To my sweet little boy

Dear sweet boy, mommy loves you. SO much. more than you’ll ever know. a love so big and so deep that she’d go to the ends of the earth and back to do anything for you. to keep you happy, safe, and loved. 

but sometimes mommy gets frustrated and angry, and acts in what may appear to be a not very loving way. please know that it’s for your own good, and for her sanity (which is very important to your well being). 

when you scream at the top of your lungs because you don’t like what she told you to do (or because you’re not allowed to do something, like say, hit the dog and pull his tail) it’s very hard for mommy to help you understand because you don’t listen (or want to listen). mommy is telling you no because it’s not nice to hurt the dog, and if you irritate him too much he might get mad. doggies don’t use words to tell you they don’t like what you’re doing; they use their voice and their teeth. and that’s not nice either.

when it’s 11pm at night and she’s been trying to help you go to sleep for the last 3.5 hours please understand that her frustration is justified. she’s had a long day, she’s tired and would like to have even 20 minutes to herself (maybe to pee alone, or do some laundry, or just sit quiet without hearing “mom!” every 30 seconds). AND, because it’s past your bedtime. by a lot. you need your sleep more than she does because you are a growing boy and, even moreso, because you are absolutely miserable when you don’t get it. believe me, she knows what she’s talking about.  

she can only imagine how frustrating it must be being almost two and a half. not being able to always communicate what you want/need (mostly because you tend to scream); wanting to do things that aren’t safe (like letting yourself out the back patio and falling down the concrete stairs) and discovering & learning new things everyday. but you have no idea how hard it is to raise you right now (especially when you won’t sleep). 

please understand that she is trying to do her best. sometimes she yells, sometimes she cries, but she always tries to put a smile on your face (as much as she can) because you’ve put a smile on hers every day since you were a wee babe growing in her belly.

most of all she loves you. no matter how she behaves, or what she says or does (that you may or may not agree with), please, please try to always remember that. and she always will.

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toddler life.

i have oh-so-many intentions of blogging more often than i actually do it. i am constantly thinking about situations and topics that would make for a good post and then by the time i sit down at my computer i end up doing design work instead. and, of course, the design work needs to be done but, really, when i have so much on my mind i’d rather be writing a blog! well today, i decided to put some of that design work aside and do just that (YAY!).

now, what am i going to write about …

for 10-ish days we’re dog-sitting my parents’ doberman Lola, so things are a little hectic around here. having her, plus our hound, plus a wild toddler (with a little too much energy) equals a crazy house! it’s definitely a change from when we watched her last fall when they went away. both the dogs are the same but i’m working more and my son has grown and changed so much since then, oh, and my hubby is on midnights (happy happy joy joy, right?) … she’s only been here 3 days and i think i’ve swept 10 times (not exaggerating) and vacuumed at least twice (and the dog hair still appears to be everywhere). our hound sheds more than any dog i’ve ever had and Lola is a close second.

oh, and add to that the fact that little man has been having a sort of nighttime sleeping hiatus (the fun we have around here, eh?). the past two and a half weeks have been rough. every few months he seems to go through something like this – whether it be from teething, a new developmental milestone or just being a toddler, it’s hard. on all of us. and of course, this all happens when hubby is working overnight. i now know how single parents feel at nighttime when their children just won’t sleep and they have to work in the morning. patience wears thin. very thin. especially when you’re going on only 4 hours of broken sleep from the night before. doing that more than 2 days in a row makes you go a little nutso, and by a little, i mean a LOT. the middle of the night seems to be when my patience is at it’s lowest. i think it’s even worse when i’ve literally *JUST* fallen asleep and all of a sudden the monitor clicks on and i hear a soft little voice calling out to me, “moooooom, mooooommmy, mom”. i love that little man of mine but my sleep is a close runner-up for things i love most.

when he was younger it was easier to be awoke in the night by his faint little cries. i wasn’t working at the time and he was still nursing so a little milk sometimes solved the problem and if that wasn’t the case, i didn’t mind sitting with him to help him relax again. the fact that he now has oh-so-much energy and enthusiasm (and tantrums, did i mention tantrums?) during the day likely adds to the frustration i feel at night; i’m much more exhausted than i was when he was a wee babe! but, alas, you do what you have to do to help your child feel safe, comforted and loved.

the amount of pure, raw energy that my son possesses never ceases to surprise me. he is a little ball of crazy! he’s always running (and i mean constantly), jumping, screaming and squealing. ALL. DAY. LONG. i’ve spoke to friends, colleagues and parents of toddler boys and i know that his behaviour is (fairly) normal. he does not sit and colour for more than 3 minutes. the crayons become a toy and then dumping them in and out of the container is the new thing to play. or peeling off the wrappers, or trying to eat them, or hide them, or colour on the floor with them. he does not sit and read a book for more than 5 minutes. the stories are changed to a short version with words left out so that we actually can finish “reading” one or two (two, ha!). the only time he’ll sit and listen to a story is at naptime or bedtime, otherwise, pffft, why would he sit down when there’s things to do?! he does not sit and watch an entire movie. he’ll sit for (maybe) 10-15 mins and then get up and play with his toys, but don’t you dare turn that movie off because he’ll tell you he’s watching it. and meal times? forget about sitting for more than a few minutes unless the iPad is on with one of his “shows”. it’s he only way i can get him to eat anything lately, and honestly, i don’t care because he’s actually eating something. i know this too shall pass and one day i’ll be able to sit down and do a fun activity or craft with my son, but until that time comes, i’ll let him be the wild, crazy, funny and loveable little man that he is.

memories of grandpa g

as i sat down tonight with a cup of tea and some chocolate chip cookies tonight, memories of my grandfather came to mind. my hubby had just left for work and i decided i’d have a little snack before heading downstairs to do some freelance. i quite enjoy dipping cookies (especially chocolate chip or rainbow chocolate chip) in my tea. that warm, soft, goey texture is just soooo good! especially after a long day chasing around my adorable, little-ball-of-crazy-energy son. although, i must admit, it’s hard to not eat the whole bag! we can’t keep cookies in the house for that very reason; i just love them too much, and i get it honestly. when i was a child i, apparently, used to always need to have 2 of everything, especially cookies. and now, my son is following in my footsteps but, really, can you blame him? who wants just one cookie! that’s crazy talk.

i fondly remember my dad’s father telling me that he’d wake up every night between 3-4am, head upstairs, eat 5 cookies and then go back to bed. he used to try to bring them back to bed with him but my grandmother wasn’t too fond of being woke up by his crunching and munching, lol. he said, sometimes you just need to have a few cookies; even if it’s the middle of the night. i pictured him sitting in his button down pajamas (a matching dark blue long-sleeved set is the one i remember most) in the rocking chair and enjoying his late night/early morning indulgence. he definitely had a sweet tooth! when i was a child he used to give me a loonie to go to the variety store around the corner from his house to buy candy (and back then, you could get a lot for a dollar!). i think now you’d probably just get one chocolate bar, and really, what fun is that.

as much as he loved his sweets, he was one of the pickiest eaters. when i worked at our local newspaper, i frequently had lunch dates with my grandparents. they’d pick me up from work and we’d go to a restaurant of their choosing. my grandfather’s meal of choice was almost always wieners & beans or a hot-beef sandwich. he’d always bring the leftovers home (as a man in his late 80’s he didn’t eat much), but they were for the dog, of course. he also used to put the little sugar, butter, jam and peanut butter packets in his pocket to take home for later. he tried to sneak them into my grandmother’s purse but she would scold him for trying to do so, haha. i would often get a soup & sandwich combo which, naturally, came with a dill pickle on the side. oh how i LOVE dill pickles! well, my grandpa didn’t. even the smell of them was enough to drive him batty. if a food looked funny he wouldn’t eat it; smelled different, nope; a colour other than the “normal” colours (say pink), no way. ahhh memories.

i often think about how much fun it would be to be able to see him with my son. he’d get a kick out of his silly behaviour and definitely would’ve teased him to a ridiculous extent because, well, that’s what he used to do to us! sadly, he passed away 3 months before the little man was born.

he was a wonderful, silly, old fart who’s family meant more than anything in the world to him. i know that one day i’ll see him again and until then, i’ll do my best to be as wonderful and silly as he was.

MeandGrandpaG

it’s a blog

here i sit at my computer, 11:21pm on Sunday night. there are SO many things i’ve been thinking about blogging lately but just haven’t found the time to do so. it’s been a little busy around here. and by a little, i mean, A LOT. everyday we have something going on, whether it’s big or small, there’s always something preoccupying our time instead of just being able to sit and enjoy our little family. for example, i had to work 11-5 today. since hubby is on midnights my mom came over to watch the little guy so that the big guy could sleep. i got home close to 6pm, we had dinner and then put our wee man to bed. tomorrow afternoon we have an in-house appointment for transferring funds to a spousal rrsp; i work  on Tuesday so hubby will stay up to hang out with the little guy until i’m home and then he’ll sleep until he needs to head to work for his midnight shift. little man and i may be visiting with a friend of mine that day as well. Wednesday we actually have no plans (shhhh, don’t tell anyone). Thursday we have a funeral in the morning (sudden death on my father’s side of the family). Friday we’re visiting with my sister (YAY!). i work Saturday & Sunday so we’ll have one of the grandmas over to watch the little man so hubby can sleep, and that brings us back to Sunday night. somewhere in there we need to get groceries, cut the little guy’s hair, clean the house (which is seemingly neverending), dye my hair, work on photobooks, do freelance design, oh, maybe some laundry, perhaps squeeze in a workout or two and maybe, just maybe, find some time to relax. sigh.

i promise i’ll get back into the swing of things and my usual tone of blogs; i just need to find the time … i’m heading off to bed. thinking about being busy is making me tired, go figure!

 

a new post!

well it’s 2015 and this is my first blog post of the year. it’s a little late, i realize, being that it’s February and i haven’t posted anything since last October. to be honest, i sort of fell into a rut! i had every intention of blogging (quite often actually) but then something would come up, my son wouldn’t sleep, i had design work to do, we had plans etc etc. … and now it’s February, the 17th to be exact. where has the time gone? honestly! you always hear people saying that time seems to go by faster the older you get. the days may seem long but the years are short … it’s all true! i remember being young and feeling like the days were taking forever to go by; and now, well, now i long for my days to last just a little longer. perhaps a few more hours to enjoy my family, or a few more hours to sleep, or more time to get caught up with friends (who i feel like i really never see anymore).

the fact that my sweet, caring and funny son turned two last week really hit me hard (not in a bad way but in a holy-crap-my-son-is-two sort of way). it feels like it was just a few months ago that i was holding him in my arms for the first time, cuddling his tiny newborn features, smelling his sweet new baby smell, becoming a mother for the first time. he’s no longer a baby, he’s a little boy. a chatterbox who loves to laugh, run and dance. it’s amazing how much changes in the first few years of life. he’s so independent now, such a change from that sweet baby boy he used to be. he makes me laugh everyday (just like his daddy does) with his goofy behaviour and silly things he says and does. it’s definitely busy being a mom of a wild little man! oh how i long for the moments when we just sit and read a book, or colour a picture or play with a toy for more than 5 minutes, but those moments are few and far between.

he is a funny little ball of energy constantly on the go-go-go! or as he likes to say “go go go mommy!” “go go go daddy!” “go go go Sophie!” (his toy giraffe) “go go go Feefa!” (Aunt Eva) and so on … one of his favourite songs is Go Freeze (a song off the 2014 Christmas album by Bobs & Lolo – a Canadian children’s duo). he absolutely LOVES music and dancing. it’s fun to hear him sing his ABC’s (O O O O P instead of L M N O P), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or the theme song from Toopy & Binoo (or Beeeon as he says). if he hears a song on the radio while we’re in the car he’ll say “dance!!” and then start moving back and forth in his car seat, too cute. i saved an old cell phone and loaded it with songs and photos that he likes so that when he’s having a meltdown in the car (because he wants out of his seat, or wants milk, or hasn’t slept and is cranky or whatever the reason may be) he can pick a song he likes and look at fun pictures. some days i don’t know what i would do if i didn’t have that old phone! listening to a screaming toddler is not on my list of fun things to do while riding in a car, haha. lately, his 2 favourite songs are Domino by Jessie J and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, which he’ll both play over and over and over. i remember one day, a few weeks ago, i let him play with the phone in the house (which doesn’t always happen but he was sick and not feeling well so i figured, why not) and for at least an hour the only 2 songs we listened to were those ones. fun for him but a little mind-numbing for mommy.

well, as much as i’d like to write more (and really, i should considering i’ve been MIA for so long), i’m off to work on some freelance design and possibly tidy up the house (a little). i need to take advantage of the times when my son is willing to have a daytime nap (since he had his napping hiatus from the middle of December to the beginning of February, but that’s another post altogether) but really, i’d rather just surf the web until he wakes up.

are you tired? i’m tired.

i was sitting here at my computer sending out an email proof for a photobook (for my friends over at Renaissance Studios) and my mind started to wander, like it tends to do, especially when my toddler isn’t around to distract me. i can see him on the monitor, sound asleep, looking rather comfy in his new grobag sleepsack. it reminds me that i probably should get more sleep instead of the 5ish hours i’ve been getting all week since my hubby started midnights. i feel like my free time lately has been spent doing everything except what i’d actually like to be doing (like working on little man’s halloween costume, or sorting through our closets and storage area, or just relaxing, crocheting something new which i haven’t done in over a year).

i need a rest. a day to myself (mostly); a day where i actually go to bed at a decent hour (instead of sometime between 12:30 and 2am). a day where i don’t check my email (hahahahaha). a day just for me. but then when i think about taking a whole day to myself i feel guilty and i know i’ll miss my son … ok, so maybe i just need like half a day – that would work, i think. half a day for me! it’s very tiring working part time at a retail store, designing wedding photo albums, doing freelance graphic design, keeping our house looking (somewhat) decent, not letting the laundry pile up too high, chasing around my 20 month old son (eep! where has the time gone!), oh and squeezing in some time to spend with my amazing husband. it seems as though my 24 hour day is really only 12 hours, 5 of which i’m sleeping, 2 where my son naps (or should be) and then there’s maybe 5 hours to do all those aforementioned things. i know i may be exaggerating a little but it sure doesn’t feel like it!

being a parent is tiring more than anything. i love my son, a bigger love than i ever thought possible, but i also love my sleep (and really, who doesn’t). and, i need sleep to function a little better than i have been lately. hubby and i haven’t really had much time to ourselves since he started midnights last Sunday (and he worked OT last night, is there right now working and will be working more OT again tomorrow night. long weekend? nah). he’s at work when i’m sleeping and i wake up shortly after he gets home. he sleeps until around the time the little guy wakes up from his nap and then it’s the 3 of us until wee man goes to bed and then the routine starts over. i’m sure things will get easier as he gets comfortable in his new schedule but this first week has been long. add to that me being at work, hubby doing a few photoshoots on the side (check out his work here!), oh and it’s Thanksgiving this weekend too so pile on the turkey, pie and visiting … aaaaaand being with our son, who seems to be a bit of a mama’s boy lately. i don’t really mind this, except for when we’re at the grocery store, like today, for example, when any time i stepped more than a foot away from the cart (2 feet maybe to grab an item off a shelf – don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, it was a zoo! but i didn’t have much choice as our cupboards were looking pretty bare) little man would shout, “mom! mom! moooooom!”. let me tell you, an hour and a half of that, plus him pulling every item he could reach out of the cart wore my patience thin. oh, and add in his defiance towards his car seat. sorry sweetie, seatbelts and carseats are not optional, especially at your age.

i feel like i’m falling asleep while i type this so perhaps i should turn in for the night; or at least go upstairs and crawl into bed and maybe read (or shop around on Etsy, hehe). i miss the days when little man would just cuddle up and snooze on me; where i could crawl into bed and if he fussed just bring him in to sleep curled up beside me. i miss his newborn smell, his little coos and big sighs BUT i love, so much, the little boy he’s becoming. he may not be a baby anymore but he’ll always be my baby.

[insert clever title here]

my sweet little man and i went to walmart the other day to pick up a few things (yard waste bags were on sale 10 for $3.77!) … we were strolling through the baby/toddler section when i overheard a woman in another isle say, “i wish i had a little girl. it would be so much fun dressing her up and playing.” to which another voice replied, “me too, i really wish i had had a girl.” a few moments later 2 young girls walked around the corner, one with 2 boys in a double stroller and the other with a little guy about the same age as my son in her stroller.

my jaw dropped and my eyebrows raised. here were 2 women with (what appeared to be) healthy children, shopping and casually talking about how they wish they had daughters instead of sons. it took everything in me not to react to their conversation with my own two cents. really? you wish you had a daughter? do you know that there are thousands of people that are hoping, praying and doing everything they can just to have the opportunity to be a parent? families who spend their savings for a “chance” at having a family of their own?  women who have tried and suffered the loss of little one (be it in utero or still birth)? and so on.

you don’t want to be a teen parent? simple solution, don’t have sex. it’s the best birth control and it’s free. i know that may sound harsh but it’s honest. i remember being in high school and my parents & i having conversations about teen pregnancy and what it meant to raise a child. they gave me some good advice, which i intend to pass along to my son (when he’s old enough to worry about such things); if you’re ready to have sex, you need to be prepared to have a child of your own, because no birth control out there is 100% effective. there is a consequence to everything we do in life and we need to think about the outcome.  life is happening all around us whether we want it to or not!

alas, i kept my opinion to myself and leaned down to give my son a kiss on the forehead and a little squeeze. i never want him to think for a moment that i’m not happy with being a mother to a little boy. i can only hope that those two women we saw today have the sense to not talk such rubbish around their children when they’re old enough to understand what exactly it is their mothers are saying. urgh.