Wednesday, November 16, 2011

18 months


Sweet Boy,
You are our world. And what an amazing way you make it perfect, special and wonderful everyday.
In the last 3 months you have put on more weight and grew a little taller. I think you're about 25 lbs now. You're wearing 18 months clothes and size four shoes.
You arent talking much yet but you make a lot of noise anyway! You are constantly chattering about and giggling which is super fun. We hope you talk soon.
You are a master at walking and its pretty funny to see you almost run. I'm sure very shortly you will be running and climbing everywhere.
You are so curious about the world. You are starting to show your nurturing side. You love to pet Figaro and give hugs. You also hug your Tigger, your Elmo and your Pierre the Penguin. Pierre is your constant companion, especially at bedtime.
As for eating, you do pretty well most days. Other days, you refuse. Thats ok, we just roll with it around here.
You make maman and papa laugh everyday. Your little spirit is so beautiful.
We call you Boobs, Boobers, Sweet Boy, Beautiful Baby, Maximusisus, Beau Garcon, amongst many others.
You have all your teeth but your bottom canines and your 2 year molars. Pretty sure those fangs are coming soon though.
You constantly have owies and bo-bos, all that running and exploring brings about new bumps along the way. Your favorite toys are your blocks, cars and trucks. You also love music and every night we read a story. Sometimes Papa reads to you in French, other nights Maman reads to you in English. You like to "read" along with us.
You started with some slight tantrums recently. You are quite dramatic already. You yell and bend at the waist if you dont get your way...I'm fairly certain you'll be a body thrower when you get to the full on tantrums.
Many nights when Maman is feeling grateful or if we didnt get a lot of time together before bedtime, I'll sneak in your room, gather you up in my arms and sit with you in the chair, in the dark, gazing at your sweet face as you sleep. I lightly give you kisses on your cheek and stroke your hair, whispering how much I love you. You smile sometimes in your sleep, and Maman feels warm and wonderful inside during these special moments.
Sweet Baby, we adore you through and through. You are our greatest joy, our greatest pride. The love we have and feel for you cannot be described. We are so lucky and blessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Desperation

In and out...

In and out...

In and out...

The door continues to revolve.

The bed fills.

And then empties.

It fills.

Empties.

Haunted eyes and agitation.

Eyes like glass marbles.

Eyes like pins.

Eyes searching for hope.

Eyes reliving years of trauma.

Sullen face, gaunt with years of abuse.

Abuse...both self-inflicted and inflicted upon.

Waiting.

Waiting to live.

Waiting to die.

Waiting for an absolution, that may never come.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Big girl with a big girl job can finally afford big girl hair, hahaha!

Its been this length since April but I can finally color it professionally

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Baby Items

I decided to post my top ten cant live without baby items. These are things that worked for me and my household and my son, but may not work as well or be as necessary for others or for my own future children. They arent in any particular order either since I use/used them all quite frequently. I'm also not linking anything to other websites...Google is your friend :)

1. Ad.en + An.ais mu.slin blankets...seriously, the best thing ever. The boy loves these blankies and they are so nice and big. I only have the lightweight single layer blankets but hoping to get some double layer for the next baby. Love them for naps even during the hottest weather because baby still wants a bit of covering and they are so breathable, they are even nice to throw over a stroller or car seat for a bit of sun shade.

2. My breast pump. I started with the Fi.rst Ye.ars MiP.ump and it died after 4 months...it was not a very good pump either so I didnt really miss it but I was pretty upset that I spent the money on it only to have it crap out. Do not recommend this pump at all. I then purchased a Med.ela Swi.ng which is a single electric pump and loved loved loved it. I had a pretty decent output from the first pump but I can only imagine my output in those early months with the Med.ela. Even though I stayed at home for my son's first year, I still feel a breast pump is an essential for the nursing SAH mother though the model or type may depend on your own need. Because I was at home I didnt need a double pump or the really high roller...but I was never good at hand expression and wasnt patient enough for a manual. I used it to pump and freeze a weeks supply for our planned trip when the babe was 7 months old, freeze for dad to feed when I was working my course or on a Saturday, or just to have dad to feed if I was out and about. It was also super useful in keeping my supply up and helping to relieve engorgement in the early days.

3. BabyL.egs. I cant say enough except to say I have a serious problem because my wallet has taken a hit, haha. Baby has 23 pairs and counting...probably....if we ever have a little girl, I am so screwed. He wears them everyday, summer or winter. Especially nice to just pair up with a onesie, makes diaper changes so easy. For winter, it adds a nice layer underneath pants especially useful for little boys who may not have other options for layering. The patterns and colors are super fun and jazz up outfits. My DH also loves them and does not see them as "my boy wearing girly legwarmers" but an essential part of his outfit. I guess its my way of having a really cute accessory for a little boy because they get really screwed compared to little girls when it comes to the accessories.

4. A change table with storage. I bought a high end dresser with a change table attachment to it (basically 4 pieces of wood attached to the top that can be removed) and I love it. I love having all of his diapers, wipes, meds and other baby hygiene products in one place. I have never had an issue with hauling him up the stairs or into his room to change him. Some parents may prefer to just have supplies all over the house for easy changing but that kind of extra clutter would drive me up a tree. Plus when we are done with the diaper stage or outgrow it, it will just look like a normal dresser in his room.

5. A big cushy recliner. The glider looked nice but for the money for a good glider, it seemed to make more sense to spend a little more and get a big cushy lazyboy type recliner/rocker. It is located in his room as well but will probably move it to our basement when we are done with the baby rocking stage. I think the recliner will fit more with our long term needs than the glider. Plus it was so nice...so so nice to have in his room for night time feedings. It was warm and cozy and very comfortable. Many days when he was not such a new baby anymore, I would fall asleep with the baby in my arms and we would snooze there all afternoon. A few nights I fell asleep nursing and would wake up with him still latched on. Much better than a glider in my humble opinion.

6. Swing. We got a used swing off a classified website and it was a huge lifesaver. It allowed us to eat our meals in peace during those early months. He rarely napped in it though, I just never allowed that to become a habit, but he was very content when he was in it. Of all the other big baby toys we have (the exersaucer, bouncer, jumper), I miss the swing the most.

7. Sleep sacks. Love Love Love....so nice, so cozy, and washes well. He has been wearing them from 4 weeks on and will wear them for a long time yet. I'm in favor of the Perlim.pinpin brand found here in Canada. There isnt a huge swath of material on this brand and they are perfect for either long jammies or just a onesie. I bought two from Sea.rs and they were so big and bulky, I hated them. Plus they come in fleece or bamboo cotton or regular cotton. And they arent overly expensive like other brands (I'm looking at you Gro.Bags). I think I may get a few Ad.en sleep sacks for the next one.

8. Baby carrier. I have a soft carrier (the Baby K'T.an) for the early months and the Er.go for the later months. Love them both, DH loved them both too. The K'T.an was so nice and easy to use and the Er.go makes it very comfortable to carry a heavier baby. It was so much easier to use in lieu of carrying him in his car seat (our infant bucket is super heavy just on its own, nevermind adding the baby weight) and really nice for quick trips.

9. Pack n Play....we use our pack n play a lot. We are often at the in-laws or traveling around every which direction so its so nice to have a safe place for the baby to sleep while on the road. He's almost 16 months and we are still using it. He never plays in it though, just for naps and sleep.

10. Sle.ep She.ep. We figured out around 3 months at the height of baby fussy hours that a white noise machine was in order. Hence our purchase of the Slee.p She.ep (we have the On the Go mini verision). Instant relief. Love it for naps and bedtime, he still uses it. Even I find it soothing. We sorely miss it if we forget it at home and its so cute and easy to pack.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

15 Months

Sweet Boy is 15 months and his 15 month is already almost over! How time does fly!

In the last 3 months he has changed so much and he is becoming such a character.

For instance:

His little "crawl" showed up around 12 months and we dubbed it the wounded animal crawl. He would lift his right leg and place it foot down and then drag his left leg behind him to get around. He just refused to use his knees. Oh well, it got him to where he needed to go and he is quite fast. And his right flank must be really strong, lol!

He has gone from 4 teeth to basically having a mouthful including his first year molars. He's missing his fangs yet (not sure what they are technically called right now but anyway) but its crazy...his mouth is just full and its wild how quickly they have sprouted up. His molars were coming through during our hottest week of the summer so the poor boy had a slight fever and dealing with the heat...yucko. He has had his first major illness this summer...a more serious cold than the one he had earlier this spring including a cough, drippy nose and pink eye.

He eats most things but like the typical toddler has days where he pretty much refuses to eat the things he liked two days before. His go to staples if he is acting particularly fussy about food is bananas, raspberries, yogurt, cheese, chicken, oranges, waffles, lasagna, scrambled eggs, and PBJ on an english muffins (or any whole grain bread, no white bread in this house). He drinks about 16 oz of cows milk daily spread out in four bottles. He has mastered the sippy cup so we'll be weaning the bottle by 18 months. Quite honestly the only reason I still give him bottles is so that I know he's getting a good quantity of cows milk a day, especially on days when he isnt too wild about food.

He's taking the pacifer less and less and can go to bed at night without one. The daycare is working on the naps thing. He will be cut off whether he likes it or not by 18 months.

He loves cars, balls, stacking, tearing down, blocks, and reading books. He understands hugs, bye bye, and pretty sure he says num num when eating and is happy with his food. He doesnt have much else for words other than mama and dada.

He took his first independent steps at 14 months and last week at 15 months, he just took off and is full on walking now. He's so cute. Watching him taking those first steps took my breath away and made me tear up. Sure the other milestones are cute and fun but walking...just seemed like such a big deal. Of course now he thinks he can climb stairs, little bugger, and I know he practices climbing the slide at daycare.

He's happy and giggly and full of energy. He almost always has a smile on his face. He sleeps through the night for 12 hours and takes 1-3 hours of naps during the day (sometimes a morning and afternoon, sometimes a long afternoon nap) and generally doesnt fight bedtime or naptime much at all. I just lay him down and he's out.

He's such a good little boy and we are so blessed. He makes us smile all the time and we count our blessings every day!!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday







Excited for fall!! A waterfall in our town








Saturday, August 13, 2011

Big Changes Ahead

In mid-July I had an interview at our local hospital. I have sent hundreds of resumes over the last 4 years to that brick and glass palace. Its brand new building in town, just opened in January and its HUGE because the mental health and general health joined up to make one big conglomerate. I finally got the interview.

The interview was HARD...they asked real questions, not the fake standard interview questions. I took everything I learned from my failed interviews in the last 6 months (especially the bullshit one I had in June for my agency when I supposedly didnt answer the questions fully) and went to town. I had absolutely no read on the supervisor...the HR lady seemed to like me but the guy who would be boss was flat. If I remember right, based on what I know about the guy, the flat affect wasnt all that surprising but it was still really hard to judge how I was doing in their presence.

So because I have had a rough 6 months in the job department, I walked out feeling ok maybe even good about my performance but not really hopeful...hope has been dashed too many times to count.

Then a week after the interview, I got a call from the the HR woman to ask more questions about provincial registration...great....so I stroked my current program manager`s ego and asked her to fill out some paperwork for me so it could get started and the HR woman said she would get back to me by the end of the week with a decision about it. At this point, it was 50/50 because they were calling so it sounded like I was still in the running but the damn registration could be the deal breaker.

Turns out it wasnt. They called me back last Friday and offered me the job!!!! I'll be working at the residential drug treatment centre as the Concurrent Disorders Outreach Specialist. Basically counselling for people that have mental health and addiction issues. I'm so so so excited!! As for the registration, they have made it a condition of my employment which isnt an issue. Full benefits, pension, sick time, vacation time, and a really awesome starting wage.

Finally...finally...finally...my hard work is paying off and all the frustration, anger and tears are now a memory that will hopefully never return or at least not for a very long time.

Our first goal...to buy a van. It feels so good to actually plan for the future now instead of sitting in limbo. I start September 6th for three days of hospital orientation and then my first day at the centre will be the 9th.

Woo hoooooo!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Daycare

I have read tons of posts on daycare...the details, the good, the bad..

I can honestly say that our transition to daycare was so smooth it is utterly boring.

His first day, DH took him in. No tears from anybody, and Sweet Boy immediately loved his teachers. This boy loves everybody, he doesnt have stranger anxiety or separation anxiety which has been a huge help in his arena.

His daycare is a French facility....French staff, French literature and notices, French everything. My DH is fully bilingual but they are super accomodating for this Anglophone mother. I do understand some things in French and can communicate un peu (a little) but I'm happy they are so willing to speak English to me. Some of them are *very* French, which may sound weird but it just means that French is their first language and it is obvious that they sometimes struggle to find the English words. All day long Maxim hears French and it is truly amazing what he understands now in both languages!! Its true when they say babies are sponges, it has never been so apparent as now when he is learning and understanding two languages.

There are currently about 10 babies in his room and 4 staff. Most of the babies are over one year old (Many Canadian mothers get one year of mat leave) but there is one or two that are under one year. He'll stay in the baby room until he is 18 months and then move to the toddler room. For the first few days, he didnt eat much. And his naps were wonky but he still napped. After 3 days, he was back into his old routine. He is always in a good mood and always reported to have good days. So far, no major behavior problems or anything which is so reassuring and nice. At least two days a week they have theme days or organized activities. Tomorrow for example is Halloween Day...so he's supposed to wear a costume. Next week there is Wear Pink or Red Day and Eat Ice Cream day, haha....other days they go to the local early years centre, the YMCA for swimming or the park. They take walks in the stroller once or twice a day.

Other than that, not much is really earth shattering about daycare. The cost is like carrying a second mortgage ferchrissakes which is the truly shitty part of it all. We get two hours in the evening with him before he goes to bed which is precious, plus our weekends.

As for me, I feel like I'm a much better mother and more productive person all around now that Im working again. The morning routine was so easy to get into it felt like we were doing it for forever already. I miss the naps I used to take when we were home and there are times when I wish we had the freedom like we did before, but then I also know that it wasnt always a good thing too. Because I know that its good for me and good for him and that he has done well so far, I feel zero guilt about the choice to work and send him to daycare everyday. He loves going and his face lights up every afternoon when we pick him up. As a family we have become healthier all around in the last month and that is truly priceless.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Brief Update

My computer went to hell on me...well its been on its way and traveling through the circles of hell for awhile now. It reached the 9th this week and I put my foot down. So yay for a new laptop!

We really dont torture our poor baby by forcing him into the lake as may be evidenced by the previous Wordless Wednesday. The last two weekends have been super hot and the lake now feels like a pool so he is loving it. He still prefers his baby pool but thats because the small waves sort of make him uncertain. He LOVES floating in his blow up elephant though, laughs galore. And he gets such a kick out of DH diving under water and coming up on the other side, splashing and such.

3 weeks back to work now and its still meh. I just go. Its a very impersonal sort of existence. I mostly hang in my office and only talk to people (except my friends) if necessary and usually by email.

My fat cat will not leave me alone tonight. Ugh he is so needy!!

My pants dont fit and this is a problem. I have been limiting my food intake and making healthy choices for the last 3 weeks and havent budged. This is highly annoying...it makes me want to just eat cookies to justify my lack of success.

Im so sick of the political bullshit coming from the US. My god, my country sucks lately. Seriously folks, get your shit together, its embarrassing. Repub, Dem, Green, Purple, Black, White...whatever you want to call yourself its still your fault...its all of your fault.

Speaking of the US, I'm awaiting my US return...still...wtf...

Our house is an epic filthy disaster...I cant wait for summer to be over so we can be here for more than 5 days at a time and I can get shit done. I can keep it picked up but to actually deep clean it...not happening. For the record, it wasnt happening before I went to work either.

Its hot...damn hot. Im over this little heat wave. In a house with no A/C, we are not sleeping well at all. Bring on the fall.

Im working on finishing up two online courses. Glad it will be over, but glad I did them. It was nice to do it in the online format. Hopefully it will help me later in life. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Snakeskin shoes are fabulous. They get lots of attention.

My baby is a vacation this week with his grandparents. We are starting to miss him but we get to see him tomorrow and take him home with us on Sunday!

He's thisclose to walking...he took 3 little steps last week. Come on big boy, you can do it!

I have 5 books on the horn...I love camp in the summer, and reading for hours on end while the baby naps or plays with his dad in the lake.

Time for bed...once this summer business slows down, I hope to update more regularly. Still have to write about daycare and such and other things that have come to mind.

I still lurk and read your blogs even though I havent updated mine! Keep posting!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

First time in the lake

Not sure about this, Papa

And done!









Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Working Maman

I have a new role yet again....that of the working maman.

Its not ideal but it is a paycheck for now, and godwilling, something else will come up very very soon.

When I got offered my current contract, my DH called our first choice for daycare and they had a spot for us. So off the wait list we went into active status. We had 2 quick 30 minute visits for Sweet Boy to meet the staff and for us to complete the paper work. He started last Wednesday.

This boy loves people. Loves them. He has zero separation anxiety and stranger anxiety. He was immediately comfortable with the workers.

His first day was last Wednesday and DH took him in (the other bonus...the daycare is literally a 2 minute walk from DH's work...he can see it from his window). I got out of bed to help get him dressed and fed. Off they went at quarter to 8 and there were no tears or drama from any of us. I went back to bed and went about my day. I called at noon to check in and he was doing great! Apparently for the first 3 days last week, he had some wonky naps and didnt each much but was in good spirits and played nicely and all that jazz. I had 3 days to sort of prep for work...go shopping for work clothes which I had not done since before getting pregnant and get some things organized here at home.

I started work on yesterday and so far so good. I'm loving being back at work with adults and having that interaction and challenge. Its not hard for me to go to work or take him to daycare. I had a few people offer their condolences to me about daycare and I really just didnt get it at all. I can understand if he was a really young baby or if I was really dreading going back to work but I was happy for this new change. I was blessed to have more than a year with him at home but being at home isnt for me for the long term. I know a lot of moms love staying at home and may not understand my feelings but I think there are many other moms who perhaps DO feel the way I do about staying at home and dont say it because they dont want to be viewed as a bad parent. I know I only tell a few trusted people that I much prefer to be working. I also know and have known for years that with the lifestyle and our personal finance situation that even if I wanted to stay at home, it just isnt what suits our family which makes this a very peaceful decision.

I also feel very confident in the facility and the workers. It is a beautiful set-up and very well organized and will easily transition him through into the school years as well. Plus its French so he will be getting his French language skills every day in addition to the words and phrases DH and his family teach him. Its already so crazy how much French he understands. Plus he is getting back on track with his appetite and nap patterns and today the worker commented that he doesnt seem to miss us or wonder where we are. He just seems to know that we'll be coming back for him and he lights up like crazy when he does see us.

I also feel like I'm way more motivated and organized to keep my house in order and maximize the time we have as a family. That feels good for me because we living in less chaos right now than before. Its quite nice.

Overall, this has been a very necessary and very good move for me and our family. So far no ill side effects other than our cat is more needy again because he's alone during the day, haha!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Weaned

Last nursing session, 13 months 9 days





Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Off the Planet...

I took a self-imposed hiatus after I did not get the latest job that SHOULD be mine...its a long story but its a mess for sure and I've been majorly fucked over. I'm bitter, angry and resigned. Oh the ranting, raving and colorful language you would have heard if you had been a bug on my wall in the last 3 weeks.


So I tried to get off the planet last week...


That sounds really grim but in fact it was not at all what that may imply.


Basically I came home two weeks ago from the cottage, after hearing about the job results, and hating my house, the environment, the hopelessness. It was literally making me sick to my stomach where I would spend every morning on the toilet (sorry for the TMI). Not a good way to try to keep my happy child happy. If not for my motherly duties, I doubt I would have gotten out of bed. As it was, I barely got dressed and showered. Good thing babies dont care if you dont wear clothes for a few days.


Oh and DH was ignoring me and the baby too. That felt great. Not only did I feel very alone within my own depressed mind, but I didnt even have him here mentally. We werent even mad at each other. So he was here but really wasnt.


So it was a real party around here.


About checking off the planet...basically I decided I would take the baby and go to the cottage for a week. So by checking out, I had no internet or network (no smart phone for me) so no way to stay in contact with anybody except my DH. I ignored all other texts and phone calls. So we texted back and forth every night trying to work out our shit and he would only send me important messages from my emails (job interview related stuff). To say it was nice would be an understatement...it was heaven.


We are far too overly connected or plugged in. One of the reasons I dont have a smart phone is because I dont want to be that plugged in. When you unplug from the world, you realize how hooked in you are and how much you really dont need it. It was a very nice break to just be. I got loads of sun, slept in every day (yay for my MIL taking care of the baby), read 4 books, drank with my BIL's and in general forgot about all my cares or worries.


Now that I'm back, things are somewhat improved. I'm going to work on Monday but its only a contract. Its a paycheck and thats it. I hate them with every inch of myself but I refuse to let utter incompetence break my spirit. Besides, it will make them sweat to see me every day which will be rather enjoyable in a sadistic sort of way. Oh and I have another interview next week too for a place I have been dying to get into for a few years now. DH and I are in good spirits again and my bowels are back to normal...go colon go! Im kinda hoping that whole you dont get handed more than you can handle shit comes true soon because I'm at my limit here...you listening universe?! I'm over it.


So thats that. Will post pics for Wordless Wednesday, Sweet Boy's transition to daycare (he starts tomorrow) and other such things.


Here's a few pics anyway...he makes me smile everyday!





Everybody loves the drummer

First time in the lake...not a fan this year


Kicked back in the pool..this is much more my style

"Get off my lawn!!"



















Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Clearly the yoga mat is helping Figaro reach his fitness goals

I might steal his method

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Shoes

I happen to think that most women should own at least one pair of rockin red shoes. To me, red shoes ooze sexiness, power and confidence. They can make most outfits look instantly interesting and fabulous, especially black and white clothes. I have 4 pairs of red shoes...a pair of red, cheap foam Old Navy flip flops, a pair of red ballet flats, a pair of really high heeled peep toes that are sexy as hell but difficult to wear and my favorite pumps and ultimately what I think of when I think of a sexy red shoe....





The ring bearer and I...he really liked my shoes cuz they were shiny like his!

Me and Ju rockin our red shoes in the Bahamas


I bought these red shoes for my BIL and SIL's wedding because my dress was black and white striped and I insisted upon finding red accessories to complete the look. I searched high and low for these red shoes and finally, Al.do became my new favorite shoe store. Since then, these shoes have been my favorite item in my closet and they are treated like glass...they dont even mix with my other shoes in my shoe closet because I dont want them to get ruined. I wore them in January in the Bahamas....

Posing before the wedding


And for a late night wobbly-pop enhanced walk on the beach...



And I wear them at work often as well. I wore them to court. I get tons of comments on them all the time. They dress up jeans, they are fun to dance in and they work with my formal dresses. Unlike my peep toes, my first foray into sexy red shoes, they are also very comfortable and easy to walk in.



I have made a practice of wearing red for job interviews. Red is my favorite color and I look good in it. Wearing red makes me feel confident. I generally wear a red shirt under my suit jacket. Interestingly, wearing red seems to make me feel like my interview has gone well...my other interviews when I do not wear red do not go as well. All coincidental of course, but interesting thought on how we are dressed changes our inner perception of ourselves. I do not however wear red lipstick. Red lipstick is a whole other level of attention. For red lipstick to be even remotely possible, one must choose the right tone for their skin and their hair, other makeup and clothing must be impeccable. Especially the rest of the face and hair because so much attention is drawn to to your face with red lipstick. I do however intend to find the right shade of red lipstick at some point and eventually will figure out how to tame my hair to make red lipstick work...anyway, I digress.


I have a job interview today and I intend to wear red. I will probably not wear my trusty red pumps but likely a red shirt under my suit jacket. Or hell, maybe I will wear my red shoes anyway. We'll see. At any rate, its a "red shoe day" as I've come to call them. A day when attitude, grace and confidence is felt and when personal power is symbolized through red shoes. Even if I decide to leave them in on the shelf in my closet, I will walk in there and act how a woman feels when wearing red shoes...with attitude, confidence and grace.

Oh and if I get this job...I'm gonna treat myself, be frivolous and find a pair of faux snake skin pumps like my blogger friend Alyssa found...now those are power shoes!













Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

New friend-Birth Day 2010


Still friends-1st Birthday 2011



This penguin is very special...he has several penguins, all with their own special meaning. This particular penguin was purchased by me when I was 37 weeks pregnant and anxiously awaiting his birth. I brought it with to the hospital and it was my focal point and comfort during labor. I slept with it in my arms every night until he was born, it symbolized my new baby I was desperate to hold and brought me peace and hope.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sweet Boy is a Big Boy



He's yelling at me from his high chair, mouth stuffed full of Eggo.

Feed meeeeeeee.....

Last year, we were trying to fix his latch. He was still yelling at me, just in that sweet newborn cry, not the high pitched banshee sounds he makes now.

Sweet Boy is eating breakfast now. He nurses once a day in the morning and to be honest, I could stop at any time and I dont think he would care much. He's also refusing any veggies, the little stinker. I've tried telling him he cant live on PB and J English muffins, puffs and yogurt...but he refuses to see reason.

At any rate, his birthday was very good. On his actual birthday, I was alone with him much of the day. He got to take his morning nap in my arms. Then we played outside in the grass with his bubble maker, it was such a lovely day. When he woke up from his afternoon nap, I sang him Hap.py Birt.hday and started crying. It was a happy cry, like last year when he was born. DH came home from work and we gave him his cake...homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He wasnt so much of a fan of the taste but he played with it and made a big mess. We had a party on Saturday with DH's family and a few of my friends. My parents Sky.ped in too which was cool. Low key, lots of food and beer, and baby boy opening his presents. We didnt try to give him cake again, but tried some vanilla ice cream. He spit that out too...it was either too cold or not enough flavor, haha. It was a nice quiet get together...the big birthdays with goody bags, kool-aid stained floors, and tons of rug-rats running under foot..those can wait until he starts school.

Lets see what else....oh yes, he can push his play table across the room now. He loves that thing, he stands at it and bounces up and down dancing. He claps his hands on demand and also high fives. He's got quite the sense of humor and now tries to "tickle" me so I'll start tickling him. Mostly this is just stiffening his body, smiling really big, and grabbing my chest, similar to what he does when I tickle him. This usually happens when Im trying to get him down for a nap or bed time. He now has 6 teeth with two of top teeth popping through. He's also going to bed and sleeping through the night which is oh so nice. He doesnt move forward or backward on his butt but he turns himself in circles to get around. Its too funny...he launches his toys and then turns in circles until he gets to them. He loves books and reading. And he loves music too, oh this boy loves music.

The year has gone fast...and slow at times too. We cherished every moment. Its true though that time really flies and things change so much. I cant wait to see what this year brings for us. We are blessed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Our sweet boy is 1 year old. He's 1!!!

I cried singing him Happy Birthday today. That was both expected and unexpected. Expected because I'm such a sap and unexpected in that it is just one example of the depth and range of emotions I have felt today.


He makes me swell up with pride and joy and happiness.


So much has changed in a year. In him, me, DH and our family.


We love him dearly.

I guess I dont have the words right now to describe his birthday and how we celebrated. I cant put all his milestones into words. I'm all ferklempt.





This boy. He makes our hearts sing.






This boy. Loves us unconditionally.




This boy. Has changed our lives.






This boy. Amazes me.






This boy. Has the most beautiful soul.






This boy. Calls me maman.





And for this boy, I am humbled and grateful.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict

Some smart psych guy figured out that humans have three types of conflict that create stress...approach-approach conflict, avoidance-avoidance conflict and approach-avoidance conflict. Approach-approach is the most desirable type of conflict to have because no matter your ultimate decision, the outcome will be positive. Approach-avoidance conflict is likely the most common type of conflict we face and its the weighing of the pros and cons of our decisions for each direction has its positives and negatives. And then there is avoidance-avoidance conflict which is the rock and the hard place, the most stressful sort of conflict in which there is no desirable outcome to be found.

Unemployment, job hunting, moving, and the decisions that come with it in my particular situation is mostly avoidance-avoidance. None of the decisions have a positive outcome right now, other than the ultimate goal of getting employment.

I have a BA in Psych and and MA in Psych. In the US, these are respectable degrees that get jobs in mental health and addictions without too much fuss. Generally, a graduate degree is necessary if one wants to make more than $20 an hour though. Yes there is an exam and licensure to be done in most states but this isnt unattainable by any means and there are plenty of entry level jobs where the appropriate supervision and steps towards licensure are found. Before moving to Canada, I did some basic research and found that the requirements for professional work are not that different and that my degree would be useful here as well. Of course, when I went to school and decided on my program I was looking at my future in the US, not anywhere else. I know that my degree is making my fellow grads very successful in the US in their chosen areas of work.

In Ontario, the Social Work degree is stroked lovingly and most jobs in mental health are looking for a BSW or MSW degree. Social workers manipulate the system, moving people, advocating, case management. At least that is their training. However, in Ontario at least, they have evolved into counsellors that offer services beyond their scope. I have way more experience and actual training in mental health, addictions and appropriate therapy techniques than brand-new BSW grads and yet I'm being passed up because I have the wrong letters. To register with my MA in the SW college requires me to have supervision under a social worker and "competence in core areas of social work." To register my MA in the psych college, I need to have supervision under a psychologist and then I'll be autonomous but this takes several years. Both of these options mean I need a job under said social worker or psychologist....see the problem? Cant get registered without a job, cant get a job without registration.


So what does one do with 2 degrees, 6 years of schooling, several years experience and 100k in debt? Here are my options...any thoughts you may have are appreciated.


1. Get registered with the SW college one of two ways...try to find the one job that doesnt require registration right away (virtually impossible because BSW or MSW grads can walk out of school and get registered whereas I have to do all this extra garbage to prove my "competence") and work under a social worker to get registered. This may not work either, I've known a person that tried to go this route and was still denied registration despite working in social work for many years. Getting registered with the psych college is useless at this point...MA candidates will be phased out of getting registered in that college and only doctoral candidates will be registered.


2. Go back to school to get the "right" letters (a BSW) and then get registered. This burns my ass to no end. I cant afford it in time or money and it just really pisses me off that I even have to do this when its the SAME thing (and I have more, thankyouverymuch). I am in major anger mode when I even entertain this idea. It would likely take me 1-2 years to do it hopefully I would be able to transfer a number of my credits...but its the principle of it all. I do not need another series of letters behind my name, the ones I have should be more than good enough. The only way I would consider going back to school is for a doctorate in psych but thats even more time and money and still not certain it would work out to anything.

3. Change my career path completely. This makes me all sorts of angry and sad and depressed. I am very good at my work, it is my passion and I've worked so hard. I also feel that I havent been able to get really established in a long-term position in the field so to throw in the towel now is just frustrating. I have NO IDEA what other career I would even want to do or what I would be good at doing. It is unbelievably scary to even entertain this option. I'm not ready and I dont think I ever will be...but the longer I'm on the outs, the harder it will be to get back.

At this point we are also being forced to move which DH has been fighting for awhile. He's finally come to the realization that we need to move for both of us to be working. My DH is trained in computers and education and he's bilingual...he's golden no matter where we go in the province. Its me that is slowing us down and our town is just not working anymore. We dont want to move...we've been in our home for only two years, we'll take a big hit when we sell. Hopefully by moving and getting us both working, this will be a temporary financial blip. We have an awesome circle of friends here, finally after 4 years I feel like I fit in up here. DH's family is a mere 90 minutes away and we spend a great deal of our time with them. Its scary to think about moving but its scarier to think about what could happen to me, us, our home, our finances and our marriage if something doesnt change soon.

Oh and here is a sobering statistic that CBC The National reported the other night....the unemployment rate for immigrants in Canada is 14%, double the national average. Boy that really gets me all giddy and hopeful inside....





Next...The Fight (for real this time)....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weaning

Weaning....we are in it at full speed right now.

Since Sweet Boy's weight stalled right around 9 months, after wrangling with the doc who knows nothing about BFing, we decided to introduce cows milk around 10.5 months. There is tons of advice out there about solids and BFing. It seems ambiguous and cookie-cutter and I finally just stopped reading and started looking at him. He didnt take to solids at the 6 month mark, it was more like 8 months. He didnt want to do BLW like I planned so we did a mix of purees and table foods and he went to full on table food by 11 months. He seems like a bottomless pit some days when it comes to eating. It stopped making sense to keep boosting my milk supply when it was clearly dropping off naturally due to him wanting to nurse less and eat more. I get that 90% of his nutrition for the first year should come from breast milk and I did everything right about offering the breast first before food, etc etc. It just was much harder after 10 months to keep going against what he wanted and what was frustrating to me. He took to the cows milk really well and at first, I replaced one nursing session with cows milk. Its progressed now to where he is nursing at wake up and at bed time. He night weaned himself about 3 weeks ago which Im relieved because I didnt really want to fight that battle. I wasnt really going to push night weaning until after his birthday but I'm glad he did it on his own. As a result of cows milk and a hearty appetite for food, he's gained 2 lbs. He's still hanging around 17 lbs which is a bit small for his age but I'm not concerned at this point. The boy loves to eat and he eats everything we put in front of him. I will never blame BFing for his weight stall though, I think he's totally normal, he was just really ready for more.

Weaning has its mix of emotions of course. I realize the importance and benefits of extended breast feeding into the toddler years. I give mad props to those moms who continue to nurse toddlers. As my baby approaches toddler status though, I find myself getting impatient with nursing. He has bitten me a few times which I've been able to tolerate well despite the intense pain. However now he's just leaving deep teeth marks when nursing, not intentionally biting, and nursing has become uncomfortable as a result. He isnt much of a comfort nursling either. I'm ready to have my body to myself again before I get pregnant and start the cycle over. Hard core breast feeders dont believe that is a valid reason to wean but I think a mother's feelings matter just as much as the child's and if it clouds my nursing relationship, its time to move forward. I have finally been able to wear regular bras during the day again which makes me happy and confident in my appearance again. Nursing bras do absolutely nothing for a woman's figure and I'm glad to be throwing mine away soon. I have said recently that I will start at 12 months and hopefully by 18 months he'll have weaned on his own completely. I think it will be much faster than 18 months though considering we're already down to two nursing sessions right now.

And yet part of me knows I will miss it. I already miss it, each nursing session seems to be a small little goodbye to his baby years. Its a sign of the next step, the next period in his life. I'm not sure if I'm ready to have a toddler though I dont have a choice. I have cherished 99% of our nursing moments together and I'm proud of both of us for sticking it out. I know that when I'm older and grayer in 18-25 years and watching him graduate high school, go to university, get married...that I'll be thinking of these days. It already makes me sad to know that he wont fit in my lap forever and that he doesnt even want to sit with me for very long now. Staying at home has made me miserable many days, but it has also enabled me to reach my 1 year goal of breast feeding without the hassle that working moms have and for that I'm grateful.

So here is to the next step. Kicking and screaming into the toddler years. I dont feel guilty for this decision to parent-led wean, just nostalgic and weepy. I suppose this is just normal as my baby approaches his first birthday on the 11th. He'll be enrolling in college on the 12th.

Day 13-A Song That Is Your Guilty Pleasure...

This song makes me crank up the radio, sing as loudly and badly as possible and dance like a complete moron. It makes me feel sexy, to the point where I should have a pole at hand and some slutty clothes because I feel like a whore and shake my ass when I hear this song. One of my friend's says the same thing...it brings out her inner slut kitten. I love it so much and its a recent pop tune by Rihanna. I should say now that I have a huge girl-crush on Rihanna. She has an amazing set of pipes, her music is fun and infectious and she is incredibly sexy. I give her mad props for handling her personal life with grace and strength as well. When she performs on awards shows, I must watch. Her vocal strength is really at the forefront of this song. And the video is fun...though I feel like I should drop acid before watching it, I like that its not choreographed and that she dances awkwardly and seduces the camera awkwardly (well as awkward as she'll ever get) at times...like a real woman instead of a polished dancer. Just a fun song all around and who doesnt like to feel like the only girl in the world who know how to make their men feel like men?

Rihanna-"Only Girl (In the World)"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 12-A Song From A Band You Hate

I generally hate very few bands but I usually dislike manufactured pop stars that are so auto-tuned even I could sound good if I looked that good. I also tend to dislike female artists that are more about selling sex than about writing or singing music that matters. Hey sex has its time and place and I'm not completely against it...I have a few guilty pleasures in music. Anyway, I hate Taylor Swift and Ke$ha...Taylor Swift is incredibly over-rated in my opinion and has way too many accolades for her youth. There are women in country (and pop) music much more deserving. Listening to her sing live vs. on the radio are totally different. She was brutal, absolutely brutal at the Grammys, when she sang with Stevie Nicks. I hear she has an entertaining concert but I'll pass. Her music is rather mediocre at best, mostly sappy teeny bopper songs about puppy love and teenage concerns...all well and fine but she's quickly approaching an age where her music needs to grow up a bit. It pains me to say that I actually like her most recent single "Back to December." I only like it enough to say I like the lyrics and the tune...if it was another singer, I would LOVE it. It is more grown up, compared to her earlier tunes. So I'll post that one because its the most tolerable. I hate Ke$ha because she is everything wrong with the music business these days....auto-tuned, glitter covered, dirty, cracked out trash. I get that she's meant to be a keg party music sort of star and not really to be taken seriously but I cant even stand her enough to dance mindlessly to her music. Yes I have strong opinions, haha. I wont even bother posting one of her videos, but that "We R Who We R" makes me want to stick knives into my ears.

Taylor Swift "Back to December"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 11-A Song From Your Favorite Band

Well I already said that DMB is my favorite band but I have lots of other favorite bands too. DH introduced me to Our Lady Peace a few years back and its been a wonderful love affair ever since. We saw OLP together twice in concert. The second concert I was 37 weeks pregnant so it was Sweet Boy's first rock concert, hehe. They have tons of great songs but after hearing this song live twice and getting chills both times, I love "Naveed." It was their first single waaay back when they were young bucks in their 20's and new in the biz. Its so raw and Raine Maida's voice is like no other. Oh and Raine is gorgeous too and has aged very very well (he's in his 40's now). The best part of the second concert I went to was that Raine came out into the audience, climbing over the seats and stopped right in front of us and our friends...he was literally 5 feet away (I was on the end but he was right in front of DH and his buddy). I'm not a celebri-freak but heaven help me if I didnt get giddy and lose my breath in those few moments as he sang in front of us. It would only be matched if Dave ever got that close but Raine...oh Raine...

A photo of mine from the first concert we attended...its an amazing shot because of the lighting and the shadows and the fact that I was trying to shoot it from several hundred feet behind hundreds of other people. This was taken while they were playing "Naveed." Amazing.





Our Lady Peace-"Naveed"

3 Questions....

In my opinion, polite conversation doesnt involve and refined folk dont ask these three questions of a woman...

Her age.

Her marital status and if it will change any time soon.

The state of her uterus.

If any of the above questions come up, I think a refined woman should be able to temporarily lose a few notches in her finishing and tell the questioner..

Go Fuck Yourself.

First, lets talk about age. Well lets not, that just goes without saying.

Second, the marital status question. Thankfully I didnt get this much when I was single, but I have 2 single friends who get it all the damn time. Seriously, I know that they would like to be in relationships and/or married but no amount of prompting and nosy questions from everybody else will make them suddenly have relationships.

Finally, the womb question. Easily the most invasive and personal question on many levels. One it is an inquiry into a couple's sex life and that is just way more than I want to reveal or know about someone else. Two it may be a very painful question for couples having difficulty with trying to conceive, driving the knife of heartache in further. Three, it just opens up the questioner to then invoke their personal opinions and experience on child-rearing and spacing. We got this question a lot immediately following our wedding, like many newlyweds, and now we're getting it again as Sweet Boy approaches his first birthday.

"Time for another one." (Whose clock are you watching? Cuz it sure aint mine)

"Its easier when they are both still in diapers. Then you dont get out of the habit of dealing with diapers" (Easier? Pourquoi? In your humble opinion perhaps, but in mine, paying .40 cents per diaper is not easy on my wallet (in Canada...in the US they are roughly .23 cents which is why I stock up in the States when possible) and is already a nightmare, why would I want to be doing double if I can try to avoid it? Of course I'm flexible enough to understand that potty training my first child will not happen before second baby so come what may. Further to that, when I signed up for this mommyhood biznass, I resigned myself to 6-8 years of diaper changing so there is no chance of the habit being dropped anytime soon).

"Its easier to deal with the sleepless nights." (Ok I sort of can get on board with this, its one reason I am keeping the spacing somewhat close together...so I dont forget the sleepless nights with a newborn. However, quite honestly, I think STTN is a complete myth. After dealing with teething, sickness, messed up routines due to traveling, thinking we've developed a good pattern of sleep and then wham! STTN is no pony I'm going to jump on and ride any time soon. FTR, Sweet Boy has been STTN for 3 weeks now and is completely night weaned on his own. Going back to night nursing wont happen but STTN...that ball will drop again Im sure. Again, sleeplessness is par for the course for the next 6-8 years.

"They'll be the best of friends growing up." Whatever...they could also be mini terrorists towards each other too. No amount of planning for close spacing or not will ensure that my children will be loving, shiny little cherubs and love and respect each other so much their little halos will gleam daily. In fact, I think their halos will be tarnished and crooked at times and thank god for it...it will make things much more interesting around here. Plus they'll fit in better with their crazy mother and father.

Anyway, Im already trying to field this question as politely as possible now that its upon us once again. So well meaning nosy aunties, grannies, other moms, complete strangers...the status of my uterus is not up for analysis.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 10-A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

This one was hard, since I dont listen to music in bed or to help myself fall asleep. It gets me too wired and gets my mind running which is the opposite effect one wants when they need to rest. But jazz or classical piano are always good choices if one wants to rest the mind and body so I chose this one. Its a standard thats been around since 1935. Classic, never out of style, and pure talent.

Duke Ellington and John Coltrane-"In A Sentimental Mood

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 9-A Song That Makes You Dance

So many songs make me dance. Music is meant for dancing, whether its a slow lovely waltz, a fast two-step, a head banger or a hip shaker. The joy of music is expressed in dancing. And I cant pick one so I'll pick three...I could go on and on and on....

The first is a very popular drinking song in Canada from a very obscure band. Its their only hit and I never heard it south of the border living in the States. It always gets me going, its just a fun-spirited tune. The first time I heard it was at a party with my DH's friends and I felt like I belonged with them. This is a fleeting feeling with this particular group of friends so I enjoy it when it happens.

Spirit of the West-Home For a Rest



A more recent one is by Santana and Chad Kroeger. I love Santana, he's so talented. It reminds me of hot summer nights, seduction, sweat, feeling carefree, parties and sex.

Santana f. Chad Kroeger



Finally for something completely different. This is a very country song. It reminds me of my roots, growing up the Midwest. Of wheat fields and wide open, clean skies. Where every grandma, auntie and mom taught their boys how to dance the two-step at the small town weddings, barn dances and in their living rooms. The small-town boys know how to dance, how to treat a lady on the dance floor. When my dad taught my 10 year old self to two-step at my cousin's country wedding. I danced to this song with my grandfather at my wedding who is a mean two-stepper.

Alabama-Mountain Music

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 8-A Song You Know All The Words

I have a black and white sketch recreation of this picture I picked up in a hole-in-the-wall store on Mackinac Island. Its hanging in my music room next to another black and white sketch of The Beatles and a color sketch Dave Matthews. It was hard to choose the sketches because they were amongst a whole whack of other sketches of artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Garth Brooks. The three I chose sort of display the essence of these particular artists as opposed to the others where they were album covers or less than accurate depictions (caricatures) of the artists.

Anyway, one song I know all the words to is "The Best Is Yet To Come" by Frank Sinatra. I listened to a ton of jazz, big band and Frank Sinatra in university. My mother thought I was completely nuts, a 21 year old singing Frank. So I have a closet obsession with all things Frank. Here he is, accompanied by another master Count Basie. Fun facts, it was the last song Frank sang live way back in 1995 and its the epitaph on his tombstone.

Frank Sinatra-"The Best Is Yet To Come"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Bubble...

Picture it....

Easter Dinner. 12 adults, one infant all seated at a table full of wonderful food. The turkey cooked lovingly by auntie, gravy steaming. The lasagna catered in by a local Italian restaurant. At this point you may be asking turkey and lasagna?! Where the hell are the mashed potatoes? Yes...its a wonder to us all. I dont ask questions anymore and resistance is futile. Caesar salad, dinner rolls and wine. A very Canadian Easter dinner.

BIL- with humor and half-seriousness, "How did I get stuck in this spot? (next to baby). Me-"His dad should be sitting there (with an eye roll directed at DH). DH-"Should I move?" BIL-"Its ok, we can bond.

Great Grand maman #1-"Baby gets to eat with us too. Hopefully he gets small bites, we dont want him to choke. Is it ok for him to have lasagna?" (Thanks for the passive aggressiveness Mamere).

Great Grand maman #2 (in a very thick French accent) "He's so cute. Look at him" (him said with emphasis as if he's the only person in the room)

Baby has been seated at the table for over 5 minutes already, nibbling on a buttered dinner roll. He's happy and quiet. Then the the other food starts making its way to the table and the buttered dinner roll is discarded like an old pair of socks.

Baby smells the lasagna and starts screaming...screaaaaaaaaaming like he's being tortured. Because waiting even 2 minutes to get served is torture. Because he doesnt understand that steam rolling off the food means its too hot for his little mouth. Because he can see the food and smell it and oh he's never even had lasagna or turkey and gravy but damnit, he will not be satisfied with a dinner roll, no matter how heavily it is buttered.

Great Grand Maman #1-"Oh he's hungry! Feed him!!" (like we're storming the beaches of Normandy, her command resonates across the table)

MIL-"He is with us at the table!! How exciting" (this has been repeated ad nauseam for months now since he's started to eat food so my only response is no shit and an eye roll)

Finally the lasagna gets to his end of the table and baby's mother stupidly thinks she can share a piece with the baby. But once baby gets his first bite, its clear he's turning into a ravenous lasagna banshee. Oh and its still hot but mother thinks she can eat some of her food a bit, blow on baby's food and baby will stop the endless banshee screaming between bites. Not so, screams the most impatient baby ever.

Me-"DH, get me my own piece of lasagna please. DH-he needs at least 5 instructions to complete one task "Where, what how..." Me- frustrated with the screaming baby, annoyed at the grandma's and starting to get angry at how I cant eat even one bite of my own salad, lest the banshee let out another yowl for food that is just too hot still "Just put a piece of another plate, damnit, the baby is going to eat this entire piece on his own"

Baby gets a bite that is too hot and lets out a squawk rivaling an angry crow, starts crying profusely. He's pissed.

Me-"Damnit. Its still too hot for you, its too hot. I'm sorry honey." Baby-Screaming and now crying, but mostly screaming because he wants to eat again but has no concept of too hot. DH-"Geez, its still steaming. Me-really annoyed and nerves are on their last thread "I didnt take from my new piece dear." Grand maman #1-"Oh no, you burnt his mouth. Give him the dinner roll." DH-"His piece is still steaming too." MIL-"He just wont stop screaming until he gets fed...ahahaaaa, thats so cute." Me-Loud sigh, eye roll , biting tongue and teeth grinding. In head---Piss off all of you. You try to feed him and keep him happy, putting your own meal on hold. I cant help it that he's screaming, you try reasoning with an 11 month old. And if you all dont shut the hell up, I'm going to shove this baby spoon, complete with a steaming piece of too hot lasagna, up your asses. Where the fuck is the wine?

MIL-"Here is the cake. Maxim gets a piece of cake." Me-bewildered because she knows how we feel about sweets (no sweets before first birthday) and forcefully from the frayed nerves "No Maxim will not be getting cake." DH-nervous laugh to break the tension. BIL- genuinely, "Why not?" Me-Explain without getting defensive our reasons for not allowing sweets right now and limiting sweets in the future.

One glass of wine isnt enough...where is the bottle?

And so, that was our Easter dinner.

I just described a version of what I call the Bubble. Its a place all moms probably find themselves at one point or another or perhaps the entire time they are trying to raise their kids. Its a place where first time moms especially toil under scrutiny. Where everybody stares and makes comments like mom and baby are zoo attractions. Where people try to be "helpful" with their advice and comments and passive-aggressive suggestions. All the while putting pressure on mom to perform, be perfect or at least look competent in the eyes of those that feel they would do differently and therefore better.

I havent been a mother for even a year and I cannot stand or tolerate this aspect of motherhood. Other moms will say "just get used to it." Well why the hell should we? When there is already so much pressure from within ourselves to raise our kids by our standards, why must we live under the bubble of raising our kids by another's standards? Especially by those that already raised their children (an older generation from a different time) or those without children. Dont get me wrong, when asked, a little advice can go a long way. From the right people or with the right suggestion, it can be priceless. Most things can be listened to and discarded. But the Bubble is different...its the under the microscope scrutiny picking apart on display zoo animal feeling. Its highly stressful for everybody, especially mom and baby.

Ugh....20+ more years of the bubble...or maybe the bubble goes away when you have more than one kid? Pushing out another baby means you've reached the level of competent parent? Hell if I know, I have a few more years before baby #2 comes along to test this theory. In the mean time...

Pass the wine.