Archive for the ‘Family and friends’ Category

September 2014 Emotional Milestone No. 1

Monday, 8th September 2014. Filed in Family and friends, UncategorizedNo Comments »

Tomorrow is Baby-Baby’s first day at nursery. We’re sitting here watching England play Switzerland, and the tears have come. I’m hoping it might mean I’ll keep it together tomorrow. I’ve started him a week before I actually go back, so at least I won’t be struggling to remember passwords and my ‘groove’ while being completely preoccupied. And I’ll have my big boy with me before he starts primary school on Wednesday, so I’m hoping it will be a nice day.

It’s not that I am worried about sending Baby-Baby to nursery so much that I am worried about detaching him from my, um, hip. We love our nursery and he did fine during his settling sessions, but they ended before hunger, and the need for comfort, reminded him I was no longer present. Our breastfeeding is baby-led, and he is a master. He likes his milk. I hope he likes his milk bottled tomorrow.

On the flip side, I’m hoping nursery two days a week will start to help him be a bit more independent of me. I saw my yoga instructor at the grocery store the other day, and it reminded me just how long and intense this time has been, and how nice a bit of ‘me’ time might be. (You know, the ‘me’ time where you put on a bit of make up, or at least brush your hair, and go to work all day.)

It is a funny emotional space. On one hand, I know this is a good step, for both of us, and it’s not super early – Baby-Baby’s 9 months old. But, he is my baby. It is the end of the first chapter, the last time, never to be repeated. Though I know there are a ba-zillion more chapters to come, with both of my children, I can’t help feeling slightly unready for this moment, and already a bit nostalgic for his baby days.

I hope he has fun, sweet baby.

Crazy Month, Begin

Monday, 1st September 2014. Filed in Family and friends, UncategorizedNo Comments »

September is quickly becoming my month of crazy. Last year, I was busy trying to cram four and a half days of work into three days of child care per week. While keeping up with my three year-old and growing a baby, which for me, is an exhausting task in itself from conception through ’til – how old are my children now?

This year, September is already colour-coded on my calendar, with reminder alerts programmed in for each activity, in case I forget the Rainbow class mascot building session at Build-a-Bear or you know, that I told my boss I’d return to work from maternity leave on that day. (It could so happen.)

When I first planned to end my maternity leave in September, it seemed good timing. Nine months was a good length for leave the first time round, going back part-time. The Noodle would be starting primary school, Baby-Baby would start nursery two days a week, we’d all go back together.

The staggered entry system for primary school threw a wrench into those works. The first day of term there’s just a half-hour informal meeting. Then the next week he goes Wednesday through Friday, but only in the afternoon. Then the next week he goes all days, but only in the mornings. It’s not until 22 September that he starts his normal routine. Hello, Google calendar reminder alerts. Just tell me where I need to be, with which child, 1 hour before start. That should get us there.

Baby-Baby’s schedule is less complicated logistically, with the exception of the milk situation. We are still breastfeeding and plan to continue at least until his first birthday. The tricky part is foreseeing how much milk I need to express to send with him to nursery and how to efficiently program pumping sessions into my work day, since I work two separate one-day a week jobs with not a lot of time to spare in my 7.5 hours. The whole operation will require lots of planning and organisation, with the ability to then take a deep breath and roll with it, however it goes. Kind of, I suppose, like everything else in parenting!

On top of the logistics, I didn’t give fair consideration to the emotional side of all of this happening at once. But then, I never knew just how overwhelming this year would be, even before we ever got to September.

Reminder alerts in place, I’m putting this in writing this morning so that I can take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the day. September 1st, take your best shot, I’m taking my boys to the zoo.

My first real knitting project, and other stuff

Thursday, 26th April 2012. Filed in Family and friends, RunningNo Comments »

Let’s get a blog post on the map for April, so it doesn’t look like I went from February to May without blogging. (Even though we all know I have!)

In my defense, the extra hours that were supposed to be short-lived have been extended, my family was here for 5 weeks, we’ve had two birthdays to celebrate, and if you could see my house, you’d know the blog is not the only thing to have been denied a bit of TLC over the past few months.

But, I knit a hat! Oh yes, I did. I am very proud. I did it while my mom was here, so I could say, “help, please!” when I accidentally pulled the needles out or somehow ended up with 35 stitches in a row that started out with 30. I think I have learned how to fix my own (basic) mistakes enough to attempt another project now that she’s gone, but we’ll see about that.

I also knit a scarf for the Noodle that he will never wear. It’s super short precisely for that reason, and I knew I wanted to have sewn up the hat before my mom left. (The scarf  was first, and unlike my mother, I prefer to only work one project at a time.)

So, blogging 0, knit in the sunshine with my mom while the Noodle dug around in the dirt 2. That seems like a reasonable score. Especially since my mom was knitting boobs to help teach parents-to-be how to breastfeed. (My mom rocks. I came home from work with a project and she jumped right in!)

I also ran a couple times, which is better that no times, right? And today, I went for my first club run, so I am hopefully going to get more motivated to work toward some of my running goals. It was a good session (let’s not mention the head wind on the way back to the car after it was all wrapped up), but oh, do I have a ways to go.  But, I hope this will also get my blogging on the upward trend again, too. I do miss it.

Catch you again next month, I promise!

Curious George modeling the hat. I hope his head is the same size as a baby’s…

You Know It’s Bad When You Lose Your Taste for Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Friday, 22nd July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, RunningNo Comments »

Though it’s only been a week, it feels like a lifetime since I blogged about food and cooking. I haven’t seen much of either this week. My running shoes have taken an unplanned mid-summer break, while I have tried to get my energy back and feel a little better.

But, on the bright side, this week was one of those weeks that improved as it went on. I was nauseous and ill at the beginning, which felt familiar at first, but it wasn’t (for anyone reading and hopeful). It was a mean bug. It’s taken me days to get back to the place where I can look at food and eat it without my stomach turning. You know it’s bad when you can’t stomach ice cream. I couldn’t. (But, I’m fine now. Ben and Jerry’s can relax. We’ll be stocking up at the store today.)

Amidst trying to take care of a toddler while running on empty, I’ve had some really positive things happen. My mom’s here now for three weeks and is soaking up the Noodle and all his goofiness as fast as she can. We live in a world where you’ve got to make the absolute most of it, when we’re together, because it’s feast or famine. All or nothing. My mom wasn’t planning to come visit now, but then she decided she couldn’t wait until we make it back to California for a visit in the fall, that she was missing too much of the baby time she’d never get back. It might sound crazy, given the price of airfare, but I understand. Family’s important. But, I think the airlines should thank their lucky stars. This family keeps them in business. Majorly.

Also this week, I was fortunate enough to be able to reschedule a job interview (for some part time work) from Tuesday to Thursday and am now back to doing a little bit of what I love for money again. Not much, but I think it will work out well, given my situation as a mom, and I am really looking forward to it.

It took me a long while to decide whether I would even apply for the job, given our current situation and the fact that I can no longer be as flexible as is ideal for the post. (It would be super if low tide could be at 10 a.m. every morning. That would work out very well for me now. Moon? Earth? Can you work together and make that happen? That’d be great, thanks!) But, in the end, I finally decided that I would be really disappointed if I didn’t go for it, especially if it turns out Crunchy husband’s job is saved and we are stable again, which is more of a possibility now that the site is not closing after all. To be honest, I’m getting tired of waiting. We are so very fortunate in a million ways, but life on hold can start to bring you down.

So I went for it. And now things are going to change a little bit around here. I really want to continue running and blogging, but once I have a clearer idea of my new schedule, I will have to amend my calendar (and my expectations). It’s a good thing. It keeps life interesting.

This Cooking Thing, It Could Become a Habit

Friday, 15th July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, Love to eat, hate to cook1 Comment »

My mom has always said she started cooking when she had kids. Whereas I haven’t eaten crap for my whole life, I can see where she was coming from. The burrito, pasta, some sort of chicken dish rotation doesn’t quite cut it once you are cooking for a little one.

I mean, it does. There are always vegetables involved and it’s all at least semi-balanced. But, I’ve come to feel like we need more variety to make sure we are eating right, and enjoying it. When the Noodle began to eat solids last year, I firmly decided I would make all* of his food. Part of this was determination not to be lazy – I am his mother, I should be able to prepare meals for him (since I wasn’t also going to a job for 8 hours or more a day). Part of it was just the idea that the less processing there is, the better. But, I think a main driver was the transition between him eating through me and him eating independently of me. I had nourished him for 41+ weeks inside me, and then nourished him with milk from my body for another 25 weeks. I didn’t stop breastfeeding completely until Noodle was 9 months old, but it felt like that was the “cord cutting” for us, that was when he became separate from me.

The weaning was hard at first. But then I realized that I could still be that food making factory of nourishment, I just had to approach it from a different angle. And not only could I, it had to be me. My 1-year old was not going to stand in the kitchen and say, “Burritos again? Mommy, you are not feeding me right.”

We found a bargain cookbook at WH Smith’s one day, and I have to say, I think it is the best cookbook ever. We don’t have any another where I have made so many recipes. My mom is coming next week, and I don’t think she is going to know what hit her. Chicken and artichoke pie, mango chicken and quinoa salad, Mediterranean chicken. I’m on a roll. I’m even making additions, improving on the recipes. (Like, come on, if you are going to make sesame beef with pak choi and spring onions, how hard is it to throw in carrots, mushrooms and red chillies – yes, I feed my toddler food spiced with garlic and chillies. He likes it.)

I made lasagne this week. As I was stirring the bolognese sauce, I realized, “in my whole life, I don’t think I have ever made lasagne.” I’ve eaten it plenty of times, and had it lovingly made for me, but I cannot picture myself in any of my kitchens layering out the pasta and baking up the dish. It wasn’t bad. Not great. It needed way more cheese, and dare I say more bechamel sauce on the top layer (I’m not a big fan), but that can be accomplished next time.

I’m so proud of myself. This “best bagel toaster in the world” is moving up. But, to be fair to myself, I’ve never been a bad cook. Even Crunchy husband jumped to my defence the other weekend when one of our friends, when trying to understand the situation, started to say I wasn’t good. I can cook. I just don’t like to. It bores me. I can think of so many other ways I’d love to spend my time. But, it has to be done. So, I guess it has to be done right.

*There were always food pouches and baby food jars in our kitchen for times when we were traveling over night, or just in case, but for the most part, I did it.

Tuesday: Run – 30.14
Friday: Run – 30.28

Seal of approval - a happy boy after his lasagne

Yes, It’s Full of Excuses

Monday, 11th July 2011. Filed in Family and friends, RunningNo Comments »

Okay so the run didn’t happen on Friday. Nor did a blog post. To be fair, those activities were supposed to be replaced by an extra morning of volunteering this week. Which was then superseded by a fever and a poorly, clingy Noodle.  I knew something was wrong when I took the little boy swimming on Thursday afternoon and not even launching himself off the wall like Humpty Dumpty made him smile.  We didn’t stay long once it clicked that he was not well.

So, no run or blog post or clean house on Friday morning. (Which doesn’t excuse the rest of the weekend, but let’s just over look that for a minute.) But, I feel like I had quite a bit of exercise pushing the Noodle all around the village on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday trying to get him to nap, so at least I made it up a bit. (I only had to admit defeat 1 out of 5 tries. Yeah, baby!)

I fully intended to go out Saturday morning, but then we decided to head out to the Cherry festival at Brogdale Farm, which Crunchy husband pointed out was weird because I don’t even like cherries. (Subconscious procrastination, perhaps?) And then Sunday fell to a very weird morning schedule trying to catch up on sleep and deal with a little boy who is still waking at 5 a.m. like clockwork. Once everyone was up and accounted for, there was no way I was stalling on the day. We hit the beach to play in the sand and to take in some of the beach volleyball tournament. And then it was dinner time. And time to track the USA women’s world cup game on (Yeah, ladies!) Just like that, the day gone. (I won’t mention I snuck in a few minutes to paint my toenails last night. Which was weird, since I never paint my toenails.)

Oh well, it happens. I am now making up the blog post. And will feel suitably “made up” once I hit publish.

Bring on the week!  I am feeling ready for it, despite the fact that my baby has started the back arching, shoulder blade dropping, butt to the floor antics of resisting a pick up when he’d prefer to be running around getting into trouble at the grocery store. I have a toddler, oh yes, I do!

Bring it! (Granny’s coming next week.)

Tuesday: Run – 32.15


This Week, Not So Good

Friday, 1st July 2011. Filed in Family and friendsNo Comments »

Some days can just suck the will to live right out of you. I’ve had three this week. I’m not complaining. I’m just sayin’. I feel like I am at the end of my rope. I know it’s not unique to me. I know it’s what we signed up for. I’m just sayin’.

This has been a long week. The period of getting the Noodle down for a nap with relative ease was a short and fleeting phase. It seems that once we turned that corner, we turned it right back again. So we are cranky. And disheveled. And tired. And emotional. There have been tears shed. Some of them by the Noodle. I was just starting to settled into those couple good weeks, where I felt like things were lining up, getting organized, and under a bit of control, if only in my mind.

We are clingy, but then we are not clingy. Up, down. Up, down. Help me, don’t help me! Again, I know it is not unique to me and my child. I know it’s normal and healthy. I love him and I am glad he is starting to push boundaries. And I know it’s only the beginning of a long haul. I know this. But, I’m just sayin’. I’m tired. I need a break. Bring on the weekend, and hopefully I can regain a little bit more patience to be a better mom. Maybe if I do, he will say my name rather than shaking his head “no”, smiling his gorgeous smile with that mischievous look  in his eyes and stating quite distinctly, “Daddy!”

Tuesday: Run – 30.14
Friday: Run – 30.58

Is Pirate “Argh!” Universal?

Friday, 17th June 2011. Filed in Cross-training, Family and friends4 Comments »

It’s Friday. I will not let this day go by without a post. Even if this is it. I feel like I have to do it, for myself, even if it’s nothing. Even if I have to do it with one hand. Hey kid, I guarantee you, you’ll have more fun if you go play with your toys. Or go rip up important papers somewhere else. Whatever. Why do you have to sit here on Mommy’s lap at this exact moment? Up down, up down. Yeah, there you go. Go use the vacuum cleaner as a walker. Push-a-push-a. That’s responsible parenting for you, eh? Hmmm…well, it’s not plugged in or turned on.

And, he’s back. Hello, Noodle. I love you.

My morning didn’t go exactly to plan. I was nearly out the door when I received a message that had to be replied to with a phone call, and it had to be right then. Had to. Otherwise, I would have bursted. I would have run down the street, shouting to strangers like a mad woman. So, I was 45 minutes late out the door. But, I got my run in. But, it also meant if I was going to also get some gardening done before the rain, I had to do it in my writing time spot. I was nearly as dry for ideas then as I am now, so hey, it felt like a good compromise. By the time the gardening was done and I was clean, it was time to go pick up the Noodle.

The news of the week, from this side of the pond, is we have received the Noodle’s crash helmet. And I can’t get it off the kid’s head. He’s diggin’ hats right now (or anything he can put on his head, including my bras, the crazy kid!), so really I think it’s excellent timing to start this whole bike helmet thing. And now thanks to the folks at Wiggle that ship so quickly, we have his first helmet – the pirate one by MET, argh! (Or, I should say the “pirata” one, as it’s printed in Italian. Do Italian pirates say “argh!”? We must find out.) Now, we’ve just got to get the bike seat installed on my mountain bike and we’re there! Ahoy matey, I can’t wait!

Tuesday: Run – 30.23
Friday: Run – 30.14

Not Quite Road-Safe Yet: Hold Ye Still Thar, Pirata!


Hello Blog, It’s Been A While

Wednesday, 18th May 2011. Filed in Cross-training, Family and friendsNo Comments »

It’s been a while since I have been here, and an even longer while since I have been here in more than a drive-by fashion. A lot has happened since I blogged consistently. (And since I ran consistently. Or did anything consistently. I would like to think that might change, but we shall see where the wind blows. The priorities, they happily lie elsewhere!)

Since my blogging presence faltered, a lot has happened in my life. I gained 45+ pounds over nearly 42 weeks and then lost most of it in a very short time. And then waited a year until my bones decided to realign themselves enough that I could maybe get back into my favorite jeans.  (It’s close.  Close enough that the last time I tried, I decided I could put the jeans into my drawer.) I traded running for swimming, yoga and, well, a whole lot of walking.  First wearing the baby on the inside, and then after the noodle was born, wearing him on the outside. (So even though it feels like I haven’t excercised in years, Crunchy husband claims I have. My lungs would disagree, but there you go!) I traded work for motherhood for 9 months, went back to work part time for three months to finish up my contract, and am now back to motherhood full time.

My brain is now actively trying to settle into the role as a SAHM. Luckily for me, the noodle settled really well at nursery school, and we’ve decided to keep him in 3 mornings a week (for the time being – many more changes are on the horizon), so I have some room to play with. I have already committed Monday mornings to volunteering where I was working, which I think is going to be really good. It’s some semblance of professional continuity without the stress, overwork and sparse pay. But, Tuesday and Friday mornings are mine – just mine – and I am starting to get myself into a focused groove on that.  On Friday morning, before I clean the toilets and vacuum the house, I am going to run. Not far, and not fast, but it will happen.

I will report back. And maybe that will be the beginning of something!

What Do I Do Now?

Thursday, 13th January 2011. Filed in Family and friendsNo Comments »

It’s an eerie feeling when your child sleeps during the day on his own, when it’s been so long since he’s done it. I feel a little unsettled, a little giddy, and a little like a deer caught in headlights all at once. (Oh my god, what do I DO now?)

On our way home from baby clinic, I pushed the noodle up the hill, babbling to him and listening to him babble and shake his jingle bells back, until he fell asleep right as we got two steps from our front door (always happens). I figured pushing him into the house would wake him up. I can never count on him to stay asleep if the stroller or the car or the chair or my body’s not moving. But, today we’re going on half an hour. It’s kind of funny really, because I just had a discussion with the baby nurse about our struggles for the rock-less, sling-less daytime nap, and she suggested, among other things, cutting out the morning nap.

There is no way I am going to wake him up to cut out the morning nap today!

I sat there staring at him a minute, trying to figure out what to do next. I delicately unzipped his sweater and pulled his hat halfway off his head, in my head stuttering out a list of things I could do. When I am wrapped up in caring for him, there’s always a load of things on my mind that I wish I could do, but now that I have a chance, I am stuck on what to do next.

So, I let habit take over and turned on the computer. I logged on, checked some email and blogs and then thought “aha! I could blog myself.”

But, as you can see I didn’t really have very much to say.

So you got this post.