5 months- a roundup 

February 18, 2016

Dear Baby,

Holy crap. 5 months. 

Seriously, there is nothing like being in your 30s with a baby to remind you about how fast time passes. I feel like just yesterday you were this tiny little thing (oh wait, you still are…) and now you are this big (in age only) girl smiling in her sleep as she naps in my arms. 

I must say that so far month 4 was the best. Towards the end of month 3 a fog lifted and I emerged from the haze of exhaustion and frustration that came with being a new mom. My boobs felt better, I began fitting into my most stretchy old jeans, I got used to my new sleep schedule (and started getting more sleep- thank you, Baby) and generally feeling like a human being. I even went out one night last month and drank vodka (ps. If you want to go out and drink vodka, remember to make it worth it. Being up with a mild hangover at 5:45am just blows).

And then, the best thing happened. You began to emerge too. You became this interactive and interesting little person. I began to see your sense of humour and your interests. Does a baby really have interests, you may ask. You do. You really do. You love ribbons, you love flowers and leaves, you love those weird chewy balls, you love soft things, music and you love water. 

In contrast, there are also a lot of things you don’t care for. They include: stuffed animals, being startled or startling noises, loud rattles, finger puppets and having your nose picked. 

Currently, one of the fan favourite games in our house is “round and round the garden.” Your little eyes actually sparkle with anticipation when we get the “one step, two step” part that precedes a tickle fest. If you are in the right moods, you laugh your little head off each time. 

The most interesting change has been this past week when you really developed stranger danger. All of a sudden you won’t go to anyone but me. You seem to need more time to ease into new people and prefer to interact with them from the safety of my arms. 

On the one hand, I LOVE the affection and attention. On the other, I feel bad for everyone who loves you and just wants those delicious baby cuddles. 

You eat your toes, you sit and roll and of late, you wake up in the middle of the night having rotated 180 degrees and laugh for a few minutes before going back to sleep. Your dad and I have had such a great time watching you and listening to you entertain yourself so well at 3am (added bonus- we don’t have to get up). 

I’ll bet I say this every month moving forward but I just can’t imagine life without you. You are my best friend and I feel excited that we get to spend every day together. I might be a bit overbearing and attached to you but it’s only because you are amazing.

So know this. At 5 months old, your mom was obsessed with you. 

Baby, you are very very loved and I am having the best time getting to know you. You are a funny and curious little girl and I can’t wait to keep making you laugh and showing you new things to enjoy and discover. 

Happy 5 months. 

xo

Mom

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5 months- a roundup 

Happy Day, Baby

February 15, 2016

Dear Baby,

Hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day comes an even better day to celebrate together; Family Day. Now don’t get me wrong, there is not a person alive who loves both love and cinnamon hearts as much as me so Valentine’s Day is my jam but this year, what has really stolen my heart is you.

To celebrate we did absolutely nothing special at all but spent the day all together. There was nothing to distinguish this day from any other weekend day (except that it’s a Monday- woot woot) which is exactly what made it so awesome. The fact that any time we can all spend a day together it is amazing, fun and natural.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet (Grammy red carpet is on right now and… you know me). The great message I can share about today is that while it is amazing to designate days to celebrate the ones you love, the true celebration is on days when there is no reason to.

To me, every day is family day (I’ll pause while you go puke rainbows about that).

xo

Mom

Happy Day, Baby

Darling, if you have a baby you won’t be the baby anymore

February 10, 2016

Dear Baby,

Major points if you can identify that quote. 

Baby, I have to tell you that today is not a great day. It’s only 11am and I already want to turn in and say goodbye to this too- cold Thursday. It’s hard for me to feel this way because it doesn’t happen so often anymore but I woke up this morning without the usual bounce in my step and we have gone downhill from there. 

First of all, it’s balls cold outside. Balls. Like feels like -30 out. I regret not going back to Florida and being all like, oh I don’t mind the cold. It’s easy not to mind the cold when cold is 0. Not so much at -30. The point of that cool story bro weather account is that we are basically stuck inside today and for once, have nothing to do. 

Second of all your dad is home working today. I love your dad so much but nothing makes you feel like more of a loser than having someone watch what you do when they wouldn’t be around. All those silly songs I sing you and weird things I do with you around the house seem totally dumb when someone is watching me. It’s like having someone hear you talk to yourself.

But mostly, I woke up with horrible back pain. Like so bad. I have to stress again that you should be caring for your back NOW. Bad backs are fucking annoying. 

And here’s the thing. No one gives a fuck. It’s not like I get a day off when I feel like shit. My back hurts but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be lifted and carried as much as usual. Yesterday when I had a sudden and aggressive migraine, no one cared. I still had to go about my day. I couldn’t lie down or rest. There is no such thing as rest anymore. 

When I shuffled out of bed and complained about my back your dad just got annoyed with me that I am having so many problems with it. Like as if I don’t lament the pain. Not like he offers a massage or an Advil or just some fucking sympathy. Nope. I am not the one to be cared for anymore. 

The truth is Baby, I am an adult and I am capable of caring for you and myself. That doesn’t mean that sometimes- just sometimes- I don’t want to be taken care of. That I don’t secretly wish that this morning I got a big hug and kiss instead of a lecture about how I need to take better care of my back. 

I am an adult but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry in the bathroom like a child and feel even sadder when no one came to comfort me. You cry and I am there in a flash to cuddle you and make you feel better. I cry and may as well be the only living person on the planet for the attention I get for it. 

Because when you have a baby, you can’t be the baby anymore. Preach on Overboard. Preach on. 

I think that this perspective makes me feel for my own mom who likely trucked through a million migraines and backaches and days where she felt like shit to take care of me. The way she probably sometimes felt like the most unimportant shitty person so that she could make me feel exceptional.

I think the point I am trying to make here is that we should all be nice and give the people around us some TLC when we can. Moms, babies, siblings and friends. Even strangers. We can all use some love and kindness in our lives. You need to be taken care of to take care and feel supported to be a good support. 

In the meantime I’ll wipe these self-pitying tears (and the barf you left on my shoulder), take an Advil and get on with it because today, you are the baby.

xo

Mom

Darling, if you have a baby you won’t be the baby anymore

I’ve got a backache, Baby

February 8, 2016

Dear Baby,

Your lesson comes right out of the gate this morning. Take care of your back. Seriously. Don’t roll your eyes at me when I tell you to sit up straight or suggest that you spend time daily on the foam roller. I rolled my eyes at my mom all the time about it. I live to regret that.

Here I am after 10 years of eye rolling with a back that is totally fucked up and completely amplified by the fact that I have a 10 pound and growing weight attached to my body at all times. 

It hurts to sleep, it hurts to sit and it hurts to bend down and lift you up. I am a 90 year old woman living in a 33 year old body. 

So at the current moment I am giving up night duty to your dad once a week to have someone literally crush my body with their elbows as they attempt to work out the massive knots I have accumulated in my back (let’s not even get into my knees). 

I can think of many many things I would rather do with a night off beginning with anything other than Physiotherapy (no offence to the therapist who is awesome). 

Plus, taking care of your back (and general body) gets harder and harder as you get older. It’s not like I can be like, oh I just don’t feel like doing shit today. There is too much shit to do. I can’t for example, not go shovel the snow around my car this morning but doing so will be another trigger of pain. Can’t not carry you all day (AND WOULD NOT WANT TO) but like I said- 10 pound weight. When I was working on sets its not like I could be like, oh hey y’all this concrete floor is really hard on my legs so can I just grab an hour to rest. 

Look at all the shits that no one gives. 

So Babes, TAKE CARE OF THAT PRECIOUS BACK (and body). If you are going to be rolling, do it on the foam and give those eyes a break. I promise this one time, mama knows best. 

xo

Mom

I’ve got a backache, Baby

It’s the freakin weekend Baby I’m about to have me some fun

February 7, 2016

Dear Baby,

Can I get a toot toot. Can I get a beep beep? Ug. So lame, mom. Who the fuck is R. Kelly?

Whatever, Baby. 

Weekends. Marginally different from weekdays of you are on mat leave since every day is a “wake up at 6am” kind of day when you have a baby. For us, weekends mean that your dad is around (except for ALL OF FUCKING FOOTBALL SEASON- LATER, FOOTBALL. SEE YOU NEXT SEASON- maybe with a better halftime show too- amiright???). 

4 hands are better than 2 and special things happen on the weekend such as mom can go back to bed in the morning for an hour or we can take turns cleaning up your very predictable but gross mid afternoon poop explosion. It’s the little things that make a Saturday, a Saturday.

This weekend in particular was gorgeous (for February) so we took advantage of the way above average temperature and walked to the local farmers market and stopped on the way to visit a friend. This friend is a family of 4 with 2 amazing kids who are 2 and 4 and we walked in on them all in their pyjamas having a long breakfast and building forts. 

When we asked them what they were up to for the rest of the day they surprised us by saying “nothing.” 

They had no plans, no classes, no schedule and no obligations. They explained that they actively chose to have a weekend day together as a family with nothing to do. FUCKING BRILLIANT. 

So we are going to be copy cats and take this idea as our own. 

It means:

No scheduled activity, no programs, no weekly obligations and no set plans for at least one day every weekend. 

Waking up and spending the day as we please. 

Letting you build forts all morning long if you so choose. 

Not having to rush anywhere or be anywhere. 

Doing it all together. 

Of course, there will be parties, family functions and the like but we want to hang out with you in an unstructured way and actually see what you like to do. Love to swim? Let’s all go to the pool! Love the museum? Family trip to the ROM. You get the idea. 

Baby, the world you will grow up in is a really hectic place. Long before I had you I was lamenting about how hard it is to have free time. We are lucky to have so much to do but sometimes the best laid plans were to have none at all. 

Having you makes me want to slow down and take some deep breaths. It makes me want to really savor the moments. Days with you go by really fast and one day I will blink and you will have plans all your own every weekend. You won’t want to show me your cool new pillow fort or hold my hand as we check out dinosaurs.

I know that you are bound to get busy too one day. I hope you have tons of family, friends and interests to keep your schedule full of loving and wonderful things to do. If I could share one piece of advice on this topic it would be to use this weekend-is-rest long before or despite having kids. 

Only in the past while have your dad and I been a bit more scheduled. We have always been huge advocates of having a fun and obligation free day per week to just do whatever the fuck we wanted. I will never look back and wish I had taken more classes or programs. I will only be grateful that I took a lot of walks with my husband and friends, drove a bit out of the way to check out cool markets or trails and spent full days in sweatpants when I wanted to. 

Moving forward I don’t think you will be remiss for not having 600 programs to attend every Saturday morning. I think you too will look back and be glad the weekend learning and experiencing you did came from being together and seeing the world together. 

You can let me know what you think one lazy Saturday morning in the future. 

For now, I’m poring myself another cup of coffee. 

xo

Mom

It’s the freakin weekend Baby I’m about to have me some fun

Just me and you, Baby

February 6, 2016

Dear Baby,

An amazing thing happened recently which is that you started being awake more, more attentive when awake and with longer stretches of time. It’s amazing to see you emerge from a sleeping machine to a real active baby who wants to do things. 

So now I am tasked with thinking of things to do with you. 

Baby, you have a pretty action packed life. We take classes, we go for walks, we run errands, we visit friends and family and we are out and about A LOT. 

Nonetheless, by virtue of the fact that you still nap a lot and need a sufficient amount of downtime, we also do a lot of things alone. 

I have never been one to enjoy being alone. I have always preferred the company of others even if it means sitting together in silence. Being alone has always made me anxious and while I am obviously not alone with you around, you are not yet the exact model of human interaction that I would have previously wanted. 

But if I want you to sleep well (I do) and have restful times (I do) and be able to hang out in your own space (guess what?? I do), then spend alone time with you I must. 

For example, right now you are fast asleep and I am home alone on a Saturday afternoon. I could have run out with you and let you nap on the go, I could have made us plans but the truth is the more I do it, the more I relish in alone time. 

Alone time means I can write a blog. Alone. In pyjamas. It means I could clean the house of I wanted (haha) or spend an hour getting lost in the black hole of the Internet (way more likely). 

I know one day I am going to have to face my strong aversion to doing crowded crap on a Saturday. One day you will want to go to the ROM or the mall or somewhere that’s bound to be overrun with screaming kids and annoying people but for now, you are just as happy in the house as you are out so I don’t HAVE to worry about parking at fucking Yorkdale. 

Baby, the message to share on this wonderful solo Saturday afternoon is that I want you to learn to live time spent with yourself. There is some cheesy magnet style quote that says something like, you spend a lot of time with yourself so make yourself fun to hang with- or something more eloquent. But that’s actually important. 

I rejected being alone for so long for fear that I would be lonely but the truth is that life gets busier and busier and now alone time is the one time I have to myself. You go through life with so much “spare” time that dwindles and dwindles with age and being alone is a great skill to develope when you have the choice of things to do with your time. 

Plus, biasedly, you are awesome so I can only imagine that you would enjoy your own company as much as I enjoy you. 

Yes I will want us to hang out ALL THE TIME FOREVER but once you walk and talk, I’ll bet we will both need time alone (maybe me more than you at first).

xo

Mom

Just me and you, Baby

Baby Bedtime

February 1, 2016

Dear Baby,

The thing about group mentality is that it can really get to you. It’s not as cliche as that whole “of your friends jump off a cliff” stuff but there is something to peer pressure that is real. 

So when my mom friends all told me that they put their babies to bed at 7, I came home and promptly announced to your dad that we too would instill an ETB for you. Previously your VERY loose bedtime was somewhere between 8 and 9pm. We agreed to move your bedtime to 730 as a compromise. 

They say that sleep begets sleep and whoever “they” are- brilliant. So sweet Baby, you went to bed for the first night at 730 and had a better sleep than ever before. It may have been a fluke so like any good experiment, we repeated it the next night and had another success. Third night was an even earlier bedtime of 7 and an even better night and every night since has followed the same trend. 

We all sleep better in this house but most importantly, you get so many extra hours of sleep per week. More sleep is more time for you to grow and I am all for your growth and development. 

The weird side effect is that your dad and I have SO MUCH FREE TIME AT NIGHT. Like, what do we even do with all this time?????

So far, I have crocheted a few headbands, we have spent a lot of time watching Chopped, I have eaten a lot of popcorn and gone to bed every night at 10. It’s pretty rad. 

Baby, I hope you are a strong willed woman. I hope that you have tons of confidence to make independent decisions on your life and I hope that you have friends around you who never pressure you to make shitty decisions. 

That being said, if your friends suggest something to you as harmless as trying an hour earlier bedtime, please try it if it feels right to you. 

When you have great friends and feel good about decisions you make, you may just end up with something amazing (and strange) on your hand like redound dinners with your partner and prime time TV. 

Oh, and thanks for being such a sweet little sleeper. Poo poo poo.

xo

Mom

Baby Bedtime