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.

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i really should be doing something else right now …

i wasn’t going to blog tonight but well, here i am. i have a thousand other little things on my mind right now …

• i’m tired
• i don’t want to finish the laundry but there’s little boy clothes in the dryer and bed sheets, towels and more just waiting to be washed
• i need to tidy the back laundry/storage room
• the fall wreath should go on the door
• where can i get some orange & yellow mums for the pot on the front porch
• i wonder if hubby will notice the little sticker face (with moustache) that i added to one of the pumpkins on the front step
• the dishes are piling up but i don’t want to make any extra noise because little man had a tough time going to bed tonight and i wonder how long it’s going to take him to fall asleep (he’s still up right now, turning his glow worm on and off and talking to himself, babbling and saying mom! mom! and it’s almost 10pm)
• will he wake up in the night and need comforting
• will i be able to get to sleep at a decent time tonight
• why is there dog hair on my keyboard
• why does our hound lose more hair than any pet i’ve ever owned
• the house needs to be vacuumed/dusted/swept
• i wish we had more storage space
• speaking of that i need to organize the laundry room (yes, again)
• i need to make time this weekend to read up on the new products coming into work (before my shift on Monday)
• i hope i’m happy with my hair appointment tomorrow morning
• i should be on the treadmill instead of sitting on my ass typing this right now
• i need to go through our things and make some donations
• why can’t i just win the lottery, move to the country and be debt free?
• i hope the little guy is asleep by the time hubby gets home from work tonight (he rode the Triumph soooo it’s a little noiser than, you know, anything else we own, well, except for our son)
• maybe we should visit my parents this weekend and get them to take our dog for a few days before we dog-sit their dog next week
• where is the dog?
• i should work on my new business cards
• i want ketchup chips right now, mmm
• maybe i should have a cider?

i could go on but i don’t want to bore you (or myself) any longer. it was a long day today and i’m hoping that tonight goes smooth … little man has 4 more teeth coming in (he currently has 12 so this will just leave his 2 year molars yet to come, oh joy) so he’s been extra whiny, cuddly, picky, hyper, crazy etc. plus, i like to say he’s going into the terrible two’s at 19.5 months. he’s into everything! it’s a fun age but a tiring one nonetheless. because he’s so busy during the day, he’s been extra snuggly at bedtime, which is fine by me. i love the way his little hand grabs my face and pulls me close so that i kiss his forehead and when i pull back after kissing him he reaches up again and rests his hand on my neck. i need to think about those times when he’s been wild and crazy and just running through the house screaming for no reason other than the fact that he can do just that. ahhh life with a little boy.

as much as i’m exhausted both mentally and physically from working part time, designing wedding photobooks, doing freelance design, chasing around my toddler, spending time with my amazing husband and trying to keep up with friends and family, i wouldn’t trade it for the world.

a little sickness here, a little sickness there

our little man has had a rough go this past week … last Monday he woke us up around just before 1am. i went into his room to console him and try to get him back to sleep but upon entering his room i saw that he was sitting up at the end of his crib looking rather sad and out of sorts. when i leaned in to help him lay back down i noticed he was warm, no, hot. really hot. and sweaty! i picked him up and my hubby came in to help change him out of his sweaty, wet jammies and a soaking wet diaper. he had a raging fever but our oh-so-helpful ear thermometer was reading that he had a normal temperature. everything in me said he didn’t. i know he had one. we gave him some tylenol to try to make him a little more comfortable and i sat down in his rocking chair to try to get him back to sleep. not even 5 minutes passed and i felt his little body heave and he got sick, all down my arm and onto the chair! i think it surprised both of us. hubby came in to help clean it up while i took the little guy into the bathroom to sit on the edge of the tub (just in case). thankfully we were in there because with his head back on my shoulder he was sick again. poor little dude. i’m sure he didn’t understand what was going on as this was the first time he ever really threw up (not counting little spit ups when he smaller and nursing). as i attempted to get him out of his sleepsack and second pair of wet jammies, he kept reaching and clinging to me. i tried to reassure him that everything was ok as i was stripping him down again. we gave him some advil this time (as i’m sure most of the tylenol came out but we didn’t want to pump him full of too much of one medicine) and tried sitting with him again. he passed out within 10 or so minutes and i sat with him for a while longer. i felt the tears welling up in my eyes as i held my little man and prayed for him to feel better soon. seeing him sick and confused tugs on my heartstrings. i decided to keep him home instead of going to toddler class on Tuesday morning as he awoke with a fever again (this time i used our other thermometer in his armpit) and he was out of sorts still. on Thursday morning he seemed to be back to his regular self but was starting to sneeze! by Friday he had a full blown, snot-out-your-nose-when-you-sneeze cold, accompanied by a dry cough. talk about not catching a break! thankfully the snot-face only lasted until early Sunday morning and he’s been on the mend since (whew!). he still has a dry cough every now and then but a little homeopathic cough syrup seems to be helping with that 🙂

dealing with a sick and sulky toddler is something that everyone should have to endure at some point in their life; just so that they know what it’s like to have a snot-faced little ball of cuteness clinging to them for 2 -3 days. you’re welcome.

a little grocery store rant

do not, i repeat DO NOT go to the grocery store on a Sunday, especially the one we go to. it was busier than i’ve ever seen it! urgh. and i hate that. being over-populated means less products on the shelves that we like to buy; and today, less zucchini. i love zucchini. slice it up thin with a little butter and pepper in the frying pan, YUM! well today i wanted to purchase said yumminess. walking down the aisle, i came upon the section where zucchini should have been, but in it’s place i saw green beans, and way too many of them. however, i noticed a woman standing there who had just placed a zucchini in her cart. i politely asked, excuse me, is that the last zucchini? she glared at me and said, rather rudely, i dunno. i said, ok, i was just curious if there was anymore. she ignored me. i said, well, i guess that was pointless asking you. she still ignored me. so then i thought outloud, wow, i wasn’t being rude asking you that question, and now you’re being kinda rude to me. i then turned to my son and said, that lady was pretty crusty, eh buddy? and we walked away. now, i realize that i didn’t need to say anything to her after she ignored me, but honestly, i’ve never had someone react like that when i asked a simple question. normally people are more than willing to converse, and sometimes even share a little too much. the other day i went to Costco and while standing in line, a couple behind me asked how my dog liked the weight control dogfood i had in my cart. we had a little conversation about it and went our separate ways. nice, polite, easy (i have a coonhound, by the way, who doesn’t get as much exercise as he should in the winter so weight control food is a must for our crazy dog). i guess that’s probably why i was so irked by the woman in the grocery store today. i can’t imagine being rude to someone who you don’t know, for no good reason, especially when it was just an innocent question about zucchinni. sheeeeeeeesh 😛

the mommy truth

no one ever talks about the ugly side of parenting. sure, we all love our kids. whether you have 1, 2, 3 or 7 (or however many you decided upon) you love your children, it’s a fact. BUT there are many, many, MANY times where we don’t like them, errrr, i mean, their behaviour. it’s true and yes, i said it. being a parent isn’t always easy. i know that my husband and i have many years of parenting ahead of us (being that our little guy is still pretty young) but no one can prepare you for the roller coaster of emotions that you will feel.

when they first arrive you are elated; overcome with joy, love, fear and pure bliss for the little person you have brought into this world. you can never imagine being angry, upset or frustrated with such a perfect little being. and then they start to grow. and move. and talk. and learn. all day, every day. i love my son, more than anything i ever thought i loved before. he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. he is my greatest accomplishment, my little teacher and tester of my patience and he just turned one in February! … but i never knew what true frustration was until i became a mother. sure, friends do stupid things, partners and siblings can be annoying but nothing can make the screaming banshee come alive like being a mother with sleep deprivation. every little thing starts to annoy you. you get to the point where you are ready to scream (and just might have to) and then tear someone’s head off (which you probably shouldn’t do). another thing that causes this is being with your child 24/7. every parent needs a break. whether it’s running to the grocery store, going for a drive or hiding out at a hotel and not telling anyone where you are (wouldn’t that be nice?).

i read an article today on the Huffington Post about kids and bedtime, and although my son is still young, it really hit home (read it here). one particular paragraph spoke to me, and i quote:

“One of the myriad problems with this parenting gig is that they save the hardest part for last. BEDTIME. Bedtime should be in the morning — when we’re fresh and kind and sweet — and decent parenting still seems like a very real possibility. But no, the hardest parts — dinner and baths and bedtime — arrive at the end of the day, when we have nothing left. When the truth is, we are counting the minutes. Counting the moments until no one is the boss of us anymore. Until we can sink into that couch, book, Internet or glass of wine — whatever our victory lap includes.”

OMG, this is so true! i have often said, why can’t our son be full of attitude and frustration and incessant whining during the day? why does it have to be when i’m exhausted and at my wit’s end and ready to just have a little me time? especially when my husband is on afternoon shift and the whole afternoon, evening and bedtime routine is mom-only.

more parents (new and old) need to talk about the reality of being just that, a parent. the times when you have to go into the bathroom and scream into a towel just to get the frustration out because there’s no one else to take over for you (yes, i did that today). the times when you say things you shouldn’t to your kids (whether they understand or not) and the times when you just sit and cry your eyes out because you are just SO tired. the times when you can’t imagine your life without them. when they make you prouder than you ever thought possible. when they make you feel like the most important person in the world.

no one has, or is, a perfect baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult or adult. if they say so, they’re lying. every parent has gone through hard times, they just might not admit it. we need to start talking more about what frustrates us, what we’re going through, the good, the bad and the ugly. i think if that happened, we’d all feel a little more normal. whatever that is.

sleep, what’s that again?

you know that feeling, when you’re so tired that you just want to break down and sob? yeah, me too. that’s how this week has been for us. i can honestly say that this has been the longest and most trying week i’ve had since becoming a mother. i used to think that the first few weeks were the hardest and most tiring, but now, that seems like a walk in the park. i knew why my son was waking up throughout the night, he needed to nurse. i was okay with that because i knew i could slip back into a sweet slumber once he was finished.

i guess i can say we’ve been spoiled when it comes to being parents, up until now. my son was always a great sleeper (save for the odd night of craziness). he’s been going to be around 8-ish and sleeping 11-13 hours straight since last spring, and i’m not exaggerating. whenever he’d have a growth spurt we’d know it, because he’d wake up in the night and want to nurse. i was always fine with that. this past week has been frustrating, mentally-draining, and just exhausting. it’s been almost a week now that my son’s sleep pattern has been extremely off and i don’t know why. he went to bed last Sunday, and all seemed to be well until he woke up only 2 hours later crying. we tried to console him to no avail. he’d be happy, sad, angry, then laughing; every emotion you can think of, except tired. he was wide awake. we changed his diaper and tried getting him back down around 10:30, no luck. my husband came in to try. nothing, just a very awake and crazy kid. changed him again around 1am. we tried leaving him in his crib with toys and leaving the room, that lasted 5-10 minutes before he stood up sobbing and wailing. we tried sitting in the rocking chair while he was in his crib with toys, same results. we tried just leaving the room, same. i was getting extremely frustrated and cranky (because, hey i was tired too) and i held him away from me and said, listen you need to stop it and go to sleep! mommy is very tired and so are you, this isn’t fair!! i firmly set him down in his crib and he started to sob; that scared and upset cry. i picked him up and held him close and i started crying. a lot. after about 15 minutes i set him in his crib while he played with some toys and i quietly sobbed in the rocking chair beside him. i didn’t want to wake my husband up as he had to be up at 5:30 to go to work. i ended up picking him back up and rocked with him until around 3:30am when he finally fell asleep. i’ve honestly never broke down like that. i was upset because i scared him; because i was so tired; because i couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t sleep. because everything in my heart was telling me that he was fine but it just didn’t seem like it was. sleep deprivation isn’t good for anyone, especially an already worn out mother.

he stayed asleep until about 10am the next day, which was fine i suppose, but then was a miserable, cranky baby most of the day because, why? you guess it, not enough sleep. he went down for a 3 hour nap (which was awesome for me) and i thought maybe that would help him. that night we did the usual routine again. and again he fell asleep, just the same as always only this time he woke up about an hour after he initially passed out. the night before repeated itself with him finally falling asleep around 3:15am. i was losing my patience throughout the night. i normally wouldn’t be frustrated with him until probably an hour or more of farting around but i was at the point where after 15 minutes i was irritated, ready to snap. it was starting to wear on me because i couldn’t figure out what was wrong. my husband brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers to cheer me up (they really are beautiful and still going strong) and told me that i was doing a great job but that i needed to take a break.  he put our son to bed that night and miraculously the wee man slept for the whole night through! with only one wake up for about 15 minutes (i’ll take it). i thought, thank you! yes!! the next evening (Thursday) we had plans to go for dinner and a comedy show with some friends and my sister was coming over to babysit. she said the little guy was great and he only woke up once before we got home. awesome. hubby and i relaxed on the couch until about 11:45 when our son woke up. surprise surprise. up we went. changed his bum and this time we were up with him until between 3-4am. my hubby was amazing. after i tried and tried he came in and told me to go get some sleep and he’d try. i felt so guilty because he had to get up to work but he kept insisting. my hubby sent me a text Friday morning to tell me that he cancelled his overtime for Saturday so that i could get some rest. he told me to go out that night, do whatever i want and not come home until whenever, or stay out all night.  what a guy. i am so thankful to have such an amazing and supportive man in my life. i did go out. i went and had my makeup done (just for fun because a friend of mine is a very talented makeup artist who works at MAC), then went out for dinner with a long-time friend to a tasty little restaurant called Ben Thanh (yummmm) and then did a little grocery shopping before getting home between 9-9:30pm. i went to bed a few hours later and the little guy didn’t wake up once. he slept 14 hours straight! holy crap! i guess he was catching up on some much needed rest.

we looked up some info on sleep regression as a friend of my husband’s suggested maybe that’s what was going on. i hope it doesn’t last 2-6 weeks like a few of the articles we found said it could. i understand that their sleep patterns/habits can get thrown off when they’re learning new things but honestly, i never expected it to be like this.

last night was another one for the record books. he slept for maybe 20 minutes and then was wide awake until 1am when he passed out in my arms. he stayed asleep until just before 6am. i changed and rocked him and he was back out by 7-ish and stayed out until 10am. he’s napping again right now (hubby just got him down).

I should’ve wrote this in the middle of the night when i was awake and frustrated and at my wit’s end. maybe it would help for the next time this happens, because i’m sure this isn’t the last.

telemarketers, telemarketers, go away. don’t call back, EVER.

GRRRRR. so i just got off the phone with Rogers. i called to inquire about blocking specific numbers from calling our home phone and the only option is to pay them $6/month to do so! apparently some other features come along with it, such as specific family ringtones, blocking private caller names, specific long distance rings, forwarding calls to another number etc etc BUT i don’t care about those. i just want to block the ignorant people who keep calling my house when i’m trying to put my son to bed. the first call was at 8:15pm tonight and the second was at 8:45pm! telemarketers should not be permitted to call after 7pm, ever. whether you have children or not, who wants to sit on the phone and sign up for services or do a survey (or whatever they’re calling about) when you likely are tired from a long day and would like to unwind and enjoy that at that exact moment, you have no responsibilities, nothing to cook or clean, nothing to do but to sit your ass and reeeeeelax (ok, so there’ll always be laundry and cleaning to do, but really those can wait). every evening, especially when my hubby is on afternoon shift, i look forward to the small amount of “me” time that i get after my son goes to bed. if someone disturbs that time by calling to ask me to take a survey or to tell me that my computer has a virus i’m going to lose it on them (and by the way, we have a MAC so telling me that my PC has a virus is a bad excuse for calling). you’d think that a company like Rogers, who has hundreds of thousands of customers and makes millions a year would be able to offer a simple feature of blocking callers without it costing me $40/year. i know it doesn’t sound like much, but every time i add another feature to our bill that’s more money we have to fork out, to a company who likely could survive without my $6/month. what’s even more infuriating is that when i tried to call said numbers back i wasn’t able to speak to anyone, surprise surprise. i discovered that the one number, upon Googling it, is from somewhere in Quebec, and apparently the person at extension 200 is unavailable and i am to leave them a message. i did just that, more than a few times over the last few weeks too. and it wasn’t a pleasant message, and i don’t care. when i phoned the other number a recorded message came on thanking me for calling Greenwich Associates and explained that they’re just calling to do a survey and not sell me anything, and that they look forward to talking to me in the future. unfortunately there wasn’t an option to leave a message for them; if so, they wouldn’t have been looking forward to any future phone calls from me asking them to not call me at 9pm, ever. while i understand that telemarketers have a job, and that said job is phoning people to sell services, take surveys and inquire as to recent customer experiences, it’s still shitty for those of us on the receiving end. i had a telemarketing job like that once, it lasted for half a day of training and then one shift and i quit. it just wasn’t worth it. i felt like an asshole calling people to ask them to take a survey about carpets, and then calling them back later to tell them that they’d won a free gift basket for completing the survey. the gift basket was a ploy to get a vacuum salesman in the door to try and sell them a $2,000 vacuum. REALLY?! it felt dishonest and very wrong. which is exactly what i said when i told the supervisor that i wouldn’t be returning to work the next day, or ever. that was almost 15 years ago now, how time flies. i feel better ranting about it here; that way my hubby gets to hear the more condensed and less-angry version, which i’m sure he appreciates.