Monthly Archives: September 2009

No

scold-blog

Last week I watched V stand in the living room, shake his hand at the dog and shout (actually shout!) “Da! Daaaaaa! DAAAAA!!!” at him. The first time it was funny, as was the second time actually. Quite funny too. The third time he did it, I realized it was a little familiar.

Familiar as in it was something I did all the time.

“Chewie. No. CHEWIE!. NO!” I shout. All the time. And then, when that doesn’t work, I say in my most calm of voices “Chewie. No, buddy. GET. DOWN” (Please visualize¬† him frantically barking and jumping back and forth on top of my arm-chair near the window, freaking out at everyone and their dog (literally) who walks by. Or walks near. Or near-ish.

Pain. In. My. Ass.

Apparently I shout at him a lot. AND shake my finger, just like V was showing me. I do it often enough that V is now an expert at it as well. And I am not sure that I like the image that is being displayed.

So that made me think about things. About how much we pick up from our parents, what kind of lessons we learn as children that shape our world today. It really made me examine my own actions… and then look at my personality and see if I could see my parents actions reflected in that.

It was very insightful. I saw interesting reflections of both parents in my temperament and actions. I’ll just keep those thoughts to myself for now.

How much of this is genetic and how much of it is learned actions? I swear I feel some of my beloved Gran in me, especially these last few weeks when I am rather a lot ‘flighty’. More so than usual. Yikes! There might be more Gran in me than I thought! Not that that is a bad thing. I just wish it was accompanied with a bigger chest and more glamour. Like Gran.

I digress…

Oh, how I am like my mother. Might as well just have cloned her. And then made me. But added more sarcasm, made her slightly more high-maintenance (here, M would chime in with ‘a lot’) and added about 40% of Father Gilbert. And then you have me.

Higher on the maintenance level than I would like to think I am (I think I am pretty low… M disagrees A LOT), cleanliness obsessed, no patience for crap, bullsh*t or any of that crap, hard to know. Mostly because am not interested in knowing you that much. Unless you show interest in knowing me. Then I am interested. And that is because of the shyness and poor self-confidence issues.

Oh internet, how you bear and handle my confidences…. You are like the ultimate secret diary.

V is on the path to becoming an interesting combination of M and I.

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Confidence

confidence-blog

We are in crunch mode this week.

Moving into our new house in approx 5 days and 6 hours…. give or take. Things are feeling a little hectic and surreal over here on this side of town.

Yesterday our new appliances were delivered, turning our gaping hole of a kitchen into a sleek, awesome room of efficiency, filtered water and cool poses at the automatic ice-maker (in-door of course). Installation of our new washer and dryer turned empty upstairs cupboard with slightly dirty floor into cupboard of high-tech cleaning devices clearly made on another planet. Some kind of crazy Dr Who-like planet. With Darleks.

It transformed our house. It is freaking me out. I can’t stop freaking out.

On the freak out horizon is V’s latest efforts to walk . He is trying so hard. He will take the odd few steps by himself, but clearly is more comfortable on the floor crawling like a mad man. We are currently encouraging him to walk at every opportunity. And he welcomes it. He will happily cling to your finger and walk like a seasoned pro. Let go of that finger though…? And he will topple right over.

He is just not that confident yet on his feet.

How confident is he opening doors? He is the King of Confidence-town.

Yesterday we walked upstairs, went into Mummy and Daddy’s new bedroom and shut the door. Mummy wanted to take a good look at the bathroom off the master suite. She put V down and walked 2 steps away from him and turned her back for 15 seconds.

In that 15 seconds, V crawled over to the door, opened it and made it half way down the stairs by himself.

Mummy just about had a heart attack. Holy crap.

Must lock all doors. For Ever.

We went from a handle to a knob on both the front door and back because of this. Then we installed baby gates. Oh the blood and sweat of Pop-Pop that went into the installation (and keeping V away from the installation). Thank god though… now all we have to worry about is the taps on the tub.

The taps that he can apparently also turn on. I have these awful images of him closing the bathroom door and turning on the taps and falling in.

Now is the time in my life where I become MOTHER. The super all-seeing, all-observing and all-knowing mother that can hear a tap turned on 3 miles away. Or a door opened and closed. Or a window opened. Or anything.

No sleep for me ever again…

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Toast

toast-blog

Today I bought a sandwich for a homeless kid.

I wasn’t going to. To be honest, I usually avoid anything to do with people asking for money. It’s pretty much inherent. Part of living on the West Coast I think. I am immune to begging…

On the West Coast, homeless people have cats and dogs that they guilt you into feeling sorry for. Who, seriously, can resist giving money to help someone feed their dog. That is the hardest thing in the world for me. Poor animals.

West Coast homeless people also try to ‘jolly’ you out of spare change. Or insult you…. one or the other…

Case in point:

Once, my mother and I were ‘accosted’ by a young man who swore we were so beautiful that he had immediately, on the spot, made up a poem, just for us. He was so charming, that of course we said yes. And then he charged us a dollar. And my Mum, being the lovely person she was, gave it to him.

And then we watched him do the same thing to someone else.

It was funny though. $1 equals funny experience that I remember 10 years later. I guess it was worth the price…

There is a well known man who sits outside a church in downtown Victoria that chimes “Spaaaaaare a little chaaaaange…” He is elderly, white-bearded. Practically has become part of the landscape. I hardly notice him when I am back home.

One day, walking past the Eaton’s Center (that would be ‘The Bay Center’ to all of you young ones in Victoria), I was yelled at for ignoring a request for change. I am sorry. But, to be honest, I can only handle that request so many times… Once I hit 4 or 5, I have reached my limit. It is hard for me to avoid the pleading eyes, but after years of experience I have become a skilled professional.

Living in the South is a little bit different.

There is no real downtown core, so you are not slammed with the exposure that you would be in my hometown of Victoria, or even Vancouver.

M and I were checking out Orlando’s ‘downtown’ area one day, back when I had first moved here when we were approached by the skinniest, dirtiest black man you have ever seen.

He proclaimed “You are in LOVE. I can feel it”.

“I can feel you love, it’s so strong. I know you love this gorgeous woman. You love her. I can feel it…. let me dedicate a song to her beauty…”

And then he proceeded to sing, with a glorious smokey voice, an amazing, jazzy, 1920’s made-up song about my beauty and how it had M wrapped around my finger. For surely no man had ever resisted a woman such as I…

Oh god, how I was both embarrassed and flattered. We gave him $5 and he went on his way, down the deserted street that he had crossed to reach us.

This young man that I saw today was the skinniest boy you have ever seen. Clad in dirty jeans and a black tank top… those shoulders of his popped right out of his torso, they were so sharp and narrow. He asked me very politely “Ma’am, spare any change?” And unfortunately I had none….

So I bought him a turkey sandwich and a bottle of water instead. And apologized to him on my way out of the restaurant for not having any money to give him. I hoped he would like this sandwich instead. He thanked me, and gave me a shy happy smile.

Just look what motherhood has done to me….

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Tell me

Why-blog

Friday saw Little Man and I at the Doctor’s office for his 15 month check. 28 1/4 lbs. 31 1/2 inches….Big boy.

And fungal rash on the ‘extremities’. And we officially need an epi-pen for his peanut allergy. And have been instructed to carry Benadryl as a ‘just in case’ measure.

So just another day over here….

Of course we had our regular round of shots as well. I am a pro-shot mama. Unlike my lovely Canadian sisters, I have never had the luxury of 1 year of maternity leave and have needed full-time daycare since he was 10 weeks old. Hence the pro-shot life-style… Low grade fever last night and a full on crank-funk since Friday. Comes with the territory ūüôā Yay!

And that has been combined with a lovely new experience. An experience that I am hoping that is a new faze?! And I am hoping that mums out there will share and shed some light on this.

V is currently embroiled in this faze of “Mummy, I don’t like this food… I think I will shake my head ‘no’ and then spit it out”.

And that is all he has been doing since Friday. Putting things in his mouth, shaking his head no and either spitting it out or removing it with his hands. And then giving it to the dog. The dog has been so well fed for the last few days. Lucky dog!

The first day that this happened, I attributed it to the shots. Immunizations always come with a wee side-effect…low grade fever, irritableness , cranky pants, fuss faces….etc…

But this is the first time that super non-eating has been involved. Which makes me wonder if it is just age related instead.

In spite of all of the yummy things I have made him:

*Gluten-free turkey and cheese melty sandwiches

*Wheat-free raspberry pancakes

*Veggie patties with sauteed zucchini, mushrooms and fresh cherry tomatoes

*Fresh mozzarella cheese, cucumber and a assortment of fresh veggies

Everything enters the mouth and then exits it at a fast pace. Mostly on the floor, mostly eaten by the dog and mostly accompanied by head shaking…

The last 3 days have been mostly ‘sippy cup’ days. This is frustrating. Please God, let this be a ‘stage.’

Is it a stage at 15 months? The ‘non-eating’, I hate everything, back-bending screaming if you try to feed me anything stage?

Really? Please? Tell me….

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No Ghetto No More

ghetto-blog

Can I just say that I am a home-owner?

I figure if I write it here, that will help make it a little bit more of a reality. Right?

M and I like to play that game where you think back to when you met that person you married… and then you mentally trace all of the steps that you took to reach the place where you are now.

It never gets old, all of that retracing. I know you play the game too.

So we start back in Japan circa 2002 when we were both young and supple. All fresh-faced and wide-eyed at living abroad.

Flash-forward to 2005, M and I getting married in Florida lake-side (possible gator-sighting in back-drop).

Skip one more year (that year where we were apart as I couldn’t legally reside in the States as I didn’t have my citizenship sorted out) until we hit 2006.

Now that’s where things start to happen.

The first year I moved to Florida, we lived in a teeny one-bedroom apartment in MetroWest. At that time, it was still a nice neighbourhood. And just what out-of-staters think Florida should look like. Right on a golf course, palm trees everywhere, a pool. Ideal.

So small. Although, compared to what we had lived in in Japan, it was a palace. A PALACE. That same year we got Chewie, the needy, love-driven, attention seeking, ‘I hate everyone but you’, angry, super-licky, pain in the ass Chihuahua. That we love.

I still remember the first night we took him for a walk. He was extra little then. We walked him around the complex and just happened to walk near a storm grate.

M said to me, “Do you think he knows not to walk over that?? He won’t fall in, right?”

Me: “Of course he knows and he totally won’t”.

And then he totally fell through the grate. Those little chihuahua legs are not meant to be walking over things like that.

Suddenly that area of town became a hot-bed of crime. Drugs and prostitutes, man… and Jimmy Dime-Bags, our neighbour, smoking pot on the stairs every morning.

And I wanted a baby, an apartment with a hallway (or at least one other room) and somewhere that wasn’t full of prostitutes. And on we moved to Hunters Creek.

Such a good move. Much closer to the parents. And clearly my biological clock liked it too, as I instantly became pregnant the moment we moved in.

And we have been in this apartment for 2 years. And now have a one year old son plus our dog-child as well…

Now is the time for first time homeowners to make a move. And so we did. And are heading over to Lake Nona…

So as we drove to our new townhouse after closing this morning, these are things that ran through my head. We pulled up in front of our building, the birds of paradise were beautiful at our front steps and it was raining lightly.

M and I stepped out of his car, got out our new key on its orange puffer-fish key chain and opened that door. We stepped in to glorious uncirculated air and flesh coloured walls. A few carpet stains, a lack of blinds, some ceiling fans from 1987 and a few other little things to fix. It was gorgeous.

From a one-room Japanese flat, to ghetto prostitute-filled neighbourhood to country bliss in Lake Nona…

How amazing our travels through life have been.

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Normal life

ikea-blog

A wee excerpt from my normal life…

Taking the elevator from the top floor in Ikea, down to the bottom with my cousin. Oh, how do we love Ikea. So many things to think and plan about, meatballs to eat, lighting fixtures to drool over. It is a beautiful place for the female members of my family.

Let’s backtrack a little…. rewind back to the food court on the top floor, about 10 minutes earlier… focus in on our lovely Ikea meal we were having. Well, that C and I were having, as V was clearly not interested in having any part of it. This was¬† illustrated by the carrots and cheese that he spat out. Spat out with force, I might add. He got some serious distance. Where did this random ‘skill’ come from? No idea…(signs are pointing towards his father though…)

So, as we fought with the meal tray, dropped carrots all over the place, spat out some meatball, smeared things all over our very small 18 month-sized shirt….all of this heavy action was followed by a stealth-poop.

And by stealth-poop, I mean that there were none of the usual warning signs. No grunting, no red face, no nuttin’……

Just an unfortunate smell…. one that crept up on me. It took C a while to notice… and that is because she does not have a poop-machine at home and so doesn’t recognize the early aromas-slash-signs….

But when it hit her…. oh man. It really hit her.

By then we were already on our way to the ‘family’ change-room.

But. It was locked. Damn it!! My son’s poop-bottom is more important than yours!

So I headed into the main washroom which thankfully had a changing-station.

Oh, that poor ladies-room. It was quickly defiled the instant that my son’s pants came off. That movement was punctuated by C’s exclamation of¬† ‘Motherf’er! Jame. That. Is. Awful.”

It might have been, but honestly, my nostrils are immune to stank like that. And my eyeballs don’t even notice anymore.

The other ladies that exited stalls and washed their hands smiled at my commentary regarding Little Man’s stinky pants. His very stinky pants. And how nice that the changing table was situated so that his dirty little bottom faced the mirrors and was reflected down the washroom.

As I wiped, cleaned, wiped and wiped some more, ladies filed in and out. There were giggles. Some of them might have come from my cousin.

As I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a stank-diaper bag (you know, one of those ‘green’ bags that you stuff your stink into when you are out in public so the trash doesn’t stink awfully?) and got ready to deposit the ‘deposit’ into it, my cousin exclaimed at its cleverness. Really, it is very clever.

Such a nice way to tidy up after a stinky bum.

The lady washing her hands at the sink chimed in “I use plastic bags to clean up my cat’s litter box. They are so handy.”

C: “But I bet yours aren’t Arm and Hammer”.

Bathroom Lady: “No. You are right. I just use regular plastic bags”. *laugh*

Jaime: “My bags come with a handy container to hook on your hand-bag”.

C: “Quite handy when you are at Ikea”

BL: “I don’t bring my cats with me to Ikea”.

*Silence*

And then we left the bathroom and headed down to the ground floor…

Just another normal day….

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Walk Hard

first steps-blog

Today was a good day.

Not only did I not forget my child anywhere, I also squeaked in a 5k (on the treadmill… don’t get too excited), went to Ikea, ate Swedish meatballs and liked them, drank Sangria, went swimming, met my sister-in-law’s new boyfriend, ate a yummy burger and painlessly put V to bed with a minimum of fuss.

It was a full and beautiful day.

V took a few unassisted steps. We pretended to not look. If we look and acknowledge those little triumphs, he stops doing it immediately and starts crawling. For real.

It is rather funny actually.

He crawls like a mother f’er. Super fast. This is probably why he isn’t walking. He thinks (probably) that he can’t go as fast and that might be true. He is one fast baby.

He travels along furniture and transfers from one thing to another with such finesse that you wonder why he isn’t walking yet. He pushes his little walker around, bangs it into walls, picks it up and moves it until he has a clear path and then off he goes again. How is he not walking again? ‘Cause he looks like he can. And people are quick to ask me this repeatedly. And then look amazed when I say no.

Well, he is, but only when holding onto one or more of your fingers or hands. He just won’t otherwise.

He will stand occasionally, usually when he is occupied by something else. Potato chip. Milk. Chewie. Sesame Street. Food. Food. Food. Random Tupperware. Dog treats. Remote controls to anything. Etc etc.

I feel like I look ridiculous when I am carrying him. He looks like a 3 year old. Or a young adult. He is a big boy. And its not that I don’t love carrying him everywhere (my incredibly huge muscles on my right arm [the arm I favor when I carry him]will attest to that), but sometimes I would love to put him down and not have his legs collapse immediately upon touching the ground.

I know noodle-legs are part of the whole territory of childhood. Believe me, I know. I have first hand experience at noodle-legs. As well, I am an experienced handler of the dreaded back-arch, that arch that appears as it is time to be seated anywhere… including, but not limited to car-seats, high chairs, Mummy’s lap, Daddy’s arms, the crib…

I digress…

It sure would be nice to put those chubby little feet on the floor and have those legs stay¬† firm and locked. That little hand clasped in mine as we toddle along. I have one of those images in my mind of¬† V and I, on a beach, walking hand in hand with the sunset in the background. Wait… maybe I mean me and M. ‘Cause that kind of sounds like a date…

Anyways, I am idealizing those independent steps that he is on the verge of taking…

Are we prepared for what will happen once he does? Probably not. But I bet it will be interesting…

xoxo a.m.

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Memories…

motherhood-blog

I can’t remember a damn thing.

Now. Partially this is genetic. And partially it’s a ‘I’m getting older’ thing. Although, since I am in my early thirties, that excuse might not fly as high as I would like it too.

Lately (and by lately, I mean the last 4 or 5 months), I have been noticing my memory¬† is severely lacking. Not in the “I am living in this house with….. who?” kind of department, but more like a “Where did this pen that I am holding come from… I swear I wasn’t holding it 5 seconds ago..”.

Now I had been falling back on that old ‘I have mom-nesia’ thing. BUT. THEN. I read an article in a parenting mag that states that there was a ‘study’ done, indicating that parenthood/mothering is not related to memory loss… or something to that effect. I always believe what I read in magazines. Or, at least I do for about 30 minutes, then get annoyed…
And so I was like “WHAT?!?! It’s not?!?! Huh. Wonder why I can’t remember anything?…… wait a minute… Parenting magazine does not speak the truth all the time… Bastards. “(Bastards is my current favorite word)

Anyways, so for about 30 minutes there I wondered what really was wrong with me. Then at the 31 minute mark, I decided it really was just parenthood. Oh, and combined with first-time home-buying as well. The nastiest of all nasty concoctions. Yuck.

So it is ok that I am holding things in my hand and I am not sure where they came from.

Also it is ok if, at work, I pick up and put down things at a dizzying rate all over the office. And then suddenly run out of pens (that’s what I pick up and put down). Or buy fish and then forget it in the fridge at work. Or day after day walk out of the office, drive half way home and then realize that I forgot all of those boxes that my co-workers have been saving for me at the back door.

And there are a million things more. I just can’t seem to keep my head on straight. I drop things. I knock things over. I enter rooms. Stop. Wonder what I am doing, walk out of them and then 1 minute later walk back in and grab my cell phone.

It is a truly sad state of affairs right now. Punctuated by a continued lack of caffeine (for health purposes).

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Pee

IMG_6696

Unflattering picture of me covered in pee. Thanks Mike!!

Just a quickie about a lovely incident that happened this weekend.

A post gym incident. One that might involve baby bodily fluid(s).

Home from the gym, I puttered around for a little while. V was down for a nap, always the best time to get things done, right? To get a lot of things done. As maybe things as possible, in fact. So still in my gym clothes, I manic-cleaned and organized things. And then sat down for 2 minutes.

Right on cue, V began wailing, as he often does on waking up from his nap. Sometimes it is just heart-wrenching to hear. Why is he so upset? No idea. But he is. Very. About 75% of the time post-nap. I opened his bedroom door to find him sitting in the middle of his crib eyes shut, crying, tears everywhere.

I scooped him up, cuddled and made some shooshing noises and off we went to the kitchen to get a bottle. The crying did not stop, however.

If anything it got progressively loudly. Now this was unusual.

Bottle was pushed away with extra force and the motion was punctuated by a louder (if possible) and more upset sounding wail.

Oh my.

And unfortunately this sort of thing kind of makes me laugh, so laughing a bit, we head over to an armchair with bottle held hidden behind back. Perhaps we need more of a cosy cuddle, I think. And settle down with him by the living-room window, in the armchair. His little legs are tucked around my waist (on either side) and his arms are hugging me. We are face to face, torso to torso and he is still crying.

A lot of back patting and rubbing commences, as does sweet shushing and some discussions about how maybe we might want some bottle now? (the answer was no, by the way… quite firmly too).

I love holding him like this, even if he is crying, so despite that I am enjoying myself immensely.

And then I feel something. Something warm. I takes me a minute to realize what it is.

While the answer may be clear to some of you (knowing my child and his escapades), it wasn’t to me immediately. Reason being that for about 5 seconds there, I swear I was peeing on my own armchair. Really.

Actually, what was happening is that with the position that V and I were in, he was peeing on me, but it was aimed pretty much right where I would be doing the same thing. He was peeing on me where I pee. Which made it feel like I was peeing.

WHICH I WAS NOT.

And then he stopped crying.

Oh, and he was wearing a diaper. A diaper put on by his father. Might as well have been naked.

Up I got. Slowly. I was trying to not let pee drip everywhere. Yelling for M the whole time. While I pidgeon-toed walked to V’s bedroom with him clutched in my arms and ‘not my own pee’ dripping down my thighs, M cleaned the chair and then ran after me with the camera taking pictures of the 2 of us and laughing uncontrollably.

Bastard.

I hope sometimes that I am not the only one having this bodily fluid experiences. Please? And also, I hope that someone else also has a ridiculous husband like mine. I can’t possibly be the only one…

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