25 March 2009

The Nev-er-End-ing-Wiiiii-iiin-ter (sung to the theme from The Never Ending Story).

So I've been bitching alot about the weather lately, I know. In my defense, there are a couple of reasons for this. The first is this. Today is the 25th of March, which is technically spring. Seriously. And this is what our yard looks like today. Never mind the wind chill of oh, minus 20 or so.

This is, I know, the price I pay for living in Northern Canada, and for those incredibly long summer evenings when we are still sitting around the fire pit at 11 pm, drinking a beer and enjoying the smell of poplar smoke. Mmmmm, campfire smoke. But sadly, I digress.

The other reason the weather is grating so badly is that I read blogs, most of which are authored by people who live in other parts of the country, or continent. WHO ARE GARDENING. Or at least preparing to garden. Like the Pioneer Woman, who is getting dirty in Oklahoma. Or Amalah, who planted pansies this weekend in Washington, DC. These are the things that make me jealous, people. Because as you can tell from this picture, we are nowhere near being able to plant things.

But it doesn't stop me from dreaming, let me tell you. Last year was kind of a write-off for our garden/yard. I spent all of May working non-stop at my first teaching gig, so early planting didn't get done. And then on June 21 the beautiful BabyA entered our lives.

(Gratuitous Baby Shot)

Did I mention she entered our lives via C-section? I somehow didn't have even an inkling of how a C-section is major abdominal surgery, and since I wasn't even technically allowed to drive until the middle of August, gardening was not really an option. The truth is that I really don't remember a lot of last summer, and let me tell you, it shows. Our flower beds are overgrown with grass and weeds, as is our raised garden bed. So I'm soliciting suggestions on how to best deal with this mess, and prep my beds for spring. Comment below or email me. Please. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

In the mean time, I'm trying to make the best of this ridiculous, never-ending winter. Last night, I shot this bit of video of the snow falling outside BabyA's bedroom. While I am truly sick of the snow, I can still appreciate the beauty of a good snowfall. These snow flakes were so large that they cast a shadow as they fell between the light of the street lamp and the ground. It looked the the neighbour's driveway looked as though hundreds of tiny shadow creatures were flowing of it. I'm sure this video doesn't do it justice, but it was truly beautiful.

And that's how I know I'm from the North, I guess. As sick as I am of winter, I can still see the beauty in it. Even if at this point, its more of an impatient, let's get on with things kind of beauty.

21 March 2009

On Being Sick and Parenting. Both of Them Badly

I'm posting again, and it hasn't even been one week. I wanted to point this out, so that no one would look at the date and realize this, and then faint in shock. Just so you know.

In other news, the parental guilt machine has kicked into overdrive. Because you know how I was bitching and moaning about BabyA being so cranky and clingy last time? Turns out that bit of a cough was the only visible/audible symptom of a brutally nasty cold that starts out with a sinus headache that makes your eyes feel as though they are bugging out of your head and your cheekbones are bruised and your head is a melon being pounded by a large rubber mallet. It then progresses to a body-wracking chest cough which makes you whole body ache and wakes you up in the night just to remind you that yes, you are still sick. In case you forgot while you were sleeping.

And how do I know this, you might ask? Why, because I am also sick now, of course! So while two sickly people in a house is worse than one, at least I'm no longer being a BAD, UNSYMPATHETIC parent, because I know exactly what BabyA is going through. And it sucks, just in case we weren't clear on that already.

In other news, I would like to state how sick I am (mentally this time) of whinter winter. Wait, is 'whinter' a combination of 'whine' and 'winter'? Because if so, that is exactly it! New word - whinter! I'm often sick of winter by this point in the year, but this year I think it is even worse. This may be because of the new, earlier daylight savings switch. Usually by the time it is light out until 8 pm the snow is mostly gone and some green grass may be peeking around the edges of buildings and fences. But with the new system, it is light at 8pm AND THERE IS TWO FEET OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. Two feet, people. This is seriously enough to make me want to move anywhere south or west of here. Preferably Vancouver or San Diego or L.A. or Texas. Anywhere there is NOT two feet of snow and MORE COMING DOWN RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT!!! Seriously, God, this is not cool anymore. It's just not.

So, anything else I can grouch about? Probably, yes, but instead I will be happy because my mother-in-law is now officially finished working at her old job, and is back to being available for visiting and babysiting on an occasional basis. She's been crazy busy the last couple months, and I've missed her visits. We're working on getting her reacquainted with BabyA to facilitate some babysitting at some point. So, not everything is dark and dire. I just have to remember that. Someday the snow will melt and my yard will be ready for gardening and the colour green will actually exist again. Someday....

09 March 2009

The last tiny shard of patience winks out of existence...

It's officially been two weeks since I've posted anything here, which is disgraceful, I know. These last weeks have been that brand of busy that is peculiar to having a small child, wherein one is simultaneously busy caring for and entertaining one's child and mentally bored out of one's skull. I can only stack a pile of blocks just to watch them be knocked down so many times.

Seester and the three munchkins spent a couple of days with us last week, as the school-age kids were not in school due to Teachers' Conference. I have to say that I am utterly amazed at how quickly a 2 year old and a 5 year old can trash an entire house. BabyA isn't mobile yet, so we have a basket of toys on each level of the house, and those toys tend to stay in the general vicinity of the basket, unless she carries one of them upstairs on the way to a diaper change. But my two little neices managed to completely and utterly destroy that system during their visit, let me tell you. It really is a good thing that we give birth to infants, because if they came out as a toddler, I suspect no one would ever have more than one child.

This week has been the week from hell, really. I believe Baby A is teething, although as yet I have no evidence of such. She is generally cranky and whiny, and moves from being ecstatically happy to monumentally cranky in seconds, and it is driving me nuts. Also, in the past couple of months we had reached a state where I could alternate between playing with BabyA and doing a little housework, getting dinner ready, maybe being online a little. That, my friend, has been thrown out the window. It is now all BabyA, all the time. When I'm not holding her, she is whining to be held, and when I am holding her, she is squirming and whining for a reason which I cannot fathom. As I've already said, I suspect the culprit is teething and the general discomfort that accompanies this process, although she's also developed a bit of a cough in the last couple bdays which may be contributing to the crankiness. And on top of that, BabyA seems to have decided that nobody will do except me. No Daddy, no Nana, just mommy, non-stop. Aaarrgghh!!

Whatever it is, I am going crazy in tiny little guilt ridden segments. As of yesterday I officially lost my patience on the umpteenth time BabyA whined to be picked up, only to whine, arch her back, and squirm out of my arms, and I yelled. At my baby. I yelled, and then saw her eyes go all wide in surprise, and I tried to turn it into a hey look at mommy having fun and making noise,
and she totally seemed fine. But I knew I yelled at her, and that wide-eyed look nearly broke my heart. No matter how frustrated I get, I do not want to yell at my baby. I know this may have been the first time, and probably won't be the last, when I feel like the last tiny shard of patience and sanity I am clinging to disappears out from under me, but I really don't want to be a yeller.

So today, I woke up and decided that I had no expectations for the day. I wasn't going to try to clean, or tidy, or cook, or whatever. I was just going to be there for my baby. And you know what? Today was better. I don't know that BabyA was feeling better, but I just tried to let go of doing other stuff. When she fussed, I picked her up. When she squirmed, I found something new for her to focus onI'm not sure that she was less fussy, but things seemed to go more smoothly. No yelling, no pulling my hair out. I know this won't always work, but I had to remind myself that at least for now, I'm still on mat leave, and it is my job right now to take care of BabyA. The rest of it? All secondary. I will have other crazy crying weepy days, but for now I need to focus on my dearest girl, and hang on to every second before it slips away.

04 March 2009

To Sum Up, Conflicted.

Today has been a long day. Not in any particularly bad day - BabyA is not sick or anything, and neither am I. It was just a long day of meeting the demands of an 8 moth old baby, and kind of being stuck in the house. And when GeekDad got home, he was exhausted, so I got to mind BabyA most of the evening as well. Which kind of sucked.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my girl in ways I cannot express in words. I could rhapsodize about her for days on end. But some days all I want is to be able to do something I want to do without being at the beck and call of my little one. Without having to be the one to feed her and entertain her and teach her and change her. Because even when GeekDad is minding her, I'm still the go-to girl for the unexplained wailing and flailing, and especially, for the boobie juice. And once in a while, just for a little bit, I wish for the untetheredness I used to have.

Days like today I feel very conflicted. Because generally I love being at home with my girl. There is nothing like having a little one erupt in gales of laughter simply because you waggled your eyebrows at them. Or watching her bounce up and down just because I stopped loading the dishwasher to look at her. It really is fabulous.

But on days like today I realize that I look forward to working again. To be teaching, and researching, and helping people, and being an adult in an adult world. I struggle with this, wondering if working at a regular job will make me a better mom, or a worse one. Will I be the mom who comes home rejuvenated from doing something I like, to be enjoy her baby all the more for having been away, or the one who is exhausted from trying to juggle more things than she is capable of and end up doing all of it poorly? I know the answer is likely somewhere in between, and will likely depend on the day. But knowing that in my head does nothing to relieve the conflicted, jittery emotions. Blah.

So, to sum up, today I'm feeling whiny and conflicted. Sorry I've subjected you all to this little rant. Just had to put it out there.

In other, less whiny news.....

(please imagine angelic singing here).

I got the damned breadmaker to work for me, instead of against me. Finally. I ended up googling breadmaker problems, and found this website, which suggested less water and more salt, among other fabulous tips. And you know what? It worked!! I have an actual domed-top loaf, if slightly smallish, loaf of honey whole wheat bread. Yay!!!

Also in less whiny news, there is this. For which I am eternally and unequivocally grateful.