Saturday, December 29, 2007

Had ourselves a merry little Christmas.

The jury is in and, though it was touch and go sometimes, it seems we made it through Christmas with a newborn and tantrumy almost-preschooler unscathed. In fact, we had a pretty good time.


The Boy took it upon himself to handle all the gift-giving. He actually managed to deliver the gifts to the appropriate person. However, once delivered, he insisted on opening them for you as well. I didn't have to open a single one of my gifts. A blessing and a curse. I feel like I should be given more gifts, just so I have something to compensate:


Our big gift from Santa this year was a brand new sled. Unfortunately, the mountainous snow came and went the week before Christmas, so we can now only try it out on our living room floor (please ignore the wreckage that is our house - it looks like something exploded...ah, how I love the Christmas aftermath..):


The Boy, when asked what he wanted for Christmas, would immediately answer: "A Trans-FORMER!". I have no idea how he even knows about them and I still don't think he actually knows what it is, but of course, how could we deny him his greatest wish:


I do believe he has yet to play with it but, hey, it's Christmas...

The winning gifts this year were the Melissa & Doug Art Easel and art supplies from Nanny, the BC Builders set complete with dinosaurs, cave dudes and extra boulders from his aunt and uncle, and this cooktop stove with pots and pans from Nana:


At the tender age of 2.85, he already cooks better than his mum, and looks much better in his "shep" hat (as he calls it).

Where is the Little Guy in all this, you ask? Well, other than cluster feeding every single time we went to a relative's house, the Little Guy thought Christmas was a bit of snooze:

After the presents were opened, we decided to put the Boy to work shovelling snow. There's something about child labour that just screams Christmas, doncha think?

We're exhausted. I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did, though. Merry, merry! See you in the New Year.


PS. If anyone can show me how to fix the spacing when adding pictures in blogger, I would be much obliged. My OCD is going crazy looking at the single vs double spacing. Ack.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Greatest Gifts

It's a Christmas conundrum: people keep asking me what I want in the way of gifts and I can't come up with an answer. Usually, I can rattle off a whole list of expensive things that would tickle my fancy. I do still want all of these things, but I am hard-pressed to name one thing that I want more than anything else. What took me a distressingly long time (I am sleep-deprived after all, so please forgive me) to realize was that I already have everything that would truly make me happy.


You see, a lot can happen in a year. At this time last year, I was new to blogging. I had just gone back to work, and I was feeling a bit low about the whole baby experience. It was hard. Really hard. And I didn't think that I had done a very good job of it. And there was no one (other than my wonderful husband, of course) who I could really talk to about it. I was a part of a mom's group, but I didn't feel very connected to them. I found that we didn't have much in common, apart from having had babies at the same time. I felt alone in a crowd of women with children.


This blogosphere, though, opened up a whole new world. I was made to feel welcome by someone lovely and talented, eventhough I'm not much of a writer. I got diet support from one of the best up-and-coming novelists I have read. I was shown how to be a fabulous hostess by someone who is cooler now than I will ever be. I've seen true generosity of spirit. I was able to share my second birth experience with one hot mama. I was sent a baby gift by someone who I have yet to met in person. I was shown how to handle difficult situations with grace and with strength. I even found someone who likes the same tv shows that I do (and if you know how much I love tv, then you will know how important this is). In short, I have met people who are just like me...if I was a smarter, more refined, nicer, more talented, more artistic, more rockin', spicier, more generous, hipper, more easy-going version of myself. (Please don't be offended if I haven't linked to you here, I am blogging one-handed while holding a newborn baby, and linking this much has seriously tired me out, but I love you all too. You're super!)


Since I can't seem to find the time or the energy to send out Christmas cards to you all to show you how much you mean to me, I would like to share with you two of my greatest gifts along with a great big THANK YOU for all your kind words and support. Because of you guys, and these two guys, I will have a truly merry Christmas, no matter what is under the tree:





Are you kidding me? I could never take a photo this good - I can't even get them both in the same shot!...*Professional photo by snugabugportraits.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

40 Days and 40 Nights

Number of crinkly ears that won't unfold...2
Number of fleeting gassy smiles...19
Number of goopy eyes...2
Number of
Alfalfa hairlicks...1
Number of congested nostrils...2
Number of distressingly large belly buttons...1
Number of dangerously ragged fingernails...10
Number of times dangerously ragged fingernails have grazed unprotected nipples or boobs...20
Number of flailing arms...2
Number of times flailing arms have hit his own face...7
Number of wide-open eyes every time he's being put to sleep...2
Number of times hiccups started as he was being put to sleep...30
Number of minutes it takes to get him to go to sleep at night on average...60
Number of minutes it takes to get him to go to sleep during the day on average...5
Number of hours of sleep I usually get at night...4.5
Number of hours I've slept consecutively...3.5
Number of times that has happened...1
Number of extreme yawns...120
Number of little round "O" mouths...80
Number of cross-eyed stares as he tries to focus...20
Number of times I've breastfed...320 (approx)
Number of visits by a lactation consultant this time...1
Number of times I've enjoyed breastfeeding...310
Number of times I've forgotten which side I should feed next...300
Number of champion burps (by the Little Guy)...250
Number of times burping meant he won't spit up...0
Number of times he's spit up...100
Number of times the spit up has hit the burp cloth...14
Number of spit ups that occurred right after he was bathed...12
Number of loud farts...400
Number of diapers used...400+
Number of times I've been peed on...7
Number of times he's peed on himself...20 (sucker)
Number of projectile poops...1
Number of diaper-free poops...3
Number of times vast quantities of poops have been witnessed in action...2
Number of clothing items rendered unusable due to poop...2 (so far)
Number of grunts, groans, whines, wheezes, snorts...1000 (ballpark)
Number of nights grunts, groans, whines, wheezes, snorts have kept us from sleep...40
Value of being able to hold this Little Guy in my arms every day...priceless.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Close Shave [MBT]

We did it! Snuck under the wire with one day to go before closing, but we managed to see Sweeney Todd at the Princess of Wales. You may remember that we had planned to see the show on November 10th, but the Little Guy arrived three weeks early so we had to give up our tickets. Luckily, my parents had tickets for today's matinee and were willing to babysit.

For those not familiar with the show, it is Stephen Sondheim crowning achievement and arguably the best musical in existence - at least, it's unanimously loved by theatre geeks the world over. It tells the tale of Benjamin Barker, former barber, wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, who comes back as "Sweeney Todd" seeking revenge on his gaoler. He's also gone a little bonkers in the meantime..

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Second Helpings


Before having kids, we were both convinced that we wanted at least two children. (Mr Earth would like three, but for that he will have to take a second wife..) Then we had the Boy. Neither of us are big fans of the new baby phase. Our "A material" really only works on an audience that can talk, laugh and interact. Add to that an obscene amount of visits to lactation consultants, serious sleep deprivation due to pumping and tube-feeding, numerous late-night visits to emergency to get a hernia pushed back in, double hernia surgery at 2.5 months, colic, isolation and almost-depression...well, we got a little gun-shy.

At about a year, things got really good with the Boy. There was laughter, and words (even if the word was often No!), walking and so much more. I went back to work, and life returned to some degree of normalcy. Our lives had changed drastically, of course, but in a very good way. And we also got some of our pre-baby lives back. It was hard to think of going back to those early baby days. But we still wanted another.

We had the Boy though - sunny, easy-going and pretty darn close to perfect. We had a really good thing going. What on earth could possess us to mess that up? In the end, we made the Non-Decision. To simply Stop Preventing and See What Happens. It was the only way we could reconcile wanting another so much and yet wanting things to stay exactly the same.

You can guess what happened. Fate made the decision for us. And yes, I do believe in fate. I do believe that we were meant to have two, or it simply wouldn't have happened. A naive viewpoint, maybe, but that's who I am and I like that about me.

I was scared, so scared about what life would be like. I thought about all the things that could go wrong, and then some. I thought I would keep putting all my love and attention into the Boy, and would have none left over for the new baby.

What I didn't expect is to like it so much. I don't know if the Little Guy is easy-going by nature, or I made him easy-going by being so relaxed myself. I don't feel like I'm being weighed and measured, and found wanting. I don't feel like every mistake I make will Ruin His Life. In fact, I don't feel like I'm making mistakes all that much. (Nobody's perfect, though). On top of that, I think I may actually like newborns just a little bit..

I'm afraid to say that it's going well in case I jinx the whole thing. So we'll just treat it like Fight Club, ok? And what's the first rule about Fight Club? We don't talk about Fight Club. We'll just let his face do the talking for me:




Saturday, December 01, 2007

Little Boy Blue

Willing to take a gamble? Here's the million-dollar question: If a household contains two children - one who is a 1 month old, and one who is almost 3 years old - who do you suppose is doing the vast majority of crying these days??

If you guessed the newborn baby, I'm sorry to say that you are wrong. (My money was on the baby too.) Suffice it to say that the Boy's adjustment period is not going well.

It's funny, because when I was pregnant, one of my biggest worries was that when the baby came, I would want to spend all my time with the Boy. You see, I am not a person who loves the newborn phase all that much. Yup, they're pretty cute, but that's about where my interest stops. On the other hand, I love kids. I love the non-stop questions. I love the not-so-funny almost-jokes. I love making crafts, and playing with toys. I love going to the park. I love the simplicity and energy of children. Yes, I even love tantrums.

But non-stop tantrums? Not so much. These days, were lucky to get through a half hour without a tantrum. Nothing we can do is right. Nothing is enough. I'm exhausted, and it's not the lack of sleep that is the problem (although it's kicking my ass, too). We are desperately trying to show the Boy how much we love him, and how important he is to us, but the message is not getting through. To my mind, the Boy is lucky in that he had almost three years of undivided parental attention. The Little Guy will never have that - the curse of the second child. But you can't reason with an sad kid who has lost the spotlight. (Well, you can't generally reason with three-year olds, period..)

It doesn't help that I haven't had a good night's sleep in a month and my patience is very thin. It also doesn't help that my beautiful Boy, my easy-going sunny Boy, someone who is normally a bright shining light in my life, is now a perfect mess. It certainly doesn't help that I think I'm at fault for not handling the situation better, and making his adjustment period go more smoothly.

The Little Guy, with his straightforward pattern of eat-sleep-cry-poop seems like an oasis of calm in comparison. If only I could find a cure for the my little Boy's blues.

Monday, November 26, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

Dear Internets,

I need your help. I don't think that I'm the World's Worst Photographer, but the litany of unusable photographs I've taken would say otherwise. I do know how to work our camera, but every time I take a bunch of photographs, I know that some of them - usually the best ones - will probably be out of focus or otherwise unusable. This is driving me crazy! I actually really like taking photos, especially when those photos involve my beautiful boys. I feel like I am losing a part of their childhood to either a crappy camera, or crappy photo skills. Or both. Either way I lose.

Could someone please PLEASE suggest a great camera to buy? One that is preferably foolproof, and easy to use for dummies like me. Please don't make this be the norm in my children's albums:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rebirth(day)

Hey there...Little Guy here. Since today is the day I was scheduled to make my way into this mad world, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself. After all, you've only heard from my parents so far, and they're kind of biased.

So....Hi! I'm a Scorpio. Hair: Dark brown. Eyes: Not sure. I'm hoping for blue. I plan to wow the ladies and this colour combination would be most sexy. Lock up your daughters, BlogMammas.

Likes: Sucking on fingers. Sucking on boobies. Basically a whole lot of sucking going on here. Oh yeah, don't forget pooping. I like that ALOT.

Dislikes: Hats. Baths. Diaper changes. Swaddling. Hiccups. Sleeping at night.

Despite my early expulsion, I came into this world with dignity. Barely cried at all. Could've been the drugs. I was feeling FIIINE. I'm not much for sibling rivalry, but my mum says I've been doing much better than my brother when it comes to breastfeeding. Score one for me! Not that I'm keeping count. I've also had a lot less hospital visits so far. Score two! Really, I'm not keeping count. But I AM a pretty fabulous baby brother...even if I do say so myself.

Not yet 3 weeks old and I've already been out and about spreading my charm. I've been to Mummy and Daddy's work. I've had walks in the stroller. I've been to the mall and Walmart
and Loblaws. I'm so cool. I've even been to the Santa Claus parade - although I only saw it from the 29th floor of an office building. Too cold for me. I'm no fool.

The Boy is not so sure about me. He waffles between kisses and tantrums. That's okay, I'll win him over later. He's pretty interested whether or not I have a poopy diaper or not. Hey, it's a start. I'll take what I can get.

Soon the whole world will bow down and kiss my feet. I'm setting a course for World Domination.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bjorn Again

After our second doctor's appointment the other day (the Little Guy's almost back at birth weight - yay!), I headed out to a nearby baby store to buy...a Sling. I didn't use a sling with the Boy, I was too intimidated by the mounds of fabric. We used the Baby Bjorn instead. For the most part, we were very happy with it too, with the exception of the backaches from prolonged wearing. Still, our Bjorn served it's purpose. We used it for many a nap or stroll in the neighbourhood. The amount of spit-up covering the fabric shows just how much use we got out of it.

This time around, though, I was determined to try the Sling. I wanted to be more organic, more "Earth Mother-ish". I kept seeing all these women using a sling and it just looked so...natural. I wanted to be more natural too. I wanted to prove that I had learned something from having been a mom already. I wanted to show that I could relax and just enjoy motherhood. As far I could see, you could be one of two types of moms:

A) Sling-Wearer (ie. what I aspire to): Effortless, casual, primal, can breastfeed anywhere without embarrassment, born mother, always has the answers, this mothering gig is so easy I could handle ten babies, looks not a day over 30 eventhough she has two teenaged kids kind of mom.

OR

B) Bjorn-Wearer (ie. me): Complicated, make things harder than they have to be, clinging to active pre-baby life, how can you make your baby sleep in that position, awkward, doesn't know what she's doing, breastfeeding is a challenge, will probably buy the Thighmaster and get breast implants before she's forty kind of mom.

Anyways, I tested out a couple slings in the store and brought one home. That's when things went downhill. I couldn't make it work! It wasn't comfortable! The Little Guy was screaming, and that was the only way I could tell that he wasn't suffocating in the folds of fabric.

How was it comfortable in the store, but NOT AT ALL when I got it home??

Yesterday, I exchanged the Sling for the Active Baby Bjorn. It's comfortable. It's me. Maybe it's about time I just accept who I am. Which is not so very bad a person. Or mother. If I can be comfortable with that, it won't matter whether I Sling or Bjorn.

He won't care either way...


Saturday, November 10, 2007

His Story



The day started at 4am, which is waaay too early for anything to start if you ask me. I woke up feeling slightly "wet". Disgusting as that may be (TMI anyone?), at 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I was only slightly surprised. I thought it best to haul ass to the bathroom, though, before any further accident occurred. When I stood up to wipe myself off, the dam burst. The toilet paper in my hand looked unequal to the job. So, not knowing what else to do I grabbed a towel from the wall and put it down on the floor and just stood there.

Thoughts running through my head? "This can't really be happening can it?? It's too early." Or "Crap, this is really happening. But I have a shower to go to tomorrow, and theatre tickets next Saturday!" And, "Yay, I'm going into labour so nobody will force me to have a repeat section because I'm overdue!" And finally, "What the hell do I do now??"

The answer to that last question was pack a travel bag for the Boy and assemble my hospital bag. I tried to do as much as I could before waking Mr Earth. No sense in him losing sleep too. I was WIDE AWAKE though. Why do they suggest going back to bed at this point? No deal for me. Finally, though, I had to wake the man and let him know what was happening. It took a while for him to register it because we simply were not expecting this so early.

I thought that I was supposed to go in to the hospital right away. I was sure the doctor had said to do this because of the whole VBAC situation. But since it was so early and way too inconvenient to wake the Boy, we called the hospital instead. They said to wait until the contractions were closer together.

So, the day went on as usual, except that I decided to NOT to go for a run that morning. It seemed unwise. We did go grocery shopping, though, and then sort of hung out at home. I started using low-toning for the contractions which were about 15 minutes apart. We called all three sets of parents to let them know what was happening, and to arrange for someone to watch the Boy as my parents were in New Jersey. Mr Earth's stepmother was on call and ready to come by.

The low-toning got a little boring for me (short attention span), so I started singing with each contraction instead. For some reason, the only song I could think of was "Do You Hear The People Sing" from Les Misérables. Not the most appropriate lyrics, but very inspirational. It was the only song with low notes that came to mind anyways, so I was stuck with it.

Finally, around 3pm in the afternoon, I had had enough and wanted to go for a walk. The Boy was being rather obstinate but into the stroller he went despite complaints. We walked down to the local Second Cup and I had a mulled apple cider. I wondered if people could tell I was in (early) labour. We started walking again - I wanted to return a book to the library - but I decided that we should go home as the contractions were getting worse. Of course, the Boy wanted to walk home so it took a loooong time.

We finally got home around 5pm and decided we really should call Mr Earth's stepmother as it would take her 45 minutes to get to our house and the contractions were now steadily 5 minutes apart. And active labour had begun. I spent much of the next hour on my hands and knees moaning in pain. It frightened the Boy, who kept shushing me, but I really couldn't help myself.

Mr Earth's stepmother finally got there at around 10 minutes to 6pm and we rushed to the car. I have never hated being in car so much. I felt confined in a uncomfortable seat, and each contraction was hellish. I hated every bump. I cursed the Bloor Street traffic. I hit the wall of the car. I was VERY mature.

Mr Earth dropped me off at admitting so he could go park the car. I waited interminable for the two receptionists to stop having their debate about what to eat for dinner. Finally, the girl deigned to help me. I left the papers on her desk and got down on my hands and knees again, moaning. Yeah, this is not embarrassing at all. Strangely, she asked no questions. I was sort of expecting an "Are you all right?" or "Can I get you a wheelchair", or "Should I call a nurse?" Nothing. Once she admitted us she pointed us in the direction of the elevators. I'm pretty sure I gave her the blackest look of death I had. Don't piss off the woman in labour..

In the elevator, I got down on my hands and knees again with contractions. I had to crawl out of the doors. Some guy gave me a strange look. He pissed me off too. At triage, they put me in a room and did an exam to see how far along I was. The woman was really abrupt and rather unkindly shoved her hand up the wazoo in the middle of a contraction. She REALLY pissed me off. I was at 5 centimetres.

I was taken (walked? I can't remember) to the labour room. I had high hopes of waiting till 6 centimetres before even considering an epidural, but the pain was too much. I really thought I had a better tolerance for pain. I was doing my best not to scream through contractions, which were coming one on top of the other. I was VERY loud. The hospital phrased it "patient was in distress". They couldn't get the IV to stop bleeding or stay stuck to my hand. They apparently gave me an epidural, but after my constant polite questions of "When is that damn epidural supposed to work??" they finally realized that it hadn't "taken". WTF???

So, at around 8:30 and 8 or 9 centimetres dilated, they gave me a spinal. After that, I felt FINE. Contractions were happening nonstop but I couldn't feel them. They gave me about half an hour before they wanted me to start pushing. They said I might feel the urge to push, but I didn't believe them because I felt FIIIINE. I did feel the urge, though.

The pushing (with drugs) was actually not bad. Rather uncomfortable, but not nearly as awful as I thought. It was all going so fast. I felt a rush of blood (ruined a perfectly good pair of sport socks in the process), and they pulled out the baby. As they brought him up to my chest, I saw the goods and knew it was a boy, and no one had to make the "It's a Boy!" announcement I was so looking forward to.

I got to hold him for a spell. He was so small it was like holding on to air. I barely felt the weight of him. I was in shock that it was November 3rd and I was holding my baby already. The family complete. The trio turned quartet. Life is good.

Now, if only we could find time to sleep.




A shout out to the Peeps from the little guy. Yo, yo, yo!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Baby Earth II Arrives!

Hi All, Mr. Earth Here..

I thought that I'd take this opportunity to quickly update everyone about..... ME!

Turnons:
-Sunshine
-Long walks on Beaches

Turnoffs:
- Clouds
- Rainy Days

(yes, I think that I'm VERY funny..)

Oh, yeah, I'm also pleased as punch (but really is punch all that pleased... moving on..) to announce that Baby Earth II was born last evening at 9:44 pm.

A BOY! (It's true I only have male sperm!!) Weighing in at 6lbs and 12 ounces.

Delivery was... well.... let's say I'm glad that I'm a guy....

But to summate:

- We left for the hospital at around 6 and we probably left it a little to late as Mrs. Earth was in some MAJOR pain...
- We got to the hospital around 6:30 and she was keen on the epidural immediately...
- Unfortunately... it took a while to happen...
- Then, the first epidural "didn't take" (comment: HUH??)
- Finally, she got a "spinal" around 8:30 or so - and it was all puppy dogs and icecream after that..
- She pushed like a champ

More later..

Mr. Earth

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Unprepared, as usual...

So...um...yeah....my water just broke. I think I remember my doctor saying that I should get something like that checked out? They may send me home again, but it's a good idea, right??

My parents were slotted to take care of the Boy. They're out of town until Tuesday.

Would this be a GOOD time to pack the hospital bag? Or install the car seat?? Just wondering.

I'll keep you posted as possible. Who knows? I could have Big News really soon...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Barbies, Barbed Wire and BB Guns [MBT]

Faithful Mama Drama readers may remember that I was going to be in a play right about now, but the director decided that it was too risky since I am so close to my due date. Personally, I think that I still could have done it, but since I recently twisted my SI joint, perhaps it's a good thing that I wasn't cast.

It's no doubt a conflict of interest to review a play that I should have been cast in, but what the heck, right? It's my column and I'll cry if I want to. Just keep in mind that I am probably still bitter and jealous. Add to that the fact that the Husband and I were stuck in traffic for the FOUR HOURS leading up to the play because we had to drop the kid off at my parents, AND the fact that we didn't have time for dinner before the show, and I probably wasn't in the best "theatre-viewing mindset" ever. (For the love of all that is good, will someone please feed the 9-month preggo lady?? Yeesh.) But it's not that often that I get to see live theatre these days, so here goes..

Read more at Mommy Blogs Toronto.

And hey - did you know that MBT is participating in NaBloPoMo?? Check back every day for new posts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shoulda done those Kegels


Oh, how the mighty have fallen. For the past four days, I have been limping around in agony wondering what I could have possibly done to screw up my lower back quite so badly. At first, I hoped it was just regular back pain as many pregnant woman experience. The next day, the pain localized into one side, and I knew something was up. At times, I couldn't even put weight on the leg. Yesterday, it was so bad that I was using the stroller like a walker - anything to stay upright. Today, I'd decided that I had endured enough and called a physiotherapist that my doctor had recommended.

I suspected that it was somehow pregnancy related, of course. I know that things in the pelvic area tend to loosen up when you're late in the game. I even knew that you could do some damage if you weren't careful. But surely these things happen to Other People, not me. Oh no! I'm a runner! I am still - or, rather, was still until the back went haywire - running for about an hour, three times a week! I take a FitMom class once a week, and I walk a lot! Apparently all these good things are for naught if you don't do your kegels.

For some reason, I thought I was exempt. Or, perhaps I was lazy. Anyways, I could never find time for them. Now that I can't walk properly, I wish I had made more of an effort. According to my physiotherapist, I lack some of the core strength that kegels help to build, and I hurt/twisted/messed up the SI Joint. She gave me some exercises and stretches to do - all of which involve the muscles worked while doing kegels.

She also said that the pain may not go away entirely until I deliver, though. Fabulous. Nothing like chasing after a toddler who can outrun you.

So it looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Can I make up for 9 kegel-free months in just 3 short weeks? Only time will tell. One thing I know for sure is that I won't look like this at the end of my new workout regime:



This is SO NOT the outfit I would choose to wear while doing kegels. Assuming that white thing goes where I think it does - are we pretending that my little girl can actually compress that thing? It looks like a Thigh Master for pete's sake! Nuh huh. Love how the pregnancy benefits are hidden between things like better orgasms and heightened stimulation, though. . Now, if only I had the proper footwear to become a KegelPro, I'd be all set...

Now if anyone sees me in person, you're gonna be wondering if I'm doing a kegel. Arncha?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cravings

When I started this blog, I gave it the name "nomotherearth" because, up to that point, I had spent my time as a new mother feeling very much on the outside. I would look at the other new mothers in my neighbourhood (and there are ALOT of new mothers in my 'hood) and feel like they knew something I didn't. They all seemed to have their act together, and here I was stumbling along like an infant learning to walk. I took a lot of falls. Truth be told, I'm still stumbling. I was especially fascinated by the mothers for whom this mothering thing seemed to come naturally. It was as if the "Mother Earth" juice just oozed out of their every pore. They seemed to know the right thing to do in every situation, and everything was just so easy for them. I, on the other hand, found nothing easy.

Since then, thanks to the support of a lovely bloggy community and some wonderful IRL friends, I have been able to come to terms with my shortcomings. Not absolutely, of course. I'm still somewhat embarrassed by how much I don't know. But I feel much less alone. I've also felt that over 2.5 years with the Boy has improved my maternal instincts so drastically that most days I can pass for someonw who knows what they're doing.

So I was taken aback when Mr Earth made a comment the other day that we don't, as he has been noticing other couples do, spend a lot of time Touching the Belly. My first (unthinking) response was "Yeah, I'm just not all that into it." Mr Earth snorted at my non-maternal comment. What I meant, of course, was that I was just not all that into Touching the Belly. I am VERY into having a baby. You just won't see me fondling my distended abs and smiling that secret smile. I should mention that although Baby Earth has been kicking up a storm, (s)he will stop moving the moment someone puts a hand on the Belly. I have only felt the kicks from the inside.

I think I may have regressed. When I was pregnant with the Boy, I really did try to do everything "right". Poor Baby Earth seems to be on his/her own. Not only have I eaten soft cheeses and deli meats from questionable submarine joints, but I've gone weeks without vegetables crossing my lips (unless tomato sauce counts as a veggie..?). I'm pretty sure that I had some undercooked shellfish at one point. Kegel? What's a Kegel?? On top of everything, I have been CRAVING red wine. Absolutely must have red wine.

I haven't indulged yet. I know that most reports say that a glass here or there is no big deal, but, um...let's just say that I'm not the poster-child for moderation. Generally, when I find something I like to eat - especially during pregnancy - I will eat just gobs of it until I'm so sick of it I can't stand to even have it in the house anymore. So I take sips of Mr Earth's wine here and there.

Measly, sad, depressing sips.

I want to take a nice bottle from our growing wine rack that I eye every morning while I make breakfast for the Boy. I want to hold a glass full of velvety warm goodness. I want to inhale the edgy fruit smell. I want to feel that pleasant soft hum in my shoulders as I finally relax after a taxing day. As irreverant as it may seem, having a good glass of wine at the end of the day is a little bit of a religious experience for me. And with each passing day of this pregnancy, I want it more and more.

This is so wrong. I can't even get cravings right. No pickles and ice cream for me. God forbid I should crave something that contains anything that my body actually needs like calcium or iron. No. I crave alcohol. I feel like the Don Music of motherhood. Anyone care to join me for a glass?? Cause I'll never get it right. Never, never, never!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Music by Meme

Bren J from Stranger in a Strange Land tagged me for this meme, and I said I would give it a whirl, despite my embarrassing answers. I'm so uncool. Is it possible to be SO uncool, that you're actually cool? That's what I'm hoping for...

What song is in your head?

Other than the Rescue Pack song from Go Diego Go?? Hm, that's a tough one. It sort of usurps everything else in a most insidious way.

When I can get that out of my head, it's either Hold Tight by DDDBM&T or Chick Habit by April March (see next question).

My head has a lot of empty space, so I can store any amount of annoying sound bites on constant replay.

What is the newest album in your collection?

Hey - wonder of wonders - I actually just bought an album so I can answer this question! I almost never buy CD's anymore because I rarely have time to listen to them. BUT -- Mr Earth made me watch Quenten Tarantino's Deathproof a couple weeks ago. I didn't really like the movie all that much - pointless AND violent - but I loved the original soundtrack and wouldn't rest until I bought it. I love retro music.

What is the top album on your wish list?

My wish list pretty much only has books on it. However, I am really grooving on DDDBM&T (Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mich & Tich), so I would be interested to have a compilation of their greatest hits.

What is the most recent live music event you have attended?

That would have to be the Boy singing "Skinnamarink" this morning in the stroller. Oh wait! I did see a musical puppet show about Alistair Ant. Take your pick. I'm a Rockin' Mom, either way.

What is the top live music event on your wish list?

Well, here is where I show my age AND how uncool I am all at the same time. The concerts on my wish list are all from the past. I would pay a lot of money to have seen Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour. Barring that, I would really like to have seen Moxy Früvous, before they went mainstream and changed their lyrics.

What are the top three albums currently in rotation at your house?


Well, as mentioned, I don't really have a lot of time to listen to albums. It pretty much only happens when I clean. And I don't clean very much at all. Other than that, I listen to albums in the car. So here goes...

In my CD player:

1. Nine (Musical Soundtrack). I hope to do this show when it goes up in a couple years, so I was listening to it to see if there was any role to which I was particularly suited. I'd love to be the slutty mistress, but I almost never get cast as that (damn my wholesome face!)

2.
Once on this Island (Musical Soundtrack). A musical I will never be cast in, but I love it to bits. Don't really know why this is in the machine.

3. Mixed CD by Mr Earth. Mr Earth rocks at making mixed CDs. I'm hoping that he will make one for me for the labour room. Although I have no idea what songs are particularly suited to childbirth and labour... If you have any suggestions as to what music is best for the pain of pushing out a kid, please let me know.


YUP, the vote's in. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO cool. I would tag other people, but I'll be lucky if anyone is still reading my blog after these revelations.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

All I Really Need to Know About Labour I Learned in Theatre School [MBT]

OK, so I've been doing a lot of reading lately about labour. With the Big Day coming up next month, I figured it was about time I got down to business. After all, this may be my second child, but since I had the Dreaded C last time, I didn't actually go through the whole labour experience. More importantly, I feel the need to arm myself with information, as doctors in these here parts ostensibly support VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarian), while simultaneously jumping ship whenever something doesn't go exactly according to plan.

I've checked out Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, as well as doing some reading online. While I found all this research helpful, I eventually came to the conclusion that all these suggestions for making labour easier and handling pain naturally sounded...well, familiar. What it took me FAR too long to realize is that all these techniques were things that I had learnt in my four years of Theatre School. Only, we were learning these things to be more "connected actors".

Some days I felt that these techniques we learnt were so amazing, and life-altering. But being the cynical youth that I was, other days I would just look around at the class moaning and drooling on the floor for an hour, and thought they were kind of, well, silly. I would question the process, and feel badly about wasting my parents' money. After reading these childbirth books, I feel that I am finally vindicated, and can prove to my parents that the money they spent on my theatrical education was not in vain.

Read more at Mommy Blogs Toronto.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes

Overheard at Casa Earth...

The Boy: What's that on your forehead?

Mr Earth: Where?

The Boy: Dere!

Mr Earth: What does it look like?

The Boy: Stripes!

Nomo: Stripes?

(Pause)

Do you mean wrinkles?

(Scrunches forehead)

See, Mummy's got them too. They're called wrinkles, not stripes.

The Boy: Oh. Wrinkles?

Nomo: Yes.

(sound of Nomo snickering)

The Boy: Why you laughing?

Nomo: (some unintelligible comment about "wrinkles" vs "stripes" as I desperately try to stop laughing)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Livin' la vida Diego [MBT]

OK, so I've spoken before about my mommy-crush on Diego. Nothing to be ashamed of, right? It's a good show! If you're into kiddie cartoons. I'm not, actually, but my son is, so what's a girl to do? What I didn't realize is how much Diego has infiltrated our lives.

We bought a Diego backpack. Not so bad. The kid wanted a backpack and this one cost all of $6 at WalMart. I figured I got off cheap. And he is enormously proud of it. He shows it off to everyone at daycare, announcing loudly that he has an "Aygo backpack!" - each and every day. I think some parents are getting sick of hearing about it, but whatever.

We also have a Diego portable/folding potty seat. We've been experiencing some difficulty introducing the World of Potty at our house, and I thought that this might get him excited about the whole thing. No deal. Diego may be able to talk to the animals, but apparently he can't talk to the bladder.

Read more at Mommy Blogs Toronto

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Talking Potty: I'm such a cliché Mommy-Blogger.

A week or so ago, I picked up the following letter from the Boy's cubby at daycare:

Dear Pre-School Parents:

Over the next few weeks, we would like to begin toilet training. However, we will need your help in order for your child to be successful!

Consistency (between home and daycare) and patience are the keys to your child's success. Of course, there will no doubt be accidents!

Please let us know if we have your support and advise us of any questions or concerns which you may have.

Thank you for your support.
Pre-school Staff


Admittedly at first, I was really excited. I was kind of hoping that the daycare would take over the dirty work for me. The Boy is a follower by nature, and would fare much better if he saw his friends doing it. Ah, the power of peer pressure. It's not all bad, after all.

Staying true to my Slacker Mom profile, I have also not called the daycare to let them know of my support or ask any questions. I really should get on that..

You see, the Boy shows ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in the potty. Wait, he maybe shows some interest in AVOIDING the potty. Does that count? I didn't think so. Frankly, I haven't been all that concerned up to this point. Although I would love to save money on diapers, they are rather convenient. I don't have to worry about accidents, or running to find a bathroom. And, everything I've read said that it's not a good time to start potty training if your child is about to have a new sibling. So, I thought that perhaps January would be a good time to start, if he hasn't shown an interest by then.


But I want to be supportive of their initiative. We bought pull-ups for daytime use. I know a lot of people think that they delay potty training, but since I've seen no indication that he's actually ready, I thought it was at least a baby step in the right direction. That way we could pull them up and down easily if we got to the point when he actually might approach the potty. We still use diapers at night, though, because the pull-ups aren't absorbent enough for 10+ hours of pee, and there is no way he's going to wake up to go. And NO WAY am I going to spend mucho $$ for fancy "overnight" pull-ups unless I get some encouraging signs from the Boy himself.

So how, exactly, does a parent encourage and support an initiative with an unresponsive child? We've been talking up the potty for ages. We let him know when we're going to the potty. We take him to the potty with us if he shows interest. We bought Big Boy underwear with cars (!!) on it that the Boy chose himself (and that will probably remain in his drawer until he gets too big for them at this point...)

This week, I started taking him to the potty in the morning, stripping his diaper, and sitting him on his new Diego (!!) potty seat cover that we bought together. I try to make it as fun as possible, and I don't do it for long. I obviously don't insist that he pee or anything. I was hoping it would just become a natural part of the routine. I don't do it before bedtime though, because I don't want to force the issue or make it at all unpleasant for him.

The first thing that the Boy said to me when I went into his room to wake him up this morning was:

"I don't want to go pee."

And now I feel like a Bad Mother.

This kid always knows how to throw me for a loop. I am fully armed with knowledge on how to encourage a child who is showing interest in the potty. I am not versed on how to encourage someone who is not. And yet, at daycare, they say he has no resistance to sitting on the potty (although he has never actually peed).

So are they pushing him to do something for which he is not ready? Or, does he just regress and lose independence whenever he's around me?? I was all about the former, but lately I'm starting to suspect it's the latter.

What I do know is my head hurts.

Friday, October 05, 2007

the Boy's Song

You fill up my senses like a night in the forest,

fumbling around in the dark, i'm supposed to know what I'm doing, but I don't. i can hear you breathing, i can smell your baby fresh head, i can feel your hot silky smooth skin, but i can't see the path. can't find the way to go, so i'm walking on instict. my instinct has always been good but i don't trust it now. it's too new, you're too new, this whole new world is too new.

like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain,

get your feet wet, jump in. it's so fresh and cool here when you take the plunge. after months i can finally breath. the air is so cool and i can finally breeeathe. breathe deeply. i didn't think i'd ever get my breath back. it's okay, it really is. but don't get the baby wet. keep him safe, make him feel safe. make sure he understands that i will never let anything hurt him.

like a storm in the desert,

tears again. running down fat cheeks. spotting his shirt. here. and there. clinging and groping. nothing I do is enough, nothing soothes. so I walk and walk and walk and walk and walk around the dining room table because there is nowhere else to go. go. i should go. i should go outside. i push the stroller a little too fast, a little too hard. i'm sorry baby. my patience is wearing thin and i'm sorry. i should be stronger. i should be calmer. i should be better. i should.

like a sleepy blue ocean.

asleep at last. how the world can change with just a little bit of sleep. a little bit of rest. how lovely you are baby. how innocent. how wonderful. sleep now baby, sleep for me. sleep instead of me, because i can't sleep when you do. the toothpicks will stay in my eyelids no matter how much i wish they would pop out. and let me sleep. no, sleep is for the weak. sleep means i won't be in control. can't lose control. must stay awake, but not wake the baby. the baby needs to sleep. so do i.

You fill up my senses, come fill me again.

you are your own person, and yet so much a part of me. i can see it in your eyes. your eyes are my eyes. when i look at you, i am looking at myself. i could drown in the brown. i think i am drowning, and it's a good thing. such a wonderful thing. but scary too. was that a smile? heart stops, stomach lurches. i think it was. drink it in. this is what i was made for. this is what life is about. it makes sense now, it does.

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you,

they tell you about diapers and wipes and cradle cap and thrush and colic and meconium and colostrum and sleep patterns and breastfeeding and formula and jaundice. words, words, words. they don't tell you about love. about how love changes. expands. how your heart gets bigger and stronger, but infinitely more vulnerable. they don't tell you because you wouldn't understand. it can't be explained. it can only be felt. the lucky ones get to feel.

let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you. Come let me love you.

always. never doubt but that I love. don't feel supplanted, replaced. that will never happen. could never happen. there is room in my heart still. i won't let go. i won't go away. you will always have a place. it will just be a little more cozy. you, your daddy, and this little person we have yet to meet. but you won't get lost in the crowd. i promise.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Red Rubber Ball

Last week in my Fitmom class, the instructor checked our diastasis (the amount of separation of the two halves of the rectus abdominus that happens in pregnancy). If the separation gets too big, apparently, it can become a problem that requires surgery after birth. What you have to do is lie on your back with your knees up. Then you lift your head off the ground and feel the area between the belly button and the ribs. When you do this, you should be able to feel the sides of the abdominal muscles. Generally, they are pretty close together, maybe a fingerwidth at most. They start separating during pregnancy to accomodate the baby.

When I did this, there was this sizable bump right above my belly button. It looked like the baby was pushing it's head (or bum) out of the top of my tummy, except that when you pressed on it, it felt like an air bubble. It looked pretty freaky. The teacher thought that it might be a hernia, and I immediately went into a semi-panic mode. Hernia means surgery! I don't want surgery! I am doing my very best to avoid any type of surgery with this birth! I wouldn't say Im a hypochondriac, but I am a bit of an alarmist.

So for this past week, I've been in a bit of a suspended state waiting for my doctor's appointment today. The doctor seems to think that it's just some loose muscles popping out. She didn't seem too worried about it. Personally, I think that loose muscles popping out of my stomach is not entirely "normal". (Or attractive, but let's just put that aside for the moment..) I hope that she's right. I don't, as a rule, question doctor's opinions, but sometimes I think that they can be somewhat dismissive of patient concerns. I don't think that my doctor is the dismissive type at all - she seems very nice - but I just started with her, so I don't know her all that well.

I'm doing my very best to focus on the positive side of things (not easy for me), and just assume that everything will work in the end. I've been having to do that more and more as this pregnancy progresses. I had my VBAC consult last week, and the obstetrician at the hospital said that if I got to 40 weeks without going into labour, they would just automatically schedule a caesarian for a week later. That concerns me. My impression is that if everything doesn't go EXACTLY ACCORDING TO SCHEDULE then the hospital is going to hop on the Operation Train. And when has a labour gone exactly according to schedule anyways?? Every labour, every woman is different. An acquaintance of mine was in the same situation awhile back. They had scheduled the caesarian for 8 days after her due date - only because they were too backed up to do it earlier - but she luckily went into labour on the morning of her operation.

I talked with my doctor about this and she looked confused. She said that they would schedule an induction if I went all the way to my due date, but not a caesarian. I could have misheard what the obstetrician said, but I don't think so. So we wait until she gets the letter from the obstetrician consult to see what it says.

I guess I just have to assume that everything's going to be alright.

Right?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Must-see Fall TV [MBT]

I have this vague recollection of my life before kid(s). We used to go to this place called a theatre (thee-ah-ter) where live people stood on raised platforms and acted scenes written by dramatic giants like Shakespeare, Shaw and Brecht. We also frequently attended a magical place called a cinema (sin-a-ma) where large screens showed the latest movies.

Safe to say that we don't get around much anymore. Now, I admit that I have always liked TV, but it used to play a more secondary role in my life. My other half will insist that "the couple who watches TV together, stays together". Still, it shows how much my dramatic standards have fallen when I admit to how much I was looking forward to last week. Premiere week on TV. All the new and returning shows flaunting their wares. (Cue the heavenly chorus here.) After a summer of TV drought, I was like a crack addict jonesing for a fix. I think I may have sported some drool.

Parents don't have a lot of free time, though, so we have to be selective. Hell, I'm lucky if I can make it through one whole show without falling asleep these days. So, I thought I'd fill you in on what, in my opinion, are THE shows to watch this season...


Read more at Mommy Blogs Toronto...

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Matter of Perfection

I can never quite remember how I start reading a particular blog. Sometimes, it's because someone new leaves a comment and I click through to officially "meet" them. Sometimes a blog post will mention or link to another blog. Sometimes I go through people's blogrolls to see who they like reading. Whatever the method, I am constantly discovering the wealth of beauty and talent that the blogosphere has to offer.

In one such instance, I stumbled upon Bon from Crib Chronicles. Something about her writing just clicked with me. It wasn't about her gift for words, which is apparent, but something in the tone of her writing was just so honest and unpretentious. It was like I was able to see the person writing the words as I read them.


This month, Bon wrote a post that quite simply took my breath away. If you haven't read it already, I urge you to go read it now. I can't remember the last time I've been so personally affected by a piece of writing. It's like she reached into my head and my heart, and pulled the thoughts and feelings right out. Only, I don't have the talent that she has, and I could never have written it so beautifully. As far as I'm concerned, the ability to do something like that is what makes a writer truly great.

So, I am awarding her a Perfect Post. It's my very first time doing this, and I don't think I could have chosen better. You deserve it, Bon.

The Original Perfect Post Awards – Sept ‘07

And, if you want to read more great writing, check out the other winners at Suburban Turmoil or Petroville.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

OH What a Beautiful Mornin'

Today was one of those amazing late September days, dawning crisp and cool, but sunny and clear. The sky was an impossible blue, dotted with cotton candy clouds. Although it was cool, the bright sunlight kept the chill at bay. It was one of those days where absolutely everyone was outside, grabbing their chance to enjoy the last good days of summer. The Boy and I struck out early to meet the lovely Metro Mama and Cakes for a playdate in the park. It was a perfect morning.

It's crazy how much playdates have changed for me. They started out basically being a chance to hang out with other moms, enjoy adult conversation and commiseration, and (hopefully) the babies slept. Then they evolved into desperate attempts to keep curious babies out of harm's way, while snatches of dialogue floated meaninglessly over our heads. A little time passed, and we could maybe start a conversation before all hell broke loose, but hey, it was progression, right?

Now, the Boy is old enough that he is actually starting to play with the other kid. It's kind of cool, actually, and really fun to watch. The Boy peppered breakfast with excited comments like "I'm going to the park to see my friend (Cakes)." He was excited. And my normally unenterprising Boy became much more daring with the example of the intrepid Cakes. He climbed and bounced, and just let loose. It was exhilarating to watch. And exhausting. Apparently 8-month pregnant ladies are not meant to be ducking and climbing with such alacritude. But the Boy can get carried away, and ignore the fact that he should "step down" or "hold on". So follow I must.

Still, Cakes and the Boy playing together meant that Metro Mama and I were able to actually carry on a conversation with only some delays or interruptions. Good times. And at the end, after we both had the luck to change some well-timed dirty diapers (with no change table in sight, of course), the Boy leaned over to Cakes with a sneaky smile and a giggle and said "We had poo together!"

My Boy. What a sweet-talker. He's gonna drive them girls crazy one day...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Seeing Red

Many thanks for your all the lovely compliments on my new hairdo. I was hesitant to post a photo of myself in my last post because I am shockingly unphotogenic, unless I pay lots of money for a professional photographer and make-up artist. Then I look pretty good. No really - you should see my actor headshots. I barely recognize myself.

I feel obliged to mention, however, that I am not actually are redhead, I just play one in real life. That lovely titian hue is thanks to a hairstylist with a bottle who is tipped heavily to tell no one my real hair colour. Actually, I don't think he's seen my real hair colour, come to think of it. I haven't seen it in years myself. But, if we're going by the roots, I would say that my hair is actually Dirty Subway Mouse Brown.

I have spent the majority of my life convinced that I should have been born a redhead, and Somebody just messed up when He gave me brown hair. My maternal grandmother was a trueblue redhead, and as far as I'm concerned, I was slated to have those genes passed down to me. Although, I have just recently learnt that redheads with brown eyes are very uncommon due to some gene mixing thing that was was too scientific for me to understand. Or, I just got bored while reading the explanation.

I have all the many of the qualities of redhead. Distressingly fair skin and a multitude of freckles? Yup. Inability to tan, but will burn with very little sun exposure? Check. Unnatural amounts of bruising at the tiniest amount of pressure? Sigh, yes.

Temperament is almost a non-question. Redheads are known for their fiery temperaments, and, like Anne Shirley, my temper matches my hair. Mr Earth will agree that I get angry, sometimes VERY ANGRY, at things that most people would be able to handle with equanimity. Luckily for him (and me, I guess), the anger is very short-lived. I forgive easily.

Redheads are also supposed to be highly-sexed and addicted to sugar. I am most certainly addicted to one of those things. SUGAR! What were you thinking..?? I can't go a day without consuming some sweet goodness, and most days it is consumed in vast quantities. I would like to say that I am highly-sexed, but the truth is that since having kid(s), I am just too tired to think about sex a whole lot. I'd rather sit on the sofa and eat chocolate. But I suspect that if I could just have a few days of uninterrupted rest and relaxation, my libido would return.

Mark Twain said that "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats". I definitely have many feline qualities. I am person who cherishes her "alone time", and seeks affection sporadically - at which time, I want to be petted and adored until I fall asleep on your lap. I like to view the world from my safe perch at the top of the stairs, an observer instead of an observed. I like balls of yarn, and will do tricks for treats. Wait, this is getting too weird...

Redheads have been commonly associated with witches and vampires. I do carry the mark of a witch - a mole on my left breast - according to Arthur Miller's The Crucible. One of my favourite TV shows of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I am said to resemble Willow (Alyson Hannigan), who plays a witch. Random people approach me and tell me this, actually. Although, they know her as "that band camp girl" from American Pie. My favourite costume for Hallowe'en is just to dress normally (i.e. like a geek), and do American Pie impressions all night. That's the "A" material people.

Still, natural redhead I am not. I just keep on dyeing my hair so that nobody ever knows the truth. Luckily for me, the undeniable proof that I am actually a brunette remains largely unseen by the general public. Since marriage, Mr Earth is the only person that can actually confirm that I am not ginger-by-nature. And he knows better than to let that cat out of the bag. So to speak.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Change is in the air

Whew! After several weekends of doing far more work than I like to do on the weekend (lazy creature that I am), we finally have the Boy's "Big Boy Room" in order. Well mostly, anyways. The Boy has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor à la Skid Row for the past week. The bed frame was finally delivered on Saturday morning. Mr Earth made a run Friday night to the only kids store we found that carries a bed rail meant for a platform beds. Eventhough we technically didn't get a platform bed, it essentially is one because there is no need for a boxspring. The store was all the way in Oakville and the bed rail was not cheap (of course not - don't want to make it easy). He's such a good husband.

We haven't moved all his clothes in yet, because I have to install the shelving in our makeshift "dresser". We re-purposed the old TV stand into a dresser because we're poor from buying the bed. And, we still have to find a new home for our spare TV. I suspect that one of the reasons the Boy likes his new room so much is that he thinks it comes with a TV. Think again, kiddo.

All in all, though, I think it turned out okay:



The Wall Candy. Look Boss, the planes! The planes!!




The Shelves. The re-puporsed ugly gray shelving is almost cheerful. (And yes, that is, in fact, a bear wearing handcuffs. It's a long story. But what kid's room would be complete without a bear in chains?)

The Art Corner. Where masterpieces are created everyday. That blurry spot under the bulletin board is the Boy's name lovingly handpainted by moi. (The truth is, I would always rather do crafts than clean, so I made up some things to do here to avoid work). I tried to blur his name out to maintain anonymity, but I suck at photoshop and that's the best I could do. It's pretty obvious what it says.

The Bed. Who knew such a simple thing could cause so much stress? But here it is finally. Isn't it beautiful? My child now officially has a nicer bed than I do. Life is so unfair.

The Bird. Could Big Bird ask for a better throne? He looks pretty comfy. I can deny him nothing though, he is helping the Boy make the adjustment to the new bed. Erego, what the Bird wants, the Bird gets.

...And, because I worked so hard, I got me a new 'Do. Check it out. Even at 11:30pm it still looks okay. Please ignore the bags under my eyes - I'd been up since since 4:30am. Not working, of course, just not sleeping. Sleep deprivation BEFORE baby is just totally unfair...

The Do. That is the closest I can get to a "sexy, pouty face". Sad, isn't it? Mr Earth is a lucky, lucky man..

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gwyneth Paltrow is my homegirl [MBT]

I was shocked to discover yesterday that Gwyneth Paltrow, the woman who named her child Apple for pete's sake, and I have something in common. We both love and were inspired by the same show, Free to Be...You and Me.

Aw c'mon..if you are a child of the 70's as I (ahem) am, then surely you know this little gem. It's been described as "a sorely needed counterbalance to the casual sexism of American life...it was fired with high ambitions and aggressive optimism. "Free to Be You and Me" was the gentler side of feminism, a funny and sly discussion of sexism, racism, gay rights and other issues disguised as a sort of cabaret show for children.

I must confess, I never got into the whole politics of the thing. I just loved the songs and the stories, and the feeling that everyone - no matter what you looked like, or how you acted - was normal and accepted. As I got older, it also fueled my passion for children's theatre.


Read more at MBT

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I may never need birth control again.

I am trying to have a VBAC with Baby Earth. I've never been a fan of the whole C-section thing, and having gone through it personally, I am even less of one. It was never in my "plan" the first time around. In fact, when they were showing the C-section part of the video in prenatal class, I took the opportunity for for a much needed pee break. The Gods were probably laughing their asses off when I did that.

Nonetheless, squeezing a baby out my pink parts scares the crap out of me. (And it may quite literally scare the crap out of me from what I've read. Yuck.) Not to mention that I have a terrible feeling that doctor(s) are going to push me to have a C-section if the the least little thing doesn't go smoothly or easily. I am indecisive and easy to bully, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable. Naked and spread-eagled is about as vulnerable as I get. So I took some books out of the library in order to prepare myself. Knowledge is good, right?

I've started reading
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. So far, it's a lovely book that really talks about the empowerment that labour and childbirth can give a woman. It starts out with over a 100 pages of natural childbirth stories where women talk about "rushes" instead of "contractions", and some even mention likening labour contractions to orgasms. I'm not so sure about that one. Then, I come across this story about a woman who gives birth to a baby - face first. I thought that was odd and rather interesting until I turned the page and saw that they had photographed the baby coming out. I swear to God that it looked like this:


Only imagine that this face is between a pair of legs. I think I'm scarred for life.

The image keeps floating in and out of my head unbidden, heedless of nausea. I want to share the picture with Mr Earth so the I don't have to bear the burden of this image alone, but I'm pretty sure he would never have sex with me again. Ever. This is a man who is blood-averse and doesn't want to cut the cord.

I'm not sure I would want to have sex with me either. If someone offers me a mirror to see the head crowning, or asks me if I want to touch it, I might scream louder than at any old contraction. Am I being overly squeamish? Is it really all that beautiful when you're in the moment? And, more importantly, do the partners of other women get the full on view of the birth, and still want some Action when the whole ordeal is over??

I'm having a hard time believing it. Then again, many couples get pregnant multiple times so it must not be such a big deal. Or, they're really good at blocking out the image of a spread-eagled Quato.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And the Magic Eight Ball says..

Ask again later..

Reply hazy, try again..

Better not to tell you..

Cannot predict now..

The Magic Eight Ball sucks.

I realize that it was my choice not to find out the sex of the baby, but the suspense is killing me! I think my head might explode. No, really. I'm not exaggerating. I am not handling this well at all.

It's funny, I had no problem last time. I happily plodded along, excited about the Big Surprise at the end of journey. Possibly, it's because I was sure that the baby was a boy. (Hey, I was right.) You could try to tell me that there was a 50/50 chance that the baby would be a girl, and I would calmly agree. And quietly disagree. It was a HE. I knew. I also had a dream that I gave birth to a very swarthy baby with a beard. My biggest dilemma was - how exactly does one shave the face of a newborn baby? Should I be signing him up for the circus?? Still, it was a HE. No doubt about it.

This time, I am just not sure. I thought I would get the same feeling that I did last time. Strong. Certain. Absolute.

I got nothing.

This is not a good time to have just finished reading Middlesex, by the way. As if I didn't have enough to freak out about. I'm not too picky about whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but I will admit to a preference for it to be one sex OR the other, given a choice.

Mr Earth will assure you that this baby is another boy. He claims he only has male sperm. Okaaaayy. Scientifically, I would probably agree with him. The day we conceived Baby Earth, I thought that we were past the magic 3-day Fertile Window. (Apparently, we weren't.) Which means, that Baby Earth was most likely conceived on my Most Fertile day. Boy spermies are the fastest swimmers, erego it's probably a boy. (Is this too much sharing? I never know.)

Still, sometimes I get the strongest feeling that the baby is in fact, a girl. If I was forced to guess right now, that is the guess that I would make. Do I believe this because I want a girl? Maybe, but I don't think so. I honestly don't have a preference. I can see the pros and cons of each. A girl would be easier to name. I have a LOT of boy clothes. I'd like to have one of each. I love saying "my boys" instead of "my kids". I think I have a lot to learn from mothering a girl. I think I would be a better mother to two boys. I don't care!! But I want to know. Or, at least, feel like I know.

People at the office are quick to point out that I am "carrying differently". That I'm rounder (read: fatter) all around, instead of just having a basketball in place of a stomach like last time. I'd like to say that's an indication, but I really think it's just the dreadful Baroness von Fat making her daily appearance.

There was this one time in the doctor's office where Mr Earth made his typical "male sperm only" joke, and the doctor said it "could be the other". I don't think that she was speaking in code or anything, but I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. The last time I got that feeling was when Mr Earth drunkenly pointed to a just married couple and said "I want that to be us one day", and I said "I do too". Look what happened there..

Help.