Long Time, No Blog

So, I guess it’s been a while since I last posted here.  This doesn’t bode well for the next few months since I have just started back to work teaching as of yesterday.  More on that later…

Since my last post about K’s Birth Day we celebrated her turning one.  I made these:

K wore this and looked super adorable:

My mom came to visit for about 5 days and we went on a few outings.  We went to Elbow Falls and played in the rocky water’s edge and had a yummy picnic.  As well, we went to Reader’s Rock Garden here in Calgary and walked around enjoying the beautiful grounds and had lunch. 

I love when my mom visits!  R totally gets in to the novelty of having another adult in the house who is somewhat wrapped around her little finger!  R wants ‘gwamma’ to do everything – brush her teeth, put on her PJ’s, read all the books, play all the games and do all the puzzles.  It sure gave me a break before this crazy week of back to work!  Grandma D really is the bomb.  I love houseguests that you don’t have to impress!  I am lucky to have a mother and a mother-in-law like that.  I do a house clean just to be a good hostess before they come, not because I think they are going to judge me.  They help with the kids and chores and it makes for a lovely visit.  Please come back!  Mom?  L?  Are you reading this?  Come BAAAAACK!!!! 

So.  Back to work.  It sucks.  I have the girls at a day home.  The provider is a lovely woman who looked after R for 8 months when I went back to work last time when R was 1 and I was alrerady preggers with K!  This lady is lovely, warm, strict and less than 5 minutes from my house.  In other words:  Perfect.  Still, I can’t help but shake the feeling that I didn’t have kids for someone else to raise them.  When school really gets going next week the girls will be with her most days from about 7 am to about 4 or 4:30 every day.  I might get to see them for a few hours in the evening for baths, fights at dinner (FML) and maybe a late evening trip to the park but not likely.  R was always a ‘late to bed’ girl but K sure isn’t.  7:30 is pushing it so I really have to get my cuddles in before she freaks out and needs her bed!  My heart is breaking a little each day and I am going to have to get used to this new reality we have in store for us.  I am scared for the state of my house (I give it two weeks until we are living in a shambles and need an intervention)  and the state of my kids!  And my heart!

I feel passionately about my job.  I love teaching and I have a great teaching partner this year.  There are many reasons for me to be happy about going back to work.  A dual income household will be a nice change!  Blah blah blah.  Nothing compares to being the one to see your kids reach new milestones instead of having your lovely day home woman tell you about them.  Moulding other peoples’ kids all day and having no energy to do the same for my own precious babies just doesn’t seem like an appropriate payoff. 

Sorry to be such a downer…  Maybe all you other working moms out there can shed some light on this one.  How do you juggle it all?  Pills?  Booze?  Hired help? 

I’ll update again on this soon…  I think I can do it.  I think I can I think I can I think I can……

A year ago today…

I was in the hospital having just given birth to my second daughter, K.  As we celebrated her birthday today I was experiencing a mix of emotions ranging from happiness that she is indeed growing up happy and healthy to a kind of sadness that time is passing by so quickly.  A year ago she was a tiny lump of awesome in my belly, then vagina, then arms and now she is a huge package of walking, ‘talking’, laughing joy.  Here is her birth story:

Let me preface this story by saying that in the weeks prior to giving birth to K my Dr and I agreed on a plan.  Because she worked only certain days on call in the hospital, and we both wanted her to be the Dr to deliver the baby she had helped me care for, we decided that I would give birth on the 10th.  I wasn’t going to be induced or anything, I was just going to make it happen.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but it happened with my first so I thought I could do it again.  Raspberry leaf tea and unfortunate sex made R come on the planned date as agreed upon with the same Dr so I thought I could do it again.  I drank the tea but couldn’t make my husband ‘do that’ again because it was just too much to ask but we did put together a shelf together so that is the same thing.  Lo and behold, 4 am came around (same time as R started her process less than 2 years prior) and I was waking up with some lower abdominal pain. 

I went to the bathroom, tried to poop, but that wasn’t it and so I thought, ‘hey, maybe I am in labour’.  My labour tends to progress pretty quickly so I woke M up and said that things might be starting to happen and he chuckled because it actually was happening on the day I predicted.  I was a bit bummed because if my labour this time went as fast or faster as the one before, which I thought was likely, I was going to miss my Dr’s shift by a few hours as she didn’t work until the evening.  Also, my mom was flying in that morning at 10:30 and she would most likely miss it too.  Oh well, she was planning to be at home for R and not in the room like she had been the time before, so that was ok. 

Anyhoo – back to the pain.  For the first 45 minutes or so it was just pain, nothing too unbearable but we called M’s aunt to come look after R.  Her husband answered the phone at 4:45am and said something like ‘so you’ll call us in a few hours when you need us?’.  I said, ‘no, come now.  I go fast’.  Aunt V indeed made it over as I was in the shower and she got some instructions from M.  I got dressed, put some makeup on (why?) and came down to say hi to V.  I had to pause for contractions now and rock through them, but nothing too horrible.  Maybe a 5 on a scale from 1-10.  M had made me toast and a nectarine for breakfast which I knew I should eat but had a hard time choking down.  As we left the house and drove down our street I realized I had forgotten my wallet – so we did a U turn which sucked and got the goods, and sped off to the hospital.  Contractions were becoming increasingly painful and required some good breathing and eye closing to get through them in the car, but I could walk to the maternity ward so it couldn’t have been that bad…

We got checked in and I was about 2 cm when I was examined the first time and I asked to get in to the shower as that is what I had enjoyed last time.  There wasn’t a good chair to sit on so M placed a metal chair in the shower stall for me to sit on.  I was having back labour this time which was new so I spent a few hours in the shower alternating between sitting on the chair and facing the wall with my back to the shower and rocking to bring the baby down.  As I stood, I could literally feel my muscles clenching and pushing the baby down little by little.  M asked me around this time what my pain was at on the scale and I said about a 9.  It was starting to hurt like a mother and I was starting to make some pretty good groaning noises.  With R I had used anitnox (the lovely tanks of gas that just help you relax between contractions) but this time I was trying to use no pain meds to get me through it.  M had to pause to make a call to our good friend P so she could pick up my mom.  P is an exuberant person and clued in to the fact that M was calling from the shower in the hospital and I could hear her over the shower noise and through the phone which was not on speaker express her excitement.  It was a pleasant break from my pain which was now at a 10.  My water hadn’t broken yet, but after a few hours in the shower the nurses thought I should be checked again. 

I dried off and got checked and was at about 7 cm and did some more breathing and moaning on my side in the fetal position.  I was told I could get back in to the shower but knew I couldn’t move as this is the time they call ‘transitioning’ when you feel like your body is about to rip in half and you might puke while it happens.  At this time, I started to sound like a bleating lamb but was reassured by everyone that I was doing well and M thought so too.  I was in the zone, and every touch and sound was a danger to shaking me from that precious place.  I thought I had been at a 10 given what I remembered from last time, but I think I was now at a 12.  It fucking hurt.  I started to feel a bit of an urge to push and asked to be checked again.  I was at 9 and it was go time. 

A bunch of people (I have no idea who – my eyes were closed – it could have been a team of clowns for all I know) wheeled me to the smallest delivery room ever.  I feel so sorry for anyone who was in the hallway at that time who had to see me get wheeled away to have my baby.  I was making some ungodly sounds at that point and probably succeeded in convincing every woman in that ward, pregnant or not, that they wanted an epidural.  To any of you who are out there and might be reading this, I am sorry. 

We got to the room and I was checked again and was told there was just a little lip of cervix left and that if I started to push that I could move it and get this baby out.  I remember with R having a distinct, overwhelming urge to push.  Like when you have a big poop and your body takes over and shoves it out of your body for you.  That is what the urge to push in labour feels like – but bigger – because you are pushing out an impacted bowling ball and not a cooperative poop.  I didn’t feel this with K because she hadn’t descended enough due to my unbroken water, the fact that her head was facing the wrong way, and the cervix lip.  So, to deal with all this, my water was broken with a crocheting needle and some Dr’s hands went in to my vagina to pull up towards the ceiling on the lip of cervix and down towards my bum to give me the feeling of needing to push.  This didn’t really help.  I started to push and couldn’t really get in to the groove.  I was frustrated because this wasn’t what had happened last time, and my perfect labour was in danger of being not so perfect. 

To add to things, K started having decels (decelerated heart beats).  Drs again put their hands up my lady business and attached a monitor to her scalp to keep track of things.  One of the lady Drs got in my face at some point and said that ‘this was not good.  She isn’t tolerating the contractions well.  We need you to get her out or we are going to have to intervene and help you do it’.  Words like ‘vaccuum’ and ‘forceps’ were thrown around and I was definitely out of my zone.  I was starting to get anxious, panicky and scared and just wanted people to stop touching me so I could get back in the zone and work with my body to do this damn thing! I said as much and the Drs (who numbered three at this point, with two nurses and a team on their way for the baby, just in case…) and they backed off for a few contractions so I could try on my own.  No dice.  Vaccuum time.  In what felt like less than a minute and not more than the duration of two contractions, K’s head had a vaccuum attached to it and she was pulled down in to the correct place in the birth canal and there it was!  The poop feeling!  I felt the urge and with the help of the vaccuum I crowned and pushed that kid right out!  Pop!  I collapsed in to tears as they took her over to check her out and asked over and over if she was ok.  Her apgar was 9 which was good.  She was fine!  I know how close we came to having a different outcome, and as much as I struggled in the following weeks to come to terms with how my labour got out of hand at the end, I am grateful that those professionals did their jobs and got me a healthy baby in the end.  I only needed a few stitches – 5 minutes worth, and then it was over. 

I got to see my favourite Dr later that night as she stopped in on her rounds.  We were both bummed that she hadn’t been there as my Dr for the birth, but she oohed and aahed appreciatively and it was a nice visit. 

See video:  I have just eaten the most amazing tuna sandwhich in the world and am so swollen and tired.  I observe that K has a ‘bum chin’ which is my favourite physical trait on my husband and two girls and other than that…  observe the bliss. 

Happy birthday to my little one. 

Ask The Real Mom Lady: A New Advice Column.

Dear Real Mom Lady,

I was at the store the other day and a question of etiquette came up.  Is it ok for me to keep parking in the spot designated for pregnant ladies and moms/families with small children even if my kids are 9 and 11?  And if they are plannning on staying in the car while I shop?  The reason I asked is because as I got out of my car this lady driving a minivan (ugh!  right?) with limp hair and those stickers on her windshield advertising to the world that she has three kids and a dog gave me a really mean look.  Like, she was pissed!  I saw her later in the store with her kids crammed in to the cart, carrying a box of diapers and opening a packet of cookies to give to her kids.  First of all, that is stealing until you pay for it.  Second of all, it isn’t safe to put all your kids in the cart.  Third, would it kill you to run a comb through your hair?  And that of your kids for that matter?  What do you think Real Mom Lady? 

Sincerely, Confused and Repulsed. 

Dear Confused and Repulsed,

By all means, keep parking in that spot designated for pregnant ladies and parents with young kids.  As well, keep a running mental tally of all their shortcomings and failings as a parent to bring up at your next dinner party.  I am sure you were NEVER in her position as you most likely always had your act together and always had time to shower.  As well, please make sure to cut in front of her in the checkout line next time you see her, or another woman like her.  They love it when you do that as it gives them more reason to look nasty and ungrateful.  You probably have somewhere important to get to like a supercilious convention or a haughty meeting.  She can wait.  Also, if her kids start acting up in the cart behind you be sure to turn, look at them with disdain and roll your eyes.  It helps.  Also, take your sweet ass time paying for your one or two items and drive really quickly in the parking lot on the way out. 

Hope that helped!

RML

 

Dear Real Mom Lady,

My 10 year old daughter was watching a mash up of Pussycat Dolls and Lady Gaga videos on the YouTube the other day and asked if I would buy her a belly shirt so she could show off her flat abs.  Should I?  I don’t want her to be uncool or made fun of by the other girls… 

Sincerely,

Undecisive. 

Dear undecisive,

Yes. Absolutely.  Buy her a belly shirt so she can show off excessive amounts of her skin and expose her at an early age to inappropriate sexual objectification.  If she happens to attract the wandering eye of a pedophile, all the better.  While you are at it, buy her short shorts that expose a bit of butt cheek and get her to wear the items together to the first day of school.  If she complains that she is cold, tell her to suck it up and wear what you bought because if she doesn’t she is being ungrateful.  Having your child grow up long before it is necessary, and buying into stereotypical cultural norms is the way to parent if you want to teach  her about the ‘real world’.  By the time she is 13 she should know how to flirt to get ahead in life and should be getting condoms and a perscription for the morning after pill in her Christmas stocking. 

Good luck! 

PS.  Buy a matching outfit for yourself and wear them together!  Everyone loves a mommy-daughter duo at the bars!

RML

Chapters Has Free Daycare! Not really… but some people are stupid.

I was browsing at Chapters the other week as some moms and kids are wont to do on a rainy day.  We had some birthday gifts to pick up and R needed an outing so playing at the train table and looking at books seemed like the perfect way to pass an hour or so.  Until we got there. 

R, K and I rolled up to the kids play area and R noticed the plasma car was not being used so she got on and got ready to play.  This gorgeous little girl immediately ran over and grabbed the back of the car with an intense look in her eye that eloquently expressed “MY CAR”.  I said to the little girl “no honey, it is her turn now”.  R misunderstood my vague use of pronouns and thought I meant it was the little girl’s turn so she hopped right off and relinquished the car.  R ran over to the cute little shopping cart and started to play with that instead.  Little girl darts over and the same situation played out with my repeated use of vague pronouns and R giving up the toy.  I realized I wasn’t being clear and walked over to R and said quietly “sorry kiddo, I didn’t mean for you to let it go.  She is having a hard time sharing today”.  All the while this little girl’s mom is sitting over in a chair with a friend who has an infant, sipping her venti latte and happily letting me parent her child.  Now, maybe I should have seen her venti latte as a cry for help.  Maybe she was so lacking in energy that she needed to injest the caffeine, ignoring all her obligations and responsibilities as a parent.  Maybe it was a matter of health, mental or otherwise.  I don’t know.  Either way, her coffe and conversation was clearly so pressing that she was completely ignoring her daughter.  We were all trying to ignore her daughter actually.  To be honest, her daughter was acting like a bit of an asshole.  She was screaming any time someone touched one of ‘her’ trains.  She was running around grabbing things off the shelves and from other kids (i.e. my kid), and was basically being a little terror.  By this point her mom had taken some notice and was shouting from her chair “you need to change your attitude, you are in so much trouble, no treats for you”. Little Terror (LT) kept responding in increasing volumes “NOOOOOOOOO!  I AM CHANGING MY ATTITUDE!  I WANT MY TREEEEEEEEEEATS!”.  Other mothers were rolling eyes at each other, steering their kids away from LT and her mother and trying to ride out the storm until they left. 

It took way too long for them to leave, but when they finally did R actually breathed a sigh of relief and got down to some satisfying play time.  I hate to judge (not really, I do it all the time), but when a mom is clearly doing little to nothing to model appropriate behaviour for the kid who is acting like an LT I have to lay down some judgement.  Namely – get off your ass!  Who do you think you are letting your kid run around terrorizing the place just because you want to veg out and drink your overpriced coffee?  Chapters is not a free daycare!  It is a public place!  I wanted to punch her kid in all honesty but in hindsight I feel badly for poor LT.  With no guidance, rules, consequences or behaviour modeling how do you expect your kid to thrive?  I would have much more sympathy for a kid who is being a bit of a terror if their mom or dad was right in there trying to help them make good decisions.  What a shit show. 

Anyhoo, we played, had snacks, and spent way too much money.  It was an enlightening afternoon.