Saturday, December 29, 2007

Had ourselves a merry little Christmas.

The jury is in and, though it was touch and go sometimes, it seems we made it through Christmas with a newborn and tantrumy almost-preschooler unscathed. In fact, we had a pretty good time.

The Boy took it upon himself to handle all the gift-giving. He actually managed to deliver the gifts to the appropriate person. However, once delivered, he insisted on opening them for you as well. I didn't have to open a single one of my gifts. A blessing and a curse. I feel like I should be given more gifts, just so I have something to compensate:

Our big gift from Santa this year was a brand new sled. Unfortunately, the mountainous snow came and went the week before Christmas, so we can now only try it out on our living room floor (please ignore the wreckage that is our house - it looks like something exploded...ah, how I love the Christmas aftermath..):

The Boy, when asked what he wanted for Christmas, would immediately answer: "A Trans-FORMER!". I have no idea how he even knows about them and I still don't think he actually knows what it is, but of course, how could we deny him his greatest wish:

I do believe he has yet to play with it but, hey, it's Christmas...

The winning gifts this year were the Melissa & Doug Art Easel and art supplies from Nanny, the BC Builders set complete with dinosaurs, cave dudes and extra boulders from his aunt and uncle, and this cooktop stove with pots and pans from Nana:

At the tender age of 2.85, he already cooks better than his mum, and looks much better in his "shep" hat (as he calls it).

Where is the Little Guy in all this, you ask? Well, other than cluster feeding every single time we went to a relative's house, the Little Guy thought Christmas was a bit of snooze:

After the presents were opened, we decided to put the Boy to work shovelling snow. There's something about child labour that just screams Christmas, doncha think?

We're exhausted. I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did, though. Merry, merry! See you in the New Year.

PS. If anyone can show me how to fix the spacing when adding pictures in blogger, I would be much obliged. My OCD is going crazy looking at the single vs double spacing. Ack.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Greatest Gifts

It's a Christmas conundrum: people keep asking me what I want in the way of gifts and I can't come up with an answer. Usually, I can rattle off a whole list of expensive things that would tickle my fancy. I do still want all of these things, but I am hard-pressed to name one thing that I want more than anything else. What took me a distressingly long time (I am sleep-deprived after all, so please forgive me) to realize was that I already have everything that would truly make me happy.

You see, a lot can happen in a year. At this time last year, I was new to blogging. I had just gone back to work, and I was feeling a bit low about the whole baby experience. It was hard. Really hard. And I didn't think that I had done a very good job of it. And there was no one (other than my wonderful husband, of course) who I could really talk to about it. I was a part of a mom's group, but I didn't feel very connected to them. I found that we didn't have much in common, apart from having had babies at the same time. I felt alone in a crowd of women with children.

This blogosphere, though, opened up a whole new world. I was made to feel welcome by someone lovely and talented, eventhough I'm not much of a writer. I got diet support from one of the best up-and-coming novelists I have read. I was shown how to be a fabulous hostess by someone who is cooler now than I will ever be. I've seen true generosity of spirit. I was able to share my second birth experience with one hot mama. I was sent a baby gift by someone who I have yet to met in person. I was shown how to handle difficult situations with grace and with strength. I even found someone who likes the same tv shows that I do (and if you know how much I love tv, then you will know how important this is). In short, I have met people who are just like me...if I was a smarter, more refined, nicer, more talented, more artistic, more rockin', spicier, more generous, hipper, more easy-going version of myself. (Please don't be offended if I haven't linked to you here, I am blogging one-handed while holding a newborn baby, and linking this much has seriously tired me out, but I love you all too. You're super!)

Since I can't seem to find the time or the energy to send out Christmas cards to you all to show you how much you mean to me, I would like to share with you two of my greatest gifts along with a great big THANK YOU for all your kind words and support. Because of you guys, and these two guys, I will have a truly merry Christmas, no matter what is under the tree:

Are you kidding me? I could never take a photo this good - I can't even get them both in the same shot!...*Professional photo by

Friday, December 14, 2007

40 Days and 40 Nights

Number of crinkly ears that won't unfold...2
Number of fleeting gassy smiles...19
Number of goopy eyes...2
Number of
Alfalfa hairlicks...1
Number of congested nostrils...2
Number of distressingly large belly buttons...1
Number of dangerously ragged fingernails...10
Number of times dangerously ragged fingernails have grazed unprotected nipples or boobs...20
Number of flailing arms...2
Number of times flailing arms have hit his own face...7
Number of wide-open eyes every time he's being put to sleep...2
Number of times hiccups started as he was being put to sleep...30
Number of minutes it takes to get him to go to sleep at night on average...60
Number of minutes it takes to get him to go to sleep during the day on average...5
Number of hours of sleep I usually get at night...4.5
Number of hours I've slept consecutively...3.5
Number of times that has happened...1
Number of extreme yawns...120
Number of little round "O" mouths...80
Number of cross-eyed stares as he tries to focus...20
Number of times I've breastfed...320 (approx)
Number of visits by a lactation consultant this time...1
Number of times I've enjoyed breastfeeding...310
Number of times I've forgotten which side I should feed next...300
Number of champion burps (by the Little Guy)...250
Number of times burping meant he won't spit up...0
Number of times he's spit up...100
Number of times the spit up has hit the burp cloth...14
Number of spit ups that occurred right after he was bathed...12
Number of loud farts...400
Number of diapers used...400+
Number of times I've been peed on...7
Number of times he's peed on himself...20 (sucker)
Number of projectile poops...1
Number of diaper-free poops...3
Number of times vast quantities of poops have been witnessed in action...2
Number of clothing items rendered unusable due to poop...2 (so far)
Number of grunts, groans, whines, wheezes, snorts...1000 (ballpark)
Number of nights grunts, groans, whines, wheezes, snorts have kept us from sleep...40
Value of being able to hold this Little Guy in my arms every day...priceless.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Close Shave [MBT]

We did it! Snuck under the wire with one day to go before closing, but we managed to see Sweeney Todd at the Princess of Wales. You may remember that we had planned to see the show on November 10th, but the Little Guy arrived three weeks early so we had to give up our tickets. Luckily, my parents had tickets for today's matinee and were willing to babysit.

For those not familiar with the show, it is Stephen Sondheim crowning achievement and arguably the best musical in existence - at least, it's unanimously loved by theatre geeks the world over. It tells the tale of Benjamin Barker, former barber, wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, who comes back as "Sweeney Todd" seeking revenge on his gaoler. He's also gone a little bonkers in the meantime..

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Second Helpings

Before having kids, we were both convinced that we wanted at least two children. (Mr Earth would like three, but for that he will have to take a second wife..) Then we had the Boy. Neither of us are big fans of the new baby phase. Our "A material" really only works on an audience that can talk, laugh and interact. Add to that an obscene amount of visits to lactation consultants, serious sleep deprivation due to pumping and tube-feeding, numerous late-night visits to emergency to get a hernia pushed back in, double hernia surgery at 2.5 months, colic, isolation and almost-depression...well, we got a little gun-shy.

At about a year, things got really good with the Boy. There was laughter, and words (even if the word was often No!), walking and so much more. I went back to work, and life returned to some degree of normalcy. Our lives had changed drastically, of course, but in a very good way. And we also got some of our pre-baby lives back. It was hard to think of going back to those early baby days. But we still wanted another.

We had the Boy though - sunny, easy-going and pretty darn close to perfect. We had a really good thing going. What on earth could possess us to mess that up? In the end, we made the Non-Decision. To simply Stop Preventing and See What Happens. It was the only way we could reconcile wanting another so much and yet wanting things to stay exactly the same.

You can guess what happened. Fate made the decision for us. And yes, I do believe in fate. I do believe that we were meant to have two, or it simply wouldn't have happened. A naive viewpoint, maybe, but that's who I am and I like that about me.

I was scared, so scared about what life would be like. I thought about all the things that could go wrong, and then some. I thought I would keep putting all my love and attention into the Boy, and would have none left over for the new baby.

What I didn't expect is to like it so much. I don't know if the Little Guy is easy-going by nature, or I made him easy-going by being so relaxed myself. I don't feel like I'm being weighed and measured, and found wanting. I don't feel like every mistake I make will Ruin His Life. In fact, I don't feel like I'm making mistakes all that much. (Nobody's perfect, though). On top of that, I think I may actually like newborns just a little bit..

I'm afraid to say that it's going well in case I jinx the whole thing. So we'll just treat it like Fight Club, ok? And what's the first rule about Fight Club? We don't talk about Fight Club. We'll just let his face do the talking for me:

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Little Boy Blue

Willing to take a gamble? Here's the million-dollar question: If a household contains two children - one who is a 1 month old, and one who is almost 3 years old - who do you suppose is doing the vast majority of crying these days??

If you guessed the newborn baby, I'm sorry to say that you are wrong. (My money was on the baby too.) Suffice it to say that the Boy's adjustment period is not going well.

It's funny, because when I was pregnant, one of my biggest worries was that when the baby came, I would want to spend all my time with the Boy. You see, I am not a person who loves the newborn phase all that much. Yup, they're pretty cute, but that's about where my interest stops. On the other hand, I love kids. I love the non-stop questions. I love the not-so-funny almost-jokes. I love making crafts, and playing with toys. I love going to the park. I love the simplicity and energy of children. Yes, I even love tantrums.

But non-stop tantrums? Not so much. These days, were lucky to get through a half hour without a tantrum. Nothing we can do is right. Nothing is enough. I'm exhausted, and it's not the lack of sleep that is the problem (although it's kicking my ass, too). We are desperately trying to show the Boy how much we love him, and how important he is to us, but the message is not getting through. To my mind, the Boy is lucky in that he had almost three years of undivided parental attention. The Little Guy will never have that - the curse of the second child. But you can't reason with an sad kid who has lost the spotlight. (Well, you can't generally reason with three-year olds, period..)

It doesn't help that I haven't had a good night's sleep in a month and my patience is very thin. It also doesn't help that my beautiful Boy, my easy-going sunny Boy, someone who is normally a bright shining light in my life, is now a perfect mess. It certainly doesn't help that I think I'm at fault for not handling the situation better, and making his adjustment period go more smoothly.

The Little Guy, with his straightforward pattern of eat-sleep-cry-poop seems like an oasis of calm in comparison. If only I could find a cure for the my little Boy's blues.