Monday, December 17, 2012

Manic Monday: Christmas Break!

Hello! Welcome to Manic Monday! It's great that it happens to be Monday, because I wanted to blog without any real solid idea for one particular post.

  • First and foremost, my heart is broken over the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.  I decided not to immerse myself in the detail after the first night, as I felt shaken profoundly to the core of my being. My sadness is not what the world needs right now. The world needs positive energy.
  • Speaking of positive energy, I'd like to introduce you to my new side project, The Online Positivity Movement. A few weeks ago, I decided that I don't enjoy the negativity on social media. From Facebook drama to heated, uncivilized debates over politics and gun control and so on, to people simply posting that they are having terrible days or are in foul moods on a continuous just got to be overwhelming.  I started The Online Positivity Movement to start sharing some positivity and happiness on social media each day. Take a look, 'Like' it, and share it with your friends!
  • Let's share some photos:
This is my father-in-law in a Santa suit...makes the photo so much more special.

Yum! Spaghetti!

K., the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It Must Be So Frustrating

Imagine with me for a moment.

You are so eye-droopingly tired. You want nothing more than to relax and drift off into dream land. You are cuddled up in your cozy, comfy bed and you know you should be okay, but your mind races. You can't shut it off. You keep tossing and turning impulsively; it's beyond your control. Your partner keeps telling you to just lay still and that if you're so tired, you should sleep. But you can't.

I think that must be what it's like to be a baby trying to sleep in the midst of a developmental leap. Baby Bird was just so tired, and grumpy, but he just couldn't drop off to sleep. It's been like this since Sunday. First it was his first two teeth cutting, and now it seems like he is putting all his energy into gross motor development toward crawling.

Yes, for me, it's very much frustrating. We don't really sleep train here, so a summary of nap-time is:

Rock rock rock
Baby seems drowsy but eyes pop open
Baby arches back and squirms until Mama gives up


Rock rock rock
Baby falls asleep in arms
Put baby down
Baby rolls onto stomach and tries to crawl away

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sometimes I give up and we go play until I get my patience back.

But today it sunk in. How miserable must it be to be so exhausted but you just can't power down for the snooze you desperately need? Adults with insomnia, you know what I'm talking about here.

So today, I just kept my patience. I empathized with Baby Bird while I rocked and shooshed him gently. His eyes closed and his little body relaxed. I put him down and covered him with his blanket.

I walked out. Put an English Muffin in the toaster and the kettle on to boil.

"WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!" Bird awakens with a start.

I curse the whole way to the room, breathe a deep breathe to regain my composure and enter.

Repeat the empathy, rocking. Put Bird down, cover with blanket, blow him a kiss.

It stuck. He's napping. Must've been the kiss I blew him.

Sometimes it pays to just be patient.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Manic Monday

Goooooood morning! I'm not really sure why I'm so chipper this AM, given the almost 2-hour Party Baby session we experienced overnight, followed by the extremely sad baby this morning. BUT I am. 

Welcome back to Manic Monday!

Let's talk about...stuff. In a bulleted list.

  • I completely dropped the ball on Christmas shopping for the relatives "away". It's only half done, and my usual self-imposed deadline for shipping was yesterday. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight. How it got to be December 10th is beyond me.
  • My family and my best friend has banded together to buy gifts for needy families this Christmas. Yesterday I went to church and picked up all the gift requests, and I will complete the shopping this week. I feel that we are so fortunate, it's the least we can do to give other families a chance at a merry Christmas without worrying. I encourage everyone who can to do a little something - donate a few items to a food bank, purchase warm winter wear for children in need, donate to the Salvation Army's Christmas campaign.
  • I have only one assignment left for this semester of my Career Development Practitioner program. How I survived, I'm unsure. While I wish I had started part-time, I don't regret full-time. I got so much confidence back from baby-wrangling and getting excellent grades in school. Now I'm really excited for some down time.
  • Baby Bird has at least two teeth cutting right now. He's honestly taking it really well. He has his moments of upset but overall, he's been happy.
  • I ordered a new bag to use as a diaper bag. The one we originally chose pre-birth ended up being a little on the small side, especially considering we use cloth diapers (a little extra bulk), and we are planning to eventually have another child.  It's this one from Lululemon:

  • My usual Christmas decorating style is Victorian, with white lights and rich jewel-toned ribbons. I like it classy and twinkly. But now with a baby, I'm leaning toward FUN FUN FUN! This Christmas we've bought a few new fun decorations. After Christmas, when all the decorations go on clearance, we're going to stock up on coloured lights and fun decorations for next year.
What's your Christmas decorating style?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I swore it would never, no, it COULD never, become me.

I'm going to say these three words just once, so treasure them. Savour them. Because you're not likely to see them in anything I write for a long, long time.

I. Was. Wrong.

It started slowly. I was in the habit of dressing decently and putting on make up daily. Then, after Bird was born and Keegan went back to work, some days I couldn't manage to do more than quickly dress in whatever I could find and throw my hair in a pony tail. It wasn't every day, though, so I felt safe because I still mostly made the effort.

Then I went from daily showers to once every two days. That was okay.

But this is day three and I'm wearing a head wrap to disguise my hair. And I'm not going to get a chance to shower until K. gets home.

Then I had to stop accessorizing because babies pull on and eat everything. So no more pretty dangly earrings, and no more necklaces, and definitely no more wearing my hair down.

In October, we got rid of cable. No more Canada AM to keep me up to only a day behind on my news or show me the latest viral video. No more Ellen show to keep me somewhat up to date on pop culture. No more re-runs of What Not To Wear.  No more watching our favourite shows the night they air. Heck, I don't even know what shows are even relevant anymore.

So here we are. I, my friends, have become uncool. Unhip. Not "with it". I'm a mom who has no idea what is happening in the world or what adults do for fun anymore. I don't know what's trendy for the winter.

What I DO know is that all of those things have become unimportant to me. One day, when I have a more independent child and I'm back in the working world, I'll probably care again. But right now, what I care about is my home. My family. My little slice of quiet heaven each morning while my son naps. Watching him learn and grow. Taking him to playgroups so he can socialize while Mama talks to other mamas going through the same thing.  I care about my studies. I care about learning and growing as a human. I care about learning to be generous of spirit and with my time. Learning to balance the motherhood side of my life with ability to still be me.

So what if that means I'm not really on top of the 'real world' right now? I'm deeply in love with my life, and indeed with living itself.

And that, my friends, is worth its weight in all those things I have let go.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I'm struggling with a really big case of "Want It All".

I never imagined it possible that I would want to be a stay at home mother, but here we are. I would give up so much to be at home with Baby Bird past a year, but it would mean selling our current house and giving up our second car (at the very least).

So I thought, that's okay, I can find part-time work and bring in enough for us to maintain our lifestyle. That would keep Bird out of daycare full-time, and it would also give me a bit more adult time outside of the home. Ideally, I'd love to start my business but I'm just not ready.

I told my husband, and he agreed. I pranced around feeling free like the wind and I wanted to tell the whole world. I wanted to shout from the rooftops.

Then it all came crashing down. We started talking about when we should try to have a second baby, and I realized that a second baby means a second maternity leave. And if we are just barely comfortable with me only bringing in a part-time income, then we wouldn't make it at 55% of that during a second maternity leave.

I came to grips with going back to work full-time for roughly a year until a second baby arrives (if we are so blessed). I thought that then I could take my second maternity leave and then do the part-time work thing after that.

Yet another problem popped up and my heart crashed again. With two in daycare, could we afford for me to work only part-time? God knows I don't want to work to pay for daycare.

So at this point, I guess I'll be a working mom. I'm told this is not the end of the world; that children survive and even thrive in daycare.

But, I have this niggling feeling. I didn't realize it until a few months ago, but I did not have children to let someone else raise them for 40 hours a week.  I do not wish to be separated from my heart for 40 hours a week. I want to continue to watch him grow, to participate with him in life. I want to show him the world around him and see the wonder in his eyes. I want to be there when he skins a knee, to kiss him and tell him Mama loves him before each nap. I want to be there through the terrible twos to teach him about his emotions and how they can be safely & appropriately expressed.

I wish I could go back in time and tell Childless Kim that she would feel this way, so we could have avoided lifestyle inflation.  We could have made sure we could live comfortably off one salary.

Now I just feel stuck in a situation there is no way out of, and it's not a good option for me or for Baby Bird. I feel like I am failing him by not figuring this out.

Mamas who work: talk me off the ledge.