The Kid Stinks, People. Capital P. Capital U.

Posted on November 14, 2012

How about a haphazard entry about nothing in particular, a little of this and a little of that kind of update? No wildly heady themes, no symbolism or sentiment. Just the thoughts that are rattling around up there in my noggin, yeah? Good.

So, good god my kid stinks. Doesn’t matter how much we bathe him or what we dunk him in or which product we soap him down with, the stench that clings to Jonah lives on! The second I get him out of the bath and feed him for the first time Jonah decides it is giggly smile time and he lets the formula bubble out of his mouth, down his chin and into his neck rolls. Those neck rolls are like the “other side” as they are unreachable by mere humans. The only hint that surfaces so you know something has found its way down there is the distinctive smell that quickly wafts up after the spill. Like putrid sour cheese. Like a very pungent sour bleu cheese. God help me. I’ve almost decided to stop kissing his face because I just can’t take the funk factor. I can’t! I swear I remember people telling me there was nothing like the smell of a baby, that it was delicious … what the fuck were they talking about? Oh, I see. You like smell of curdled cheese vomit. Makes sense. You quack. Babies smell bad. Or at least my mini Huyghebaert does. And, if I am the only mother suffering then someone needs to step up and tell me. Also providing me with a problem solver would also be appreciated because I am not above leaving my kid out on the balcony next to the cat’s litter from now on. My nose and olfactory dignity is too bloody important to me.

All right, topic two! I had a waking nightmare this afternoon while thinking about the very near future. At first I was thinking about Jo being three and a half months old already, then about baby proofing and then about our old condo in Kelowna. Here’s what you need to know about that: our condo was a two bed, two bathroom space extravaganza. And, I gave it up. To live the big city life and to follow my big dreams about a fantastic career! Well shit. Wasn’t so much planning on the living, breathing meatloaf that escaped my loins. Love him, but not planning on that detour. So I’m lying there on my bed next to the hand-sucking-gurgling meat lump and my mind starts to whirl. My mind is exactly like me. Because my mind is me. She’s a bit of a freak-and-flip-out-go-bat-shit-crazy-on-your-ass kind of gal. I love her. But anyway she begins and it sounds like this: Huh. So living in Kelowna was good. Yeah, yeah. Nice place, nice place … big place, lot of good times in that big … two bathroom, extra bedroom … in suite laundry … dishwasher … oh, holy hell … I’LL NEVER HAVE THAT AGAIN! AND I ALREADY HAVE ONE BABY. HE’S HUGE AND HE’LL BE ALL SQUIRMY AND MOVING AROUND SOON AND WE LIVE IN A ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT! I TRADED THAT SPACIOUS GEM FOR THIS EXPENSIVE CITY I CAN’T AFFORD AND MY STUPID HUSBAND WILL PROBABLY INPREGNANT ME AGAIN BECAUSE HE CAN’T CONTROL HIMSELF WHY GOD WHY! So I start pummeling hubby with inane questions about where we are going to rent after he finishes school. My voice is climbing octaves and I am getting all pitchy, talking fast and spitting out question after question and he just calmly walks into the room and says something infuriating like “we will find a place with in suite laundry for you,” with this intolerable air of calm. Making me and my whirly brain look stupid. DAMN HIM. Jonah looks over at me and catches my eyes in their wide alarm and smiles mischievously. And, I just know he’s planning something. Something like conspiring with his future sibling somehow and making a pact that no space will ever be big enough to house the mayhem they plan to unleash. Dastardly kid. Why did I make him so similar to me? At this point I stuck out a witchy-poo finger at him and said, “No more fun. You stop smiling you calculating turd.”

IMG_1671

Topic three is short and concise, here it is. I enjoy that my husband and I seem to think double-teaming Jonah while he’s pooping is good parenting. He’s directly in the line of fire and I am on baby wipes and garbage duty. It’s a good system. I just never realised there would be a time in my life where pooping became a group activity.

… and scene.

Thanks for reading.

Once Upon a Time in a Mall Food Court

Posted on November 10, 2012

I never get tired of waking up in the morning to find my husband absent from our bed. And, no I don’t mean that like it sounds. What I mean to say is I never grow tired from rolling over to find him gone, moved to the living room with Jonah. I listen to hear their conversation and inevitably I will hear Hubby say “Hello, my son.” or “Yeah, that’s my boy!” even “Hey, dude. Hey dude, you’re so cute I want to put you in a pie!” Whatever that means I don’t know but it is heart-warmingly cute to hear secretly from a room away. After each sentiment Hubby whispers to Jonah there is a pause and then the sound of baby Jo’s laugh. I can’t imagine a better way to be woken up. I don’t know whether Hubby gets up every morning because he wants to give me the longest break possible or if he secretly loves the solo time he gets with his son. Jonah wakes up pretty regularly now between five and seven am, and every morning J is with him until I rise (much later) and I’ve never heard a complaint from Hubby even if he’s only had an hour sleep the night before. I know for sure that J is in love, head over heels for his new son and that these are some of the most precious moments of my life. Something’s in the air.

Maybe it is for Hubby what it is for me, the coming together of our parental roles and the ease of which we feel within them. I think the onset was slow, at least for me because at first I felt very uncomfortable with my new role as a mother. It feels more like we are in the swing of things now and I hadn’t really realised how well we had hit our stride until yesterday. Hubby and I were out shopping around for Bestie’s birthday gift and of course we had our mini Huyghebaert in tow. The whole experience felt unburdened and easy. I’d drive us around, Hubby would tend to Jo, he’d get the stroller in and out of the car and I’d carry the baby. Getting Jonah ready to go and packing up the diaper bag was practically mindless. A mere few weeks ago, packing that bag was a headache and I’d always end up forgetting something, or I would way over pack making the outing plain onerous. Yesterday we didn’t over think it. We knew we had to get out so we grabbed Jo and we went. Maybe that was the secret. Anyway, after retrieving what we needed Hubby and I stopped at the mall food court for some classic mall eats. He had Chinese and I had Japanese and we ended up eating off each other’s plates. In the middle of our well deserved lunch break, I can’t remember who said it but it came up that I was handling being a mother with (dare I say it) style. That it looked like I had mastered the art of being an on-the-go mom. I had Jo sitting up on my knee with one arm around his waist and my other hand was handling the chopsticks shuttling them to and from my mouth with ease. I was also holding a conversation with J as well as keeping Jr. J happy and entertained. In that moment where I felt the most singularly happy I had felt in some time, I realised I could maybe let go of feeling a little terrified of everything motherhood. It’s like we moms expect ourselves to be comfortable with our new lives the second our kids pop out of us but the truth is we have to grow up as much as our kids do in the first few months to be confident about our abilities, inwardly and out. Sure I was terrified on day one when Jonah cried and I didn’t know why, I was terrified because I was supposed to be. But now when Jonah cries I have any number of tools in my arsenal to help calm him and the most important part is now I know he will calm down. Eventually he will and it’s because every day I grow more confident in myself. Being in public with Jo is kind of like the final frontier for me facing my terror. I used to think that whenever Jonah had a breakdown in public all eyes would be on us, judging us, and I wouldn’t be able to sort out what his issue was and I would die from embarrassment. My ability to replay this nightmare in my head with movie epic colour and sound made me nervous to say the least and to my chagrin I did have one or two situations in real life where Jonah had mega breakdowns in public, but I survived them. And, it allowed me learn valuable lessons. Lessons like don’t freak out, okay? Sometimes your kid is going to lose it out in public and after throwing everything you’ve got at him short of shaking it out of the little guy you may just have to go home! Just pack it in and go home and try again later on. Don’t panic because babies eat panic and then panic more themselves. Know that you can get that kid in your car and then take a minute to cry right along with him. There is absolutely no shame in that. I had to realise that on some days Jonah just isn’t in the mood to sit in his car seat and watch mommy try on pants at the clothing store, just as I sometimes can’t stand to walk around Future Shop with Hubby for the eighty millionth time! Some days I can, some days I want to throttle his ass. Jonah has the same right to flip on me and knowing all this has been my salvation! I am not a bad mother, I am a mother and shit happens! The good news is after you figure this out for yourself it seems to make those moments of total mama/baby public meltdown disappear. Something in me clicked one day and I thought, when Jonah looks at me and sees me angry or panicked or even unsympathetic … well, that can’t be helping him feel good about whatever the situation is either and honestly? That thought really helped. I swear I have one of the happiest kids but on the other hand if he wants to pull a stunt when I am ordering my morning coffee, well then mommy knows she can handle it. Right? Because shit happens and babies cry. Babies cry at home and even louder in public.

You know, it’s definitely not all roses and bloody perfection around my house twenty-four hours a day, but just as I am hitting my limit at two am when my husband is finally walking through the door, a very important thing happens. J kisses my forehead and scoops Jo up into his arms and looks at his son like he hasn’t seen him in a lifetime and turns to me and says, “Don’t we have a beautiful boy?” And everything that was a trial that day seems to wash away and I only remember the way my husband looks with my baby in his arms when I put my head down to sleep.

For my Son

Posted on November 4, 2012

Love,

today you are three months

three months, and ten months and a lifetime in my heart

Old soul,

Old soul, who are you?

So collected somehow and so calm

Breathing and living,

lapping at life like the tide

I am your shore.

I will be your shelter.

As your tightened fists grow forgiving, trusting,

and open.

These little sea anemone hands of yours grasp and release my own

as you learn you need me, and you don’t

and as you learn your freedoms,

I will watch you change and forever reshape this shore

for I am the sea that bore you, my love.

And, you will go on to places I cannot follow

But for now, old soul, you are just three months.

I know I met you once in a dream,

Where the water was whispering your name

Jonah, Jonah, Jonah…

Led by the Heart

Posted on October 28, 2012

Even though my babe and baby slept soundly at five am this morning, I was up with an aggravated and moaning tummy. Before clueing in my mind screamed “Labour! You’re in labour!” I rose from bed and paced around the bedroom for a moment trying to deduce what was really going on. Since obviously labour wasn’t my issue, I figured I was still feeling off from the version of the Black Plague I contracted over a week ago but when I peed, I got my answer.

My period. She’s back. I have been waiting on her for almost three months. It took so long to come back that I legitimately thought I might be preggo all over again, so much so I bought two pregnancy tests. (Why in God’s name are those things so flipping expensive? Tests and tampons, man. Not cool.) I told both Bestie and Ladykiller Bestie that I thought baby numero deux might be showing up a little quicker than is probably a good idea and both pretty much echoed each other in their response: “Dear God, no.” And then, I got lectured on safe sex. From both of them. Again. Why I tell either of them anything is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, I sat for a second after discovering my condition and sorted out how I was feeling. Oddly? I felt sad, yet relieved at the same time. Relieved because it’s good to know that my body is rebounded nicely but even while thinking that, there sat the little feeling of loss inside me and it ached. It’s probably that division of the mind and the heart again. My mind agrees with everybody else. It’s too soon for baby the sequel! But that’s not what my heart is saying. I hear my heart at night and she’s calling out to my future daughter. She’s yearning and if you haven’t figured out yet, I am all heart and hardly bother with my mind so I’m yearning a little too.

I started a new pack of birth control and it was bittersweet. Now I know for sure I’ll be waiting a year before trying for our second baby and I’m a little terrified that when the time comes, it just won’t be achieved as easily as Jonah was achieved. I really believe things happen for a reason and when you plan and plan and plan your life away you are interfering with your destiny. Sounds hokey… but logic can’t explain my son. He’s perfection personified and he came into my life just as I desperately needed direction and something to teach me humility, sacrifice and tenderness. My son came along and gave my life meaning and probably saved it, so sue me I am willing to let fate take the reins once more. Well, that’s my heart talking not my head.

For some reason I am getting a little choked up. You see, I can see her so clearly in my mind that it drives me to think that my little girl exists somehow, somewhere and it hurts a little not to have her. Maybe I’ll never have her. Perish the thought. One thing is clear and that is I want more babies … and maybe we aren’t ready in the sense of practicality … but I’m ready in my heart and I have lived my entire life being led by my heart and I can say with some confidence she has never steered me wrong.

Letters From Your Pregnancy Past

Posted on October 26, 2012

Hubby tells me it is not safe for me to be blogging in the tub. He described in morbid detail how I might suffer if my Sony laptop, Stevie, were to fall in the water and apparently the situation would not end well for me. Or Stevie. But sorry Hubby, this is my life now. Mommy blogger living on the edge. Mother by day, superhero blogstress by night. It’s all flash and glam around here people. Yeah, that’s right. I do have clothes that smell fresh and not like baby puke, yes yes! I do speak to other adults in full sentences that do not begin with “Well my kid….” And, I do more than just Facebook picture after picture of my loin fruit! You hear that New York? I have it all!

Right after those ill-fated words, Samantha Jones from Sex and the City is hit with the mother of all colds and quickly spirals down into the reality she doesn’t have it all. How do I know this? How can I reference it at the drop of a hat? Well dear readers, it is because I have been sick sick sick for several weeks now and Jonah and I have been watching one hell of a lot of Carrie Bradshaw click click click her Manolo Blahnik heels around New York City. It has been hell.

But since I haven’t ventured further than a few feet from my door in my robe to kiss Hubby goodbye these days, this has left me with time on my hands. (Because Jonah is such a good kid, he hasn`t even really fussed since the moment when every bacteria within a twenty mile radius from me took up residence in my bodacious bod. All of them gathering for, I don`t know, Mucusfest 2012 or Tonsilgate… whatever. ) Instead of writing blogs – which is too much to ask of Jonah to give me several straight hours of silence – I’ve done a lot of puttering as I do because apparently that’s my thing. I came across a letter I wrote what seems like eons ago to my friend out east. (He’s actually my hubby’s bestie who I’ve adopted as my male bestie and is my connection to the land of the single. He’s a bonafide ladykiller. Just an FYI.) This was before the days of the blog where I can now safely say I had regained a little sanity if you can believe it. I had forgotten how early on in my pregnancy I legitimately lost my mind, like lost it. But it’s a good thing because even with this cold that is so much worse than anything Ms. Jones had, I was able to find relief with a little laughter provided by my past self. This letter of mine is so ridiculous I just had to share it with you all. Please marvel at my complete and utter breakdown. And, for the record I say poor Ladykiller Bestie. Poor, poor man…

When you signed on to Jeffry however many years ago, you inadvertently signed on to me some years later when his life became inextricably linked to mine. Happy news for you.

I am a dramatic, over-the-top person correct? Isn’t that something you said to me once? Yes, so going off of that fact please indulge me.

I need you to be a little sensitive and understanding here, because I’m not writing to be humorous or to amuse you. What I have to say comes from a real place of vulnerability and I hope somewhere inside you is the compassion I need you to have in order to really hear what I am saying.

All jokes aside. I’m fat. Oh yes, sir. Now three months into my pregnancy I’ve started to show. Can anybody tell but me? No. I’ve always had my tummy; it has always protruded a little too far, so now that it’s reaching even further nobody really notices … or at least they don’t have the gall to say. My clothes fit tighter. I can’t suck anything in anymore. On top of fat there is the dreaded ever-present pregnancy bloat. My breasts? Don’t get me started. Not only are they ballooning, they are tender and becoming uglier every day. In short I can’t hide anymore, and I never really could.

What’s worse? I work in one of the most affluent areas of Vancouver. Your regular suits drive Ferraris and Maseratis and their petit pregnant wives wear lululemon, have perfectly pressed hair, nails, skin … and even their baby bumps are perfect. They sweep in; order drinks while their husbands maintain their swollen financials, sit with their glamour personified friends and gab away. All happy and healthy mothers to be. All I am to them is a cautionary tale. Or, is that cautionary whale?

Let’s talk about sex now. Sex. What got me into the mess in the first place. Who wants to fuck Jabba the Hutt? Pretty much all I have to say on the matter isn’t it. Sure it is his job to hump me on a regular basis … but what happens if he’s thinking the exact same thing? Huh? You tell me that. Who wants the uber fat hormonal wife, the wife that can only ever be obstructed from view by a skyscraper or … Russia, the wife who looks nothing like the woman you married … who would even bother with that when there are millions of blonde svelte hunnies running around? Who can blame him for even looking at another woman? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. At this point the poor guy deserves something better.

Why am I telling you all this? I have no fucking clue. Tell Katrina you might say, well to that I say how can I tell my best friend this when she is exactly the type of woman who could never understand what it is like to be in my shoes. She’s never been even a distant acquaintance of pleasantly plump. When her time comes she going to sail right through it because that’s what she does. A perfect pregnancy, a perfect baby.

You know what the real issue is? The first thing I had to do for my baby is provide a healthy home for him/or her to grow within, and I couldn’t even manage that. Straight out from the gate I am failing as a woman, as a mother and as a wife. You hear me?

I’m three months and I am starting to show. Starting to show the small tears that in the end will rip me to shreds. And if we are going to do the math here, at intervals of three months you can expect two more emails exactly like this one.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you were typing up a friendship retraction contract right about now.

Yours truly,

Jabba

I’m kind of getting where my Hubby is coming from when he pats my head, laughes and calls me a psycho. My having friends at all is a bloody friggin’ miracle.

I Just Want to Stalk You, Smell You and Sex You Up – Don’t Read This, Dad.

Posted on October 8, 2012

I am here to tell you, there is time after becoming a mother to throw on a pair of high heels and stalk celebrities, but this (for most) must be achieved cleverly. Pawning baby off on Hubby in order to sniff out a very attractive British comedian without raising suspicion wasn’t exactly difficult, due to Hubby’s obsession with his mini-Jedi. The night I went out to stalk Russell Brand, with my breasts jacked up to Jesus and my eyes painted up like a common whore went a long way to revitalizing my spirit and served as a reminder that I am not dead. I am a mother, yes. But I can still pull out acts of pure unadulterated stupidity and fun. Just for the hell of it. Though, after sobering up from the high that is Mr. Brand, true to form I took my night of fun and turned it on its head.

It is difficult, I think for most of us to regain a little bit of the free-spirited casual nature of our pre-baby selves. It’s been eight weeks since my son was born and in recent weeks I have been in hot pursuit of recapturing a little bit of my freedom, some irreverent fun and most of all, some sensuality and physical sexiness. Two of the three were easy. Hubby has encouraged my taking time for myself since day one. He’s let me go to movies with friends, dump the baby on him for coffee dates, and has let me continue to write in an environment free of distractions. So my freedom remains intact because of his efforts. Irreverent fun is Bestie’s responsibility and she out did herself by letting me tart myself up and accompanying me to the casino for a night of gambling and stalking depravity. (It. Was. Awesome.) However, the third quality I wished to regain has been difficult and I don’t think it is surprising to anyone that it continues to elude me.

Was I sexy before baby? Well you’d have to ask the person who knocked me up to get a straight answer but as far as I am concerned sexiness wasn’t so much something I inherently had but rather something I could pull off if I needed to. You put a little effort behind anything really and usually it comes up Milhouse, right? But after baby … I needed a little bit more convincing than in the past. Let’s face it, pregnancy is a long and difficult process. I didn’t feel sexy at all, ever. But I thought once my body was my own again it would all fall back into place. Well, so far? Not so much. Even though I am still me, I`m not me in the sense that putting on a push-up bra and eyeliner works to make me feel feminine like it used to. Why? Probably because I am somebody’s mom now. I have to learn to feel sexy as a mother and that is no easy task. There are some huge issues standing in the way.

One. The new jelly belly. Ok, so I had a bit of a belly before Jonah. But if I wore the right pants, sacrificed breathing deeply and sucked the excess in, my tummy was pretty taut. It was doable is what I am saying. Hiding my belly was doable because I had muscles. Now those muscles have been hacked through and even though they sewed me up the muscles themselves have lost some integrity. Now my belly hangs a little bit and wiggles like peach jello. This is an attribute that is difficult to make sexy. At night I secretly yell at my jelly belly because it hasn’t returned to normal even though I am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I did some work in order to achieve that. Mr. Jelly Belly has done shit all. Just hangs there all day swinging in the breeze. Not cool. Makes it a little hard to be confident, and feeling sexy and like a woman takes confidence. More than you think.

It is also hard to move back to who you were mentally and physically when you’re going back and forth in your mind on the question of second baby. Hubby and I thought we would just let nature take its course and run with whatever it threw at us. So in laymen’s terms not take any precautions. Ok, fine. This is all well and good in some ways; I guess to a degree it takes the pressure off of making what should be an informed decision. But it also leaves me in limbo. Not only am I in mommyville (all day pajamas and showers a thing of the past) but I’m also a little bit still in pregnancy land then too if it could befall me any day, you know? With the weight of all that on me, I am not concentrating on “sexy,” I am concentrating on being a mama and I am not one of those people who feel like a MILF or a sexy mom. For me these two women are very far apart and don’t meet even though they are within me simultaneously. Anyway, we’ve decided now to wait on second baby for at least a year. Not because two little ones would be SO much work in the short term but because a pregnancy now would mean a guaranteed c-section and risk of busting up my incision. You know, a KA-BOOM situation. Honestly? The thought of having my two babies before thirty years of age is so appealing because it seems possible to me to regain a little bit of what once was before it is too late (and my tits are in my shoes.)

It has been difficult to walk this fine line. Being a mother is just so indescribably good, but at the same time I am growing older and changing. The sexual and sensual aspects of my life are also growing and changing. They are growing in importance. After having my first child I am feeling more womanly, yes. But trying to have the duality of maternal individual and sexual creature is more like a divide in my world. Yet, I desperately want to be how I was… I must have been a little sexy people – I did make a baby after all.

I suppose this all comes back to one of my biggest regrets. I spent too long as a prisoner in my own body. When I wasn’t over weight (in high school) I thought that I was. So I was just a shadow of who I should have been. Then, the emotional scars of the past helped me gain weight later on, robbing me of the time in my life where I could have developed and fulfilled my sexual life. I guess you can’t regret what has led you to where you are in life now, when your life is so blessed it is possibly unfair, but there it is. A little twinge of regret because now my world is so categorically different, and it can’t ever go back. I want to ask the universe if this is a cruel joke. I’ve always said I was a late bloomer, I just didn’t realise in how many aspects that would remain true.

I have such a beautiful son … but I struggle to understand where it all came from because I just don’t see it in myself like I should. Like maybe I once did. How to be a mother at twenty-six and a sexually confident woman I’ll never know. Perhaps I should have slept with Russell Brand to find out.

Damn missed opportunities.

If I Were the Type to Write You a Letter

Posted on September 20, 2012

Hello my son. You are six weeks old and I suppose it is expected of me to say “I don’t believe it,” but the truth is baby boy Huyghebaert, I believe it. It feels like you’ve been around for six weeks because that’s how long I’ve had these bags under my eyes. Not that I don’t love them. It is all part and parcel of my new life with you and I know the changes haven’t been easy for you either.

Jonah’s mood during the trip

Over the last week you and I learned a lot about one another. When I packed us up for trip a home to the Okanagan I folded our clothes in our travel bag thinking “Can I handle this? Leaving both your dad and our sanctuary behind?” Well, I didn’t know and I guess that’s what allowed me to make the decision to go. I didn’t know any better and neither did you.

Listen babe, it wasn’t a bad trip.

… reason for his mood. Possibly.

Not at all. But I did sit up some nights, cold with the settling reality that I am not super mom. I have shortcomings. I had them before and now I have new ones as a mother. I want to say that you’re not perfect either, but honestly for the most part you are. In short you are one of those babies who cries when you actually need something and not just to scream. But why is it you always need something? Ok, that is a stupid question I only ask at four am when I am hitting my limit. You are a month and half old. Of course you are dependent on me for all things and this is what I signed up for. However, apparently I am not always willing to see it your way or willing to be sympathetic. You are crying more than you have in the past and your little lungs are clearly strengthening which is a good thing… but alone in a room with you late at night with no husband to throw you into the arms of, Jonah, I’ve discovered some unflattering traits in me. After surviving you for a week alone, and you surviving me at all says we are probably pretty normal but here’s a list of the things I didn’t know until our first trip together had come to pass.

Your Blogstress has learned the following:

After I’ve done everything I can for you (feed, burp, hold, hug, rub, change, bounce, talk, smile,) if you don’t stop crying I have to put you down and leave the room. See, your dad will go to the ends of the earth for you and never stop trying to soothe you with his other worldly ability to stay calm. Whereas I get so angry at you, at me, at the world that if I don’t step away I worry about what I could do. It’s a terrible thing because I believe that you really do only communicate when you need something quite desperately but one of my shortcomings is that I can’t always read you like dad can and sometimes my frustration threatens to get the better of me. You trust me when I tell you I will never shake you or hurt you Jonah because I love you too deeply, but once in a while my love I will step away and just let you cry. Trust that will only hurt me more than it will ever hurt you, but I am your mother and that’s what we are here for. We take the bullets.

I seem to care too much about how your behaviour reflects on me. It is as simple as if you are happy and content I do not see this as my success but if you’re miserable and I can’t make you better I start to worry about how that makes me look in other people’s eyes. At your great grandparents house you were perfection with a capital “P” and I just kept saying “That’s just Jonah.” I didn’t give myself credit for knowing to change you before you realised you were wet or for keeping formula within an arm’s reach or even for sacrificing comfort to hold you much more than I should have, just because I know you love to be held. I was proud of you not myself. The other side of this is when you are just simply not having it and you are fussing and crying – if you’re acting up in front of my mother or in a restaurant then all I can do is think, “I’m failing, I’m failing, God help me. I am failing.” I should be thinking that babies cry some times and my responsibility is to help you the best I can and sometimes that means to let you do just that. Have a cry. There should be no shame in that. But there is. Great disappointment too. Not in you but in myself.

I’ve learned quickly that all my priorities from before mean nothing anymore because you are all my priorities. Some days there just isn’t time to shower or put make-up on. Other times I won’t be eating my dinner hot and more often than that I won’t be eating at all. And, Jonah that is ok with me because if I am providing what you need instead, those are the times I feel the most beautiful and the most fulfilled.

I’ve learned if you smile at me the morning after a grueling and sleepless night, I will forgive you any number of trespasses.

Jonah and Granddad

Jonah being upstaged by “other blond baby”

Time well spent, and the best part of the trip

Finally, I’ve learned that writing in my blog how incredible your father is doesn’t allow me to never say it directly to him. Having to be responsible for you all by myself, even for just a short five days, taught me a hard lesson. And that is I don’t think I could raise you on my own and even if I could I wouldn’t want to. I need your dad to teach me patience and understanding because sadly I run dry on those two qualities a little more often than I should but your dad has that stuff up the wazoo. We are frigging lucky he is willing to put up with us both. When we got home last night baby Jo, neither one of us did a very good job of expressing how much we appreciate daddy and everything he does. I guess I also learned you are a lot like me and all of this might be the universe going, “Payback time.”

I’ll take pleasure in one day seeing you deal with a little of what I dealt with this week, Jonah. Projectile poop included. But until that day comes, I’ll be hugging your dad and learning from his example every step of the way.

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The Lack Lustre Boobies

Posted on September 14, 2012

I am on the bed and the baby is passed out beside me. Yes, at a safe distance and not on a pillow, laying flat and breathing fine sans soother – so settle down co-sleeping nay-sayers. But, he is finally asleep… and this is a precious moment because my little Jedi don’t do much snoozing as he believes he has Jedi powers because his daddy tells him so and therefore I cannot unsay this because I hear this parenting thing works best when you do it as a damn team. (So Daddy better be on board then, when I teach little Jedi about how mommy does math. Example: when something is marked $29.95 at the store then that means it is twenty dollars.) Yeah. Exactly. Goes both ways there Hubby, you screw me and I screw you right back. This baby is going to turn out great – a mathematically ignorant special child who thinks he can do magic (the Force = magic, correct? They’re like magic people, yes? In space… pew pew pew laser sounds and magic right? That’s Star Wars in my head.)

The Force = magic, correct? They’re like magic people, yes? In space… pew pew pew laser sounds and magic right? That’s Star Wars in my head.

Wow, holy crap did I ever get off track there. What pregnancy has done to my mental state is still coming to light and I think may be very very permanent. This blog might be a total write-off now as I’ve clearly gone crazy.

Continuing on then, today marks the moment in time we’ve decided to stop breast feeding (correction, stop trying.) I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned the troubles we’ve been encountering or not but here is the low down minus any sentiment or emotion because I’ve been upset enough over it and now it feels kind of numbing when I speak of it. Here we go. My breasts may look good people, but they suck at what they are actually meant for: producing milk. Let’s call a spade a spade here and admit that maybe a lot of my “boob” is only boob-like fat deposits because apparently I don’t have enough breast tissue to support the means of production. Now my doctor says not to be upset and feel like it is my fault. But, hello! It is my fault! Faulty boob maker right here, party of one. Nice looking ones I will repeat, but craptastic otherwise. From day one Jonah and I were having trouble, and now I see his earlier plummeting weight as a symptom of these lack lustre boobies. We ran the gamut of fixes. I tried breastfeeding Jonah every hour then we added pumping, drinking teas and throwing back Guinness. Finally we added drugs and even more patience and came up empty. Literally. Jonah drinks about six ounces of formula in one sitting and in one day I can produce less than an ounce of milk from both breasts, and no, I am not being dramatic for the sake of the blog. For a long time I was heartsick over this breast feeding fiasco… but now that we’ve decided to let it be and carry on with Jonah being a bottle baby, I’ve no choice but to check the emotions and move on. However, I will say to the other mommies out there, please cherish your ability to breastfeed your kids. It is a big frigging deal to those of us who can’t. No matter how much use of the Force we employ.

But the good news is this, Jonah is packing on the pounds and he is a healthy, beautiful, twelve pound month and a half old. He is smiling his first smiles and they make me cry like I’ve never cried. (This is horrible because he smiles, I start to cry and Jonah looks at me like I am bat-shit crazy and begins to cry himself. I scare my own kid. Perfection.)

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I’ve just asked Hubby how he thinks I should end today’s blog entry and he just shrugged and said he didn’t know. You may think this unhelpful but actually while asking him I received divine inspirations from the writing Gods. I instruct all family and close friends to not read these final and parting words.

So, breastfeeding is a no go and this makes us sad, but here is the silver lining. Hubby gets the boobs back! And here we thought he’d have to give them up long term … but wait a second here … is anyone thinking what I am? Surprise baby numero deux?!

If My Blog is Bacon and Eggs, Then This Entry is the Side of Toast

Posted on September 7, 2012

Well lovelies, I received a blog award. What this is or what this may mean, I’ve no idea but goodness gracious was I ever excited. I emailed my husband and my parents like a giddy child and it pretty much made my week when I found it sitting there in my comment box … I don’t ever get accolades for my writing. This one time I let Hubby read a chapter of the “book” I wrote (I say book in quotations here because it is in a constant state of flux, change and rewrite and ultimately unfinished…ness) and after setting it down I asked him what he thought and he remarked “charming” and therein happened our first ever fight. I made him put his dukes up and he paid for the comment. Still does. My darling parents of course think I’m the next great writing talent, but come on. They both, dear old Dad in particular think I shit gold. So? You get what I am saying. Anyway, so this little comment comes along that I write emotional, honest and beautiful entries from someone out there and sadly it made my little writer’s heart sing. Hello my baby, hello my hunny, hello my ragtime gal. Send me a kiss by wire, baby my hearts on fire! You know that kind of tune. I was honestly touched, and grateful. Thanks for the “One Lovely Blog Award,” I’m stoked, people. Stoked.

Funny thing, there are “Rules” to this award so like a good little blogger I will obey and play along. (As long as Hubby has baby Jo wrangled, I’m good to go.)

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
    Well, that would be “Mama to Bean” Blogger – Uh, thank you? Not only do I get enjoyment out of reading your blog, looking at your cute bean’s face but now you’ve awarded me. This is an awesome relationship. I particularly enjoy your “heart” there’s a lot of it in your words. Check her out, lovelies.
  2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award to your post
    I’d love to, however, I have yet to figure out how to do that and it may very well happen that I don’t succeed in finding out. Blame pregnancy brain? Or lack of computery or technical … electronicy skills. Yes yes.
  3. Share 7 things about yourself
    Holy shit balls, seven? All righty.

    One. I suppose the first thing you should know about me is I am OBSESSED with typefaces. That is “fonts” to you laymen out there. In fact as I fell in love with all things typography in college I was also falling in love with my boyfriend (now Hubby) and I joined (without the help of alcohol) these two passions on my neck in the form of a tattoo. It is a letter “J” for his first initial and it is set in the type “Poetica” by the type designer Robert Slimbach (famed for designing the Minion typeface. Anyone? No?)

    Two. The foods that I hate are the foods everyone else seems to love. All pie, pizza and dark and white chocolate.

    Three. I’d sleep through the apocalypse if there was no one around to wake me. Sadly, this opens me up to being one of the first of us that will be probed by an invading alien intelligence.

    Four. I am terrified of skeletons, which is so odd because I love paranormal movies and they ALWAYS pop up in those. Yet? I never learn.

    Five. I have an unhealthy affinity (and this is toning it down, according to Hubby) for throw pillows. I cannot stop buying them even though I have zero places to put them. No one can sit on our couch because there isn’t any ass room left to use. IKEA has made a small fortune off of me in my outstanding pillow debts.

    Six. I love love LOVE the 90’s. Everything about it, but the music is paramount. Long live Nirvana, The Tragically Hip, TLC, Matthew Good, Montel Jordon, Green Day, Third Eye Blind, Fiona Apple, Oasis and Smashing Pumpkins. Holla.

    Seven. The fact that I could not come up with this list on my own, I had to ask Hubby and he came up with all of these. Thanks Hubby, in your eyes I am obviously bitchin’ cool.

  4. Pass the Award on to 15 Bloggers.
    Ok, since pregnancy and baby the amount of time I spend reading blogs has plummeted. Asking baby Jo to stop screaming his testicles off so mama can read internet goodies has never worked and it never will. So I will name the few blogs I read religiously, which I think means more.

    • Broken Condoms – Read this. Her open letters to her daughter are beautiful.
    • Dear #$&!% Baby – Just started reading this one, but when Hubby laughes, I sit up and take notice.
    • The Nice Girl Project – Not for the faint hearted and not a mommy blog. Funny, funny, funny.
    • The Matador and Bull – Bestie’s blog, and not on the list because she is who she is to me but because I believe SHE is a writing talent. So sit up and pay attention, she is the next J.K. Rowling.
    • Mama to Bean – not because she nominated me but because it is important to read good writing that doesn’t bore the crap out of you.
  5.  Include the Rules
    I’m pretty sure I’ve done that, if not well enough sue me.
  6. Inform the nominees by a comment on their blog.
    Will do. Will do. I’m proud to pass this along.

 

So, there it is. This was fun, but it is late now and I better go relieve Hubby before he defects. I’ll post a picture of Jonah for my viewing public and to quote “Gilmore Girls” here is my loin fruit. Enjoy!

Quiet

Posted on September 3, 2012

Quiet times in the Huyghebaert household are few and far between these days and when they pop up they are something to be treasured. You would think that since babies sleep pretty much all day that you would have loads of time on your hands. Ha! No! As soon as Jonah’s little eyelids slip over his still-blue eyes, I am off in a hurry to start completing tasks on my to-do list: making formula, sterilizing bottles, pumping for milk, the dishes, the laundry, writing the shopping list, dusting, vacuuming, and making phone calls, emailing photos and then and only then maybe a short nap. But of course once the hum of mommy buzzing around comes to a slow stop, somehow this wakes baby Jo and the clock resets again. However, once in a while and I mean once in a long while Jonah stays asleep or he falls into a slumber after I’ve completed my list and I actually have a moment to collect myself, remember my own name and do something for me. Just me.

Before baby, my whole life was a quiet time. I had too much time to think and therefore get depressed about my main issues (my lacklustre career, the loss of skills I acquired at college, my unpublished works etc.) I filled my extra time with things that didn’t get me anywhere or added to my extra pounds. It was a vicious circle I was caught in and it took me getting pregnant to knock some sense into me. Suddenly I was responsible for someone else, so I stopped making stupid choices because I had to. I had to think about my health in a serious manner and Jeff and I had to discuss our five year plan with some semblance of reality for once too. A big change for a couple who flew by the seat of their pants a little too much and possibly snacked a little too often. Like I said, before baby there was nothing serious afoot that made me wake up and start living my life. Now life with a baby has given me incredible focus. Why? Because I have thirty minutes a day to focus on myself and that is all. It would be ludicrous to waste away that short stint of time in front of the television. Maybe this will sound borderline trite to some, but I use that time to write. I still believe in it. I still believe this is positive energy in the right direction, so? I write. Most times it goes: turn computer on, set it down and deal with baby Jo. Open Microsoft Word, set it down and deal with baby Jo. Write first sentence, set it down and deal with crying baby Jo. Reread first sentence and scrap it, set it down and feed baby Jo. Finally, at the end of the day I have a half decent blog entry to contribute to the void and to me that feels like a great achievement.

Since Jonah’s arrival I’ve felt more alive and more in control of my own life than ever before. Why is that? Because of him I find myself seriously making plans to go back to school, making plans to move, settle down and buy a home and I feel more capable of taking action than in times past when I tried to jump-start with the same list of plans. Maybe it’s because in these little moments I have to get things done all I am really able to accomplish is small steps. One after another. Nothing to be weary of or fearful of, just one step at a time, and then I put whatever it is down and I look after baby Jo. Something about this new rhythm has me mollified and I am becoming more and more the woman I want to be. It is possible having my first baby has put me, finally, on the right path. Knowing all the while as Jonah makes his baby steps in growing up, I am shadowing him with steps forward of my own. Someone said to me that having children so young would allow me to grow up with my children. After actually having the baby (the part I most feared) how hard can doing a little growing up really be? If my little mexi-bean can … surely I can too.

So, this exhausting process of bringing up our newborn has brought about many positive realizations. One being, having too much time on your hands is more of a detriment to one’s life than having very little time. I have managed to find time to dedicate to me and surprisingly I don’t waste it as I wasted all my time before Jonah. Of course, in an effort to keep this blog honest I must admit there would be many more blog entries if I wasn’t so in love with one thing. After a long day of diaper changes, feedings and keeping an orderly house when Jonah falls into that deep sleep where nothing disturbs him I adore laying him on my chest and letting that time just slip away … I will never consider that a waste of time.

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