Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last night

Well, this is our last night as residents of Sydney, Australia.

Four years ago, my newly wed husband and I boarded a plane to Sydney, not really knowing what to expect...except lots of sun and really hot days. While there sure were a lot of sunny days, the heat was a bit more than expected, being pregnant and all makes you feel like it's 10 degrees warmer!

Baby #1 was so much fun, we thought we'd go ahead and have another. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy wine? Australian wines, especially. So, while we were here, in beautiful, sunny, Australia, I was pregnant for 18 out of 48 months, add the 15 months that I was breastfeeding, that left me with a whopping 15 months to enjoy the many, many seriously yummy wines of this great country. So, while I am overjoyed to have my two beautiful children and really would NEVER change that in a million years, I just think that maybe, just maybe, we should've gone somewhere else to have the know, somewhere that doesn't make such yummy wines.

On that note, I am having the very last sip of Australian wine (in Australia) and closing one chapter of my life and starting a new one. That is, after we survive the 14 hour flight to Vancouver...oh, and even before that actually get ourselves to the airport. Turns out, we have A LOT of baggage! Literally!! Looks like Momma might be in a cab on her own to the airport in the morning.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, it's not because I've dropped off the face of the planet...I may just be, you know, a little busy...MOVING MY FAMILY OF FOUR from one hemisphere to the other! Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tears of joy

Scary Mommy & Soy-Joy have a contest going on right now on JOY. In fact, the contest ends in but a few short hours, and I'm still struggling with what to say and how to say it. Here goes!

I noticed a number of entries in this contest all have a similar theme...the little moments. It got me thinking about an article I recently read in the NY Times about how things don't really make us happy, but rather it's all about experiences. Holidays or meals shared with loved ones (or maybe even just 'like' ones ;-) - joy and happiness come from experiences and not designer jeans. Ya don't say?! I could've told you that! As long as I can remember, one of my favorite memories, you know, one of those that give you the warm & fuzzies, involves washing hand (yes, I was deprived and grew up without a dishwasher!). Anyhow, it's true. It reminds of time spent with my older brother. Just the two of us, hanging out in the kitchen and chatting while Mom & Dad relaxed.

Anyhow, all this talk about JOY and I can't stop thinking about sad events. You see, when my mother passed away (6 years ago) I was absolutely devastated and I could not imagine ever feeling happy again. Someone, I can't recall whom, said I was lucky to feel so sad because it meant I had so many happy memories of my Mom. If I didn't have a huge collection of tiny moments of joy then my heart would not feel so empty for loosing her. I know, this post isn't really sounding 'joyful' but stick with me and hear me out...I think it'll turn around.

See, once again my heart is feeling heavy. Thank goodness it is not because anyone's passed away, but rather it is because my family and I are moving back Canada after living in Sydney, Australia for the last 4 years. While I'm thrilled to be moving closer to family and friends, I am sad about leaving all the wonderful friends we've made and lives we've become a part of. Really, really sad!! But, in order to stop the crying, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be feeling this sad. I know, that doesn't make much sense. But it all goes back to being lucky for feeling sad.

So, this odd post on JOY (that seems to talk more about sadness) is really about all those tiny moments. Those silly times shared with friends, that at the time may seem meaningless but at the end of the day (or four years) culminate into one big feeling of JOY. Tinged with many tears of joy

So, even though my heart is heavy with a deep sadness that I will soon be so far away from these friends that I have shared so many wonderful little moments with, I find JOY in having had the opportunity to experience these moments.

“This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Hot Chocolate Fall Out

This is what happens when you let a 15 month old drink a hot chocolate...unsupervised.

She managed to soak through 2 layers of clothes and make a lake on the footrest of the pram. Thankfully the pram's black so you can barely notice the hot chocolate bath it had and thanks to the power of Vanish Preen, the whites almost came clean.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Toast it Thursdays - Zilzie

Not sure if this has caught on, but I'm big on Toast it Thursdays....the idea, raise a glass of something and toast something.
So, on this Thursday, August 12th, I'm toasting the day with a cheap Australian Cab Sauv, Zilzie - the great thing about 'cheap Australian wines' - there all so frikkin' good!
This one hails from the Coonwarra region, which, really, please show me a crappy wine from this region. The beautiful thing about this wine is that it is balanced, a little heavy, but really extremely well balanced, especially for a wine that's around $10 AUD. It's one of those wines, that no matter your palate or preferences, I think you'd like it. Although, if you don't like Cab Sauv then, really, you won't be won over, but that can't be a surprise, as it is, after all, a Cab Sauv ;-)
...and what pray tell am I toasting (other than lovely cheap Australian wines?) - my beautiful children. original, no. but really, it means a lot after a day like I had today. I mean, of course, we always love our children, but you know, some days you want to scream, run, was one of those days for me!
But after a bit of crazy this morning, my 3 year old and I had a *heart to heart* and decided to change our ways. no more screaming and no more arguing. And really, we pretty much succeeded in this. Both my kids are pretty smart. They may not understand what PMS means, but god love 'em, they have figured out it's not the time to act up!!

So, clink-clink, here's a Toast it Thursday toast to my two beautiful children!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Throwing out the book

When Little Mr. Man was born, I did everything by the book...ok, it's not like there is ONE book and I didn't do everything by the book (lets be honest, I hate being told what to do!), but in terms of his naps and bedtime routines, I was, well, pretty inflexible (understatement of the year) and insisted that he have all his naps at home in his cot and be home by 6pm for his bedtime routine. Oh yeah, I was a barrel of fun!!

You see before he was born I'd heard all these HORROR stories about babies that didn't sleep. and to get them to nap or sleep for the night a ridiculous routine would have to be followed, which usually simply ended with either mom or dad crawling into bed (or sometimes cot) with them.

Now, if you know me, you know I NEED sleep (again, another understatement). I could easily sleep for 12 hours, wake up, have a snack and go back to bed for another 6 hours without any trouble (i've even paid to sleep, it's true, click here). But as you know, kids change all this. So, after hearing all these sleep horror stories I was VERY worried that my first born would be a non-sleeper and I'd become one too. So, in my defense my rigidity around his sleep routine was for a reason - the preservation of self.

Thankfully, the little guy has always been a pretty good sleeper, whether my adherence to his schedule contributed anything, I don't know...but lets just say it did!

Now of of course, it's much harder (READ: IMPOSSIBLE) to adhere to a similar schedule with baby no. 2. I mean you could, but with no back yard there's no way LMM would allow us to spend as much time as necessary at home to adhere to a routine for Little Miss. She's now 15 months and for the most part is also a pretty good sleeper. I think that's because as far as she's concerned, she is not going to miss out on an opportunity to sleep - she's never quite sure when the next opportunity is going to come around.

My point - throw away the damned book! I stressed so much over the silliest things with LMM and while I loved being a mom and believe it or not, even thought I did a good job, I never enjoyed it without abandon. And really, there are so many more things to worry about than whether your baby is napping at the right time in the right place!! I'm glad that there's heaps of parenting advice out there. Not only does it give me things to argue about but having tricks and tools of trade is always beneficial. It's when you loose yourself and stop following your own instincts is when it becomes troublesome. I think that's partially what happened with LMM. I'm much happier (still worry WAY more than I need to, but heck that's genetic ;-) and so much less stressed.

Guest Blogging - must haves for new (and not so new) parents

Come and see my guest blog at The top 10 list of things every new (and not so new) parent should have!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Move over Wendy, Bob's got a new crew

Breast may not always be best

Hooray for Gisele Bundchen - apparently breastfeeding her baby helped her keep her figure! I suppose there's some truth there, I breastfed both of mine and unfortunately I got to keep my figure too (it's just not one anyone would really want to keep ;-)

Seriously though, to say that all mother's should be 'forced' to breastfeed, as she is apparently suggesting, is ridiculous. Yes, we all know breast is best, but not all of us can. It's great if you have a staff and don't have to work 9-5 Monday-Friday, or more. I think the staff and being a professional model probably had more to do with Gisele keeping her figure, but it's her story, so far be it from me to question...). The reality is though that not many new mom's have the luxury of staying home with their babies for the first year (or even 3 months). I know that's why we have breastpumps, but not everyone can pump enough milk or fit it into their workday (yes, I know there are laws that should/do protect new mother's but in reality, in this market it can be hard enough finding or keeping your job as a new mom, adding 30 minute 'pumping' breaks throughout the day may just be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back).

What about women who are on medications that have harmful effects on a nursing baby. Or women who suffer from post-natal depression or post-natal anxiety disorders? It seems that by reducing the level of stress associated with breastfeeding (and of course going on some good drugs) can have a much more positive affect on the mother / baby relationship than having the little one tugging on her breast. Let's not forget about *those* women who just choose to give their baby a bottle because they want to go out on the town and enjoy a few drinks or just "couldn't be fagged" as the now infamous editor-in-chief of Mother & Baby Kathryn Blundell suggests (gasp!).

Choosing to formula feed your baby does not make you a bad mother. Choosing to make women who do make this choice feel bad and crappy about their decision does make you a bad person (or at least inconsiderate, rude and really not a very supportive woman). Yes, breast may be best but life's not black and white. I think the axiom ought to be changed to : breast is usually best, but not always.