Why am I always rushing?
Oh, right… because I have a baby.
I have to rush to get this, rush to get that, rush to save him from crash-landing into this, and that.
I have to rush through my meals. I swear kids have an inner mechanism that detects the sound of the oven timer or microwave going off and it causes a child to start fussing, whether they’re newborn or almost a toddler. Perhaps they heard the oven and microwave too many times while in utero… the bean definitely did.
I have to rush showers. I remember the days of long, steamy showers where I could shave and use fancy soap and maybe even a loofah. Now I’m lucky if the conditioner is completely rinsed out. My hair only gets styled and blowdried if we’re going out… which has maybe been a grand total of five times since we became parents. Otherwise I have to throw my wet hair up into a rushed ponytail that is often lopsided.
I have to rush TV shows. Series I used to love to methodically watch sprawled out on my couch have become frantic spurts of TV viewing where I’m not only fast-forwarding commercials (thank goodness for PVR) but through “predictable” parts of the show just so I can get through it before it’s feeding/changing/entertaining time. I’ve also been known to watch television episodes in a zillion increments, with it taking a whole day to get through one hour of “Ellen.”
I have to rush household chores. Dinners that were once three courses of homemade Pinterest recipes have become a half-assed main dish and salad. My house is always “mostly” clean. And the laundry hamper is never empty (although my live-in mother-in-law is a HUGE help on this front for sure!).
Life goes by fast enough as it is, but with all this rushing, I feel like my head is spinning.
I can’t even believe I found time to write this blog with so
Yes I’m back to work… at home. Seems like a dream scenario being at home with my baby… all day… trying to write and schedule interviews around naps… always checking my emails on my phone while putting on a puppet show… muting the interview I’m doing because the bean has discovered the louder he “yips” the louder the echo is… wrestling file folders out of his clammy little fingers… propping the Jolly Jumper and exer-saucer up in my office and darting my eyes from baby to computer screen, baby to computer screen… listening to Baby Einstein songs while working on proposals… having a keyboard that is sticky with pear juice and smelling the sweet scent of a full diaper…
This is gonna be a challenge, but if I want it all, I’ve got to put in my all.
I’m so tired.
My last blog post was July 24th. JULY 24TH! GAWK!
But I’m tired…
Like, soooo tired.
When you’re pregnant everyone says, “Sleep now,” or “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” And when I was prego I tried to sleep, but when you have another being poking and prodding and using your bladder as a squeeze toy, sleep isn’t easy to come by.
Then you have the baby, and he goes to sleep, and you run around like your hair is on fire shoving a quick snack into your face, frantically showering, maybe throwing a load of laundry in (only to find the wet load you washed two days ago still sitting in the machine), and before you get to “to-do #4: nap,” he wakes up.
So then you tell yourself, as you perk your 14th cup of coffee while singing “Baby Beluga” at the top of your lungs to keep your bean entertained, that you’ll just go to bed when the baby goes to bed and catch up on sleep then. And you intend to… you feel your eyes burning for sleep while you go through the nighttime routine of bath, bottle, and prayers. The baby squawks and coos and chitter-chats for a half hour in his crib while you wash and prepare tomorrow’s bottles and finish cleaning the kitchen from dinner. He puts himself to sleep and suddenly you remember you have Sons of Anarchy from four weeks ago still PVRed, so you tell yourself you’ll just watch the one episode – after all, when do you get this awesome quiet time to yourself? You curl up in a blankie and watch the delicious bikers, and when it ends you realize you’re starving because you’ve had a handful of Fruit Loops, a banana, and cold leftover pasta all day.
OK, quick snack, one episode of “Real Housewives,” and bed. This is so nice having some downtime.
And suddenly it’s 11… and even though you immediately drift off to sleep it seems like a second later that you hear “ugh…ugh…” from the monitor next to your bed, the blue light filling the dark room with colour because it’s some God-awful hour like 5am and the sun is even still snoozing.
You try changing him and putting him back down… nope.
You give him a toy and drag yourself back to bed… but he’s having none of it.
You hear grunts, high-pitched baby blabber, sighs, an occasional burp or chuckle or yawn (yeah, tell me about it kid!). So you get up, go into his room, pick him up, turn on the light and lie him down on his change table. And you meet eyes and he smiles so big you think he might burst… and if he doesn’t, your heart might.
I’m sleepy. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never know what “well-rested” is again.
But then I see this face… and I can deal.
YOU cry it out…
I don’t have a heart of steel but it’s not mush either, and I know babies are a lot more clever than some may think (in fact, I often tell my bean I know what a con artist he is). Since four weeks old we established a great bedtime routine (bath, bottle, stories, prayers, and then down in the crib with his ocean sounds and Glo-worm). But do you think I can get this kid to nap? I’ve even recreated the entire bedtime routine, and he screams bloody murder… like literally SCREAMS.
We’ve done the “cry it out” thing – I’ve had a number of pediatricians tell me he’s old enough that I can let him cry. We go in every five minutes, soothing him but not picking him up, and not once has this worked to put him to sleep. In fact, after 45 minutes, he’s worked himself into such a tizzy that he’s coughing, choking on tears, out of breath, sweaty, and even once we’re holding him he’s completely inconsolable at that point.
What the heck kid?? I know kids need structure, and I work from home so I need him to take his naps.
Everyone keeps telling me to stop complaining- I have a four-month-old who goes to bed on his own and sleeps almost the entire night (except for a quick 4am feeding, which he sometimes skips). And I KNOW how amazing and wonderful that is… but I also know that without naps, this kid is a misery. He needs to sleep during the day. And other than rocking him to sleep and then letting him sleep on us for an hour or two, he won’t sleep during the day except catnaps while he’s in the car or stroller.
I can’t let him cry it out. It’s not because WE’RE the ones who can’t handle the crying – I can, if I know it’s for his own good. But it doesn’t work. If he’s THAT hysterical after 45 minutes, and even MORE awake with all the fussing, then the cry-it-out method is not for my bean.
So that leads me to this one question: WHAT DO I DO??????
The best things I ever ate…
The golden hour
7pm is the “golden hour” in this house… it means the bedtime routine is about to begin. We’ve made it through another day and survived as parents. It means it’s time to wind down and give the bean a nice long bath, followed by a lotion rubdown and a feeding with daddy. It means calmness, quiet soothing voices, and hushed “I love yous” and bedtime prayers. It’s ocean sounds and soft coos. It’s cool post-bath hairdos and monkey PJs. It’s movie time for mummy and daddy (and maybe a wee glass of wine- tee hee!). It means one last clean-up of bottles, toys, dishes, and the like. It’s prep time to do it all over again tomorrow, and damp bibs and burpees are replaced with fresh ones, milk is pumped and prepped, and beds are turned down. It’s a quick wish on a star. It means giving the pup his cuddle time (finally) and noshing on dessert curled up on the couch. It’s tucking in delicious little happy babies and sleepy parents who reflect on the day till they doze off.
Oh how I love the golden hour…
Be a tourist in your own city
In my prayers…
I’m not an overly religious person but I do try and attend mass weekly and I definitely say my prayers every night before bed (or what I can get through before dozing off). I have my prayer “list,” things that I always say- I run through what I’m grateful for and what I’m sorry for, I “say hello” to those family members and friends who have passed away, etc. But one prayer I’ve recently added is about my new son.
Cameron was born on March 29, 2013 and he is the love of my life. Everyone told me the minute I saw him I’d discover a love I never knew and I wondered how that would instantaneously happen… but it truly did. I actually miss him at night once he’s gone to sleep and in a way I can’t wait for him to wake up so I can kiss his face (kinda can’t wait for him to wake up… I also can’t wait till he sleeps through the night… but I digress…).
Every night I begin my prayers by thanking God for a healthy, happy, strong, beautiful little baby, and then I ask that He help him find his passion. That is my one wish for my son.
I was truly blessed when God gave me a passion for writing. Writing was my outlet growing up, a way for me to flex my creative muscles, and it led to an awesome career. And like they say – do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m so lucky to have never worked.
Writing is what makes me tick… it gives me a greater self-satisfaction than anything else that I do. It lets me express who I am, either privately or publicly, and it makes me feel free.
This is the only thing I can hope for my Cameron. I want him to find his passion and follow it, no matter what it is. I want him to discover his hidden talents and express them. I’ll do everything in my power to encourage that so his passion may flourish. I’ll never tell him his passion is too “lofty” or unreachable – I’ll nurture it with all my heart.
Having a passion for something is what keeps us going in difficult times and is what gives us a purpose. And when I look at my gorgeous little boy, I know that he was put here for a purpose.
I can’t wait to see what his passion turns out to be!
I was a workin’ gal… at some strange places
I recently had a chitchat with someone about the random jobs I had growing up, and realized I’ve had quite a few unique gigs.
My very first “real” job was working at Kids R’ Us. I didn’t mind it – it really just entailed hanging clothes and attaching price tags to them. The days were a bit long but I liked the girls I worked with, and I probably held that job for quite a few months.
Next I worked for Kreative Kids – it was a daycare during the week but on weekends they held birthday parties or went to people’s houses to host parties on their turf. It was so much fun – we’d go to these rich homes with parents who would spend hundreds of dollars to have us come in and do a craft project with a group of little girls who were having a slumber party. We’d serve cake, clean up, and we were outta there. Frankly, I couldn’t believe I got paid for this type of “work.”
Then I got a few weekend gigs with my parent’s friends who were photographers managing “photo booths” at Bar and Bat Mitzfahs – I was armed with a Polaroid camera and would take pictures of all the teenagers and then turn them into keychains or buttons. It was super easy and really fun – I actually loved all the staff of the various venues where we worked. If I hadn’t gone into journalism and writing I definitely would have considered a career in the field of event planning based on this job.
I babysat… A LOT. On my cul-de-sac alone there were three families who had five kids between them, all within six months of age and all boys – there were two sets of twin boys and then another little guy. From the ages of 13-17 (till I moved to Canada for uni) I balanced my time between all of them. I was in especially high demand on Friday and Saturday nights. This work experience is what (hopefully) gives me the courage to take on caring for a baby today – they were amazing families who entrusted me with bathing, cooking, feeding, and even driving their kids places from a very young age.
During high school I also needed some help paying for car insurance and long-distance phone calls to my then-boyfriend Michael, and my parents owned an office cleaning business, so I had three offices I had to clean every weekend. Frankly, I hated it. Nothing is grosser than cleaning a doctor office bathroom. But I did it, week after week, and my parents were pretty darn generous with the pay, so this kept my car on the road and my relationship going till I moved up here (and look at us now – 15 years later and waiting on our first bean!).
Finally, during my first year of university, I worked as a waitress at Swiss Chalet. This, by far, was the most horrible job I have ever had. I am truly the absolute worst server in the world – I didn’t know how to balance my tray of beverages and would take one drink off and the entire thing would tip over. I burned myself and cried before every shift. I found it extremely overwhelming, and I totally have a new-found respect for waiters and waitresses to this day. I lasted five weeks at that job.
Each job was a learning experience (I learned I never wanna wait tables again!), and given I got to work with the public in most of these positions, it armed me with great people skills. But I’ve gotta say – my job as a freelancer is by far the greatest job I’ve ever had.