Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone

I know I say this over and over... but I really do wish I had more time to update my blog more often. Ah well. It is what it is. At least I'm here now, right? (You know you're excited that I'm here right now writing this. You love me. Admit it.)

And so. Here we are. It's my Christmas Eve 2010 blog post.

Anna, Andrew and I are ready for the festivities to begin. We've wrapped our presents, visited Santa 3 times, baked cookies, listened to Christmas carols. We've done it all. Now it's just time for family visits and, of course, lots of food.

While Christmas has never been about the presents for me (honestly - I'm not just saying that), I'll admit that I used to get excited about the whole gift thing. I used to go a bit overboard and buy lots of things for everyone, excited to see how they would react when they opened them. I used to get all giddy about the huge mound of wrapped gifts under the tree, curious about what I was getting that year.

But something is different for me this year. Something has changed. Something good.

I'm still excited about Christmas. I'm still happy to give gifts. But Christmas is about so much more than presents this year. It's traditions. And memories. It's love. And happiness. Family. Health. (It's also cookies.)

I can probably attribute a lot of my new found feeling about Christmas to Anna. But I've got to give credit to Andrew and my family, too. (Thanks, guys. I love you.)

Anyway. So it's now time. It's Christmas Eve. The holiday season will be winding to a close soon. And what will I remember most about the year of Anna's first Christmas? Probably that I'm happier than ever and I'm filled with love.

And I wish all of that to you as well this season.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages...

The tree is up. The stockings are hung. Presents are bought (but not wrapped for fear of the little buttertart opening them all up before Christmas morn.) The carols have been playing for weeks now.

Sigh. It's my favourite time of year.

As I was driving around in silence while Anna napped in the back seat today, my mind began wandering and I began thinking about Christmases past.

When I was a little kid, my brother and I freaking loved Christmas. (Okay, what kid doesn't??) I loved everything about the season - and not just the toys. (Honest.) I loved things like decorating the tree, eating Mom's raisin cookies, baking together, getting Dad to help me buy the perfect gift for Mom. I loved that we caught Christmas mornings on video camera so we could watch them over and over again each year.

I loved the big family get togethers. And turkey sandwiches on boxing day. I loved the year I got a Young MC tape. I loved how excited my parents would be. How happy we all were.

Christmas, as cheesy and schmaltzy as I sound, is (and still is at 31 years old) a magical time of year for me. A time of year to stop sweating the small stuff and to just... believe.

Believe in good will. Believe in helping those less fortunate. Believe in making happy memories that will last a lifetime for your kids. Believe in being sillier and happier and more fun than you tend to be all year.

What I've learned over the years is that when you forget the things like the fact that your job is stressful, or you don't have a lot of money, or you haven't slept for 10 months (ahem... Anna) or that you're not done your shopping and it's Christmas eve... and you start to believe in all that the season is meant to be... (and I mean really, truly believe in all the hokey stuff)...

Well, that's when the magic really begins. That's when the memories are made. That's when true happiness exists.

And, really... what could be better than being unbelievably and overwhelmingly happy for a month?

Wishing you a happy, magical, cheesy and - best of all - silly holiday season.

~Hez, Andrew and Anna

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweetness and light

Today I stopped doing the dishes, mid-dish, so I could sit down and write about Anna. (Okay, so maybe I just wasn't into the dishes this morning.) Anyhow.

When Anna's grown-up, I really want her to know about all the little things about her life when she was little.

I know I've been all "sweetness and light" when it comes to documenting Anna so far. But it's time for grown-up future Anna to know about the other stuff. The stuff that has made Mama's head sprout multiple new grey hairs and has caused Mama to develop an unhealthy coffee-and-latte addiction.

Stuff that is making Mama grow old quickly:

1. Anna. You don't seem to have any desire whatsoever to sleep through the night. You teased me a little bit when you were about 4 months old. But now you're 10 months old and you still wake at least once to nurse, you take quite a bit of time to go down for a nap or to bed, and when you're sick you wake up pretty much every hour at night. Needless to say, Mom is exhausted.

2. While you're cute and happy about 99% of the time, you have developed some mean tantrums already. You're only 10 months old, for pete's sake! However, if Dad or I take something away from you that you want (a spoon, a cloth, my cell phone), you freak right out and cry and scream until we find a way to distract you. I thought this type of behaviour wasn't going to develop until you were about 13.

3. Sometimes you'll take a bottle with a bit of formula. Sometimes you won't. Sometimes you're happy in the car. Sometimes you're extremely angry. Sometimes you want me to pick you up. And then you immediately want back down again. I'm trying my hardest... but you've got to help me out a little bit, kid.

That's about it. Honestly. And really, the sleep thing is the only thing that's making me feel a bit tired. The other two points were just so that I'd actually have some bulk to this blog post (I could have left them off the list).

Basically... I just want you to sleep. Please sleep, Anna.

Otherwise, you really are sweetness and light.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rain, rain

Oooo... it's nasty out there today. Lots of rain. Cold. Wet. Which means....

..... PAJAMA DAY for me and Anna!!! Woo! We ain't getting dressed all day and you can't make us. (If only I had a pair of onesie jammies with feet... man - I would NEVER wear regular clothes again.)

I'm definitely going to miss these days if I start working again. I say "if" because I'm still not sure what to do, really. I want to give freelance a go... but I'm starting to get the jitters a bit.

Maybe it's because I'm coming closer to the end of my maternity leave and those helpful payments will be stopping before I know it. Maybe it's because I have nothing lined up yet. (It's hard to line it up for February. I kind of have to wait last minute to line up a job if I go the freelance route). Maybe it's because I've only done one freelance job so far and haven't had lots of people knocking on my door. Of course, I can't really do lots of work right now because of you-know-who... (she's listening) and because then it would affect my mat leave payments.

So very complicated.

All I know is that working in your pjs all day sounds awesome... but spending more time with the little ankle biter is probably the best thing I could ever imagine. For me. And for her.

So, I guess we'll see. I guess I have to let things just... happen.

Until then, I'm going to soak up every minute of my pajama day with just me and my babe.

Monday, November 29, 2010

All about you

Hello, Anna.

Right now, you're on the floor, in your jammies, getting into anything and everything (you seem to prefer the dangerous things by far. Naturally.) You're yelling happily, only pausing to stare at Arwen now and again.

You're going to be 10 months old on Saturday. I still can't believe it. I know people always go on about how time flies and how "quickly they grow up" and yadda yadda... but it's true. My little wee, 5 pound-15 ounce baby is now almost 10 months old and has a real, true, strong personality.

For example... you love making noises with your mouth. Whether it's a whistle, or a little half laugh, or even just yelling - you absolutely love to make noise. And you always have, ever since you were tiny and would make appreciative noises while nursing.

You love crawling around and being independent. And now that you can get around by yourself (crawling and pulling yourself up and cruising on the furniture), you have even less time for Mommy to snuggle you or smother you in kisses. You don't want to be held all that often, you're busy, darn it!

You would live on blueberries, cheese and cheerios if I let you. Raspberries and avocado are a close second. But, you're not quite ready for anything too different. (Last night, we tried pureeing up some of our Greek chili that Daddy made and it was a bit much for you.)

You're very social and love visiting at Grandma and Grandpa's or Nanny and Grandpa's house. But we better not try to make you sleep there. Unless you're in your room, with your crib and your Mommy close by... you're having none of it.

You have no desire to sleep through the night yet, thank you very much. You're still getting up to nurse once. I've pretty much gotten used to the lack of sleep... but I'm sort of eager for you to start sleeping better one of these days. (Mind you, you're a great day time sleeper. You take hour and a half long naps in the morning and afternoon. Bliss!)

You think your Daddy is just the funniest thing that ever existed. When he comes home from work, all he has to do is flick a plastic bag or a tea towel around and you could pretty much keel right over from laughter.

Basically, what your Mommy is trying to tell you is that you're pretty much amazing. And you have been for the past 10 months.

Keep it up, baby.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little Miss Go-Go-Go

Anna's entertaining herself with my running shoes right now, so I have a spare minute to sip my morning coffee and chat. I feel like a real, live adult. Wow.

**Side story** Yesterday I texted Andrew at work to tell him that Anna had discovered the front hall closet and was in heaven because there were SHOES EVERYWHERE (and Anna loves shoes for some strange reason). Andrew texted back to say "Aww... how cute. A shoe queen, just like her Mommy." Silly, Andrew. If he only knew what a real shoe queen was. A real shoe queen doesn't basically wear only one pair of shoes all fall, one pair of shoes/boots all winter and one pair of flip flops all summer. It may seem like I have lots of shoes since I have casual and dressy options... but I'm so not a crazy shoe lady. Andrew's lucky he married me. A "typical" woman in love with shoes would drive Andrew absolutely insane. **End of side story**

Anyway. So, Anna is fully crawling and even starting to cruise around on furniture now. She's a very advanced 9 and a half month old, if I do say so myself. The downside to her being so active is that she's developed bruises all down her shins and has had a shiner or two on her head already.

This is all very par for the course when it comes to little kids, I realize. But my neurotic side can't help but feel like a BAD MOMMY when I see her cute, soft, white little body covered with yucky bruises.

The plus side to her being so active is that she loves entertaining herself now. Why, right now she's attempting to pull the curtains down in the living room and is yelling quite happily about the whole process.

(Oh - she just saw the diaper bag and is crawling in super speed to get to it. Hmmm... in love with shoes and bags. Perhaps she will be a fashionista? She has the skinny jeans already.)

Anyway. The other side to Anna crawling around is that I really have to watch her like a hawk since we haven't baby-proofed our home much yet. Mind you, I don't know what we're going to do about certain things. (I've had to fish cat food and dead leaves out of her mouth 3 times already. But I can't starve the cat. And I'm certainly not going to start cleaning the front hall every single time the door opens and yet another leaf gets tracked in.)

What's a Mama to do??

I know. How about I just sit back (metaphorically speaking) and enjoy the whole, entire, crazy ride that is life with Anna.

Yes. That's what I'll do.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anna goes out and about

Hi there.

Remember me?

I'm the lady getting very little sleep. But my baby is cute, so it sort of makes up for it.

Anyway. I want Anna to know about all the things we did together when she was a wee little buttertart... so I've popped back on today to update y'all (and Future Anna) with the following List O' Fun.

Things We've Done in the Past Few Weeks:
  • Went to Tiny Tots on Parade for Halloween. Think: a whole bunch of little babies and kids dressed up in adorable Halloween costumes parading around downtown while a bunch of stores hand out candy. O.M.G. I almost couldn't handle the cuteness of it all.
  • Made cupcakes for Daddy's birthday. And put peanut M&Ms on top. Mmmmm...
  • Went to the Royal Winter Fair. And saw horses and piglets and Super Dogs... oh my! Andrew and I had some back bacon on a bun (sorry piglets!) and sampled some delicious cheeses and buffalo meat. I also bought Anna some natural, organic baby soap (hippy soap, as Andrew likes to call it). 'Twas a cute day. And a fun, family outing was had by all.
  • Checked out the Fantasy Fair at Woodbine. Anna and I rode the carousel once, then just walked around and shopped and lunched with other Moms and babies. She's a bit too young for the rides and play area - but when she's older, we're definitely going back. (Side story: When my brother and I were quite young, my Dad took us there. I don't remember much about being there other than thinking that this was THE MOST magical place ever. There were rides. And it was all "fantasy" like. It was super exciting... and I have such a good memory of my Dad taking me there. Hopefully, I can do that for Anna, too.)
  • Looked around at The Baby Time Show. Lots of vendors. Lots of babies. Lots of strollers. A few free samples. But the thing that made it all worthwhile? While Anna sat in her stroller and passed by a little boy sitting in a wagon, she yelled happily at him as she went. He turned around and, I kid you not, without a second of hesitation... yelled back in the same happy way. Freakin' hilarious.
Today, we're having a quiet day at home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Nothing is safe anymore

Anna has discovered the joy of magazines.

She's currently sitting on the kitchen floor, by the microwave stand where we store most of our old magazines that we want to keep for one reason or another.

She's pulling them off the rack, one by one, ripping a few pages and then discarding the magazine, in search of another issue that's more exciting.

I think it's safe to say that our stuff is no longer safe.

(Pause for a moment, as Anna bumps her noggin on the floor and needs a little cuddle from Mama).

Anna crawls like a champ now and pulls herself up onto everything. There's no stopping her. And there's no more sitting and watching for me.

In the kitchen, she likes to take all the magnets off the lower part of the fridge and she loves pulling the tea towels off the oven handle. Once Anna's been in a room, you know it by the clear signs: the wake of discarded "stuff" all over the floor.

I can't tell you how many times I've stepped on cheerios or other pieces of fallen food. In the basement, we have to delicately step around Anna's maze of toys in order to ensure we don't fall and break something. In the bathroom, you'll find her nasal aspirator, wash cloths and numerous bath toys. Random items of Anna's clothes can often be found in the living room, in her car seat or at the front door by her diaper bag.

Anna has clearly taken over.

But, when you get to stare at a face like this day in and day out, how can you mind, really?

Your beloved floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are next on my list, Mom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I'm just now recovering from my third illness in the past 3-4 months. (Can I get a hallelujah for antibiotics???)

But still. What the what? With the sickness. 3 times now. In 3 months. And stuff. And junk.

At least I'm feeling better today. Yesterday was a different story. (And the day before yesterday). I was done. Exhausted. Achy. Not hungry. Sore throat. Head throbbing. (I've got strep. Yahoo!) And yet, I still had a job to do.

Let me just tell you, folks... taking care of a baby when you're sick is: Near. Frickin'. Impossible. I don't know how anybody does it.

It takes a village to raise a child, and thankfully I know some very, very fantastic villagers. Andrew took over on Sunday and my Mom took the day off work and came to my rescue on Monday.

I am so thankful. So very thankful.

It meant that I actually had a chance to lie in bed, get sleep, rest up and try to recover. And - voila! Here I am today, feeling much, much better. Almost completely back to my regular Hez-self. Woo!

Just in time, too. Today is Andrew's birthday... so thankfully I was well enough to sit in front of the TV with the hubster and celebrate his D.O.B with chicken wings and carrot cake.

The perfect end to a very tiring few days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Powered by sour milk

Honestly. Sometimes I wonder how first children survive.

The first kid is The Practice Child. The one we get to test out our brand new wobbly-legged parenting skills on.

Which is what I did this morning. Although, I didn't realize that's what I was doing at the time.

What I thought I was doing was making Anna her breakfast. Just like every morning. I took some mixed cereal (oat, barley and rice), put in a dollop of yogurt and mixed in some leftover breast milk I had in the fridge from the weekend.

I fed Anna about 6 spoonfuls before she got some on her chin that I wiped off with my finger. Not having a napkin handy, I did what I normally do... I licked my finger.

And that's when I tasted it.

A vile, sour, nasty taste that I can only describe as "vomit-like". (For a moment I assumed that Anna had had some spit up on her chin and I accidentally got it on my finger). Then I investigated further and realized that her entire bowl of cereal smelled the same.

Oh yes, dear Internet, I made my child's cereal with sour breast milk and FED HER 6 SPOONFULS OF IT.

Mother of the Year? Yes, that's me.

I had to eat a whole banana and several bites of toast just to get rid of the taste from that one, itty bitty portion that I licked off my finger.

Poor Anna. (Did I mention... 6 SPOONFULS!?)

I immediately fed her some banana (in case the sour milk gives her the shits... thought I should help stop her up a bit) and some toast.

Thankfully, she seemed pretty fine. Didn't seem fazed at all by it.

Of course, then I gave her one last bite of banana and she immediately puked up the sour smelling milk, mixed with banana. All over her shirt. Anna is now playing in the basement with me, still wearing the sour milk puke-stained shirt.

Oh my goodness, can you stand how amazing I am as a Mom?

So, yeah. I think I'll take Anna upstairs to change her out of her nasty smelling jammies.

Just as soon as I finish my cup of coffee, that is.

Don't want to go spoiling the kid.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Anna is officially and truly crawling now.

I watched her a few times this morning when she didn't know I was looking. (If I'm sitting right there next to her, she sort of gets mad and frustrated instead of trying to crawl. She'd rather me pick her up and do it for her, the lazy bum.)

So I think it's time for me to start baby-proofing. She's already got a love of pulling open drawers and chewing on absolutely everything she can get her hands on. (One of the drawers in our end tables downstairs has miscellaneous computer wires in it. For some reason, Anna loves to grab wires and chew. Awesome.)

I'm sure I'm getting into a whole new stage of Mothering now. The "exhausting Mama out" stage. But hey - maybe now I'll lose that extra baby weight from all of the chasing.

Look out world, here comes Anna and her cute crawly bum.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pray for mojo

I've lost my mojo when it comes to writing lately.

Not quite sure why, though. (Actually, I was down in the dumps pretty much all day yesterday for no real reason... Just having one of those "meh" days. Which begs the question: Can you get a case of the Sundays when you don't go to work on Mondays??)

Anyway. It's important for me to remember that this blog is also for Anna. I want to record her milestones and write about every little cute thing she's doing. Which is why I must find my mojo and keep on keeping on, dammit.

(Anna's going to think I'm very cool. How could she not when I use terms like "keep on keeping on"???)

So. Things that are new:
  • Anna is SOOOO close to crawling. She's 8 and a half months now, and on October 21st she pretty much crawled her first crawl "steps". She did about 2 and a half to 3 crawls. Since then, she hasn't done it again... However, she gets up onto her knees, rocks back and forth and then yells angrily at me to come help her move.
  • I'm officially unemployed. I gave in my resignation at my job so that I can give freelance writing a try. Despite not having any work officially lined up for when my mat leave pay runs out, I'm oddly calm about the whole decision. Andrew and I agreed that it's best for our family, best for Anna and best for our overall happiness in general. I think Anna's pretty lucky. Then again, so am I.
  • Andrew and I have been married for 4 years now. We quietly celebrated our anniversary last week by going out for dinner. We talked and talked and talked about everything... Work, movies, Anna, what we were doing 4 years ago, books, what we did that day... It was really, really nice. We haven't had time to just sit together, without any distractions, and just talk. Afterwards, we went to Chapters and browsed some books. I bought Anna her very first "Twas the night before Christmas" book to read to her every Christmas Eve. All in all, it was a pretty great night.
  • Anna had her first cold last week. Now, here's something that I find very interesting... you know how everyone has something that just makes them gag every time it's mentioned or talked about or seen? My thing is snot. Just the word snot makes me almost vomit. I'm not kidding... it makes me so frigging sick. (I think this can be related back to an early childhood traumatic memory of a boy in my kindergarten class eating his boogers... ugh - have to stop now. Going to vomit.) Anyway - point is, Anna's been really stuffed up and can't breathe. So I had to go out and get this device that pretty much requires you to suck the snot out of your baby's nose... thankfully, there's a contraption that catches the snot so you don't get any in your mouth. Now, here's the interesting/bizarre part: it doesn't make me sick at all to do this! Not in the least little bit. I find I'm almost proud when I get a large amount of goobers out of her nose. Who knew Motherhood could make you immune to disgusting, disgusting things. (This must be why my Mom could clean up my puke and not bat an eyelash whenever I was sick as a kid.) (By the way - thanks Mom!)
And on that note, I'm going to end the discussion. No more talk of boogers or vomit.

Sorry people. This blog started out much nicer and gentler, didn't it? Just goes to show - when you're home all day and not interacting with the world as much as you used to, the only thing you've got left to talk about is your child's snot.

(Sorry. I promised I would stop.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Libraries: Old fashioned or fantastic?

Anna's keeping me quite busy lately, and so is the Moms group I joined (have I told you how much I adore the Moms group? It's awesome, yo. I have real grownups to hang out with!)

So anyway, I find I have less and less time to write. Which is sad, really - as I should always make time for writing. But, hey. What can I say? Contrary to popular belief, I ain't perfect.

Today we're going to a library with some other Moms to check out the play area and to browse the books. Libraries (though I haven't been to one in ages) seem so old-fashioned and antiquated... and yet, they have this kind of awesome quality to them.

When I was a little girl, I absolutely loved going to the library. I loved browsing through rows and rows of books. I loved the crinkly sound that happened when I opened up a book with that protective plastic covering on it. I thought that getting a new book to read was on par with eating tons of candy or having a sleepover.

I read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and The Berenstein Bears. I devoured Clifford books and The Littles series. I read every single Babysitter's Club book. I read and reread Are you there God? It's me, Margaret over and over again. I loved Roald Dahl books, especially Witches, The BFG and Matilda.

Reading, for me, was intensely exciting. So, as nerdy as it may sound, libraries had this kind of magical quality to me.

I have no idea if Anna will feel the same way. Will she be like me? Or will she be more like her Daddy (who reads, but would probably laugh at me if he knew I thought of it as magical)? I read to her every night to inspire that love at an early age. In the end, if it's not her thing, that's okay with me.

But, man, what a fantastic world she'll be missing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You're the one

Halloween's coming. (Just in case you didn't know).

Are you excited?

If you're not excited yet... I'll give you a very good reason to be.

Here it is.......

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

(Really sure??)

Okay. I won't drag this out any longer.

Here it is. A sneak preview of Anna's very first halloween costume....

Stay tuned for the real thing.

If you can handle extreme cuteness, that is.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Will she love Boney M as much as I do?

Yesterday I almost burned the house down while making brown rice. I also put a bag of fresh baby carrots away in the freezer.

I was really on my game.

I suppose it could be due to the fact that I went for a 10k run yesterday morning (yay me!) and also took Anna out in the afternoon, which resulted in an accidental hour-long walk. (I didn't mean to take her out for an epic jaunt around the neighbourhood. It just sort of happened. Mama's legs were achy. But Anna liked it.)

Anyway, so I was tired. I kind of crashed on the couch around 7:30/8 o'clock last night... but I managed to stay up until 9. (Woo!! They call me the Party Hez... Woooooo!! Party!!!)

I think Anna wanted to torture Mama last night because she didn't wake up once to eat. She woke up twice.


I'm not going to focus on the fact that Anna is 8 months old (today!) and still waking twice in the night to eat. Instead, I'm going to think about happy things.

Like the holidays.

It's cool out today. We have the heat on. So it's starting to really feel like fall now. Which means I'm getting all excited. This is my absolute favourite time of year. Especially since the holiday season is about to be kicked off with Thanksgiving. The eating holiday. Perhaps the best holiday of all.

So, it goes Thanksgiving. Halloween. And then... Christmas. My favourite time of year. (Still. At 31 years old.)

I was telling Andrew the other day that my excitement for the holidays is now going to be times a million, due to the fact that we have Anna to celebrate with. I've already purchased her halloween costume and a bib that says "My first halloween".

Just wait for Christmas. Oh... Christmas. I can hardly wait for all the "My first Christmas" paraphernalia. And the cute little holiday party dresses. And showing Anna off to family. And baking cookies with her. And going for winter walks to look at the Christmas lights.


Whatever Andrew and I do during the holidays - starting right now - that's going to be what Anna remembers when she's a grown up. All of her fond memories. And we get to start making them.

Really now. Christmas with Anna.

Can you tell me how life can get much better?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Whatcha doin'?

This is good.

All you Moms out there that get asked "What do you do all day?!?" Here's a good answer.

Enjoy. And happy Friday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mmm... dry toast

Right now I'm watching the hubster nap on the couch with Arwen the cat, while I watch a PVR'd Oprah show, listen for Anna on the monitor and type this blog post.

I'm one, fine multi-tasking Mama, yo.

So. If it's not one thing, it's something else that I seem to worry about. Anna will be 8 months next week (oh-em-gee, you guys!) and I've just noticed that I haven't really done my best with practicing the whole finger food, self-feeding thing with her.

(She much prefers Mama to spoon feed her, thank you very much.)

Not that I'm really worrying about this... just over-thinking it, as I'm known to do. Over thinking and "new Mom" go together so great, no?

So, I've noticed that Anna can't get much from her hand to her mouth in the way of little, itty-bitty morsels. Yet, since she's all gums, everything has to be all tiny for her mini, little mouth. Poor thing seems interested in getting food into her mouth (she tries to grab the little pieces) but she either can't pick them up, or gets them "stuck" in the palm of her hand, forgets that they're there and sort of gives up.

(I still think she's extremely advanced for her age.)

And normally, I would continue spoon-feeding my gorgeous little girl for as long as she asked me to. She could be all: "Mother? Would you be a dear and feed me my roast beef while I study for my University exams?" And I'd be all: "Of course I will, Anna! Can I peel these grapes for you while I'm at it? No trouble at all!"

However, I know that at some point the little buttertart has to learn to do things on her own. And I probably should have been all over this already.

Therefore, I've been doing a little bit of reading on this baby-led weaning phenomenon. It's kind of frightening what some people give their kids to eat off the hop (as soon as they can start eating solids), but it seems to work.

I started today by giving Anna a strip of dry toast. And while I watched with extreme fear and trepidation, her gums seemed to magically mush the food into little chunks which she then swallowed with no issue.

Then she happily bounced up and down in her chair and smiled at me. Which? I'm pretty sure was Anna's way of telling me that it's okay to let her assert her independence. Even at 8 months old.

Oh, this motherhood thing is going to make an old, nervous lady of me, folks.

But Anna will guide me right on through it.

I just know it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anna's visit

Today, I shall not write about Anna's sleep habits.

Instead, I will try and find something more exciting for you to read about.

(Pause. Blink. Blink.)

Oh wait. My life isn't very exciting.

Would you like to know about the breakfast I just ate? Or the laundry I have to do? Or the cleaning and cooking I have yet to get done? How about a list of my errands I must run? All very gripping stuff, I tell ya.

Sometimes I wonder why people read blogs. What is it about my life that makes you actually want to read it? Am I boring you to death with the daily accounts of Anna's lack of sleeping?

Then I do something like I did today. And I realize that people should really hear about it.

Today, Anna and I went to an Early Years Drop-In Centre for a program called "Family Time Intergenerational". Anna and I hung out and played with other little kids, and seniors, at a seniors' home.

I'm not going to lie... sometimes I'm quite uncomfortable around really old people. Not having grandparents around in my life, I've never really been close to someone who's grown old. I've never seen someone I know lose their "with it" factor. I don't quite know how to act, and I feel sort of awkward, around people who don't seem to be able to hear or see very well. Who don't really know where they are. Who can't communicate anymore.

But when I dropped into another Early Years Centre (strictly for babies and toddlers), the woman there told me about this centre where they mix up the company and bring the little kids to sing songs, do crafts, play games and so on with the old folks.

I was intrigued.

And when the woman there told me that it means the world for these old people just to watch little babies and kids play and laugh and sing, I was sold. I wanted to be a part of that.

So today, Anna and I joined a group of about 8 seniors and 4 other little kids. Out of the 8 seniors, only 3 seemed to be able to really talk. Another senior didn't even seem to be able to lift her head all that well. Most just sort of stared around the room a bit blankly.

But when Anna and I got up and walked around the circle, past each senior, stopping to wave and dance and sing a little bit... I realized that the woman who told me about this program really knew what she was talking about.

I saw one man's blank stare change... instantly. He looked right at me. His face lit up. It literally lit up. And he watched Anna watch him. He was happy that my baby was just looking at him.

I saw an old lady look at Anna and smile. And then I saw her look right into my eyes, as if she was telling me how lovely my baby was. And when I smiled back at her, I knew we were communicating without words.

I listened to one old woman tell me that Anna was just the sweetest. And I watched another woman's face shine when Anna reached out and grabbed her finger.

It's the little, very simple moments like today that make me realize maybe I do have a story worth telling. The fact that Anna can bring happiness to these old folks just by being her, just by looking into the eyes of another human being... well, that's pretty special.

And that's something that I think everyone would like to read about.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The shoes

I have this memory.

I must have been about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

I remember very clearly how I felt and what I thought then. And now, as a 31-year old - as a parent - I see the whole thing in a completely different light.

I was in grade school. That time in your life when peer acceptance seems to be more important than anything else. And I had a prized possession...

My penny loafer shoes.

They were THE coolest thing to me. They went with every outfit I had and looked good with any style. I loved wearing them so much that I had worn a hole through the sole of one of the shoes. But it didn't bother me at all. They didn't hurt to wear. They still looked cool. So what was the harm of a little hole?

My Mom found out and informed me that I needed a new pair of shoes. What I didn't realize at the time was that my parents were going through a rough patch, financially. A new pair of fancy penny loafers were not really a possibility.

Who hasn't dealt with tight times when it comes to money? With a bad recession going on and self-employment, of course the last thing my parents would want to throw money at was shoes that I thought "looked cool". (However, I knew nothing of these rough times until much, much later in my life. Just one of the many signs that my Mom and Dad knew how to raise their children well).

So my Mom took me to Woolco to buy a pair of shoes. An affordable pair of shoes that served their purpose. That supported my feet and laced up and fit me well.

In other words, shoes that embarrassed the crap out of me as a 10-year old. They weren't penny loafers... so when I walked into class the next day with my new shoes, I tried to hide my feet with every awkward step.

I was horrified at the time. I had these shoes that just couldn't live up to my penny loafers. And my parents made me wear them.

But now. Now, as an adult, I see things so differently. Mom and Dad were dealing with some rough times. Money can be one of the main things that divides a marriage. That pulls apart a family. And they were just doing what they could.

I realize now that they had a lot of stress and not a lot of money. But they were doing what only really good parents can do. They were providing for me. They were making sure I was taken care of. They were giving me what I needed.

And in turn, they were giving me the self confidence and assurance I needed as a child to know that I would always be taken care of, that I would always be loved, that I wouldn't need to fend for myself so long as they were there. So I could grow into a confident, independent, happy woman who knew that if all else in my life failed me, I had parents who loved me unconditionally and who would always, always take care of me.

What more can someone ask for? Really.

And yet, it took me about 20 years to realize that that's what they were doing for me. 20 long years to discover that they weren't meanies who made me wear embarrassing shoes to school. They were parents who provided for their children no matter what - even when life was pretty hard for them. And they never, ever let their kids carry any of the burden at all.

On the surface, they were buying me a pair of shoes.

But what my parents were really doing for me was giving me an incredible life. And making me a better parent, too.

All with a simple pair of Woolco shoes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anna learns to protect her pears

This morning I stole a portion of Anna's pureed pears for my breakfast. (I added it to my oatmeal). Does the fact that I'm taking food from my babe make me Mother of the Year?? Does it??

I figure I'm teaching Anna important life skills by stealing her breakfast. She's got to learn to fight for her food. Survival of the fittest and all that, you know?

Anywho. Last night, as Anna woke at 1am crying and close to inconsolable, I wondered what the heck I was doing wrong. I wondered who these women are out there that can get their babies to sleep through the night. And how on earth do they know how much to feed their babies so they don't wake up hungry in the middle of the night at 7 and a half months old?

(Mind you, maybe if her Mommy weren't eating her food portions, Anna wouldn't wake hungry. Again... I hear the Mother of the Year folks knocking at my door.)

Back to the sleep thing. I've realized I have to learn never to put the good nights in writing, because it seems that as soon as I do... they stop happening. Not that last night was a really "bad" night. But Anna did wake up about 3 times and needed us to help her get back to sleep each time.

Ah well. One day all of this will seem a foggy, distant memory. I'll look back on it and laugh at myself and wonder how I could ever have had so much freakin' self-doubt.

In the meantime, I have to keep reminding myself that Anna will be okay. She won't need me to come in and cuddle her back to sleep when she's 17-years old. She'll learn to do things on her own eventually. (Just now she's starting to get the hang of how to begin crawling. She's a genius child.)

Anyway. Whenever I'm steeped in self-doubt and worry and whenever I've convinced myself that I'm not doing all the right things for Anna's development... I remember one important thing. I remember that I'm able to do the most important thing of all for her without even trying. I'm able to give her the best gift a parent can give their child.

Unconditional and overwhelming love.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Need to Know File

Things you need to know about Anna at 7 months, 1 week:
  • She usually naps for almost 2 hours every afternoon now.
  • Last night was the second night that she slept through the night. (And the first night that I got to sleep for an 8 hour stretch. AN 8 HOUR STRETCH, PEOPLE!!)
  • She loves to hug. And has started snuggling more.
  • She is a happy, happy baby.
  • She had peas and carrots mixed with applesauce and plain yogurt for dinner. Sounds kinda gross, but I think it was kind of yum.
  • She can sit up the entire time she's in the bath without falling over, she knows how to put her soother back in when it falls out at night and she loves to kick her legs like crazy when she's lying down.
Things you may or may not be interested in knowing about me right now:
  • I have a thyroid problem. Hypothyroid. Blah. I'm hoping that the medicine at least helps with my post-baby weight struggle.
  • I'm back into running for real now. Ran a 5k race yesterday... went jogging with Mom and Anna today... joining another 10k Running Room clinic in October. Woo!
  • I'm sadly addicted to Jersey Shore. Very sad. I know. (I'm hanging my head in shame right now). (I'm also watching an episode right now).
  • Due to Anna's "Fussy Schedule", Andrew and I currently tend to eat dinner at 5:00 on the dot. The Blue Hair Special. Awesome.
  • I seem to have sciatic pain at night now and I get acid reflux if I drink coffee in the evening. I'm like a 75-year old woman. Even more awesome.
And now I have to cut this short because Anna's been in bed for the night for about 45 minutes and has just woken up upset. Gotta go see if Mama can help fix whatever it is that's bothering the poor little pookie.

(Faithful readers: you may have noticed that I call both Andrew and Anna my pookie. It's also my name for Arwen the cat. I'm very creative, I know.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Have you ever...

Fellow Mamas. I've been wondering about my sanity lately. So I've got a question or two for y'all.

Tell me. Have you ever...
  • Discovered puke on your clothes LONG after you've gone out?
  • Thought to yourself "Meh" after discovering said puke?
  • Wiped a piece of food off of your kid's face and then licked it, sucked it or consumed it in some other manner off of your finger?
  • Done the old saliva-clean to rub dirt off your kid's face?
  • Found yourself "just finishing up" your kid's breakfast? Or lunch? Or breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  • Filled your glass of wine almost to the top because nobody's around to judge you?
  • Realized you're drinking alone?
  • Not cared that you're drinking alone?
  • Started regularly singing to yourself - and singing Every. Single. Thing. that you could normally just say in sentence form quite easily?
  • Made up a song about sweet potato? (Or whatever you're feeding your child that day). (My song goes: "Sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato. I am making you sweet potato!")
  • Started examining your baby's poop closely, noting the size and consistency, looking for evidence of what he or she ate the night before?
  • Stopped referring to your husband by his name? (And found that he answers to Daddy even when the kid isn't around?)
  • Introduced yourself to a group of Moms at a coffee shop and then realized that they're NOT the Moms Group you were supposed to meet up with? (I did this one today).
  • Designated one of your bras the "going into public" bra?
If you've nodded along with any of these... I like you. We can be friends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long weekend reflection

Another long weekend, come and gone. (Not that it makes much of a difference to me, really. The days are all mushing into one long MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday lately). :)

I've always been a fan of the labour day long weekend. Time for a fresh start. New things. New experiences.

Andrew starts his new job today. I'm heading back to hot yoga. Anna's learning to sleep again. It's all good.

This morning, as I walked around my house while Anna napped, making my coffee and tidying up here and there, I began to compose today's blog in my head. I thought about how good things are for me right now. I thought about how lucky I am. And how it's time for me to focus on that.

No more "woe is me" negative self-talk. Instead, I'm going to focus on the fact that I'm lucky enough to be able to sit here and enjoy a cup of coffee in the comfort of my cozy little home while my gorgeous daughter naps.

I'm going to enjoy the breeze coming in my window. And the rays of sun warming my kitchen floor.

I'm going to be grateful that I can go to yoga and go for a run and my body will feel relaxed and energized afterwards.

I'm going to be glad that I have a husband who loves me more than anything. And that I have a healthy, happy family.

I'm going to realize how lucky I am that I have such good friends, who constantly reach out to me when I need a little support. Who make me laugh, make me think, make me realize who I am and who I want to be.

I'm just going to let my perfectly wonderful life be what it is.

And I'm going to take it all in.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My 7 month old...

... is learning how to sleep again. (Thank you, Anna. Thank you ever so much).

... loves solid foods. Peaches and apples combined was a big fave this week.

... needs a few minutes to get used to someone other than Mommy or Daddy before you can hold her.

... prefers to sleep on her tummy now - and only fusses or cries for a minute or so when she's first put down for a nap.

... likes to mimic Mommy. When I laugh, she laughs.

... loves to grab at absolutely everything in her sight. She especially loves bottles.

... has mini-hissy fits if you take something away from her when she wants it. (For example, last night at bath time, she was sucking on the wash cloth I was trying to use to clean her with. When her bath was done and I took the cloth away to pick her up out of the bath - the girl screamed bloody murder.)

... only needs a little distraction to make her happy again.

... smiles the biggest smiles in the world when she gets up in the morning. And when she sees Daddy. Or Mommy. Or Grandma, Grandpa, Nanny and Grandpa.

... sits up like a total champ. She's so steady. Sitting is totally old news to her now.

... isn't crawling yet, but can move her body in a complete circle when she's on her tummy.

... gives Mommy HUGE kisses. Big, wet kisses on the side of my face.

... reaches out to me now when she wants to be held or picked up. (Melts my heart. I love it so much).

... isn't as interested in breastmilk as she used to be. She really only wants to nurse maybe 3 times a day now. (Which concerns me a little. Is that normal? Does she need more?)

... is perhaps the most gifted, cutest, prettiest, most amazing little girl in the entire universe.

Mommy loves you, my little 7-month old gorgeous baby.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Never say never

A few things...

Thank you to everyone for your comments and emails and calls. Fellow Moms are amazing support and I can't thank all of you enough. (And thank you to my non-Mommy friends, too!)

I learned (the hard way) that sometimes I need to ask for help. Sometimes I really need to take a nap. Sometimes I need to get out to a yoga class. Sometimes I just need a mini-break to go for a run to clear my head. Because when I'm exhausted? Everything seems way worse than it is. Things really aren't that bad.

Anna is 7 months now (in a few days) and since I feel like I've tried absolutely everything in the past 2 and a half months to get her to sleep with no luck... I'm trying something I said I would NEVER do. (Doesn't the whole "I never..." thing go hand-in-hand with Motherhood?)

So. Here it is. I'm going to let Anna cry.*** (***There's a BIG, FAT "but" attached to that.)

I'm going to let her cry a little... BUT...
  • I'm going to try staying in the room with her and speaking softly to her and shhh-ing her so she knows I'm still there.
  • I'm going to still give her her soother if it falls out of her mouth because she can't quite figure out how to grab it and put it back in yet.
  • I'm going to go to her immediately when she cries in the middle of the night... I just won't pick her up. I'll keep shh-ing her and replacing her soother until she falls back asleep.
There it is. My method.


Back when I was pregnant and even when Anna was teeny tiny, I used to hear the Moms who said they let their babies cry and I silently thought to myself, "I would never do that. That's just teaching your baby that you won't be there for them."

Then Anna started having these crying fits and I realized that all the attachment parenting techniques in the world weren't helping Anna relax and sleep better.

So... whether you agree with the technique or not, I feel in my Mama gut that this is okay for Anna. She used to be a good sleeper. She's happy as can be during the day when she's awake. She wakes up happy in her crib, and smiles at me with the biggest, brightest gummy grin every morning when I go to get her up. I have a feeling I won't be ruining her by trying this out.

******Edited to add: I started this blog before I had fully tried the whole cry method. Now, I've tried it for 2 nights and 1 day of naps. Here's my progress so far:

Night 1:
  • Did Anna's bedtime routine with her (dinner, bath, jammies, book, then cuddle for a bit).
  • Put her in her crib awake. She cried pretty much non-stop for 30-40 minutes when she realized I wasn't going to pick her up. But I stood there and just kept saying to her "It's just bed time honey", "Mommy's here" and "Time for sleep Anna... that's all".
  • After 30-40 minutes she fell asleep.
  • During the night she woke up 3 times. Once was just for her soother (and then she went right back to sleep) and twice she cried non-stop for 20 minutes while I repeated the whole process of talking to her.
  • Then she slept soundly until 8am and woke up happy.
Night 2:
  • Did the nighttime routine and put her down awake again.
  • This time she cried off and on for 15 minutes and then fell asleep.
  • She woke up a half an hour later crying. I tried shh-ing her, then just popped her soother back in her mouth and she immediately fell back asleep.
  • During the night, she woke up 4 times (instead of just 3 like the previous night), but she just needed her soother 3 of the 4 times, and only cried off-and-on for about 20 minutes the other time.
  • She slept until 6:45 (her usual wake-up time) talking to herself and making happy noises.
During naps, she goes to sleep within 5 minutes and sometimes stays asleep for an hour or more. (Although, she still takes just a half hour nap sometimes, too).

So I think it's going pretty well. Anna's already crying less at bedtime, which is my main goal. And she's happy... that's the most important thing.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long process to get her to actually stay asleep all night - but at least it's getting better.

So there you have it. I said I'd never do it and I'm doing it. Next thing you know, I'll be putting Anna on a leash before taking her out places.

(Oh man, I hope not.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Advice, please

Okay Mamas. I'm calling on you again.

I have a baby who hates sleep.

Like, HATES sleep.

Right now, she's exhausted. She's actually been showing signs of sleepiness since about 8:15am (It's 9:15am). I've been battling with her to nap since 8:30am. Fighting to go to sleep is a very regular thing for us. In fact, if she's down in 45 minutes, that's a good day. It takes over an hour most times to get her to bed at night.

The frustrating thing is that this is *relatively* new. Up until about 4 months, she slept great. She would nap for a long time and barely needed any help getting to sleep. She slept for long, long stretches at night and didn't wake up frequently at all.

Even after 4 months, until about 5 months, getting her down to sleep wasn't that tough. She wouldn't sleep long at all during naps, but getting her to sleep was relatively easy.

Now - it's a whole new story. Anna will be 7 months this week, and it's a battle to get her to sleep and to stay asleep Every. Single. Time she goes for a nap or to bed at night.

She doesn't want us to hold her (she arches her back and fights and cries), but she doesn't want us to put her down in her crib either. That just wakes her up and she rolls around and plays with anything she can get her hands on (like the side of the crib) and then she starts crying when she realizes we're not there. Once she's asleep for the night, she wakes up frequently, crying and upset. She used to just need her soother and would fall back asleep. Now, sometimes she just needs her soother, but most of the time she needs us to hold her or me to feed her before she'll calm down and go back to sleep.

I've tried putting her down when she's pretty much asleep. I've tried putting one of my shirts in the crib with her so she would know I was still "there". We've tried lowering the crib and putting a breathable bumper on so that she can't see as much, and won't get caught in the sides. I've tried lavender oil and lavender cream. I've tried letting her cry a little bit. I've tried the "pick up/put down" method. I've tried putting my hand on her until she drifts off to sleep. I've tried putting her down earlier (at the very first sign of tiredness), and I've tried waiting until she's definitely sleepy. I've tried giving her more solids during the day. And I've tried giving her more breastmilk, too. I've even tried putting her in the swing.

And every time I try something new, I'm consistent with it for several days to a week to get her used to it. (I know consistency is key). (Then again, why be consistent with something that doesn't work after a week of trying?)

I know that one day she'll sort herself out and all will be right in the world again. The only thing is... I'm just about at my breaking point waiting for her to get there.

Maybe it's because I had two late nights out last week (a party and a wedding), which makes the night time wake ups and the nap battles that much worse the next day. Or maybe it's because I've been dealing with some sort of sleep issue with her for 3 months now. All I know for sure is that I'm cranky, I look and feel like crap, I get irritable more often and I'm not that much fun to be around.

Woe is me.

So anyway... if you have any advice to offer, if you went through this too, even if you just want to tell me you love me, I sure could use it right now.

Many thanks, from a VERY tired Mom.

PS: Anna is lucky she's SO freakin' cute.

Who, me??

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mish mash, Volume 2: The morning edition

Some of you may recall that I have admitted to being somewhat less than *ahem* eloquent and coherent in the mornings these days (that's what you get when your babe refuses to sleep more than a 2 hour stretch at night). And, therefore, in the past I covered it up nicely with my mish mash post.

Well. It's time for mish mash 2:

I'm watching Anna slumped over in her swing right now, sort of looking around, but mostly just licking the tray that goes over top of her lap. Methinks this is a sign that I should perhaps stop blogging and attend to my poor little child's needs. Would you agree? No? She's fine? Okay then. She can stay licking for a little while longer. (On a side note - Anna has never enjoyed her swing. But I thought I'd give it a shot once more today. Now that she's big enough to awkwardly slump to one side and rest her head on the hard plastic tray, she seems to really like it.)


Yesterday I hosted my first every playdate for the Mom's group I joined. The verdict? Success!! Of course, I went all Howard Hughes neurotic before they arrived, making sure that the snacks were set out nicely (I rearranged the forks more times than I care to admit) and ensuring the coffee was brewing so that as my new Mom friends walked in the door they would be met with the sweet smell of fresh java. Oh, and also? I made the hubster come with me on a multiple store search for this colourful alphabet rubber mat thingy that we put on the hardwood floor so the babies would have something soft to sit on. It was only $19, but after yesterday's playdate I realized I don't have a whole crap load of use for the thing. I'll just have to keep hosting playdates, I guess? Perhaps I can get more and more Martha Stewart about it as each playdate approaches. I can have themes! And crafts! And season-related snacks! Or... I can throw a box of timbits on the table and just keep dusting the cat hair and food off the mat before everyone arrives.


At the end of our cottage vacation last week, Andrew, Anna and I went to another cottage to spend time with Andrew's family for a couple of days. At said cottage, I slept on a bed that felt deceivingly comfortable at first. Then on our last day there (which was a Sunday) I woke up with a pretty stiff back. Lucky me, it started getting worse and worse as time wore on. By Monday afternoon, I could barely walk. I couldn't lift Anna (thank goodness Andrew was home from work that day and the next) and I couldn't sit or lay down comfortably. Such fun! Now, pre-Anna days, I would have popped as much medication as I could get into my gimpy little body. But because I'm breastfeeding and forever feeling this phenomenon known as "Maternal guilt", I suffered with the intense pain and no meds for as long as I could. Actually, that's not true. I took a couple of Advil because I was certain those were fine. But I held off on the Robaxacet muscle relaxant stuff as long as I could. (By Monday night, I had to take some. So I waited until after I nursed Anna for the last time that evening and then took a few so I could sleep.)

The next day, I made an appointment for a massage to see if that would help. While there, I filled out the little form they ask you to fill out, detailing my complete medical history as far back as I could remember. Anyway - so I wrote down that I was breastfeeding. As the dude's massaging me and talking to me about the muscle pain and what I can do after the massage to help alleviate the pain, he says to me in a very "this is not a question" way: "You're not taking any Advil or anything because you're breastfeeding". My response? "Uh... no. Nope, I'm not. Well... actually - I took two last night. But that was it."

I lied to the massager guy who doesn't know me from Adam!!!! What the heck is wrong with me?? I feel so guilty about a couple of pain relievers getting into my booby milk that I need to lie to a complete stranger?? Ever since he said that, I started thinking about every "bad" thing I've put into my body and it's effect on my poor little Anna. (Aspartame! Caffeine! Alcohol! My baby doesn't have a chance. What have I done????????) Then I remember that I'm not smoking crack and I realize that maybe - just maybe - Anna will be okay after all.


Finally - for the last tidbit in my mish mash post - just because it's cute... Here's Anna with a cloth diaper on her head. Enjoy my baby's insane cuteness. (And don't mind my over-zealous boasting. I'm a proud first-time Mama.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anna goes on vacation

We're back from vacation. (Did you miss me? Did you? How much? Tell me.)

So the cottage was awesome. Even though the weather wasn't great and we didn't get a whole lot of sleep, the fam had a great time. How could you not with a spot on a quiet lake, wine at sunset, a good book and a lot of relaxing? Yep. It was just what Hez needed.

Of course, it was quite different this year. Andrew and I were talking about how much things have changed since Anna came into our lives. And it was very evident as we got up at 6am every morning on vacation. (6am. On vacation. Every day. Us former DINKS are just not used to that.)

Anyway, so we had a really nice time. Although... it was pretty chilly a couple of days and I didn't really bring any warm clothes for Anna. So we kept her in her fuzzy little sleep sack and put an adorable hat on her. Ah... voila:

Yes, Anna's playing with Daddy's toes. The kid has loads of toys... but to her? Toes are freaking awesome.

Exhibit A:

We also saw the sun. Thank goodness.

Anna liked it.

And Mommy loved playing with Anna.

All was good on Golden Pond. That's for sure.

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 hours later...

***Warning: This blog contains information about the working order of my bowels. Read at your own discretion/risk.***

The last blog was written by a woman feeling totally normal and lovely. (Me).

5 hours and 20 minutes later (around 3:00 in the morning), however, I was no longer feeling totally normal and lovely. Instead, I developed a fever and felt cold (even though I was sweating) and then started puking my guts out.

Ah, joy.

I threw up from about 3 in the morning until 11 - approximately every half hour to an hour. I couldn't work up the energy to get out of bed for the entire day other than to go to the bathroom. Walking hurt my stomach. Lying on my side hurt my stomach. Thinking hurt my stomach.

Then the poops began.

Double joy.

Okay, so maybe I'm sounding somewhat dramatic... but I'm telling you, this stomach bug that I developed (which was only 24 hours THANK THE LORD), was horrid. Horrid, horrid, horrid. It threw me for quite the loop.

So I was completely out of commission all day Tuesday and I even felt pretty craptastic all day Wednesday, too. (Except that I wasn't puking or pooping anymore). On Thursday I felt pretty much 100% better, so I went to a playdate. And I spent today getting ready for our week-long cottage vacation (commencing tomorrow).

So, it's been a busy week, to say the least.

All this is to let you know that: a) I haven't been blogging because I was sick, then busy, and b) I won't be blogging for another week, as we'll be on vacation and there won't be Internet access. (I might freak out a little bit by the end of the week if I can't check Facebook or gmail a thousand times each day, but hey - c'est la vie.)

So, I hope you don't miss us too much! I promise that some fun Anna updates will follow.

Andrew, Anna and I are looking forward to relaxing, swimming, napping (a little), eating, playing and just putting our feet up and taking in the sun and the lake.

Until we return... Love and kisses from cute little Anna to all of you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My daughter and I

Anna had her 6-month Well Baby appointment last week. (She's 16 pounds, 5 oz. and 26 and a half inches long. She's a big, ol' healthy baby!)

During the visit, her doctor mentioned that Anna was doing excellent and I was doing a great job. I smiled and said "She's a lot of fun, that's for sure." He (a father of 2-year old twin girls) said that if someone had told him when his girls were 6 months old that it was only going to get more and more fun as they get older and older, he wouldn't have believed them because he couldn't imagine it being any better than it already was.

But, he assured me, it's true. It only gets better and better as each day passes and as each month goes by and as each birthday rolls around.

And I'm starting to understand exactly what he means.

Anna and I have so much fun together now - and I just consider myself so lucky to have her around. She was always amazing to me (as is apparent by reading my blogs about her) - but now, she's even more fun. If that's possible.

We go places together. We laugh together. We snuggle and play and sing and yell happily together. She gives me big wet kisses on my cheek and I smother her with smooches. She grabs my hair and pulls me close to her. And I pick her up and hug her tight to my body.

We're a team, my daughter and I.

And as each day passes, we have more and more fun. We have more memories. More things to learn about each other. More love. My life is just... more.

Man, I'm lucky.

We also have more sleepy pajama days, don't we Mommy?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Things to remember

I need to remember a few important things regarding Anna's eating habits. And I don't have a pen and paper handy. But I do have my laptop. So, here is my blog post that is less of a blog, and more of a note to self:
  • Anna's not overly fond of avocado, unless I mix a little breastmilk into it. Then she'll eat it right up.
  • She loves... sorry, I mean... LOVES bananas. (She is my daughter, after all).
  • She seems to be getting tired of cereal. Note: mix some banana in and see what she thinks?
  • A diversionary spoon always works well when she's insisting on feeding herself. That way, she can chew on the spoon and you can feed her with the other.
  • When she starts to get fussy and cranky, it means she's done. (It's probably best to try and do the dreaded face wipe before she gets to this point).
  • Remember to call the university back. (This has nothing to do with Anna's eating habits... but they called and I want to remember to call them back.)
Poor Anna. Until they start making baby books online... she's not going to have much of her baby-hood all compiled into one neat little package. I'm afraid this is all Mama can do right now, baby. You still love me, right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I mean it... I really am here!

I know, I know... it's bad blogging etiquette to disappear for a long time. But, Anna and I have been pretty busy. We've been going for coffee and brunch with people, we went to my cousin's trailer and relaxed on the beach, we've been to parks and out shopping. We've also been swimming and we've taken some really great naps. We're totally taking advantage of this summer thing.

In the middle of all this, Anna's had some major milestones. She's 6 months old (tomorrow), she's learned to sit up, and she's started eating solids.

Somehow, I've managed to forget the camera every time Anna's been in her super-awesome cute swimsuit... so I'll just have to remember it when we head out on our cottage vacation. However, I've managed to capture some of the past fun on film.

For your viewing enjoyment:

Anna's learned to sit up on her own. Can you stand the cuteness? Can you?

Hello Mummy! Look at me! I'm sitting up! I sit up super good, don't I?

(Sort of.)

Next, Anna started some solids. Yummy rice cereal!


Nom nom nom.

The verdict? DEE-LISH!

Next... onto avocado! (And onto Anna's face. Everywhere.)

Hmm... not so sure about this yet, Mummy. It's lumpy. And green.

Although, feeding myself is fun. I like the feeding myself thing.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm still here!

A few things you may or may not want to know about me:
  • It's been too hot to blog. It's been too hot to do anything. I'm about this close to sitting around the living room in my undies with a cold wash cloth on my head.
  • My left eye has been inexplicably watering all day long.
  • I went to bed at 9:30 last night and it was glorious.
  • Glorious!
  • I joined a Moms group online this week and am going to meet up with some totally random women that I know nothing about other than the fact that they live in the same area as me and have sprung children from their loins. (Sprung? Is that right?)
  • If you don't hear from me again, it was most likely the Moms that did it. It'll be like the game Clue: It was The Moms. In the park. With a hooter hider.
  • Also, someone please remind me not to discuss the following topics with these Moms that have never met me before: religion, politics, attachment parenting, circumcision, vaccinations or breastfeeding (especially breastfeeding in public).
Have a good Thursday, y'all. If I haven't expired from the heat, I'll tell you about my date with the Moms tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Said by Hez

New in the Anna-Andrew-Hez-news front:

Anna went to her first cottage for 3 days, and had a fantastic time! She swam in a big ol' lake, slept well in a play pen, and got to watch her little cousin run around, all full of beans.

All in all, it was a successful first for little Anna.

Now that we're back home, Mommy's trying to figure out what to do with her time again. It's gorgeous out, and Anna loves being outside, so I'm trying to take Anna out and about as much as possible. However, walking around by myself just ain't cutting it anymore. (And one can only jog so much in this heat and humidity).

Anywho. Not much else to report. (Thrilling update, I know). More interesting info to come in the next installment.

But first! I'm jumping on the "Shit my Dad Says" bandwagon and including some of my favourite (and real) quotes, said by myself and those lucky enough to be considered within my circle of friends.

So, here it is folks. The first edition of "Said by Hez":

"Did you know that Miracle Whip refuses to tone itself down? This is not your Grandma's mayonnaise." ~Hez to her brother Chris in a Facebook post after seeing the new Miracle Whip commercial

"Nor should it.. if there's anything i want in my sandwich spread, it's an unwavering belief that it should never, ever 'tone it down'.. my real question is, who's asking them to tone it down? seriously? I guess it's just 'The Man' trying to keep a good mayonnaise oppressed like usual.. the bastards!" ~Chris' response

Here's a few oldie but goodies from my collection of work quotes. (These things were actually said by me and my coworkers within my business establishment).

"Hey, are we stripes or sobers?" ~Hez to coworker whilst playing a game of pool.

"I've had a lot to drink. Here's 100 dollars." ~Hez's coworker, drunkenly settling up the bill after a night at the pub.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A junior scientist, cuteness overload and heartbreak.

When I had just had Anna, I received some mail from the University near us about the Infant and Child Studies Centre and their need for young babies to research what they call "the cuteness quotient".

Okay, I made that last bit up. But Anna would totally be off the charts if it were true.

Yesterday morning, I did take Anna to the research lab at the University, but it was to help further the study of language recognition in babies.

We sat in a little room together, Anna on my lap, and Mama with a big old pair of headphones on so I couldn't hear anything and couldn't influence Anna in anyway. Then, some blinking lights went off while passages were read out in English and then Norwegian. I think the study was based around the whole idea that if they play English (which Anna is used to), she would eventually get bored with it because it was so familiar. So, if they played Norwegian (something different and new), and Anna turned to look at the source, that would mean she could recognize a difference between the two languages already.

I should have warned them that Anna is very advanced for her age and they may want a "regular" baby to test.

Anywho. It was interesting! And Anna got an official certificate from the University, proudly presenting her with the Honourable Title of Junior Scientist - "in recognition of outstanding performance in a Language and Speech Project which has greatly contributed to the advancement of science and the understanding of child development."

Yay Anna!

After that, I took her to a park to meet up with some girlfriends. The park had a great wading pool, so I brought Anna's ridiculous bathing suit with us. I say ridiculous, because it's pretty much a pant suit. But in little baby size. Which means? It's insanely cute.

Anna can't have sunscreen put on her delicate little skin yet, and because she has Andrew and I for parents, she doesn't have much hope of ever being a bronze goddess. Therefore, a few minutes in the sun and she'd sizzle. So - that's why we went with the bathing-pant-suit. I must reiterate: CUTE! Cuteness overload. Honestly.

Anyway, Anna had a great time. It was so adorable... she was squealing and smiling and looking around at everyone. And afterwards, when I put her in the car seat and headed home, she was out cold immediately. Good baby.

The day ended on somewhat of a depressing note, however, when Andrew and I took a tour of a local daycare. The place seemed good... the kids all looked like they were having fun. But... I don't know. Something didn't feel right.

The kids were all separated by age into different rooms. So - the infant room had babies from about 12 to 18 months. The toddler room was 18 months to 2 years, etc. etc. Makes sense. But there was just something about seeing those little babies in the infant room that broke my heart. The daycare was fine and the kids were all sitting there together. But they just seemed so little. Too little to be outside of a home... in a centre all grouped together... being cared for by strangers. Sigh.

I know this is normal. And this is what happens. But it just made me sad. And - as my parents both said to me - I'm probably going to hate all daycare centres, and I'm probably going to be a complete and total mess when it's Anna's time.

For now, I think I'll just focus on her little bathing suit and her Junior Scientist certificate.

That makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Unexpected

When I was pregnant, I don't know what I really expected to happen after my baby was born.

Yes, I expected to be tired. And I expected to be busy. I knew that I'd have to feed and change and take care of this little human's basic needs. But there are some things that nobody can tell you about that you just sort of discover on your own.

For example:

I didn't expect to have a bald, blue-eyed baby. When my midwife first checked me while I was in labour and could tell that my baby had very little hair (kinda gross when you think about how she could tell, no?)... anyway - when she told me that I actually yelled out "Umm... what??" And then when I discovered she had light hair and blue eyes, I was a little bit thrown for a loop. I fully expected a mini-me. I've had dark, dark hair since I was born (and I was born with a full head of hair, too), and have always had brown eyes. Anna? Is still pretty bald 5 months later. And what hair she does have is very light. Sometimes I look at her and think "Are you really mine?" And then she giggles after farting and I know she's got my family's genes.

I didn't expect to lose so much damn hair. It's still falling out like crazy. I'm finding it absolutely everywhere. It's nasty. Like right now... I'm looking at a long, black hair making a question mark shape on my couch cushion. It's like the house's way of asking me "When are you going to clean, lady?"

I didn't expect to enjoy "keeping house". I actually take pride in making my bed each morning, and keeping the kitchen clean, and doing load after load of laundry. The dusting, the floors and the tub, however? They remain dirty. I'm not a total June Cleaver.

I didn't expect to forget the hardest parts so quickly. It seems like ages ago that I would get up in the middle of the night (around 2-4am) and go down to the basement to feed Anna in a sleep-deprived fog. But it was really only a couple of months ago. It seems like even longer since I was up from about 10pm to 1 or 2 in the morning every night... sitting in the basement by myself, watching TV and holding Anna in my arms until she fell asleep, because holding her until she was out cold was the only way to get her to sleep at night. I almost can't remember what it was like to be that exhausted. Almost. And the days of stressing out each time I tried to breastfeed my wee baby are pretty much forgotten. Imagine that. If the me of today told the stressed-out-from-breastfeeding-me that one day I'd be whipping out my boob anywhere and Anna would be eating like a champ, I wouldn't believe her.

I didn't expect things to change so much every, single day. Anna grows and does new things all the time. But, I also mean that I didn't expect her to change things up on Mama every day, too. One day, she'll take a nice, long afternoon nap in her crib. The next day? She'll scream bloody murder if you try to put her anywhere near that damn thing. One day she loves going outside in her stroller. The next day, she wants to be held and will NOT sit in her car seat, thank you very much.

Motherhood. 'Tis an interesting, ever-changing, unexpected thing.