I need a bigger bed

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Okay. It is 4:04 a.m., and I have been awake since 2:00 when Baboo woke up and demanded milk. He went back to sleep at 2:30, and I continued to "toss" and "turn" (as much as is possible in a tiny bed with two other people) until 3:45, when I decided to take my son and go sleep on the futon in the living room. Our bed is just too small. (I can't believe The Hubbs still hasn't noticed we're gone--this doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the case of a kidnapping.)

                                                                (what our bed feels like)                                                      

 It's not just the tinyness of the bed that's bothering me, though. I was just lying awake, thinking about everything that we need to do, and it was really freaking me out. Repair the car. Fill out yet ANOTHER form for our taxes (never do your taxes yourself unless you actually know what you're doing--also don't wait 3 years and then file all years at once), finish a course and a paper, return LONG overdue library books to my school (I'm talking a month and a half--I probably owe $80 in fines), book Baboo's Christening, get back to my old boss about working one day a week. The list just goes on and on and on. I am so anxious. And I've been having pangs of depression lately, too. Just fleeting ones--they last a minute tops. But still. I am worried about PPD. My mom had it. I have a history of depression and was medicated for it for 5 years before finding out I was pregnant with Baboo (who as I type this is sitting in my lap either farting or crapping, I can't tell which, but it's hysterical in an unpleasant sort of way). In fact I'm still medicated for it--I started the drugs again the last week of my pregnancy, when I knew that there was no longer a risk of Our Sweet Baboo developing a dependency to it. But I'm on half my regular dosage, my doctor and I were trying to wean me off it, and I'm worried that half may not be cutting it anymore.

I mentioned this to her at my post partum follow-up appointment, but she didn't seem to concerned. She thinks I'm just adjusting to motherhood, dealing with my feelings of being cooped up in the house all day, and reacting to all that I need to do but don't have the energy for. She may be right. Just organizing myself and taking control of the reigns might help. I know something needs to be done, though--I haven't slept through the night since my first trimester and I'm having insomnia, so that shows that something really must be bothering me. I've gotta get on that. After I change this kid's stinky bum and try to convince him to go back to sleep.


Baboo:1, PsychoMama:0

>> Monday, September 28, 2009

I was hoping to re-tile the kitchen floor tonight. Our floor is gross, and it's driving me crazy. I have no idea who thought that this tile could possible look good anywhere, under any circumstances, but clearly someone did. Either that, or it was a cruel joke, and the person who developed this apartment building fell for it. This stuff is nasty, and it's gotta go.

Here's the thing about me. Every once in awhile I will "feel" like doing something productive. And if I do not do that thing when I "feel" like it, it will probably not get done. If I waited until a more suitable time to redo the floor, like when my mom is here to watch Baboo or when The Hubbs is here, then I can guarantee that though the timing might be more suitable, I would not "feel" like it. And if I did not "feel" like it, then I would not do it.

Tonight I "felt" like re-tiling the floor. So even though Our Sweet Baboo was awake, and even though there was no one here to help me with him, I went with it. First I plunked him down in his car seat at the entry way to the kitchen. I got one tile laid before he started to fuss. I attempted to use his soother to plug--ahem, calm him, but to no avail. Then I tried his swing, but that too, was unfavourable to him. I finally put him on his boppy on the couch, positioned myself so that he could see me, then got to work. I probably worked for about 15 minutes before he decided that he was no longer having fun watching Mommy slave, and would rather Mommy be a slave to him.

He cried, and then I decided it was time for him to go sleepybye. I took him to our room. I fed him. I rocked him. I rubbed the spot between his eyebrows just the way he likes it. He drifted off. I placed him in his bassinet. He immediately kicked off his swaddle. I stuck my head inside his bassinet and put my hand on his chest to trick him into thinking I was still holding him. He flailed his arms. I cringed as his eyes popped open. I then decided, at that moment, that my two month old was old enough to put himself to sleep. I turned and left the room, closing the door behind me and hightailing it for the kitchen. I managed to lay two more tiles before his cries followed me down the hall. I frowned, went back to our room, and contemplated what to do. I could expend a lot of energy trying to get him to go back to sleep, rocking and singing and feeding. Or I could bring him to the living room, plunk down in front of the computer, and put on America's Next Top Model (we have to watch tv online now because someone came along and used up all our money, freeing us from cable). I don't think I have to tell you which option I chose.

I love me some America's Next Top Model. The floor will have to wait.

Baboo: 1
PsychoMama: 0


They shot him.

>> Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the thigh. With a syringe. Containing the immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertusis, polio, Hib and pneumo conjugate.

I have been dreading this day since he was born. DREADING it. I still remember in the hospital, when they took his blood, and he cried, and I scrambled over my bed in my swollen, delirious post-partum state, shoving a meal cart out of the way to get to him. The Hubbs was beside him, holding his hand, but that wasn't enough because he was still crying. And at that stage of our relationship, his crying was the most unbearable sound possible. I maneuvered myself over to him, to the amusement of the evil ladies who delighted in taking newborn blood, and stuck my (clean) finger in his mouth. He quieted immediately. He stopped crying. He sucked my finger and it brought him all the comfort in the world. I get weepy just thinking about the first major crisis we survived together.

I approached his two month shots with the same trepidation. I really didn't want to go. We considered not immunizing our son, but after heavily weighing the pros and cons, decided that our Sweet Baboo will be getting all his vaccines. Some he will be getting on an altered schedule, and some he'll be getting right on time, but he's getting all of them. So when I turned to my husband on the highway on the way to the Dr and said "We're not going", he knew not to take me seriously.

I had heard HORROR stories about baby's first shots. I've heard that the person's baby screamed like they've never screamed before, a horrible, blood curdling, gut-wrenching scream to end all screams. Just thinking about such a sound emaniting from my sweet, sweet baby made my eyes tear up.

Thank God I didn't actually have to endure it. The nurse told me to hold him like I was feeding him so that he would be comfy and secure, and wouldn't get as upset. I thought, why not actually feed him? This kid loves his mommy milk, and I wanted to do what I could to comfort him in his hour of need. I've heard theories that the parent shouldn't hold the baby while he's getting his shots because then he will associate the parent as the cause of the pain. I considered that, but I knew deep down that I just couldn't hand him over and let someone prick him while I stood by, sheilding myself. So I fed him. And she stuck him. And he cried. 

He did not scream a horrible, blood curdling, gut-wrenching scream to end all screams. He cried for two seconds, and then went back to eating. And she stuck him again. Again he cried, then refilled his mouth with boob mere seconds later. He fussed for less than a minute total while I held him and rocked him and told him how proud of him I am. My husband kissed him and told him what a brave boy he is.


He really is. He is such a little trooper, and I couldn't be prouder of him for taking it like a man (or woman. I don't descriminate).

On the way back from the doctor we stopped off at a store to get some more tile for redoing the kitchen floor. He was fine for the first while, but The Hubbs took FOREVER, and eventually he started to whimper, then cry. I tried to soothe him with his pacifier, but that didn't work, and so I wound up having to unsnap him from his carseat and hold him. He quieted immediately. I love the fact that I can calm him instantly just by holding him--that I've been able to do that since the day he was born. He knows who his mommy is.

When The Hubbs FINALLY returned from the store lugging two heavy boxes of tile, I had to slip Our Sweet Baboo back into his carseat. He was NOT impressed, but when the car started the motion lulled him to sleep and he slept like an angel while we drove, grocery shopped, and drove back home. He woke up right as we walked through the door, and lay giggling on the couch with my husband, totally forgetting why there are one blue and one red band-aid on his thighs.



>> Thursday, September 24, 2009

That's right, I said it.
I have to admit that I resent the fact that 4 days a week, The Hubbs gets to wake up, shower (something which has only been a fantasy for me the past three days), get dressed and go off to an institution of higher learning. While I am stuck here, in this apartment, wearing a t-shirt for a dress and having to harness all my creative powers to be able to find five minutes to make a bagel or brush my teeth.

The other thing is, The Hubbs always leaves at least an hour earlier than he needs to. That means, if class is at 11:00, he has to get there for 10:00--at least. Imagine loving what you do with your days enough that you would actually want to be there early every day? I would accuse him of doing it just to get out of baby-duty, but he's been doing this since before Our Sweet Baboo was born. He really just takes school seriously, which is important. We are counting on him to do well in order for us to live. He needs to get straights A's (which he has) in order to get into the grad school of our choice. There are several other schools that will accept a B-plus average, but anything short of that and I can kiss the dream of being married to a PhD or "doctor" as Ross on Friends would say, good-bye.

I don't begrudge him his happiness. Just because now that Baboo's here I have to do school through a computer in my living room instead of getting to go out and interact with people doesn't mean I'm bitter. Just because I'm on maternity leave and have no work colleagues to talk to doesn't mean I'm bitter. Just because I signed up for a mom and baby book club at the library, which was my only hope for adult interaction, and I just found out that its cancelled doesn't mean I'm bitter. JUST BECAUSE MY ENTIRE LIFE TAKES PLACE IN THIS TINY APARTMENT THAT'S DECORATED LIKE THE TOY SECTION OF WAL MART WITH MY ONLY COMPANION A TEENY TINY PERSON WHO CAN ONLY COMMUNICATE THROUGH COOS AND CRIES DOESN"T MEAN I'M BITTER!

Okay. Glad I got that out. I love my son. I love him. And I am so grateful that my maternity leave lasts a year, I am so fortunate to live in Canada where I have the opportunity to basically get paid to be a stay at home mommy for a year. I know I would have been devastated to have to go back to work at 6 weeks or even 3 months like a lot of my American friends. I do not want to look a gift-horse in the mouth. All I'm saying is that I need to get out of this apartment. My only friends are my husband and my mom. It's sad.
I need a reason to have a shower, get dressed, maybe even throw on a little make-up. I don't think I've even seen my make-up bag since we moved.

I need a life. I need a life before I go bat shit nuts.

That is all.


Confessions of a Failed Minimalist Mommy

>> Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I was under the impression that I would be a minimalist mom. A "less is more" mom. A "I don't feed my kid junk food or buy toys that light up and play music" mom. You should see my living room right now. This is clearly Baboo's house, and he's just allowing me and the Hubs to live here. In my living room alone I have those interlocking foam mats on the floor, a playmat,  a bouncy seat, a boppy (which I bought instead of a bumbo, because who can afford that) and yesterday we bought an exersaucer. I am hanging my head in shame right now.

Everything is plastic and polyester. Everything is BRIGHT blue and BRIGHT green. In my defense. . .

In my defense.

The bouncy seat was a gift. Okay, we did register for it, but hear me out. This is the bouncy seat:

We chose to register for this one, quite frankly, because the other ones were too expensive. We felt uncomfortable asking our family members to shell out $60 for something that they could just as easily get for $25. Even though it is so BRIGHT. I would have picked this one

but the bottom line is the bottom line.

We were told a bouncy seat is an absolute MUST--that its the only way that other moms get anything done around the house. So we registered for it. We were dismayed to find that it takes batteries in order to vibrate and play music, and that the batteries were NOT included. We didn't get the batteries. We figured he didn't need them, and would never know that his bouncy seat was supposed to vibrate and sing him to sleep.

My kid does not like his bouncy seat. He will sit in it for five minutes, tops. He will bat at the little turtle, then spend the rest of the time looking at me with his huge saucer eyes, waiting for me to pick him up. We thought if we bought the batteries that allowed it to vibrate and sing, then maybe I'd be able to put him in it during the day when I need to take a break. We we hauled ass to the store and picked up some batteries. With great anticipation we watched the thing vibrate and listened to the tinny "music" emanate from the little plastic box. We put our son in it, praying he would like it. He lasted 7 to 10 minutes, before he pleaded with us to rescue him from this strange, vibrating chair. We obliged.

I have another confession. We were told by our home visitor that exersaucers are harmful to baby's hips.  I never planned on getting an exersaucer in the first place. Not because they're bad for his hips, but because they're ugly. Plastic and ugly and unecessary in my opinion.

Its just that Baboo likes to stand. He LOVES to stand, in fact. He loves to stand on my lap when I'm trying to type, making it impossible for me to do so because of course to stand he needs to hold my hands. He loves to dig his freakishly large feet into my legs, and his toenails grow at such a rate that he's often digging those into me too. It's hard on the shoulders to hold him up like that. And he will fuss until he gets his way. He will fuss and fuss and fuss until he's allowed to stand. A couple mornings ago the Hubbs turned to me and said "Was Baboo fussing to stand last night?" (Last night being 4 am, after his feeding.)
"Yup," I replied. Nope, it wasn't just a bad dream. This kid even wants to stand when he shouldn't even be awake.
So we caved. We didn't want to, but the flier made us. I'm sure you know by now that I can't pass up a good bargain. Exersaucers were on sale! NOT the one that would have been my first choice (of course) with the real pictures of nature and a hand puppet for mom or dad to stick their hand in so that they can interact with their kid.

But it was an exersaucer nonetheless, and I really just needed a place where my kid could stand. So I bought it.
PsychoMama: Does it seem like he likes it?
The Hubbs: He doesn't seem upset by it. . .

He lasted about two minutes before he started to cry yesterday. And today he lasted about ten. He seemed to enjoy it more today. I even took a video of him playing in there and sent it to both my mom (who was with me when I bought it) and The Hubbs at school.

My next confession of a failed minimalist mommy, is that my only regret in regards to his playmat is that I live in Canada where the bigger one isn't available. That one lights up! That's right, folks.

As for Baboo's swing, we wouldn't have bought one because we were simply too poor when we were expecting him. A lovely mom from our local early years centre gave me her swing because she had two. I was thrilled thinking that it would be the magic fix for crying and overtiredness, but Baboo is not a huge fan of it. I admit that I may not have tried him in it enough (I can probably count on one hand the number of times he's been in that swing.) Part of the reason is that its in his nursery, which hasn't been completed and is being used as a partial storage room for the suitcases we STILL haven't unpacked (yes, we have THAT much stuff--how's that for minimalism?) The other reason is that the week we brought him home from the hospital, he was absolutely miserable at night between the hours of 7 and 9. I tried putting him in his swing when we were both crying inconsolably, and after a minute, it did the trick. Then The Hubbs said this to me:

"He looks really sad."

And that broke my heart. Yes, he was no longer crying, but I was his mother and I deposited him into a swing so that I could take a break. He really did look sad. His eyes looked large and weary, and his lip was in a full, turned down pout. So I have barely put him in his swing since then. Whenever I'm about to I remember the words "He looks really sad", and it turns me off. I'm glad we didn't pay for it. And while it is ugly and not something we'd ever pick out for ourselves, and least its not BRIGHT green or BRIGHT blue. It's that lovely dark blue plaid, circa all 1990s baby gear.

What's even sadder than all the brightly coloured plastic in my home is that fact that my son has barely any wooden toys. I know that isn't really fair, since its hard to find "gear" that's wooden and he's not at an age where he'll be playing with toys that aren't tethered to things yet. I know we'll be buying him wooden toys like train sets and building blocks and a wooden kitchen when he's older, but still.

You know there's a problem when your mom comes to visit and the first words out of her mouth are "When did you guys decide to buy a Toys R Us?"


Hubby Words of Wisdom # 1

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

Psycho Mama: Do you hear Baboo? Is he awake?
Hubby: Maybe.
(We listen to Baboo coo to himself for a few minutes, then he starts to fuss.)
Psycho Mama: I guess I should go in. He's upset.
Hubby: He's upset? What does he have to be upset about? He can sleep! He can sleep for as long as he wants!

Oh, the logic of the sleep-deprived.


Mommy's Little Warden

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I would just like to say that I now understand why sleep deprivation is the number one form of torture. I am certain that this child is working me over for information--and I would give it up if I had any idea what it was he wanted to know!

Let me just say, that I curse the liars who told me that it gets better. It does not get better. It gets worse. The first couple weeks I felt like I had a handle on things. I had energy. I was doing fine. All was well. Since then, I have just been getting more and more tired. This morning I laid in bed for two and a half hours with Baboo beside me. He was wide awake, kicking and babbling and smiling away. I should have sat up and joined him and enjoyed him. But I physically could not.

I could only muster the strength to push the little warden further away so that he was no longer repeatedly kicking and punching me with his tiny but surprisingly effective fists. I begged for mercy, but he would not oblige. Apparently "Please go to sleep baby, Mommy's so tired," means "Punch me harder. Please."

Apparently this kid believes in corporal punishment, and my crime was not being ready to play at 6 am. I would have no problem playing at 6 am if this child would just sleep through the night. If he went to bed at midnight and woke up at 6 I'd be thrilled. I'd be over the moon. I would weep with the joy and relief of actually being able to get in and out of REM uninterrupted. But no such luck. Nope, our Sweet Baboo has his mommy and daddy's metabolism and needs to eat every two or three hours. I may be a sleep deprived, java swilling train wreck, but at least I'm skinny.

Who am I kidding. Between lack of sleep and not being able to find the time to bathe, I look like a famine survivor living in a war zone. Covered in spit-up.

Mommy's a wreck, baby. Please let me sleep!

You know what Kills me? (Yes, "Kill" with a capital "K".) My husband has been off school for a month between semesters, and just had his first morning back this A.M. Since I am up with Baboo all night, when he is here in the morning it is his job to watch him from 6-9 so I can get some extra sleep. For the past week Sweet Baboo has been waking up to eat between 5:30 and 6 as usual, then going back to sleep until 8:30-9:00. So he has stayed in bed with me that whole time, virtually eliminating Hubby's shift.  I was wondering how long that new habit would last, and today I have my answer. Hubby's back in class, and Baboo picks this morning to wake up at 5:45 and stay up.

While I was typing this incoherent, exhausted rant, my Little Warden fell asleep on my chest in the Snugli.
"Great!", you think. "Now you can go back to bed," you think.
You would think.
But you would be wrong.

I'm now a prisoner of the Snugli until this kiddo wakes up. If I try to take him out so that I can lie down, his eyes will pop open and he'll either scream bloody murder, or want to play. Neither of those sound appealing to me right now. The best I can do is try to recline in this computer chair and catch some Zzzz's that way. It'll be uncomfortable, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I could fall asleep walking down the street right now.

By the way, I will pay BIG MONEY to anyone who can design a baby wearing device you can use while lying down. I will sign over my 401 (k) to you. That is, once I graduate from college, get a job, and move to the US where they actually have those.



>> Saturday, September 12, 2009

FINALLY my sweet, sweet Baboo is asleep in his bassinet.( I'm so tired. Which has pretty much been a constant condition since my second trimester.) We FINALLY got him to sleep after 7 hours of trying. True story.

He's been pretty sensitive today too, which can be expected since he didn't nap for so long. Well, he'd drift off for five minutes here, ten minutes there, but that's all. Thankfully, he's ONLY been sensitive and not inconsolable. He'd be smiling and kicking and having a good time, and then all of a sudden burst into tears. Very strange. We tried walking around with him, snuggling him, putting him in a sling, letting him lie down by himself, feeding hi, burping him, changing him, white noise, swaddling, soother--he just would NOT stay asleep. It's so sad too, because by the end he was like a zombie. His eyes were huge but you could tell he was totally zoned out and miserable because he needed to sleep, but just couldn't.

At around 9:30 I had a nice, warm bath with him and sang him Lullaby by the Dixie Chicks. He was much calmer after that. The massage, Beatles Lullaby CD,  swaddle, Good Night Moon, cuddle bassinet. None of that touchy feely junk worked, so in the end we drugged him. I *heart* infant Motrin.

Just kidding. (Or am I?)
No, I am. Kidding, I mean.

Anyway, before all the non-napping action, today was actually pretty great. A friend came from out of town to visit for a couple of days and today we all walked down to the beach together--hubby wore Baboo on the way there, and I wore him on the way back. We took pictures in front of the water, had a picnic, watched a wind surfer and flew kites! It was awesome! I love the beach, and I've never flown a kite before that I can remember. Plus it was Baboo's first trip to the beach, though he slept through most of it. The one thing I regret is that we were going to get a picture of his little feet in the sand, but we forgot. He wouldn't have been happy to be taken out of the Snugli anyway, I guess. Hubby and I are going to take him back there again before it gets cold and try to get awake beach pictures with him. Here are some of the ones we did take, though.

It was really great having a friend here from my life before I became a wife and mom. It was just a reminder that there's more to me than the role I play within the four walls of this apartment. So far being a stay at home mom has been more challenging than I thought it would be in some ways. For instance, some days we don't even leave the house. I kind of thought it would be like when I was a nanny, except there are some very crucial differences:

I was not sleep-deprived as a nanny.
At the end of the day I got to go home and have a life. I went on dates, had weekends to myself, and was able to make a meal or read a book uninterrupted.
There was no breastfeeding involved in nannying. I'm so grateful to be able to breastfeed and make enough milk for my kid. Really, really grateful. And I'd say I enjoy at least a couple feedings each day. It's just that he eats so much. For so long. Sometimes it's just like, "Seriously? Can I have my boob back now? No?"
Also, the kids I took care of were older. I think that's the biggest thing. I love my son, don't get me wrong, but I'm really looking forward to being able to run around with him on the playground, answer him when he asks me "why" a million times a day, and really get to know his thoughts and feelings on things. Right now he's kind of a sleeping, eating, pooping, smiling, crying mystery to me. A wonderful mystery, but mysterious nonetheless.

One thing I'm really looking forward to is joining some moms groups. Fall programs at the Y start in a few weeks, and I can't wait. In my area there are free mom and baby programs like Mommy and Baby Yoga, Strollercize, Infant Massage, Making Baby Food, Musical Babies, Read With Me. . .I could go on and on LoL. I'm just really excited to meet other mothers and be able to get out of the house. Books and Bounces starts at the library this month, and since it's within walking distance I think that'll be our first program. I'm super excited about it.

URGH! Are you serious!? He's awake again! I'll have to finish this later.


Two days later, and I've finally found the time to finish this post. Last night he fought going down in his bassinet as well. We'd put him to sleep, he'd sleep for five minutes, then his eyes would pop open and he'd have a big smile on his face and want to play. His smile is really irresistible, and we're weak parents who give in. But look at this:

Who could resist that?
When my friend was here we were talking about parenting philosophies, and I explained that we are attachment parenting. She found this fascinating since her brother and sister-in-law just had a baby, and their philosophy is pretty much the opposite of ours. They are very scheduled and have been training the baby since day one. Apparently it was hell for two weeks when instead of feeding on demand they only fed him every three hours, etc, and whenever he's not eating he's sleeping.
I'm not here to bash anyone else's parenting styles, but I definitely don't have the nerves of steel required to allow my baby to scream for food so that I can get him on a schedule. Their baby is already sleeping through the night, and I openly admit that I'm jealous, but allowing such a tiny baby to cry it out just isn't something I'm willing to do. They would argue that they're all happier now, that it was just for a short time and that its best for their child in the long run. Maybe they're right, who knows?
All I know is that an infant's cry is designed by nature to illicit a strong response from his parents. As a mom I just do what comes naturally, and I feel good about that. For me, that means responding when he cries, feeding him when he's hungry, and holding him pretty much 24/7 because I know that soon he'll be super active and I'll barely get to hold him at all. I love napping with him. I dont get much done around the house because of this, but I figure I can clean when he's in kindergarten. I'm really enjoying bonding with him right now.
I'm not saying those other parents are not bonding with their baby. . .but what I will say is this. According to my friend, their baby does not smile. She was amazed at my sons big smiles. According to her, he does not laugh. Baboo doesn't laugh like "ha ha ha", but he chuckles with a HUGE smile on his face. Their son doesn't play--if he's not eating he's sleeping. Their son doesn't cry just because he wants to be held--he doesn't demand cuddles, and cuddling doesn't soothe him. This may or may not have anything to do with their parenting style. It could just be his personality. All I can say is I love my happy, snuggly baby and even though he's up at night, I cherish those moments. I'm not just saying that. I really, really do. Last night while he was nursing I just stared at him with tears in my eyes, the lyrics from "It Won't Be Like This For Long" (see playlist) running through my head.
Some day that little boy's gonna be all grown up and gone.
I'm holding him tight as I write this. I'm holding him for as long as he'll let me.


There's spit-up on my boob.

>> Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No further thoughts.


Songs for my Son

>> Monday, September 7, 2009

I added a playlist of music that reminds me of my kiddo on here. I sing a few of these songs to him every day. They all either have to do with parenthood, or have a message that I want him to know. Obviously he's too young to understand lyrics, but hopefully he hears the love behind them and as an adult will remember the list of songs his mother always sang to him.

I love to sing. I used to dream of being a successful singer/songwriter. Now I just want to be able to put a pen to paper, pick up my guitar and write something I can do at an open mic night at a coffeehouse somewhere. I feel like its important that as a wife and mom, I don't lose myself. However, there are so many goals that I have that I'm nowhere even close to realizing.

I feel like a lot my life has involved making trade-offs--one thing for another. Clearly, I can't have everything. I remember that I used to be so certain that I could do it all. And in a way I still think that I can--just not all at once. For instance, today I was looking at the baby photos of a photographer who uses one of the same message boards as me. As much as it pains me to admit that I'm green with envy, I can't help it. I really love photography, have been dabbling in it for over ten years, but I have never had that extra push to make something happen. I would love to take a photography class. In high school photography was always full and I couldn't get in. My small Christian liberal arts college didn't have a class. Of course I could always take a class elsewhere on the side, but school is expensive, and I should probably finish my formal education before pursuing my other interests on the side. See what I mean about trade offs? School leads to career, so that's important. But all my other interests (and there are a lot of them) have taken a back seat. In addition to photography, there is cooking, sewing, creative writing, yoga. . .and throughout my pregnancy I developed an interest in becoming a doula.

In my mind, this would be the perfect job for me. The flexible schedule and the fact that I'd be working for myself would allow me to make money, contribute in a way that's important while doing something I enjoy, and still have time for my family. Of course, I dont have time to get certified right now, but there'll be time for that later, right? Right???

My creative writing sits unread in countless journals on my shelves, and about once every two years I send something to a publisher--it inevitably comes back rejected. I can't sew well enough to replace a button, and though I know my way around a kitchen I want to be great. I want to make croissants from scratch, learn the art of flambĂ©, roll my own sushi,  roast my own coffee beans, and jam my own jams with fruit that I grew in my own backyard.

(rows of my unpublished journals)
(getting busy in the kitchen on Thanksgiving)

As far as fitness, I went to yoga classes when I was pregnant and that was great! It did wonders for my back, which was wracked with sciatica the entire duration of my pregnancy. I used to go for runs and walks daily, and then I got pregnant and after a day of work could barely stand, let alone run. The nine months I was pregnant were far less than enjoyable, but I got something so beautiful out of it, even though I had to give up my daily walks and runs. Trade offs.

(me on a hike, two summers ago)

But that's not all. No, that's not all. I want to travel the world. Who doesn't, right? I want to quench my wanderlust by spending a month in Spain, island hopping around Hawaii, teaching at an English kindergarten in Dubai, volunteering at an orphanage in Africa and vacationing with the Hubby in French Polynesia. But who has the money for that with diapers and gripe water draining my account before my mat leave check even clears?

(picture of me on a map in the Caribbean, on what we didn't know would be our last pre-baby vacation.)
(picture I took on the beach in the Bahamas)
(riding a donkey in the Virgin Islands)
On top of all that (most important these days) I want to be a fantastic mom. And sometimes I feel that in order to be this one thing, I must be all the others. I must be fulfilled. I must be able to inspire my son with my art, whip up delicious meals for him and his friends at a moment's notice, tell him stories of all the places I've been and bring him along for some trips of his own. Teach him the power of growing things with his own hands and know that his fruit and vegetables were grown with love and without pesticides.

Is this what my little boy expects of me? I do not want to be that mom who is all talk and no action. I do not want to be that mom who takes their kid to the same dumpy little vacation spot two hours away every year, who allows their child to reach the age of 18 never having left the province. I do not want to be that mom who can only hand out premixed pillsbury cookies at the school bake sale, and only provides microwave popcorn as an after school snack.  I don't want to be that mom who never quite figures out how to balance home and work, so she isn't very good at either.

I tell myself there is time. I am young. I am a mom, but my life does not end here. I can still do. I can still be. Right now I breastfeed, change diapers and wipe up spit-up round the clock, but that doesn't mean that's all there ever will be. The most important thing for me to show my son, beyond art, beyond Africa, is love. And that I have in spades. It is inherent in every diaper I change, every ounce of milk I give my kid, and every time I lovingly wipe spit up off his chins. Nothing matters more than that.


Driven to Drink

>> Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trying to get this kid to sleep is driving me to drink. Unfortunately, my breast milk makes it impossible for me to do any real damage.

That is all.


Good-bye $85, or $28.33 admission to the lake

Last night, Hubby and I went down to the lakeside park to scope out the long weekend festivities and check out the beach. We have been living 10 minutes from the beach for a month now, and it's summer, and we still haven't had a single beach day. That's life with a baby, for ya. We'd have to get one of those sun protection tents for Sweet Baboo,

but more than that, we'd have to actually get motivated and organized. Plus neither Hubby nor I are huge fans of our current bodies. Most of my baby pooch is gone (don't hate), but in exchange for that good fortune I have stretch marks in some VERY unfortunate places. None on my stomach, which I could actually cover up most of the time, but tons on my legs and back. Try hiding your thighs in a bathing suit. :(

But I digress. A friend from the high school era of my life is coming to visit next week, and I stupidly told her we lived by the beach, so now we have to go there. We went to scope it out to make sure it was actually a passable place to spend the day, and yay, it is! However, after we pulled into the parking lot and were getting ready to get out, we were approached by two police officers.
"Where are you headed?"
"Here?" replied Hubby. We were both rather confused.
"Did you know your tags are expired?"
The tags on our plates were expired. We'd gotten the beater of a car certified when we bought it, but never got around to actually going down to the ministry of transportation and getting the tags to show it. Next they asked for Hubby's licence. After frantically searching through his wallet, he realized he didn't have it. See where this is going? Next they asked for the insurance papers. He found them in the glove compartment and handed them over, and the police informed us that our insurance had expired last month. Which was ridiculous, because we just bought the car in July--who gets insurance for one month? Clearly when it was issued July/20/09 and expired August/20/09 it was a typo. The genuis at the insurance company forgot to change the 09 to 10, and now we were screwed.

Allow me to add that Baboo picked the moment that the officers came to the car to start fussing and crying. I realized after a minute or two that he was hungry, so I had no choice but to take him out of his carseat and breastfeed him while my husband was being questioned.  I secretly hoped it would intimidate the cops into leaving us alone, haha.

Anyway, they went back to their car for awhile and allowed us to sweat it out, the way that cops do, and then when they came back they told us they could give us three tickets, but they were only giving us one. It was an $85 fine for driving without a licence. I know that driving without insurance is a $3000 fine, so I was  extremely grateful. I know we have insurance, the money has been coming out of our account every month, but I really didn't feel like having to go to court and fight it. That would have been way too much stress.

Our little trip to the lake wound up costing us $85. We chose to look at it as us paying $28.33 per person for admission. That makes it seem more acceptable, right?

Here are some pictures we took at the lake. The coppers didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves! At $28.33 a pop, you better believe we had a good time!

                               Baboo and I in front of the spinning strawberries ride.

Me wearing Baboo in front of the water.
Baboo and Hubby with a lovely background of trees


I have spit-up in my bellybutton.

>> Friday, September 4, 2009

No further thoughts.


Bed, Bath and Beyond

>> Thursday, September 3, 2009

My son is seven weeks old today, and we decided last night that its time to start a bedtime routine for him. He's been sleeping in our bed most of the time since we had him, since its the best way for all of us to actually get some sleep, but sad to say thus far his "bedtime routine" has consisted of falling asleep tucked in beside him mom while Hubby and I watch a DVD. Disgraceful, I know.

Anyway, in honour of trying to reclaim some semblance of normalcy, Hubby and I have been having Baboo start out in his own bassinet at the start of the night so we can still have some time to ourselves to cuddle, and then when he wakes up to eat for the first time he comes to sleep with me and I move to the foot of the bed. I know, it's weird, but safe bedsharing guidelines dictate that he not be anywhere near any furniture he could get wedged in between, and I'll be damned if I'm getting rid of my antique night tables. So baboo and I sleep at the foot of the bed for the rest of the night. It's actually the best of both worlds. I get my time in with my husband, and sweet snuggles from my son.

I never understood bedsharing until I actually had a baby of my own. I just thought the parents were weak and couldn't say no to their child, but now I understand that it's actually totally wonderful and natural to have your baby beside you at night. Seems natural to me, anyway. And that way I can feed him without either of us having to wake up fully. Plus, I'm neurotic, and instead of having to sit up in bed and strain to check on him all night to make sure he's okay, I just have to open my eyes to know that he's fine.

Anyway, this turned into a testimonial on bedsharing, which it wasn't meant to be. I was going to talk about our new bedtime routine.

First our Sweet Baboo and I take a bath (I wear a bathing suit, apparently I'm shy), then we put on the Beatles' lullaby CD and do infant massage, then I swaddle him and offer him some milk, which he will always take because he's always hungry. After he eats I rock him to sleep and recite Good Night Moon, then stick his pacifier in his mouth if he'll take it (he won't always) and then put him in his bassinet. He's sleeping peacefully as I type, which is kind of a surprise. Last night his pacifier kept falling out of his mouth and he kept waking up and fussing til I put it back in. I'm surprised his eyes didn't pop open as soon as I put him down. Must be the full moon.

It's such a romantic night out there, but unfortunately I still have not been cleared by my doctor for sex. I'd ask the hubby to sit on the balcony with me and have a glass of wine, but we just moved and our patio furniture is still in my parents' basement.

So instead I'll sweep the house, which is ripe with dust bunnies while my adorable but goofy husband laughs uproariously at a Seinfeld episode we borrowed from the library. Yep, the full moon had inspired some WILD behaviour in this household.

The pictures in tonight's blog post are of our bath, my sweetie sleeping adorably in his bassinet, and the full moon as I see it from our balcony. Enjoy.


My love affair with a breast pump

>> Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary, our first with a child. The most action I got was from a breast pump.

We planned on going to dinner and a movie. Nothing spectacular, but more than we've done in awhile, since we have a six-week-old and are student working poor.

My mother was going to baby-sit. I was going to shower and put on make-up. My hubby was going to shave and change out of the spit-up covered jeans he'd been wearing for three days. It was to be a momentous occasion indeed. We'd miss the baby, but a movie about marginalized aliens on earth would take our mind off it and bring back that lovin' feeling.

Then my mother had a nervous break-down.
It was a couple of weeks ago. She and my father had just had the most stressful move in the history of the world. The money almost didn't come through for the down payment, he was working round the clock and not around to help her with any of the logistics, they almost lost the house twice and the one they were living in was promised to someone else. It was literally the day before they were about the be homeless that the money came through.

Then there was the matter of my husband and I, who'd been living in the basement apartment of their house since before our Sweet Baboo was born, finally moving out and getting an apartment of our own. It is great for us to be out of there. When we got married we lived across the country from my parents, and everything was at a nice comfortable distance. While I missed my mom, I was overjoyed to be nowhere near her husband (my father) and could take or leave my sister. But my husband and I had terrible luck, and after struggling for a couple years we decided to take my parents' offer of their basement and try to get back on track. That definitely didn't go as planned, but that's a story for another day. What I was getting at is that hubby and I taking our baby and moving two towns over (all the towns here pretty much sprawl together, so its not as bad as it sounds) took a toll on her too. I don't know that she missed hubby or I, but she definitely missed Baboo.

Then's the issue of her chronic illness, which keeps her from getting a decent sleep and has her in constant pain throughout the day. And her troubled joke of a relationship with my father, that probably should have been over before it began. (True story, also for another day.) All of these stressors plus her history of depression and she wound up in the hospital. In another post I'll tell you all about that scary night when she went into full-on diagnosed psychosis, but for now I will selfishly focus on how it affected our anniversary.

My mom is much better. She was in the hospital for four or five scary days, then made a dramatic recovery and was released. She is functioning normally now, chatting non-stop like her old self, driving herself to appointments and events, and showering her first grandbaby with love. But I am just not comfortable leaving him alone with her yet. What if there was a relapse and it happened again? I shudder to think about what might happen to my sweet, sweet son, and no movie and overpriced but oh-so-delicious steak from The Keg is worth the risk.

Sad to say, I don't know when we'll be comfortable leaving him alone with her again. It could happen any time. . .Of course, we can't tell her that's why. It would crush her, and I won't be responsible for breaking a grandma's heart. I did ask my sister if she would be there the next time my mom baby-sits. I told her it was because I didn't want to tire her out, I didn't want to play the nervous break-down card. She said she will. She's going to check her work schedule (she just got back from Europe and today's her first day back at work), and let me know when she can "help" my mom baby-sit so that hubby and I can take a rain check on the movie. I don't know when or why life became so complicated, but I'm glad my sister is there to help us, and I'm glad she was there to call and tell us what was going on the night my mom wound up in the hospital.

This is why I want my son to have a sibling. My hubby is so not on board--but that's a story for another day.



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