To clean, or not to clean.

Tonight I had good intentions of cleaning the whole house. Pretty unrealistic really, considering it’s 11:45pm and all I’ve done is laundry and play on facebook (oh, I did have a snack too). Lately I’ve just been feeling so unmotivated in the evenings after my hubby leaves for work. I used to have such energy and a desire to do all the things once he left the house – the only real “free” time I have and when I’m alone (sort of). Even though both kids are asleep upstairs, it still feels like I have a small ounce of freedom to do (almost) anything I like. And what do I do, nothing productive.

Hubby and I have talked about the fact that I need to get more sleep but it’s just so hard for me to do. I’m exhausted after being with the kids all day but after they’re in bed, I want to spend what little time I have with him before he leaves for work (even if it’s only for an hour, sometimes less). Thus the “things” I want/need to do get pushed aside until he heads out the door (especially lately). And I really need that quiet time. Even if it’s just for sitting around and scrolling through facebook on my phone. Just the simple fact that I have no one to answer to is peaceful (until of course one of the little munchkins stirs in their sleep).

I don’t like to clean and distract myself too much during the day when I’m with the kids. Obviously I’ll sweep and tidy up the dishes after we eat but recently I’ve really been trying to just leave housework until hubby wakes up or until after the kids are asleep BUT it’s SO HARD for me to do that. I don’t like the dishes piling up, or toys strewn alllll over the house, or dirt that needs to be swept up just chilling on the floor like hey girl, I know you see me here, but it’s cool if you leave me here to chill until later. I’ll just get my awesome dirt buddies to come join me until you’re ready to sweep us up. URGH.

I’ll be honest, sometimes when the baby is down for her nap I’ll put a movie on the TV or give my son the iPad so that I can get a few things done before it looks any worse. I realize it’s not that big of a deal to some people but it bothers me. Even if we aren’t expecting any company, having it clean just makes me feel better, happier. And for some reason all of my motivation is raring to go during the day, the worst time for me to think about cleaning because, kids.

Gah. Tomorrow is another day.

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A little time.

I ugly cried tonight. A lot. I feel like a terrible mother because I’m frustrated, tired and full of guilt for wanting some time alone.

My husband is in New Brunswick with my dad for a hunting/visiting/bonding vacation – my father was born out east. He has family (and land) there and has gone every October for as long as I can remember. This year was different though because my hubby went along with him; for 9 days. NINE. Eight overnights and nine daytimes. That’s approximately 216 hours, or 12,960 minutes. Which turns into long days of just me, our 3.5 year old son and our 3 month old daughter, figuring out what to do with ourselves. 

A lot has happened in the last year; I quit my job, we moved to a new city (well, where I grew up anyway) and added a second child to our little family. 

Back to tonight, right now. Right now I’m sitting in my daughter’s room holding her while we sway in the rocker (she just finished nursing). After multiple times trying to put her to bed an hour earlier than usual, I gave up and ugly cried while sitting with her; and nursed her again. I gave up on trying to get an extra hour of me time. And this week I need it more than ever.

My son is with my mom for a sleepover tonight. The times that my son goes for a sleepover, I have high hopes of doing things around the house because, let’s face it, trying to attempt anything more than the dishes is kinda pointless when you have a preschooler (and a baby). Yes, I do want to spend time with him and play, but it’s good for both of us if he learns to play a little on his own. Adding in a 3 month old presents its own challenges, which in turn, become obstacles at times.

Tonight I was hoping for a little quiet time, alone. I had it all planned out; my son was with my mom so I would put the baby to bed after she nursed around 9ish, finish the laundry, do the dishes, and sit on the couch relaxing. That plan went out the window, as I should’ve expected, like all my good plans do.

I’m exhausted, physically and mentally. The only time I have to myself is when both kids are in bed (and that’s if they don’t wake up multiple times). My little boy is inquisitive, energetic and curious (oh, and loud too) which makes this mama tired . He has so many little quirks and idiosyncrasies that make our days (and nights) longer than most. It’s wearing me down. And with hubby away until late Thursday/early Friday, the exhaustion is starting to take its toll.

I’m going to try (again) to lay the little lady in her bed. I guess I just needed to get all of this off my chest, thanks for listening.

How time flies! … Reminiscing about my son’s birth

I wrote this post in February 2014 but then made a few edits after re-reading it.

Last week i decided to take a nap with my little guy instead of laying him in his crib; we went downstairs, turned on the tv and watched treehouse for about 15 minutes before he curled up with his head on my shoulder. i covered us both up with a warm, fuzzy blanket (that has a hole in it from our dog who likes to scissor it with his teeth, but that’s another story) and turned the boob-tube off. after about 5 minutes of finding the right position, he let out a big sigh and was out. as i lay there with him it reminded me of when he was only a few months old and how that used to be our daily routine. we’d get up in the morning, head downstairs and just sleep on and off on the couch all day; sometimes we’d both sleep, both of us in our jammies. as sweet memories of cuddling with him ran through my mind, it made me realize how fast this past year has gone by. on Thursday he had his first birthday, he turned 1 year old, ONE! where has the time gone? it seems like only a few months ago that he was so tiny; breastmilk his only nourishment; not eating solids, not feeding himself, definitely not talking and not crawling and definitely not walking. i remember his birth like it was only a few weeks ago instead of a year ago. i remember last year, early Februrary, my hubby and i trying all the old wives tales of how to induce labour so that our baby would be born on my husband’s birthday (which didn’t work by the way); massage, pressure points, bouncing on a birthing ball (big exercise ball), walking on the treadmill, eating spicy foods, etc etc. … little did we know the little guy wouldn’t arrive for a while yet (but hey, it was worth a shot, right?) …

this is the part where i talk about his birth; if you don’t want to read further, i’m not offended (well maybe a little haha), just wanted to give you a heads up.

my labour was long, and by long, i mean 34 hours long. thankfully i wasn’t experiencing crazy contractions that whole time, but still. i think that was the longest i’ve ever been awake and asleep at the same time.

my water broke while i was in bed on a Tuesday morning. thankfully i had a waterproof pad/blanket that i had been sleeping on for about a month (a very handy thing my mother lent to me that i plan on keeping until she asks for it back, hehe). i remember getting up to go pee around 9am and then crawled back into bed (i wanted to sleep just a little longer). about 15 minutes later i felt a trickle alongside my leg and thought, crap! i wet myself! then i felt whoooooosh! i thought, uh oh! that’s definitely not pee! i stood up as it started trickling down my leg and i ran to the washroom. i remember sitting on the toilet thinking, holy crap, this is the start of it! my hubby was at work on day shift at the time so it was just me and the hound dog at home. i calmly put on some comfy clothes, went downstairs and grabbed a glass of juice. then i thought, well, i should probably call my hubby to tell him what’s going on. i remember calling his supervisor’s cell number and saying, yeah can you please have him call me? about 10 minutes go by and the phone rings, hi. hey! so guess what happened about 15 minutes ago? uh … my water broke. holy crap, what should i do? well, i’m not having contractions so if you wanna stay until noon or whatever it’s ok by me, not much is going on. ok, i’ll see you in a bit … and 15 minutes later he was home, lol. he said he was sitting having his break with a friend of his when the supervisor came by and said, your wife needs you to call her. he said he looked at his buddy, his eyes got big and he thought, uh oh, this must be it, but tried to remain calm, haha. when he got home he looked a little anxious and i said to him, it’s all good, i haven’t had any contractions yet. i’m just running to the washroom a lot as i keep feeling my water trickling down and then a whoosh after (fun times, i know). we called my sister, as she was the other person i wanted in the room with me when our baby was born, to tell her what was happening. she sounded soooo excited! i told her, don’t rush over, we’ll keep you posted. our day went on with not a lot happening except me running to the washroom every half hour or so.

my sis came over mid-afternoon, she was pretty excited when i told her what was going on! after she arrived we figured we should call the midwife to let her know what was going on. she told me she’d come by around 6/6:30 to see how i was doing and we could figure things out from there. she and our student midwife arrived, took my temperature asked me some questions and told me just to relax and wait until my contractions started. very nice and mellow 🙂 … they said if things weren’t really progressing over night then we’d plan to meet at the hospital at 7am.

my contractions started about an hour after the midwives left, about 20-30 mins apart and very mild. i was sitting on our exercise ball (or birth ball, since they’re pretty much the same thing) bouncing around hoping to get things going as i was already tired (i usually would have an afternoon nap but with all the excitement of labour having started i couldn’t really rest). i tried walking on the treadmill to get things going but that didn’t really do much either, lol. my sister went home after a few more hours (to try to snooze). i told her we’d call her to keep her updated. the contractions slowly progressed but i figured we should try to get some sleep considering we’d likely have a big day ahead of us! my hubby had downloaded a contraction timer app for the iPad so he gave it to me so i could hit the start button when i had one, and then stop when it ended. i didn’t sleep much that night as they kept progressing. around 2/2:30am they were 10 minutes apart and about 1-2 minutes long. they felt like achey period cramps, not fun, but tolerable. i basically slept in 10 minute bouts, between contractions. around 5am i called the midwife to let her know what was going on and ask if we should still plan for 7am or if we should head to the hospital sooner. she said if things stayed the same to still meet at 7, but if they changed to call her back. we ended up just meeting her and my sister at 7am. my sis looked like she’d slept about as little as i had, lol.

we checked into our birthing room, the midwives checked me and i was only 1cm dilated but fully effaced! talk about frustrating! LOL … they told us to walk around the hospital for about 3 hours and just relax and then they’d check me again. my sis, hubby and i made our rounds, took breaks, had a few snacks and then made our way back to the room. around 10:30am they checked me again and i was only at 2-3cm, grr!
because my water had been broke for over 24 hours the midwives said they needed to speed things up (as the chance of infection increases the longer your water has broke, especially if things aren’t progressing, which they clearly weren’t) … they started me on pitocin which i really didn’t want because it causes contractions to be SO much more intense than they naturally would be (BOOOOO!) … the dose was increased every hour; my contractions starting getting more intense and they checked me again 3 hours after that and i was only at 4cm! talk about frustrating. i think i needed to relax more at the point, but with it being so long since things had started and with it being our first child it was hard to do just that.

they waited another 3 hours and checked me again and i was still only at 4cm. i pretty much sat on a birth ball with my hands on the edge of the hospital bed the entire time i was having contractions as it was the only position that was somewhat comfortable to handle them. as they increased the levels of pitocin, my nausea increased and i became ill with every contraction. i don’t think i’ve ever thrown up that much in such a short time frame. i am so thankful for my hubby and sister being there, holding the garbage can, rubbing my back, doing whatever was needed.

… around 4:30/5pm my midwife came over to talk to me, she knew i really didn’t want to have an epidural or c-section and that i wanted to go as natural as i could but since things weren’t progressing and since my water had broke so long ago, she suggested me having an epidural … she said that i likely would be able to rest for a few hours and that since i’d been up since 9am the day before i needed to have as much energy as possible for when it was time to push. i was so against having one as i didn’t want to numb my body and basically throw away feeling the experience of birthing a baby.

i didn’t end up resting much, as when she checked me after another hour i was already at 9cm! YAY! … i pushed for only 40 minutes and the little man arrived safe and sound. i know there are a lot of women who wouldn’t necessarily want to go natural, especially during the last stage (where the brunt of the work takes place) but i wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. i remember feeling my whole midsection “heave” downward and i looked at my hubby and said, i didn’t do that! my body did! after that, i heard my midwife say, when you feel the urge to push, go with it, do go against it. i remember laying there with my eyes closed, holding onto the edge of the bedrail and gripping it hard each time i felt a big contraction and the urge to push. i know i pooped on the delivery table, twice. i fully admit it, i’m not embarrassed and i don’t care. it’s a good sign that you’re using all the right muscles 😉

once the baby’s head was out, it wasn’t long after that i felt the most crazy, amazing and beautiful feeling when the little body slipped out. i remember thinking, holy crap! i just pushed out a baby! they placed the baby on top of me, wrapped in a blanket and my midwife said to my husband, well is it a boy or girl? he looked under the blanket and said, it’s a boy! i remember the tears streaming down my face; a wonderful, healthy, perfect little boy. i’m welling up with tears as i type this now. i remember the overwhelming feeling of love as i looked at his tiny little features, dark hair and big, wide eyes, staring up at me. hello baby boy. my baby, my boy. my little man.

my sister took the first pics of him with her cell phone and the first short video. it’s so fantastic that we have that. i watch it all the time and it all comes back. every little moment. the laughter between contractions talking with the midwives about what kind of booze we like to drink (well, what kind i used to drink, lol), wearing my own gown for the birth, having my hubby and sister by my side throughout the whole experience. holding my little boy for the first time.

once the cord finished pulsing, my hubby cut it and we cuddled with our little man for about an hour before the rest of the family came in to meet him. my midwife said i’d be an ideal candidate for a home birth if we have another baby, so i told her i’d think about it. i’m honestly not sure if i’d go that route or not, but it’s something to think about if we decide to have another one. it’d be wonderful to be at home.   after the family gave their hugs, love and blessings. i got to have a shower! it wasn’t an amazing shower (the midwife basically hosed me down as i stood leaning agains the wall, lol) but i was wonderful none the less! after that, i got dressed, sat in the wheelchair and i was able to go home with my perfect little baby boy, only 2.5 hours after he was born. it was amazing! i remember coming home, laying down in our bed and saying to my hubby, just put him right here in my arms, and we’ll go to sleep. i didn’t move until he stirred to be fed. i nursed him and we both fell right back asleep. it was the most relaxing sleep i’d had in months. and it was even better because i had our little baby to cuddle with.

the next day when the midwife came to the house to check on us she said that basically i just had an “hour break” with the epidural … she said that normally if you have one you can’t feel anything on your lower half (waist down into your thighs), your legs are somewhat numb/wobbly etc … she said that it all worked out in the end for me with having a natural birth and that was why i was able to go home so soon after.

i loved having a midwife. i loved that she came to see us the day after the birth, 3 days after, 5 days after and 7 days after. we didn’t have to go anywhere until his first 2 week check up. (although we did go to have his hearing tested on day 5). it was so nice to have the care and attentiveness that the midwives provide; and to have it for the first 6 weeks postpartum was incredible! (i’ll post more about that another time).

our little baby boy is now a little toddler, who’s walking around at an alarming rate now. walking, talking (babbling), squealing, laughing, growing and learning more and more every day. i always wondered what it’d be like to be a mom, what it would feel like being pregnant, giving birth and caring for a baby. i no longer wonder, but now lovingly remember and cherish my experience with the pregnancy and birth, and eagerly anticipate the life ahead of my precious little boy.

big sigh.

wow, i can’t believe how long it’s been since i’ve sat down to write a blog post! like i’ve said before, i think about it all the time! there are things i want (and need) to vent, err, write about but i always think about it at the most in-opportune times; when i’m at work, driving my truck, putting my son to bed, etc. … i’m actually pretty impressed that i decided to sit down now and do this! i enjoy blogging/writing/etc but i find that life seems to be busy lately and i don’t want to sit at the computer to write a blog when there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash or just tidying up in general to take care of. that, and sometimes i just feel like sitting in my big recliner and falling asleep watching tv instead of using my brain at the end of the day (hehe).

what made me think of blogging this time around is the fact that, for the first time ever, i’m going on an overnight shopping trip with a girlfriend tomorrow (hi Laura!) – weeeeeee!! i’m so excited! not only because it’s the first time i’m doing this, but because it’s like a little mini vacation away from my crazy toddler (whom i adore but naturally need a little time away from).

i was feeling overwhelmed with work (and family) and hadn’t had a lot of time to myself – even bathroom trips alone are a rarity when you’re the parent of a curious little child … i decided to take a little break from the wedding photobooks and freelance design work that i do. back in the spring, actually, right around the time that i wrote my last blog post, we were going through some intense sleep issues with our son and everything started to pile up on me. all of my “free time” was being occupied by working for someone else. i would come home from my part-time job and hubby would head upstairs to go to bed (since he’s on midnights). i’d hang out with our little man, put him to bed and then sit down at the computer to work on photobooks, logo design, etc sometimes until midnight or after. i was doing this almost every night of the week (on top of that, add in laundry, dishes, tidying etc). i think i finally came to a breaking point when my son conveniently went through his sleep-rejection bout, as i like to call it. i was snapping at my husband and our son over the silliest and smallest little things. i wasn’t being the person i wanted to be; the wife and mother that i should and used to be. the stress of working too much was starting to take over and i finally noticed.

after a few weeks of less-work-and-more-me-time things started to change. my attitude improved, my stress-level dropped and i was happier. i wanted (and needed) to spend more time with my family and friends and was finally able to start making that a reality. it’s been an amazing and eye-opening experience over the last 4 months and i don’t intend for things to every return to how they were.

i’ll keep it short and sweet as i have laundry to finish and my overnight bag has yet to be packed … this mama is ready for some girl time!

mom.

well, it happened. for the first time in my employment history, i cried in front of my boss. i’m not an overly emotional person and have never been one to break down in front of someone other than my family or close friends, but i did today. i never thought i’d be that person who cries at work, but i crossed that one off this morning.

i went into work for a meeting with my boss about upcoming holidays (i’m hoping to get 2 weeks off, one in July and one in September so that we can have an actual family vacation) and was planning on mentioning my disappointment and frustration with working so many weekends (as of the second weekend in June, i will have worked 7 out of 8 weekends in a row). everything was going fine, and then we started talking about the work schedule and she mentioned that i don’t offer a lot of flexibility so it’s not always easy booking me in (that’s another story). i started to tell her about how the wee man hasn’t been sleeping (for the last 2 months), how he’s sick and teething right now, how hubby is on midnights so it’s just me with the little guy almost every night, how the lack of sleep is draining me mentally & physically, and, add to that, working every weekend, is starting to pile up and is wearing me down. i only have one day a week that i can spend with my husband and son where hubby doesn’t have to go into work (Saturdays). while i don’t expect to have every weekend off (i’m in retail and that’s just part of the job), i also don’t expect to have to work every weekend. i welled up with tears and they lingered there in my eyes for a good 5-10 minutes while we spoke. i told her i’m not normally this emotional and that i’ve just been going through a lot outside of work and it’s all coming down on me. she told me she thought i was going to tell her i was pregnant, ha! i replied with, oh gawd, i hope not. i’m not ready for another one yet.

i don’t want to quit my job. i enjoy where i work. i love the products we sell, our customers are great, and i have fun co-workers. honestly, it’s been a refreshing change after working in the newspaper industry for almost 12 years. and it’s worked out well with it being part time so we don’t have to pay for daycare (which is a little too pricey for us right now).

we sat and talked for a little while longer and she shared some of her personal mom stories and struggles with her 3 kids. we spoke about mom “guilt” and how it has a hold over us in so many situations (when they won’t sleep, when they’re trying to get their way but don’t, etc etc). about taking breaks from our kids, for our own mental health and well being.

mom’s feel like they need to do it all, and take care of everyone and everything. it’s something most of us just do without really realizing it until someone points it out, or until we’re at our breaking point (ahem).

one thing she said really stuck with me and that was that i need to fix myself first and then focus on the little guy. i completely agree. it’s just easier said than done right now.

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.

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.