slang a stupid or contemptible person (often used as a general term of abuse). I have used this many times for myself. While I was singing in choirs, both professional and amateur, I would often scrawl a FW in places that I kept messing up and really shouldn't be. 9 times out of 10, once those letters were there I never made the mistake again.

I hate soothers (binkies, pacifiers) and yet Sweet One loves them as much as she loves her blueberries. When I was struggling with her not sleeping through the night 7 or 8 months ago, I had to wean her from soothers at nap and bedtime and it broke my heart a little to hear her scream so hard. But three days later, things began to improve and her sleeping has only gotten better since then. A week or so ago she was so tired at naptime that I after I put her in her crib, she reached up with a smile and pointed to the lightswitch as if to say, "this is just where I need to be. Now flick off that light and I'm going to sleep!"

With teething and grandparents visiting over the past month, the soother's presence has been more frequent than I'd like during the day. There are some days when it feels like a complete battle to distract her enough so that she won't want it. Just over a week ago the weather was so damn hot that I gave her a sippy cup with water in her bed. I felt like it would be awful not to, considering the fact that I need to drink water in the middle of the night when it is that hot.

Now it is all starting over again. She doesn't want to go to sleep without her sippy cup. She'll wake up a few hours after going to sleep at night, not calming down again until I have given her a sippy cup. I was telling myself this was ok as long as it wasn't the soother. Yesterday she woke up from a nap much too early and as soon as she saw it on the shelf, she screamed for the soother. Once it was in her mouth she went back to sleep for much longer than I expected. Again today, an hour after going to sleep she got the soother. I am perfecting the art of self-flagellation.

I am beyond frustrated with myself for getting back to the point where she can not soothe herself. I do not want to go through the weaning again but I will have to. Two days with a soother at midnap point and I am pissed. How could I not see the need for a giant FW above this error? (She has almost completed a second hour of napping, which she never used to do. At the most it was 1h45.)

So tonight I'll have to start over again, not allowing the sippy cup to get into her crib. But what happens when it is so hot again? I am tired and frustrating and trying very hard not to think of this as a huge problem.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The frozen purple balls of bliss

Now that my little netbook has arrived five days ahead of the estimated delivery date, I can type while Sweet One eats her blueberries. And truly! There is so much time in the day that seems to be dedicated to blueberries.

We give her lunch or supper and she eats just enough. It's as if she knows that there is a certain amount of room in her belly that must be saved for these little frozen purple balls of delight. With the main course finished, her eyes immediately light up as she points for the fridge and proclaims "dah!". I am done with this part of eating, Mama, please bring me the blueberries!

As I pour some onto her booster seat tray, she places her hand on the bottom of the bag. I think she is trying to figure out a way to dump all of them in front of her. Each and every blueberry that she sees is eaten with precision. Sometimes popped into her mouth with a little suck and sometimes placed into a very particular spot - how she decides if it is to be the left cheek or the right, the front or the back of her mouth I will never understand. And when one little blueberry falls into her chair, nevermind that it is with the food she has tried to hide there, she screams as if a human rights issue has been trampled on! Don't I know there are babies in africa who have never even heard of a blueberry! Must free the blueberry!

Perhaps tomorrow while she is eating her blueberries I'll finish War and Peace. But for now, there is a head being rested on my lap and it is time for me to play with this little person who is my bliss.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The longest twenty minutes of my day

I let her bare bum follow her as she played in her room while I cleaned up the diaper. She joined me in the bathroom where she attempted to dig in the garbage and then take the diaper sprayer from me. After I finally got her to stop that she went back into her room. A few moments later I heard some short cries. I knew she wasn't hurt but I could tell she was worried. I walked into the room and there, lying on the wool area rug, was a blueberry poop. Sweet One was very upset that some was squished on her sock foot and the rest was lying all over the rug. I told her it was ok. It was mama's fault for not putting a diaper back on.

So I picked up what I could and disposed of it properly only to hear more worried cries. Sweet One was coming towards me and as I picked her up, my eyes surveyed the area where she had been playing. No more blueberry poop. But there was a wee bit of pee in the bin she had been removing her toys from.

I bought a pound of frozen blueberries on Friday and by Monday evening they were gone. Sweet One has practically been living on them with this heat wave we have going on. And they sure did seem to color the twenty minutes of my day that seemed to take forever! This is exactly what a great parenthood sitcom is made of.