Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And away we go

Tomorrow we are leaving for New Brunswick. The last time we undertook this endeavor things went well, but Marlowe was 3 months younger and totally not active yet. Now she likes to spend the time scuttling around the living room banging toys and "dancing". And petting Simon.

We are not taking any strollers this time. We do have to bring winter coats. And the cat. I'm not sure how the whole packing of the vehicle is going to work out, but I'm hoping we'll have a little bit of extra space somehow. We are also arming ourselves with a season of Sesame Street to appease the beast with. I can only cross my fingers. And maybe drink some Maker's.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Missing the little Bed Bug

When Osha first passed, I felt okay about it. He was old. He had gotten very sick. It was time. And while I still believe all of those things, the more time that passes the more I am just really missing him.

Because he rarely left our bed, we called him the Bed Bug. In the middle of the night I still wake up and expect him to be cuddled against my head, or within reach between our pillows. While it's nice that now I can roll over without worrying about squishing him, I miss his heavy purrs. He had the purr of a cat four times his size.

Tess misses him in her way - sometimes I find her squirmed up between our pillows in the middle of the day, where he used to sleep. (she will occasionally try to get up there at night as well, but there isn't really enough space. But she tries.)

Simon also misses him. He seems to sleep a lot more now, and is more cuddly. He's like "okay, the old guy has moved on, now it's time for my retirement to start."


Such a little guy, who made such a big impact on us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snow running

Can I just say something about winter running?

It's very hard. And very discouraging.

That's not to say I'm giving up! No! But today was my first foray into running in the snow. I was armed with my new Nike Pegasus GTXs, and my feet stayed dry even though I was running in about 3 inches of snow. I was warm in two layers of wicking long-sleeves and one Gap warmest vest. I have some great thin gloves from my dogwalking days which allowed me to keep traction on my stroller handle. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog by my side who Lives. To. Play. in Snow.

The downsides?

My pants. All I have are standard yoga-y pants, and these are toooooo cold. I need something that cuts the breeze to the hoo-ha area. I have a pair of North Face ski pants which aren't super insulated so I may try those. I usually wore them with a pair of sweatpants underneath for dogwalking or snowboarding, so alone they might be perfect for sub-zero runs.

Second, I think I would like to have a different hat or maybe one of those headband ear warmer things. Because my hat kept feeling like it was popping off, probably because of my ponytail and also my ear buds.

Lastly, I kind of expected that a little more traffic would have passed on the trail we use to run. It hadn't. Therefore while my footfalls landed nicely in packed snow for the most part, pushing the Chariot through 3 inches of wet snow on either side of the existing rut was HARD. So so so hard. So in one week (granted it was a week I spent with a cold) I went from running a tough 5k/35 minutes to an excruciating 12.5 minutes (I forgot my Garmin, so not sure how far we got, but probably.... not that far). Everything hurt - my shoulders, my triceps, my quads, my butt.

So, we have a few kinks to work out, and I'm a bit discouraged that I'm basically starting my Couch to 5K program from the beginning to help myself wean into snow running, but we're gonna do it! Especially since our new house has a horse and pedestrian path right behind it that will be perfect for runs through the woods!

House news

So, after 9 days on the market we have an accepted offer on our condo!  Yay! They are doing the inspection today and if that goes well (no reason it shouldn't) we will be moving the first week of January. weeeeeee.

We were sort of hoping to get in there before Xmas, but 'twas not to be. So instead, we will be traveling to NB for Xmas, rushing back, packing up, moving, unpacking, hopefully getting M into daycare, and then I'm back to work!  All in the span of about one month.

Does this stress me out? Some parts yes, most parts no. I'm glad that we will be starting our new daily routine in the new house. I'm stressed we don't have a daycare spot yet. I'm happy that before the holidays come we will know that our condo sale is going through and can relax and enjoy (?) M's first Xmas. By driving ten hours in the cold, possibly snowy weather, then struggling to fit in time with everyone then driving back. So relaxing and enjoyable.

But, focusing on the positive - things are looking good that we will be moving and we're very very excited. Right now the thing I'm looking forward to the most? When Tess realizes that the whole big, fenced, wooded, beautiful yard is all for HER! I don't think she will ever want to come in the house!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sad days

Sadly, today we lost our little buddy Osha. The B'Goshie. Hamburger. Goshus.

While we only had Osha for the last few of his 20 years, he fit right in with our crazy little family. He loved sleeping. He loved cuddling. He loved cookies. He purred a lot and gave headbutts which we called Kitty Knucks. I was freakishly allergic to his saliva, and broke out in a burning rash whenever he sneezed on me, but I didn't care and loved him so so so much. 

Here is one of the last photos we have of Osha. In spite of being old and frail, he loved everyone, even kids. Our friends brought their oneish year old to visit after Marlowe was born, and Osha was all about trying to cuddle with that kid. He also loved Marlowe, even though she still doesn't know how to be gentle and would grab him by his kitty cheeks. When she let go he would give her Kitty Knucks. Anyway, this photo was taken one Saturday morning while they were hanging out together.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Still in a holding pattern

The subtitle for this post would be "and my ulcer is angry about it."

We still may be moving. Or we may be staying put. It's been two weeks now of back and forth offer/counteroffers and to tell you the truth I don't think I can take much more. While it hasn't been affecting my sleeping habits, nor have I had any migraines, my stomach is constantly in knots and I'm also definitely eating emotionally. Or eating to kill time. Both of those.

Do we need to move? No. No one needs to move anywhere. We have a roof over our heads and our home is warm and in one piece. Do we really want to move? Yes and no. There are really good points for staying put, but there are also many great points about moving. And since we aren't just thinking of ourselves anymore, anything that benefits M counts for two points, and when you add that up moving wins this match by a landslide.

Our new place would be in a suburb which isn't much like a suburb. For some reason I just do NOT want to live in a suburb, but this burb has horse farms and duck ponds, so that's the country, right? At any rate, if it is a suburb, it's not the icky Stepford type, it's the type that I want to live in. But let's call it the country, M'kay?

This country community also boasts several great schools, English schools! English schools with great French Immersion programs which is exactly what I want for M. So while there are other suburbs that I would also deem un-Stepford, they are definitely more on the francophone side, so not ideal.

The house in this country community has a yard! With trees! Actually, most homes in this community have great yards, but if we get this one it is my favorite yard of all the yards on the MLS. And that is a lot of yards. The house is pretty great too, but really it's the yard that I love. Which is funny because one of the things I love about living in a condo is we have no yard at all. But this house and it's yard, it's got me.

For the moment I just want to KNOW, you know? It's the waiting and the imagining and the pondering that is burning a hole in my gut. And adding new girth to the spare tire around my middle. Did I mention this house also has a trail right behind it? Through the back gate, actually. Where I could run without fear of pieces of cement falling on my head

Would I miss living in the city? Most definitely. But I'll still be working in the city. And most of the fun stuff we do in the city we do on the weekends anyway. We can always drive in on the weekend and still do the same things. Or not. Maybe we only do them because we don't have a yard. I guess we'll find that out. Or maybe not. Because who knows what's happening? Not my stomach, that's for sure.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things I learned while fixing up the fireplace

1. Don't be scared to use tools with your caulk

2. Usually less caulk is actually more, but don't be scared to get enthusiastic either

3. Getting caulk all over the place isn't the worst thing in the world

4. Try to keep a steady hand with your caulk

5. Your baby will always wake up while you're in the middle of getting your caulk on.

****This post was brought to you by Moving - you gotta fix some shit before you can do it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Surprise for you....

Another post about running! Are you tired of hearing about my running adventures yet? Do you wish I would have just kept all the baby stuff on this blog to bore you with?

We are moving into the last week of our Couch 2 5K program. The program itself is actually 9 weeks, but with our vacation and our ~ahem~ laziness I think we've been working on this for about 6 years now. But we're almost there!

The actual running is getting better. Not much easier, but bringing Tess helps give me something to fuss over to help pass the time. SB also had a great suggestion that I should be listening to audiobooks or podcasts rather than music. Normally I would buck this suggestion, but for once I listened and gave it a try. It's actually great! I have been listening to Q podcasts so far - we'll see what else I can scare up that I like.

M is still very amenable to our runs, although I have learned that I have to go pretty much as soon as she wakes up, otherwise it totally messes with her sleeping schedule. The cooler weather is presenting some challenges, mainly finding a hat that won't fall over her eyes, resulting in screams. Mittens so far are not an option at all. Ever. We've been getting by using hoodies, and thankfully it's usually over 10 degrees in the afternoons when we run... Fingers crossed she becomes more used to winter wear or it could be a LOOOOONG season!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sewing project #2!

After my exciting foray into quilting, I realized how much I love love love to sew. Why, you may ask? Because as much as I love knitting, I am extremely slow, so finishing a great knitting project takes forever. And I don't have forever. I have a kid.

So as soon as I finished the quilt I began hunting for a new project to work on. And of course the project I found was on the ever-inspiring Moda Bake Shop website. I decided to make this cathedral window pillow for my friend Stamatia.

I went out fabric hunting and found these:
Various fabrics in similar colorways from Moda Verna by Kate Spain and Fashionista fabrics.

Sewing the front piece was challenging, but actually much easier then I expected.

While I definitely could get more practice and do a better job if I ever made this cushion again, I am so very happy with the finished product, and I hope that Stamatia is too!

Things I should be up to but am too scared to start

Last night I had the pleasure of viewing a documentary film called Fortunate Son at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema.

Generally, I miss out on this type of thing. I am a self-professed hermit and even though I love events like this, I'm also lazy and crowd-phobic, so I usually skip them. I know, I suck. However, this film was made by the husband of a friend, and I felt like I really really wanted to be there to support them.

The film is beautiful - I know he will do well with it, so if you happen upon a viewing of it, you have to see it. It is moving, poignant, thoughtful...just everything you want a documentary about a family to be, but that they rarely are.

Anyway, I left the theatre feeling the way I always do when I see a really great piece of art. Inspired, and also disappointed. People I know are doing beautiful, fantastic things, and I cannot seem to get it together. BUT, and this is a big BUT and revelation to me, his film made me realize one of the reasons so many of my projects stall.

I am terrified of offending anyone.

The whole time I was watching this amazing film about Tony and his relationships with the people around him, I felt my insides cringe for him - for putting it all out there, the beautiful moments and the ugly ones, even though it could hurt the feelings of the people in the film.

I know I write fiction, but I have realized that I am completely preoccupied by writing characters that are not too similar to people I know, or scenes that are not to familiar, for fear that someone will think they see themselves in it and get upset. Does this make sense? And this quasi-obsession generally ends in me abandoning the project because I don't feel invested in it anymore - it doesn't feel authentic or honest.

So I'm going to work on it. And hopefully it will help me move forward.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Switch it up

Our last jog was last Friday, and we decided to switch it up a little. We brought Tess!

Pro tip: try not to run on pavement with your dog, or at least as little as possible. Think about how bad you've read it is for your knees, hips and ankles. Now think about your poor dog with no comfy cushy running shoes to help brace the impact for them. Especially if you have a large or giant breed dog like Tessy!


When you think about running with a dog, it usually seems like a better idea then it actually is in practice. Since we run on a dirt/gravelly trail, and we don't run a long distance, I decided to bring Tess along for a little exercise. I didn't really account for the fact that cyclists also use our path, and Tess hates the sound of bikes. And rollerblades. And skateboards. And humans in general.
So, while it did a good job to keep my mind off the actual distance we were running, it was very tiring staying on my game as the pack leader while trying not to wheeze myself into a coma. I'm not saying we won't bring her again (she was very tired out after and a very happy pup for the rest of the evening) but we may try to time our run to hit a lower traffic time of day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And then, like that...

...she was 8 months old.

I know!

So, here is another slideshow. I guess we'll call this one The Hair Evolution. You'll see what I mean.

The music in this one is another song we use as a lullaby - The Aspidistra Flies by Stars. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's a special kind of torture

So, being back to jogging is fun. It gets me out of the house without spending any money, it gets the kid some fresh air and some scenery, and it's exercise. We're into it. We're doing it. Yippee.

Why are we doing this again?

I guess because this past weekend was a long one, many of the running bloggers I read and my running family members were participating in some pretty big events. There were marathons, half-marathons, and a special kind of crazy, 250km 5 man relay. And the people ran, and I encouraged and cheered for them and felt great for them for what they accomplished. And I also got inspired.

So this morning I got up with one objective for the day. If these people are able to get their acts together to run these crazy distances, then I should have no problem getting myself through my silly 5k training. I only have 2 weeks of that program left, that's peanuts! And then I will train for a 10k and will sign up for an actual race. And then next year we'll be running a half marathon, or, good jeebus, and actual marathon. So let's do it. Let's go - I put together the stroller and got M in it and off we were.

And oh the agony. The leg aches. The wheezy throat with coughing. The sweating. The sore back. Is it because I'm old and out of shape, or just plain out of shape? Who cares. Aaaaaargh. Wheeeeez.  Aaaaargh. Why.  Whyyyyyyyy?

Even 20 minutes after arriving home I was still stiff and sore. I went through all of this a few years ago when training for a 5k race. I know it gets better. But when I look up training schedules for the 10k distance, it seems so impossible. They add mileage to their schedules like it's nothing, and it's very daunting. It gets me anxious about a goal that I'm not even training for, because each run now seems like such a huge accomplishment but in the grand scheme of things it's small potatoes.

So my question is - if you are a distance runner, was it this difficult starting out? How did you get through this crappy beginning stage? When do I stop feeling like a crazy maniac?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thankful

This summer has been a summer of realization for me. Several people very close to us had literally the worst summers of their lives. There was injury, and loss, grieving and pain. Their stories are not mine to tell, but I felt them so, so deeply.

I am an easygoing person, and often seem to approach important things in my life casually. This is just my way - I like humor, I like sarcasm, I like to go for a laugh. But for once I want to get serious and say that I don't for a moment take anything in my life for granted.

I have a beautiful family and a beautiful home in a beautiful city. I have the best friends anyone could ask for who love us and are always there for us with our families so far away. I have work that I love, and have been able to pursue my passion with the full support of my amazing partner. This first summer with our beautiful, funny girl was a phenomenon, and every moment with her has been a gift all its own.

So as much as I gripe and complain and joke, they are just jokes. I am happy, and grateful, and joyful, and I feel so much myself, moreso than I have in a very long time.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

My Running Must Haves

As promised, a list of stuff I use every single time I run. These are not optional, because I'm a little bit superstitious about my exercising. So if I use something, and on that day I end up having a great run, then it immediately becomes a part of The Conditions and I use it until I break it or lose it. Those are just the facts. Onward.

1. Nike Pegasus running shoes.
As I mentioned in my previous list, I have been wearing this model of shoe exclusively for over five years. I've owned several versions, and have always been delighted by them. My current pair is one year old, but since I was pregnant during that year they have seen very little action.

2.  Moving Comfort sports bra, model: Fiona.
This is a relatively new addition to my routine, since I bought this bra post-pregnancy, but holy man I love it. Fit is snug but not constrictive, lots of options for adjustment to get a correct fit, and no chafing or other weirdness. The model also just happens to be named after my kid (or at least her middle name) so there is that as well. 

Not the coolest, newest, sleekest GPS watch, but serves its purpose and hasn't let me down yet. Easy to use and pretty reliable, so I really can't complain, especially for the price. For some reason it doesn't like to pick up satellites on my street, but if I walk on down the block a bit I have no troubles. I do find the watch a bit bulky, but that's just a detail. My model also has the heart-rate monitor which is useful for us slow, out of shape people to help us get the most from the workout. 

4. iPod (various) 
Not an original piece of equipment, but indispensable nonetheless. I have used many iPods over the course of the years. My favorite one as far as just usability on the go was my iPod Nano.  However, I am currently loving using Get Running's Couch to 5K app for the iPod Touch, and I think once I finish that program I will seek out a good 10K app too, so the Touch wins as far as features. It is bigger and slightly annoying when I switch between songs while running, but the apps are well worth it to keep me motivated. 

5. Goody mini claw hair clips.

They aren't cute, but they are magical. They keep all my little flyaways out of my face, which drives me pretty much bonkers while I'm running.


6. Gnarlyfish iPod Touch armband
Does the job of keeping my iPod attached to either me or to the jogging stroller, but also doesn't interfere at all with my ability to use the touch screen. Has a band extender, which makes it suitable to use on my arm, but also without it I'm able to attach it snuggly to the stroller handle.

7. Chariot Cougar Carrier.

This is the mother of all jogging strollers. It is light. It is versatile. You can use it for cycling, hiking, and cross-country skiing too. The kid is comfy in there, and also completely contained. I can pretty much fit every single toy she owns in there with her, but she doesn't even care because the giant windows keep her occupied checking out all the scenery we're passing by very fast.

Yes, this stroller/carriage is very very expensive. Believe me, we hummed and hawed for a while over it. However, we would see them on craigslist used for maybe 20% off and they would be sold in a matter of hours. So, we ponied up to get a brand new one, and when it comes time to sell it we're sure we'll get a lot of that investment back.

We brought this stroller on vacation to the beach and it was fantastic on sand. The other day I ran in a giant rainstorm and the the kid was cozy and dry. I'm excited to see what it can do in the snow, sort of.

So that's my list of must haves. I'm pretty flexible on clothing, especially since the weather is so variable and I am forced to change it up pretty often. I don't run super long distances, so I don't bring water packs or gels or anything of the like yet, but may in the future.

What are your favorite pieces of running gear? Why?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My running wishlist

So, I'm officially back to *jogging* and nothing gets me motivated like new STUFF.  Especially since barely any of my old STUFF fits because I'm too gigantous for it.  So, if I had all the money in the world, this would be my wishlist of stuff to grab up to keep me back in the swing of things.

1.  Nike Air Pegasus+ 27 GTX

I have been wearing Pegasuses (Pegasi?) for over 5 years.  I love this shoe.  I have owned many many pair of both the regular runners and the trail runners, and I think it's time for a new pair.  Since I could only afford maximum one pair, and since fall/winter is upon us, I would opt for the trail runners which are water resistant and would be great for slush and slop. 

2.  Nike Anti-Blister running socks.
I like a thin sock.  And I'm not gonna lie, I haven't tried these particular socks, but I have two pair of similar Nike socks that have holes all through them cause I've worn the shit out of them.  And they are still my go-to socks.  Never give me blisters (unlike my evil regular cotton socks) and never bunch or wriggle.

3. Lululemon Run:Swiftly Longsleeve T.
Terrible photo, but you get the idea.  Again, fall is coming, so sleeves will be a must. I have one long-sleeve running T by Nike, but it's a bit thin for cool weather, and also a little ~ahem~ smallish at the moment. This one is recommended by Jenny so I'm willing to take her word for it and give it a go.

4.  New Headphones.

I currently use earbuds, which are just alright.  I hate the kind that you jam in your ear with the reverse-suction-cup type thingies, so those are out.  I'm thinking something like these:
Although I've never tried anything like them and they may or may not suck.  My very favorite headphones of all time were a pair of the old-school Sony Walkman sports ones - the kind with a headband that folded up for when you were "on the go".  Ya, I loved those.  I used them for probably ten years, until the wiring in one side died and I could only hear in one ear.  And still I wore them for a while before giving up and switching to earbuds.

So that's my wishlist. Running is great because the amount of equipment you need is minimal, but boy when you have great stuff it can really motivate you to get out there and USE it.  I will do another list of the stuff I already have and use every time I run as part of the CONDITIONS.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I smell obsession

I don't know why, maybe it was the cooler weather we had last week, but something put it in my head that I need to start baking bread. All kinds of bread. Yummy, warm, tasty, buttered bread.

I have a recipe that was my grandmother's, and I've made it a few times and it was great. But I wanted something more. So I googled and found some great websites full of artisan bread recipes and holy heck now I want to make bread every single day!

Since all great ideas need to start somewhere, I decided that the best place would be something close to home, but not plain old grandma loaf. I found this great recipe for a rustic Italian bread and away I went.

The recipe seems long, but it's really not a lot of work at all. It's mostly a lot of waiting and planning, but only maybe 20 minutes of actual labor. That's a good deal!

I began my loaves last night (SB asked I one point if I was still "not making bread" while I was waiting for the Biga to rise). I finished them about two hours ago, and I have to say they are delicious. Very nice crust, and a very moist and spongy middle. I am worried I may eat all of the bread before SB gets home tonight.

And, believe it or not, they are pretty too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I like to Yog

With vacation over, the Running is back on.  Well, the Jogging is back on.  I can't really call it running.  Because I'm slow. 

I'm trying to read a lot of running blogs (I love this one) and I like to engage in conversations with people I know who are avid runners.  However they all run.  And I barely jog.  But I still find it motivating to hear about my friends' progress and successes. 

I'm on week 6 of the Couch to 5K program, which means with all the running and walking I'm traveling about 4km per workout at the moment.  And it's haaaaard.  I've never been so great at self-motivation, and now the kid is an extra good excuse to skip a run sometimes, but we try to run at least three times per week. Usually we don't.  But we try!

Does anyone out there know of any great running blogs from anyone just starting out?  Cause I would love to hear about them and read 'em!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Possibilities

We made it back from vacation!  So far the worst part is Double Baby Time Change, in which we changed an hour when we got there, then changed back 10 days later to come home.  We could also call it Baby Subaru-Lag, since we didn't fly there but it seems to have the same results.  General crankiness and sleep schedule disruptions all around, lasting approximately one day.  

Before vacation, we started nosing around the real estate listings thinking about the possibility of moving our little three ringed circus to a more comfortably-sized location.  The problem with this being that a more comfortably-sized location in our neighborhood would cost us approximately a kajillion dollars, and the sale of our condo plus our savings gives us about negative three dollars, approximately.  Just for comparison's sake.

So we widened our search radius, excluded neighborhoods that were tooooo francais (bitches need to find good anglo schools), too suburby (bitches like diversity), too old (bitches hate renovation), too new (bitches watch Mike Holmes).  And soon us bitches started having to consider things like "is it near a commuter train line" because, yup, that's how far away we ended up.

Long story short, there was a house we loved, but while we were busy hemming and hawing and calculating and re-calculating, and driving by and peeking in the windows someone else was buying that damn house.  But now we love that area, and now I'm stalking Realtors.ca ten times a day, especially on Monday, cause it seems everyone lists on a Monday. 

Maybe we'll move, maybe we won't.  More space would be great right now.  Commuting to work would be a bummer.  Tess would have a yard, and we could have a pool.  But no more walking down the street to the [Bilboquet/Frites Alors/Les Infideles/the grocery store/the SAQ/the toy store/the bank/etc]. 

The things we sacrifice for our kids, and our 100 pound dogs.  (Although while on vacation we discovered that when given the option of sleeping on one of two floors, Tess will choose the one that we are NOT sleeping on.  This makes me sad.)  

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm tasty

Vacation is great so far.  We are eating far too much in the way of deep fried seafoods (at least we're going for an array this year instead of our staple, clams).  We are drinking too much, too often (last year I wasn't allowed to drink due to being knocked up, so this in itself is an improvement).  We are walking on the beach and making fires and playing crib and seeing friends and family.

The kid is semi-cooperative.  After her stellar performance on the ten hour drive to our destination, she has decided that she no longer tolerates car travel.  This is a major suck.  While the whole purpose of renting a cottage is so that we have a home base and people can come to us, we still do have to do some driving to get things like groceries and beer and emergency sweaters for the baby because we're horrible parents and only brought one.

Today we drove to Fundy National Park, and while the park itself is beautiful, the drive to get there is full of gorgeous farms, small craft shops, old barns, covered bridges etc etc.  I was dying to take some photos, but on the way there she slept (we CANNOT stop the car when she's sleeping) then woke up and promptly cranked.  So, there is always the way back, right?  Except it followed the exact same routine.  But our time in the park was fun, especially for Tess.

I will make a photo post at some point, but I mostly wanted to say that if I could sum up our trip it one word at the moment, it would be BUGS.  Bugs themselves don't bother me much, however it would appear that I am a particularly tasty person for mosquitoes, even when I apply various repellents liberally.  They swarm me, and either leave SB untouched totally, or else he's extremely un-allergic to them and just has zero reaction when they do bite him.  And I haven't notice any bites on the kid yet, but she is rarely outside during prime mosquito feast time (ie after dark.) 

So, I'm using a lot of AfterBite and trying not to scratch.  It makes me want to avoid the fun things like fires and beach walks sometimes, but I try not to always be the downer and take one for the team every once in a while. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moving Mama

I've realized that a lot of the talk over here is about things the average person probably doesn't give two hoots about.  Things like birth and boobs and baby caca.  So, I'm moving that whole mess to another site!  Just for you!

The new site can be found at Mama Urbana.  Whenever I have the hankering to go into too much detail about anything parenting related, that's where it will be posted.  But don't worry!  Ebb and Flow will still contain lovely pics and anecdotes about little M and all of our awkward and exciting times together. 

So if parenting stuff interests you, head on over there!  And if not, tell your friends!  And if they don't want to read it, then you can all shove it. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some thoughts on birthing - 6 months later

Before we decided to have M, I wasn't convinced kids were a great idea for us.  Obviously I was willing to give it a shot, because, hey, there she is!  But I am of the "One and Done" variety of parents.  Kids are a difficult endeavor to undertake, and why the hell would you ever want to even the odds and be 2 against 2?  Huh?

But one feeling that hasn't left me over the last six months:  I want to give birth again. 

right?  I know.  I'm totally insane.

Pregnancy was great for us.  Aside from no booze and no sushi, things were easy and not only tolerable but often enjoyable!  (yes, please, you can carry my 10lb bag of cat food to my car for me, even though I'm perfectly capable, I would prefer not to today.)  So that would in no way discourage me.  Having a kid has been exactly what I expected it would be, in that, holy eff, just once is enough, so don't worry, the odds of me carrying out this crazy thought are slim to none. 

Why would I want to give birth again?  Because I want to do it better.  For the same reason I like running - I want to improve my personal best.

Again, yes, I realize this is insane.  I had pretty much the perfect birth, based on what we wanted.  No drugs, no IVs, no forceps, no vacuum, no emergencies, no problems.  But I did have to have an episiotomy and, oh, ya there is the fact that I pretty much begged to die for about 5 hours. 

Some of the things I had hope to do during labor to make things easier on my body, but that we didn't do:

a) warm bath.  We tried this.  But funny thing - we had NO HOT WATER at our house that night.  I was beyond miffed.  And a woman in active labor who is beyond miffed is not a pretty sight.

b) a birthing ball.  For some reason, I forgot all about this.  Which is weird, because I even considered purchasing one until my doula assured me she had never had a problem using the ONE they have on the floor in the hospital.  But I don't remember even asking.  I'm an idiot.

c) squatting.  Every time my head was vertical, I felt like I would faint.  I'm sure that if I had just sucked it up and told someone that instead of mumbling "please just kill me.  I want to die." that they would have helped to physically support me in a squat.  But, I didn't, so no squatting happened.  I think the squatting may have helped get M out faster, and may have helped avoid the episiotomy. 

Anyway, so I have a handful of regrets about my birthing experience, and they aren't going away.  And since I can't go back and do it better, the only option is to do it again.  Basically to improve my time.  I know I know, I know.  Just, shhhhh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

so far so good

So far I'm digging the blog revamp.  It feels fresher.  Now on to more important matters.

Myself and my mama friends have been all in a tizzy lately about feeding these wee bairns.  There are so many theories on what's "right" and so, so much information to plow through that it can be a bit overwhelming.  Luckily, we are about ten moms, all with kids around the same age, all with different ideas, and all open to sharing them, so we are very efficient about pooling information and taking from it what works for our families.

The first 6 months, however frustrating they may be, are actually a no-brainer in the baby diet department.  I am of a mind that there can be no argument that breast milk is best for an infant.  All the studies in all the world-over agree that this is the case.  Seems simple, but breast feeding may not be best for every family.  And that's fine, because, wouldn't you know it, there is another choice that is pretty great and it's called formula.  So if you can't/choose not to feed baby Option #1, Option #2 is still pretty fantastic and your baby will live and thrive.  That's it, the end.

I miss those simple, simple days.  We did a little of everything at our house - breastfed, pumped and bottlefed breastmilk, then when I lost my milk we started on formula.  The transition between all stages was smooth, no nipple confusion, no digestion issues, and no concerns about seriously fucking up my kid's digestive system.

Now we're in FOOD territory.  Admittedly, we started food very early.  I read all kinds of books and articles and everything except the pediatrician said that after 4 months if the kid seems game, go with it slowly.  So that's what we did, at almost 5 months.  We chose to go the traditional route and offer purees of various fruits, veggies, and cereals, one at a time in small quantities.  (I have a friend who is doing Baby Led Weaning, and am rather jealous that her baby is into whole solids - M gags at the smallest lump in her velvety purees - Priss.) 

And so far it's going well.  M loves to eat (most of the time) and the only things she will consistently turn her nose up at are meats and lumps in the purees.  She seems to love all flavors, it's the textures that are the problem.  The only digestive issue was a few weeks in:  whoever the hell thought it would be a good idea to suggest rice cereal, bananas, and carrots as first foods without issuing a disclaimer that they are all BINDING should be shot.  Perhaps it should have been obvious to me that she shouldn't eat all of these food within the same 24 hour period, but it wasn't, and our poor little Chicken was crying while she tried to pass one of her first solid stools which was WAY too solid.  (no other instances of this since I clued in to which foods should go together and which shouldn't.  And we also keep prunes on hand for such emergencies as they tend to get things going pretty quickly.)


SQUASH
Now it's time to worry about the big things, namely highly allergenic foods and when to introduce them.  My major concern is actually with wheat/gluten because I know several people with Celiac's disease and it is nasty.  Previous theories said you should hold off on wheat until baby is older, but there are some new studies that say introducing it earlier is actually better... And some of our mama friends from Israel have never seen peanut allergies there, where peanuts aren't withheld. 

So, for any mamas I haven't already had this kind of convo with, if you can add something to the mix please do.  How did you deal with allergenic foods?  Any advice for stressed out parents who don't want to break their kid?  (I'm pretty sure the warranty ran out a while ago....)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

oops

I accidentally changed my blog template.  I hadn't really thought about it at all and was just playing around and now I can't get back to the old one. 

While, yes, I'm ready for a change, I don't necessarily have time to fiddle around at the moment, so expect to see changes happening over the course of the next little while. 

Yay for change!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

100 things REDUX

The old Bloggity Blog turns 6 years old this weekend!   In honor of that, I'm revisiting my very first 100 things post and updating with my current 100 things.  Old answers are in blue.  When the item hasn't changed, I'll try my best to think of something related to share.  Let the fun begin!

100 Things

1. I have two dogs and one cat who I treat like children - We currently have 2 cats and one dog.  Still treat them like children.
2. I have a boyfriend of 7 years - we got engaged a few months ago.  Still with SB, married two years this September. 
3. I have two Bachelor of Arts degrees - one in Biology and one in Creative Writing. Don't ask.  Still don't ask.  Also don't ask about my student loans which I think I'll be paying until I'm 80
4. My favorite color was blue, but I think it's changing. I'll let you know.  Nah, I still love blue, but am also partial to grey.  
5. I have three tattoos - same.  I would love to be badass and get a full sleeve, but the more I think about it, I can't imagine paying that much for a tattoo.... will most likely at least get my kid's name tattooed on me somewhere though
6. I hate my job so much I want to rip my eyes out. This was actually an alternative title for my blog, but got edged out.   Now I have a job I LOVE LOVE LOVE.  So much so that I can't wait to go back to work in January.
7. My grandfather has been saying I have a memory like a steel trap since I was three. I'm still not sure what that means.  same.  I often find myself pretending I don't remember meeting someone to avoid the moment where they don't remember meeting me.  That's awkward.
8. I like to play with punctuation - the - dash - is - my - favorite.  Still love punctuation play, but currently digging the ellipsis....
9. Within the next year I want to live in a house with a yard.  Maybe?  Been living in our condo for 4 years and it's a bit crowded.  Less excited about a yard now though. 
10. I want the yard so my dogs (who are 10 and 11) can retire in comfort.  Those dogs have since passed.  They liked condo living just fine.  Tess is so lazy I think a yard would be kind of a waste for her.  Or else she would love it.  What do I know?
11. I can hold a grudge like nobody's business.  Still true.  Although now I rarely waste time starting new grudges.  I just drop folks from my life and don't think of them anymore when they seriously tick me off.  Still holding onto old grudges though.
12. I rarely seek vengeance.  I think I could safely say I never do.  It's generally not worth the effort.
13. When I do, I'm usually not as mean as I want to be.  I recently got into an altercation with a sales associate at The Bay wherein I raised my voice and waved a sales sign in her face.  That was the first time I lost my temper in a very long time.  But I still didn't call her a cunt or anything, so I don't think I was mean at all. 
14. My taste usually outweighs my budget by at least 100%.  This is still true, but I am a much better bargain hunter than I used to be, so I can often get the things I want within budget.  Win/Win.
15. I love buying gifts.  Still true - although I have also come to really love making gifts, and this helps with the whole budget thing too. 
16. When I'm upset, I usually crave potatoes in one form or another.  I do less emotional eating now, but more bored eating.  And I still love potatoes. 
17. When I was little I used to talk to myself - my grandfather said it meant I would be rich one day. Still waiting......and still waiting.
18. I'm a slave to TV, and strive every year to cut down my TV watching schedule. I always get sucked in.  DVR has changed my life.  But I still watch too much TV.
19. I hate cooked peas, but love raw ones.  I now like cooked peas!!!  But not from a can.
20. My cat is my favorite pet. Don't tell my dog.  I think I love them all equally now. 
21. I have a hard time saying no. Really.  Still have a hard time saying no, but much better at avoiding ever being asked in the first place!
22. I get jealous of other people's good fortune.  Not so much anymore, but I do feel very guilty when I end up luckier than others. 
23. I don't have a problem saying "I'm so jealous of you".  Still true. 
24. I was born with a hole in my ear.  I thought it may be genetic, but my kid doesn't have one. 
25. My grandmother is still the most influential person in my life, even though she was only part of it for 10 years.  While this is probably still true, there are so many other influences that I value more now than I did before.
26. I have two sisters. I hate when people point out they are my half sisters.  Still this.  And now my sister is having a baby and if anyone ever call her my half-niece I think I'd punch them in the nuts.
27. My dad died when I was 5 months old. I think this should make me sad, but it doesn't. It just makes me curious.  Less curious about him these days for some reason.  More curious about my grandmother.  She seemed more badass.
28. I have best friends from every stage of my life, and can't decide who my maid of honor should be.  I finally chose my sister, had my other sister do a reading, and all of SB's brothers had responsibilities at the wedding too.  It was perfect.
29. I will probably postpone my wedding until I can decide.  I didn't - just postponed until we had the $$$.
30. I'm a clutterbug.  I still have a lot of craft clutter, but keep it to my relegated corner of the living room.  I dream of one day have my own crafting room where I can spread it all out and be as messy as I like. 
31. I'm very sentimental about objects, which greatly contributes to my clutterbuggedness.  I have a new non-sentimental value system.  I am now uber-proficient at chucking shit out - I would rather keep memories in photos than in junk.
32. I usually don't care about grammar on paper, but can't stand it when people speak incorrectly.  I now care about grammar everywhere.
33. I hate reading anything written before 1900.  Probably more true than ever. 
34. I would love to own a bookstore.  I never want to own another business ever again.
35. I've had writer's block for over a year.  Writer's block was broken and will have a story published this fall.
36. I have seen the movie "Whale Rider" at least ten times. I still cry at the end.  I haven't seen that movie in a very long time and now I want to see it ASAP. 
37. REM has been my favorite band since Out of Time. I even love New Adventures in HiFi.  Although I have to say I wouldn't call them my favorite anymore.  I didn't even buy their most recent album.  I feel like this is significant.
38. I've seen REM in concert only twice.  Saw them once more, so total of 3 times.  Each time was amazing.
39. I have one Polish friend who taught me two Polish words: MAŁPA MAJTKI. It means Monkey Panties. She's the best.  I have two Greek friends who taught me a fun little nursery rhyme to sing to the kid, and also the word Nikokira, (spelling?) which, loosely translated, means domestic goddess.  Which is me, some days, especially on Thanksgiving.
40. I have weight issues, and usually put on weight when I'm depressed.  And, as it turns out, when I'm pregnant!  Haven't been depressed in a while, but the weight... it's there!
41. I've put on over ten pounds in the past month.  I put on over 50 pounds in the past year, FTW. 
42. I cry when I'm (mad, sad, stressed) and am forced to have a conversation.  This is still true, and the older I get the more infuriating this is.  Can't wait to have my first fight with M where I end up in tears.  That will be a proud moment, I'm sure.
43. When I'm really mad, I just don't talk.  While this is still somewhat true, I have also gotten a lot better at yelling when I'm mad too. 
44. I can type at least 400 words per minute. Okay, I have never actually really measured. But it's really fast.  I'm pretty sure I can type around 600 words per minute now.
45. I drive a 2000 VW Jetta, and I'm really sad that I didn't trade her in for a new one before they came out with the new model. I guess I will keep her until they make another one as cute as she is.  We recently retired old JVo to the junk yard.  RIP.  Now I love our Subaru, mostly because it has all-wheel drive and kicks ass in the snow.
46. I love choosing new paint colors for rooms.  Although I have discovered that the less time I spend choosing, the more horrible the color turns out. 
47. I get tired of the painting project about halfway through.  And if I can I rope SB into doing the trim work.
48. I always fall asleep in the car.  I am dreading our first drive to NB with M because I feel I won't get in my required amount of sleep. 
49. One of my dreams in life is to own a doggie daycare.  I will never ever ever run my own business ever again. 
50. I hate snow and have seriously considered giving up all of my democratic rights and moving to Cuba. (Sun, beach, rum, cigars, what's better than that?)  Decided St. Lucia would be a better option, so that's the dream now, but still shooting for sunshine. And booze.
51. My tolerance for alcohol is even better than it was in university, and I only drink about 1/15th as much.  I have no idea if this is true because I haven't had much to drink in over a year.  Will have to test this theory when on vacation next month.
52. I love Coke, and Diet Pepsi, but hate Pepsi and Diet Coke.  ooooh, but I LOOOOOOVE Coke Zero.
53. Seeing my own blood makes me feel faint.  I have had 4 blood tests in the past year and didn't faint or puke once.  But I did sweat a lot.  Even the nurse was a bit appalled. 
53. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people. Maybe the blog will help a little.  I have gotten much better at this since the advent of Facebook.  So while it is evil, it is also awesome. 
54. I'm usually shy around strangers, and have been told that sometimes I scare people who don't know me.  This is still true.  Someone recently told me I'm hard to read.  I don't know if that's true or not, maybe I'm just an asshole.
55. When I thought my iPod was broken, I cried in my car.  Then that iPod got stolen.  Then I got a new one, and lost it in the snow on the mountain.  I cried in my car again. 
56. When I fixed my iPod myself, I yelled "Yay, I fixed it." and my boyfriend just said "ah, yeah" and kept watching TV.  Then my employee found my lost iPod and hacked it out of the ice and I brought it home and dried it out.  It still worked, and yelled "Yay, I fixed it." 
57. I need it to be cold in order to have a good night's sleep.  Which is why I will never ever ever live without air conditioning again.  Ever.
58. I just started collecting first edition books.  I have some good ones now!  But I rarely hit up the used bookstores like I used to :(
59. I love Starbucks, and am sad that we don't have more of them in Montreal.  Now they are everywhere, and it's still my favorite. 
60. I'm a world class procrastinator.  Still true, although now that M is here I am more on top of a lot of stuff.  And procrastinate even more on all the rest.
61. I have no discipline.  This is scary now that I'm responsible for another human.  Very scary.
62. I shop to cure depression.  Now I medicate to cure depression.
63. Sometimes trying on clothes makes me more depressed.  This is definitely more true than ever.  Ugh to post-baby spare tires.
64. I love to run and would choose running over any other 1-man exercise.  Still true!  Although I also love yoga now, running is still my number one choice of torture.
65. I hate feet and force my boyfriend to wear socks 90-95% of the time I'm around him, especially to bed.  I have gotten more lax on the foot rules, especially when on vacation, however I'm still disgusted by them. 
66. Sometimes I can't sleep because I think he's trying to trick me and has taken off his socks.  This is the least of my sleep issues these days. 
67. I don't like children. They make me uncomfortable 80% of the time.  In spite of the fact that I have my own kid now, this is still true.  Even she makes me uncomfortable at least 60% of the time. 
68. I'm pretty sure I've seen every single episode of all Law and Order series, including the two-hour special return of Mike Logan on the regular Law and Order that aired in the '98-99 season. I'm so glad he's coming back to Criminal Intent.  I am still a L & O buff.  I am so sad that they are slowly being phased out.  I still watch reruns on Bravo every day. 
69. I get crushes on weird celebrities.  A past favorite was David Letterman.  Currently crushing on Ricky Gervais.  Still better than Danny Devito (who for the record is my BFF's weird crush). 
70. I don't remember much about half the stuff I've studied.  Probably even less now. 
71. I've thought about signing up for one of those pharmaceutical company studies that pays compensatory indemnities.  Although I'm definitely less broke than I used to be, I still think this would be interesting.  Possibly for many, many years to come. 
72. Bad driving annoys me and I often honk and/or give the finger to at least one person on my way to work.  Now that we live in the city proper my road annoyances have expanded to include pedestrians and cyclists.  Why can't people just follow the fucking rules?  Cross on green.  Stop at red.  Cars must use blinkers and check their blind spots.  Bikes can be either treated as pedestrians OR cars, but not both.  FFS.
73. My road rage-ish tendencies have scared at least one of my friends.  This same friend is also scared to cross the road with me now for fear that she will do it wrong and I'll yell at her. 
74. I've never had an accident or a traffic ticket.  I think now I've had two traffic tickets (one for speeding, one for going through a yellow light that turned red cause traffic ahead was too slow) and two accidents (once was rear-ended by an old man, once was my fault and I side-swiped a Brand New car that still had the white stickery stuff on it... ooops)
75. I believe in knocking on wood, and just did so to avoid getting into an accident or getting a traffic ticket this week.  I kinda don't believe in knocking on wood anymore and only do it when I'm around people who do.
76. Turning 20 made me really sad, and I'm scared I'll feel the same about 30.  30 was pretty bad.  For many reasons.  27 was actually the worst, I think. 
77. One of my dogs scares me. He has bit me in the foot on more than one occasion.  That dog croaked last year.  Now I live in a fear-free zone.  But I still miss him a lot and we reminisce about his crankiness often. 
78. I love Italy, especially Rome, and can't wait to go back.  Still this.  Although now I miss Paris most. 
79. I've never been to New York City.  STILL NEVER BEEN TO NYC.  Does this seem soooo wrong on soooo many levels to anyone else but me?  However, NYC is very expensive, and I can think of a million other places I would go spend that money first so that I could travel longer.  I still want to go if I could get a lot of deals.  But the planning is already exhausting to me.
80. I hate golf, but if I played it, I'm sure I'd been one of the people who throws their clubs when they're mad.  I can't remember if I ever told you but SB and I went to the driving range once.  I sucked at golf about as much as I imagined I would, but I did not throw my club. 
81. I own every issue of the last six years of Martha Stewart's Weddings magazine.  Those have been given away/recycled.  But I still watch a whole heck of a lot of wedding shows for someone who got married two years ago.  (and they did come in handy, although not as handy as I thought they would when I started collecting them.  Mostly because of the internet.)
82. I say "That's right" a lot.  Not anymore.  Now we say a lot of "That's what she said".  I hope that never gets old because it's a fun, fun game. 
83. I'm pretty sure I'm a handy person, but am usually too lazy to actually do anything handy.  Turns out I am pretty handy, as proven by 4 years of dealing with keys that were copies of copies of copies that we used for client homes where the locks were at least 30 years old.  I'm still pretty lazy though.
84. I love Winnie the Pooh - less than I did a couple of years ago, but still significantly.  On a scale of 1-10 Winnie and I are probably at like a 4 now.  I'm trying to move away from any cartoon characters in general.  I don't want a kid who is addicted to ONE GUY and everything has to be THAT GUY.  I don't like when kids are walking ads for Walt Disney. 
85. I am obsessed with animals who have long necks - giraffes and ostriches are my favorites.  Still and perhaps even more than ever.  We have goose artwork in our bathroom, the kid has several giraffe toys, and I still want to ride an ostrich at some point in my life.  I have no idea why I love animals with long necks, but I do. 
86. I really want to pet a tiger before I die.  I didn't pet a tiger, but I DID get to hold a BABY LION when we went to Las Vegas.  Sometimes I forget that we did that, and then I remember and I get all giggly. 
87. I only recently overcame my fear of rollercoasters - now I want to go to Disney World!  Now we have a kid and an excuse to go to Disney World!  Too bad we have to wait until she's "this high to ride" to go.  Booooo.
88. I am terrified of deep water and almost drowned while trying to snorkel in Cuba cause I was in such a panic.  Still terrified of deep water, but had a better snorkeling excursion when we went to St. Lucia thanks to a nifty life vest thing.  Now we have M in swimming lessons already so that she won't end up like me. 
89. I'm usually a great judge of character, and when I'm wrong about someone, I'll admit it.  Due to my hermit-like existence as of late, I'm not meeting a ton of new people.  So, not sure if this is still true or not....
90. I hate hypocrites.  I also discovered that I hate when people get cranky at me for being friendly and social.  Because I rarely am, so to be chastised for it really gets me ornery. 
91. The only jewelry I wear are: one pair of earrings, my engagement ring, and the ring Eric gave me the second birthday we were together.  Now I only wear rings regularly.  When we go out I may wear a necklace and earrings.  Bracelets don't fit on my giant man wrists. 
92. I'm terrible at doing my hair. If I'm running late, I get so stressed about it I start to perspire. This makes it even worse.  I've given up on hair doing - I either wear a ponytail or stick a barrette in it.  No blow-drying unless it's winter and I'm running late, and definitely no curling irons. 
93. I don't smoke, but don't mind when people around me do.  Now I have to care more because of the kid, but I'm still getting a bit used to that so sometimes people have to remind me to get my kid out of that giant cloud of smoke right there. 
94. I've partaken in very few illegal drugs and for the most part was unimpressed.  Booze are still best.
95. I love when it rains really hard.  I also love thunder and lightening. 
96. It doesn't matter how many hours of sleep I get - if I have to get up before 10 AM I am usually cranky until noon.  Now my ideal start time is more like 9AM, but I am usually always cranky until noon no matter when I get up. 
97. I no longer have my tonsils, adenoids, and wisdom teeth.  I also made it through birth without an IV, and without the use of drugs or any forceps/vacuums, etc.  And I've never broken any bones.  That's my whole medical history folks. 
98. My favorite fast food is still McDonald's, even though I worked there for like five years.  Wendy's is a close second, and would be first if we lived closer to one, I think. 
99. My goal is to have a job I don't really care about so I can actually get some writing done when I'm at home.  Oddly, I have a job I really care about while I'm there, but that I can actually leave behind when I come home.  And I got some writing done.  Win/Win
100. Sometimes I find very inappropriate things hilarious, and have trouble holding in my laughter.  Now my biggest issue is that SB and I have so many inside jokes and have such a similar sense of humor, that we will both find random inappropriate things hilarious and then we're both trying not to laugh.  We're both going straight to hell. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The quilt is done!

I am pleased to report that Marlowe's First Quilt is done!  I say first because this project has been amazing for me - it was creative, inspiring, challenging enough but not impossible.  The quilt is at once ugly, cute, funky, playful and sweet.  I am now addicted to sewing, and can't wait to work on my next project.  For now, here are some photos.

A close up on one of the squares. 
This is the back - the fabric is a thicker cotton, so hopefully will hold up to fun times at the park!
One of the corners.      

The border fabric is It's a Hoot by MoMo.  The binding and the quilt squares are Central Park by Kate Spain

Monday, August 08, 2011

Where it's at

So, the kid turned six months old over the weekend.  She seemed non-plussed by the whole thing, but we were feeling a little nostalgic.  Like, hey, remember that ugly little monkey we brought home from the hospital who squawked all the time?  Now she's cute and round and instead of squawking, she screams!  Weeeeee!


Ugly Monkey Squawker

She is still not crawling and still has no teeth.  But she IS a champion eater.  We started "solids" early, and so far she has tried all of the appropriate first foods.  This includes carrots, bananas, three kinds of cereal, squash, apple, pear, peach, beans, peas, zucchini, plums, and more.  She was not so into meats, but the past few days she's been coping alright with those too.  She not only loves the purees, but she has also gummed on a cooked carrot, and some baby rice wafer cookies with gusto.  

With this love of solid foods, also comes the reward of solid poo.  This has made our cloth diapering life much easier and more pleasant.  I think that's enough on that topic for a general update post.  But I'm working on a post about baby feeding, so we'll get more in depth there. 

She loves Tess more than anything - the squeals and screeches of delight are often rewarded with some finger tasting on Tess's part.  I am so happy that Tess is so gentle with her, and her toys, but I am not surprised.  Simon is also very interested in the baby, and lets her pull and tug on his tail or face without complaining.  If she bothers him, he will often get up, circle around her, and settle in on the other side of her still within grabbing distance.  This also doesn't surprise me much.  I think the only unknown we had going into this was how the baby would react to them, and I have to say it has been fantastic!

Sunscreen Hair


We have been spending our days visiting friends, shopping, running, yogaing and sleeping.  We have yet to hit up the new wading pool at our park because I am slightly terrified she will have a meltdown and/or I'll drown her by accident but it's on our list of things to do.  Summer has been quite lovely, but we are looking forward to our vacation out East next month.  And by "looking forward to" I mean "still dreading a 10 hour drive with an infant and a giant dog and all our shit, so the weather better be good". 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Huh

I sat down (finally) and made a little slideshow of photos from M's first 4 months. 

SB's reaction was "Ouff, when did she get so big" 

My reaction is "Huh, when was she ever that little?"


 
***The music in the video is Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) - and was quite a popular lullaby during those first few months. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby drunk

You know how when you used to be in university, you would spend the weekend carousing and dancing and falling down hills and then on Monday morning you had a whole bunch of bruises that you weren't sure of their origins?   Was this just me?

I feel like that now, except for the drunk part.  And the carousing and dancing and falling. 

It started when I was pregnant.  I became severely clumsy, which is strange for me.  I may have a semi-giant frame, but I have pretty good awareness of space, and also great balance.  But when I got knocked up, I started running into things, kicking things, banging my head.  One day I slipped off a step at work and bashed backwards into a wall.  And almost every day I rammed my thigh into the radiator outside of our work bathroom - I started to feel like someone was moving it so that I would run into it, because my body seemed to not remember it was there. 

But now I've entered a whole new realm of self-injury - mystery bruises.  I don't remember getting them, but each morning I find at least one new bruise somewhere on my body (usually on my arms).  And they aren't even little bruises.  They're always bigger than toonies, often bigger than the circumference of a coke can. 

I'm not sure if I'm getting them while carrying strollers and carseats, or while trying to maneuver said items into the car, or while playing with the kid or tussling with Tess.  All I know is I'm not having as much fun getting them as I did when I was in university.  Or maybe just a different kind of fun.

Monday, July 04, 2011

My baby project

People who know me know I'm a hobby knitter.  I've knit little sweaters and hats and vests and blankies for most of the wee ones our friends have welcomed in the last few years, and I love love love doing it.  I was ready to (and actually started to) knit a little sweater dress for M too, when we did a little closet-cleanup and SB saw some of the quilts my grandmother, aunts, and great-grandmother had made for me. 

"Why don't you make a quilt for the baby?"  he asked innocently.  It was at that moment I realized he has far higher esteem for my crafting abilities than I do, and also that I am just crazy enough to believe him and embark on my first quilting project.  Just like that. 

Generally, if I can find good enough instructions, I can pretty much make anything.  It may have a few quirks and kinks, but for the most part I can get a project done if I have something to tell me step by step how to do it.  So I did some googling.

I found the Moda Bake Shop, which is at once instructive and inspiring.  There are tons and tons of sewing projects on there, and you can also find pre-cut fabric bundles through many online retailers that takes all the guess work out of choosing fabric patterns and cutting fabric pieces.  I chose a baby quilt, ordered some fabric, and away I went.

My fabric arrived like this:

Isn't it beautiful?  It's called a Jelly Roll, and mine was full of fabric from the Moda Central Park line by Kate Spain. 

Here are some of the fabric swatches while I was trying to pair them up for the quilt blocks:

Currently, I am finishing the last part of the quilting portion of this project.  This is the second to last step, people!  I have been working on it since January, when I hoped to get the bulk of it done before M's arrival (only she arrived a week early instead of like most first babies, who arrive late), but now it's almost done!  And while I pieced together the blocks using the sewing machine, I did the actual quilting by hand!  Like my grandmother used to do! 

For some reason I feel more proud of this project then any of my knitting projects.  And for some reason I feel like when it is finished I am going to experience a major let-down - this project which has been so exciting and creatively invigorating will be over.  And while there will be satisfaction in a work accomplished, and excitement over starting a new project, there will never be another first quilt, and it will never be close to complete ever again. 

Once it's done, I'll take a photo of M playing on it.  But for now I am basking in the anticipation of it being almost done. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Poop receptacles

Back in the day when I was about 10 weeks pregnant (was that really over a year ago?  holy hannah) SB and I decided for a number of reasons to try cloth diapering our little terror.   A great website that pretty much sums up what I found can be read here

Fast forward to 4 months in, and I am in LOVE with cloth diapers.  We chose BumGenius, so they function just like a disposable as far as putting them on and changing them, the only difference is we only buy them once, and instead of hitting the trash after use they hit the wet bag to be washed.  And because they can be adjusted for size, they will fit M until she is potty trained.

Why do I love them so much?  Well, they're super cute.  Exhibit A:

So in the hot summer weather she can wear just a dress and a colorful diaper.

Her butt is in great shape - no rashes yet, and barely any redness.  We'll see how she makes out when teething comes on, but so far, I'm crediting the diapers.

We never run out.  In the few weeks we used disposables, I made at least three emergency phone calls to SB to pick up diapers on the way home - and get home quick!  Now I keep a stash of emergency disposables just in case the laundry gets the best of me, but generally one load a day keeps me on top of it.

Some rumors that I have found to be false:
They are hard to use.  Again, they go on just like a disposable diaper.  Some people prefer cloth diapers with snaps, but I prefer the velcro tabs since they are even easier to get on and get a good fit.

They are a lot more work.  Yes, they are more work, but I think saying they are a lot more is a stretch.  I wash one load of them a day, maximum.  And since I generally have at least one other load of laundry to do anyway, what's one more?  Laundry is my favorite chore, since you are absent for 90% of the process anyway, so bring it on.


They leak.  The only leaks we've had were due to poor fit.  That was back when I was terrified I was putting the diapers on too tight.  But now that I've learned how to check for fit and adjust them properly we have no leaks at all.  We'll see how it goes when she starts motoring around, but I can't see how they could be any worse then a disposable.

So, if you are ever considering cloth diapers, I'm free to discuss.  I think a lot of people picture thin pieces of fabric, origami folded and precariously pinned to the baby, leaking and oozing all over the place.  But that's so not what cloth diapers are now.  They are fun, friendly, effective, and cute!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lists about pregnancy

Things I miss about being pregnant:

1.  Being fat for a reason:  For the most part I liked the way I looked and felt while pregnant.  Post-pregnancy....Ugh, let's not talk about that again for a while.

2.  Having people do stuff for me.  Not that I was one of those "hey, can you lift that, I'm pregnant" people, or at least I don't think I was.  But the fact that people would offer.  I liked that.  Also, having SB be in charge of the litter box.  I loved that one.  Even though he always cleaned it anyway, for 10 months I didn't have to feel so bad about not doing it.  Now I have to feel guilty again.

3.  Eating what I wanted.  Except for sushi, and rare steak, and booze.  If I was hungry, I ate.  Which is probably why I'm hating my post-pregnancy body, come to think of it.

4.  Napping for a reason.  No one ever questioned my napping.  Now M is constantly harassing me that I try to nap too much.  She's a stickler for that. 

5.  Rubbing my own belly.  Whatever, I liked it, so what.

Things I don't miss:

1.  Not being able to run.  Yoga was great and all, but I missed running a lot.  And now I'm finding it so hard on my body to get back into it.  So, so hard.

2.  Trying to put on my shoes.  Being pregnant in the winter made this extra annoying.  My winter boots have a lot of LACES.  And I work we had to change our shoes when we arrived and left, so I couldn't even cheat and just wear sneakers and freeze my feet off for five minutes.  At least my feet didn't swell up, I guess.

3.  Sleeping on my back. 

4.  Not being able to drink booze or eat sushi or raw/rare steak.  (in the last month or two I took some liberties on the steak and sushi, and I did occasionally drink wine, but it's still not the same)

5.  Feeling movement.  I found it really, really strange actually.  Like I swallowed a bowl full of goldfish.  The only thing I found really cool was when she would kick and I could see it.  But that was more because I felt like I could star in a sci-fi movie without all the special effects.

Friday, May 06, 2011

And now the work begins

Are you tired of reading about the baby yet?  I'm tired of writing about her.  Kind of.  In the way that, boy, wouldn't it be interesting if there was more going on in my life besides this baby? kind of way. 

But, alas, this is life now.  We do the same thing every day, over and over and over.  If the weather is bad, then we do even more of the same thing.  If the weather is good we might walk to meet a friend, or take Tess on a long walk.  We're wild and crazy girls without a vehicle, so it turns out we walk a lot. 

Yet, with all this walking, I am not shrinking. At. All.  In the first two weeks after M was born, I think I dropped 20 pounds, then slowly lost another 10.  And then I just kept hovering.  All in all I put on probably 50 pounds with the pregnancy, and while they say the last ten pounds stick, I'm finding it's more like the last 20.

Also, my body has changed.  I don't see the weight in my face as much as I did the last time I was at this weight, however my thighs and hips are GIGANTIC.  None of my pre-pregnancy jeans fit (duh!) and I'm tired of wearing maternity jeans since there is no baby in there, so I thought about buying a new pair of on-sale in-between jeans.  When I tried on my "fat size" they were so tight on my hips and thighs I could barely pull them up.  And I will NOT give in a buy and even bigger size than my previous fat size.  So maternity jeans it is.

But, we're taking action.  I'm back on Weight Watchers, which worked extremely well for me the last time I dropped a lot of weight, and I had actually been keeping most of it off until I got pregnant (I think I was up 10 pounds at that point).  I also started the Couch to 5K running program this week, which I did a few years ago too.  My first run was yesterday and while it went well, I'm very sore today.  Lastly, I'm hoping to get back to yoga soon - waiting to get into a Mom and Baby class so that it will add a little variety into our life.

Hopefully it won't take long to get out of these maternity jeans, and while I can't wait to see what my post-baby body is going to look like, I have a feeling I'm going to miss my pre-baby body, as flawed as it was, more than I could have ever imagined.