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.

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

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.

the hound

for those of you who don’t know, we have a 6 year old, black and tan coonhound named Gus. he’s been driving me batty these past few months. he seems to be reverting back to behaviour from when he was 1-2 years old – not listening, extremely roudy, more vocal than normal (he’s usually pretty “chatty” anyway), begging for food ALL THE TIME, and howling/baying whenever we leave the house … a little background on our playful, loving, noisy, silly and very handsome hound: we brought him home at only 6 weeks old (we were told he was 8 but found out otherwise when we received the paperwork with his actual birthdate) back in the fall of 2008. he was (and still is) and extremely stubborn dog, as most hounds are, however, he was very easy to train, go figure! full of energy and always ready to curl up on the couch beside us, he seemed to be a good addition to our little family.

my hubby never had a dog growing up, which i always though was sorta odd, but every situation is different and i’m sure his parents had their reasons. i think for me, growing up on a farm instilled a need for always having some sort of furry companion; as well as the chickens (upwards of 20,000 at a time), or pigs (a few hundred at a time) we always had a house-cat and at least one dog around.

i think on a weekly basis, for the first 2 years that we had Gus anyhow, i told my husband, “this is NOT how most dogs are. Gus is special, and by special, I mean a wild and odd dog, nothing like any dogs I’ve ever had.” as my father likes to say, he’s 90% nose, 10% dog! haha

i feel now, with the little guy growing like a weed (he’ll be 2 in February, ahhhhh!) that my time is spent even moreso, chasing the dog around telling him to leave the kid alone, stop barking, go lay down, stop begging etc etc. it’s rare (lately) that he receives positive interaction from us and i feel terrible. he’s not a bad dog, he’s just frustrating us lately (so much so that my parents will take him out to their house to run around with Lola – their big, loveable, red doberman).

i think we need to invest more time with him, but honestly, i don’t know where that time is going to come from, which makes me kinda sad. going back to work hasn’t really helped the situation. before i was working, i would take both our son and the dog for daily (sometimes twice a day) walks, but i’m just so exhausted now that i rarely feel up to it. no good, i know. with hubby being on midnights, the days that i’m not at work he’s sleeping, so getting the dog out of the house, with the kid in the stroller isn’t always easy – especially because the little guy doesn’t really want to always be in the stroller, he wants to run free!  it’s hard to contrthehoundol a crazy 80lb dog and carefully watch a wild & curious almost 2 year old walk down the street with ease. if the dog (or our son for that matter) wasn’t so energetic, hyper and easily excited, it would likely make things a little less stressful around our house. alas, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we’re (somewhat) dealing with it with a minimal amount of sanity.

but i know that one day i’ll look back and say, remember when?