Monday, December 30, 2013

my love hate relationship with facebook & the beginning of the great purge

Lately I find myself spending WAY too much time on facebook. I feel like it's unhealthy and defining my daily life far too much. It's so easy to do, especially when you stay at home all day with a 5 month old for company.

I keep telling myself I can't help it, I need facebook, my brain is turning to mush without social interaction. Especially the mom groups that got me through the roughest stages of the newborn baby/mama phase.

But here's the thing. I think my brain is turning to even more mush by spending so much time on facebook.

So I've started what will likely be a massive facebook purge. I've left the mom group that I was starting to feel addicted to (or rather, had an unhealthy obsession with). That's step one. Step two: I logged out of my facebook app on my phone. I'll be honest, I feel a little like my day is a lot emptier but I'll adapt. For now I still keep reaching for my phone, out of habit, to check in on facebook.

I think that empty, knee jerk habit is telling enough as it is and honestly, reason enough to cull facebook from my daily life.

I suspect that within the next few days I will delete the facebook app completely and start removing myself from even more pages/groups. After that... I'm not sure. Maybe removing photos.

I don't know if I'll ever completely leave facebook, but I am definitely going to minimize it's role in my life.

Who knows, if I stop spending so much time on facebook I might surprise myself and start blogging regularly again. Or find more time to get outside, do yoga, or crafting. Or spending more time being present with this little one:

Friday, December 20, 2013

diy Christmas cards

A while back, I did a Stampin' Up class with Claudine and learned to make these gift card holders that I immediately thought would be perfect, if adapted, for my holiday cards this year.

And we ended up with the cutest holiday photo of Liam from our Magenta photo shoot..

I just love it when I good plan comes together!

Materials used:

Red cardstock : cut into 10 & 5/8  x 3.5 inch strips
Kraft cardstock : larger round punch
White cardstock : smaller round punch
Washi tape
2 round punches (one bigger than the other)
foam tree stickers
Stampin' Up envelope tool

I folded the paper at the 2 inch mark for the bottom and 7 1/8 mark for the top flap.
Punched slots into the bottom flap to hold the top portion.
Wrapped washi tape around the front and back of the bottom in order to create a pocket
Added washi tape to the top only before layering with the circles and tree sticker.

Pretty simple really.

Here's what it looks like on the inside:

The best part of the card is really the photo inside. Hopefully most of those receiving cards from us this year will have received them by the time this post goes live. If not, well here's the sneak peak of what you're getting. If you didn't get a card, please don't be offended. We only did so many, and generally sent them out to immediate family or people who sent us cards last year. We didn't want to start card exchanges with people who might have felt burdened to send one back if they got one...

Card giving politics can get tricky, you know?

Regardless of whether you got/get one, we wish you a happy holiday season!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Either motherhood makes you an idiot or people really are stupid.

Why you ask?

Because about at least a third of baby clothing seems to come with tags telling you to keep the item away from fire.

Say what?

I'm not making this shit up.

Yeah... keep away from flame. Because apparently there's a slew of baby roasting parents out there. Them witches with their baby eating ways, I tell ya!

Seriously. WTF? How close to an open flame are people getting with their babies that clothing makers feel the need to warn parents to keep away? And why, pray tell, are children's clothes flammable when none of my adult clothing seems to be?

in case you didn't believe me that the above was baby clothing

Either they're making baby clothes with the intention of making said baby roasts easier or my clothes are just as flammable but they don't care to warn me. Cause apparently I'm supposedly smart enough to dress myself and keep away from an open flame but not my baby.

Yup... they don't tell you that your brain apparently turns to mush. Once baby has arrived all common sense goes out the window and they don't want to get sued for my stupidity. Because lets face it, this is kind of like the getting burned by a cup of hot coffee. If you hold your baby so close to an open fire that its clothes can catch on fire ....  I'm going to put it out there and say that maybe, just maybe, you weren't so smart about parenting in the first place?

I'm just saying.

Welcome to mommy land, apparently it comes without a brain...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

pinterest hack: chai concentrate

I love me some good chai and I'll admit it, I'm quite picky about my chai. Most commercial tea companies who make chai do a piss poor job of it. I'm just saying. They overload on the cinnamon and drown out the other flavours, notably the cardamom.

just a few of the spices involved
That said, I've been eyeing up chai concentrates for a while now. When I found this chai concentrate recipe, it seemed like a delicious mix. And while it is by no means a substitute for the chai I drank in India, it's a pretty good take.

I think in the future, I'd cut a bit of the sugar from the recipe, or recommend a different concentrate/milk ratio. I find the half/half mix a bit too sweet for my liking. And I love sweet, so it's sweet!

In the end, I did a 2/3 concentrate, 2/3 milk, 1/3 water. I don't know if it's the ideal mix cause it waters it down a bit too much. So I will play with the sugar in the beginning next time. She says you can cut the honey, but honestly it adds a nice depth so I think I'll keep it and just reduce the sugar by a bit.

Overall though, it's a win. Yay, I love it when my pinterest finds work out. I think that next time though, I'll can it because it only lasts for a week in the fridge (apparently) and well... I missed that part of the instructions and might have made too much to possibly drink in a week.

Live and learn...

Monday, December 9, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand


It'll creep into your life and spread like an insidious virus, crawling into all the nooks and crannies of your world until you won't even remember what it felt like to not laugh most of the day.

That's right. Your baby will make you laugh and fill you with a sense of general contentedness that you might have never expected.

WTF, right?

I know. Who ever thought that goobery mouths and squirmy babies would make you catch yourself with the thought "Man, I laugh a lot more these days than I ever used to before baby came into my life."

Especially as you get past the newborn stage. And sleep deprivation either becomes the new norm or lessens (depending on said baby's mood that night).

Oh, there'll be mommy guilt and frustrations and resentments aplenty. But there will also be this crazy sense of just general well being that spreads to fill your days. And oddly enough, even though I'm more tired and feel like I have less "me" time, I'm laughing so much more in my life and my days are filled with so much joy.

So yeah, the shitty diapers, crying, and all that jazz... totally worth it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

diy odor eaters: pinterest hack

So I found these diy odor eaters for the diaper pail on pinterest and thought I'd give them a go. As a cloth diapering Mama I want to keep things as eco as possible so these definitely fit the bill.

Liam supervised my endeavours (demanding a lunch break... for him, not me in the midst of it)

I used:

2 cups distilled water (I had it on hand from soap making adventures)
3 cups of baking soda (which I have in abundance as you can see ... I'm an eco cleaner and baking soda is my cleaning bestie)
Random amount of drops of Zen Sparks Natural essential oil (it poured faster than expected)

I didn't expect the essential oil to be blue! I suppose it was the blue tansy?

Then I poured them into the silicone molds I have on hand. So skulls, pumpkins and flowers (extra went into muffin tin!

And then I left them to dry for way too many hours. They took forever to dry and honestly, I actually mucked them trying to take them out after about 3 days so I dampened them again and tried drying them again.

All in all about half of the tablets worked. They work in the room to some extent. But I think in the end, I would just take the baking powder, put it into a container, sprinkle the essential oil, and let it be as is in the container. The drying process wasn't worth it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

on 3 months of cloth diapering

my little fluff butt
Usually the first thing people ask when I tell them we cloth diaper is: "that must be a lot of work and what about the laundry?"

The thing is, it really isn't that much work. In fact, it's less work than I expected it to be. Maybe this is partially due to the fact that we chose the simplest diapers out there (as in, closest to disposable diapers), AIOs (all in ones), or maybe it's because, as I mentioned before, I'm already doing a ton of laundry so honestly, the laundry isn't much of an issue.

I'm not sure, but either way, I really don't find it that much work, nor that messy. I mean, really, your hands are already in the thick of things anyways with the wipes and stuff so really the diaper isn't any more messy in the grand scheme of things.

We did make some compromises. We use paper diapers when we're out. We used disposables for the first 6+ weeks (he was too small for the diapers we purchased and honestly, we had enough on our plate at the time). And we use disposable wipes. We have cloth wipes too though, so we alternate between the two.

In the entire diapering set up, I would have to say that I actually find the disposal of these wipes to be the smelliest part of the equation, which I'm sure surprises people. I guess that's because the cloth diapers linger for 2 days at most in the pail while the wipes stay until the garbage is full, which takes longer.

I've made diy odor eaters, but don't know that I find that they work that well. I think they were more work than they were worth, and they weren't really that much work.

All in all, I'm glad we're using our cloth diapers. The fluff butt (as in bulkiness of the diaper) is the only drawback because it makes his pants fit a little differently than the paper diapers do. But that's ok, he'll have more padding for when he falls while learning to crawl, etc.

Monday, December 2, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand


Oh, they tell you about the piles of baby clothes you'll be washing. 

Sad but true, Liam's laundry proves that he has more clothes than we do!

What they fail to mention is the piles of your own clothing you'll be washing because of the various baby incidents that leave them dirty. I swear, I need 3x the wardrobe to keep up with the spit up.

Everything I have worn in the past 4 months feels like it's been puked on at least once, if not multiple, multiple times.

I have at least 1 to 2 wardrobe changes a day, that's how much this kid spits up. Oy Vey!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Conversations lately

Here's what our family conversations look like these days:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

10 things right now

1. Liam is four months old now. I don't even know how that happened. It seems like just yesterday he was being placed on my chest, all squirmy and frog like, with me filled with awe over the fact that we had created this life; that he'd grown so perfectly inside of me. And look at him now:

He is a drooling, chatting, rolling over, perfect little baby boy. How on earth did that happen?

2.We finally installed our tub. It's been a long process. We bought it ages ago. I can truthfully say, had I known that it would be this complicated, I would have just gotten the tiled in tub that I dislike so much. But now that we have it, and it looks like the install is complete, it's a pretty awesome tub!

3. Paul is a great dad. I always knew he'd be but seriously... listening to him play with Liam and get Liam laughing is probably the best thing in my life right now. It makes me so happy and full of love and just content. Oh, I love watching him sing to Liam or soothe him and all the stuff in between, but listening to him getting Liam to giggle = absolute bestest ever!

Liam is learning to hold things, including his bottle!

4. I'm quickly learning that this parenting thing can bring out the best and worst in a person. Having realized that, I'm striving hard to stay on my better side of the fence. The first 3 months of motherhood were not my finest hours. They may have been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Harder than writing a thesis, harder than a broken heart caused by losing my biological father before saying goodbye or really ever getting to know him, just harder. And yet, at the same time, they were filled with awe. I can safely say now, in our 4th month, that I get why people would do this again and that yes, this is the best thing I've ever done in my life. If you'd asked me at month 2, I wouldn't have been able to say the same. I didn't like who I was becoming. But now I've regained my balance and things are better. I'm able to see my reactions and be a better mother. I don't know that all mothers are made at the moment of birth. I think for me, becoming a mother was a slower process. The bonding was and wasn't instant.

5. Since becoming a stay at home mom *on mat leave* I have discovered online shopping. This is NOT a good thing. I have also discovered that I am not the only mom with an online shopping addiction. It is a very dangerous rabbit hole and I need to be careful about where it takes me. Just because it's a better deal doesn't mean that I need it!

6. I've started hanging out with other moms. It's nice. I find staying at home really isolating so it's nice to hang out with other moms. We always have something to talk about because we are sharing the same motherhood journey at the moment. In fact, between my online and now in person mom groups, I'm starting to feel like I spend more time talking with moms than anything else. I am grateful that I've found some solidarity but also need to remember to find time to talk about non-mom stuff. This parenting thing can sort of become all consuming...

7. It's raining right now. Rainy nights always make me a little homesick. Tonight in particular, the rain is making me think about the holidays and how, as a teen, I used to watch the rain drip off the Christmas lights outside. I loved watching the colours drop. Of course, thinking about Christmas makes me remember that I'm in Quebec now... snow will be here soon enough and winter is on it's way. I hate winter. Ok, I don't hate winter. I hate how LONG winter is. If it could be over and done with by February, I'd be all over winter. But alas...

8. I'm so far behind on Project Life I'm actually daunted by the prospect of going back to it. It's not that I don't have time to do the scrapbooking. I just need to do it differently than I did before. And then my printer ran out of ink. And well, my craft room is currently a disaster. DISASTER! I need to clean it and get it sorted and then start tackling my scrapbooking. Honestly, I don't want to not do it because this is the record of Liam's first days. But by now, I feel like I've forgotten so much it makes me a bit sad. I need to write this shit down. I used to, but I've just gotten out of the habit. Creativity is a habit and it's one that I need in my life so I need to make time for it.

9. That said, I've been trying my hand at making a new holiday ornament:

This is the mock up for a crafting activity I'm going to do with other moms. Our final one will be made with a photo we had done professionally. OMG it's so cute, I can't wait to share it. Seriously. Adorbs! Yeah... I'm back at the squishy again aren't I?

10.  Well on that note... here is my son, filmed for Karen who bought him his Sophie, attacking Sophie's face. He loves Sophie these days! Hell, he loves just about anything he can shove in his mouth right now.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Liam's Catholic Baptism

On Sunday we had Liam baptized in the church we got married in 4 years ago. The priest, upon seeing us, actually asked "I married you two didn't I?" I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that we're memorable (he marries a lot of couples)...

Baptism People (godparents, priest, our little family) Photo taken by my brother in law Tom.
Liam was an absolute star. Honestly, ever since he's mastered the art of rolling over, his personality has just become amazing. He is just the sweetest, smiling baby these days. He laughs and loves looking at people.

But enough Mama gushing...

I had mixed feelings about the baptism. Anyone who really knows me, knows this was to be expected for several reasons. But that said, Father Paul always makes me feel better about the compromise I am making. He reminds me that in the end, Catholicism at it's heart is about love and kindness, not keeping up with the Joneses or judging. He brings back the laughter and lightness into a faith that I have long since abandoned because it became steeped in negativity and intolerance for me. This is not to say that I'm about to go rushing back to the fold any time soon... I have my own beliefs and they are still at odds with a lot of the core tenets of the Catholic faith. But it is nice to be reminded that good Christians are good people and that a Christian community can be a place that can bring out the best in people when nurtured positively.

So all that said...

Liam was baptised. And it was a lovely day. I don't have many pictures of my own because I was trying to be actively engaged in it. As a scrapbooker/photographer it's easy to end up being behind the lens instead of in the moment, which is something I really don't want to have happen during my son's life. So instead, I'll just do my best to rely on the photos of others to document such events.

We went out for lunch afterwards to a local Tibetan restaurant, Tibetan Om. I think it went over well. As always, the food was delicious and the service great. This was potentially a controversial choice as many of our guests weren't familiar with Tibetan/Indian cuisine, but Paul and I wanted something that reflected us and was different than the traditions we both grew up with, which are very different from one another already. As always, we are trying to find a middle ground that reflects our relationship together. This isn't always easy to do because we grew up in very different traditions, but I think that we managed to find a happy medium in the end.

Another photo courtesy of Tom. Liam in his little white outfit, chewing off Sophie's ear
More importantly, I realize that I may just be an emotional Mama for my son's events. Paul made a small thank you speech and I nearly started crying. I'm just a weepy kind of Mama I guess. Watching my son's rites of passage is something that just brings out the squishy in me. What can I say? I want so much for my little man to know love and so when I witness the love that surrounds him and us with him, it just fills me with happiness for him. I hope that he always knows how truly blessed he is in his life.

And I hope that we always manage to find a middle ground that honours where we both come from while creating a new set of family traditions for our family.

ps... if you have pictures you'd care to share with me, I'd be happy to have them!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

chocolate gift baggies

This weekend we're having Liam's baptism.* This is kind of a big deal in Paul's family. And it's kind of a foreign concept (the big deal thing) in mine. When my little brother was baptized (I'm his godmother), it really was very simple. I don't think we even had a party or lunch after the event.

But here I am, prepping for a life event that involves little bonbonieres. As a crafter, I enjoy this part of the event the most:

I'm sure I'm supposed to keep these things top secret until after the event but dammit, I've been working hard on making chocolates and pretty little baggies in between nursing and napping with a sick baby. So I'll share if I want to!

Products used (because I'm trying to be better about remembering this):

Hero Arts Puzzle Stamp
Bazzill Cardstock Paper
Baker's Twine
Washi Tape
Ali Edward's Technique Tuesday Stamp

*(No, I don't want to talk about how I feel about it, so don't ask).

Monday, November 11, 2013

liam at almost 4 months

Again, for those so inclined...

We've got ourselves a little "talker".

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

around here


Slowly but surely, life is starting to settle around here as we move out of the "surviving newborn baby" mode. I'm starting to find time again for some of my activities (not much scrapbooking though but I chalk that up to be out of printer ink).

Here's what I've been up to:

Cutting up pumpkins leftover from Halloween and smashing them!


I’ve made my first batch of baby food (I only made it because I had so much pumpkin leftover), pumpkin ginger scones and frozen more batches for later. It’s been all about pumpkin around here!

I also tried my hand at homemade granola bars. They were really easy and quick to make. I’m sensing a new trend. I really like the idea of moving away from so many processed, store bought foods. If I can, I’d like to eat more real food.


I made them with chocolate chips (cause that’s what Paul seems to like the best) but snuck in some currents to make them a bit healthier. The currents are small so you really don’t notice them at all. I’m sensing some devious mama tactics in the future…

And Paul and I took Liam to a restaurant for the very first time. Not subway or a food court. But a real restaurant. It went ok. Thankfully the restaurant in question was empty at the time. Paul of course couldn’t waste the photo opportunity to lick his son:


Aside from that…

I joined an English Speaking Moms of Laval group in September and have been slowly getting out more with the ladies. Honestly, it’s doing me a lot of good to get out more often. While I’m a homebody, there’s something very different about being in the house all the time with a little one. I was starting to feel a little like a character from The Yellow Wallpaper. So time away from home is good. It keeps the crazy at bay which is always a good thing!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In the neighborhood

Inevitably the first time that anyone comes to visit us, one of the first comments they make is that it's so far.

They're right of course. It is far from the downtown core.

But yesterday, as I ran errands in my local village (quartier, I was reminded once again why we chose this area.

I bought coffee from a local café, in bulk and had it ground for me, just the way you like to imagine coffee being sold.  I bought bagels made by a local bagel shop and they held the door for me as I left.  I like that both purchases supported a local economy and community.  I like that I feel connected to my corner of the world when I do this. 

When Paul and I contemplated moving to the suburbs, I had 2 conditions:  I needed to be by the water and I wanted to be able to have a small commercial Asta nearby so that we could go for coffee or brunch.  I love that we managed to get both. 

Picture is from the coffeeshop's Facebook page.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Everyone tells you that motherhood is the greatest. That the love you'll have as a mother is beyond words.

What they don't tell you is that it's the small moments that sucker punch you and knock you over with love, not the big ones. It's the moments like the one above in the picture that kill me and overwhelm me with love for this little man in my life.

I know, you were all thinking that I hate my son based on all my snarky posts about motherhood. But it's not true, despite how hard I find it, I do love this little guy. Quite a bit actually. Admittedly, sometimes I need to remind myself of it but he always finds a way to remind me when I forget.

For example, after some of the worst shitty diapers, he often has the best grins. Seriously, as in shit eating best grins. This kid loves his change table. Even at 3am in the morning. Even when Mama is bitching about it being 3am in the morning and no, you're not allowed to wake up and be perky now, he'll pull out the best smiles and start cooing and it just kills me even though I'm still grumbling (admittedly less vehemently).

It's those little moments when he's proud of himself because he's standing up and awed by the world he's seeing at this new level or him holding my finger while he eats or a million of other little moments that make my heart go squishy. No one tells you about them, the ones that catch you completely off guard in their beautiful ordinariness.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Ok, the next person who tells me about creating "schedules" for babies is going to get smacked.


Remember this? Yeah, he was so small. And yes, he only fell asleep on his, which is in direct contradiction to most advice!

Ok, maybe not really... but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm bitch slapping them in my head.

Why? Because I don't know what miracle babies they have, but mine wants none of it. He wants to eat when he wants to eat and moving that schedule around just ain't gonna happen easily. Sure, we're working on it. But honestly, after 2 months of poor sleeping, I'll take whatever nap times I can get people.

And my chunky monkey is content when he's well fed. And with his eating schedule.... he's definitely well fed.

I suppose some babies are perfect and follow the ideal schedule set forth by every god given gift of a baby whispering baby book author, but mine, thus far, has firmly established his contrariness towards being forced into any mould.

And honestly, I think that while that might frustrate me a little, it also makes me just a little proud that he's already keen to go his own way!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

QPop and going baby free


So I finally did it. I ventured out of my home, sans baby, for the first time. And you know what? It was awesome. Probably one of the best nights I've had in a long time.

What did I do, you ask?

I attended a live recording of Q with Jian Ghomeshi in Montreal. I'm so glad that I went. It was funny, thought provoking, re-affirming, and full of great music. It made me remember why I love Montreal so much. Honestly, after a few years of just terrible stories in the news, ranging from corruption scandals, le printemps erable, to the new proposed charter of values, it's been hard to love this province. But Jian was right when he started the show in saying that when you're in Montreal, you know you're some place special and even though it feels hard to remember these days, watching local talents on the stage while listening to insightful commentaries on media portrayals of current events makes it easier to remember again.

I'm so glad that I went. Honestly, it was the perfect night out to get my brain back into life beyond mama-dom. And honestly, I just think Jian Ghomeshi is the bomb. Yup. He (and his team) work so hard to be informed about the topics he presents. I'm in awe of what his reading/research schedule must be.

As for Paul and Liam, they were just fine without Mama. And you know what that means.... I foresee more baby free adventures in my future!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Kiss your schedule goodbye. You're on baby time now.

Baby time means that if you have enough hubris to think you can go just a little bit longer or further, baby is inevitably going to kick you to the curb and teach you a bit more humility.

I might look cute & innocent, but I have an evil master plan: thwart Mama!

Or have you pulled over in a parking lot, breast feeding because he needs to eat now and now amount of singing, reasoning, cajoling, toy or pacifier distraction is going to convince him otherwise.

Good times. There's nothing like spending quality time in rush hour traffic, just praying that you can get to the next exit faster while cursing yourself for taking the gamble.

Why oh why don't I learn these lessons faster? I'm a smart cookie, I should catch on much quicker!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Project Life: more of September

Week Two in September:

The big news story this week was the announced Quebec Charter of Values. Don't even get me started on it. I think it's an attempt by the PQ to divert the conversation with the old Quebec cultural identity rhetoric in lieu of dealing with the real issues the province is facing right now, ie the crumbling infrastructure (medical, roads, corruption, education). And while I do think it's nice to have religious neutrality in the work place, I think legislating it is a big no no, especially under the auspices of promoting values like gender equality. Not all women wearing hijabs are oppressed and if you're going after the hijabs you should be going after the Jewish Orthodox wigs then. And taking down the cross in parliament. And banning overly provocative or conservative clothing because let's face it, there's a lot to be said about "equality" and clothing choices and our reactions to them. And then we all need to start asking ourselves what every other symbol and clothing choice reflects about equality in our society. 

It's a dangerous slope and I'm not willing to go there as a country. It smacks of hypocrisy and zenophobia and is distractionary politics.

But beyond the politics it was a busy week full of visits and activity. 

Week Three:

More of quiet week after the week before. I think we needed it, especially since Liam got his vaccinations. I am torn by the idea of vaccinating an infant at such a young age but honestly too tired to do the research and thinking needed to make a more informed decision. Ok, that sounds really bad on my part but rest assured I do know a fair bit about the issue going in, I just didn't have it in me to delve into it again. I opted to do them because I want to travel with Liam and it's in his best interest to have his shots if that comes to pass.

We met up with some ladies that we met online (I blurred out the baby faces to respect their privacy). It was nice to check in, in person, with Mamas with kids the same age. The biggest things that I have taken away from them and every other Mama that I've met is that this shit is hard, Mama-hood can be very isolating, and that you should never judge another Mama because she's just trying to do her best. You don't know what she's dealing with or how hard her day has been or how difficult her child is.

Honestly, becoming a mother might be the hardest thing I've done in my life to date. It trumps dealing with Daddy baggage, being an incredibly broke student, waking up nights with panic attacks over paying back my student loans, traveling to India by myself, planning a mixed faith/cultures wedding, writing a thesis.... hell, anything! Some days will bring out the best in you and others the worst but usually you'll cycle through it all in a day. The highs and lows are just that much harder when you feel alone most of the day. I am incredibly blessed to have a husband who supports me, but even then it's not easy (for either of us). I have yet to break down and cry but honestly there are days that I have come incredibly close to it. In fact, after a rather rough yoga course this week, I almost burst into tears as I was packing up because Liam was just being so colicky that day. It can just be so exhausting to deal with some days.

So when I meet other Mamas (in person and online) going through the same journey and struggling with the same life changes it's reassuring to know that I'm not alone and that others feel the same way. It's part of the process. And it does get better. Not always in the ways you expect, but it does.

And there is something incredibly rewarding about watching your little one laugh and smile or mark major milestones in his life. Watching a baby grow, especially one you're raising, is not only fascinating but awe inspiring.

Friday, September 20, 2013

project life: september, week one

For the first time in ages I'm actually doing a weekly project life post instead of a monthly recap. Proof positive the life is starting to settle down and that it does get better after 8 weeks of newborn baby.

I added a facebook conversation between Paul and I regarding Liam's big move into 3-6 month clothing. To be fair, he still can fit into 0-3 onesies. It's his legs that are too long and chubby for 0-3, which isn't helped by the fact that we've officially transitioned into full time cloth diapering. For those of you who've never seen a baby in cloth diapers getting dressed (I hadn't in ages) the cloth diaper (aka fluff butt) is thickly padded, leaving baby with a much larger nether region. Yes, you can make all the jokes you want about it, I've heard them all from Paul already!

Point being, we have an odd collection sizes at the moment and we're sort of marveling over the fact that he's growing so quickly. Everyone forewarns you, but damn it's fast!

Also added a "Recently Reading" card (again, like the Facebook and the News cards) this was a freebie online that I downloaded and forgot to save the link for credit sake. I will get better at this one day. One day. You know, when baby mama brain isn't eating up all the extra brain cells!

In other news, the big event of the week was going to Stittsville for Paul's family golf tournament. Normally I don't go to these but with Liam around I have to admit that the idea of spending 2.5 days alone was horribly daunting so I opted to join in this time around.

The younger cousins were glad to spend time fawning over Liam (I write that with love and gratitude as it meant that I spent most of Saturday in baby free mode, which was a lovely break). Honestly, I think the hardest parts of motherhood for me thus far are the isolation and the constant "on-ness" of it. I've been working on the isolation (which helps as it comes with the by-product of getting breaks), but the hours of free family love and babysitting was super amazing.

Other than that, I added a 6 x 12 insert to record Liam's first captured smile. It's a good one! Well, it's a good one in my books. I love his coy, side smile. It's pure joy with a little bit of mischief. Totally rocks and melts my heart every time I see it.

In  the back of the insert I stored all the Welcome Baby cards we've received for Liam. This might end up overly padding my album but I figure that it'll be something lovely for him to see later in life.

And that's it. The first week of September done. It was a good week. We had some rough patches but in general Liam has been settling into his skin and we're feeling more comfortable in our role as parents. We're getting to know each and there are growing pains in that process, but for now I can say this: the awkward introductions seem to be taken care of.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

joys of motherhood: shit they don't tell you beforehand

Breast feeding makes your breasts lopsided.


What, did you think I'd actually post a photo of my lopsided breasts?

As in one will be full and the other half full or empty. And you'll be able to tell by looking at them. Your partner will too. And probably people on the street if they look closely enough.

Of course, you'll say why don't you just feed from them in a more balanced fashion. But here's the thing... sometimes your child has a mind of your own. And there's hindmilk vs foremilk and you want the baby to get the hindmilk cause that's the dope that gets them to sleep. So yeah... you'll empty one at the expense of another if it means that the baby crack takes affect and puts the little one to sleep, even for a little while.

Why? Because sleep = sanity. Sanity trumps lopsided boobs. Always.

So yeah, if you notice a new Mama with lopsided breasts, smile with kindness. She's just doing what she needs to do to get by!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

project life: august

Week One (actually kind of two because part of week one is in the July post):

Liam moved out of his newborn clothing so I kept one of the outfits he wore in the hospital. I know Paul will hate this choice because it's circles, but whatever, we have good pictures of  him in it!

 We had a fair amount of visits and I finally ventured out on my own for a walk with Liam.

 We even ventured out to a BBQ party with Liam.

Week Two:

This week I downloaded the digital Seafoam Project Life kit. I like that it has a lot more in the way of journaling cards. As much as I like the Midnight kit, I've found it hard to journal with it because I didn't buy the journaling cards (didn't love them cause I don't really like the houndstooth pattern).

I was sick early in the week but have since recovered. We had a lot of visits again. Starting to see that evening visits aren't necessarily a good choice for Liam right now. He gets over stimulated and we tend to have rough nights as a result. Need to think about scaling them back. But otherwise... our baby is growing. That's the news...

Week Three:

V came over,with lunch. I was amazed by her baby savvy. Not because I didn't expect it, but because most of my friends don't have kids so are a bit uncomfortable with holding a baby or diving right in there. I love watching people figure it out and I love even more watching people who are comfortable. I sure as hell wasn't when he was put in my arms!

Also, started exercising this week. I'm back down to my original pre-baby weight and want to lose more of the weight, slowly but surely, while I'm off this year. I know I have to be careful about it though because losing too much weight will affect my milk supply.

Week Four:

I downloaded a freebie "Today's News" (my bad, I didn't store the link) so that I could start documenting the big news stories of the week. I feel like this is something that I've been a bit lackadaisical about doing and hope to change starting now. I also added ephemera from daily life: the invite to our block party (no photos cause I felt like it might be invasive) and a postcard from Sean and Rebecca (we received it earlier but I'm just getting around to adding it). It's actually in a separate pocket, as you can see below:

Also trying to keep track of visits and random Liam info.

There's 2 blank slots saved for a photo of Paul, Liam and I.

But just so my album doesn't turn into the Book of Liam, I've added a little info from our daily life like Paul's experiments in cooking and my attempts at getting back into blogging/crafting.

And that's it for August. Welcome September and living a more balanced life with Liam, Paul, crafting, and various stuff in between.


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