Seeing the world through HIS eyes
So Cameron is officially a toddler, “toddling” around like a little Frankenstein here, there and everywhere. But nothing is more fun than watching him explore new places.
There’s still a significant amount of snow out there, but we’ve done a few actual walks down the street. It takes about 20 minutes to go three house lengths because his curiosity is insatiable – he has to pick up dead leaves, touch the bare prickly bushes, check out the sewer where he hears the rushing water, watch the bird, watch the car, watch the airplane, pick up another leaf… and so on.
I also love taking him to the mall and letting him wander – he has to stagger up and press his clammy little hands against every window display, he stops to give people eating ice cream his best pathetic “Can I have some?” face, he looks up at the passing old people and shows them his pumpkin teeth, he loves the jewelry stores (and all the sparkly stuff), the benches, the potted plants.
This summer is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to see everything through his eyes.
Some Easter prettiness I’ve discovered on Pinterest…
I’m a junk food junkie
I love everything that is bad for me.
When I eat salad, I like creamy dressing. I’ve resorted to making my own Thousand Island dressing out of olive oil-based mayo, but that’s about as wholesome as I can do.
I love raw veggies… but only with dip. Bananas and strawberries are good… but they’re even better dunked in melted milk chocolate. I love sweetening my coffee and tea with white sugar (which is evil I am now told). Whole grain or wheat bread is icky – who wants to bite down into nuts and seeds and other god-awful hard things in their bread?! Not me. And speaking of nuts – yuck!
I could honestly eat McDonald’s every single day. And Tim Horton’s. I always say, if I strike it rich, I will do two things: hire a driver to take me everywhere (I hate driving), and eat at fast food joints and restaurants all day, every day.
And the candy… I gave up candy during my pregnancy after a major candy gorge that left me hyper and nauseous for hours. I just don’t buy it… because when I do, I eat it like a hoarder. You’d think someone was going to break into my house and hold me up for my Willy Wonka treats given the speed that I can eat Gobstoppers and gumballs. I down a pack of Nerds like I’m doing shots – two gulps and those puppies are history.
Finally, my salt and vinegar chips. Oh Lays, why must you make such decadent and such UNHEALTHY crispy treats? I just can’t sit down to watch TV at night and not have my salty snack. I’ve tried all kinds of alternatives: POP chips (that are baked and are decent but just don’t have that satisfying post-chip fat sweat I’ve always experienced), baked salt and vinegar crackers, etc. MEH!
My one saving grace is I try and make everything from scratch. Yes, I may always have cookies in my house, but at least I can pronounce all the ingredients in them. I bake all of our bread. Our meals are always homemade and fresh – nothing from a package.
But I’d like to eat healthier. I just don’t know that I can give up all the aforementioned vices. No more chips?! Veggies and just veggies? Seedy bread?
You need YOU time
I am amazed when I talk to a mommy friend who says that she has never been away from her kids…
No dinners alone with her spouse, no get-togethers with her girlfriends sans babies. She has always been with her kids. And one of them is 3! That’s three whole years of baby chat, wipees, squeaky toys, and Sesame Street… and no grown-up time alone.
My son is about to turn 1 (gasp!), and my heart is filled with love for him. The cliches are true: you don’t know love till you have a child. And it’s because I love my son so much that I make a point of getting in my alone time with my girlfriends.
It’s not often, and sometimes it seems impossible, and we usually have to start making plans weeks in advance to find a free evening where sitters can be booked. But we do it.
Guys and girls, it is so important to get in your guy and girl time with your guys and girls. And only your guys and girls. How else can you let your guard and hair down?! Or hold an actual conversation, for that matter, without constantly interrupting with a “No, don’t touch that,” or “Take that out of your mouth,” or “If I have to tell you one more time…”
I feel rejuvenated after time with my girls. The laughs, the advice, the commiserating, it’s all part of being a coping mom. Parenthood is challenging (really challenging), but spending time with your friends is the antidote.
So I beg you, moms and dads who are suffering from separation anxiety more than their kids will, book the babysitter and make plans with your friends (not your kid’s friends) – reconnect, have a drink, spill your guts, laugh, cry, scream, do whatever it is that you want to do.
And leave the guilt at home with the kiddies.
You’ve earned this.
It’s all about tradition
I’m all about the traditions… it’s what makes us remember milestones and special occasions and all that warm and fuzzy stuff.
And it’s been really important to me that my son has lots of tradition in his life. It started as an infant, day 1, where I said prayers with him before bed. I never did that as a child but I thought it would be something nice we could share before calling it a day. We still say prayers.
Christmas came along and in addition to a letter from Santa we decorated cookies (something I’ve done with my dear friend Jessica and then her kids for years), decorated the tree (another tradition I do with my friend Jackie and her boys), and went to the Toy Tea charity event, something I have covered since I was an intern during my second year of university. My husband and I also hung a stocking in our room with the bean’s stocking gifts from Santa, a tradition where Cameron can start every Christmas morning in bed with mum and dad.
Then it was Valentine’s Day and I put a tarp down in my craft room and stripped Cameron down and he did red finger painting for the V-Day cards we sent out.
And now, it’s coming upon Cameron’s birthday. My mind is racing with traditions I’d like to start. We started the festivities a bit early to accommodate some out-of-town family/friends and I asked everyone to sign a storybook I bought him – I figured this way, every birthday, I could buy Cam a new book that would have messages from his loved ones who participated in his birthday. I’m planning a fun pancake breakie for the morning of his birthday, and when he wakes up from his afternoon nap that day I want to have a surprise in place (maybe balloons… even though they petrify me).
It’s tradition that gives us a connection to something. It brings back fond memories. And I hope Cameron will relish in tradition as much as I do.
My house is no longer my house
I remember a time a time when our house was ours… when you could walk across the living room without stepping on a hammer that makes cartoon sounds or kicking a ball filled with noisy beads. Our house is not ours anymore. It belongs to the Tasmanian devil… or my 11-month-old son.
What was once my place of serenity, our bathroom and more specifically my bathtub, is now cluttered with bath toys and washcloths and extra bottles of pastel-coloured toiletries. My bedroom end table, where I used to keep the magazines and books I was in the middle of reading, is now overpopulated with untouched reading material and has instead become Cameron’s “personal hygiene” centre for after his bath with rash ointment, lotion, and powder. My clean sheets come out of the dryer with mini socks stuck to them. My cookbook shelf has been replaced with titles by Robert Munsch and Baby Einstein. I have a pantry with dry goods and puzzles pieces and peek-a-boo blocks. My PVR is loaded with Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes. I found a bottle under my desk from days ago. It really hurts to step on a Lego. My windows are covered in finger prints. Laundry is never done.
Our house resembles a daycare these days.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way (ok, maybe just a tad neater)…
Stop touching my kid!
I know he’s cute… I mean, look at that face! But what is with all the TOUCHING of my kid?
The old ladies looooove to grab his little hands while talking to him… which he then proceeds to put in his mouth two seconds later. Old ladies love to blow their noses and pick their teeth – I see em at the mall. You touch my kids hands with those hands. ICK!
What’s worse is the people who touch his face. GAWD no! His cheeks are pretty irresistible and his hair is feathery soft, but for heaven’s sake you don’t touch a stranger baby’s face!
Look from a distance. Ooh and aah from OVER THERE. Please stop putting your grubby hands all over my child.
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.