Nowadays

Life has been so busy lately, and I can’t seem to find much spare time to spend writing and working on this blog. It’s something I have to remedy though, because I do really love writing and having a blog has been something I have thought about for a while now. So basically, I just gotta suck it up and write. 

Here’s what’s been going on around here lately:

Working. I have taken on more students since the fall (in case you don’t know, I have a teaching degree and am working as a freelance tutor right now). I am up to about 15 hours a week, and that doesn’t include planning and travel time. I enjoy it, I really do, but I am just finding it hard to be totally passionate about it right now with Avery growing up so quickly. But I do feel blessed to be able to earn money working for myself, and working around Kevin’s schedule so that we don’t have to figure out childcare.

Watching. Yes. I do have a few guilty pleasures that I indulge in once Avery is in bed (7 o’clock is the golden time peeps). Kevin and I are totally addicted to this show called Damages–it’s with Glenn Close, and it’s kick-ass, let me tell you. It’s basically a legal-crime-thriller show, and it is amazing. She plays her role of mega-lawyer with absolute perfection (in my opinion anyways). We watch it through Netflix because I don’t think it airs anymore (if it ever did in Canada). I am also watching Parenthood, which is fitting and excellent, and The Bachelor–no shame.

Growing. My little man is growing up so quickly! I will write a separate post on all his achievements this past couple months. It makes me happy and sad at the same time because he is turning into this lovely little toddler boy but losing his ‘baby-ness’ in the process. He is SO BUSY NOW it’s unbelievable that just half a year ago he was pretty much immobile. Craziness. I also feel like I am growing as well, and learning who I am and want to be as a mother and woman. I’m sure this all comes as a huge surprise to you, haha.

Thinking about. I live in a pretty rainy city, so when the sun comes out I try to take advantage as much as possible. This city is so beautiful, and when it is sunny, I get chills because the beauty is so breathtaking. I love taking Avery for a walk and looking out over the ocean to see mountain peaks covered with snow.

I am also thinking about what I want to do over the next year or so. I am torn between wanting to stay home with Avery and tutor during the times when Kevin is not teaching (like I have been doing), and really starting my teaching career. I am leaning towards continuing what I am doing right now. I love love love being able to spend time with my son and at home. I am learning to be a bit more domesticated, so maybe this is good for me!

Grateful for. I am grateful for SLEEP! You heard that right. Avery has been sleeping 12 hours at night regularly now. I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s been almost 2 weeks now! He’s even been getting new teeth (4 molars!) and he is still sleeping through it. I waited almost 14 months for this, and it’s heavenly! 

Anyway, these are just sort of random updates to fill you all in on some of the happenings around here (if you even care, haha).

Cheers,
J

 

New Years and Resolutions

Starting a new year is always a time of reflection, for me and for a lot of people, I’m sure. I have been thinking about setting resolutions for 2013 (I ALMOST wrote 2012) and realized that they just don’t work for me. I don’t know if it is the pressure of it, or if the determination just sort of fades away after the first weeks days of January, but regardless I never can seem to keep them.

This year, I decided to do something a bit different. Instead of making a resolution, I am choosing a theme for the year–a single word to kind of represent how I want to improve myself this year. It kind of falls into every aspect of life, and it’s a sort of mantra to live by. My word for this year: “Organized.”

I chose this word because I know that I have a lot of areas of my life that are really disorganized: clutter in my home, how I spend my time, food (I am always a “last-minute” type of person with food, which means scrambling to make something or, more likely, going out or ordering something in), pretty much everything, embarrassingly enough.

So, my goal is just to organize my life better. I might choose to focus on one area each month ala The Happiness Project (for example, do meal planning in January, tackle clutter in February, and so on), or just take it a day at a time. I’m not sure which yet, but that’s not the point of the whole thing anyway. The point is to remember my word when making choices and try my best to live by it. Now, since this has always been a bit of a weakness of mine, I have my work cut out for me! I do know that it will improve my quality of life, and so I am prepared to work hard to get and stay organized!

What are you doing for New Years? Are you making resolutions? Goals? I would love to hear about how you are welcoming the new year.

Brilliant

I was thinking earlier about the type of parent I want to be and it’s hard to put into words. I want my child(ren someday) to feel loved and be loved, and to love themselves. I want them to grow up with a sense of belonging and self-worth. I don’t know how exactly to do this, but Brene Brown wrote a beautiful parenting manifesto that speaks to me straight to the heart:

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions–the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.” –Brene Brown

Cheers,
Jenny

November Rain (and Sunshine)

Hello Everyone! Thanks for stopping by to my (teeny-tiny) corner of the interwebs today. I want to talk about all things November today.

I love fall, but November is kind of that slippery slope into winter. Winter is not good, people. I LOVE Christmas, but other than that, winter pretty much sucks. You see, I live in a city that rains, and rains, and rains during the winter months. And every so often we do get a nice day of sunshine and brisk wind (which is totally fantastic), but then it just rains again.

Now, I really shouldn’t complain because I’m actually from just outside of Edmonton and it is much colder there. So cold, in fact, that really if you were outside not wearing anything you could die within minutes (this is not a scientific fact, I’m not sure how long–probably more like hours. BUT STILL! You could die from the cold!!! I even had a friend who was allergic to the cold–she had a medical bracelet and everything. WTF was she doing in Edmonton?) But I don’t really like the rain either. Le sigh. Or “la sigh?” Which one, French people?

Anyway, enough rambling. The point of this post is to simply say this: My son changed my grumpiness directed at November because he was born in this month. So now November is full of sunshine regardless of how rainy it is! (See how corny I can be? Avery does that to me, boy does he ever! Golly gee). I love my little man. He will be ONE YEARS OLD on Thursday!

You are my sunshine

Happy birth-month sweet pumpkin monturkeyroozle! I love you like you wouldn’t believe. You are my heart.

If this isn’t the face of sunshine and rainbows I don’t know what is.

 

 

Remembering

Lest We Forget

My grandfather was a jokester. Yes, he could make anyone laugh and that’s what I remember most about him. “Pull my finger” was among his favourites, and he had an arsenal of twisted jokes that he pulled out whenever the situation called for. I remember him pretending to be an auctioneer, and calling me a little “boy” to tease me and insisting that I was a boy even when I would get mad and teary-eyed–“What do you mean you’re a girl? No, no, you’re a boy.” He certainly had a strange and good sense of humour, and his singing voice was just lovely–a booming tenor filled with melody and strength.  He brought this quiet, happy presence to our family get-togethers, and I miss him. He passed away several years ago.

My grandpa and grandma on their wedding day–aren’t they beautiful?

He was in the war–WWII–and I wanted to take a moment here to honour him and his contribution to our country and to peace in this world. He was a supply driver, and was stationed in Italy, and England. His job was to take army supplies, such as ammunition, to where-ever they were needed. He used to sleep under his truck, and could only stay asleep for 10-15 minutes at a time because he had to keep alert and was, I’m sure, a bit scared to fall into a deep sleep during war-time.

One particular war-time story of his stands out in my mind, partly because it somewhat shows my grandfather’s “naughty” personality, and partly because it makes me think about how little decisions we make can have big effects. One night, my grandfather’s friend had invited him to go see a movie (motion picture back in those days). All the other guys were going out to the bar, to party and let loose. My grandfather, weighing the options, of course chose to go to the bar with the others and so his friend went to the movies alone. It so happened that night that a bomb hit the movie theatre, and my grandfather lost his friend. Of course, he was grateful for his decision to avoid the movies, but it was hard to lose someone close.

My mother said that while my grandfather didn’t say much about his time in the war, he would have nightmares and would wake up screaming. He held it all inside rather than burden others with his painful memories. I would have loved to hear more about those times.

Remembrance day is an important day because we all need reminding what war can turn into. It is ugly and brutal, and there are still wars going on all over the world. I keep in my heart my grandfather and all those who risked their own lives to bring peace to our country and the world, and those who are still risking their lives around the world. I love you grandpa.

Almost One

My baby is growing up.  He is changing so much every week–nay, make that every DAY–and soon he will be a full-fledged toddler. The past year has been one of the most amazing/trying/exhausting/beautiful/exhausting/maturing times of my life. Exhausting. Did I forget that one 😉

Anyway, he is starting to look like a true little boy–less baby-like. He is learning at full-speed right now, and it is so neat to see. For example, when I say “Where’s mommy’s nose?” he takes his chubby little finger and taps me right on the tip of my nose. SO CUTE! And he points to everything and makes this sweet little “ta” sound at the things he points to. It almost sounds like he’s saying “that–what’s that?” and I guess he is in his way. He’s cruising furniture like a pro, and can stand for like 1-2 seconds on his own. He even remembers hand-gestures for different cues–for example, on one page of the book “Canada in Colours” I always wave my hand, and one day when I turned to that page he started waving his hand before I did it myself–SMARTIE!. He waves “hi” and “bye,” brushes his hair with his little baby brush, plays peek-a-boo on his terms, gets mad if he doesn’t get what he wants (uh oh–he has my temper), plays the drums, and so much more.

I say all this because it’s my way of remembering these little moments. Time goes by so fast, and I don’t want to forget all this. I’m not good at documenting through things like baby-books or pictures even (I will kick myself for not taking enough pictures in the future) so I just want to make sure I don’t forget. He’s my sweet little monturkeyroo and he will be ONE in two weeks. I can’t believe it.

I just want to add, and not dwell–I never dwell, NEVER–he’s still not sleeping through the night though. Come on Avery. In the words of one other exhausted parent: “How come you can do all this other great shit but you can’t just go the f— to sleep?” Those are my sentiments exactly.

My baby is growing, and I can’t stop it. But I can write about it here so I can look back on this time of my life and remember.

OOOOOH I want to pinch those delicious cheeks

 

 

 

Growing Old with You

I know it’s been a long time since I posted here. I have no excuses, other than I think I was just trying to really enjoy the summer before autumn set in fully. I got busy, A got busy, you know. Please don’t be mad and break up with me. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

Anyway, I just thought I would share some of the MOST AWESOME things A has been doing lately. There have been so many changes, and they seem to happen so quickly. It’s cray (yes, I know, I mean crazy but I thought I would try to get all hip with the trends happening on the internets. I’m like an old lady now and have to assert my hipness once in a while just to prove that it does exist–somewhat).

Here are some of the new things my baby boy is doing lately:

1. He started crawling at 9 months (the day before his 9 month b-day). He does it in his own silly style though, and I love watching him. He’s like a baby sniper–he has one arm tucked underneath and pushes with his legs. He really tries to get the most out of every push too, so rather than a bunch of really quick pushes, he really stretches his body to go as far as he can. It’s so funny. Here’s a picture of the sniper in action:

hahah this picture cracks me up

2. Sitting up on his own. He started doing this just this week actually. We were at the park with our friends Jess and Sierra, and Sierra was rocking the “sit-up-on-my-own” move like a star. Avery must have wanted in on the action and so he also did it right then and there. He’s been practicing this move all the time now. Yesterday morning when I woke to get him out of his crib, he was sitting up and smiling at me like a baby buddha. Namaste Avery.

3. He tries to “feed” me by putting the spoon in my mouth too (I make sure it’s empty though, I don’t want any of that mushy crap in my mouth). Sharing is caring–he will SO pass kindergarten.

4. He puts the spoon (or toy or whatever he’s playing with) in my hand when I hold my hand out and say “give mom the _____.”

5. He waves “hi” and “bye.” Still not consistent with this one, but it’s SOOOOO FREAKING CUTE!

6. And the best one: he gives open-mouthed slobbery kisses. My mom taught him this one, and it’s so sweet to say “give mom a kiss” and have him lean forward and plant one on you. Love this boy so much.

It’s so great to see him grow and learn new things. And it happens so quickly; at this rate, next week he will be sewing his own clothes and running triathlons. I’m feeling me some momma pride!

xoxo

Jenny

Doctor Doctor Part 2

Quick update: A and I had our appointment with the new doctor today and wow. That’s all I can say. It was SO much better, I don’t even really have words to describe it.

But I will try because that is what a blog is all about, mmkay?

First things first, never was Google mentioned and this in itself was worth switching for, amiright? In fact, she actually spent time with us, talking about things, asking follow-up questions, writing stuff down. You know, like a doctor should do. I mentioned some things to her that I mentioned to my previous doctor and she actually seemed genuinely interested in the problems.  For example, when I said that I was taking Dom Peridone, she told me they don’t prescribe that anymore for long-term use due to some side-effects that are risky (she didn’t go into details and advised me to remain on it, but I am sure we will be discussing that further). I am getting tested for a number of health issues that run in my family (like diabetes and high cholesterol) whereas even though the previous doctor took down all my family history information, she did nothing about it. Really, it’s like night and day. I am so grateful to have found her (thank-you Jenn!)

Anyway, A made shy though, so we decided that we would do his check-up next week instead just so that his relationship with her didn’t start off on the wrong foot (how do you like them apples? She is thinking long-term AND understands babies. Who would have thunk?). And I kinda can’t wait till the checkup so I can find out how much A weighs now because it feels like he is ripping my arms off when I carry him.

To sum it all up: big sigh of relief. I feel like we are finally in good medical hands. It’s been a long time.

On Sleep Rants

I have to say, after my rant on sleep a couple of days ago, I feel better. It SO helps to just get the frustration out (even if only to the internets). It’s like punching a Bobo doll. Except no one gets punched. And there are no Bobo dolls. So it’s not like that. Whatever.

Anyway, Wednesday night was another crappy sleep night. However, instead of rushing to just nurse him quiet, we tried a few things that ALMOST worked. A woke up at 10 again, but Kevin got him to go back to sleep with the guitar (yay!). We decided then to bring the guitar in the bedroom with us so Kevin could try that again if he woke up. Which he did, at midnight. The guitar worked again, but only for about 1/2 hour. At that point, I pretty much wanted to sleep and needed A to sleep as well so I nursed him. And boy did he eat a lot. I thought for sure that he would sleep until 5 or 6. He didn’t. He woke at 3:30 and so I nursed him again because I didn’t want to make Kevin wake up and play the guitar so early?late?. But even though it wasn’t a good night, I just didn’t feel so bad about it when I woke up. I believe it was the ranting the day before that kept me sane.

Last night was awesome though. We braved going to Kevin’s mom’s campsite (she’s here visiting from Edmonton) for the evening, fully believing that we would have to leave early to get A to bed at a decent time. But he did awesome. No fussing, no whining (he is a really good baby I have to say). We put him in the playpen to sleep in the RV at 7:30ish, and he went to sleep so well! We left at 10, got home at 11, then put him to bed again, but I didn’t nurse him this time. He slept until 3:30! Go Avery!

So, maybe I ranted too soon. I have hope (and my finger’s crossed).

Also, side note, everyone kept gushing about how good A is (and how delicious his cheeks are). He is awesome. Maybe I’m biased, but just sayin’. Also also, Kevin’s family says he’s the spitting image of me. This is progress because a few months ago I had a lady look at me, then at A and say: “Oh, he’s beautiful. He must look like his father.” Hah. That was a blow to my pride. But now, Kevin, move over.

 

xoxo

Jenny