Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another day, a few more things figured out

A hot day full of absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, but a few things learned.

  1. Although it won't get completed in one huge whirlwind as I'm used to, the garden will get planted and the beds will be cleaned up because a lot can be accomplished in fifteen minutes here and there. It is ok that I don't get it all done at once because right now it is more important to be able to move when I'm done and hold my little boy without a revolt from my muscles.
  2. We've had three days in the 90'sF/30-31C and it seems that by the end of it, Sweet One is melting down just as I want to. It could be a very long summer and I'm already wanting to ram my head through a wall.
  3. I don't like only getting 6.5 hours of sleep in a night. Especially when it's in 2 hour pockets here and there. But in the end, I can still make it to the end of the day without losing my mind and that's a good thing.
  4. I don't have the fanciest espresso maker nor the most impressive grinder but in my world, I can make an iced Americano in the morning that I really enjoy. (And Sweet One keeps telling me "I need coffee" so I can actually get her drinking some milk when I put a small drop of the decaf espresso in a cup for her!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Parade

We watched the parade go by as we ran past the different participants parked along the street waiting to start marching or driving. Sweet One seemed to think that you walk alongside the parade as we came to a stop just as the first few groups were starting to go. In a very contained way, Sweet One loved last year's parade and so we wanted to go again. This year the flag she was given was even bigger than before and so was her personal display of excitement. I marveled at each of her shouts of joy as all the various sections went by. Fifteen minutes that flew by much too quickly with fifteen minutes of screaming that followed from her disappointment that she couldn't follow and see more.

The holidays that mark important moments in this country's history are slowly becoming more of our celebrations, too. How could they not with two children who are American, as well as Canadian? As I watched my little poster child with her pigtails and flag in hand, I almost had to choke back tears. At first I thought this strange. Memorial Day isn't Canadian. It isn't my holiday. But in the end, regardless of what country I am in or whose holiday it is, recognizing the toll that war takes on soldiers, families and all the human race isn't something that needs to be categorized. And so I continued to watch my daughter as she delighted in what was passing in front of her, hoping desperately that by the time we have to explain what it all means perhaps wars would be stories of the past and not the present.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The arsenic hour

That's what my friend calls 4pm or so until supper time when the kids are going crazy while you're trying to get supper ready.

If Little Man hasn't slept well in the afternoon - aka if I've spent all afternoon holding him or walking around with him in the BabyHawk - my anxiety levels rise. Once 430 or 5 hits I start to shut down. Big Love is often home so it's not like I'm trying to juggle both kids on my own. It's rather ridiculous/overwhelming and can last until well after we've gotten Sweet One to sleep.

I'm starting to think that Little Man's sleeping, both day and night, has taken a turn for the worse ever since I introduced the soother at about 6 weeks old. Fukkin' soother. I hate you.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I adore my children. Each day is about taking care of them. Pretty much every minute. In the end I know that I trust my instincts but these days I can not help but second guess myself with everything.

Over the past five years I have slowly let go of everything that has given me a sense of self. Of my search for meaning in my own life. I let go of singing when we first came to this town and found great meaning in practicing yoga. It helped me heal wounds that had been festering for years. Yoga enabled me to begin, in a very small sense, a spiritual journey which I had always wanted to find but never knew where to begin. I never really understood that it could be Within.

But I stopped going to yoga classes after Sweet One was born. The timing of the classes never lined up with her nursing schedule and for the longest time I was the only one who could get her sleeping. I tried to use DVDs and CD practices as often as I could but it was never as much as I liked. While I was pregnant with Little Man I did yoga regularly but it was always more about physical rather than spiritual survival.

When I went to my 6 week check up my doctor was worried about me having postpartum depression. Maybe I'm a little worried about it, too. But I think it is more rooted in the fact that that I feel afraid of not being able to get back to the self-care and self-discovery that I was able to for awhile. Before I was a mom.

I love being a mom. There are moments when I find great riches in watching my children grow. Sweet One has began expressing herself in ways I never imagined. It is beautiful. She already shows such a capacity to love as she smothers her little brother with kisses. Then there is her intelligence. Learning the ABC's so quickly and being able to identify the letters by sight (both upper and lower case). But what astonishes me the most is how she keeps us on our toes. Just this evening she managed to finish her popsicle and then switch out her empty stick with the half eaten one Big Love was holding - and she did it so quickly and smoothly that Big Love didn't even know what was happening. A huge cheer for herself having finished the green popsicle as she started on the remainder of Big Love's red one. My words pale in adequately describing just how funny this moment was. We let her keep the extra popsicle because it was just too cute the way she outwitted her dad. It is moments like these that I know this is where I am supposed to be.

I know that eventually I will have to balance this all out with time for myself. I will be no good to anyone if I constantly give without replenishing. I just don't know how I will ever get there and it scares the shit out of me. The map looks as scattered as this post; I have a vague idea of where I'm trying to go and what I'm trying to say but having given everything I have to everyone else today I'm left depleted.

I need to find a way to nurture my spiritual self before I disappear.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2 hours? No, thank you.

From what I've heard, most moms want to avoid the 'mistakes' they made with the first kid once the second comes along. I am no different. I'm desperately trying to get the sleep training off to a good start. (And no, I'm not trying to get Little Man to fall asleep on his own yet.) I'm trying to focus on the one to two hour window and have him sleeping within a maximum of 2 hours once he wakes up. For the life of me, I can not get this going and I end up spending about 3 hours trying to get him to sleep a good nap!

Do you want a sandwich for lunch?
No, thank you.
Do you want an apple?
No, thank you.

Really, it seems that we have taught her "No, thank you" very well as she will say this to almost anything I list off to try and get her to eat. And it is delivered in the sweetest little voice you can imagine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


After realizing there was no where else to put it, I moved the crib into our room this past Thursday. The kids will eventually share a room but we figure that until Little Man is sleeping through the night, we can't really have them together. Sweet One's sleep is still mangled enough as it is! We can't leave the crib in the office because that's where guests will need to sleep when they come to visit and while visits are few and far between, we still need to have the space available. Yes, this is all one more decision that I've felt completely inept at. Why is it that I don't feel a little more competent the second time around?

Little Man had been sleeping very well for awhile. One night he even went 7 hours without a feed! I was elated. Thinking that since I made the effort to get the crib in our room I decided to see how he would do if I moved him from the sleeper he had been using to the crib. Now the sleeper is not flat and once he's in there it leaves very little room for his body to flail at all when he goes through those moments of shake, rattle and startle like these little ones do. The first night in the crib he was alright but the last two nights have been quite rough. Waking every two hours or so and not even wanting to eat each time has left me barely getting an hour of sleep at a time. Things were not great during the day either because he would not fall asleep and stay asleep for his naps. I am starting to lose my mind! So I think I'll move him back into the sleeper tonight and see how he does. (Let's just add this to the 'I have no fukking clue' list.)

What I would give to be able to talk to someone who's been here. At this exact moment I am at a loss.

(Little Man was put down for a nap 2 hours ago. In the sleeper. Where's his frikkin' instruction manual!)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brief stream of consciousness, otherwise known as a brainfart

This rollercoaster ride of mothering is kinda crazy. One minute I'm almost yelling at my daughter to stop screaming (yeah, that makes sense) and the next she is snuggling close to me, looking like a perfect angel. And at the same time, I'm spending time with a small knot in my stomach trying to figure how and when to put the kids in the same room. I figure that I should wait to do this when Little Man will be able to sleep through the night for the most part which leads me directly into wondering when I should start making him fall asleep on his own. I have no clue even though I went through this before. If he cries for too long he will wake up Sweet One and that is no good when we're trying to train her to sleep longer. We had a hell of a time getting Sweet One to sleep without her soother (transl. "binky") and I don't want to have to do that again. It was necessary to stop her from sleeping with it because once she got used to it she finally started sleeping well. Quite honestly, if I could get him to go without one all together I would. But I know it is a good idea because it helps prevent SIDS and it is a natural instinct that babies have to soothe themselves. Maybe he'll be one of the breastfed babies who don't want a soother. Good lord, both of these kids of mine were suckers if the sucking blisters on their lips (Sweet One's have gone away) are any indication of how much they did it in the womb. I have to remember that while Sweet One still doesn't want to completely give up her soother, Little Man could be completely different and not crave them like crack.