This week starting off in a not so great way. After a pretty good weekend – beautiful Saturday, productive, chore filled holiday Monday – I had to stay home with the baby on Tuesday, which meant I was missing an eventful day at work. I was also experiencing quite a bit of tooth pain, which led to taking Wednesday off work to go to the dentist to find out that I have an infection and need a root canal.
Root canal scheduled and antibiotics acquired I thought things would be getting back to normal. Back to work, baby back to daycare, tooth problem settled for the time being.
And then last night, when the baby was finally asleep and Joe was home from his day trip to Toronto, and we were going to get a little snack and finally have time together, so I started walking down the stairs.
This trip down the stairs ended about three stairs in when the shooting pain in my neck and shoulder forced me to sit and call out for Joe until he could hear my meek cry. Thus began a short phone call to Telehealth Ontario and a nurse who advised me to go to the ER. So off we went, after enlisted a very good friend to sit in the house in case the baby woke up.
When I got in to see the doctor around midnight he was very quick – knew right away what I was talking about, in fact he told me he had experienced the same thing. I left with a prescription for Valium – which scares me a bit – and a recommendation for Advil and massage therapy.
As it stands right now, I can’t turn too far in either direction, I can’t straighten my neck, most movement causes a shock of pain in my shoulder blade.
Things can only get better from here.
I am a list maker.
When I was going away to university, I started packing in June. From June to September I packed and re-packed, and edited and re-packed.
When I was pregnant, we started collecting the ‘necessities’ right away, and I tried to learn everything I could about supplies and toys and furniture. We sat down with friends because I was panicking trying to make a budget and figuring out how many diapers we would go through in a week.
Actually, I still don’t really know the number.
The things I couldn’t plan, like how big she would be and what size of clothing that would mean, whether she would prefer a vibrating chair or a bouncy one, the day she would actually arrive, drove me crazy.
Of course, being two weeks late and induced also drove me crazy, but I digress…
We did the pre-natal class, we learned everything we could, we went to the hospital with the car seat and baby clothes and hats, extra diapers, extra everything.
We had the baby, we stayed the night in the hospital, we got her in the car seat, had the nurse check her, we were ready to go home, where her crib was waiting in our bedroom.
Joe took the suitcase down to the car and came back for the two of us. We both wanted coffee, so we agreed that the baby and I would stop and Tim Hortons on the way out of the hospital while he went to bring the car around to the door so I wouldn’t have to walk through the parking lot 12 hours after giving birth.
And then I lined up at Tims, I ordered my two coffees, and I realized that I had two hands, two hot coffees, and a carseat to carry.
I should have realized right then and there that parenting is never simple, and it’s to forget sometimes.
People who have known me for a long time might note that my confidence level has gone up since Joe and I started dating, got married and even more since we had the baby. After struggling for a long time with who I was supposed to be, what I was supposed to do and whether any of it would ever actually mean anything, I have arrived at a good place.
Here we are, a family, with a nice house, a good dog, a few struggles, but overall a very good life with good support.
I credit Joe with a lot of this because he helps me to feel comfortable around other people. Opinions don’t matter so much any more now that I have so much love at home. He convinced me to love him, convinced me to get married, convinced me to become a mother. Now I’m 30 and I finally kind of like myself.
One of the other things he’s managed to convince me is that I’m smart enough and skilled enough to seize opportunities when they present themselves. So here we go again…
She grabbed my coffee mug. She reached onto the table and got her little fingers wrapped around my Super Grover mug and started pulling. I saw it happening. I yelled out. My arms flew out. The mug tipped. Coffee all over the floor, coffee all over the baby. Screaming. I yelled for Joe. We put her in a cool bath and tried to calm everyone down. We ended up at CHEO. She was fine.
I wasn’t quick enough to stop her.
I let her run around upstairs. She comes to the side of our bed. She reaches out, looks at me and says “up.” She’ll keep saying it until I lift her. She lies with her head on Daddy’s pillow, she pulls up the blanket, she bounces up and down as we tell her to stop. She rolls over. I see it happening. I get to her just after she starts falling. She ends up on the floor between the bed and the nightstand. She cries out.
I wasn’t quick enough to stop her.
She’s 16 months old. She’s had minor accidents here and there. They don’t bother me. She’s going to get cuts and bruises, they can’t be avoided. She’ll probably break a few bones – I’m not sure how I managed to avoid it all these years. I accept that her genetics are clumsy. I accept that she’s curious and she tests her limits – it’s one of the things I love most about her.
What I’m having trouble accepting right now is that I’m always right there, just one step behind. She always could get really hurt and I’m just out of reach. It scares me. Every time I fight with myself: Do I let her do what she wants and learn the lesson, or do I protect her from everything I can?
I guess right now I’m sitting in the middle, but it’s not entirely comfortable here .
My main goal for 2011 is figuring out the easiest ways to get everything done.
I need easy ways to make small changes.
I have noticed lately that Maggie is noticing what we eat. Last week we had ice cream cones for dessert – well, the grown ups did, and she didn’t. She noticed and she wanted one. She wants fries when she sees them on my plate. She’s a smart kid, and I need to make changes to avoid her making my mistakes.
My other goals for 2011 include:
I still haven’t weighed myself, I haven’t taken my measurements, I don’t know where I stand right now, but I got back on the treadmill today and it felt good.
I took the stores at least once a day working on the campaign – only three floors, but it was good. Now I understand that sometime soon my office will be moving from the 10th floor to the 3rd, so I can take the stairs every day without thinking twice about it and watch it get easier and easier.
We don’t have a meal plan this week, we’ve been doing really badly getting groceries and taking meat out of the freezer.We have to improve, but being back on a somewhat normal schedule will help.
I am very excited that I am almost finished the dress I have been making for the little one. I’m hoping it’s going to fit her this summer.
I didn’t read during the campaign and since I’ve been off I’ve only been reading magazines.
Very proud of the last two months, excited for the challenging that lie ahead.
I feel like I’ve missed a lot on Twitter, I’ve loved catching up with the people I’ve missed over the past two weeks. I imagine work will be overwhelming for the next little while, but I hope not to lose touch again.
Still not on the radar.
This one is becoming more important. I need to practice, but people at work can and will help.
My nails survived election night, which is good, and I just got my first pedicure, so all my nails look pretty good right now.
Once the campaign ended and I stopped living the campaign life (work, sleep, repeat) I suddenly had much more time to think about things. Many many things.
In slow times at work I had written lists of what to accomplish in my time off after the campaign – things beyond ‘catch up on sleep’ and ‘don’t think about politics.’
One of the things is to think about this space and what I do here and whether anything should change. I like my blog. I blog for me, and I sometimes try to have conversations with other bloggers that I read.
There are things that I feel as though I can’t touch on here any more because things are changing for me professionally. There are issues I would like to be a voice for, like mental health issues and PPD in particular.
I want to experience the things like Blissdom and Blogher, but to get there I’m going to have to consider monetization, and I really have no clue what that would even mean for me – or how I would feel about sharing my personal thoughts with companies and advertisers.
The fact is that things are changing, I’m changing, my voice is changing and I want to grow here. I want to share it all. I want to meet new people and have new conversations.
I want back into this community that I missed so much while I was gone.
We have many names for our dog. Mr. Poo, The Poo, The good chancellor (for his full name, you see, is Chancellor Heinrich von Fluffenstein Puppyface… He’s German).
He chose us years ago and he has been our devoted and loving Schnauzer ever since. He comforts me when I’m sick or sad, he cheers me up, he takes me for walks in the park and smiles in the sunshine. He snuggles up to me when I sleep.
Henry is a very important part of this family.
We almost lost him, we thought, last year. He lost the ability to move his back legs and no one could tell us what was wrong. He’s not quite back to normal, but he’s mostly our poo, most of the time.
We weren’t quite sure how he would react to having a baby in the house. He’d always been the centre, able to sit in the lap of his choosing, sleeping late with us on the weekends, cuddled between us. Now here was this little person who didn’t do much but make noise and was suddenly in charge.
Right now Henry is sitting at my mother’s feet while Miss Maggie sits in her lap and they read together. Even when the baby’s foot was slowly kicking him in the bum he sat there, watching over her.
When she has a bath, he sits on the mat, getting splashed, watching to make sure she is alright (he hates baths and he’s confused by how much she loves them). When she wakes up in the morning he runs in to her room to say hello and she jumps and smiles and says “puppy.”
When I take them on walks together, she leans out to watch him.
We knew they would be best friends, I just didn’t realize that he would take such good care of her and fully accept the fur pulling, ear grabbing, kicking, climbing, shoving.
He is such a good boy, our poo.
Yesterday I reached a moment when I was so happy I could cry. I spent the day with my daughter, my husband and my mother. We went to get groceries and other necessities, we bought the baby girl a new sand and water table that she seems to like, we bought some plants and spent the afternoon in the back garden with the puppy, who loves the sunshine.
In the evening, before putting the baby to bed, we went for a walk to the park behind our house where she laughed on the swing and slid down the slide.
She is so hard to handle sometimes, she is so curious and so active. It’s tiring. She wants to go this way and that, she wants to explore, she wants to do something again and again.
Yesterday I napped, she didn’t. She threw a few small tantrums, cried when I wouldn’t let her get her way, but she was all in all fine. She was happy, just like she almost always is, and she makes me so, so happy.
I cannot believe the overwhelming love. Sometimes it just hits me, how lovely she is, what a good family I have, how beautiful our home is and how lucky I somehow got.
I think to myself that I was ready to die 15 years ago, but then she wouldn’t exist, and she is a gift to the world.
The baby girl has always been a babbler. I used to put her in her playard and she would just lie there babbling. It seemed clear that she was talking in a language that I just didn’t understand. It sounded like she was forming sentences.
Now she’s 15 months old, going on 16 months, and she still babbles a lot. She wakes up talking, talks during car rides and during meals, but now it’s different.
More and more words that we understand are sneaking in. She wakes up in the morning and calls for mommy or daddy, she talks to the puppy, she asks for a bottle or water or apples (which I think defines all food at this point). She loves her bath and her books, and apparently also Cookie Monster – not sure where that came from, we favour Grover in our house.
She goes to look for her shoes and socks – she loves putting her shoes and socks on in the house but not so fond of wearing them in the car. She kind of, sort of says thank you.
Something wonderful that we think she picked up at daycare – if you say one there is a very clear response: “two.” If you say three and four you might get a five, though we need to work on the in between numbers. The other day I swear I was holding a crayon and she said ‘yellow’ or more specifically ‘lellow.’
And she is oh so very fond of the word no. Even though she learned yes first and still uses that occasionally, often with a nod of her head, more often we get the shake and “no.”
She has a strong personality. We sort of knew she would, and I’m glad for it. It will make things a bit more difficult for us sometimes – like when she sees something she wants to look at and dead-weights before trying to crawl back to it and I have to pick her up, or when we try to put her to sleep and she still wants to run around or play with her books and it results in tears and multiple attempts, or when she doesn’t feel like eating what we give her and she throws it on the floor while staring us straight in the eye.
She will be a strong woman, and I expect nothing less. The rest I’ll deal with… with my strong personality.