>> Monday, November 30, 2009

I am sad.


Books for Baboo

>> Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So, in honour of my goal of filling a bookshelf for my son, I have decided to make a list of all the books I want him to have--some of my childhood favourites, and some that I grew to love when working with children. As a bonus, there's a good chance my mother is going shopping in the U.S. for Black Friday, and if she does, she will pick up a book display I've been coveting from Target, but unable to buy because they don't ship to Canada. Here's the list:

If you can think of any favourites from your childhood, feel free to list them below! I want Baboo to have an awesome library!


101/1001 Update

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So far I've achieved two of my goals, and am making progress on a few others. I made a Christmas Star, and it's now hanging proudly in our living room.

I also made and ordered a photo book of my pregnancy and Boo's newborn pictures from shutterfly. I can't wait for it to arrive!

As for the other goals, I bought yarn and crochet hooks and looked up crocheting instructions online, and I've completed two rows. . .when I got to the third row, though, I started having problems, so I'll have to look up those directions again and hopefully figure out where I'm going wrong.

I've also bought a few more books for my kiddo over the past couple days, although in order to have a bookshelf full of books for him, we are going to have to actually buy him a bookshelf.

I signed Boo up for breakfast with Santa, which will be next Saturday, and talks for visiting with friends from out of town are in the works.

I guess I am just afraid that I will start off with enthusiasm, and then lose momentum. Hopefully keeping a running tab on here will help me to stay focused. It will be a huge deal for me if I manage to complete this list. It will prove something important to myself (something I can't quite manage to put into words).


101 Things to do in 1001 days

>> Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have decided to hijack this idea of doing 101 Things in 1001 days. My biggest fear in life (besides something happening to my family) is being one of those people who is all talk. I want to have goals and complete them, and I find making to-do lists so satisfying. It's great to be able to cross items off and know that I have actually accomplished something, even if its just making something for dinner or remembering to pick something up at the store. These goals will help me to refine my character, hopefully, and take steps towards becoming the kind of person and role model I want to be for my son. I also want to show him this list, one day, with check marks beside each item. I hope it will inspire him.

The List:
1)Learn to crochet and complete at least 5 projects
2)Make an alphabet book for Baboo for his first birthday present
3)Collect and perfect (or create) 10 new recipes (6/10)
4)Make at least one DVD every 6 months of Baboo's life (1/5)
5)Do a photoshoot of Baboo every month until he's a year old (5/12)
6)Get professional family photos taken
7)Take first family vacation (Hubbs, Baboo and I)
8) Take a yoga class
9) Get a massage
10) Enroll Baboo in swimming lessons
11)Finish my psych degree
12) Make Baboo a texture book
13) Make a Christmas Star
14) Learn to sew at least well enough to patch something or re-attach a button
15) Take Baboo to see Santa
16) Open an Registered Education Saving Plan for Baboo
17) Open an RRSP
18) Get life insurance for Baboo (because if he develops an illness later in life he could become uninsurable, so getting it while he's a baby will ensure that he and the future family he may have will always be protected)
19) Read ten books (1/10)
20) Go to a film festival
21) See a live music performance
22) Breastfeed Baboo until the end of flu season (March 2010)
23) Take Baboo to the beach and let him feel the sand
24) Visit with friends from out of town
25) Make a charitable donation in my son's name
26) Take Baboo camping
27) Visit with family from out of town
28) Make or bake Christmas gifts
29) Make Christmas ornaments with Baboo
30) Join a Mom's group
31) Secret goal number thirty-one, which is so embarrassing that I will reveal it only after it is completed
32) Spend a night away with the Hubbs (sans Baboo)
33) Refinish a piece of furniture
34) Make a piece of jewelry
35) Write a petition
36) Write my m.p. about an issue that is important to me
37) Get Baboo a lovey
38) Pay off visa
39) Pay off personal debt
40) Learn to do one winter activity with Baboo (ice skating, snow shoeing, skiing, etc)
41) Publish something (anything)
42) Do the 365 photo challenge, starting January 1 2010
43) Make some art for Baboo's room
44) Try hot buttered rum
45) Plan a 1st birthday party for Baboo
46) Make friends with at least one other couple with kids
47) Open an on-line shop
48) Make a ringsling
49) Take Baboo to the zoo
50) Take Baboo to at least 3 Early Years Programs
51) Take Baboo to Niagara Falls
52) Go shopping in the U.S. and Take advantage of Target
53) Make a photobook or album of my pregnancy photos
54) Make an artsy photo wall in our house
55) Do a cast, ink print or painting of Baboo's hand or foot prints
56) Try holiday drinks at Starbucks besides the Peppermint Mocha
57) Take Baboo to Ontario Place
58) Buy Baboo musical instruments
59) Take Baboo out on a sled in the snow
60) Get a Library Card
61) Eat at a new Resturaunt
62) Fill out Baboo's Baby Book
63) Make a blanket out of Baboo's newborn clothes
64) Attend husband's Graduation
65) Do something to celebrate my Graduation
66) Subscribe to Chatelaine for a year
67) Aquire membership to print your own childrens book club
68) Put up pictures in our house
69) Make own Babyfood
70) Watch It's A Wonderful Life
71) Read Dante's Inferno
72) Read Donald Miller's A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
73) Read I Was Teenaged Katimavictim
74) Do Want, Need, Wear, Read one Christmas
75) Buy Putomayo CD
76) Go to the movies with Hubbs at least once
77) Finish "Are You Talking to Me" devotional
78) Attend church an average of once a month (1/33 times in 1001 days)
79) Shop at a Farmers Market
80) Give up something for Lent
81) Learn to play 10 kids songs on the recorder (5/10)
82) Learn to play 10 kids songs on the guitar (0/10)
83) Make a list of 100 reasons why I love my baby
84) Make a list of 100 reasons why I love my husband
85) Make a list of 100 things to be grateful for
86) Make a list of 100 things I like about myself
87) Buy a bottle of the perfume I wore on my wedding day, but don't own, because I forgot mine and had to borrow a friend's
88) Move blog to wordpress
89) Write a poem for Baboo
90) Write a story for Baboo
91) Get a part-time, seasonal or contract job to make extra money
92) Stick to Til Deb Do Us Part Budget for at least 6 months
93) Get will and guardianship papers notarized
94) Baby-proof the apartment
95) Buy a new camera
96) Do a painting on canvas
97) Fill a bookshelf with books for my son
98) Put together emergency kit for the car and house
99) Play games as family once a month (1/33)
100) Finish Baboo's Nursery (!)
101) Take a class for something I am interested in (glass-blowing, pottery, cooking, spanish, etc).

Wish Me Luck!


Hubby Words of Wisdom # 4

Hubby: What's a S.A.H.D?
Me: Stay At Home Dad
Hubby: You realize its pronounced "sad", right?


Turn Your Face Into The Sun

>> Monday, November 16, 2009

To My Sweet Baboo,
In honour of your first night falling asleep all by yourself.
Mama put you in your pack n play bassinet in mom and dad's room, swaddled all cozy, and turned on your Seahorse. I sat down on the floor where you could see me, and your eyes went back and forth from the light, to my face. You listened to the tinkly music, watched the glow, and I was expecting that when the 5 minutes were up you would cry and I would bring you to bed with me. Only you didn't--your eyes got heavy, and then you let them close and you fell asleep. Mama was so proud of you! You slept on your own for almost four hours.

What I want to talk to you about, though, is the light. I have noticed that you love it. We used to have a night light in our bedroom to make it easier for us to see you when you woke up at night. We had to get rid of it because instead of going back to sleep, you would twist your body until you could see it, and then just stare at it for ages.

In the wee hours of the morning, when the light starts shining through the windows, you turn away from me and turn to face the sun.

At night, if we are watching TV and you are sleeping beside us and wake up, your eye immediately goes towards the glow of the tube, and we turn it off until you're asleep again.

If there's a light around, you'll find it. And I want to encourage you to live your life that way.

Don't focus on the bad, the dark, the shadows in this world. Listen to the music (even if you have to make your own!), and look towards the light. Be guided by the glow. Turn towards the sun.

Love, Mama


Let's talk about Fear

>> Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let's talk about fears. One of mine is that my son is going to grow up and leave me. I know that sounds ridiculous, because of course he's going to grow up, and of course he's going to leave. I want him to do that. I want him to graduate high school, go to post-secondary school or pursue a passion some other way, meet someone he loves, and have a normal, fulfilling adult life.

I am fine with him moving out when he's 18 (at least right now I am). I am fine with him getting married at whatever age he chooses to get married (after high school). I just want him to be happy.

What I am talking about is the fear that this saying is true: "A son's a son til he meets his wife, but a daughter's a daughter all her life."

It's a silly, stupid rhyme, for God's sake, but every time I hear/think/read about it, it kills me a little inside. I think about the many ways this scenario could play out. He could meet a woman from an exotic location and they could move there together. Okay, fine, as long as he doesn't mind me coming along too. Kidding.
If they move to an exotic locale, and her parents live there, then for the holidays I expect them to come see us. Because, after all, her parents get them all the time, its only fair.

But what if they move far away, and its not close to either her parents or The Hubbs and I? Then we have to alternate holidays. But what if she is unreasonable, and wants to see her parents for every holiday, leaving The Hubbs and I in the dust? Well, then we can visit them. But what if she is unreasonable and doesn't want us to visit them? Or what if we have two sons, and they both move far away, but in opposite directions, and then we can never have our whole family together? Or what if her parents live in Hawaii, and we live in stupid, cold Canada, and they always go there because, hey, its Hawaii?

I'm not unreasonable. If I could choose (and I know that I can't), I would want Baboo to move an hour or two away from us. Far enough so that he gets his independence, but close enough so we can still see each other every month or so. I don't want to live in his backyard, I don't want to cramp his style, and I certainly don't want him bringing over his laundry for me to wash.

I guess I am just afraid of losing him. I think this might be because of The Hubby's non-relationship with his mother and step-father. Ever since he started dating me and it became clear that it was serious, they were crazy controlling. I have to try to stop myself from thinking about it, because when I do I get extremely angry. They called my parents and said horrible lies about their own son so that my parents would convince me not to marry him (my parents told them off, saying that if he does have problems, its because he obviously has zero support from them), they turned his entire extended family against us by flat out telling them they had to choose between us and them, they would come by our home and spy on us, and that's only the tip of the iceburg. This harassment is a large part of the reason we moved across the country to get away from them. He hasn't spoken to them in almost two years now, and they have never met our son.

I guess I am paranoid that the same thing could happen with Boo, although I'm hoping that this paranoia will work to my advantage and that I will go out of my way to be a wonderful mother and mother in law so as not to make the same mistakes. Plus, the biggest problem between the Hubbs and his parents is that they dont respect him. It all boils down to that. And we have lots of respect for our son--we have it in spades. We respect his feelings and his rights, and we understand that he is a person, his own person, and that we need to consider that with our actions and the decisions we make for him.

So I don't need to be worried, right? I do not want to be one of those creepy moms who cannot cut the cord from her son. I am not trying to raise a Mama's boy. I just want, would be thrilled with, a warm and respectful relationship with him. There will be boundaries--I will respect his privacy and he doesn't have to tell me everything. But I would hope that he also knows that I will be there for him no matter what, and that he can tell me anything without fear of losing my love.

I also hope that his wife and I can have a good relationship. Of course I have dreams of her being like a daughter to me, but real life has taught me that that might not be possible. If she doesn't want that, then I at least hope we can be honest and friendly with each other. We both love the same boy, so we should at least be able to make peace over that.

If what I went throught with the H's parents will prevent me from making the same mistakes with my own son and whoever he chooses to marry, it will be totally worth it to me. I would not mind at all, all the heartache and suffering that they have caused me, if it meant that I would be the opposite of everything that they are, and that my son would not feel the need to put several thousand kilometres between us.

So, I guess this is a thank you to the Hubb's parents for being so fantastically douche-tastic. When in doubt as a parent, I will ask myself "What would the in-laws do?" And then do the opposite.


This is my life now.

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Today I had big plans. I would start with an early morning photo shoot of Baboo, with my background all laid out. He would fall asleep in my arms, and I'd gingerly transfer him to the boppy, which I'd already set up on the couch and draped with fabric. Then I'd finally get those elusive, quasi-professional quality sleeping photos that I've been wanting forever, but that never seem to materialize because he always wakes up.

Then I'd load the pictures onto the computer, and then when Baboo woke up we'd go for a walk. I'd stop by our new library for a library card so I wouldn't have to use The Hubbs', then drop off a roll of film for processing. I was recently given the advice that the best way to learn to take photos is to use film, and my film camera kicks my digital camera's A-double-s anyway, so I took the advice and was excited to drop off my film and see how my experiment turned out. Then to the post office, where I'd pick up a package that was waiting for us, and then on our way home I'd stop at the store for some storage bins and labels to finally get this house in order.

Here's what actually happened:

The pictures in the morning light were awful. It is much too harsh and white, and while Baboo looks beautiful in that light in person, on the camera it was a whole other story. Not to mention the fact that he was awake. I thought I'd give editing those photos my best shot, and then try to reshoot at his next nap. Only I couldn't find the cord to get the pictures on the computer--wanna know why? Because of the lack of labelled storage bins. There isn't a place for everything in this house, and even if there was, everything wouldn't be in its place.

When Boo finally fell asleep, I thought, this is it! I wanted adorable sleeping infant pictures, and those always look better without clothes, so I had thought ahead and stripped him down to his diaper, then swaddled him so it would be easy to get the naked look for the shoot. Except as soon as I placed him down, he started to stir. Even though the Boppy was already carefully placed beneath the fabric, on the couch. Even though all I had to do was gently de-swaddle him. He wasn't having it. He woke up, and then he cried. And then I cried (on the inside at least). So I decided to scrap the photo shoot for today, and re-try for another day--perhaps the day when he's all drugged out on Tylenol after getting his shots (Kidding, kind of).

Later we tried to go out and do our errands, and I brought the camera so that I could maybe get some good photos of the changing leaves, since my favourite subject wasn't cooperating. I put him in the stroller and as soon as I did he had a fit of epic proportions. It was unreal. I decided to see if he'd stop crying by the time we got to the end of the street, then switch him to the baby carrier if he didn't. He didn't, so I switched him. He's getting so. heavy. Halfway to the store I realized I forgot my wallet. Awesome. I turned around the go home, deciding to scrap the whole day, and then had the brilliant idea that I'd go to the woods and take some photos there. But Boo is heavy, and his stroller is heavy, and the woods are hilly and when I got to the entrance to the woods I realized I was hungry and thirsty and hadn't had a bite to eat all day. Boo reminded me of this by bobbing his head up and down until I got the hint that he wanted to eat. So I latched him on, flashing my boob in public, and turned around and went home. I thought I'd at least take a couple shots of the big tree behind our building, but as soon as I started hitting my stride, I lost my light. And then my batteries died.

I know when I'm defeated, so I came inside. Baboo is still asleep strapped to my chest, and I had a half a bag of corn chips for lunch because its too hard to make anything decent with him on me.

Is this my life now? Chaos and frustration? This is my life now.


First Date: Take Two

>> Monday, November 2, 2009

I blogged here about how on our anniversary, we were supposed to go on a date, and then it kinda fell through because we had no one reliable and safe to watch Our Sweet Baboo. Well, last week our date night finally happened, and the fact that it has taken me this long to write about it should tell you something lol.

Our far too ambitious plan was "alone time", then lunch at The Keg, then a movie. Only by the time my mom came to pick up our son (my grandma was baby-sitting with her, so we didn't have to worry), we were starving.  We decided to change things around. First lunch, then alone time, then movie. We would go to lunch around the corner from our house, then swing home, and then see Where The Wild Things Are in my mom's neighbourhood so as soon as it was over we could go collect Baboo. But when we got to the Keg (all dressed up, freshly showered, miraculously shaven and wearing cologne/perfume), they were closed. CLOSED! Apparently they are only open after 5 pm? Who can afford not to cater to the lunch crowd in this economy!?

So we needed some time to figure out what to do, and decided that we'd use that time to get some Christmas shopping done. So we went to a nearby store and persued our options, while looking for Christmas PJs for Baboo, which we didn't find, by the way. We did however find a Baby's First Christmas ornament and a nativity scene. . .and I picked up a pamphlet on breakfast with Santa, which we'll be taking our son to instead of an overcrowded, swine-fluey mall to get his Santa pictures taken. But I digress. (Which is kind of an indication of how our date went.)

So, we decided we'd try The Keg over in my mom's neighbourhood, then go to the movie, then we'd pick up Our Baboo, put him to sleep and then have alone time over a bottle of champagne. (Canadian champagne--we are not Rockerfellers). Only The Keg by my mom's house wasn't open either. Sigh. So we wound up at--wait for it--Applebees. Nice, huh? We did however each get an appetizer, an entree and a dessert for $14, so it wasn't a total loss, right? Right???

We enjoyed lunch, though halfway through I did need to make a rule that we wouldn't talk about the baby anymore. Or how much we missed him. And that rule went into effect right after I called my mom to make sure he was okay.

Then we went to the movie theatre, all set to see Where The Wild Things Are (hot, I know). But it wasn't showing until 6:40, and Baboo gets really cranky and needs to be physically attached to me from the hours of 5:30 pm on. Nothing remotely interesting was playing any time soon, so we decided to hang out at the mall instead. Like teenagers. And I don't think I need to tell you that we spent a large chunk of that time in Mastermind Toys, looking for Christmas presents for our Baboo. Then we nipped into the Dollar store, where I picked up some table cloths to use as photography backdrops for when I photograph Baboo.  .  .I think you see where this is going. We spent the entire day talking about/shopping for our baby, who we missed, and who might as well have come with us since we wound up at Applebees and didn't see a movie.

(Backdrop in Effect!)

We went to pick him up, and my father was holding him, which really upset me. I have no idea why he's always hanging around the house when they're supposed to be separated? My mom gave Baboo to him to hold because she said he was shrieking and she couldn't walk him around anymore because of her back, and neither could my grandma because, well, she's 82. My mom was upstairs lying on her massage bed when we got there because her back was killing her, so my father was essentially left alone with my son, which is a huge no-no. Had I known he would be there, we probably would have cancelled the whole thing.

Then we came home, and Baboo was super clingy because he'd just been away from us for 6 hours, which is the longest amount of time I've been separated from him in his life. So our alone time didn't happen. Plus, he cried the whole way home and we didn't have the heart to stop for champagne when he was upset.

So here is what I have concluded:

1) We are happier doing things as a family.
2) We aren't going on any more dates until we can find a baby-sitter who is in good health and can be trusted.
3) When we do leave him, we are going to be back by The Witching Hour because I hate the idea of him screaming and me not being there. Especially since all I have to do to get him to stop is hold him. No one else can do that.

So our next big goal is to find a baby-sitter.
And get them to ban smoking in condos/apartments/etc.
And finish my schoolwork/write my exam.
And make mom friends.
Progress reports on all of the above to follow.



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