Friday, December 23, 2011

A Look At Myself

I sold myself short yesterday. And it got me thinking. A lot.
I had coffee with my friend Katie yesterday. As far as friends go, she's new-ish. I met her my first year here, she was the first person I ever let cut my hair. Then she moved away. Through Brian and the magic of the internet and social media we have connected. Our coffee was spontaneous and we both had a time frame, one hour - no more. It felt like we were on a speed date... okay, where did you come from, how long are you here, whats your plans, short and long term, and how are you going to make that happen, whats new, whats not new, hows this, hows that, and done. hug. goodbye.
But a small part of the conversation in that one hour has made me second guess what kind of idea I give people about myself.
See, Katie's husband works away - 2 weeks out, 2 weeks home. She has two kids, a(n almost) 3 year old and an almost one year old. She lives in the north. She has no choice but to make it work. She parents, does some free-lance work, takes care of their home, travels, etc etc etc. By herself, again she has no choice, if it needs to be done, she does it.
Her and I do not have the same life. My husband goes away for 30 hours, then he comes home for 30 hours (give or take both sides). I don't know what its like to have to look after everything, and I mean everything, all the time.
Her husband is working over Christmas this year. My husband will more than likely also be working Christmas this year. I laughingly told her that Brian better be home Christmas Eve because Maizey is getting a bike and I can't put it together. We laughed and she said because she's been alone so long, she had to figure out how to do it all, even put a bike together. I told her I had to put Maizeys car seat back in the truck the other day and I was getting SO frustrated because I didn't know how to do it, and I was getting rammy and cursing louder and louder. It was hard and annoying and I just wanted Brian or Ang to come do it for me. The story was meant to be funny and over dramatic, but it came off a little helpless and needy. Two things that I am not. Still laughing Katie said good thing you aren't alone, you would never survive. Good thing you are not alone, you would never survive. Those words are echoing in my head. Because they are simply not true.... But it was my words, my story, the way I portrayed myself, that led her to think that.
I am independent, a do-er, strong and an adapter.  I would survive. When shit needs to be done, I just do it and if he isn't home Christmas Eve, I will figure out how to put the bike together. It might take awhile, I might throw things, I might curse every stupid thing in the way, but dammit, I would get it put together.
It got me thinking how many other times in my life, in an attempt to be funny or lighthearted, have I come across like this. What impression do I give people? It is honest? Is it really me? After meeting me, or even knowing me as an acquaintance, what type of person do I come across as?
I have often prided myself in being very self aware and honest. There are not a lot of things I could hear about myself that would surprise me. I do try to be honest to who I am. But am I? Why would I say I couldn't do it, when I know I can? Why would I want anyone to think I can't do something? I was not trying to impress her with my helplessness, my humor, or story.
Admittedly, some things come easier than others. This is true for everyone. But the idea that I can't do something makes me twitch, which is why I try to do everything (except change light bulbs. What if it breaks? What if it explodes? What if I get electrocuted? I hate it.).
From now on, I will no longer be telling stories where I seem helpless or needy. Except maybe to my Mom.
I am tasked with raising two kids to be strong, independent, caring, hard-working, loving, compassionate, solid, smart, thriving people. How can I possibly do that, if I am selling myself short? My story from now on, will end with me being awesome. Period. Unless it ends in me sucking. Which is okay too. As long as I tried and wasn't helpless or needy. I now hate those words. helpless. Yuck. needy. Blech.

*This is no way is a dig against Katie. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I should be thanking her. If Katie knows anything, it is how cathartic and necessary a solid self - reflection is. It's good to take a real look at yourself once in awhile. So thank you my friend. 
Now I have to hurry up and hit publish, before I chicken out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favorite Day

My life; she be good.
Happy and fulfilling and exciting and fun. Most of all fun. And happy.
Yesterday was pretty much my most favorite day ever. There was a lot of christmas business - baking and decorating and listening to Raffi. There was very little crying/fighting and a lot of laughing.



Kids just make the holiday season, I dunno, like a million times better. Maizey finds it all so exciting. She wants to meet the people that live in the little light up Christmas house. She decided there are kids and a mommy and daddy sleeping in it, and she needs the keys to get in the door. She can sit intently and listen to Raffi Christmas for a long time. *It might bring a tear to my eye, the songs and the memories of me as a kid singing them, and then Maizey being into it also. sob*



Do you know how easy Shortbread is to make? Fact: if you eat half of the batch, you will have eaten almost a half a cup of butter. I didn't do that. But I thought about it.






I also realized that when baking with a two year, all expectations need to be thrown out and a lot of patience must be present. Oh, and you have to be willing to clean up a wayyyy bigger mess!

Our tree is up and decorated, the stockings are (not) hung. The lights are plugged in every night and Maizey can sing Jingle Bells (sort of).

(she is making a fake snoring sound that I wish you could all hear)

(and here is the fake sleeping)

(it looks like she's hurting him, but she's not. He really loves it!)

It seems the season snuck up on us a little bit this year.


I am feeling unprepared in some (read:most) ways, but then like I have got it all together in others. In true Brian and Amy fashion, we are not big on presents and more about being appreciative and happy and showering our kids with love and gratitude. The "stuff" really doesn't matter. We won't be going home to my family again this year, so for the third year in a row we will (get to) wake up in our house, just us, on Christmas morning. We will continue with our new p.j's on Christmas Eve tradition and enjoy our Eggs Benedict the next morning. It won't be what I pictured, but it will be wonderful.

p.s We built a snowman and it pretty much the most kick ass snowman ever. But the next day it started pouring rain, so now its face has melted off, an arm fell out and it's leaning at a very unnatural angle. Poor guy.




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Stuff

This morning Jace fell asleep in my arms. He was so warm and perfect that I couldn't put him down. For real, I tried, I just couldn't make myself do it. The to-do list running through my head was screaming get up and get your shit done... recycling doesn't take itself in, nor do clothes put themselves in the dryer and lunch certainly won't be ready on it's own. Christmas tree needs to be bought and someone is going to break a leg if these toys don't get picked up, or at least pushed out of the way. Even with that battle going on in my head, I just couldn't do it. His breath so perfect and rhythmic, his sweet sighs and random little leg kicks. It was a moment of motherhood that should truly be remembered.


Our last five days have bookends that are full of Christmas festivities. Actually, all the in-between is pretty Christmasy as well. I love our little town and all the celebrations and parades and community events. Saturday afternoon found us at the annual Santa Clause Parade, which of course ended with a shout out from the big guy himself. We met up with friends and I think Paola, Stacey and I can all agree, our hearts grew a few sizes when Maizey, standing next to Liam and Eve exclaimed "these are all my friends". So true Missy, so true.


Every year, the understanding and excitement grows and makes it that much more fun. Admittedly, when we were frantically throwing toques and mitts and blankets into the truck and speaking through clenched teeth about where is the freaking baby bjorn????, I was wondering if we should just skip the stupid parade. And when we flew by the bulk plant and skipped getting dog food just so we could make it in time to get a coffee before the parade started, knowing we could just get dog food at the grocery store instead, we knew we were rushing for no good reason.


Maizey watched with fascination and a little bit of fear. She sat with friends and got fistfuls of candy.




Parades are fun, especially when you see nine grown men dressed as reindeer pulling a sleigh. No big deal.


Also when it's followed by dinner out for sushi with some of your besties!!




Our first train ride, and Daddy didn't even get to be there for it. There was one very excited little two year old in our house. The railroad threw a kids Christmas party that started with train rides in the morning for anyone in town that wanted to go, followed by a party with an another appearance from you know who. We didn't know the rides were open to anyone, but when I found out, approximately five minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive, I called Ang and told her if she could be there in five minutes she could come. I had visions of winter clothes and boots flying. She raced the train down Victoria Rd and made it in time. I think she would say it was totally worth it, even the almost hitting a pedestrian part.  Because I am awesome, I forgot my camera. Ang came to my rescue and just emailed me all of them. In the flight through space between her computer and mine, they shrunk too small to be seen by any normal eyes. I am not going to bother her with trying to send them again, so you will all just have to believe that we went and that we had fun, okay. But just know that there was a major meltdown immediately following the train ride that led to us missing the party and someone going to bed with no lunch. Although I refuse to let such a fun morning be ruined by the crying and screaming.


Cookie decorating means a large amount of cookies and icing will be consumed, regardless of how many are decorated. True story. I swear Maizey ate at least six cookies as we decorated and took a bite out of at least six more before I could grab them.

christmas time 2011 044

My friend Franca has planned a big decorating party with all of our friends but had to cancel due to unforeseen reasons. Then Ang told me she had baked some sugar cookies and I had already decided to bake Maizey some gingebread men, even though I don't like them, and don't own a little man cookie cutter. Gingerbread snowmen and trees are just as good. So we decided to decorate them. Maizey has asked every day since if we can decorate more.

christmas time 2011 045

christmas time 2011 043


One of my most favorite days of the entire year is coming...perhaps it will be tomorrow. The day we listen to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate (some with Baileys, some without), decorate the tree and then go for an after dinner drive, with more hot chocolate and kids in p.j's, to see the lights on all the houses.
I have a million memories of Christmas traditions from when I was a kid. I don't know if my parents did it intentionally or not, but I am making a very conscious effort to create traditions and memories for my kids that will last forever.


The CP Rail Holiday Train came through town yesterday afternoon and while it was just a quick stop instead of a whole show this year, we still went and listened to the music and supported it. Again, no camera, this time I did remember, but the battery was dead. Equally as lame. Jace slept through the whole thing and Maizey met and made a new friend in five seconds flat (Hi Soph) and danced away to the Christmas tunes. She even came home singing Jingle Bells.

So there you have it, a week before Christmas and we are totally into it. Love it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lazy Saturday Morning

A lazy Saturday morning in our house...


Long breakfast and lots of coffee


Early naps and lots of cartoons


Thursday, December 8, 2011

I"ll Take 8 Hours Of Sleep for $500

We only have two bedrooms so inevitably the two kids will be sharing.
We have talked endlessly about when the appropriate time to move Jace out of the bassinet in our room and into the crib in his sisters room, would be.

Shes going to try and steal his blankets.

He's going to wake her up with his noises.  

Shes going to try and climb in with him.

My mom told me to just do it. Get it over with. The sooner we do it, the better. Rip the band aid off. Okay, she didn't say that, but it's basically what she meant.

But I was nervous. I didn't want to have to be up half the night with both of them and that's exactly what I pictured happening. One waking the other one and then neither going back to sleep.

We decided last week that he had to go. I was waking up far more than he was, for no reason. Every little noise, I jumped up but he would still be sleeping and it aggravated me. We decided that doing it while we are staying at Brian's parents house would be perfect, since Maizey is sleeping in a crib here and can't get out of bed to touch him and steal his blankets or soother but still get used to his sounds and hopefully sleep through them.

They did amazing. He has slept 8.5 hours every night that he's been in there and she didn't even seem to notice anything other than him being there when she woke up.

She tells me she's so excited that he sleeps in her room. She asked if he could sleep in her bed with her. Who knew sister loved sharing so much?!

Last night though, Jace woke up and decided it was time to be the happiest, loudest two month old awake at 2am , EVER. I tried to nurse him back to sleep. No dice. I tried rocking, ignoring, soothering, and shushing. He politely gave me the middle finger with all the squealing and laughing he was doing. After an hour and a half of all the cute and incredibly annoying behavior, Maizey woke up. We chatted about what was going on and I told her to ignore him and try to go back to sleep, which was what I was going to do. Turns out he didn't think that was cool and started to cry out. I held my breath and waited. 2 minutes... 4 minutes... 6 minutes... I heard Maizey shushing him... 8 minutes... He stopped for a hot second when I heard a little girl voice ask him 'why you just crying all day, Jace?'  The cute just got a whole lot cuter!! I laughed to myself, good thing, otherwise the tears were coming. I went and got him again. This was my last ditch attempt at the boob before I was strapping him into his carseat and taking him for a drive. It was effing cold last night but I didn't care.
Luckily... it worked and after two long hours, everyone was asleep.

Bottom line today was.... coffee. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jace The Giant

My little man is not so little.


At his two month appointment he weighed a whopping 12lbs 8ounces. He's almost FIVE pounds bigger than his birth weight. FIVE. He's in the 50th percentile.


This is so foreign to us that its crazy. It might not seem big to others, but to us, its huge. He weighs as much at two months as Maizey did at six months. We have put away a box of clothes already and are well on our way to a second. I don't have time to get attached to anything.
He is growing and changing every day. He smiles all the time and loves to look around. He coos and talks non-stop.
He sure does love his family. We sure love him too.