Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First Day

I got in my Mom's car at about 7:45 this morning to drive to my documentary course in Gatineau, Quebec. I was tired (up with the babe at 5:30 am) and as I mentioned yesterday, nervous. I turned on the CD player unsure of what I'd find (as I mentioned, it's my Mom's car). "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones came blasting out as I hit the road. Sticky Fingers ended up being the perfect sound track for my morning commute.

So, I wanted to report on a few things:
  • it appears as though my brain is still working and I am still able to interact with adults regarding non-child related matters
  • I am having no trouble being away from the babe during working hours (yippee)
  • the babe is apparently enjoying hanging with her Grandparents. She did a few trips to the park, a two hour nap, and some gardening in the back yard. She asked for me a few times, but nothing serious (I would have actually been offended if she hadn't asked for me). Not bad for her first full day away from Mom and Dad.
  • to follow up on the babe's speaking progress, she can now say her name (although she misses the "r"). If you ask her what her name is, she will announce it to you proudly. It's very cute.
Anyway, today was an exciting first. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"I'm Me"

Much excitement in our life to report on. On Saturday we had an amazingly ideal flying experience from Washington to Montreal. The flight was on time, it was a beautiful day, the flight attendant was a sweet heart and no one was seated next to us. You can't ask for more, and I send my thanks to Air Canada.

We spent Saturday through Monday with my Mother in Law and had an awesome visit that included many of my favorite things (Montreal bagels, cafe mocha, and home made saag paneer, but not all at the same time). The babe and my Mother in Law (who she calls "Dadi Ma") get along famously and it was a real joy to watch them together. Despite the sore throat I woke up with on Sunday morning, it was awesome to be out in the burbs chasing after the babe in the outdoors (such a nice change from our urban living situation in DC).

Yesterday we drove to Ottawa with my Dad who was kind enough to make the morning trek from Ottawa to Montreal to pick us up in the good 'oll mini van. We had a very exciting "first" yesterday afternoon when the babe shared her first sentence with us. "I'm me." Profound words for a one and a half year old! I'm pretty jazzed about the development and am noticing new words spilling out of her at a much faster rate these days. For instance, instead of saying "waa" for water yesterday, she actually said "water" (after my Mom prompted her, but it still counts).

Now, to the real reason we are in Canada (other than seeing our loving family, of course). I signed myself up for a documentary workshop, Interventionist and Participatory Media, which is being offered by the Canadian Screen Training Center Summer Institute (even though it's freakin' cold here). I am seriously nervous about the whole thing as I have been on the Mommy brain track for a long time now and I'm not sure if I remember how to relate to other adults in a professional way, nor if I have the ability to intelligently participate in the course. I just need to remember who I used to be and hopefully I'll get some guts by tomorrow morning. It's my first three days away from the babe and it had to happen sooner or later. I'm ready to do my own thing for a bit, but am not so sure she's at the same place. Thank God she's got a loving Grandpa and Grandma to watch over her.

Wish us both luck!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Yesterday was one of those days I wished I was single and childless.

Maybe that's an exaggeration. I wished I could travel back in time to my more care free days and just be alone and independent of the needs of anyone else.

My little family had a Sunday filled with one negative thing after the other.

First example: a very full diaper leaking all over our clean sheets, and sinking through to our very lovely Tempur-Pedic mattress. Daddy was on clean up duty and he did an amazingly thorough job (which involved a lot of laundry).

Second example: the babe intentionally hit the side of my head in a fit of frustration and knocked out my snazzy cubic zirconia earring. We then had to search endlessly to find it as we feared the babe may swallow it and puncture something vital. I have decided to buy smaller earrings with very secure backings to avoid any similar drama in the future.

I'll spare you details on the other examples of negativity.

These events kind of built on each other and tumbled down on us until we were sunk under the pressure.

By the end of the day, my husband and I were really wishing we either had a back yard we could throw the babe in so she could play while we sat on our duffs reading, or lived by our parents so we could drop her off and enjoy some quiet time away from her toddler antics.

Despite all the annoyances, as I sat and watched my husband read to the babe before bed, my heart got all mushy and warm. If I were alone and independent of their needs, I would never understand that cozy and yummy feeling I got listening to my little family read I Know a Rhino.

Fast forward to this morning. I was already flustered with the babe by 9:30 am, and wasn't sure how we were going to make it through the day (that warm mushy feeling I just mentioned was long gone). As I was over due to have blood taken, I decided to bite the bullet and get it over with. I got us all dressed and headed down to the clinic.

I am not a person who is good with needles and have been known to pass out having blood taken. I also wasn't thrilled about doing it with the babe in tow, but figured I had to be a grown up about it. To keep her in good spirits I gave her a hand full of raisins (she loves them). As I am a big wimp, I held her other hand to give me strength as the blood was drawn. She listened to me ramble on trying to distract myself and she didn't break eye contact or start whining. I think she was very cool about the whole experience and I was glad to have my little hand holding buddy with me after all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Update

I forgot to mention the selflessness and sacrifice that motherhood takes. I'm sure I can just keep adding to this list every day. You certainly don't know what you're in for until you're in it, that's for sure. The babe is already standing on her Adirondack chair seeking my attention, so I'll leave it at that for now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another Mother's Day

Another year has gone by. My second Mother's Day as a mother. And I'm only beginning to appreciate how much love, devotion, patience, and creativity motherhood really takes. I'm also only beginning to understand how much my own Mother gave to me. What simultaneously scares and excites me is the thought of the many years ahead of love, devotion, patience and creativity. This is hopefully only the beginning and I hope I have it in me.

For Mother's Day 2008 I slept in until 8:00 am (Saturday was my official sleep in day and I slept until 10:30 am), read the babe a whole lot of stories, made cinnamon muffins, opened my awesome card and present (which I'll admit that I chose and bought), made and ate some delicious chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes, put the babe to sleep for her mid-day nap, and then took off to the movies all by myself. I wanted to do something indulgent, and as I have only seen one movie in a theater in the past year and a half (Charlie Wilson's War), I though I deserved some alone time in a dark room with strangers. I chose a predictable romantic comedy with pretty people and nice places, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Mother's Day will be different every year and I think my expectations of it will continue to change. For now, I'm content my husband is upstairs putting the babe to sleep for the night, and I got to check in and say Happy Mother's Day to all of you.

I'd also like to share that it's been about a year since I started my blog, with a Mother's Day post quite different from this one. After re-reading what I wrote a year ago, I can say that today was another special Mother's Day, and much less stressful than my first.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Can I Please Write Something Now?

All week I think about all the things I want to write about. But the babe hates me being on the computer. She's extremely jealous when I pay attention to something other than her. As I spend all day with her, this can be difficult. When she's upset at me, she'll yell and start misbehaving (pulling on the plants, standing on her hot pink Adirondack chair, pinching me, throwing her toys, etc.). Being on the computer for a part of the day is a basic right, and I'm at a loss on how to handle her jealousy.

This behaviour can also happen if I try to read something, clean something, cook something. You get the picture.

I can not pay attention to her 24/7 and I am starting to wish she was in some kind of part time organized care where she would realize that we sometimes have to entertain ourselves in this world. So on Tuesday we headed over to the Jewish Community Center preschool and put her on the wait list. They only take kids at two, and she'll only be two in December, so the best I can hope for is January 2009. It's a popular place to send your kids in this 'hood, so I'm not sure how good our chances are. But after a year and a half of avoiding child care wait lists, we're officially in the game.

I also ordered The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp and Toddler 411 by Denise Fields and Dr. Ari Brown. I really liked The Happiest Baby on the Block and Baby 411, so hopefully these will live up to my expectations. I want to learn how to communicate with the babe in a more efficient way as I must admit I can be pretty immature in my dealings with her. I have been known to say "Fine, see if I care" a few times a week.

It's funny how much research you do on pregnancy and babies with your first child. But it just seems like there's no time to do any research when you have a toddler. Any tips or advice on dealing with a little love bug/psycho would be appreciated.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

This Past Week

Last week I was at the Rite Aide to buy some overnight diapers for the babe. A homeless man sitting outside the front door jumped up to help me with maneuvering the stroller through the entrance. He was very kind.

While I was in the store I thought about giving him some change on my way out. I normally don't give money to people on the street as we're more of the registered charity kind of people. But he had been very thoughtful so I grabbed some coins from my wallet as I prepared to leave the store. When I made it through the door, he was sitting outside talking on a cell phone. I put the change back in my pocket and just smiled as I walked by.

I appreciated the help with the stroller, but I just can't justify giving money to someone on a cell phone. Is that wrong?

On another matter, my landlady came by this week with some work guys to check out our CAC system. She was sweet enough to bring an orange beanie baby for the babe named "Dearest." The babe seemed pretty impressed with the gift. After the landlady left, I went to the bathroom, with the door open, as usual. As I was washing my hands, the babe snuck in behind me and dumped Dearest in the toilet. I'm not sure what to do with Dearest now. It says surface wash only, so I guess the babe can just play with a toilet water toy. It had been flushed, so it can't be that bad.