Sunday, June 29, 2008

Babies, Retirement, and Renovation (Oh My!)

First off, no baby yet. my due date isn't until July 1st, and I'm planning on holding off until the 3rd so my kids will have the same birthday. I had my hair cut and highlighted on Friday, so I'm ready to go, but I'm also enjoying these last peaceful moments of life with just one child. I am loosely using the word, "peaceful", but I know that it will seem peaceful in comparison to life as it is about to become. BTW, thanks you for all the lovely compliments on my last post. I wasn't fishing for flattery, but I'll take it regardless.

Next, I invite everyone to congratulate my mom on her retirement! Today was her final day of work, and she is super duper happy about it. Don't worry about her being bored or anything - I'm sure we can find some way to fill her time REAL SOON!

I don't have much else going on right now. Just a bit of nesting behaviour, and a last ditch effort to find a console table for the family room that is currently under renovation. No luck with that. Speaking of the renovation, the floor has been stained and given two coats of varnish. One more coat will be applied at the end of the whole project. The painter is coming some time this week, even if I happen to be in the hospital, so things are still motoring along.

The upside of the room not being finished yet is that we won't be in there spewing newborn spit-up for an extra few weeks. I'm always looking for an upside.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Think I Control the Weather

I realize that I only have a small sample size to deduce such an egotistical claim from, but the last time I saw crazy-ass weather like this in Toronto was the summer of 2005, aka, the summer that Pumpkin was born. Given that I am only one week away from birthing another child, I have concluded that every time I bring a child into this world, we are going to be subject to violent rain and thunderstorms. I'm not sure what the gods are trying to say. Nonetheless, we will now stop at two children just to save the city from future leaky roofs and basements. Currently, it is hailing in my neighbourhood, with a side of thunder and lightning. It did the same thing yesterday. Last summer it was so dry that I couldn't even grow dandelions. This summer, I'm recommending that our provincial flower be switched to mushrooms, and am declaring my yard to be the original breeding ground. I'm not complaining though. I love anything that saves me having to water the garden, even if all I can grow is fungus.

So yeah, still preggo over here. I need to hang on for a while if the renovation is going to be completed before the baby arrives. Ok, I concede. That dream will never happen. Things are happening, but it looks like we won't be using that room until late July. The fireplace was installed on the week-end, the floor is being finished this week, the painter is coming next week, and then we still have to have all the mill work installed. I'd post a new picture but plastering and priming is all that has happened since the last shot, which doesn't make for a dramatic impact. I'll post the floor by the end of the week. So anyways, if I can't make the baby wait for the renovation, I'd at least like it to wait for me to get my hair done on Thursday or Friday of this week. Not too much to ask, is it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On a More Positive Note...

Ok, that was enough complaining. Thank you all for your words of support, but I shouldn't abuse your compassion. I'm ok, really. My bad days are probably better than many people's good days. As for the fatigue, hey, it gets me sympathy! Who doesn't like a good dose of that? Aside from all your comments, my mom and husband don't let me do much of anything now. If the phone rings, I just look at one of them and the phone is brought to me. If I don't make dinner, no one dares to comment. If Pumpkin needs something and I'm not the only one here to help, it becomes not my problem. When the cleaning lady is here (see, I told you my life is pretty good), I no longer feel guilty enough to get off my butt to do laundry, groceries, or a pre-clean. I can just sit there and look justified in doing so

How about that crazy heartburn? It has it's benefits too! Just today I was at Costco, noticed a club pack of Oreo Cakesters, and was immediately turned off by the inevitable heartburn that I knew I would suffer if I were to buy them. How many calories and grams of fat did that save me? Hey, I only have to be awakened once at 3am by the burning sensation of acid in my esophagus to know that such rich starches need to be avoided. Ok, maybe it took me three times to learn my lesson, but at least I didn't buy the box of oooey, goooey evil. Nothing seemed to stop me from buying a club pack of gourmet jelly beans, but there was a coupon! It was beyond my control.

As for my aching feet, it's all good. I get to wear sensible shoes to fancy events and no one dares to judge me. A few weeks back, I actually wore flip flops to a wedding. They were fancy flip flops, but flip flops nonetheless. I think I'll wear them again tonight to a dinner event. And if the event is unpleasant or boring, we can leave without need to explain ourselves. It is assumed that I'm already exhausted and tired. People will think I'm a trooper for being there in the first place!

So there it is - my positive take on the situation. It does help that Pumpkin is being much better today, and that my mom has been here since lunch time taking care of her. (It's also helpful to have a face full of jelly beans!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Don't Wanna Play Anymore

I don't really like to complain and rant, given my half-assed attempt at working the "Secret", but I am spent. It's over. There's nothing left. I know it's not news that being 38 weeks pregnant is tiring, but OMG it's tiring! With my last pregnancy at this stage in the game, I started my maternity leave and went home to just lie there for a while. Not really an option this time. Pumpkin is really, REALLY trying my patience today, or at least it seems as though she is. I just put her down for a nap and am praying that it lasts 3 hours. We had an early birthday party for her on the week-end given that I'll probably be in labour on her actual birthday, and I'm thinking that we overstimulated her. On a positive note, it was a pretty good party. Pumpkin doesn't have many friends since she hasn't been to school yet, so I just invited close friends and family of mine who came with an assortment of kids from age three to ten. Somehow, they all ended up playing together, which was unexpected. Nonetheless, I now have an overtired, over-spoiled kid who isn't listening. I also have a very nervous dog who was frazzled by all the people and the subsequent thunderstorms of the week-end, who now won't leave my side, and trips me up every time I turn around. I'm just too out of patience to deal with it today. Try me again tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

We Can't ALL Be Philosophers!

I've come to the conclusion that in the realm of motherhood, I am not the deepest person that you will ever meet. I'm not an idiot or anything - actually I consider myself to be quite intelligent. It just seems that I don't analyze many things beyond their surface levels unless I absolutely force myself to. I reached this conclusion after reading the posts of many "mommy bloggers" who have been as close to the birth of a child as I am, and who have made some very emotional blog entries on the subject.

Often, a blogger in my position will do a post that is like an ode to her first born. I completely understand this. For the past three years, the days have been just me and Pumpkin spending time together, learning from each other, and learning about each other. These have been such precious years, and the fact that this twosome is coming to an end could be an emotional time. That is, if I was an emotional person. Being the recluse that I am, I haven't given a great deal of thought to the issue. I love my daughter with every fibre of my being, but I don't feel the sadness that I have read about elsewhere. I dwell more on the fact that my easy life with one child as I know it is about to change. One is manageable. One travels well. One can be passed off to Daddy, or Grandma, leaving me to do my own thing. The one we have never wakes me up in the night. The one we have is relatively easy to deal with. Overall, adding a newborn to the mix is really going to upset our equilibrium. Yeah, yeah, I know I'll get used to it. My point is that this is more on my mind than the end of the Mommy/Pumpkin era.

How about posts that are written to read as welcome letters to the unborn child? This has never occurred to me as something I'd want to do. If I were to attempt this right now, it would read something like, "Uhhh, hi baby! Sorry the place is such a mess and that you have to live with all this noise. Overall you should like it though! You will never be wanting for love or audio/video equipment!". I'll meet him or her when the time comes, and I'll figure out what to say afterwards. I don't feel any sort of connection at this point to be able to come up with something heartfelt. I'm not even all that anxious to get this baby out and start the process. As crappy as it is to be this pregnant, it's much less chaotic than what is to come. Just this morning I dug out the bucket-car seat, and did not feel a pang of anything but dread. Here we go again with all this infant stuff. Not the best mind-frame to be writing a welcome letter to anyone. Sorry baby. No pre-birth letter from mama, but I promise you that you won't be disappointed with me once you're here, at least for at little while.

How will I be able to love this second child enough when all my love is currently devoted to my first one? This is a question that I have never asked myself. I'm not scoffing at mothers who have worried about this. It seems like a legit concern. I am not willing to sacrifice any of my love for Pumpkin to give to Child #2. Apparently, I won't have to. Any time I have read a post about this, the mother has just come up with more love to give. I'll take their word for it and not worry for now. That's just me.

Finally, there have been posts about actual birthing experience. Some have expressed the importance of having a vaginal birth as opposed to a c-section. I don't want major surgery anymore than the next gal so I'll avoid the c-section if I can, but the issue seems more to do with the experience of delivering a child vaginally, and how that provides some fulfillment as a mother. Some have expressed the importance of giving birth in their home environment, which I think I might hate. Some have sworn by their mid-wives, which I have no knowledge of, but I also don't feel the need for after the delivery of Pumpkin, where I was quite satisfied with the care provided by the doctors and nurses. Personally, I only have two requests: Give me your best drugs, and get the f*ucker outta me!

Am I missing some sort of mommy-gene that should have me pondering such issues?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More of Reno 2008

Did I mention that we had the new floor installed? It isn't going to be sanded/stained until everything else in the room is done, but the raw floor is here, and has been for about a week now. This week in family room renovations, things have been happening behind the scenes. The carpenter is still working on cabinets in his shop, and I finalized some colour choices today. Last week-end's plastering didn't happen, but hopefully things will resume this week-end. If not, all bets are off. Still racing the baby clock over here, but apparently it is to no avail, because aside from the threat of things being delayed in construction, my mom is now predicting an early labour, based on ??? Actually, she is basing it on how violent the baby seems to be these days. It's as if it's practicing martial arts or something. That widget on the right where you see a calm baby floating around with lots of room- not so accurate. I'm not sure that kung fu punches are indicative of the baby wanting out sooner than later, but that's ma's prediction.

Behold, the new floor. That green blob at the bottom of the pic - that's my stomach. I found it amusing to see it jutting out into the frame, so I left it there. You want me, I can tell.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Freedom of Summer Past

A few of the bloggers that I read have made mention of the beginning of summer vacation for their school-age children, and are busy making plans to keep the kids busy for the next two months or so. Back in my day, my mom made plans for my summer holidays to an extent, but once my older brother turned the legal age for babysitting, I think 12, we were pretty much left to do our own thing. There really wasn't a lot of choice for a single mother of two, who didn't have the resources to send us to camp for the whole summer. Some will argue that times were different back then, and maybe they were, but I have always been proud/smug/amazed at how independent we were at ages 9 and 12, due to the amount of rope we were given to hang ourselves with.

Sleeping in late was high on our daily agenda. Once we were up, we watched a LOT of TV. Re-runs of Alice stand out in my memory, along with Different Strokes, and The Facts of Life. Game shows, cooking shows, whatever - we just kept watching. By mid-morning, we would make our own breakfasts. Sometimes we had cereal, but I do remember frying bacon and/or eggs all by ourselves as we prepared our BLT or western sandwiches. Frying. Wow. No microwave option at the time either. Think of a nine year old that you know - now imagine his or her parents giving him or her permission to fry something while home alone. I can't see it happening. As scary as that sounds though, we really could take care of our basic needs by ourselves.

At some point in the day, I would typically hook up with my best friend who lived next door, and we would head off to the pool that was available to all residents of the townhouses that we lived in. No sunscreen of course, but who needed it back then? There was an actual life-guard working there, which was pretty much the most supervision we had during the hours between 9 and 5. The lifeguard was probably 14 or so, and I remember her sending us to the store to pick up powdered donuts for her, which she kindly shared. We were always running off to the store, the second either of us managed to come up with any amount of money. One of the nearby stores was forbidden to us by our parents who weren't comfortable the the crowd that hung out there, but we just HAD to go there, 'cause that was the best place for beef patties, and possibly cream soda flavoured freezies which just popped into my head. Memory or pregnancy craving? Who knows? We also walked over to the local mall on many occasions, and once again, although it felt like a perfectly safe activity, I still can't see anyone letting their nine-year-olds do the same. Correct me if I'm wrong.

There is no doubt in my mind that society has us protecting our children way more than is probably necessary, although as a parent, I want to protect my children as much as I can. On the other hand, I would really like to allow for a certain amount of independence to promote growth. Reflecting back on those freedom days of summer, I really don't feel like I was ever in harm's way. We had relative street smarts, and learned to make good decisions. I wish I knew how to pass these skills on to my kids given the current social climate, where things may or may not be worse than they were, but fear is at an all-time high.