Thursday, March 4, 2010

The end of an era?

Yesterday I decided to clean out my change table that occupies the hall downstairs. It has become a catch all and I could not bare to look at it any longer. As I sat on the floor folding all of the receiving blankets that we haven't used in months I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. Particularly when I folded the blankets my mom made with love for the boys. I am not even sure why I still need them out, but I can't bring myself to put them away. It becomes the end of an era for our family. There will be no more babes to swaddle in these soft flannelette blankets. No more spit up to wipe of their tiny mouths (ok, that one I can live without)!

It makes me so excited when the kids learn to do new things. For example, Connor is potty training. He seems to be keen to do this and I by no means am pressuring him to forge into this new adventure. As much as I am excited by this, it always makes me a little sad. Once he is out of diapers that means it won't be long and Evan will be too. Evan will be walking soon, and I will be back to work. Then no more babies in the house. It will be a preschooler/toddler home! As much as I will miss having wee babes in the house I certainly do not want more children!

My body cannot handle another pregnancy and more importantly, emotionally, I think I would crack going through another round of severe sleep deprivation! Two is perfect and what I always wanted. I will be fine holding my friends babies and then handing them back. I am not going to wish the future away. I will continue to live in the moment and be present everyday. This will be crucial when I return to work in 8 weeks. I will hardly see the boys and I know this will be hard on them. Especially sweet Evan who is a mommy's boy!

My return to work also means the near end to our nursing relationship. I found this relationship to be an enjoyable one and although at times I wished it were over, I will really miss it when we are done. In fact, Evan may need to keep one feed just to feel that closeness when I am gone all day. I feel ok keeping that feed for may be a month after I go back. I know I will take flack for it as I am already feeling some pressure to quit. If we do continue it will be Evan's lead and I will not be doing because I don't want to let him grow up.

It is never easy living life on fast forward, though we have little control over how fast time seems to fly. All we can do is remember to live in the present and stop looking ahead to the next few hours, days, months and years. They will come on their own and all too fast! If anything, cleaning the change table has been a good reminder to take the time to enjoy my boys while they are young!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fucking dog...

After dinner tonight we wanted to get outside since the kids have all been sick and are starting to feel better. We needed the fresh air, it was still daylight (finally), so we opted to head for a walk. We bundled the kids up and put Evan in the sleigh and Connor walked with us. It was so nice to breathe in some fresh air. We rounded the sidewalk at the walkway, and were greeted by a white lab cross. It had to have been crossed with another large dog, because for a pup he was big. The dog comes up and sniffs us and Matt and I take a look around for the owners. We walked about halfway down the walkway and the dog is still with us playing and bounding around us through the snow. Then the dog started jumping up on us. Matt scooped up Connor and as I bent down to pick Evan up out of the sleigh the dog nipped and ripped off Evan's mitt that was dangling as I was lifting him. The mitt was not on Evan's hand, thank God. It was one of those useless ones that come attached to the snowsuit but don't actually ever stay on. I had put on an extra pair in addition to those and in addition to his other pair of knit mittens on idiot strings. They were not going to be warm enough tonight, so I put on an old pair of Connor's warmer ones. So now, the stupid dog has Evan's mitt and is running around taunting us with it and chewing on it. We started walking back towards the walkway entrance to see if the owners were around. They were not. The dog is now jumping up on us, nipping at my fingers and Connors boots. Matt is swearing a blue streak at the dog. Finally, we hear, "Shaaadow". This lady comes out and trie to wrangle her dog who clearly was not trained and kept running away from her and at us. So he drops the first mitten and jumps up on me and snaps Evan's knit mitten off...Matt is losing it. "You can't have your fucking dog off leash for fuck sakes!" "Get your fucking dog under control now!" "I swear to fucking God!" The owner says, "I am really sorry." Now under normal circumstances, I say, "it is ok...shit happens." I couldn't say anything to her cause I was so pissed. Matt is kicking at the dog as it is jumping up and nipping at Connor. I didn't care about the mitts, I just wanted the hell out of there. We got back into the walk way and the dog got on the other side of the fence. About half way down we stopped as the dog was still following us but on the other side of the fence. We grabbed our sled and by then the owners had gone back to get dog treats in an attempt to lure the dog back home. Somehow Matt had got the other mitten back in all of the chaos...nice and chewed up. As we are walking home, Connor says, "fucking dog, fucking dog!!" Great, not only do we almost get bit by a fucking dog, now Connor is saying it over and over.

We were able to find the humour in the situation after the fact, but in all seriousness, something terrible could have happened. I feel the dog knew who to "pick on." The youngest, the weakest and that is what he did. It was in his nature and although he was just playing it was in no way safe. Matt and I were definitely feeling threatened by the dog and went into protection mode. It brings up some questions. Why was the dog loose in the first place? They didn't have a fenced yard so why was the dog out without a leash? As a dog owner, you have responsibilities and she is lucky that this ended the way it did. All I can hope now is that Connor doesn't continue saying, "FUCKING DOG!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I want my daddy...

It seems that even after a good night these days (which is only waking once to feed the babe) that six a.m. is still painful. I am nursing Evan who seems to be eating faster and faster with each passing day and I desparately try to figure out how to get just one more hour of sleep. On one hand, I could try and put him back down and he might sleep for another hour. This is turn will completely mess up his nap schedule which has been phenomenal this past week. On the other hand, Matt could get up with him after I finish feeding him. It appears that I will be getting up with Evan and going downstairs for some breakie and playtime! Tyson is waiting outside Evan's door and greets us with a meow. The three of us head downstairs. As usual, the dishes from the previous nights dinner is still on the counter. Tomato sauce is now crusted to the sides of the pans and the floor is littered with last nights festivities!

I lay Evan down in the toy area and put some food into Tyson's bowl. The cat could live on his fat alone for the next year. He has become so lazy since the children were born. He and Connor are never in the same room at the same time. Connor would have no idea the cat existed if he didn't meow for food at bedtime every night causing Connor to run to his door yelling, "kitty cat, kitty cat!" Evan and Tyson seem to have a relationship forming though. Tyson will tolerate Evan's advances which include fistfulls of fur, tail pulling, whisker tickling and the occasional wrestling move. When Tyson has had enough, he rolls away or lays down somewhere else. Evan just follows him around all morning while I get breakfast going and put on a pot of coffee. Decaf of course! I do need to be vigilant with Tyson and Evan, as Evan has got hind feet in the face on two occasions now. Not in an attacking way, in a playful way, but the need for supervision is required just in case. This makes the task of making food slow. "Tyson, just go on the couch so he can't reach you buddy."

The smell of brewing coffee in the morning is intoxicating. I can feel my eyes opening and my blood start flowing just a litle quicker. I pull out my steel cut oats and add a dash of cinnamin, pop it in the microwave and pour my coffee. I grab a glass and fill it with water and take my vitamin D. Just as I sit down to eat I can hear Connor in his crib whining for his daddy. Ever since Evan was born, Connor has become a real daddy's boy. Daddy had to put him to bed every night, down for naps, change his bum, make his lunch, go for walks etc...for 6 weeks until I was healed after the section. That was just long enough to seal the deal. It still stings a little when he calls for daddy first. Evan is a mommy's boy through and through, so I really shouldn't complain. He is getting louder and louder and Matt isn't moving, so I run up and grab Connor who needed to bring his blankie, stuffed kitty cat and zaza. I managed to talk him out of the soother (zaza) and toyed again with the idea of making it permanently disappear. He really shouldn't have it anymore, but is so attached to it. I couldn't bare to deal with that until Evan was sleeping better, so the idea was shelfed for nine months. Might be time to dust the idea off and bring it back to life!

I get both boys downstairs and Connor wants to snuggle. Who am I to say no? I love snuggles!! Of course he keeps saying, "I want my daddy, I want my daddy." I say, "Will mommy do today?" "OK." Darn right that is ok, after all, I gave birth to you!! It wasn't long and Evan was grabbing my leg and pulling himself up because he wanted snuggles too! Lots of love to go around! I get him on my knee and Connor starts whining because the baby is sharing my lap! For pete's sake! We agree on oatmeal for breakfast and put them both down to start the oatmeal. The next thing I know, Evan is climbing all over Connor and Connor is freaking out. Evan starts to cry too and before I know it, they are crying in a chorus together! I suppose this is a premonition of the next eigteen years. I console them and get back to the oatmeal.

Daddy makes it downstairs. By now I have been up two and a bit hours (where does the time go?)and sits down on the floor to play blocks with Evan. Connor wanders over (still no oatmeal eaten)and wants his daddy whose attention is with Evan. In a familiar scene, Connor is on one knee and Evan on the other, with Connor whining that he wants the baby down. I tell Matt that I think he should put Evan down his nap, which is about 10 minutes away. I tell him this because it is important for Evan to feel comfortable with different people putting him down for his naps and we can do this now that he isn't nursed before the morning nap! I proceed to tell him Evan's nap routine and he tells me he stopped listening hours ago! By now, I am already disgruntled that I was up at 6 to feed the baby and bring him down to get breakfast after being up in the night to feed him. Disgruntled that I had to get Connor when he was whining (for daddy) to get up, while watching the baby and getting breakfast. Then he is snippy with me?! I am trying to decide if I should get up and grab Evan and just do it myself or ride it out and bite my tongue. I choose to bite my tongue and make the smart decision that won't upset the kids. About ten minutes later, Matt takes Evan upstairs and gets him down for his nap no problem. I wonder if Matt goes back to work, if my daddy's boy will become a mama's boy again? I secretly hope so because I love to be the nurturer, the consoler and the healer of all things that hurt!! Until then, at least I have one mama's boy still!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

9 months

Last night I took some time to go through Connor's pictures from when he was 9 months old. The same age that Evan turns this very day. At times I will be looking at Evan thinking it is Connor and then realize it is Evan. My mind wanders in and out of the past frequently these days. Evan is the age Connor was when I found out I was pregnant with Evan. There are definitely differences that I see but they are uncannily similar in so many ways. Connor has always been a ham and it is very evident in his pictures. He is always making funny faces and even back then he loved to make people laugh. Every picture he is making fish lips or scrunching up his nose. Evan is definitely a mommy's boy. He loves to cuddle and snuggle and give hugs! He is not into making funny faces but has this infectious giggle especially when his brother gets him going! Evan is Connor's biggest fan despite the fact that Connor is rough with him much of the time (mostly in fun though) and is always telling him, "no baby!" When Connor was 9 months, I thought he was such a big boy. With Evan, he is a big boy now, but I still think of him as my little baby and that he shouldn't be doing big boy things yet! Connor was doing all the same things at his age and I spent lots of time with him practicing. Evan is doing most of this on his own cause there is not enough time in the day to practice (well, I still do but the dishes won't be done or certainly the laundry)!

Perhaps they are the perfect set of siblings? Connor, the entertainer and Evan, his biggest fan! They are close in age so everyone assumes they will be best friends. It could also turn out the other way and they will be worst enemies. For me, that is the nuturing aspect of parenting. We can teach them to respect and love one another and be each other's biggest fans. Sometimes it is scary to think how much we influence how our children behave and ultimately grow up emotionally. It has been a long 9 months, yet it has gone by so fast. Before I know it Evan will be one, I will be back to work and life will go on. Time to start living in the moment again!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Muscle Memory

I was.....AM an athlete. My body just doesn't always remember what my heart yearns to feel again. It has been at least two years since I have done any serious exercise. After surrending my body over to my two beautiful children for over two years now, it is time to reclaim what is rightfully mine!

Today for the first time in as long as I can remember, I felt a little of the athlete making a comeback. I hopped on my treadmill, and decided I was going to run. Not long, not hard, but run in intervals. Run one minute, walk for a minute. I really was not sure how long I would last. My knees have become very weak and even walking up stairs can cause me great pain. Never the less, I was game to make this happen even if I ran for one minute. I was going to trust that my muscles would remember and take over for my brain.

As I ran my first minute, it was hard. My knee hurt. I didn't think I would be able to get through the second minute. Second minute came and wasn't as bad as anticipated. Before I knew it, I had ran a minute 10 times! Each minute, my muscles began to remember the motion. Each minute, went by faster. Each minute, my body was a few steps closer to becoming the athlete that is in my heart. I was getting the high I used to get during really intense workouts when I was in my best shape. The feeling took me higher and higher until I thought my heart would burst!

My muscle memory has always been there. I can lay in bed and feel every movement of a triple salchow, every breath of a really hard run and every burn from lifting weights and yet my body can no longer execute. The muscle memory is there, underneath layers of fat and aching joints...I need to dig deep and bring the memories to the surface. My body and my heart will soon be working together again and I am going to enjoy the journey and have lots of hot baths and massages!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Men and Housework

Why is that when men do something domestic they want to bring it up in every argument, keep a running tally and receive constant praise for helping out? Women, on the other hand, will wash the endless sinks filled with dishes, do pile after pile of laundry, cook meal after meal, change bum after bum and only want a quick hug and kiss or thank you. A man's philosophy is along these lines: I filled the dishwasher so you should empty it. Sounds fair...until you realize that you have washed the breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes in the sink every day for the last however long. My husband has accumulated more points in the last nine months than he had in the ten years I have known him although he still believes that housework is fifty-fifty. He take this in quite a literal sense! He will put his dish in the diswasher after dinner and may be one of the children's, leaving mine on the table and all of the pots and pans on the counter and stove. It's your mess he says. Ummm...nevermind the fact that I cooked the dinner! If it was truly half the work, he should clean up ALL the dinner dishes? If I wash and dry the laundry, he should fold and put it away? If I clean 1/2 the toilet, he should clean the other half! He has his own idea of fifty-fifty and it usually fits with his agenda. For the record, today I fed Evan at 2 am, got up for the day with Evan at 6 am after feeding and changing his bum and threw a load of laundry in. I came downstairs and piled the dishes from last nights dinner (that he didn't clean up after I did my half - the cooking) and cleared the counters. I made Evan's breakfast and played with him for a little. Matt got Connor up brought him downstairs and gave him some milk, toast and yogurt. I went back upstairs and threw another load of laundry in came down and grabbed Evan, fed him and took him up for his nap. Then I went to the basement with Connor and did a work out. He came down half way through, probably to mock me as I was sweating my buns off and then went upstairs again with Connor. When I finished, Evan had woken up, so I went upstairs to get him with Connor in tow. Matt was playing MarioKart. I grabbed the next load of laundry, folded and put it away all while entertaining a two year old and near nine month old. We changed the sheets on the bed and Connor pooped so we came downstairs and Matt changed his bum! He definitely gets points for that. I notice he has emptied the dishwasher and loaded some dirty dishes back into it. 3 Points for Matt? I go up and finish folding the mountains of laundry from last week and have a shower. When I come down Matt is feeding the kids. 4 points Matt. I make my lunch and fold the kids laundry that I brought down with me while Connor "helps" me and makes a bigger mess. I then start making some Steel Cut Oats for the week on the stove and while this is cooking I played with the boys and danced around the living room. Matt was on the computer apparently editing my blog post! So that brought us to lunch and Matt had 4 may be 6 points (giving him 2 points for changing a poopy bum) and I have, around 15 I think. So fifty-fifty eh! I would hate to see a sixty-forty split! I guess men just have a different set of mathmatical skills than women??

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slummy Mummy cont'd

I found another (well, several actually) excerpt in the book that I want to share!

"When Sam was a baby, I remember lying beside him on the kitchen floor, before he was able to turn over on his own, trying to calculate the value of the tiny space that he occupied and realising that there was no price that could be put on it. When I was pregnant with Joe, it seemed impossible that I would love this new baby as much. I imagined I would have to halve my affections, because surely there was a finite level of love? But that was the wonder of motherhood, the discovery that there were always untapped reserves available. And every day, despite the upheavals and the chaos, there are brief moments when that is all I feel, the unadulterated pure pleasure of love."

This paragraph was like a de ja vu for me because like Lucy, the Slummy Mummy, I had this exact same wonderment before Evan was born. When I was pregnant, I was so in love with Connor. I had several conversations with Matt about how we could possibly love our new baby the same way we love Connor. In one of his wiser moments he said something that made more sense than anything I had ever heard him say in our ten years together. "You can't measure love. You can't run out of love, you just keep loving more and more." After the initial shock wore off that MY husband said something so profound, I realized that he was right. I would love the new baby just the same as I loved Connor and it is true. I do!

I am also slowing learning to recognize those brief moments amongst the chaos where I am feeling that unadulterated pure pleasure of love. I enjoy sitting back and watching the boys interact with each other more and more each day. They lock eyes and something passes between them silently, and then the giggles begin! I love watching Connor play and use his boundless imagination and wonder how he has grown into such a beautiful, smart and funny little boy! I marvel at how Evan is learning to use his body to get where he wants and how he loves his big brother and tries to grab his attention. Some days it is almost painful to love this much. So when I should be doing dishes or mopping the floor or doing the endless piles of laundry, I am enjoying those moments of infinite love. I think that is a pretty good excuse! Don't you?