Recipe for a great weekend

Remember the last time you got all dolled up, went out for some fancy meal, had a bunch of drinks with the guys and gals, ended up smashed, and thought it was the best weekend ever?

Me neither. (Sorry to those who do remember. You might not be able to relate to this post then!)

I think the last time I kind of did this was APB’s engineering graduation dinner/reception. Almost 3 years ago? Not sure. I didn’t even get wild and crazy at the 2013 Grey Cup, which goes against the avid Roughrider fan that I am. But all I could think was, if I get hammered Saturday night, I’ll be hungover for the game, and then, if I get hammered at the game, I’m going to have to frequently pee in a port-a-potty and I’m wearing ski pants and how do I do that without touching gross stuff.

Safe to say getting drunk is no longer my idea of an awesome weekend. I’d take the yummy food, though. We’re more likely to get takeout and I’m cool with that. The hangover from a lot to drink would be killer and would likely last a week. No way I can handle that now. I stopped drinking much before I got pregnant and haven’t ever really resumed with the exception of the odd glass of wine here and there in the tub.

Nope, my idea of a great weekend is as follows: snuggling with my baby snd pets, coffee with flavoured creamer, watching curling and UFC, reading my breastfeeding book, hanging out with the husband. I’d also add that much of this happened thanks to him, who is a self-proclaimed Ryan Gosling. He kept Cubber entertained so I could enjoy my curling. He’s taken him to our cruck in the garage more than once, too, since he loves to honk the horn. Now they’re running errands so I can write this blog post.

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At one point this weeknd, all four pets were by me. Curling is on in the background!

Funny how our idea of a good time changes as we a) get older and/or b) have a baby. I didn’t even have a nap, and it was still one of the best weekends ever!

I recently read a post from another mom I follow on Facebook and Twitter about how she and her family did nothing but play and hang out during their February break. I’m totally down with this. I love planned and organized activities, too, like going to the pool or signing classes, but sometimes, it’s just as fun to read a good book and play make-believe in your toddler’s kitchen while wearing (the same) yoga pants and a tank top all weekend. Who needs to get dressed when your husband will happily make the grocery and Tim Hortons run?!

Oh, and one more thing that made this weekend awesome: my husband fixed a crooked photo in our bedroom. It’s been bugging me for weeks (months?! God, I hope not), and it’s always been in the back of my mind to fix it, but I still hadn’t. This afternoon as I was enjoying the quiet of nursing our little guy to sleep, I looked up above the fireplace and voila! One of my favourite photos was straight in its frame again. Love it.

Now time for some more curling, coffee, and treats. I hope all you mamas and papas had a great weekend, too!

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One of my favourite photos. Ever. Taken by Erin Francais, Finelite Photography and Design

 

 

 

My very own Ryan Gosling

Well. Not quite but he likes to think so.

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Baby Cub is as shocked as you are at APB's language.

“Just sitting here, chilling with your son. Wanted to let you know you’re a great mom so that might warm your vagina.”

Yep. That’s my husband. He qualified this gem by adding, “I’m not trying to seduce you.”

That’s good. Cuz, um, you didn’t.

Joking aside, my husband was trying to be supportive as he could see I was tired from having a fuss bucket baby today. He told me to head upstairs if I wanted alone time. I opted to stay downstairs with them because I wanted to watch curling, which he fully supported, which likely means he *is* trying to seduce me because he HATES watching curling.

He brought home wine, too – another fine way to help out a frazzled mama – which I enjoyed in the tub while he and baby dictator watched Thomas the Train.

APB has always been a big support. He used to receive multiple messages in a day from me about the dogs stressing me out. He’d do what he could to help with them, whether taking one to his previous job or getting us a fence and gate or simply listening. Sometimes a tired, stressed mama just wants to be heard.

He tries to make sure we have lots of good meals to eat because I’m always hungry and have been for the past 18 months of breastfeeding.

These are all great ways to help out a mama, regardless of whether baby is 1or 18 months: time to herself, even if not long; healthy snacks; wine; jokes to make her smile; genuinely telling her she’s a good mom. Maybe leave the vagina part out.

APB later told me he mostly made the vagina comment because I needed to smile. It worked. He’s no Ryan Gosling but he’s my APB and he makes me laugh.

You are safe, you are loved

I had an epiphany the other night. Two, actually.

First, I was able to take a teaching from yoga class and apply it to my life. It felt somewhat groundbreaking.

I go to yoga weekly and love it. I’ve never been into group fitness classes, but the instructor and energy in the room make me feel so good. It might sound hokey, but I leave feeling like a better person. I’ve even been moved to tears. I like it that much.

Last class our instructor invited us to think about ways in which we are greedy, and proposed that if we always focus on what we don’t have, we’ll miss what’s right in front of us. Something like that: pretty sure she was more eloquent than what I write here.

Fast forward to an evening where I’m nursing my son to sleep on our bed. Usually when I nurse him, I have my phone with me so that once he drifts off, I can go on facebook or Twitter or whatever. For some reason, I didn’t have it with me. I silently cursed myself, trying to figure out how I could get it without waking the baby. Can’t yell to APB! Do I want it badly enough to walk down the stairs while nursing a sleeping baby? No.

Then I get thinking how wouldn’t it be handy and nice if we had a TV in our bedroom so in cases like this, I could sit and watch TV. Not the first time I’ve wished for a second television.

We don’t have a TV and I don’t have my phone, but instead of focusing on that, I tried to be present. And in that moment, wasn’t my life sweet. I was nursing and cuddling my baby in the darkness with the only light coming from the fireplace. My two cats were at my feet. The only sound was my singing.

image It’s dark but there’s a toddler by the fireplace and a dog and cat at the foot of the bed.

For the past few months, I’ve sung a simple, made-up song before naps and bedtime. I usually whisper it because I could never find a tune I liked.

My second epiphany: I finally found the tune. And I sang it over and over and over to my baby boy. It was beautiful. It made me want to stand time still. He’s already technically a toddler. Then he’ll be a little boy. Then a teenager. And then I will positively yearn for those quiet moments in bed by the fireplace, singing a made-up lullaby.

By the way, because I am crazy , I recorded myself singing that song in the hopes I might be able to find the tune on the piano. When I told my husband this, he looked at me and said, I love you. I wasn’t sure how to take that. When I asked if that was because he thought I was crazy or a good mom, he replied, Both.

So it’s true. We can focus on what we don’t have or we can focus on what we DO have, and then we’ll realize what we have is beautiful and more good things will follow.

I can’t wait for next week’s yoga teaching. And I can’t wait to find my song on the piano.

You are safe, you are loved.
Mommy will be with you when you wake up.
Mommy and Daddy both love you very much.

Soft hands: a grandmother’s touch

Yesterday my son and I came home after a three-day visit at my parents’ house.

It’s always bittersweet when we leave. I’m happy to return to my husband, animals, and our home and routine. But we always have so much fun. It’s clear my son loves his grandparents, especially Grandma.

It’s probably at least in part because she willingly takes him outside 6 times in a day if he asks and traipses up and down the street pulling his sled because he only likes it on flat surfaces (once he likes something, he really, really likes it). Or it might be because she goes up and down the stairs with him umpteen times! Or because she’ll always get down on the floor and play with him at his level.

Either way, it’s clear he’s going to have years of fond memories, much like I do from growing up with a grandmother near by.

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My mom’s mom lived about an hour from us, and my dad’s mom died when I was quite young, so my memories are mostly with a lovely woman who lived in our small town. At some point, Mrs. Fletcher became my grandmother.

We often spent summer holidays with them, travelling across the province to see the sites here. More than once we went fishing up north at Cowan Lake. I remember a particularly rainy vacation at maybe Green Lake? We stayed in the cabin and played cards and pick up sticks.

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We regularly went over to the Fletchers’ house. My parents and they would play cards. I would play their piano, watch TV, play with empty Toffifee containers and those little ceramic animals. Those little things stuck with me so much that when I saw those little animals at a flea market the summer before Cub was born, I just had to buy them. Even though he’s still far too young to play with them.

Mrs. Fletcher made awesome chicken noodle soup with thick noodles. She always made me tea and had cookies for me to eat. And she had the softest, plump hands.

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She died of cancer just after I started my first year of university. We all felt so fortunate that she was able to see and attend my high school graduation since we knew she wouldn’t see other milestones. I don’t have many regrets in life, but I do have one around her: when she was sick, she asked if I could come over and help hand out candy to any trick or treaters who came. Afterward, she gave me $10, likely just to be kind and compensate me for my time. To this day, I feel guilty that I took it. No doubt as a grade 12 student, I dashed off to hang out with my friends. But I hope she knows that my friends or a volleyball tournament or really anything weren’t more important than her.

I’m not sure I believe in heaven, but it’s a nice thought to think she somehow sees me, Cub, and my mom. And even though there’s no blood connection, every time I hold my son’s hand and stroke it, I think of her, because he has the same, incredibly soft, plump hands. I like to think they are from her. She was family, after all.

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I could go on and on about the memories I have of her, some big, some small, all great. She was just always there, kind of like my mom with Cub (and me growing up, too). It makes my heart warm to know he will one day grow up with all these wonderful memories, too: some big, some small, hopefully all great.

My parenting win

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.

It’s always been a battle to cut finger and toe nails. When Cub was teeny tiny, the nail clippers I used sucked (as did the user), so I ended up clipping him a couple times. That made me feel awful, and those incidents probably haven’t helped because now I’m likely more hesitant.

Because of all this, I consider it a victory when I get one or two nails cut per day. Thus it takes a week or more to get them all cut, so it feels like they always need a trim.

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Zoning out to Thomas the Train during meal time. Parenting win or fail?! It buys me some time so I'll take it for now.

Well, today I had an epiphany. I found a cute video of a pouncing fox. Show Cub a cute animal video, and he wants it played a minimum of six times.

The light bulb went off. DING DING DING. Play cute animal videos so I can cut his nails! Voila! I got both hands and some toes done, all in one sitting.

Why did I not think of this sooner?!

Probably because we’re always told screen time is bad. But I’m here to admit I use it to my advantage!

I’ve started putting cartoons on my laptop during some meal times to buy myself some extra time to either eat, clean up, or do some work.  Not exactly a habit I want to always want to get into but I figure you do what you’ve gotta do and eventually we’ll grow out of it.

What’s your latest parenting win?

 

 

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