Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Lately, I've really been experiencing that feeling that I'm certain is familiar to moms everywhere. You know the one. The one where you are literally being pulled in every direction. You know those medieval stretching machines? Where they attach all your limbs to different pulleys and then basically wind it until you come apart? Yeah, that's how I'm feeling. Except it's my mind that's pulling in every direction. There are always too many things to do and not enough time to do them.

My mind is always spinning and trying to think of how I can try to fit it all in. Or wondering which is the most important. My internal dialogue usually sounds something like this. "I really want to go to the gym, I'll feel so much better if I do and then I can get everything else done. But it takes up so much time and then I won't have time to go through that HUGE PILE OF CLOTHES in my bedroom and decide what stays and what I'm giving away. And I should do laundry, if we go out I won't get it all finished. If we stay home I can just spend quality time with the kids. But then Miss A starts bugging me 'where we are going? what are we doing? LET'S GET OUT OF HERE it's boring!' and then when we're home I'm compelled to putter around and get SOMETHING, ANYTHING done. And what are we having for supper? There are no left overs. Be creative! Man, I suck at cooking. I'm going to do the dishes while I think about this. Why is it that I can only ever accomplish the bare minimum but never get to the larger tasks? Sigh."

It's ridiculous. I know that. I know I need to give myself a break blah, blah, blah. But I just can't stop my brain from spinning. I happen to know how good it feels to have everything (or almost everything) that you want accomplish in a day completed. (On the very rare occasions when that happens) And it's an additively good feeling.

For a while now, going to the gym has been winning out over all else. Miss A is happy because she gets to play with kids and possibly GO TO THE PLAY STRUCTURE! and run off steam.(which also has perks for me!) Baby B sleeps. I am currently training for an indoor triathlon. (Not as impressive as it sounds. It is simply a 15 minute swim, 15 minute cycle and 15 minute run. Whomever goes the farthest in that time 'wins'.) It's the only kind of triathlon I could complete. The hardest part for me is the running. I HATE to run. I've tried everything to make myself like it but nothing has worked thus far. Any tips AM, Bon? I can however, FORCE myself to run for 15 minutes. I did it yesterday. Pathetically slow, but I ran the entire 15 minutes. My ankle didn't hurt too much either. I just felt it a little. Every. time. it struck the treadmill.

I always tell myself I just need one good day to get everything done. I just need a little help. Someone to distract Miss A. Someone to cuddle the baby. And then I'd feel caught up. But I suppose the sad reality is even if I do catch up, I'll only get behind again. But the peace of mind I'd have for that brief period would be worth it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What is it about Saturdays?

So after tomorrow I will only have one month of Saturdays to spend with my family. After that I'll be working every Saturday, except for holidays and Christmas time, until Baby B is in Kindergarten. Ugh.

I shouldn't complain. I should be happy that I have the ability to work when my husband can be home with the kids thereby avoiding having them in child care for another year. (Except Miss A still goes one day to hold her spot.) I should be happy that although I'm going back to work so soon I actually have a longer period of time when I won't be working full time so that I can be with them more in the long term.

I'm feeling conflicted about going back to work. Of course. How could I not? I did last time and last time I REALLY NEEDED TO GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE. This time is totally different. Things are so laid back this time around. Peter and I are coping well and getting along. The kids are happy. We are in a nice little routine. I feel, most of the time, that I'm keeping up. Add work into the mix and things may fly out of balance.

And what is it about Saturdays? There is something about working on that particular day that makes me feel resentful. Like I'm missing out on something that everyone else gets to have. I have always hated working on Saturdays even before I had kids, even before I was married. The Saturdays I when I would get to stay home for some reason were sacred. The television was different, therefore better. If I went shopping it just seemed like more fun. It always felt like a holiday.

I think that's it. When I work Saturdays I always feel robbed. My weekend begins when I am finished work so that only leaves me with a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Sure I don't have to work again until Wednesday but Peter goes back on Monday so that means it's back to the old grind. I miss that family time. That tag team parent time.

So I'm deciding to celebrate every remaining Saturday I have left before going back to work. Tomorrow I'm making pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Special. After that I'm at a loss. Maybe we can chill out? If it's nice, go for a walk? Watch a movie? All I know is I'm going to concentrate on fully appreciate it. Inevitable screaming and whining included.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So, my cycling class on Saturday went well. I only had two students, one of whom was a friend of mine I'd invited to try to ensure someone was there. The girl I didn't know arrived first. I introduced myself and we started chatting a bit. I asked her if she normally attended classes to which she told me she did. I confessed that it was my first class and told her what I had planned for the hour. She nodded politely.

This next paragraph is going to sound either insane or conceited but bear with me. I am a perceptive person. I notice things that a lot of other people tend not to notice. I sometimes question whether I really have the right idea about someone or something but then I've often found out I was correct after all. So when I say that I could almost hear this girls thoughts, you need to try and give me the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming that I was just being paranoid.

She was thinking "This girl seems nice but she doesn't look like she's as fit as I am. This is going to be a weak class. Oh well."

This made me a tad nervous but I had practiced my class twice during the week to make sure that it would go smoothly and also to be sure it was adequately difficult. I was also a bit nervous (although very happy) that my friend was able to make it because she's been training really hard and ran a couple of half marathons this summer. She was excited to come to the class but I was hoping she wouldn't find it too easy and boring. And I had no idea what the fitness level of any other participants would be. I took a few deep breaths and started the class.

About 20 minutes into the class I wasn't worrying anymore. We were all sweating and working hard. It wasn't easy for anyone. But it was fun. (At least I thought so.) The girl I didn't know kept checking me out periodically during the entire class and I could almost see the surprise on her face. She couldn't believe that I was not only keeping up with her but that I was actually going a bit harder. At the end of the class she said in a round about way that it had been the most difficult class she'd been to (score!) and my friend said she'd had to take it easy a few times because she knew if she didn't she might barf. (sorry)

Now, I am a competitive person but I wasn't trying to be competitive that morning. I was just trying to lead a workout which would be challenging for my participants. I was glad to have achieved my goal. I knew that no one was pushing themselves beyond their limits and that everyone was safe. I will save my competitive nature for when I am the student, not the teacher. It was rewarding though, to know that I'd planned a difficult and enjoyable class and also to know that I'd surprised someone with my fitness level.

I am cool with being that instructor who isn't a stick but damn, can she give you a good workout!

Monday, October 20, 2008


So Beth had a great idea. She gives a theme and we can all write about it in whatever way it strikes us. This time around the theme is exploration. As I thought about that word what came to my mind was parenting.

I looked up the word explore. This is the definition Merriam-Webster gives

Explore :to investigate, study, or analyze :look into :to become familiar with by testing or experimenting

This pretty much explains my approach to parenting.

Having Miss A rocked my life. Now, I know that could be heard coming out of the mouth of any new mother. But I seemed to be utterly lost. I remember flipping through the book 'What to Expect - The First Year'. I thought, wow. None of this really applies to us. I mean the milestones sure, but as for any suggestions on what to do when your baby cries and cries and cries, for example - the best it had to offer was "If you need a break, take one." I thought my baby wasn't 'normal' and I didn't know what to do.

Then one night, I was up late again trying to calm my crying baby. I was exhausted, at my wits end. I typed into Google "baby won't stop crying" just to see what would come up. And guess what I found? A blog. The author was a mom of a girl roughly the same age as Miss A. I loved her writing because it was raw and brutally honest. She didn't candy coat motherhood, she admitted it was hard. Damn hard. Turns out she had a baby who wouldn't stop crying either. And she laid it all out there. The good, the bad and the ugly. (That particular blog no longer exists but you can find her writing here and here.)

I guess you could say that night changed my life, as dramatic as that sounds. Because if I hadn't been looking for answers, exploring, I would have never stumbled upon that blog and blogging in general. And in that case I likely wouldn't have started my own blog. Blogging has become a huge part of my life. A huge part of who I am today.

If you go back and read my earliest posts you can tell I'm searching. Trying to find the reasons why I was having such a hard time adjusting to being a mother. The whole reason I decided to start my own blog in the first place was because I was hoping to find other moms who might be having similar experiences. And I was hoping to find some answers.

Did I find the answers? Sometimes. More importantly I found some amazing mothers who I had lots in common with. People I could bounce things off of or just vent to. I found out I was not alone. But parenting is an adventure and I find most of the time as a parent I just go by instinct. You can't always find the answers in a book or on the internet. But I keep exploring. Looking for better ways or sometimes just a shoulder to cry on.

Date Night

Last night Peter and I went out for our anniversary. (ahem, September 14th! My sister offered to babysit for us but logistically couldn't do it until last night) We went out for supper and then to a movie. We had a really nice time and some great conversation. You know that supposed rule that you can't talk about your kids while on a date? Well, we totally broke it yet we still had a great time!

We were torn about what movie to go to. 'The Dark Knight' wasn't playing anymore and that was what we had wanted to go to on our actual anniversary. It seemed that our choices were limited and there wasn't anything we were dying to see. I made the executive decision to go to "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist". Peter had barely heard of it and asked me to justify why we should choose it over all the other's. I believe I said "because it has that guy from "Juno" in it." to which I think he replied "So?" Anyway, I won and that's what we went to. And thoroughly enjoyed.

You know those movies that aren't too deep or stressful to watch and nothing really happens but they have really great characters and dialogue and they make you laugh. This was one of those. I think Michael Cera is so cute and although he likely isn't so witty and awkward in real life I enjoy watching him act that way. And Kat Dennings. I was mesmerized by her the whole time. Mostly her lips. They were so perfect. And I would kill to know what lipcolor she was wearing but I'll likely never find it out. It was the perfect blue-red color. The color I should have worn in high school instead of that awful orange-red, but I didn't know better and I was trying to make a statement. And her hair was lovely, dark and wavy with just the right amount of 'I don't care'. If I didn't know better I would question my sexuality, but I do know better and I know that I'm just appreciating her and also wishing that I looked more like her than I do. Her character, aside from being a babe, was also rad. She was smart, kind and had good taste in music.

Why am I telling you this? I guess because it seems like the kind of movie a lot of people around my age might blow off. Peter confessed to worrying that it was going to be another '200 Cigarettes' which was a god awful movie (despite a wicked cast) if you didn't see it. It was not. It was honest, charming, sweet and funny. It was a perfect date movie. (for us) Peter said the sweetest thing to me afterwards when we walked out. *SPOILER ALERT - but come on, you can guess by looking at the poster. He said "You know what happens if they stay together?" "A sequel?" I reply. "Yeah, but we are the sequel."

So Nick and Norah grow up, get married and have two beautiful and wickedly cool daughters. Awesome.

I had to write about this because I was thinking about several of you after the movie, and I was sure you'd have a similar experience. I'm sharing the love people. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Cautionary Tale about Stickers

Do your kids stick stickers on their skin? Miss A does. Although, not anymore if I can help it. The other day we had another appointment, an optometrist appointment for A. Here she is pointing at the nose of a finger puppet.

So because she was so well behaved she was given her pick of treats. (Again, just as at the dentist I'm sure the not so well behaved get treats as well) She chose a ring, a plane, a coloring book and a tinkerbell sticker. She was asked what she would do with the sticker, to which she replied "Stick it on my arm." And that is what she did. I didn't think anything of it because it's something she does all the time. But apparently this particular sticker had crazy glue for it's adhesive. When it was bedtime and we were going through our routine of removing elastics from hair and anything that may remain on the skin, (including paint, glue or stickers) we attempted to remove the tinkerbell sticker. It seemed cemented in place and simply pulling a tiny bit of the corner up inducing much screaming. So we left it be.

But last evening I noticed it was red around the edges and it seemed to be irritating her skin. I decided one way or the other, it had to go. So I explained to her that it needed to come off and we commenced soaking and soaping it. As seen here.

Can you tell by her expression how exhausting it was? There was still much screaming as it seemed like torture to remove it. Eventually I let her do it by herself while I supervised since if I tried to help the screaming only got louder. So she peeled tiny bit of sticker, by tiny bit off as she kept adding more and more soap to aid in the task. When all of the sticker seemed to be gone we rejoiced but unfortunately we celebrated too soon. Upon closer inspection I could see that although the paper was gone the GLUE remained. As seen here. When I tried to rub it off she screamed in pain.

Then I had a brainwave. Baby Oil. I probably should have used it from the start but I honestly had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. So once it was finally gone a slight redness remained but we were both relieved. I'm sure it was bothering her but she was afraid to take it off because she knew it was going to hurt.

Seriously, has anyone else every experienced this? I am seriously planning on calling the optometrist office to warn them that kids should not be putting those stickers on their skin. Does that sound crazy? Miss A is actually quite tough, if something hurts her that much I know it must be bad.

Anyway, I don't think she'll be wanting to put any stickers on her skin anytime soon and when the memory fades I will remind her why it's a terribly bad idea.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Um... I don't have a Title

I've been writing a lot of posts in my head lately. But haven't written any down. And now I don't remember what they were. That explains a lot about the state of my brain these days. I have missed several appointments, shown up for appointments on the wrong day, overbooked myself... It's pathetic.

We are sickies around here these days. Everyone sneezing, blowing their noses, coughing. (See M we didn't even need to visit you to catch colds!) Can I just complain again how not fun it is looking after children when you are unwell. And how impossible it is to get the rest needed to recover with a three month old?

Oh yeah! Baby B is three months old today! Wow! Here is some baby cuteness for you all.

It is very inconvenient for me to be sick right now since I'm teaching MY FIRST EVER FITNESS CLASS! on Saturday morning at 9:00. It's a cycle fit class (also known as spin). For my workout yesterday I went through the class I've planned. I was dripping sweat so I think it is adequately challenging. Or else I'm in terrible shape. I guess we'll find out on Saturday during class. I felt like too much of a knob to actually talk out loud to my imaginary students so I just thought to myself what I'd be saying to the class, "Only 10 more seconds!" "Good work!" and that sort of thing. I'm going to go to the gym again tomorrow and practice once more and tonight I want to finish compiling a CD for the class with good tunes. This is one of my new favorite workout songs.

Also, regarding kids shows, I am IN LOVE with this one. Has anyone else seen it? I am a sucker for british accents every. time. I also love the animation. And the music. And the writing is great. I think it's great when I am as entertained by something (or more) as Miss A is. And not in that written over the child's head way either. In a purely innocent funny way. In the way that kids make you laugh kind of way. Did I mention I love this show?

And then there is this one. I am convinced that some television producer was drunk in a club one night and offered this girl a job. And then she negotiated to have her boyfriend play the train engineer. Seriously! What the heck?!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dentist Appointment in Which She Used Up Her Good Behaviour For the Whole Day

So Miss A had her first ever dentist appointment the other day. You know those times that you sometimes have with your kids when they are so well behaved, so sweet, so perfect even, that your heart swells and you feel like you might just be doing a good job of this parenting thing after all? I had one of those times when we went to the dentist. She was so amazing that I'm fairly confident that the dental assistant we had would be talking about her to all her coworkers. "What a sweet heart!" "What a well behaved little girl!" etc.

Here is some photographic evidence.

This is when she is learning about how the chair goes up and down.

Here she is practicing opening wide for the dentist.

Getting her teeth checked and counted.

Showing off her treat for being so well behaved. (I'm sure every kid gets one regardless.)

And then we left. And everything fell apart. She would not listen to a single thing I said for the remainder of the day. It was actually ridiculous. She is usually challenging but this was so much worse. Like I had to chase her around to get her shoes on when we had to leave a place. She flopped on the ground like a limp doll when I tried to help her with her jacket. That sort of thing. The only thing I can think is that she used up all the good behavior she was capable of for the day during her dentist appointment.

I guess I should be grateful that there wasn't any bad behavior inflicted on anyone else. It just kind of amuses me that we must have left the staff at the office with such a good impression. If only they'd spent the rest of the day with us.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

More Photos from The 3 Year Old

I am highly amused and often impressed by the photos Miss A has been taking with her camera. Maybe it's because as parents we are always desperately looking for some clue about what they might grow up to be. I always find myself wishing for artistic jobs. Dancer! Singer! Photographer!

Here are some of her recent photos.

I like the composition in these ones.

This one is a reusable grocery bag. I always find it interesting to see what she deems worthy of taking a picture of.

I love this one. The way Baby B's eyes stand out is neat.

She took her camera to preschool for show and tell and this was one of her photos.

And this is only two of the many, many, many pictures she took of the television. Peter asked me if we should be concerned about the number of photos of the TV because, perhaps that might indicate the importance of it to her. Being in denial I said "No, of course not."

Two of her current favorite shows.

George Shrinks

Charlotte's Web

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What we did on our Holidays and oh yeah I'm bleeping tired...

So yeah. We used up the remainder of Peter's holidays. The others were used up during 'we just had a baby, holy crap we have two kids now' time. So we (I) felt like we should make the most of it.

As I mentioned earlier, we started off by going to see my friend Jenn and her family. She used to live in the same city but recently moved to a new place. It was exciting to go and see where they are living now and interesting to spend a big chunk of time together. It's funny how you can be friends with someone but if they live in the same place that you do you never really have the opportunity to spend as much collective time together as you do when they move away and you need to stay with them. I think it went rather well. We were very well fed and entertained. My main concern was that my rambunctious child would overwhelm and/or annoy her children,but I think they coped with her rather well.

They took us to a Corn Maze but there were also a ton of other things to do. The petting zoo and PONY RIDE were the highlights for Miss A.

Our family, deep in the middle of the corn maze. Baby B is hiding in the sling here.

Miss A thrilled to bits at her first ever pony ride.

We also went to see Peter's brother and his family. Again we were very well fed and the cousins all had a wonderful time. That visit was too short but we'll be going back again for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately Miss A did not do so well with the ever changing sleeping arrangements. Which took it's toll on both her and I. We took this photo while driving home from Peter's brother's.

Let me just say that she NEVER sleeps in the car anymore. No matter how tired she may be. She'll sing. She'll talk. She'll cry. She'll do anything to stay awake. This time she passed out within 20 minutes of driving. I had Peter periodically keep checking to make sure she was breathing. I know, I sound crazy, but I'm serious. It totally freaked me out.

So then we were home for a couple of days. This was one of the things that Peter wanted/needed to do during our holidays.

Yes, that is his car filled with various computer bits, some of which were extremely heavy and were carried up from the basement. The city dump was accepting e-waste trash for a short period of time and he desperately needed to get rid of some of the junk (sorry dear) that he's collected. It's bound to happen when you work on computers for a living. But I am very grateful to have less dust collecting objects in my basement. Hopefully we'll have even less soon when we have the opportunity to donate some excess furniture we have to the needy immigrants that have been moving into the city.

So then we went to my sisters for a few days. More cousins, more food, more fun. And more sleeping issues. The first night she was sleeping in her cousin's room she woke up at 2 am and realized that she did not what to sleep there. When I tried to console her and get her settled back down she refused to go back to the basement to sleep. My sister ended up having to haul the playpen upstairs at her request. Ugh. Then the next night/morning at 5:50 am she woke up crying saying she'd had a bad dream. I settled her back down and tried to get some more sleep.

Anyway, we had fun but wow. I'm tired. We've been home for two nights and Miss A is sleeping well again but Baby B has been getting up really early and taking forever to go back to sleep. Hopefully we'll get back into our regular schedule soon. In any case it's good to be home.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On The Road Again

So we are on holidays right now and trying to get visiting and stuff in before the winter really sets in and we are feeling house bound. Not to mention that in only two short months I will be back at work and working every Saturday which really makes going anywhere pretty much impossible.

We were visiting our good friends on the weekend as well as Peter's brother and his family. We've been having a great time. Today we are off to visit my sister and her family. This is going to be incredibly relaxing because my niece and nephew ADORE Miss A and will keep her so busy and happy that it will be almost like I don't have to parent at all. I don't know what it is about being with those kids but she is always behaves amazingly well. I won't have to cook. It's going to be great!