Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter at Oma's

I'm proud to say that we made it through our first holiday celebration away from home as a family of four!  Last Sunday we drove an hour and a half to my mom's place to celebrate Easter with her, her boyfriend, and my sister's family.  Our trunk may have looked like we were planning on being gone for a week or more, but all went smoothly.  :)

Our family arrived early and spent some time visiting before dinner.  

The Bean was very excited that the Easter Bunny had visited and brought him a basket filled with treats (and eggs, he's adamant that there are eggs in Easter baskets).  He searched for eggs hidden in the living room, gobbled up chocolates, and played with little bunny toys that my mom had decorating the house.   

My mom's house is not the most toddler-friendly, but he did a really good job of not touching things or being very gentle with them when it was just too tempting not to touch.  Keeping The Bean away from all my mom's knickknacks  has been a source of stress for us when we've been there before (basically one of us had to helicopter him to make sure that he wasn't smashing her breakables).  Anyway, it seems like he can be trusted a little bit more now.  So maybe visits over the next few months (until Sprout is mobile) will be a little easier.  

We even got a family photo!  (It may be the first decent one of all four of us together.)

Today we leave for our first trip south to go visit Jen's family.  Wish us luck! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


So, I've been struggling a bit lately.  Not everyday, but enough days.  I understand enough about psychology and science to know that it's likely that I'm going through a bit of post-partum depression.  I wish I could rationalize it away, but I know it will just take some time.  It still doesn't feel good to have to live through it.  Not when I could I could be happier and likely should be happier with all the goodness in my life.

I wrote this blog post on Monday, but was too overwhelmed to post it.  Monday turned out to be better than I had expected, yesterday was also pretty good and today is going well so far, so things are seeming more manageable.  I'm looking forward to the long weekend and visiting family and celebrating Easter with two little ones (one who is VERY excited about the Easter Bunny coming).  While I'm  hopeful that things may be turning around, I still feel that maybe this is important to share, mostly for myself, but perhaps also for others who are dealing with some of the same things...


It’s 9:00am on Monday and it feels like a bad day.

I was awake every two hours overnight, so that probably doesn’t help.   I’m not upset about having to get up to nurse my baby.  Just tired.  So tired that I fell asleep while nursing her twice last night.  That doesn’t usually happen.  And while we’re not a co-sleeping family, I don’t mind having her warm little body nestled next to mine for a few hours while we drift in and out of our dreams.  No, being up at night is not the issue. 

Nor is it our children.  Our boy.  Full of energy.  Playful and funny.  Passionate and demanding.   Our girl.  Calm.  Happy and sweet. Observant and somehow, despite only being three months old, understanding.  I love them in a way that is impossible to describe.  As I love my wife, my partner and co-parent.  We are interdependent in the best of ways. 

The issue is me.  I know that I am not doing as well as I could be.  I am not doing as well as these loves in my life deserve.  I don’t seem able to stay on top of the simplest of things.   The breakfast table is often still covered in crumbs at noon.  The bed unmade until 4:30pm when I go in there to straighten the duvet and fluff the pillows before everyone gets home.

I should be able to do more and I should be able to do better.  This is my contribution to our family.  They deserve more and they deserve better. 

I try.  I try to make sure I’m reading to our little one.  That she’s getting tummy time and songs and cuddled and cared for.  But when I choose books I never feel like I’m choosing the right ones.  At three months, does she still need high-contrast images?  Photographs?  Single words on each page or rhymes?  You Are My Sunshine is “Sprout’s song”, as her brother now calls it.  Do I sing it to her too often?   She used to smile every time I sang it to her, now she only smiles sometimes.  Does she know I’m sad?  Is it bad to nurse a baby when you feel depressed?   Are the chemicals making me feel this way being transferred to her while she eats.  Am I doing her harm? 

Yet she seems happy.  She does look at me and break into the most beautiful toothless smile, her whole face lighting up.  My sunshine.  Maybe she knows that despite my shortcomings I do love her more than anything.  I try to hold on to that thought.  If she knows how much I love her, then surely I am doing one thing right. 
So that's where I've been lately.  Like I said, not everyday, but enough.  The sun is starting to shine a little more brightly these days though and the snow is finally melting.  I think I'm going to be okay.  

Wordless Wednesday: Bathtime

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sprout is Three Months Old!

Today Sprout is three months old!

Though Sprout continues to do well, this has been kind of a tough month.  There has been a lot of sickness in our house, including Sprout being sick twice.  Poor thing.  She spent the better part of the month congested and we suspect she may have even had her first stomach bug.  

-Towards the end of her second illness, we got a couple of really good nights out of Sprout.  I was hopeful that maybe she was starting to "sleep through the night", but lately we've been back to more frequent wake ups.  Her nightly schedule seems to be bedtime between 7 and 8pm, feeding around 10:30pm when I go to bed and then again at 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 (or so) when she gets up for the day again.  

-I feel like she's nursing more often these days.  I always try to nurse her when she first wakes up, but often feel like I need to top her up again before trying to get her to nap.  I try not to nurse her to sleep during the day.  

-Her daytime schedule seems to be awake for 1.5 -2 hours, and then asleep for 45 minutes (or sometimes 1.5 hours).  She's requiring more quiet when she naps now which makes it a little harder to get out during the day, though if I'm holding/wearing her she will nap while out.  

-She seems to be noticing her surroundings more.  She'll look around a good bit.  She definitely notices when either Jen or I leaves the room and will watch us walk away.  She doesn't like being left alone in a room which means I tote her around the apartment a good bit on weekdays.  

-She's really starting to interact a lot.  She gives the biggest smiles when you look at her and talk to her and she will "talk" too.  So cute.  

-She's become a pro at getting her fingers into her mouth.  I'm really hoping it doesn't become a thumb/finger sucking thing, but I'm not optimistic.  

-Her other "skills" include sticking out her tongue and blowing bubbles.  

-I feel like I've gotten a little bit better about giving some routine to her days.  Most days she'll spend some time on her playmat looking in the mirror, grasping at the toys, and kicking the chimes.  I also have been trying to give her tummy time and read to her daily.  We're even starting to get outdoors a bit now that the weather is warming up.   

-She's now solidly in 3-6 month clothing and starting to move into some 6 month stuff.  I can't believe how quickly she's growing.  

-She is as adorable as ever.  We love the creases on her arms and legs (two on the right thigh, one on the left!), her mohawk, her sparkly (still blue) eyes, and her big gummy smile.  

Even though she's only been here three months, we cannot imagine our lives without her. She is our sunshine baby and makes us so happy.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

{this moment} after naptime

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bean Update

I am somewhat surprised at myself because when I made the decision to stop doing monthly updates on The Bean once he reached age two, I really didn't think I would miss it.  But you know what, I do.  I don't miss so much the writing of the updates, but I miss taking note of the things I want to include in them and I definitely miss having them.  They are such a nice record of what our little guy was up to each of his first 24 months.

So, though they may not come monthly anymore, I think I will continue to do Bean updates when the mood strikes me.  He is still changing so much and so quickly.  He makes me smile, this little boy of ours.  (He also makes me crazy sometimes, but let's focus on the positive. :) )

So, here are a few things that I remember from the past few months...

-Not long after Sprout came home I was nursing her and The Bean clearly wanted my attention, so he said to me, "Mama, put [Sprout] in chair.  Put blanket on her."  I was a little taken aback, but it was what I was doing whenever I went to play with him.  He's pretty observant.  

-Our cat, Mo, is justifiably wary of The Bean.  There was a period of time a little while back where she would hiss at him whenever he got too close.  As a result, The Bean will now hiss when you ask him what sound a cat makes.  He also sometimes hisses at Mo.  He was doing this a month or so ago, and I told him to stop, explaining that Mo only hisses when she's scared and that hissing at her is not a nice thing to do.  I said to him, "Mo is a good girl.  Please do not hiss at her."  And he looked at me and said in a very serious voice, "Not a girl, Mama.  A cat."

-The Bean has started telling stories.  His most repeated one is half story/half joke.  It goes: "One day a chicken (pause) QUACK!"  He'll then laugh and say "The End!"  The Bean knows many animal sounds including those of both chickens and ducks, so rather than being concerned that he is confused, I sort of proud that he realizes that this is funny.  

-He's been really into knock knock jokes lately too.  Most of them don't make much sense though.  

-He does tell other stories, though he often requires prompting.  Most of his stories are about a boy going to the grocery store, or, as The Bean calls it "the SUPERMARKET!!!"  And yes, going to "the SUPERMARKET!!!"  is one of the highlights of our son's week.  Clearly.

-We also found out that our daycare provider sometimes takes the morning kids to a nearby McDonald's Playland when it's too cold our yuck to go outside.  The Bean's accounts of going to Old McDonald's and drinking coffee tipped us off.  We have confirmed that it is only the daycare provider who gets coffee and not the kids. ;)

-He can sing the Alphabet song as well as many others, spell his first name (mostly accurately) and recognize the letters in it,  count to ten, and recognize colours (though sometimes he mixes up red and purple).  Not bad for just a little over two years old!

-He is the king of procrastination at bedtime.  Mommy likes rocking him in his rocking chair after lights out, so we let it slide a little bit.  

-He has formed an attachment to his stuff hippo, Owen, and now asks for him at nap and bedtime.  Owen is from Pottery Barn and I'm more than a little concerned that they no longer sell him so there can be no "back up" Owen.  We have instituted a strict "Owen says in the house" rule.  (Which we will break when travelling, but not at any other times.)  

-I, Mama, have recently become "Daddy" or "Dad."  Sometimes I am still Mama, but I think because I am not Mommy he has decided to rename me.  I'm not thrilled with it, but I am sure it's a passing phase, probably brought on by discussions about family at daycare or talks with his friends.  Has any one else gone through this?

-He has been identifying figures and characters in books as "bad guys" lately.  We were a bit concerned, but have found out it's because of superhero action figures at daycare and some of the play that goes along with the superhero figures.  There are older kids there.  I guess it's bound to happen.

-He has a crazy good memory.  He will talk about things Jen and I have long since forgotten.  Like how the mechanical horse at the barber's was broken.  Or what happened when his friend was over to play.  It's not just my "baby brain", this kid doesn't forget anything.

So that's a snapshot of The Bean right now.  When he's in a good mood he is so fun to be around.  When he's cranky it's not so fun, but we love him anyway.  :)  He's a great big brother.  He's an enthusiastic helper.  He's smart and silly and bossy and funny and we feel lucky to be his parents and to see him grown and develop.

Friday, March 15, 2013

{this moment} sick

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Job Prospect(s) Update

A few people have asked, so I thought I should do a quick update on the job prospect I posted about here, and mention a few other potential opportunities that have come up.

First: Good news!  I got an interview for the kindergarten position!  The interview is not until the end of this month as (most) private schools here have a two week long March Break.  There's certainly things I need to do to prepare myself, but I'm not as anxious about it as I was last year when I interviewed for the girls' school.

Speaking of which, I found out that I definitely would have been offered that position when I popped by my old school to let people there know they might be getting reference calls.  Apparently the head of the girls' school told my ex-principal that they would have hired me had I not been pregnant.  I'm not sure when my ex-principal found that out, but it could explain why I wasn't offered any of the non-teaching positions that I know were available at my ex-school this past fall. 

I also found out that the woman who took over the second Senior Kindergarten position was laid off for next fall.  They only have enough students enrolled to have one Senior Kindergarten class next year.  Sounds like things there are going downhill quickly.  So maybe in some ways maybe it is good that I am not there anymore.  (Though if I had been off on mat leave they would have had to give me a position equivalent to the one I had previous to my leave --which means I likely would have ended up teaching a different grade and kept my job.) 

Anyway, there is also another posting for another full-time permanent Senior Kindergarten positon.  Again at a Christian school, this one more religious than the one I have the interview for.  (Which I have since discovered really just has it's roots as an Anglican school, but is non-denominational now, though they still have weekly "chapel.")  It's north of us, rather than west, but really just as far of a commute.  The big bonus of this position is that it doesn't start until Septemeber.  Even knowing that, I would still probablyprefer working at the first school, but I'm still definitely going to apply for this one too.  In fact, I already have. 

However, the best potential may be the third job I've found which is for a Primary/Junior teaching position at a third (completely non-religious) private school.  I have no idea what grade they are trying to fill, which means I may not be as good of a candidate for this job as for the other two, but it's still worth a shot.  The application is due next week.

The only tricky thing is that it is likely that if I am offered the first job, they will want a response before I find out about the second, and perhaps even before I interview for the third (if I do get an interview).  I guess I'll deal with all that if and when it comes up.  I'm just happy to have some potential opportunities right now. 

Oh, also, as if thing aren't busy enough, I enrolled in a course beginning in April.  It's part two of a three part course to become a reading specialist.  It'll probably be a bit overwhelming, but it's not like things are going to get less busy around here, so I figured I might as well get it done now. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I feel like I need to apologize for things being quiet here lately.  We've had quite the few weeks... I'm having a hard time keeping track of just when things started...

I think it was about two weeks ago that we noticed little spots around The Bean's mouth.  He is, of course, a toddler and as such, he doesn't always appreciate being wiped down after meals, so we figured it was just a little bit of irritation from something that got left on his face.  Maybe an allergic reaction to the strawberries which he decided he liked again.  (For a day.)  But the next day it was worse.  Our lovely daycare provider said something about it and when we really checked him out we noticed they were not only on his face, but had also spread to his bottom, arms, legs, etc.  We called the public health nurse and took him to the doctor.  Some sort of viral rash was the "official" diagnosis.  Something in the vein of Hand, Foot and Mouth, but as I said, also bottom, and arms and legs.  Pretty nasty looking, but apart from the scabby ones on his face, The Bean didn't seem to bothered by it.  We kept him home for a couple of days, which was exhausting, but we didn't want him to share it with his friends.  Fortunately Sprout seemed immune. 

And fortunately it (mostly) cleared up before his ring bearer duties at my brother's wedding.  I am not going to get into all the details, but I am so glad that it is over.  My brother is married and seems happy.  That is what is important, and I can try to forget about the less-pleasant parts.  (Number one for me being that our two-month-old had to be babysat in an upstairs room because there were "no children allowed."  The upstairs room arrangement only being being offered after many tears.  But I said I wasn't going to get into the details, so I'll leave it at that.)

And The Bean LOVED the "violins".  He still talks about them. 

Later that week The Bean spiked a pretty good fever and had to be kept home for a few days again.  Poor kiddo.  This time he was feeling it. 

I thought we had earned a break, but Sprout is now suffering with her second head cold.  (The first having run it's course sometime towards the beginning of all this crazy, but I truly cannot remember exactly when at this point.)  It is so sad to hear her snarfling and not be able to help.  Those nose aspirators are worthless.  I took ours apart and figured out a way to make it work better, but it's still only a temporary relief.  We've got her co-sleeper set up on an incline but that doesn't seem to be helping much either.  Last night, after being awake forever trying to get her settled, Jen took her out of the room so I could sleep.  Poor Jen, I know she is exhausted too, but those few hours of quiet saved me.  A nap is definitely on the agenda for today.   Though I know she's miserable, Sprout is still such a sweet pea, giving me big smiles when she's awake.  

Maybe she knows all this is hard on me too and is trying to make me feel better? In any case, I love her and look forward to her (and her brother) both being well again soon. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

{this moment} wedding

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Friday, March 1, 2013

{this moment} baby's first concert

 A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Inspired by SouleMama.