Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Halfway to something

Today marks the halfway point of my mat leave. 6 months from now, I shall be returning to work. Tonight I am heading out to see a friend and coworker off as she moves on to the next step - that being retirement for her. It will be good and strange to hang with the ladies tonight; especially since the last 7 months have been focused on life at home and family rather than on work, or work politics, or how things are going, or changes to technology, or personality interaction or any of those fun elements that come along with that four letter word. It will be interesting to momentarily jump back in to the fray - some stuff I miss, some stuff I don't. I have mixed feelings about going back to work, which I didn't really expect back in the day. With a whole year ahead and a baby in my belly I had no idea how things would look a few weeks in to the future, let alone a whole year with a one year old and looking at daycare.

Daycare is a whole other animal. The cost. The trust. The going back to work and letting someone else love and care for your child. I am trying to do some creative arranging of my work hours, and time will tell how successful I am in that.

I am fighting something. Sunday night it was the shakes, and I have had a persistant head ache for the last few days. Last night we slept like hell, and I had planned to sleep when Brandon took his first nap today, but he seemed to do fine with a cat nap (20 minutes), and I am sure you could hear my groan all through the house because a cat nap didn't give me enough time to fall asleep! Ah well, I am whinging a bit. It is the headache and not feeling right that has me just a wee bit under the weather. Socializing tonight should be a good distractor! I am attacked by the blahs though.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


BB (before Brandon) I must admit I never really noticed kids or babies all that much. I enjoyed the babies of my dearest friends, and just cruised through it all. When I was pregnant, a friend thought it was funny that I didn't really notice babies, or coo all over them (yet).

Now I notice kids everywhere. I talk babies. I am paying forward advice and bits and pieces of things that work for us to other parents (or 'rents to be). I look forward to visits to zoos and aquariums and parks and everything else and being able to play and continue being a big kid with our kid and seeing wonder in his eyes when we do something new.

On our co-ed hockey team, there are a group of us with young kids and we share the good, bad, and ugly stories over beers and nachoes. There are new kids popping out all over the place - there are new strollers or car seats at the team tables, and swelling bellies. I am sure that there is a baby boom presently happening, or the difference is that I notice this now because we are 'rents now. Not DINKS.

It is funny - the transformation doesn't happen overnight. It happens slowly through pregnancy and then the first few months after birth, and then you realize that the Mom Hat is yours, not your mother's (although she still has one). You realize you are everything that you were... just more.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Only slightly twisted parenthood advice

Interesting take on things.

a leap of hair faith

I mentioned I need a hair cut.

My hair is really long. I love having long hair but this is almost ridiculous. It has almost been a year since I had it cut. In fact, the last time I got it cut was a day before I got married.

Well, my regular hair dresser is on holidays until February and doesn't cut hair as much as he used to. I did, however, get a discount coupon to see a fabulous hair dresser in Vancouver, whom ironically enough, sees clients on Saturdays, rather than just a few days during the week until 2pm which makes it tough for me since I need an extra pair of hands to hold our wee guy and access to wheels to get someplace.

I think it is time to take a leap of faith and try someone new. Would be an adventure to get my haircut in a fancy west end salon, and then grab some lunch with my guys!

Hair grows back, right?

I know I sound like a weenie but I had a nasty cut when I was 13, and since then I have pretty much stayed with the same hairdresser since. So... I have been seeing my hair guru for close to 20 years. O M G. How did that happen? I wrestle with the loyatly thing, and then I also wrestle with the taking a chance, trying something new, and well, taking that leap of hair faith. It isn't like I go all the time, and who knows, if it didn't turn out great, I could always like get 2 haircuts in a year (fall over).

Apparently, as I mentioned above, hair grows back and it is really long right now and a bit of a change would be good. I know, I can feel the shock ripples from here - my hair would still be somewhat long after whomever cuts my hair because I really don't see short hair in my future at this stage. A cut is on the horizon, especially since my hair has been spending double time in a ponytail lately because of grabbing hands and I have started to really think about getting it cut.

Teething Sucks.

I can't believe it has been over a week since I have posted. I am not sure how this post is going to evolve, it could be long, it could be staggered. Who knows. I guess we will all know when we reach the end of it!

There have been a few funny moments where I thought "I really should blog about this" and then something else caught my attention and off I went. Or I was feeling really wound up and frustrated, and figured that a good vent was just what the doctor ordered but then something else distracted me. Instead, I will see if I can come up with a few bits and pieces from the last week to make some kind of coherent post. Or not. Although being a new mom, it is harder to stay up on posts and my posts seem to be more of the collective ramblings more than anything else.

Brandon is teething. It feels like all the rules or ideas of how naps happen have gone out the window. The first tooth broke through about 10 days ago and it really wasn't that bad. The one beside it is ready to go and has been causing nothing but grief. I feel for his bright red cheeks, when he pushes his fingers up against his gums, when I lay him down to attempt to nurse and he starts to cry because his mouth hurts (and then I worry about my milk supply and I know I am not quite ready to give up the nursing yet, for all the trouble I had it is an amazing form of bonding), and in the middle of the night when he wakes up and we are trying to get him back to sleep again for what seems to be an eternity. The last week has been a bit chaotic. Some days I am totally on my game, other days I am a bleery eyed new mom that hasn't had a shower in a few days jostling their baby and trying to entertain them and then frittering away time on the computer and doing dishes and picking up stuff once our LO falls asleep.

Last friday I got out to watch our coed hockey team, and will get out again this friday. I miss playing, and I get the feeling I won't really get the opportunity to spare much at all before the season ends. Then again, I also want to get out for a skate, see that I still have it so waiting to play for a bit probably isn't a bad thing.. or this is what I tell myself to make not playing seem a little better! The other side to that coin is that you really do become more aware of your child's schedule and what times are reasonable to have someone watch him either at the game or at home. I am not quite up to the leaving him at home when it is the final bedtime so I guess things are working out as they should. The game times have finally been reasonable. It is hard to get excited to go out and watch a game at 11pm!!! Or even 10pm, like Ken's men's game tonight.

And it seems like tv has gone down the tubes lately.

That crazy boxing day purchase was a big 90 gallon fishtank. I love it. Not sure if I actually divulged that tidbit before, but I have always coveted a big tank and it is strange to actually have one of my own. Well, the fishies had started to be really anti-social as of late, and I was starting to get a little concerned. The first day this happened (fish were all staying at the bottom of the tank and were not excited about eating) I thought maybe it was a sign of a weather change or something else, and yesterday I finally dipped my hand in the tank and no wonder the fish weren't thrilled - the water was bloody cold, even for this 2 legged person! Even though the heater light was on, Ken checked it out and it was FRIED. So, off to the aquarium superstore I went last night. I am happy to say that we have happy, warm fish again. I also screwed with their zen and redecorated their environment. Always good to shake things up here and there.

Also started Brandon on solids. So far so good, although I introduced bananas this morning and the look on his face was priceless. I think the bananas went over like a lead fart. I guess it takes a few times with a new food to warm up to the new idea/taste/texture. There is also nothing like wearing rice cereal. I believe it's other name should be rice glue.

Got out for a glorious walk yesterday, and compared to a month ago, things are a lot better, Brandon has recovered really well and you would never know he went through such a big thing, I think I am finding myself again and feeling less stressed and crispy around the edges (except when he is really fussing about going to bed with this teething stuff), and getting out and doing more things again. Last Saturday was also nice, and we got out for a walk in White Rock. One of my most favorite places to go and had fish n'chips. It was awesome to get out, sit in the sun, and there was no wind so we weren't worried about Brandon catching cold. It was so nice, I am sure that I had a goofy permagrin on the whole time.

Speaking of which - my baby is 6 months old!! That means I go back to work in 6 months! WAH! As I am sure you can guess from one of my last posts, I am not ready to go back to work yet. I think denial has kicked in. I think that I am a little different now so it will be interesting to see what it is like to go back to work. What attitude I will have, how I approach it differently. How we all deal with the reality of daycare, LOL.

So what else? I am drawing a complete blank. I think I missed out on the extremes - the moments I was laughing like crazy or wondering if I was crazy from lack of sleep or trying to figure out what this cry or that cry actually meant. I just skimmed over most of the post and a lot of it is about Brandon. Hard not to get fixated on your child when you are at home, and that is your first concern, especially when they are an infant and their learning is happening fast and furious at this stage (crawling is around the corner). How am I doing? I'm ok. I need some new books to read, I am happier about my house because I am getting each of the rooms to a state that I like, and I am trying to get in some me time here and there. I have a yen to go on some kind of trip, I would love to go out for a dinner where I can wear some pretty clothes, and I need a haircut. Almost desperately. I think that will happen in the next few weeks. I will breath a big sigh of relief after Brandon's check up tomorrow, and I am glad it is almost the weekend because we have some outtings planned.

There have also been a few vents about phone calls, and not just by me, and I really can't get over how many blocked calls, or unknown callers, or out of state numbers, or toll free numbers appear on the call display. It blows my mind. I hate answering the phone to have that dead air space before a telemarketer comes on, or whatever prerecorded message starts to roll. So, if you fall under one of those categories, you get the machine. You don't leave a message. Oh well. Could not have been that important anyway.

Time to mosey off. I think I have unloaded enough to cover the last few days.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What looks like crazy....

I couldn't imagine not reading. When I was pregnant, many women with kids told me that I should read now because it wouldn't be happening once my baby was born.

I can't remember a time in my life I didn't read. I guess no big surprise that I pursued a BA in English Lit. Not that it gets you very far in life in the direction that you think you are headed (another story), but I have no regrets for the windows and doors my education has opened for me.

I remember being a kid, reading books that were not age appropriate by any stretch by the crack of light that eeked through my bedroom door. Or staying in the bathroom forever reading a book, or the bathtub, or reading in the car, or ... reading was a lifeline when times were tough, and a pleasure when times are good. Somewhere along the way I started to accumulate books and I am glad that I can finally say that I can pay forward most (about 95%) of the paperbacks that come my way, or trade them in for more. There was a time that I would hold on to all of them. I don't know why - most I wouldn't read again. Almost like I needed proof of how much I had read, or the stages of reading I had gone through, or perhaps being a kid that moved around a lot growing up, the books were a part of my comfort zone that I could recreate a space anywhere.

I am still reading. In fact, I am reading up a storm. I am reading about 1-2 books a week. Almost anything I can get my hands on. I am somewhat picky though - at this point if the book is not grabbing me within the first 20-30 pages, I am not bothering. I read sometimes when I am breastfeeding, and then I read after everyone is asleep. It is my quiet time. When I retreat to just somewhere else. How I have learned to prepare myself to sleep, or for sleep. I am more aware of this as I contemplate sleep, helping Brandon get to sleep, wondering when I get a full night's sleep again (what, when he is 18?), evaluating my own sleep habits (none good, LOL).

Well, to get to the point of my ramble. A friend loaned me a book, I am somewhat leary of the 0's book o'the month offerings, although some are excellent, ok, most I just balk at being a joiner sometimes. Didn't know what to make of this one when it sat on my shelf for the last few months- What looks like crazy and I didn't even bother reading the back cover before I took the plunge beneath it's covers. A few pages in, I almost put it down because it was about a person who was HIV+ and was giving up their life in the city to move back to the 'burbs. Already read a chapter in that book and it still smarts. I can't tell you how much I miss my dear friend who fought that battle - I miss being able to laugh with him, talk to him, or to be able to share the happiness of my last year with him. But, the writing was witty, and I found myself laughing when I least expected it. This is an unusual novel, well worth reading. The subject matter isn't all prettied up, this book deals with some pretty harsh realities with tender loving care. The characters draw you in, and I found myself flipping the pages as quickly as I could to see how this tale would resolve itself. A different kind of read too, not one of the gritty novels that I have been in to lately but one that really takes you on a bumpy journey.

Before and After

I know I have been going off about Frosty. Perhaps it started out as something I found amusing, but over the days, our snowman took on a whole new aspect, especially once we hit that matrix stage. Yesterday, prior to the next great melt and the arrival of storm #15 (which never was), Frosty arched almost completely over backwards. Almost touching the ground. Like maybe 3 inches of clearance there. Ken moved the hockey stick to see if Frosty was balancing on it - nope. If I was in some kind of mood I would say that Frosty is a metaphor of becoming a mom - you learn how to contort yourself so many new and original ways and well, you bend over backwards to help the people you love. A friend put it another way. Think of bamboo when you are pregnant and then become a mom. You can't be like an oak because an oak is really strong, but it is inflexible. Bamboo is strong because it is flexible, and can withstand great tempasts. Interesting thought that.

Oh right? Where was I. Well, here would be the last visual that I will present of Frosty. He was a good snowman and is currently expiring in our backyard. Raise a pint of the good stuff for him! Funny weird when you think in a few days all there will be is a few rocks, that shriveled up carrot that didn't make that stir fry cut, and the branches. Oh. Another metaphor - one of change? The impermanence of life? Rolling with the punches? Do I just need more sleep?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Can I expect this when I return to work?

Although months away... I got these in an email and I thought - wouldn't it be kind of fun to work with a group of people that come up with ideas like this? In my first job we used to pull stunts like this - from wrapping a car in saran wrap to freezing aprons in a milk cooler - yup, my first job was in a grocery store. Somehow I don't think this is what I will return to when I come back from my mat leave. Not that I am anywhere close to thinking about going back to work. I am surprised at what a foreign concept that seems like at this stage - it is like this surreal concept that I will contemplate perhaps in a few months... either that or wallow in denial right up until the last moment!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Matrix Style

Apparently Frosty over here figured that showing off their great skill at the limbo wasn't enough and has decided to try out some of those matrix-esque type moves. Kind of unreal if you ask me - you can't plan to have your snowman evolve like this!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Limb0 anyone?

This happy fellow has been though a lot in the last few days. A good dump of snow, then beautiful sun to start a great melt, and then a great freeze, until Frosty decided that he liked the view looking up, and decided to try to limbo underneath a hockey stick? Whatever he is up too, looks like fun!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who is who...

Who is who in the hinterland. Useless bits of information that somehow enrich your day. Or make you laugh. Or something.

PS nice web crack spider!

More of the white stuff

Storm #14 is officially kicking our ass again. Starting yesterday, our now normal wind and snow warnings were issued, and gusts started shaking the trees to announce the arrival of the next weather system. I think our area got caught with their collective pants down because the hills around us are chaos. My working theory is that with the snow removal budgets blown a day in to winter, denial kicked in early considering that I live next to a bus route and buses are parked on the hill rather than attempt traveling in either direction. The snow warnings have been bumped up from perhaps a centimetre of snow to accumulations of up to 10cm. Just a wee difference. Perhaps that is the weather forecast the snow removal crews in my 'hood were going by?

And now for something completely different - on one of our recent travels we passed a home for the mentally compromised. The sign out front stated "Yadda Yadda - A special neighborhood for the memory impaired". I am not mocking any one whom happens to have any one they care about afflicted by memory loss, etc but I can't help but stumble with this kind of politically correct language. For me, it is right up there with raising beef for food and calling it "animal husbandry" or the now common term for civilian losses "collateral damage". WTF?! Somewhere along the way mobs of people have become more comfortable with not calling a spade a spade and retreating from the truth with near truths and fancy language that masks what is truly happening, no matter how benign. It irks me.

Getting back to a state of normal, of course, now I have the itch to for a walk.

Hell. I think I will settle for making a snowman!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Almost normal

Today has been wacked. Last night was one of the few times I actually played the "honey, I need help. Please. Just take him for a little bit. I am done" card... Brandon woke up about 4ish and decided that he was up. A bottle didn't help, the girls didn't help, my soothing wasn't getting anywhere close to putting him back to sleep. So shortly after 6, dad got the call up. About 9:30 Brandon was deposited back in bed with me, and then I got to wake up to a special coffee (read nothing like a bailey's kick on the weekend to get things going) and donut about 11ish (oh forsooth, how the hell did we manage to stay in bed sooooo long????) and somehow the wee hours seemed to shrink in to the past.

Jax gave me a zen momma book, and although I have not read it straight though, when I really need it, this book has helped find me peace. The writer seems to have found the right touch in the quagmire of motherhood and when I have needed some written comfort, this book has been where it is at for me. Last night, prior to the unholy wake up, this book was a godsend, much like it was when I went through all those issues with learning how to breastfeed.

Tonight was blissfully normal. Went to Ken's hockey game and hung with the gals. It was an early game (which helps), they won, and we all talked a lot and got caught up. Granted, it is 9pm and it feels like 11. Brandon had a nap after the game so got to enjoy a brewski and buffalo wrap and just yabber. It is hard to articulate what the last few weeks have been like - the worry, the highs of the season, the preparations, the stress of the hospital visits, recovery, and then at times just not really wanting to venture far from home since home became a bit of a safe zone for a while.

Speaking of which, damn did my kid look cute tonight. Hockey socks, actual pants outfit, and Canucks hoodie. Not even 6 months and already a rink rat!

Friday, January 5, 2007

stormy weather

At last count, I believe that we are experiencing the 13th storm front to hit the coast in 2 months. Wind alert. Snow alert. My favourite - rain alert. Anything not nailed down in our backyard I am sure is already a few doors away. In a sense, the weather is thrilling - we have had 6 power outtages over the course of these 13 odd storms and that is more than the last 5 years combined!

Makes me wish I was a meteorologist! Standing joke is that when the weather turns south around here I tune in to the weather channel, network, etc. Nothing like watching the weather watchers sent out in to the eyes of the storms and reporting on it! Geek streak reveals itself in full colours there!

On a completely different note, that cheesy summer flick - $nakes 0n a plane? It was good. Well worth the rental price if you like the almost horror flicks like Arachnophobia. Not going to win any awards, but worth the time and a few laughs especially since you can't say the flick takes itself that seriously - the first few kills, cheesy funny. Was about the right kind of movie combined with some superior take out tonight - nothing like a belly full of chicken jalfrezi and garlic naan and samosas topped off with a little strongbow for good measure.

Will tonight make it 7 times without power? It sure sounds like it from the whistles, creaks, groans, various plant life hitting the side of our house and littering the yard again!

A new chapter

Well, we made it through our 2 week check up with the surgeon with flying colours. I breathed a big sigh of relief and my sweetheart got to say "I told you so". I get to be the worryer some days, and justifiable after what we went through. Brandon has recovered and is doing well. He is a gurgling, goofy, active baby whom is learning how to use his body. Kids are resilient. I also think we are very fortunate at how quickly everything happened.

With a few social exceptions, I have not been feeling all that chatty in the last few weeks. A little emotionally burned out perhaps? Reading like a Dicken's novel, the last few weeks have swung one way and then the next leaning towards a tough haul but a positive one. So, if you haven't heard from me in the last while, don't take it personally, I just haven't been anything close to my normal social self.

Last night we got a dusting of snow and this morning the weather is doing a bit of the funky chicken and doesn't know what it wants to do. What it amounts too is big fat globules of rainish-snow or a helluva lot of precipitation. I have half an ear paying attention to the world juniors game, Canada is all over the Ruskies and well on their way to asserting their hockey dominance. I realized this morning I have paid a little more attention to football this season than the comings and goings of hockey. WTF? Maybe because the football teams I like have done well, but I guess I still have a bit of a hangover from the strike, and then from how stupid ticket prices are to go to a game. I would rather go to a junior hockey game where $50 gets you 2 tickets and a couple of beers rather than a mere body part through the door at the other place.

Today is the chosen day for the tree to come down. Funny though that now I have the chance I am posting instead of taking down ornaments...we got a fantastic tree this year but the Christmas season already feels like a lifetime ago. So this is a total ramble that is dancing all over the place and although there have been a few funny things I have thought to post about, they seem to have vacated the premises.