31 July 2014

Vaccination Hell

Happy two months to my sweet little monster.  Sadly, we celebrated by getting her first round of vaccinations – a whopping four in total! I’m all for the miracles of modern medicine and believe in vaccinations, but four in one go seems brutal.  Andrew was always a bit touchy on the day of vaccinations, but he was usually right as rain within 24 hours.  As for Maeve…holy hell! I was not prepared for the fussiness that descended upon my typically-happy little camper. Of course, as luck would have it, she started to get a cold on the same day as her shots.

We are now four days post-vaccination and she is still a fussy handful. It’s hard to say whether her crankiness and lack of appetite is due to the cold or the shots now.  I think the combo of both was just a little too rough, poor sweetie.  Of course, because I am the receptacle of all her bodily fluids, guess who also got sick?  I feel like I have been hit by a truck.  You should see the two of us sprawled on the couch, both drippy and cantankerous, it’s not a pretty sight.

So far the boys have managed to escape the bug. I’m not holding out much hope though because these things usually make the rounds.  Parenthood…not for the weak!

18 July 2014

Return to the blogosphere

Yup…I’m still kicking. Try as I might, over the past few years I just haven’t been able to get back into blogging.  Between working and raising an active four-year-old, I could barely string together a coherent sentence by the end of a typical day.  But now that I am home on maternity leave, I’m going to try my darnedest to get back into it.

Yes! You heard correctly. I am now on maternity leave for the next year. We finally had our baby girl after several years of deliberation and then a few losses. I look at her and have to pinch myself sometimes to remind me that this isn’t a dream. I was getting to the point where I was considering throwing in the towel on having our last child, and now here she is. 

Little Maeve came into the world on May 28 via planned C-Section. Everything went like clockwork.  Surgery is certainly easier to endure when you know what to expect and it isn’t an emergency. Thankfully I got that instant maternal bond the moment I set eyes on Maeve. I was worried about post-partum depression again like I had with Andrew, but aside from a few normal hormonal bouts, I seem to be in the clear this time.

Being a Mom for the second time has been far easier. I have less trepidation and I’m more content to just sit, snuggle and cherish the little things. Having gone through this age once, I know how quickly it all passes. Of course, my contentment is also aided by the fact that Maeve really is an easy/ textbook baby.  If she cries, I go through the typical checklist and she is easily settled…not like the uncontrollable crying from colic that her poor brother had.

Life with two kids has had certain challenges but the adjustment hasn’t been as difficult as I imagined thus far. In general, I think the second child just has to be more portable than the first. Andrew has adjusted beautifully and is very sweet with his baby sister. Any small bits of jealousy have been directed at either hubby or I and never at Maeve. If anything, he wants to include her in everything!  We do our best to give them each their own special time with us, but he usually wants Maeve included in whatever we are doing with him.  I think the age gap helps because he is old enough to play independently and keen to help.

So that’s what has been keeping me busy over the past few months - slowly navigating my way through the new “normal”.  I will endeavor to capture the next year at home not because I’m overly interesting, but rather because writing is a good outlet…otherwise I find myself making up songs about the baby to the tune of whatever happens to be playing on the radio…really!  A lack of adult companionship during the days will mess with your head.

Welcome to the world baby girl!

02 February 2014

Never a dull moment

Life with a four-year-old is exhausting, but certainly never boring.  Every day our mealtimes are peppered with questions, facts learned in school, and what can only be described at oddities.  I am always amazing by the dichotomy between childishness and maturity at this age. One second Andrew is spouting off some eloquently-phrased gem of wisdom, followed swiftly by robot noises or the proud announcement of flatulence.  It’s like living with someone with multiple personality disorder.

A few newly acquired oddities and phrases: 

  • Shocking people - Andrew loves to make use of the dry cold weather and the abundant static electricity that comes with it.  Just don’t let the kid near polar fleece…it’s not a happy ending for anyone.

  • Patriotism – singing the national anthem loudly and off-key while on the toilet.  I really should remind him that there are more appropriate places to play homage to our country.

  • Chilling – “I’m just going to chill here for a little bit.” Usually said while sprawled on the couch, fighting to keep his eyes open and avoid a nap.

  • Sugar – “Oh my God!  I LOVE sugar.”  Revealed in utter amazement, with slightly glazed eyes, after sampling the goods from a birthday party loot bag.

  • Possessiveness – “Where is MY baby?”  Yes, he thinks that the baby in my belly is actually “his” and that it is merely being grown by me until it comes into the world..."his" world. This will be the most over-protective big brother in the world.

  • Science – “Holy cow! I did science.”  The response I got one day after asking him what he learned at school.  He now thinks he is a master of all things science.

  • Birds and Bees – “How did that baby get inside your belly?”  My answers have all proved unsatisfactory to date.  “With love” just isn’t cutting it as an answer. Time to whip out the big gun answers I guess.

  • Despite the fact that I am pelted with a constant barrage of chatter, ill-timed jokes or questions, I wouldn’t swap out this stage of my kiddo’s development for anything. Because all these silly little things combined brighten my day.  And hopefully, this has brightened your day a little too.

    And now, for your viewing pleasure, here is kiddo learning about static electricity at our local science museum.  Note to self: Don't give your kid a buzz cut before this experiment...ruins the effect. The sheer look of terror, however, PRICELESS.  Here really did love it...I swear!

    11 January 2014

    So this happened this week...

    Can you guess why? It’s a GIRL!

    Hubby and I can hardly believe our luck. We always figured that we would have two boys. I would have been happy with another little guy, especially after all the ups and down it took us to get to this point; a girl is just the icing on the cake. I actually cried when I found out during the ultrasound.

    To celebrate, I did what any other woman would do – I shopped! I just had to rush out and mark the moment by getting baby girl her first frilly little outfit. I’ll admit that I felt totally out of my depth in the girl’s department – the clothing just seems so much more complicated. Something tells me I’ll get the hang of it though.

    Drew’s reaction to the gender reveal was very sweet. He is very excited to have a little baby sister to “protect” and has already started taking the role quite seriously. He is forever kissing my belly, calling her beautiful, and telling her about all the neat things they can do when she comes out. It's fun to see how engaged he is and how much he wants to be part of the process, I guess that’s one of the benefits of a larger age gap. He gets the concept a bit better at this age and is eager to help. The one burning question he does have is, “How on earth did she get in Mommy’s belly?” No doubt, the response will likely need its own blog post.

    04 January 2014

    Sexy laundry

    First off, get your mind out of the gutters!

    I’m a mother of a crazy four-year-old boy and I’m rapidly approaching porpoise size with my current pregnancy. You know darn well there is nothing in my current wardrobe befitting of the title “sexy.”

    While my clothing certainly leaves a lot to be desired, at least I can say that the room in which I wash said clothing is looking a little more fashion-forward. Gone are the days of lusting over designer dresses and accessories, now I fantasize over dressing up my laundry room. Perhaps it’s a wee bit depressing, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t happy. After all, I do seem to spend a good deal of my “free” time in the laundry room. Basically, I just needed a functionality overhaul. Because my laundry room is on the main floor of my house, and readily visible to guests using the powder room. I would often leave the door open, revealing a bulging shelf and a myriad of washing supplies and towels strewn around. It wasn’t very practical. So this Christmas my husband fulfilled a longstanding request – the need for more storage!

    So far we have put up new cabinets, added a cheap table top over the machine for folding clothes, and I splurged on some glass tiles to freshen up the space. Not being the handiest of people, I have to say that I am pretty proud of both hubby and I for our progress so far. Once we got into the reno spirit, we decided to rip out the hideous stained utility sink, and replace it with a modern stainless steel one. These projects always have a domino effect – you start with one little thing and you soon find yourself doing a whole room remodel.

    So here is the look thus far. I wish I had taken a true "before" shot. Today we tackle the sink (side note - plumbing frightens me). I may go around wearing hideous clothing, but at least I will clean it in style. As you can see, I totally have my priorities straight.

    03 January 2014

    We aren’t cool anymore

    First day back at work after the holidays and Drew’s first day back to school…sigh.

    As if returning to the office wasn’t enough of a punch in the gut, the little guy’s enthusiasm was the real kicker this morning. He was so happy to be back from holidays. I suppose I should be thrilled, but a small part of me wishes he would show a tiny hint of remorse over not getting to spend the day with his father and I. When it comes down to it, we’re just no competition anymore when it comes to entertainment. I can’t say I blame him though, how do you live up to the same excitement as a whole classroom full of buddies?

    I am hoping I can redeem my coolness this weekend by bringing Drew out to a museum or some sort of little excursion. The poor kid has been bottled up inside for the past four days straight because the temperature has been hovering around a bone-chilling – 27ºC (- 40º when you tack on the wind). I was supposed to bring him out yesterday but hubby’s car would not start so he needed to take mine for the day to go into the office. Needless to say, kiddo was none too happy. Here’s hoping the deep freeze tapers off soon because we’re all going a little stir crazy. I am both proud and ashamed to admit that this was the first day, in about four days, that I have gotten dressed. To mark the occasion, I even combed my hair ; )

    01 January 2014

    New year, new start

    To say that my blogging abilities went downhill in 2013 is an understatement. I believe that my last post was a thrilling number written some twelve months ago about sitting in chocolate on my seat at work and the ensuing embarrassment…riveting stuff. Seems that’s all the effort I could muster in a whole year. WEAK.

    I could blame it on being busy, on being a working mom or having other priorities but, truth be told, I just lost my writing mojo. And in a very sad way, I started to see myself as a bit dull. Who would possibly want to read about a 30-something year old working Mom that lives her life down to the detailed second? And therein lies the problem, I forgot how to take the time to have a personality or, better yet, to check in with myself from time to time to see how things were going. I forgot that writing doesn’t always have to be satirical on entertaining, sometimes it is just plain old therapeutic.

    To say that 2013 was easy would be a lie. I lost two much-wanted pregnancies, my mother had a horrible fall which still has her laid up seven months later, and hubby suddenly lost his job after almost eight long years of happy and gainful employment. Work was also increasingly stressful for me, at times making me seriously consider whether I would need to take a break from it all. At times it was difficult not to wallow in the “bad” of 2013. But there is the good that helps counterbalance things.

    So instead, let’s focus on the positives of a whirlwind year. I had a beautiful family vacation on Lake Erie, I won a job competition at work, Andrew started school and loves it, hubby found an ever better job only six weeks after losing his job and I am now 18 weeks pregnant. And, while work stress continues to be at all all-time high, I am just thankful to be employed. In many ways, 2013 helped to solidify what things in my life really matter, and what items are simply "extras".

    As a new year begins, I’m not going to reveal a master plan of detailed resolutions. Instead I will only say one thing – this year I will take time for myself, whatever form that may take.

    Wishing all my readers, if indeed there are still any out there, a healthy, happy and wonderful New Year.