Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Back!

I'm back. A year & 4 months (and 1 kid) later. What, you might ask, has inspired me to make the big return? I suppose it is a number of things. 2 kids are napping, the hubby is at work, the house is clean (well sort of) & supper is ready to be cooked. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of things to be done, but I fear that if I commit myself to any of them the kids will wake up. So why not blog a little?

I could go on Facebook. But I find it can be redundant & full of useless information that I don't feel the need to take in at the moment (which can be exhausting). I could turn on the TV. Again, meaningless info that I don't feel the need to digest. A nap, you say? Yes, that I could probably use....but I am not sure I remember how to go about it. So I write. I can't think of anything better to do...

Perhaps re-entering the blog world is my attempt to communicate with a world from which I seem to have vanished lately...I speak of a world with adults. A world where how many books I am going to read before bedtime is a minor issue.  A world where being creative is more than coming up with 5 different ways to convince the child that the chicken on her plate is delicious or picking up toys is the most fun thing in the world(!) Yes, this can be a very fun world to live in, but once in a while a mom's gotta come up for air. Since it is the middle of winter & taking the kids out of the house seems like a huge task, I figured this route will suffice. So here I am. Feel free to join me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video Update

For those of you that don't get to hang out with this little cheerio monster every day. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life's Wonderfully Complicated Little Dance

The dance continues at a faster pace than ever...some days I feel I just can't keep up!  One day you are celebrating a plus sign on a pee stick, & the next thing you know there is a tiny mouthful of words shouting at you & little arms & legs going from 0 to 100 in 60 seconds. Then BAM! it hits you, your little girl is going to grow up & there really is nothing you can do to stop it.  OK, so I remember a time when Scarlett was this fascinating creature that basically just slept, ate, cried & pooped & people kept telling me it goes by so fast, but I didn't believe them because it felt like time was almost standing still.   As she picks up her tempo, it seems time does as well, in a number of ways.
Do you remember when you were a young child, how a year seemed to take for ever? Well my hubby once put it all into perspective for me.  When you are 5, a year is only 1/5 of your life, so relatively, it is a pretty large portion of the life that you have lived, & therefor feels much slower in comparison to when you are 10, 15, or 25, because the older you get the smaller fraction a year becomes of your life (1/10, 1/15, or 1/25, etc) so it feels like it is going by a lot faster, relative to the rest of your life.  I hadn't thought about it before this was explained t to me (& partly ashamed that I didn't think of it myself), but it makes total sense, the concept fascinated me.  However, I had never considered the effect it would have on me when it comes to my child's life.
I remember, for some reason, time slowing down significantly for me about a month before I got pregnant.  I found it to be a strange sensation, whether it was because work was slow & I wasn't super busy (I'm always busy, just sometimes less busy) or some other phenomenon, I hadn't felt time slow down so much in a long long time.  Pregnancy dragged out, & I was never once surprised I was already 6 or 8 or almost 10 months along (that I can recall) because it didn't feel at all that it flew by - especially the first few months, although a blur.  Scarlett came along, those first few days at home seemed like a year in themselves, but still although she was changing so much every day, it didn't really hit me until she was about 6 months.  At the turn of the New Year, I said to Rodd, "That was a long year." It seemed forever ago that we vacationed in Mexico (probably because I knew deep down that it would be our last vacation in a while).
However, as Scarlett gets older, time has begun to accelerate again.  The busier she gets, the busier I get, the busier everything around me gets, & I can honestly say that life has resumed it's turbo pace, that I remember prior to 2010.  Perhaps this is partially due to an automatic rhythm that we have together created, tuning in to one another's needs through our very communication, making a new melody (for every relationship a new melody is created, based on each person's rhythm).  As each day becomes a smaller fraction of her life, I experience the acceleration with her. Together we keep each other up to pace.  For her, I imagine it still feels quite slow, but I experience the accumulation of my ever-decreasing fraction along with hers, so the pace of my beat is picking up significantly.
The more dance partners you let into your step, the more complicated your melody gets, & it becomes a real challenge to keep the beat.  But at the same time life becomes far more interesting & rewarding. 
So you think to yourself, this could be a very depressing way to look at life.  Well, to me I don't see it that way, it is simply an observation, but more so an invitation to challenge time - to beat the beat.  To take a moment when life feels like it is travelling at warp zone speeds, & slow it down to a calmer beat.  To get down to a child's level & take life in from her perspective, in larger fractions & smaller steps.  To ignore all life's pressing expectations for a while & focus on what is most important, the beauty that surrounds us, & life's gifts. To me, this is so important - but often forgotten in the daily boogie we get swept up in - it is such values that I want to teach my daughter to keep.  And I can only thank her for bringing them back to my attention.
So in summary: In life's jive sometimes you move to the beat you are given, other times you must take the lead, but it is important that, once in a while, you let your partner lead, if you want to experience life at whole.  
Today I leave you with the following video, this song is fitting, since it makes me & Scarlett both want to dance every time it plays.  I love the message & the simplicity of it. So shake your booty boys & girls to Beauty in the World, by Macy Gray.  Enjoy!


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Independent Dependent Stage

The 9 months mark is here, & we are just barely getting into the swing of things, I've come to the realization that Scarlett is no longer a little baby.  To me 9 months feels like almost a year - only 3 months to go.  Yesterday I think she realized it too, as she discovered a new game...let's see how far I can crawl before mommy comes & gets me.  Panting with excitement, she exaggerates her movements, slapping each hand on the floor as if it will make her go faster.  Every few strides, she stops, peeks over her shoulder to see if anyone is following her & grins.  Then off she goes again, heading towards the next room.

I think she just discovered that she can travel from room to room at a faster than ever speed, realizing a new Independence.  As long as I am watching or following her (& not sitting down) the game continues. The minute I sit or lay on the couch, she comes motoring back & insists I pick her up, burying her head into my shoulder, grinning away.  This is a fun stage, but simultaneously exhausting (for me, not so much for her). I suppose that explains why I've been so tired lately.  That & the new "good morning!" routine introduced this week.

In one way this independent dependence can be a good thing.  If she chooses, Scarlett can entertain herself for longer periods of time (with constant supervision also happens to be a clumsy stage as well).  Yesterday I managed to get ALL the dishes done, while she kept busy pulling herself up on the fridge, then the stove, then the cupboards - door goes open, door goes closed, door goes open, door goes closed.  At that point I really did appreciate this in dependant dependant stage.

Then there are 'those days' when the squirt cannot get enough of her mom, particularly when she is feeling under the weather.  Sure I love that she loves me, but some days personal space is not even an option, & although it can get overwhelming after a while, you have to go with it.  Finally, after a 12 hour shift, "Daddy" comes home, also tired, & I am probably more excited than anyone to hand her off, but as soon as he picks her up & I make the slightest notion of leaving the room, she gets upset & reaches out to me.  Then her dad gets upset.  & so we are all upset. Depending on how stubborn I feel that day, I either leave the room or take her back.

One of the best lessons I've learned since motherhood has taken over my life, is to lower my expectations of getting any sort of work done when I am with Scarlett.  Some days things get done, but if they don't I work really hard not to get frustrated, & this has taken a huge load off my shoulders.  Still trying to work it out, I have had to lessen my workload (obviously) & make my clients understand that their pictures may take a bit longer to process.  I have to become much more disciplined during the delegated work time so that I can take a load off for the times I need to focus on raising my daughter minus the stress of what I haven't got done.  This is a process in development.

Maybe this sounds like a lot of complaining, but I must say each month she becomes more fun, fascinating & funny (& challenging) than the one previous.  There have been easier phases in the last 9 months, but I wouldn't choose to go back to any of them.  But I must give her credit, the kid has been pretty darn good to us.  Let me explain: she may be a little busier than most, but I'm sure we've had fewer sleepless nights than the average young family (the kid can sleep), no problems with food or drink (the kid can eat), & no full blown freak outs in public (that I can remember), overall, Scarlett is a pretty happy & healthy child.  In fact, there are rainy days that I don't even notice, because Scarlett brightens up the room.  So....I suppose this would be a good time to confess to my followers that I've been known to exaggerate some of her tendencies in the past, but in my defence, it makes for a much more interesting read.  So, you're welcome.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scarlett's Play Date

I babysat Scarlett's friend Ella while her parents played ball.  Since this day, we've been working on Scarlett's social skills...
It started off with some sharing.  Very nice, girls.

Everyone was pretty happy about the playdate.

So I thought I would try to get some pictures on the couch....

....maybe not.

Scarlett doesn't go in her exersaucer very much anymore, but seemed to desperately want to now that Ella was in it, so she yelled at her. 

And then apparently tried to 'dump' Ella out of the exersaucer. Poor Ella, she did not deserve this.

She was also very protective over her toys.  When Ella would play with one (that Scarlett normally has no interest in), Scarlett would try to take it away. This made Ella cry.

Speaking of crying...
Ella started to get tired & wanted to be held. Scarlett did not like seeing her mom with another baby!  Needless to say the result was not pretty.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

B is for...

Maybe I have one last feed in me.....maybe.  But then that's it.  I think everyone is happier because of it.
When I talk to other moms who have recently weaned their baby off the boob, they talk of mixed emotions, happy to be done, but sad too.  I don't really relate to them much, all I feel is the happy part.  Sure I bonded with her sometimes during the feeding.  I also got the crap beat out of me by her spontaneous arm swings & sharp little nails.  I won't even get into the nibbling (thank goodness for no teeth!). But I suspect most of those moms that miss it didn't have to go through the same thing I did.  When I think about it, I question whether I would do it again (but probably would).
They call it thrush.  Personally, I don't think that is a harsh enough word for it.  I know that others who've experienced this to the extent I did will understand.  And although I am finally done with it, it still weighs on me when I think of it.
It's true, I am one of the not so lucky ones to have this chronic case of systemic yeast infections.  Most of the time it's not a big deal, a little irritating, but nothing the odd pill, cream or even pro biotic yogurt couldn't fix.  Then the baby came along & suddenly I had sores where I never thought possible.  After some serious doctoring, a few nights of purple madness, & more than a handful of renewed prescriptions, I managed to get it under control - at least to the point where I was no longer walking around the house bra-less (even shirtless at times) saying "My boobs hurt!"  So for the remaining months as a nursing mother, I dealt with the much less severe, but quite annoying infection, symptoms showing up in waves.  Finally when Scarlett turned 7 months, I put my previous expectations aside & decided I had had enough, Scarlett was ready for independence (so was I).
I think Scarlett had decided she was ready too.  Less interested in mom milk (& a little frustrated in the lack of it) & more interested in what was happening around her, feeding became a bit more of a chore, followed by a temper tantrum (not me, the baby) & efforts to convince the child that she was finished her feed. Since the switch, Scarlett has grown length ways & sideways, is sleeping through the night, is so very happy & has learned to feed herself (I am pretty sure she preferred the bottle the first time we introduced it at 8 weeks).  Just the thought of Rodd getting up in the middle of the night or early in the morning to feed the baby has freed me.  Now just to convince him somehow...
Nature may look down on the fact that I don't miss the boob feeding, but I'm convinced I make up for it in other ways.  Scarlett doesn't let me off that easy.  I am her number one.  Sometimes I wonder if there is a magnetic force between us when in the same room.  No matter how many times I pick her up, & put her down on the other side of the room, she always finds her way back to me.  Followed by an attempt to climb my legs, looking up at me with her big blue eyes & saying "Mom." Maybe it is her way of letting me know that she misses it a little.  Maybe this closeness is a way of compensating for the breast-feeding, making it so easier to wean to the bottle.  Maybe it has nothing to do with it.  But I know my space will never be just my space, & I'm OK with that.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mom's The Word

For months, Rodd & I have been competing to be Scarlett's first word, bombarding the poor child with "Mom"s or "Dad"s.  Being the competitive spirit that I am (not to mention the one that spends the most time & energy with Scarlett) you can imagine my excitement when Scarlett's first word was "Mom." Rodd was on the night shift, so other than reinforcing this accomplishment, I wasn't sure what else to do about it.  Rodd was not around to gloat to. I had nobody to celebrate with (well that's not true, Scarlett is clearly somebody, & the dog counts too, but I'm not convinced they totally understood).  So I took a video & sent it to friends & family, & spent the evening throwing frequent glances towards the computer screen to see if anyone had responded (ahh, technology can be so lonely sometimes).  Scarlett continued to recite her new word, in her smug little Scarlett way, while her mom continued to encourage it. 

At the time, however, I did not consider the baggage that comes along with this situation, namely, the separation anxiety.  Looking back, it all makes obvious sense, but I hadn't previously made this association.  In moderation, I suppose neither the separation anxiety, nor the thrill of her first word would be as taxing/exciting, but Scarlett chooses to do nothing in moderation, taking each to the extreme, making a bittersweet event out of it.  With this newfound skill, "Mom" literally becomes the word...Mom becomes who she calls out to from her crib.  Mom becomes the one she calls to when she's hungry.  Mom becomes the cry when I leave the room.  Just when you think Mom cannot be  anymore in demand, Mom becomes a word. The word.

Although I don't always want to be in such high demand, I must admit that sometimes it is nice to be wanted, the only one that can calm her when she bumps her head. Plus, I get to hang on to the fact that I am Scarlett's first word, that's pretty special...well, for the moment. 

But then "Mom" starts to take on a new meaning, in fact a number of new meanings.  Suddenly "Mom" becomes food she eats, the toys she plays with, her dad, even the dog.  Now I don't feel so special anymore.  Since then she has expanded her vocablulary to "Amma" (Grandma), "Puh" (Puppy), & "Ba-ba" (Da-da), to the point that "Mom" has become just about obsolete - old news. What next?  No more tears when I leave the room?  

She's only 8 months old, & already I feel like she's growing up too fast.  I have the feeling that I'm in this for a long haul.