Thursday, August 31, 2006

An Albatross Released

My thank you cards are done, up to date, in the mail, or at least waiting for an up to date address. This has been on my to do list for so long I have dreaded looking at the list because the thank you cards are still there. They are also hard to do all in one sitting. You wonder what to say - how do you express that kind of thanks?

At this pace, I wonder if I will get any Christmas cards out this year before New Years???? I know, I threw out that word about that holiday and no I have not started shopping, it is not close to the end of December yet!! Come on, my life has changed but I am still a last minute shopper.. or, so I think?!!

The weather is amazing today and we made what I would consider a big outing! Ken and I took Brandon to Rocky Point for a walk in the woods. It was marvelous to smell the trees and the sea, and the wind blowing a few leaves off and tossing them about. Such a highlight for me. Now the boys are both asleep, and all is quiet. I am about to hang in the yard with a good book and just chill. Perhaps I may just even sit there and take it all in. Not do a chore, or try to pick up garbage. Just be.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

post script

note: said individual does not always realize or recognize when I should ask for help. This would be whether it is from Ken, my folks, his mom, our friends, the doc or health nurse... whomever. I am also not always sure what to do with myself when I have a quiet moment.

But, it seems like this new learning curve of parenthood dictates that you make a mistake, or stumble a little, and then you are all of a sudden a lot more receptive to help and to advice. You almost have to live a little, stumble a little, reflect on it a little before you can get to the next stage, or the next question. Wait, am I talking about motherhood, or just life in general???!!!!!

An Author's Note that caught my eye

All I can say is that I heartily endorse this book. It has thoroughly entertained me over the last week, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Ireland, storytelling, or personal myth-making.

"We merge our myths with our facts according to our feelings, we tell ourselves our own story. And no matter what we are told, we choose what we believe. All 'truths' are only our truths, because we bring to the 'facts' our feelings, our experiences, our wishes. Thus, storytelling - forms a layer in the foundation of the world; and glinting in it we see the trace elements of every tribe on earth." Frank Delaney, introduction to Ireland.

This reminds me partly of the journey of motherhood: learning how to be a mom, learning when to ask for help, learning how to assess what your peers do and figure out what works for you. Asking questions, being humbled, alternating between moments of indescribeable joys and terrible lows. What is my truth - what is my story now that I am a wife and a mom, to add to all the other titles I have and do hold? It is carefully being written on the edges of my soul, colouring my experiences as the pattern of my life has changed drastically in the last year. Or has it truly? Perhaps I have only discovered in myself a latent reality that has been waiting for the right time and place to actualize itself?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Learned Something new...

A: It's Braille for "suck here".

Who knew?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Random Bits

  • Breast feeding is way harder than I imagined it to be. Definitely worth it, but not as natural as it really should be. It is definitely a learned thing.
  • Girl friends Rock.
  • The days are starting to blur together
  • Since when it is ever this nice when the PNE is on?
  • So, what happens when your son sleeps from 6pm - 11pm? what is the rest of my night going to look like and why didn't I sleep for these 5 hours?
  • Time really does fly when babies are young, and even at a month old, there are things I wish I could do have done a little differently during the first week
  • You can never get tired of peering at your sleeping babe's face
  • This summer has been amazing - even if I haven't been outside in it all that much
  • My wedding thank you cards are almost done. Only 5 months after the fact. Well, er, I have been busy. And I have been feeling guilty off and on for the last several months about the fact that said cards have been pushed to the back burner several times
  • My routine is still chaotic, and I am still learning a new set of limits. I suspect this will be an ongoing thing
  • Showering with Brandon is a lot easier than giving him a bath, not nearly the same amount of squaking. Who knew???
  • I am so not cut out to have long bangs. Every time I think about trying to grow them out, I realize how much I hate long hair in my face and off they come. Needless to say, the fringe got trimmed today (little specs of hairs all over the place) and I can see clearly again!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

While the babe is asleep

In the few moments that Brandon is asleep, I am being completely bamboozled by the cats.

Can you say needy? AND I have been trying to give them affection every day! One of my cats is a cool cucumber, he is doing well and all things are status quo. The other one is another ball of wax all together. He is the much needier cat and every spare moment he has been throwing himself at me today. Ironically enough, there is only so much kneading and head butting that one can take. Speaking of which, said lovelies are getting their nails cut in short order!

In a way I miss having them in the room at night, one is well behaved, and I am sure you can guess which one is the one who likes to sleep as close as possible to me, loving me, pushing against me, being as close as possible to me and near my face. Hence the night-time exile.

It is just bizarre, you finish with one of your own that needs you all the time, and when that shift ends the other one starts with the cats! One is lying across my arms as I type and the other one is checking out the keyboard! Oh forsooth!

Monday, August 21, 2006

One small step...

It has felt like a day of firsts.

Brandon has begun to learn how to use his hands and was able to seize my glasses and wave them about for a few moments... as well, thanks to my dear friend J whom has maintained for months the untold benefits of a m0ses basket and has encouraged me to borrow theirs now that it isn't needed... was right on so many levels. This has lead to another first - hanging in the backyard with my son. Feeding, tummy time, quiet time, not so quiet time. The point of this is - not inside. Hell, I was able to manage feeding and reading, and I was outside! Absolutely gleeful for someone who has watched the gorgeous weather the last few weeks from behind the glass as I got to know my son, our new limits, and exploring new boundaries. Today feels like a bit of a breakthrough day!

One of our fav shows starts up again tonight, and I see a blackberry crumble in our futures!

Now, off to get us both cleaned up!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Different Lives Lived..

In an email from a friend of mine, she mentioned that I am in my motherhood life now, and made a comment that in our lives, we actually live several different and distinct lives (I am adding a bit here). I agree with this, and it is in the same sense that I love that my tattoo is based on the number 3 (and 7 to a lesser degree) because I see life as triadic in nature - for women, maiden, mother, and crone - and crone not in a negative sense either... wise woman if you would prefer that moniker (with comparative male life cycles as well). It is similar to the many different titles we have in our lives: friend, lover, mother, sister, daughter, enemy (hopefully not many, if any), anima/us, mentor, trickster and so many other roles that we can play in other's lives, for whatever duration that may be.

The sports fan in me calls transitional periods the 'tsn turning points' in your life when you know that the ground beneath you is shifting and you are entering in to a new phase in your life, and a new you is emerging and shedding its prior skin. It is easy enough to see a transition for myself (and us as a couple) over the last year, moving away from the old us, in to the new family us, as parents, and moving in to a different phase of life with a new language and new definitions. Just as it isn't often when you can sit down and take stock of where you are at, and enjoy the moments and see just how far you have come from the last time you had a chance to do just that.

This past year has been a series of significant moments, and learning, and growing up in a new sense. Its pretty amazing when you consider the little things, and how all of a sudden you realize all those not so little things have added up to something pretty amazing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Sleep seems to be somewhat optional at weird times this week.

I also think I need to rethink my stance on naps in the afternoon, since the sleep I have been getting has been more or less all over the board and I think I was pretty over-tired and over-sensitive by the time 10pm rolled around last night. I like the idea of naps, but when I have a hard time falling asleep at the best of times, I feel a bit cynical about my ability to just fall asleep during daylight hours.

Somewhat better today, and perhaps not having had a coffee today is making an impact, but this is so my tired time of the day and I am starting to look sideways at my bed, and hear it call my name. Sorting out sleep habits with a newborn can be really frustrating. For a few nights Brandon was up between 10pm-2am, and last night we had a great sleep between 11 and 4am, and then up until 8am. It is all a learning curve, figuring out what works today (or this week) and what doesn't work. Time and time again I am reminded to throw out all preconceptions and just start with a clean slate and figure out what works for us.

Perhaps I shall try this catch 40 winks concept out. See if it works, or makes a difference. Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Some pics from the weekend

Who are those rock stars?

The lights of the city just starting to reveal themselves...

A week went by?

Holy hot tamales - where have the days gone?

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I have had the chance to sit at the computer for a few moments longer than checking the old bank account and paying some bills! This week has had its moments, that is fer sure.

Saturday we went to our first 'really big outing'. A friend got married up at Grouse Mountain and it was time to pack us all up and roll the dice and see how things would go. I honestly can't believe what a great baby Brandon is/was that night. He slept from 4:30ish, through the drive (go figure) and then up the Gondola, and then through the ceremony, all the way up to the speeches. At which point he did wake up, didn't fuss a lot, got the hiccups to the hilarity of our table, and then I discretely took him away for a change and a teaser feed (any time he only gets the boob for 10 minutes is a teaser in our books). He was the hit of the wedding, and everyone was shocked that we were out an about at 19 days old! He passed with flying colours, and when we got home, he flaked out pretty good and then we had a decent night. The views from Grouse are amazing, and it blows my mind how many people flock to do the grind, it would just be such a hell hike straight up (worse than a stairmaster) but I can grudgingly admit the views would almost make up for it...

It was a great wedding - one of my few friends that I have stayed in contact from my uni days, whom has relocated to the foreign shores of the UK. Her husband is a great fit for her, and a lovely man. When you don't really know the people that are going to be at a wedding, it is hard to judge what kind of a time you will have. We had a great time. It seems that like truly does attract like, and when you have stuck it out so long in a friendship, there is much in common that you didn't even realize, such as the other people that have stuck around in your life, generally they tend to get on as well. Our table was a veritable riot. We had fun together. Viv looked stunningly beautiful, and had pictures done at sunset. I really hope that the day's fading light does her justice and their wedding pictures turn out fabulous.

That is, until Sunday night. Sleep was optional for mom, and Monday blitzed by in a flurry of feeds, and hoping that he would sleep for longer than a 20 minute power nap, and trying to get a handle on the house again, since the weekend was more about getting out and doing stuff than cleaning up after ourselves.

And that brings us to today... we all finally fell asleep about 2am, and I think that Brandon is going through his first real growth spurt. I think last night he may have been over-tired, but hopefully things are sorting out again. We have created a website for Brandon, where we will attempt to post some pictures and updates fairly regularly....

I have also mastered the art of reading while b'feeding, or talking on the phone. At this point, the time where I can multitask and do a few things for me. That said, I am going through books like there is no tomorrow. I think I am bringing my mom a new book to read every 2-3 days and I think she is at the point that the pile of books is becoming an intimidating task and some might make it to her bookshelf, LOL.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

A few quiet moments

Funny, I am sitting here with a million thoughts zinging through my head and I haven't got a clue where to start unraveling them all. Perhaps I will just go with a stream of consciousness and roll with it.

Having kids takes your breath away. Looking down in to Brandon's eyes, I see so much potential, I see a blend of Ken and I, and I am filled with love and wonder. Then there are the times that it seems like he is never going to sleep, and I wonder just how frayed I can get around the edges from lack of a lot of sleep. Then there are the times the phone rings and I am "indisposed" at the moment, and well, I don't always get to making those calls back in what I would call a timely manner. Then there are the phone calls I keep meaning to make, and they still haven't happened for no better reason than the fact that my days are occupied in a whole new way and go by quicker than my flex days did when I was at work!

I am getting used to getting things half done, or a little project tackled in a few moments. I am learning new skills - like how to read with one hand when I am breast feeding, or how to actually relax and take it easy and not expect everything to get done, like yesterday. I still haven't gotten out for a lot of walks, but they are coming! Some days I feel half crotchety, enjoying the quiet time with myself, and with Brandon. Watched a good chick flick today - Beauty Sh0p - it was funny and light hearted. Kevin Bac0n pops up in the strangest places! I think the Queen is a righteous woman - big and beautiful, and not afraid to be that way. I really admire that about her and she isn't crass or as edgy as a few other female stars with curves that I can think about.

Ah yes. A whole new measure of a full day.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Completely Random

A few things that I have noticed over the last few days:
  • I hate afternoon TV - it is like a car accident, you almost feel compelled to watch to see how things resolve themselves, but then reality sinks back in and you quickly change the channel
  • my definition of what a full day is has changed drastically
  • thankfully I learned the art of napping in university when I used to fall asleep in the library, some days I really need that early morning or late afternoon nap
  • Brandon seems to change a little every day, and my days are already going way too quickly
  • can't say enough about the quiet moments when you have a chance to collect your thoughts, try to anticipate the next steps, hold your sweetheart's hand, or stare at your progeny
  • flexibility is the new key to success
  • things seem to get half done, half cleaned the kitchen, half picked up garbage... and frankly, it doesn't seem to matter one bit

Thursday, August 3, 2006

10 days old

Clean hair! At last! Still looks like hockey hair to us though...

Yesterday was a big day in our world. Brandon lost the cord bits (and as such is developing a lurvly belly button), had his first real bath, and his first doc's appointment. He has turned the corner and should quickly regain his birth weight, and we are finally hitting the groove with b'feeding. It seems the happier he is overall, the less that he cries and fusses. He has grown about an inch, and you can already see that his face is starting to fill out. The days go by way too quickly. This week has zipped by at a breakneck speed and if this is the way the next year is going to go, I really have to enjoy these little moments where I can scrawl out a few words!

Our friends and family are so incredibly generous and Brandon is one lucky and loved little man. We are starting to get in to more of a groove, and it has also been amazing to see some old friends in the last week. I don't think I have done this much visiting in years. I am almost gleeful to have some quiet moments today. An old friend stopped by for a visit today and it was awesome. I haven't seen her in person for a while, and it was just great to kick back and relax, and just talk. When you have known someone for more years than you can count, it is eye opening to see yourselves as adults with real jobs, and families, and now with babies too. Time marches on.

I am also eternally grateful to Gilly for painting my toes last night. Oddly enough, I love having summer toes and it is nice to look down (now that I have reaquainted myself with my feet) and see some pink again! Tonight we are so going to lay low and have some family time. It feels like the past two weeks have been wonderful but controlled chaos, and it will be nice to just be together, and perhaps have a dinner that doesn't get interrupted prior to us beginning to even eat our dinner. Funny how everything shifts on a dime.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Time Warp

Being off work, and being at home with Brand0n, is an amazing adjustment. Learning how to relax, and learning how to take a completely different approach to pacing and what is a full day has been completely redefined.

As a new parent you really and truly do worry about diaper production and whether or not you have gotten enough b'feeds in. Never would I have imagined such a focus, but here we are. Night hours are still chaotic, Brand0n is still a better day sleeper, and slowly (ok, maybe not yet) getting used to the idea that there is a difference between day and night. Or so I thought prior to last night. He was restless, hence I was restless and conscious of the fact that I would like Ken to get a decent night's sleep since he has to be functioning for work! I haven't been able to fall asleep for a nap yet, but it is on the agenda!!

I have never seen so much of my extended family! The positive side is that we have been able to see most of our families one on one, rather than in a large group setting, and this makes it more intimate and better for everyone. It has been eye opening to see all the cousins welcome Brand0n in to the fold, and then just to see how happy both sides are to have another baby (especially on my side since there hasn't been any kids for 11 years on one side, and 25 on the other) around and to see the circle of life continuing. But, we are both getting a little tired around the edges and I can see a very quiet, our little family focused day(s) coming up in the near future as the initial rush wears off.

Speaking of family, always interesting to hear what they have to say about new babies. There is always unsolicited advice, and you have to find your zen place to just say "thanks" and then whisper "but no thanks" under your breath and file away the gems for future reference. I got the "you look great, looks like the pregnancy weight is coming off quick" and then a moment later "you know you have watch everything you eat when you are breastfeeding. What you eat goes to the baby. You know, if you drink alcohol, they get it too." I was an ass, I couldn't help but say "Oh really??" and watch my Aunt's eyes goes as wide as saucers. I followed it up with a "yes, I am kidding" but the look on her face was worth it especially considering I could tell you down to the ounce and when I have consumed ANY alcohol in the last 10 months.

Mother's instincts kick in right away too - I find that I am watching whomever is holding Brand0n, even without meaning too my eyes will wander his way. I am conscious of where he is at, if he is comfortable, etc. In the quiet moments, I almost feel guilty because they are my moments, but then when it comes time for feeding, or holding, or cuddling, or comforting, well, it is all about him so it all balances out. The learning curve still feels pretty steep, and every day seems to be bringing different lessons, or tweaks to whatever routine we are starting to establish... I think that flexibility is the name of the game!