Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Wednesdays have become my favourite days. G and I go to this playgroup downtown. It's a short bus ride away and when we arrive, the staff greet both of us by name. We go into the room, which is filled with toys and crafts and lined on two sides with comfy benches. G is in LOVE with a stuffed dog and hippo that are bigger then her, so they always get first hugs. I am greeted by the smell of coffee and I pour myself a cup, heaping it full of sugar and cream, it's not that great quality, but it wakes me up and warms me. G happily plays - mostly by herself, sometimes interacting with other kids. I am free to chat with other caregivers (moms, dads, grandparents, nannies) and the staff. They ask me how I am, how the pregnancy is going. I am slowly getting to know names - kids names come easily, since they're always being said - other names are starting to become familiar too.
Many in this group are newcomers either to Canada, or just to St. John's like me. The room is warm and inviting, the talk casual and I never feel like I'm interrupting a friendship group's conversation by joining in. I'm always a little nervous at first, and tired from the lack of sleep the night before, but as more people become familiar, it is more and more comforting.
Making friends from scratch is hard and slow work. I am insecure that I'll come across as desperate, that I'll be forcing myself where I'm not wanted, that people have plenty of friends, so they won't need me. Those feelings are hard to fight. It's hard to say more then a simple "hi" sometimes - especially at the drop-in gym on Tuesdays.
But, on Wednesdays, I feel secure. I continue conversations that started last week, I remember faces and names and I am hopeful that I can build some friendships out of this.

Friday, October 22, 2010

This Has Gotten Out of Hand

G loves stuffed animals. She really, really loves them. In the beginning, there was one favourite- Lambert. He's a lamb, he's small and he was a perfect thing to drag around. Then, Bear (aka Edward Bear, aka Pooh Bear) joined the list of favourites, and she would be satisfied with either of those two at night, or when we went out.

Now, she has no less then ten animals that can be slept with, taken with her when we go places, lined up around the house, fed, diapered and dressed and most especially, demanded at any specific time. I'm a little nervous that she's going to be babysat one of these days and the sitter will have no clue which animal she is wanting to sleep with. Some of the names are obvious - Frog, Puppy, Dinosaur, Monkey - others are a bit more confusing.
"Boston" is a teddy, a very dilapidated and frankly, frightening teddy bear. He was Paul's childhood bear, actually originally belonging to his older brother. He has no eyes or features to speak of, is falling to bits, stuffing coming out everywhere, and is so worn, I can't even sew the holes without some very serious patchwork. I would love to throw him out, but he would be missed.
"Florence The Lamb" is not that confusing, but G tends to blend her name into "YawenceDaYam", which I don't expect anyone but me to understand.
The best of all is Octopus.
This is Octopus:

Yeah, he's a peacock. G knows he is bird, she knows he is a peacock. But his name is Octopus. I'm not even sure she knows what a real octopus looks like.

This stuffed animal thing has gotten out of hand.

But we don't have a baby doll. Or a cat. Or a bunny. And I want all those things for her.
So, perhaps it's me who has gotten out of hand.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And Now For Your Listening Pleasure

G sings "The Wheels on the Bus"

For those who don't speak toddler: They go Round and Round. The horn goes beep, beep. The baby goes wah, wah. The parents go shh, shh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things nobody told me...

I wish there were more books out there for 2nd (and etc) time moms. I present to you, Things Nobody Told Me About a 2nd Pregnancy:
  • So tired all the time. There was no energetic 2nd Trimester for me, I'm just tired for the whole 9 months.
  • I just can't care as much about this time around. There are too many distractions.
  • It will not be exactly the same. I was much more sick this time in the beginning. Last time I was able to drink milk, this time, not so much.
  • No matter how hard I try to read pregnancy/birth books again, I can't help but feel like I know it all already.
  • Nobody else cares about kid #2 either - not in a bad way, just that there's very little literature/support for subsequent pregnancies.
  • It goes much, much faster. I can't believe I'm only 6-9 weeks from delivery! 
  • Did I mention the tiredness? I've yawned four times while writing this.
  • Things that are the same: The left side of my uterus is apparently the comfy side. Both G and Boogaloo have camped out there, the right side feel practically empty. Maybe that's where my organs should go. 
  • It's really hard to convince myself that the birth will go differently this time. It went so well last time that I assume it will be the same, but I should know better! My sister had a C-Section with #2 and not with #1.
That's enough. I need a nap.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getting used to the SAHM Thing

While Paul struggles a bit with the working dad thing, I'm trying my best at the Stay-at-home Mom thing. My sister gave me a fabulous book called A Mother's Rule of Life. It has been really inspirational to me in making a routine, putting God first and sorting out exactly what staying at home means to me.
I try to have a set routine in the day: Mornings we go out (either to a playgroup or gym, the library, the mall or to get groceries), afternoons are naptime (sometimes for me as well) and I try to get cleaning done. After naptime, I make supper and spend my evenings with Paul.
A key part of my day (and I admit I don't always do it) is right after G goes down for her nap. I make myself a cup of coffee or tea and sit and read the bible. I've been following the Daily Office in the Book of Alternative Services, which includes and Old Testament, a New Testament and a Gospel reading. If you do it every day for 2 years (maybe 3 years?), you'll read the entire bible.

One of the results of growing up in the church is that you get to adulthood feeling like you "know" the bible. I know all the stories, I know the books and what they're about, I even have chunks memorized, but I actually don't read it. I have really found myself rediscovering the Bible this past month. The readings are in order within a book, so I am currently reading a little bit of the book of Acts every day as my NT reading. It feels like every day ends on this cliffhanger! What's going to happen to Paul this time? Will he be able to escape the hundreds of people wanting to kill him? It's enough to make me go back and read what I missed if I forget to read every day. Sometimes I don't get much insight, and I admit that the minor prophets feel pretty "doom and gloom and lightning bolts", but much of the time, I see the text with new eyes, discovering not only insight, but humour!
The day is better when I take time to pause, relax and read, and it gives me just that little boost I need to keep  going. And it's not just the caffeine.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I love thanksgiving food. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, stuffing...and did I mention the stuffing? 
So, this year, even though it is just the three of us, I decided it would be good for my mental health to have thanksgiving dinner anyway. We usually have some sort of big meal, but often it's been chicken, since a turkey is pretty big for two people, plus we've always seemed to get turkey from some other source (church, friends houses, etc). This year I knew there would be no turkey for me if I didn't make it myself! 
Anyway, not to go on and on about the food, I took all of Monday to cook. I made a schedule beforehand so I could relax between making things and I wouldn't get overwhelmed. 
It worked out really, really well. 
G was my little "helper" for a little while:
You also get a sense of my 32-week baby bump. Oh, you can't see it? Yeah. I have tiny babies. It was the same way with G. I just don't get big. I know it's actually a blessing and that lots of women would like to be in my shoes, but... dangit! Nobody realizes that I'm... pretty darn close to giving birth. No sympathy for me. 

But I digress. 
Thanksgiving was great. We went for three family walks in the brisk fall weather and stuffed ourselves full of yummy food. G is a big turkey fan. She ate more turkey then I did! We told her that Thanksgiving was a time to say thank-you to God as well as to the people we love and about halfway through the meal, she spontaneously said "Thank you Mommy for making the food." 

That makes everything worthwhile. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stay at Home (posts by paul)

For a long time before we moved to Newfoundland I was G's primary caregiver.  Ever since her maternity leave ended, Jan had to be at work regularly, and I was the one who was home the most. When I wasn't actually in class I was often home with her.  Now Jan is back on maternity leave as we are waiting for Baby 2: Electric Boogaloo to be born, and I'm struggling with the heavy workload of three Phd classes.  So I'm going to the school every day--whether I have classes or not--to work.

And although I've only been doing this for about a month, I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to go to work every day and leave my daughter.  It's hard to come home and ask Jan how G is doing, what she's been up to, what she did and learned to do, instead of seeing it all for myself.  I also find, surprisingly, that since I've stopped being the parent who spends the most time with G, I've also stopped being the more patient parent.  I used to secretly think that I was just a more patient person than Jan is, but now that I'm not spending all day with G anymore, it's harder to shift into a toddler's perspective--harder to be as patient with her as I would like to be.  I miss that.

With all of that said, there is something really wonderful about coming home every evening to enthusiastic shouts of "Daddy! Daddy's home! Daddy!  DADDY!".

Friday, October 8, 2010

Toys that Kill

This is a tiny metal pasta spoon. It came with an adorable set of pots for G. She loves her pots and pans and she leaves them everywhere.

Can you see where this is going? I stepped on it.

In bare feet.

%^*(0*%$ tiny pasta spoon.

Oh yes, I've also been tinkering with the prettiness of the blog. I'm not sure about the header yet, but I'm liking the pretty orange background.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Sick Week

What has life been like this past week in our household?
Oh, pardon me.

Yes, we all three of us had colds. G managed to confine hers to a couple of coughing sessions in the early morning, but both Paul and I were completely knocked out. The worst thing about being pregnant and sick is the lack of drugs. No, wait, it's the tiredness on top of the tiredness. No wait, it's the energetic toddler who wants to run circles around you. No wait, it's the husband who CAN take drugs, but still whines. No wait, it's the coughing that makes you want to lose your lunch. No wait... perhaps it's all of the above.
So, basically, whenever G slept this week, so did I - and that wasn't always true - sometimes I slept when she was awake as well.  I fell asleep on the couch with a puppy puppet on my hand and woke up when G tried to put a metal spoon in my mouth that she had been using to feed the puppy. There is nothing like waking up with a toddler's face inches from your own, unless it's waking up to the vacuum cleaner running and excited screaming two rooms away.
Because of all this sleeping, I did not accomplish much last week. My house is not in very good shape. But, this week I'm recovered and just feeling the regular tiredness of pregnancy (only 9 weeks to go!).

Other exciting news: I have found a great playgroup to go to once (or twice) a week. I have been going to a drop-in gym time once a week, but I've found it really difficult to meet people there. G loves it, but it is mostly just parents chasing after kids and it's a big echo-y space, which makes conversation hard. Couple that with my difficulty talking to new people, and it just doesn't make for the greatest introductory place.
So, I found another place to go to as well, a little community centre type playgroup with a small room, free coffee and snacks and moms who actually get a chance to talk to each other. I met and had several actual conversations with people this morning! Hooray! Hopefully I can start to build some friendships from this.

We've also started attending a different church. This one is a bit more family friendly, but may take some time to get noticed, as it is quite a bit larger then the first church we tried. We're still keeping an open mind about choosing a place, but I like this church and want to just throw myself in with getting involved/volunteering so I can meet people.

One Liners from G this week:
Talking to her crayons: "I love you green, I love you purple."
After being told to say sorry to mommy after throwing a chair: "I'm sorry chair. I love you."
Not a good parenting moment for me (repeating what she hears): "Oh dang, oh dang, oh dang, oh FRICK!"