Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Now I completely adore her!

I loved Veronica Mars. Does it matter than I was around 28 years old when I started watching it? I'll say no. Then I saw this and am even more smitten. I could completely picture Dax Shepard's (I love Parenthodo!) smile as he watched her lose her mind!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Six days and counting

On Sweet One's calendar she has six days in a row with stickers on them. When she doesn't bite, she gets a sticker. This is the longest she's made it in awhile! A few weeks ago we were up to 5 and then having two other kids over to visit ended up with a bite. She gets a cookie after supper as another reward (because she loves them and is very upset when she can't have one),  and then when she covers up 7 dots in a row on her calendar she gets a bigger prize. The first is a little toy Abby Cadabby or Big Bird to add to her Sesame Street Scene.

Every day when I am preparing lunch my anxiety levels skyrocket. This is usually the time of day when Sweet One will bite Little Man because she's not getting enough attention from me. It is very difficult to run between my kitchen and living because in the 40's an open concept kitchen didn't exist. So I prepare a bit, do my best to keep her talking and knowing that I'm right there, then I run into the living to make sure things are ok. Over the past few days I'll often find Sweet One sitting on Little Man's ride on train while he is standing behind it, trying to figure out how to push and then catch up to it! So cute. Such a relief to see them playing like this!

Yesterday I got a phone call from one of the women (I'll call her J) in the mom's group. J is also my stylist and her child was one of Sweet One's first victims! I had a hair appointment the next day so we talked about it a lot. Another role she plays is the co-organizer of the kids program that happens simultaneously to the one for mom's. Up until this point I wanted to leave Sweet One in the 2 year old for a few reasons - I felt comfortable with the women who were in charge of it and how they were supporting us in this biting fiasco, and I didn't want Sweet One to get scared/nervous being moved to a new class with new faces. (I think my fear of being in a room with people I don't know, where I don't feel like I belong, makes me afraid Sweet One feels the same way.) While J has heard my reasons for wanting to leave Sweet One with the 2 year olds (her daughter has also just turned 3 but she's leaving her in with the 2 year olds as well), J and her partner, as well as the woman running the entire shebang, have talked about it and think I should put Sweet One in the 3 year old room for February and see how it goes. The idea is that with a little more structure and less free range playing with toys, it might help Sweet One to not get so overstimulated. The thought did cross my mind a few days before I got the phone call but it still didn't take the sting away. My kid is the problem kid!

I felt sick about it all for about an hour. Nervous about her being scared in a new class, frustrated that I haven't been able to 'fix' this, exhausted from worrying about whether or not she is going to bite someone 24/7, and embarrassed that our problem was big enough that others had to address it/talk about it. Breathe woman! I feel like I haven't been able to fully breathe properly in days because of all of this! All I can do is keep hoping that six days will become 7, and it will keep going until Thursday comes around and I can say that we made it to 11. I want so much for my daughter to make this accomplishment. Please God, send her guardian angel to help her through that time so we can celebrate her accomplishment and I can breathe a little more again. I'm planning on getting her a special prize to help motivate her to make it through those 2.5 hours. And if she does, we will dance and celebrate all. day. long! I will let her eat a dozen cookies and cover her whole wall in stickers!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Life is pretty good when my biggest problem is that I can't stop shoving things into my mouth. I'm hungry all. the. time. Just finished supper an hour ago? Time for some popcorn. Lunch 45 minutes ago? Time to seaerch the fridge. Or maybe I just think I am. It doesn't matter what I'm doing or how recently I have eaten but I seem to be fighting an urge to fill some void in my stomach. I can only equate the feeling to back in the days when I tried to stop smoking. It is driving me crazy.

During the holidays I had done some baking. Each day it would be there in front of me and the amount of cookies and squares I shoved in my mouth was kinda ridiculous. After it was all done with, I had gained 5 pounds. Very frustrating after sitting at my pre-baby #2 weight for the previous 6 months.

A few weeks ago you could have caught me in the bathroom eating Hershey's Kisses at a fast pace, hoping no one would find me. No, I wasn't trying to hide it from Sweet One, I was just a little embarrassed at how many I was eating. As I was doing this, I remembered a story about someone hiding in their kitchen, guzzling a beer as quickly as they could. (I know this isn't a fair comparison and that I can't equate this with alcoholism. I'm not completely dumb.)

This morning I scarfed back 3 gluten free banana nut muffins. They're the size of a regular muffin tin, but still, I felt like I needed more. I went up to shower, got Little Man fed and napping all the while trying to figure out what I might eat next. I made my decaf Americano and was going to eat a greek yogurt but I didn't have any, so instead I ate a clementine. I really wanted a ham and cheese omelet but decided that after all those muffins I didn't need it.

So I'm starting to wonder how much of this is a need for calories because my song is 21 pounds and as hungry as ever, or if it is just a bad habit that has developed out of boredom. (For most of my life, it doesn't matter how big my meal was, I'm almost always hungry a few hours after eating.) I haven't always had the best relationship with food and so I'm trying to find a way to eat well and enough without losing my mind. Once we're not cooped up in the house so much I'm sure it will be much easier not to eat all the time, but until then I really need to fight off the voices in my head that have food calling my name!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm so fancy with my new header, aren't I?


On Thursday I was kicked out of my mom's group early. Actually, it was my daughter who was kicked out because she bit three kids. Three! Since she can't drive herself home, I had to go as well. My second cup of decaf coffee spilling out of my cup because I didn't get the lid screwed on tight enough.

We've been battling this biting stage on and off since the fall and the more she bites, the more I feel like I'm drowning. After those hard few weeks of potty training she went a full two weeks without biting and I thought that we were through that one. I drew a conclusion that the two were connected - the physical strain of what was going on was being reflected in her mental state. Then it started up again. Little Man had more bruises on his cheeks but I did think that it was just a short setback that we'd get through quickly.

Fast forward to last Wednesday when she melted down about an hour and a half into a playdate, followed by Thursday, and I have never felt as lacking in my mothering skills as I do now. I do not know what to do anymore. I am doing everything the references I've found online say and I'm even in contact with the counselor I had in High School because she specializes in kids.
Yes, indeed, these things do come in waves and old habits are the ones we all go to before anything else. Try to imagine her behaviour as a path that is familiar and easy for her to walk. What you are trying to do now is form a new path. It's going to be a tough go and she'll trip over brambles and roots as she begins. But, the more she walks it, the smoother it will be and the easier it will become. And, all the while, the old one will start to become overgrown. 
Her words are so wise and bring much comfort but at the same time I'm afraid we'll never get to the place where she has found her new path. As I re-read her email, I try to focus on the fact that there will be a day again where the teeth are not bared. After sharing the idea that stages come in waves, a friend brought my focus back from "this will never end!" to the comforting idea that "waves do end eventually". I needed that, and I continue to need the reminder almost every moment of the day, it seems. I feel like I am being thrown about by this wave; I keep getting tossed about, my head flailing from side to side, desperate to get some air, not really sure if I ever will.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bring on a snowy day

Woke up to temperatures of 19F/-8C and brilliant sunshine. I absolutely love a winter day like today. It fills me up and I wish I could spend the whole day outside. I've read some blogs over the passed few days where cities have shut down from a snowstorm. Growing up in northwestern Canada, large amounts of snow are pretty much a regular occurrence and then living in the snow belt, well, 6" in a night is not uncommon. I can not imagine being in a town that is completely shut down because of snow.

The other day Sweet One was helping her Dad get the car ready so that they could go to storytime at the library. The more the snow piles up, the more this kid loves it! She is sad every time we have to bring her in from playing.
Today we stopped at Home Depot on our grocery trip and bought a child's size shovel for her. It is yellow and right now she is holding it while finishing up World Word. She is so excited to go and play. Just another moment where I'm happy $6.97 keeps her so happy! (Shovel was also made in the states, so that's an added bonus.)

On another boring note, I have recently ordered a work out DVD (one advertised on my prenatal work out DVD) and a new pair of shoes. It is time to deal with this body-loathing and get moving. 5 different half hour work outs should be easy enough to do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Party Dress

I made Sweet One a dress for her birthday and I must say that of all the dresses I've made her, I think it is the best! I used a pdf pattern for the first time. I was a little nervous at first but it ended up being one of the best patterns I have ever used. The whole time I worked with it I felt like I was doing a good job. The person who made this pattern seems to have found a way to help you have the best finished product possible. I truly loved working with the pattern.

While the dress is reversible I didn't exactly make it to be worn that way. The outer material is a corduroy and the inner material is a cotton knit. I didn't exactly plan to have it that way but I did want corduroy on the outside and the only material I could find in the store to go with it was the knit. I had hoped I'd find a flannel to help with warmth in the winter but the knit seems to be quite warm as well. Unfortunately it was a little harder to work but I managed to do alright. (Making figure skating uniforms for my niece has definitely boosted my confidence in stretchy materials!) The biggest place I had to change things up was on the pockets because the bias tape (made out of the same material as the pocket) didn't work in the knit so I just used a corduroy.

It was fun to watch Sweet One get excited about the idea of her 'party dress'. I'd try things on her at different stages and each time she didn't want to take it off. I had to tell her that I wasn't done. I originally planned on making the dress with one pocket as the pattern is but when Sweet One tried it on she said, "Could I have two pockets, please?" How could I say no to that! And really, that's just one benefit to making the dress yourself - you can do whatever you want!

It is definitely Sweet One's favorite dress. She wants to wear it almost every day.
When I pulled the dress out to take some pictures of it, Sweet One wouldn't let it go so I told her to hold it up so I could get a picture of it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

It makes sense to her

It was just after supper tonight. Little Man hadn't been feeling well today and so I was happy that he was being entertained by Sweet One as she was playing with her new remote control train. She loves to set it going and then play with other things as it goes around and around (thank goodness for the automatic timer that shuts it down after awhile). Both of the kids like to watch from the sofa or the chair as if they are sitting in the bleachers at an arena.

Sweet one stopped the train. I asked her to let it keep going because it was making Little Man happy. But she was very sure she had to stop it because she needed to pee. "But you can let it go while you pee and Little Man can watch."

 "No! The noise might scare my pee away!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A few small changes

I've been doing a few things differently lately. Nothing huge, but my inner voice isn't berating me as much as it can tend to.

I used clean in huge violent outbursts that took care of things from top to bottom. (To be completely truthful, it would only get things done about 98% because by the time my two hours of cleaning were done, a few of those items you never really know what to do with were still lying around. I told myself I'd get them later but I never really did. So they sat around for days and pissed me off.) I liked having everything done at once so I didn't have to clean for the rest of the week.

Life with two kids is so different and the opportunities to devote a large block of time to anything doesn't really exist. The house wasn't getting cleaned up as regularly as it needed. The more I felt things weren't getting done, the more stressed out I was. I hated feeling like I couldn't get on top of things and that my house was a mess. I was beating myself up about it too much.

While discussing "busy-ness" with my discussion group at the moms group I go to a week from tomorrow, a woman said: "When I had kid #1 I said, 'I don't need someone to tell me how to clean my house. When I had kid #2 I said, 'I need someone to tell me how to clean my house.!'" I had to double check and make sure that I wasn't listening to myself talk! She mentioned that FlyLady's methods were helping her feel a little bit more on top of things. ". (This was not the first time I had heard about FlyLady. I scoffed at the need to have someone tell me how to clean my house when my friend down the street had mentioned it some time back.) Since this was the second person I had heard about it from I decided to give it a try.

In seven days of following the suggestions I am feeling better about my house. A bit of effort here and there each day and I can feel like eventually I will be on top of things. The house isn't clean top to bottom yet but changing my perspective on what I 'should' be doing (and how) is helping me feel like things are less out of control. - and be happy with that.

Another place that I have made a few changes is with my computer time. When the holiday shopping season was in full swing I was obsessed with checking out the amazon deals, trying to decide which tv we were going to buy and trying to find the cheapest prices for the kids' presents. While my children were never neglected, my time was split a little more than I liked. All this time at the computer did help me to find the deals I wanted but I did spend more time than I needed to, mindlessly surfing the internets. I'd check facebook every few minutes when there couldn't possibly be anything new. It was a little ridiculous. Once I pulled myself away from the computer, I'd blink my eyes a few times to adjust back to daylight rather than the light from my screen. My brain felt stagnant.

Once Christmas shopping was done I didn't know what to do with myself when I didn't have anything to buy on amazon! I continued to check reader and facebook more times than necessary. I was wasting time and my brain was still mush. I'd have more time for things if I let the internets stop sucking it away from me. So I decided to make a change. While I still check things frequently, I try my best to only check them once or twice in a sitting. Once that is done and I don't have anything specific to do I put the computer down. (This is helped greatly by the fact that Little Man thinks the computer is fair game and I need to shove it under the couch to keep it safe!) If Sweet One isn't done her tv show I grab a magazine, I do some de-cluttering or I just snuggle a kid.

All in all, these two changes aren't going to solve world hunger or earn me a Nobel Prize, but they are helping me have a better state of mind each day. And if that is all they accomplish, then it is well worth my efforts.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sweet One is 3!

Yesterday was Sweet One's third birthday. Third! It really seems difficult to believe. How did it happen so fast?

I want to sit and type a beautiful ode to my little girl laughing at how after months of being terrified the day would never come, she is now potty trained. Why she'll drop her pants in front of the tv and then run hobbled to the bathroom I do not know but will always laugh at. She has moments of being the great big sister in the world - smothering her brother in kisses, running to comfort him when he is hurt, telling him all of her adventures, protecting him from what she perceives as dangers - and then the next she is biting him (a stage that makes me want to lose my marbles).

The expressions and phrases she uses to tell me all about what is going on and how she is feeling never cease to amaze me. I don't always know why she'll attribute them to particular circumstances ("Yes, mother, isn't it wonderful?" after a poop!) but I will always keep laughing with her.

I think one of my biggest challenges as her mother is going to be finding motivation for her to do things. The big stuff seems to need to be on her own terms and that is okay by me. Perhaps it will bode well for future 'big' decisions as she grows and is faced with all the challenges in life.

But really, tonight my brain is not equipped for beautiful verse. Even when she is not in front of me I can see her smile. I want to hold on to every moment forever - well, yes, there are some I want to forget - but for the most part there isn't anything I would want to be different. When I lose my temper and yell, I apologize to her and promise to do my best not to do it again. I hope that she will see this as something to learn from, too. She and I have so much left to learn together and eventually she will spread her wings.... tonight, though, I will read her her bedtime stories and snuggle her for a little while before I leave. Giving her five or six kisses and telling her just how much I love her because in the end, that is the most important.

Yesterday we had a party for her and I made her a rainbow (cup)cake. I was worried about doing the frosting because the last time I tried to pipe it really didn't work. Armed with my sister's frosting recipe (she owns a cupcake shop) I got to work and it was so much easier than I expected. I was just getting onto a roll when Sweet One woke up and she became so exciting about the whole process. I really won't forget it. I was so excited that it all worked out.
When everything was packed up in the car ready to go to the church (that's where we had the party) I went in to grab the cake. I figured if it was the last thing in the car there would be less chance that something would happen. So I was carrying it out (with one hand) and about to read for the closet door to grab a coat when I bumped the banister. I will also never forget what happened next.
Oh well! At least we were able to quickly buy one. The only reason Sweet One got upset was because she could see that I was. (The toughest part is trying to get that damn red out of the carpet. Not sure how successful I will be!)

Happy Birthday, my girl. You make my world so much better.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A recap: 2011

There's nothing on tv tonight and I was fortunate to have some quiet time this morning while Little Man slept, Big Love shoveled the walk and Sweet One played outside to finish up my latest disc of In Treatment - I can't turn off my brain and so I figured this would be a good way to kill time.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you've never done before?
Became a mother of 2 children as opposed to 1.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more?
I didn't make any. I have some goals I'd like to achieve but I wouldn't call them resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Do I count? I had a baby boy. He's awesome. Really cute and happy most of the time. I can't get enough of him.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
None. I wasn't even allowed to leave this one for a chunk of time.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011.
At the risk of TMI, perhaps the desire to be amorous with my hubby? A wee bit of time for myself to make myself better that could hopefully bring more self-acceptance and self-respect to my world.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
I can recall most of April 1, 2011 in great detail. It was the day my baby boy was cut out of me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
My daughter is potty trained. That's all I can think of.

9. What was your biggest failure?
All the times I yelled and lost my temper with Sweet One. Or was mean to Big Love for lack of another place to vent my frustration/anger.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really. Recovered quickly from my second c-section and have a cold now and again. Nothing major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new TV. I love TV. I watch it a lot. We used Christmas gift money to buy a bigger one. Before we had a 27" tube. It sucked. It's nice to have a 37" LCD because then when my daughter is watching Sesame Street, things aren't cut off.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The house. The car. Medical Bills. No fukking clue.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Not being pregnant again. Ever. (Or as much of this is in my control.)

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Not one song in particular.

15. Compared to last year are you...
- happier or sadder? neither
- thinner or fatter? I'm not pregnant anymore. But I feel fatter than ever in some ways.
- richer or poorer? on a day to day basis, the same. But our mortgage balance is getting smaller and so is our car loan. Does that make us richer? Who knows?

16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Enjoying the little moments.

17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Not spent so much time freaking out about whether or not Sweet One would be potty trained. Yelling when I got overwhelmed. Bitching at Big Love for no real reason.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
On the Eve me and the kids went to our friends across the street while Big Love was at work. Then I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love in the evening while Big Love was back at work. Christmas Day we opened presents throughout the day and Big Love went to work for awhile. We had dinner at our surrogate family's house.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch A LOT of shows but if I had to only watch one it would be Parenthood. I LOVE IT! It is awesome.

20. What was your favorite books of the year?
I haven't read anything in a long time but I did really enjoy reading February.

21. What was your favorite music from the year?
I have been listening to the Glee soundtracks. I started listening to James Taylor and I like him a lot.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I hardly remember watching any. I did love Crazy, Stupid, Love and laughed a lot watching Just Go With It.

23. What did you do on your birthday? How old were you?
Nothing special. I only had a cake because a friend made me one. I was about 3.5 weeks post partum at that time which made it even harder to do anything. Maybe we went to McDonald's for dinner - oh no, I think that was Mother's Day.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not worrying about money so much. Not feeling like I had to worry about money so much.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept for 2011?
Crap. Overworn, cheap, few. Completely unflattering and depressing.

26. What kept you sane?
My children. They make me laugh and hopefully help me keep things in perspective.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Using hand lotion on a regular basis when you cloth diaper helps to prevent painful chapping. A little bit of yoga on a regular basis is better than a lot here and there. It's important to find a reason to smile. Even if you don't want to.