Confessions of a toddler's mother

Sometimes, even when I know Judah has a mess in his pants, I'll casually ask his dada to check his diaper just so I won't have to change it.

I skip most of the text when reading Matthew and the Midnight Tow Truck aloud.

I don't really enjoy being woken up by a 30 pounder belly-flopping on my head.

I have a Judah booger stuck to my clothes at least 90% of the time- and it's ceased to gross me out.

My child eats food with sugar- refined sugar. I feel kind of bad about it, but not bad enough to stop him.

I will eat partially chewed and regurgitated cookies rather than find an appropriate garbage receptacle.

My bathtub almost always has a ring around it because my kid is just that dirty by the end of each day.

I haven't opened the closet door in the nursery for several months. I know it's a disaster, but now I'm afraid the old baby clothes have spawned alien life that could potentially attack.

I carry raisins in my purse in case of emergency.

I bribe Judah (with cats, books, family members, outings, flowers, snacks etc.) to do things ALL THE TIME.

I dread entering any building with an escalator because I know we will need to ride it at least 6 times.

My bed is never my own for an entire night and I like it like that.

I used to love when Judah learned new words. I retracted that feeling when he started saying "I know it!" after everything I said to him.

I have been tired for two years.

I wouldn't change a thing...
except the public nose picking. 



Today started out looking like a great day. I was feeling good, energetic even. It was my day off, and my sister and mom called early to invite Judah and me on a day trip to Ikea. Life was looking good.

Judah and I had "slept in" until 8 am and had taken our time coming downstairs, I made the beds, Judah jumped on the beds, I made the beds again. When we did make our way downstairs Judah broke his fast with some cheerios and fruit and milky tea, while I had a cup of tea and, once my mom and sister arrived, a croissant with jam. In hindsight, it was probably not what 9 out 10 nutritionists would call a balanced breakfast...especially when you have a two inch calorie sucking machine nestled in your uterus.

In any case, we set out for Ikea, a few stressful work-related BB emails and several crying outbursts from a  cranky one year old who refused to sleep later, we arrived in Burlington. By then I was feeling decidedly less good about my day. I felt as though my blood pressure was up and my stomach was in knots.

A little before noon I suddenly got the feeling like I had to eat something - fast. My mom was also feeling "ravenous", so our little party made its way to the restaurant to line up for lunch. A few short minutes later, just as we approached the hot food area, I began to feel very hot and knew it wasn't the radiant heat from the Swedish meatballs. I was, however, carrying Judah, and as anyone who does as little manual labour as I knows, carrying 30+ pounds makes a person warm. I thought I would be fine momentarily if I could just set him down. So I did... on the metal bars meant for sliding your lunch trays on. 

This should have been my first hint that I wasn't quite thinking clearly. 

Realizing, after a moment that a huge kid doesn't balance on a thin metal bar very effectively, I (with increasing mental panic) turned to my sister Jessie and said, "Can you take Judah?". Just  at that moment, as the fry guy was asking me what I wanted, I started to black-out. Fry guy's head quickly began to recede into a tunnel of blackness. I think I may have said, "I'm blacking out"...and then I was on the floor of the restaurant with my head on my lap, trying very hard to remain conscious. All the while hearing fry guy's inquiry "Do you want gravy on your fries?"

Lucky for me, I remained conscious. Doubly lucky, I wasn't alone with Judah. As soon as I could stand I stumbled my way over to a chair and sat with my head on a table while my mom and sister lugged my son and purchased my lunch (including an orange juice which I had inadvertently shoplifted in my rush to get off the floor of the restaurant). 30 minutes, a bottle of juice and some food later, I was heavy headed (the opposite of lightheaded, right?) enough to walk around without having to embarrassingly repeat my green-faced, floor inspection of a lunch performance. 

This is the second time this pregnancy I've felt fairly certain I was going to have a Jane Austenesque fainting spell (I swear I don't wear a corset), however, the first time had been very early in the pregnancy when I had been feeling all around awful. This time I thought I was out of the feeling-all-the-time-crappy woods. No such luck.

On the whole, today was one of those days I'd rather hadn't happened. And yet, the optimist in me still looks for a little sunshine; Judah just spent his last waking moments pressing his sweaty hair against my face and giving me a kiss. 

Even when my day is terrible and I feel like I'm pulled in 15 directions yet doing nothing well, I have solace knowing there is a sweaty, blonde, three-footer ready to love me nonetheless.


Zombie mama

Well, here we are, almost 11 weeks into pregnancy number two. I fully expected to feel "normal" by now.


I had a few good days; my energy level improved and I was eating almost as much as pre-pregnancy me. Now, not so much. 

Tonight I found myself with an amazing dinner of mussels and garlic roasted chicken and veg and salad before me (typing that makes me feel ill)...and I could barely eat. I even passed up most of the angel food cake and strawberries - this is sacrilege! 

This can lead me to conclude only one of three things.

1. This baby is some sort of energy-sucking prodigy who requires little to no food for sustenance but rather feeds on its mother's limited brain cells, and will likely come out of the womb skinny with a completed Times crossword in hand.

2.  One night I slept-walked my way outside of our home and unknowingly witnessed some event so monumental or horrific that the agents behind it had to wipe my memory, hence I have simply forgotten feeling exactly this way with Judah's pregnancy.


3. This is a pretty normal pregnancy. Pregnancy makes you uber-super-extremely tired. Having a toddler makes you uber-super-extremely tired. Being pregnant and having a toddler simultaneously makes you crazy...and also very tired.

My mom assures me 14 weeks was the magic number for her. And she did this 5 times...and she had morning sickness EVERY day of those 14 weeks with ALL of us. I really have no justification for a single complaint...and I can also assure all those listening that I have no intention of doing this five times. Small mercies.  

On the very big plus side, Luke's family is home! Judah was tentatively happy to see them...mostly from a distance. I think it'll take a bit before he'll let them carry him and hold him without putting up a "fuss", but with so much love coming his way, I don't think his resistance can last too long.

On the other very big plus side, it's Father's Day and I am lucky,
a.) to have an absolutely wonderful dad, who modeled for me what to look for in a good man, so that 
b.) I married a man who I am quite confident is the best father in the world. He has been tireless in chasing after Judah, cooking, doing laundry and all the other fun life stuff that I've had no energy to do- always with a smile. It's Father's Day, and yet I'm the one feeling thoroughly spoiled. 

So yes, I am nauseous and I am exhausted but through it all I'm seeing that I am also extremely blessed. Even the blah-ness of  pregnancy can be a gift. 


Better than Christmas

The excitement in our house is practically boiling over. Tomorrow, after nearly three years Luke's parents and brothers will be returning home from Malawi for good.

Luke's brothers were home in Canada last summer, but mom and dad haven't been back since Judah's birth two years ago. We made the trip over to Africa when Judah was seven months old, but since Judah has looked like this...

Luke's mom and dad haven't seen him in person, or held him, or smelled his sun-baked hair, or rocked him to sleep. We cannot wait for them to get reacquainted. 

Tomorrow at 3 in the afternoon we'll be at the airport gate with a welcome sign and open arms and hearts. We know the adjustment will be hard for each of them- they return to a world totally different than that in which they've immersed their lives for three years, a world missing a lovely girlfriend, a tight network of school chums, a group of unbelievably strong friends who have also committed a chapter (or ten) of their lives to the warm heart of Africa. 

We hope the warm heart of our family will be some small salve in readjusting to life here. We know life will be a little bit different from here on out; a little happier we're willing to bet. 


Pregnancy: take two

Thanks so, so, so much to everyone for the well-wishes and congratulations about baby twosie. We are extremely happy and feel totally blessed to have the amazing support that we do!

I'm going to be a diligent blogger for this pregnancy, 1. because it's kind of fun for baby to look back on- I mean, I'd love to know what my mom was eating (I think it was chili dogs) and listening to (probably Stephen Sondheim) when I was in-utero. 

And 2. because I need the lasting reminder of how this feels, so my future self doesn't just remember sunshine and rainbows and go for twins...my future self is bad like that.

Now to answer the questions everyone's been asking... 

Where are you now?

We're 9.5 weeks in. Baby is due sometime between January 9th and 12th. However, if it's anything like Judah, it will be aiming for Valentine's Day, so for the sake of my sanity, it's probably safer to say the 12th.

How have I been feeling?

My pregnancy with Judah was a total dream. I felt nauseous for approximately 20 minutes each morning for approximately 6 days around week 5. This baby is an entirely different animal (seriously...like it just lost its tail). I felt fantastic until the middle of week 5 and then, despite my vigilant intake of vitamin B6 it all started to go downhill. My appetite vanished, and I mean VANISHED...like I could have gone 4 days without food and been totally happy. I am wise enough to know, second time around, that babies like to eat, however, so I forced myself to eat tiny portions of crunchy foods (everything had to be crunchy). Baby's 5-7 week period was fueled by apple slices , toast, barbecue chips, crackers, dry cheerios and milk.  


Not only did I not want food, I didn't want to do anything. Nothing at all. Except, of course, lay on the living room floor (which seemed like a comfortable place at the time) and sleep. And I did sleep. Lots and lots and lots. And when I wasn't sleeping I dragged my sorry bum around and tried not to look like a zombie while attempting to hone in on bbq chips somewhere...anywhere! Weekends were one long catnap/ waking sleep, weekdays were characterized by a countdown to 5 pm when I could crawl across the hall to my bed and get in a nap before I had to stare blankly at my dinner plate.

It wasn't pretty, but it was manageable. I treated my nausea with more B6 and many small helpings of crackers. 

Then at 7.5 weeks, on a Tuesday to be exact, I was hungry for dinner. I cooked (which was a small miracle considering the previous 3 weeks of fridge and stove avoidance). Homemade chicken nuggets, couscous and broccoli with cheese before me,  I ate like a Labrador who's missed a week of kibble. I was ravenous I tell you! RAVENOUS!

Since then, I've been eating normal meals again, although my cravings for crispy are still present and have resulted in more than one binge on veggies and dip. My nausea is not completely gone, but it comes and goes as quickly as a good house guest; staying just long enough for you to remember your time together, but not long enough that they're cut from the Christmas card list.

What does Judah think?
Judah has finally come to the conclusion that the baby is in my belly (or bra depending on the day) and not down Daddy's shirt as he firmly believed for the first two months. If you ask him whether he's having a brother or sister his answer will be "Sit-ser" or "Brudda" depending on the day. Today he suggested we name the baby Cheese. I think Judah's cut from the baby naming committee.

All in all, we're so happy to be welcoming another child into our home and our family. It will arrive in the midst of Luke's school semester and the dead of winter, so I'm sure many entertaining stories of chaos will ensue. All the chaos will be worth it we know, just to have that new life to love.

8 weeks



Friday was a beautiful day, so we took advantage of the rain-less forecast to make a trip to the zoo. I love the zoo, I don't really know why and I'm too tired to dig into my psyche to find the reasons...let's just suffice to say I like monkeys.

Last year was Judah's first out -of- utero visit. He spent a lot of the time sleeping. This year he was far more engaged in the experience...just not by the things we thought would engage him. At the rhino exhibit for example, the two amazing, gigantic dinosaur like beasts actually woke up and wandered across their little acreage to where we were standing. 

Luke and I excitedly pointed and made all sorts of hyped-up explanations about how cool these animals were....and Judah completely ignored us, to look at a Canada Goose in the enclosure and endlessly shriek "Duck!!" 
I'd like to point out that he sees geese on very nearly a daily basis, this was not the mind-blowing miracle sighting he was leading everyone to believe.

The turtles engaged him slightly more, but the ramp beside their aquarium was much more fun.

And of course, nothing captivated him as much as the completely animal-free props along the walkways. We spent more time in this African bush tent than looking at the lions. The kid likes to imagine...lions aren't great imagination partners.  

We took in the "Guantanamo giraffes" as Luke deemed them, since they were at their "houses" for the day and not roaming free. Judah's bum took in his diaper. 

The African Penguins, however, were a total hit. Judah was mesmerized. 

They were so cute, you couldn't help but love them.

My favourite part of the day was the Grizzly bears. I've been to the zoo at least half a dozen times in my memory and I never remember the bears doing anything but sleeping. This year, however, the day wasn't too hot, they had just been fed and they were playful!

Luke and I were in awe of the sheer size of them and totally amused at their play...Judah was not impressed. He was extremely concerned for the welfare of their ball. He loves balls.

My favourite part of the video: the 8 year old girls' commentary.