Friday, June 20, 2008

Talk

Bella and I are heading up to the cottage for a couple of weeks and, because the internet connection is so slow up there that I'd rather stick hot forks in my eyes than try to access it, I'm leaving you all with something cute that you can watch over and over again until we get back.

Heh. Okay, I'm the only one that can watch it over and over again. I know, I know.

Regardless, here's my girl chatting up a storm and busting a seriously dope Happy Baby pose (though my yoga muse Shanti might call her out for grabbing the jammies instead of the foot). Still, this kid's a yoga master in the making.

Foot grabbing and gurgling are current favourite pass times. Life should be so simple for us all.


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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jump!

Bella's new favourite hobby. Also, the easiest way to find time to fold the laundry. Enjoy!


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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Singing in the Rain

"When it rains, it pours."

It's an expression that all new moms are not only aware of, they are SO aware of it that they know better than to ever leave the house without an umbrella.

Or so you would think. But guess what? Yesterday I joyfully packed up my daughter and headed out into the sunshine without mine.

Allow me for a moment to set the stage.

It had already been one of "those" weekends. The kind that starts out pretty good - a Friday night out with my husband, sans baby; she was comfortably asleep at home with Nana and Papa. A few hours spent with friends at a house party, sipping cocktails and feeling like a grown up. Lovely.

The fun night was soon followed up on Saturday morning with me feeling less than great. I initially blame the vodka only to discover later in the day that the culprit is in fact my period, which has decided to arrive with a vengeance for the first time in over a year. Well, that explains the nausea, fatigue and compulsive cleaning. Great. Now add cramps, blood and crankiness to the list and you can see that the weekend is headed downhill. Fast.

Flash ahead to Sunday. It's another beautiful day and despite the fact that I still feel like ass, I decide to make the most of it and head outside with the fam to meet up with GParty and The Suze for a quick walk around the local farmers market. It's just down the street so I assume we'll be out for an hour tops. It's morning. I think nothing of the sun since we'll be home before heading out for the afternoon, plenty of time to lather on the sunscreen at that time. Flash forward again. It's 4pm, we've been out walking all day without going home. Crown and I are burnt. To a crisp. I can handle the mild sunstroke and the sting, but the tan lines that I now have to deal with for the rest of the summer? Unacceptable.

Now it's Monday morning and I've carefully packed up the baggage from the weekend and stowed it away. We're starting fresh, it's a beautiful day and Bella and I have a date with StrollerFit. We're up early! We're both in good moods! This is where I start to slip and make the first of several mistakes.

Cocky New Mom Mistake #1:
StrollerFit is only a five minute walk from my house. There is no need to lug a bulky diaper bag with me. We'll be home in two hours anyway.

Cocky New Mom Mistake #2:
Bella doesn't usually poop until way later in the afternoon, no need to bring an extra diaper along. If anything happens, she can wait 'til we get home for a change. No biggie.

Cocky New Mom Mistake #3:
Getting so caught up in my own unfortunate weekend that I forget that Bella has, in fact, not pooped in two days.

You can already see where this is going, I know, but I assure you, it's much worse than you think.

The StrollerFit class goes of without a hitch and we make it to the discussion part of the class, where all the moms sit down and talk about something related to parenting. This is also where the moms size each other up a little, check out each others' babies, strollers, parenting skills, etc. I try not to fall into this trap, but let's face it, it's hard. We all want to be good at this very important job, we all want to look as though we are doing good by our babes and ourselves at the same time.

Today's discussion? The division of labour at home. Who does what around the house, who has help from their husbands, why you should make lists of chores and assign each one to you or him... blah blah blah...

It's my turn to share.

Cocky New Mom Mistake #4:
I tell the group that I am not only a bit obsessive compulsive about the state of my home (true) but I am also exceptionally organized and on-top things (false), thus making it possible to pretty much do it all (INCREDIBLY FALSE).

Immediately after spewing these unbelievable lies, the first few proverbial raindrops begin to fall. Bella starts to fuss a little in her stroller. I decide to take her out so she can sit at the picnic table with the rest of us and everyone can admire this beautiful, perfect baby that I am raising with skill and ease. I lift her out and place her on my hip before I feel the hot, wet, dripping mess on her back.

Oh no.

I turn her around to look at the same time that all the moms in the group notice. There is an audible gasp among us all. Bella is covered. I mean covered. From neck to ankles. In poop. It's oozing out of the back of her cute little jeans and dripping down her legs. It has smeared all over the inside of the stroller. It is now all over my hand, arm and the white t-shirt that I am wearing because, sensibly, I thought it best not to wear a tank top and expose my burnt flesh to the sun.

I have not a wipe, not a diaper, not a thing that can help me in this situation.

Thank God for the other moms in the class who quickly came to my aid, and who did so without laughing, judging or call me out for the complete and utter ass that I am. They set up a change station and offered up wipes, diapers, one lovely mom even lent me her spare onsie so I didn't have to walk home with a naked baby.

Cocky New Mom Lesson Learned #1:
Don't ever underestimate the kinship among other mothers. If you think that they are in competition with you on some level, smarten up you idiot. Other moms get it and will always come to your aid in moments of crisis.

I heart moms.

But the embarrassment doesn't quite end here.

Cocky New Mom Mistake #5:
Bella has been eating a lot lately. Back up to 7 or 8 feedings a day for some reason. As a result, my boobs have not been very full and I have not been very leaky. I decided it was OK to leave the house without my pads.

And now, the combination of vigorous exercise, heat, crying babies and overwhelming mortification is causing my boobs to not leak - spray - milk everywhere. It has soaked through my bra and t-shirt and it is running down my belly.

And so there it is. The rainstorm. My shirt is covered in poop and milk. My baby is sitting in a onsie borrowed from a stranger, already re-covered in shit because of what is left over in her stroller. And as if to add insult to injury, while I attempt to gather my last shred of dignity and finish my discussion with the other moms, a seagull flies over us and craps on my daughter's chubby thigh. As I wipe it away with my already disgusting t-shirt, it dawns on me:

When it rains, it pours. And I have been caught without my umbrella. It is a cocky new mom mistake that I will not be making again any time soon.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy Birthday To You: 4 Months Old


On Friday The Chicken turned four months old. I realize now that every month I'm going to want to say that I absolutely can not believe that it's been another month already, so from now on we'll just assume that to be true, suffice? I think it's also safe to assume that every month I'm going to want to say that the past month has been the best one yet. Let's from now on assume that one, too.

Month four brought with it many milestones, all of them significant and fascinating in their own way. Things like holding her head up, sitting up straight with a little bit of support, smiling when asked to (most of the time). My favourite by far this month, though? Laughing. Oh that wonderful, sparkling laugh. It remains elusive, she won't give it up easily, but when she does? WHEN SHE DOES? Well, words can not describe... please see the video at the end of the post for proof.

This month "Chicken" became "Chubby" almost exclusively. I think it started because I'd call her "Chubby Chicken" and then as tends to happen with nicknames, we dropped the "Chicken" all together. So for the time being, "Chubby" it is. Sometimes it's simply "The Chubb." I realize that we'll have to cancel that name before too long, last thing we need to do is give the poor kid a complex. Fact is, she's not really all that chubby at all. 14lbs at her four month check up and 24.5" long. As my doctor put it, "She's perfectly average. Just like you." I guess I'll take that as a compliment?

Not all of her developments have been all that positive this month. One of the biggest challenges we are are facing right now is her tendency to "make strange" with just about everyone except me. That even includes, on occasion, her father, although thankfully she seems to be getting over that one.

My child is not one for crowds. She's not into being cuddled by strangers and she's not easily won over by silly baby talk. If you are not 100% cool and confident around her, she'll call you on it. And she'll call you on it loudly. Get in her face? It's over for you. Touch her when she hasn't invited it? Forget about it. She has even 180'd on me -- the lovely baby who never wanted me to put her down suddenly prefers to be left alone on her playmat, in her crib or in her chair. Holding her for too long is inviting her wrath, unless she is eating or tired.

Speaking of tired, The Chubb is not much of a napper. She sleeps pretty well at night, but daytime naps are few and far between. I've started putting her down in her crib for naps this month and though she is very happy in there and will usually drift off on her own, she almost never sleeps for more than half an hour unless we are out walking. She has maybe three 20 - 30 minute naps a day. In case you don't have children, let me tell you something, this is not enough time to do ANYTHING. You make a lot of compromises if you have a baby who doesn't nap. For example, I can decide to either empty the dishwasher or take a shower. Start a load of laundry or tidy up the bedroom. Eat lunch or check my email. You can't do it all and this month I have finally given up trying.

But enough about her. Here's what's up with me. I'm trying, as hard as I can, to get back into some kind of shape. I'm not going to lie, my body is fucked. I am still 20lbs heavier than I was pre-baby and it does not seem to be budging despite my best efforts at the gym. My boobs make up for at least 5lbs on their own, not much I can do about that, but who ever said that nursing "makes the pounds melt away" is a dirty, dirty liar and I hope that karma gives them a saggy ass and a spare tire.

I'm working out about three days a week, plus I've started my riding lessons again. SO glad to be back in the saddle, and it's even more exciting now that I'm riding with my lovely friend (and now boss!) CG. Good times. And just today I started a StrollerFit class in my local downtown park. This is so ripe for jokes that it deserves a post all onto itself. I'll take some pictures next week and give you all a laugh.

Speaking of laughing, as promised, enjoy:

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