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I’m a sucker for your lucky pretty eyes

 

So yes.  Have not posted.  Three months now. 

Things are fine.  We didn’t die a slow and painful death due to the basement from hell this summer.  Nor did we end up moving up north.  We did, however, endure a very fussy and non-sleeping baby.  In fact, there have been so many many times I almost started posts with titles like “Henry, WTF?” and “SOS SOS SOS” as I think I went to crazy and back there a few times.  But I got so sick of hearing myself say the same thing over and over:  “He isn’t sleeping!  I don’t know why!”  And trying to figure out the reason why he wasn’t sleeping, and when he would possibly sleep again.  Because, in the words of my sage friend Nadine – he’s a baby.  He cries.  He doesn’t sleep sometimes.  That’s it. Some days are bad and some days are good.  I need to remind myself of that mantra at 3AM when the screaming hits the fan and I’m swearing at the baby.   Easier said than done, I know.  But somehow I must try to let it go.

And so, in the interest of calming down, I have also been taking some time to get out of the blogging mix.  Mostly it’s because I am lazy, but there is also a small part of me that has almost been physically unable to type out my complaints.  Somehow, I want to try to savour the goodness in this year.  This second maternity leave that is really a working leave.  This second baby who has to be content with spinning around in his saucer while mommy takes a conference call.  And to also remember my first baby.  The tall, gangly, chatty, energetic, smarty-pants 5-and-a-half-and-don’t-you-forget-it girl.  These children, they take up so much space in my life now.   Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the constant busy-ness of it all, I just want to crawl inside a deep deep bag and sleep the days away.  But then I see my two kids making each other giggle and I breathe again.

We’ve been trying to teach Alice about gratitude these days, and it’s not an easy lesson to impart.  It’s difficult to even describe how to “feel thankful” in some ways.  But it’s important.  And so I need to remind myself of the same.

OK, new posts to come soon.  Without all the preachy bullshit, I swear.  It’s time to get happy up in here!

PS:  A prize awaits the person who knows the song that the title of this post comes from, with extra points if you can guess why it’s become an anthem around these parts.  A PRIZE!

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On Leave.

What I am about to say is not going to be popular.  It might not resonate or sound reasonable to some of you.  And some of you will probably dismiss this post as bad mommy judgement.  But as this is my blog, here goes:

I miss work.

No, I mean I REALLY miss work.  And I want to return to it – in a very real, “how can I make this happen” type of way.

I started maternity leave in early March, a month before baby boy was due.  As most of you might know, here in Canada we get the reap the year-long combined maternity/parental leave benefits.  And as some of you might know, I am co-owner of the company I work for.  A year off is not really in the cards for me, as I will need to return before that to help my partner run the company. 

I am slated to return full time in early 2009.  But, but, but….that just seems so far away.  I can’t wait that long.  Aside from the very real demands that our company has, it’s also a personal need.   A need to step inside my professional life again.  But how can I feel this way so soon after his birth?  I am so very conflicted.

I love my boy.  I love his smile and how he tries to talk to me. I love holding his chubby little hands in mine and watching him watch me.  He is a delight and I cherish these moments we have together.  I know, from seeing my big five year girl leap her way towards six years old, that this time is fleeting.  That someday soon I will turn around and think HOW did this baby become a toddler?

I also love my work.  I love the strategy and conversation involved in my line of work.  I love developing new ideas with my partner about the company and how we want it to work.  I love seeing our ideas come to life and  grow into something so satisfying.   It’s rare to love your job these days, and I appreciate my luck in this regard.

I have many friends who are sad to see their maternity leave end.  And I can understand that, I can.  My time off with Alice was different, as I was working for someone else at the time and just about to start this new venture that has now turned into a most valuable partnership.  This time around, I know how great it can be to have a balanced life of a satisfying job and quality time with my kids.  I know that it is possible to structure a week of working “outside” and “inside” the home (god I hate those terms).  And I know that I can still love and have a special relationship with my kids as much as anyone who chooses to stay home with their own.

i just don’t want to regret any decision i might make that could take me away from this beautiful baby. 

A conflicted heart, am I.

 

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down and out

I’m feeling down.  The kind of down you feel in the weeks before your baby arrives.  A mix of continued insomnia, not enough fresh air, and a considerable decrease in mobility is making me teary.  I’ve been trying to get the baby’s room ready, but there is only so much lifting I can manage.  I am officially on maternity leave as of this week, but when you are co-owner in the company you don’t feel the same separation from the workplace that you do when you work for someone else.  I think I just have to get out of my house more next week, and just really enjoy the time I have to myself before the baby shit hits the fan.  No pun intended.

Blech. Just a venting post more for me than anyone.

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you are the music in me

Ok.  It has happened.  I have MOST OFFICIALLY crossed over the uncool side.  Not only uncool, but the sell-out side too.  And I blame my daughter.  My red/pink/frilly/lacy/all-things-branded/merchandising-loving daughter.  I am a shadow of my former self.  York University called to take back its degree in Women’s Studies, and my former Queen Street West friends have removed me from their speed dial.

Let me explain a bit.

Since turning 4 years old (or even before that, to be honest), Alice has been swept up in all things merchandised.  And the more traditionally “girly”, the more enticing.  Barbie, Disney, Polly Pocket – these are her best friends.  I’ve tried to introduce her to the less offensive ones, the girls with spunk and sass and smarts.  But she shrugs me off.  When I helpfully hand her a little Madeline or Olivia or even Eloise, she shoves a huge book of singing princesses in my face, saying “but this is who I love, mommy!”

And now lately, she has moved onto characters from the terrible most awful franchise called High School Musical.  When she sees the two lead characters dance and sing together, her eyes glaze over in a trance of Disney-love and I want to wrap a hand sewn shawl made by Naomi Klein around her. 

But the worse part?  I’ve allowed it to happen.  I’ve let her watch the movies and go see the ice show because truthfully, this is who my daughter is.   Despite my best efforts for otherwise, Alice truly loves these branded toys.  She loves Gabrielle and Troy.  She loves dancing around to “the music in me” song from that horrible movie, and she loves watching it over and over AND OVER again.

But even worse than the worst part I mentioned above?  Oh god, here comes my shameful secret.  The reason why I feel like a sell-out, and why I will be shaking under the blankets tonight:  somehow through osmosis, I have learned the lines to Music in Me.  As in – it lives in my brain.  And sometimes, while doing the dishes or surfing blogs, I will start singing it.  Disney has entered my consciousness and won’t let me go.  I’m a part of their army now – when the reserves for the Mouse get called up, I’ll have to go willingly.

It’s all over from here.

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Full of it.

Snot, that is.  My head is pounding, I can’t breath, and the redness in my eyes is only paralleled by the chapped red lips.  I think it’s time for my Glamour shot, people!

Alice brought home a lovely cold/flu virus from daycare, for which I thank her every day.   She started the family cycle last weekend, with a fever and sore throat.  And now Matt and I have had a chance to join in the fun.  At the same time.  Two parents sick at the same time do not equal a productive household.  Although the good news is that I have caught up on my Dexter screenings, so there has been some success.

I suppose I should be happy that I’m (hopefully) done with sickness before the holidays this year.  And truly Alice has been an excellent awesome little being this past weekend.  I am loving LOVING 4 years old.  Or I guess it’s more like 4-and-a-half, as her next birthday approaches soon.  But really, she is learning to get past the tantrums and the frustration.  And more importantly, it seems we have finally arrived at the independent play stage. She can now occupy herself for over an hour playing pretend.  Which is wonderful, because if I really need a break from being the customer at her restaurant where I am told what to say and do for hours. 

Baby #2 continues to do well in there.  Moving all the time and reminding me of its impending presence in the outside world.  Every now and again I’ll feel a swift kick against my bladder, as if it’s saying “yo, don’t forget about me!  I’m a coming for you sooooooonn.” (next up in my therapy session: why do I tend to equate this baby with something from a horror movie?  Can’t wait for that discussion).

Matt and I managed to get a quick getaway last week in New York.  I went for work, he went for play.  Basically that meant I dragged my tired pregnant ass around to tv meetings, and then met a rejuvenated husband at the end of the day who just wanted to rock NYC.   But despite the exhaustion, I did drag this ass out of the hotel for a great memorable night at the famous Birdland jazz club.  A magical magical night.  We got a chance to flirt over semi-ok lounge food and watch a semi-ok jazz singer, which was bliss if you can believe it.  The crowning glory for this uber-emotional mama was when the singer did a cover of Stevie Nicks’ Landslide.  Ah cheezy music, how I love thee.  Especially in a dimly lit jazz club over cheese cake.  And only in New York, of course.

So that’s about the total of what’s being going on here the last little while. Oh wait – did I forget to mention that I shocked myself with the xmas tree lights last weekend and totally flipped out and worried I had done something terrible to the baby and cried in front of Alice and called my midwife in hysterics and then was told everything was fine but that I had to make sure I felt fetal movement for the next few days?  Oh yes, that also happened.  But luckily all was fine and then a certain cold virus took over my body and gave me something new to obsess over. 

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and in time (and in time) we will all be stars

The last two weeks have been crazy.  Nuts.  Unbelievable.  Stressful. Overwhelming.  Bizarre. Are you getting my drift yet?  Things so out of control that all I wanted to do was curl up in a brown paper bag and sleep the next few months away. 

First, I almost fainted at the H&M in the Eaton Centre in the maternity section and the hipster kids called 911.  That, my friends, was an interesting experience to say the least.  Sitting behind the counter while trying to catch my breath, as a bunch of 20 year olds stared at me and whispered “are you going to give birth here, miss?”  Miss.  Fuck you, fuckers.  I’m only 14 weeks and just a little out of breath.  Ok, granted, I can’t stand up right now but you don’t have to stare.  A combination of a lot of walking around, carrying a ridiculous amount of shopping bags, and dehydration was the culprit.  Oh, and let me tell you – been carried out on a gurney throughout the Eaton Centre?  Well let’s just say it made my year of course.

Then, my daughter got the croup days before I was to leave for France on a big business trip.  She was feverish, weak, and apparently very contagious.  I came down with a wicked mixture of the flu/cold within hours of arriving in France.  And spent most of my week trying to cope.

I then returned home, started to feel a bit better, only to have Alice start a new daycare and go ballastic.  Crying, tears, the works.  All inside the new daycare with me there too, crying along with her.  Nothing beats seeing a crying pregnant mommy hugging her crying 4 year old, sobbing “this will be a good change for you, you’ll see!” 

And after all of that, I tried to relax with a nice night with Scarbie and her kiddos and some Greek take-out.  Only to have the pipe under my sink spring a huge leak, flooding within minutes.  (That was actually comical, to be honest:  Alice and Nate were running around screaming, Nadine was holding up her poor little baby who was covered in shit, and I was screaming “oh my god, oh my god” as the water poured out).  Matt was not home but did talk me through finding the water source in the basement so I could turn it off.  Word to everyone out there who DOES NOT know where their source is:  find it NOW.  You will thank me later.

A whole bunch of other stuff happened in between all of this, including my extended family going apeshit in other ways (a story for another day).  And surely the two weeks weren’t as terrible as they could have been.  We’re all still here, relatively healthy and happy.  But all of these events did take a toll on me, and I found myself needing a big fat pick-me-up.  Something to raise my spirits and make me just giggle.  And just at the right moment, something perfect came along…

Those of you from my previous lives (pre-blog and pre-baby) might know one important thing about me: I love the movie Fame.  No, like I really love it.  Like I used to dream I could be one of those dancers running through New York.  I did not have the coordination nor the skill, but good lord if I didn’t dream about it all the time.  I can’t really put my finger on the actual tangible thing that makes this movie so…well….loveable for me, but it’s true.  And most especially the below song.  It’s cheesy and terrible and emotional and teary all at the same time.   When the dancers come on, and (sigh) Bruno, (and the leg warmers, the LEG WARMERS!) and when Doris starts clapping along with the music and the drummer nods…sigh…it’s heaven for me.  And a perfect tonic after the last two weeks.

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the one where I tell the internet

 

So what do you think of Alice’s new t-shirt, hmmm???  I bought it on etsy.com and it’s very comfy, not too itchy, fits her perfectly, and yes I know it’s black but there is some pink on it so she’s fairly happy with it and…oh, sorry, what’s that now?

Yes, it’s true.  Pregnant.  With a human child we believe.  Due early April 08.

Here we go again!

(umm, this is the part where you say “oh, two kids is a wonderful idea!  It’ll be great.  Lots of sleeping in and quiet moments.  It’s really relaxed and not that difficult at all.”  Right?)

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