Monday, April 30, 2007

Try it, trust me, you'll like it

Tonight on our walk we went the long way and walked through the park. There was a hill (kind of) so Hunter ran up the hill, threw himself on his side, and rolled down. After the first half dozen times, I joined him. It was pure joy- slightly dizzy, world-spinning, amusement park can't compare, joy. Jason tried next and he couldn't keep the grin off his face either so it's not just me. It was another one of those wonderful things that children teach you to rediscover. With young children everything always takes twice as long but that's because everything is an adventure: a rock isn't a rock, it's a treasure; a stick isn't a stick, it's a sword, or a light saber, or a fishing pole; every mark on the sidewalk is an excuse to do hopscotch; and a hill is made to be rolled down.

Preparation J

On Thursday, I am going to see Mom's the Word with Em. This will be the first time I'm leaving Julia for a planned outing rather than sneaking out once she is already asleep (aside from the time Jason and I went to the movies when she was first born and my Mom was here but she was a lot younger and less stubborn then). It would not be a big deal at all (leaving her for two to three hours that is, the evening at the Globe with Em still would) except that Julia really does not take well to eating from a bottle. This means that Jason and I are having her take a bottle each night this week in hopes that by Thursday she will understand that we're not trying to poison her when we stuff (I mean gently place) it into her mouth. Tonight was night one and I'm a little worried that tonight's attempt has left Jason in a minor state of panic though we did go through every thing that calms her down when she's mad - picking her up, putting her down, taking her for a walk, taking her for a run, putting her in her swing, giving her her sucky, picking up her sucky from the floor and washing it, giving her her sucky, picking her up, putting her down, well, you get the idea - there is no set formula, just a knowledge that eventually (once you've tried everything) she will be placated. I'm sure tomorrow will be better and by Thursday she'll be a pro at drinking from the bottle (which will also come in handy when we travel).

Tee hee hee

Okay, it didn't sound like that. More like huh huh huh. That's right, yesterday Julia laughed for the first time. I had completely forgotten how much fun is is to witness that first laugh. You're laughing at something then suddenly you hear a little someone trying to mimic you only the laugh comes out like a very low huh huh huh. You call everyone in the near vicinity to witness it and spend the next while trying to make it happen again (sometimes causing the littlest cry in the process - bad, bad parents). It happens again! And now she's got it and isn't even surprised when she finds herself doing it anymore.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Springtime in Saskatchewan Part Deux

To be fair, I figured I should post a picture of how springtime in Saskatchewan has been recently. 23 degrees Celsius the last two days. Absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Confessions of an Increasingly Harmless Mind

  • I still check the job postings once a day just like I did at work even though I'm not now, and wasn't then, looking for a job (at least not unless something really awesome is on there).
  • I still check the mail every time I walk into the house even if I know there is no mail in there because I was home when the mail and, or flyers were delivered.
  • While I have not succumbed to watching the likes of Oprah, Dr. Phil, or Rachel Ray, I have become hooked on the View and am v. sad that Rosie is leaving. I am totally addicted to hot topics where she argues with the Republican Robot (the girl from survivor) but also does not defend the Democrats and in fact declared herself as an independent - v. refreshing on American TV to see the debate widened if only slightly. The show sucks when she has a day off (or when Barbara Walters is there) - will have to find something else to watch, or better yet, not watch.
  • The purchase of a new, high-efficiency, front-loading washing machine actually made me excited to do laundry (until it had to go in the dryer anyway).
  • I am not reading nearly enough news, but sadly do still find myself watching CPAC.

Why Yoga, Stupidity and Change are Bad

For many, if not all, of our nine married years, I've made Jason the same dinner (by request) for his birthday - lasagna followed by better than sex cake. Normally, lasagna is a treat because I make it so rarely. Since being on maternity leave, though, I've made it a few times so I figured I'd ask if he wanted to change up the ol' birthday meal this year (not the cake, I knew the cake would not change). He didn't come up with any alternative requests so I planned to pick up the necessary lasagna ingredients after yoga.

Unfortunately, in my yoga-induced euphoria I came up with the brilliant plan of suggesting we go out for dinner instead. Julia had been an absolute angel not only for yoga but for the entirety of the shopping that followed so I was feeling brave. Besides, Jason had been salivating (think Homer Simpson head back gurgle) over the idea of shrimp and since I have no idea how to cook it properly I figured it made perfect sense to take him someplace where they do.

Hunter and I had a nice discussion about how he was expected to behave in a restaurant and Julia had her supper before we left so we were all set. When we got there, Hunter behaved marvellously except for the fact that the boy really cannot fathom that there is a difference between an inside voice and an outside voice when he's excited (he was excited about the crayons that were supplied to him). Jason was enjoying some sort of drink called a mojito that, to me, conjured up images of Dave Foley in his brilliance as a girl-drink drunk before his career was reduced to hosting Celebrity Poker (though things are looking up for him as he's now judging Thank God You're Here - if that can be considered looking up). Things were going brilliantly until I made the mistake of saying how wonderful Julia was being and how silly we had been to worry about going out for dinner up to now.

Hearing me utter that nonsense must have awakened something in Julia because she began to cry, no cry isn't the right word, wail is. Did I mention that I had given her some anti-histamine medication for the first time shortly before going out for dinner? Oh yeah, I had, gambling that the side effect, drowsiness, would win out over the side effect, excitability. Wrong! Julia proceeded to wail for the next 15 minutes while I took her to the bathroom to dance around with her in hopes it would calm her down (and to keep her from disturbing other diners). When we came out (Julia was moderately calmed down), Jason had had everything packed up to go (even though he said he couldn't hear her out in the restaurant) and we got out of there as quick as we could. She cried most of the way home but once we were home was as calm as could be even though her eyes were still bugged out. Maybe the side effect doesn't seem so bad to a 2 month old in the comfort of her own home but being in a strange place must have been more than she could take, poor girl.

Tonight, I make lasagna as I should have done yesterday and will do every April 24th until Jason can only eat through a straw.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why I Love Kurt Vonnegut

I figure it's a fitting post since he recently passed away. I was happy to hear that his passing has resulted in some new interest in his work. Here are a some quotes that offer a taste of his brilliance:

  • Maturity is a bitter disapointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything. - Cat's Cradle
  • We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. - Mother Night
  • Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. - Hocus Pocus
  • We all see our lives as stories, it seems to me, and I am convinced that psychologists and sociologists and historians and so on would find it useful to acknowledge that. - Deadeye Dick
  • All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber. - Slaughterhouse-Five

  • Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
  • If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

I am eternally grateful to Simon for introducing me to Vonnegut by way of gifting me Deadeye Dick several Christmases ago. I hope that my offering, Fifth Business, inspired in him the same love for Robertson Davies that Deadeye Dick inspired in me for Vonnegut as I voraciously read everything Vonnegut that I could get my hands on afterwards. While Slaughterhouse Five may be his most acclaimed work, I will always have a soft spot for Deadeye Dick.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ugh Update

To keep me accountable I committed to doing an ugh update once a month. This month hasn't been great but I have managed to lose 7lbs. I don't know where from 'cause my normal (and fat) clothes still aren't fitting (at least not without my jeans looking like mom jeans). After I had Hunter, I gave myself 9 months to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight following the old 9 months on 9 months off theory. This time, I am being way more obsessive to the detriment of my self-esteem so I need to relax a bit and just admit that it will take time. After all, I do have a wonderful new babe to show for it and having her is way better than fitting my jeans properly (it's just that I want both!).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And Baby Makes a Family

I was looking at baby books the other day because I need to get started on one for Julia before I forget things (good thing I've got this blog - reminder for baby book, she started rolling over like crazy yesterday, not just the accidental or tentative ones, she figured it out). I do have a baby book that I received when Hunter was born but didn't use because I already had one so I really don't need to get a new one. It's just that while that baby book is quite nice, I keep feeling like the right things aren't in it. The same is true of the ones I've seen in the stores, though, so I really might as well use the one I've got (unless I'm going to get ambitious and learn to scrapbook, doubtful). The main issue that I've had with them is that they all seem to have phrases like "and baby makes a family" or some such variation in them. My first reaction is that these books are not only incredibly cliched, but they are also clearly geared towards a first child because, of course, we already were a family (and for that matter, weren't we a family before we had children?).

The other day, though, I was thinking about something a friend told me when she first found out I was pregnant: she told me that when she and her husband had their second child they suddenly felt like they were a family. With one child, they brought him along wherever they went and it was like they were bringing along their little buddy, but with two they were a family wherever they went. I didn't grasp the concept then because I couldn't really understand how it was all that different, but I get it now. It's not just in the preparation time for going somewhere, it's also in how you're received when you get there (or at least how you perceive that you're received). With one child, there are such things as a quick trip to the store even if the other parent isn't home because getting one child ready really isn't that big of a deal. With two children, you make sure you really need that thing you're thinking of running to the store for because by the time both of them don't need fed, washed, or dressed it's likely that at least an hour has gone by(e). In terms of reception, I imagine that showing up at a restaurant with two children is a lot more terrifying to a server than when people arrive with one but I doubt, in reality, that it makes much difference. If the server is the type to pull straws for who gets the people with two kids, they probably pull straws for who gets the people with the kid too.

With two kids, you get brothers and sisters, oldest and youngest. You say things like my kids, you talk about your son when you've got your daughter with you, and you talk about your daughter when you've got your son with you; that way people will know you've got two amazing kids. You worry that you might compare them too much, you worry that you're giving too much time to one or the other, you anticipate the relationship they'll have with each other, you love how they interact with each other straight away, you're in love with this new family that you have.

We were a family when it was the two of us, we were a different family when Hunter arrived, and our family was reincarnated yet again when Julia arrived. I guess what I'm saying is baby did make a family, a reinvented version of ours.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It had something to do with my centre of gravity, honest.

Tuesday was my first mom and baby yoga class. It was wonderful. We got there better than on time, early, which is a major feat for me these days (hell, if I'm being honest it has been a major feat for me since 2003 or 1976 even); there was a mom I actually knew in the class (though her momdom came as a surprise to me as I hadn't seen her for a few years); Julia seemed to enjoy looking at and listening to the other babes; and I realized that yoga is as perfect for me as water aerobics because it suits my lack of rhythm while still ensuring that I get a good workout (who knew all that slow movement could leave my legs feeling like jello?). I left the class confidently thinking that the likelihood of making myself look like an ass once per week had diminished significantly.

Fast forward to today, my Buff Babies class, the one I had not been worried about in the least (aside from obsessing about which stroller to bring, that is). We were running late, but I found the on-site daycare spot for Hunter with relative ease and the other moms still seemed to be getting their stuff organized when we got there so the lateness didn't seem to be a big deal. In our lateness, I opted for the regular stroller rather than the jogger and this too seemed to be perfectly fine. The other moms were really great, the instructor was great and also a relatively new mom (something about her kind of reminded my of Miranda from Sex in the City so I figured that must be a good sign). Everything was going smoothly.

That is until we did the squats. The forward ones were fine but when we did the backwards ones I had a major wipe out. It was one of those falls where you can feel it coming on and if you're lucky you have time to adjust your centre of gravity and prevent the whole thing. But despite my efforts, I was not so lucky, and may have even made it worse as I ended up not only falling but tumbling back head over trunk. In front of the whole class. And, in case anyone might have missed it, the instructor, with her mic on, asked if I was okay and said we wouldn't do anymore backwards squats to be on the safe side. Total embarrassment. Physically, I was fine but my ego? It took a severe beating in the process. The instructor did say something about how newer moms still have a centre of gravity that is out of whack - not these exact words of course, but I'm going to own that particular excuse - it was totally not me being competitive and trying to get back faster than other moms at all.

Despite the fall, the class was good. Afterwards I went for a bit of a run around the track a few times because I couldn't get enough of the sweating. It may seem odd, but I love that feeling - something about it just makes me feel alive and totally in my body. It's a nice change from often feeling like I'm living in my head (even if I'm somewhat out of it most days).

I'm Really Starting to Hate Blogger

Pictures are now disappearing! I'm almost ready to invest the big $10 per month in the other one - if only I could remember what it is called. On the upside, this mini-rant allows me to keep up my weekly plan of a post per day (even though this will show up as a Thursday I know it's really a Wednesday). Clearly, this week I'm going for quantity over quality.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Now, I myself am not a hockey fanatic (I know it's like un-Canadian or something) but I do have to wonder...

Game 1 Calgary v. Detroit - Detroit wins
Game 2 Calgary v. Detroit - Detroit wins
Game 3...

Calgary wins.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Julia's Vitals

Julia went for her immunization today. She weighs 4.76kg (10lbs 8oz), is 56cm (22 and a bit inches) tall, and 100% fabulous.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma

Grandma, we love you this much. More even, we love you to the sun and back.

Happy Birthday, wish we were there with you. Love Hunter and Julia.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

2 Month Update

Julia is two months old today. This means the dreaded first set of shots is soon, like Monday soon. I'll supply her two-month(ish) vitals after that first set of shots. I'm guessing she is about 11 or 12 pounds but I'm really not sure and I have no idea how tall she is just that she is too tall for most of the sleepers she fit only a couple of weeks ago. She is still doing those tentative half-smiles and I can hardly wait for those full face ones that I know will come fairly soon. She has rolled over once but hasn't figured out how to do it again - she's made it to her side a couple of times but mostly she lays on her tummy bending her knees and kicking her legs trying to get onto her back then cries in frustration or gives up, turns her head and falls asleep. Also, her neck is strong enough for the most wonderful invention ever, the baby swing, so we recently set up Hunter's old swing. As expected, she loves it, and the thing has a miraculous affect on her whenever she is cranky.

Jason and I have been planning to somewhat formalize some time for each of us to spend with just Julia or just Hunter so I figured that that idea coupled with my need to get back in shape would make some mommy-baby classes a good idea. As such, we're signed up for mom and baby yoga starting on Tuesday and some kind of stroller thing starting on Thursday. I can't remember if that first set of shots leaves babies cranky that second day or not: I hope not, I'm nervous enough about this yoga class because I've never done it before (at least not in public). I am excited about it though. I'm pretty sure the stroller one will be fairly straight-forward so, at worst, I will only be guaranteed to look like a complete ass one day a week (the rest is up to me in a non formalized and completely random way). There is also a water class that I didn't sign up for because Julia really seemed to hate being in water about a month ago when I registered for the classes. Since then, I've figured out that she loves water as long as someone is holding her, showers especially, so I may see if we can drop in on some water ones too because, to me, there is nothing better than being in the water. As for Hunter and I, I'm not too sure what we'll formalize in the long-term, but for right now he and I have been going for a walk together most nights (the weather has improved exponentionally, the last two days it was 20 above making it much easier to want to go for walks, to the park, etc.). He and Jason have library time every couple of weeks so that's out for me, but we do get to spend a lot of just us (almost) time together during the week given how much Julia still sleeps. I'll have to think more about our just us time as she is awake more.

The transition from one child to two has been bigger than I expected. I really thought the main challenge would be Hunter adjusting to sharing the limelight but he seemed to adjust immediately. Balancing the needs of the two of them has been a challenge for me but we are developing comfortable routines now. Even if we weren't, I wouldn't change a thing because every bit of it is worth it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Damn You Google!

I had the most stunningly brilliant post written (you know one of those ones that takes just minutes to write because you put your fingers to the keyboard and the words begin to flow) but when I went to hit publish the server was down. I'll never be able to recapture it just so and now you will never know about my zero-calorie chocolate flavoured gum fantasy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When love hurts

I wish I could capture the sound that Hunter makes when he is really excited, a voice recorder wouldn't cut it because it is not only the sound (a really deep gasp) but the full body inhale and motion that accompanies it - imagine the most excited you have felt being magnified and completely visible in a four year old boy. I've heard it the last two Christmases when he spied the loot that Santa left for him and I heard it again this past weekend when he spotted Grandma. Not surprising since Grandparents are really as good if not better than Santa anyway. If I could have captured the whole thing on video I would have - gasp (that sound), "GRANDMA!!!", thump thump thump (feet running across the floor), - a full on run hug to Grandma. Up until that point I had planned to keep him upstairs so that the Grandparents could sleep in - they didn't get to Regina until around 2am and, as I may have mentioned before, Hunter is a morning person (like a 6am morning person - this does not come from either Jason or I, I blame my Dad and figure it must skip a generation, really skip). I should have known it was a pointless endeavour, though, 'cause Grandma and Grandpa were just as excited to see Hunter and my Mum never could sleep the night before Christmas when I was little so why would I expect excitement to see the boy to be any different (don't worry they were excited to see Julia too but she happened to be up when they arrived).
There really is nothing quite like a run hug from Hunter, completely wonderful when you are prepared for it but potentially concussion-inducing when you are returning from shopping with bags in your arms walking on the sidewalk. See, while my Mum had time to brace herself for the run hug that morning, later that day when we were returning from shopping he came running from the backyard, hugged my Mum, and knocked her backwards. As I stood there powerless, watching her head bounce up from the sidewalk I had visions of Easter at the hospital. Luckily Grandmas are more resilient than they were when I was a kid. Regardless, I don't think we'll continue to encourage the run hugs (even if they do feel great most of the time). That wonderful sigh, though, I wish I could bottle it - nothing feels quite like that sound.

Springtime in Saskatchewan

Woke up this morning to this...

While it didn't deter us from our morning walk even Hunter seemed a little depressed when he asked "Mum, isn't it supposed to be spring?". Sigh, even multi-million dollar retention and attraction campaigns about exceptionally low-costs of living can't do anything about the weather as points west seem very appealing on days like this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Things I've been meaning to write in a more coherent and interesting way

It's been a while and I'm kind of tired as Hunter had a friend over for a good part of the day today so here is some stream of consciousness blogging since I'm obviously too lazy to craft any of these bits into full, coherent entries...

First off, Jason informed me that the day I posted about our anniversary being exactly five months away was actually not the 23rd but rather the 26th. This fact alluded me even though I have a calendar hanging not all that far from the computer and these posts are dated. Clearly, time and space have become elusive now that I mark the week by days Jason is home and days he isn't, or days Hunter has activities and days he doesn't (soon to be joined by days Cammy has stuff and days she doesn't). In case anyone is concerned, I am enjoying this immensely.

I've discovered all these mommy blogs and am completely fascinated by this world comprised largely of former journalists, editors, and academics. So many of the blogs are fantastically written and compelling and they all seem to know dooce and are doing a lot of analysis of the mommy blogging phenomenon (which I didn't even know existed until last week). Some even receive free trips to appear on talk shows to discuss said phenomenon, who knew blogging could be such a lucrative enterprise? You'll notice I've posted some of the better ones on my side bar in case your inner voyeur is looking for something else to peruse.

I've also discovered all these nursing blogs by clicking on some of the folks who commented on Iris' nurse meme and am enjoying this small view into the world of nurses. In my interweb travels, I stumbled upon this blog that is written by two abortion providers. It's so interesting to me because it is dispelling a lot of the myths I had in my mind, for instance I always imagine that the majority of women who use abortion clinics are young and single without a lot of options even though I've got three friends who found out as adults that their moms had abortions after they had their children. These moms done having their families, it seems, are common clinic users.

On a lighter note, I've been signed up since Friday and I still don't understand the allure of facebook. I think it might be because I haven't found anyone one there that I'm not normally in contact with except for Terriann (or maybe I'm just too old, there don't seem to be a lot of folks over 30 on there).

I'm reading Frankenstein. For gifting occasions Jason always takes Hunter shopping to pick out a gift from him. Hunter actually chooses the gift (I'm sure within parameters) and so far has done impeccably well. For my birthday this year he picked out a sudoku cube (which is like a really, really awful Rubiks cube and I like sudoku) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I have to admit I was less than enthusiastic about the book - my knowledge of Frankenstein has been limited to Phil Hartman's SNL version - "bread good, fire bad", Gene Wilder's Young Frankenstein spoof (which I absolutely love), and the usual Halloween stuff. I did know Frankenstein was actually the name of the scientist but that was about it. Anyway, I started the book on the weekend because I wanted to show Hunter that I appreciated his gift (and figured I better get reading it over with before too long). I am absolutely loving it and can't recommend reading it enough. Both characters are extremely compelling. I had no idea that the monster acquired complex language in the story - in the movie versions he only ever utters a few words before terrifying everyone and plunging into the water. There are these poignant chapters where he is watching this family interact and where he describes his sadness at having no relationship with his creator, no love, no one with his likeness (there is this part where he describes catching a glimpse of himself in the water and is horrified to see what he looks like), etc. Like I said, I can't recommend this book enough.

Mike Todd commented on my blog for the second time! His blog is one of my favourites and even when I forget to check the other weekly updated blogs I always remember to check his - it is hilarious. Anyway, in case anyone thinks that seeing comments isn't important, let me confess, it is and there is nothing worse than checking your blog and seeing zero comments several days in a row. I'm guilty of not leaving them myself so I can't complain too much, though.

And finally, my Mum and Dad are coming here tomorrow for Easter weekend! Yay!

P.S. Can you P.S. on a blog entry? I'm going to go with yes. I'm editing my published version because I wanted to assure you that I also have been leaving the house (quite a bit in fact) even though this blog entry makes it sound like I spend my days staring square eyed at the computer and or laying around reading.