Saturday, February 28, 2015

Big Brother

i'm eager to see how the relationship between the boys develops as Malcolm grows into little guy.  i'm eager to see his eyes grow large and bright with wonder and adoration for his sweet older brother.  i'm eager to see Moses take his little brother under his wing and to watch as he guides him with patience and kindness.  Moses is such a sweet soul and Malcolm is such an easy going baby, i'm having a good feeling about their relationship.  

Moses has been very hands on as he had promised when I was still pregnant.  he claimed over and over that he would help to change the pee diapers and he has kept his word.  this is the 3rd or 4th time he has changed Malcolm's diaper.  the 2nd time he had changed Malcolm, he forgot to put the change mat beneath and Malcolm ended up peeing all over my duvet cover which i had just washed and put through the dryer twice.  i didn't get upset.  he told me right away what had happened.  i don't think he will make that same mistake again after seeing his little brother "spout" all over the place as he described the scenario.  he asked once again to change Malcolm's diaper this morning and he did it all by himself with loving patience.  

he even folded up the old diaper and carefully placed the dirty wipe on top

Malcolm already seems entertained by Chloe and enamoured with Moses.  his smiles are not just for me alone, his personal latte machine, but he smiles when the kids come around to play with him.  already, it seems like he recognizes them and what's more, feels comforted enough by them that i can ask them to play with him while i prepare a meal.  they are always happy to spend time with their little brother and the feelings seem to be mutual!

i haven't been to one of Moses' soccer practices or games in months.  the last time i attended, i totally lost my temper.  i was also extremely pregnant.  no excuse, but hormones are pretty intense mofos.  i took him to his last practice, just the two of us which was so refreshing.  i also took him to his game today instead of doing my usual saturday routine of taking chloe to dance and going into town with Emily and Eve for a donut and perusing the Thrift Shop.  it's all part of putting in more time and effort into this guy who has been put on the back burner for a while.  i think it's working… fingers crossed.

doing a silly dance for his little bro

i'm excited for life with these 3.  both kevin and i come from families of 2 sisters and a brother so having two boys with a girl in the middle is going to be a completely different dynamic than what we are both used to.  i'm excited for it.

Malcolm: 2 Months!

my giant baby is 2 months

this guy is the happiest little dude, smiling 75% of the time

my heart gushes in the morning when i wake up beside him and he smiles and coos at me.  this entire last month has been nothing but smiles.  he also has a funny habit of laughing but ONLY in his sleep!  he will be completely asleep and every now and again he'll start chuckling to himself, sometimes a few times in a row.  i really need to try to get it on video.

compared to last month, he is more sturdy and more stable and filling out his limbs

his 2 month check up and immunizations went well.  he cried when he got his shots but they didn't last long as i immediately fed him, he half sobbed until placated by the comfort of the giant tit.  as with Momo, this guy is at the 99 percentile for his height, average weight and giant head.

Jan 06 - Weight 8 lbs 8 oz        Height 57cm     Head 36.5cm
Jan 26 - Weight 10 lbs 13 oz    Height 60cm     Head 38cm
Feb 25 - Weight 13 lbs 2 oz     Height 63cm     Head 40.2cm

LOL this did not work out and he as you can see by the expression on his face
he is well aware of the situation and my epic fail

a few sans anchor


his neck is pretty damn strong these days, owning tummy time

it's harder to get a bad shot of this guy than it is to get a good shot
i have a buttload of cutie patootie happy shots like these from today

chloe, of course had to get in on the action with her have lil man

this will be my go-to for the next while when i need a good laugh
works like a charm!

such a fun little shoot to celebrate another wonderful month.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2 Months

2 months tomorrow since my littlest love came burning out from my body.

how did that time pass so quickly, this last month faster than the first?
time has been altered significantly since Moses was born.  i remember those days being the longest and hardest days of my entire life.  feeling so alone and not knowing the first thing about being a mother.  i didn't know what to do or where to go to occupy the hours that dragged on for miles and miles so i mostly stayed at home.  i'd go for a walk with the stroller or have Moses in the carrier but did not go far.  i'd come home and only an hour would have passed and i'd lament over the next 6 hours i still had ahead of me before kevin arrived home from work.

when i think about those days, all i can do is shake my head and laugh at myself.  why didn't i try to attend at least ONE of the community programs?  i would have found support and made a friend and gained sanity!  i would have had someone to talk to about all the emotions and mental anguish i was going through, and i would have found that i was perfectly normal!  we could have met for tea/coffee at the coffee shop outside my apartment or venture out together for walks or picnics at any of the parks in the area.  as any mother recalls, going out anywhere is a terrifyingly daunting task for a new mother, especially on her own.  if you throw in another mother, suddenly it is an entirely different situation.  suddenly you have someone there who understands the anxiety of going out and that understanding in itself is enough to lighten that load of anxiety.  you have someone with extra wipes or diapers if you've forgotten to restock your diaper bag.  you have someone to watch your baby when you need to go to the washroom.  you have someone to laugh with when your baby decides that shitting all the way up his or her back should happen in the middle of lunch and an extra hand when attempting to remove the pullover onesie from the baby without getting thick rich yellow mustard all over his or her hair.  you have someone who is as equally dishevelled and exhausted to engage in baby-daddy-trash-talking so that bitterness is gone by the time baby-daddy gets home.  the list goes on.

you have support.
and this is the first thing i tell friends when they tell me in confidence that they are pregnant.  FIND FRIENDS NOW.  i guess at this age, most of my friends know a bunch of people with families already, but that wasn't the case with me.  at 25, all my friends were deep end partying and nursing hangovers at Bon's or Pink Pearl every weekend.

when i think of the immense community that i have built around me over the last 5-6 years, i just can't believe the loneliness i allowed myself to suffer through at the most difficult time of my life.

time has done a 180.  with Moses, all i had was time.  time was gushing out of my butt and i was drowning in it, miserable.  now, time is the thing i have the least amount of (well maybe money…).  it's just soaring at top speed.  i swear i have done all i can to savour every damn second with Malcolm.  maybe he has been a good sleeper or maybe i just don't give a shit.  maybe i'm just so thrilled and in love that waking up a handful of times doesn't ruin the entire day for me.  i'm in survival mode here!  i'm a robot, a machine just punching in and punching out, routine routine routine.  we have actually managed to stay on the meal planning train!  i am shocked and in disbelief as i am just not the most organized person, but it has saved my sanity and so much time that there is just no way i could go back to figuring out dinners every single day on the fly.  that phase of my life is over for good!

as the days fly off the calendar, i keep trying to look back on the first days and the snippets of memories seem so surreal.  the pain and discomfort lasted about 3 weeks or so and the bleeding pretty much stopped at the one month mark.  thank god!  with the polyester waterproof mattress protector making my body sweat throughout the night and having to sit up to feed Malcolm every night, my privates were a disgusting mess.

and as per usual, my body's slow road to recovery with my organs rearranging themselves back to their original place, my gas continues to be out of control.  Malcolm and I actually seem to be on the same schedule, poisoning and astounding the rest of the family with flatulence that could only come from someone like Fat Bastard on a bad day.  i started drinking coffee about 2 weeks ago, and all last week was suffering from the most painful indigestion of my life.  every single day, i would be crouched over for almost 2 hours in pain.  the first two days had me thinking i had food poisoning, then i figured my body was perhaps going through some bigger changes and kevin kindly bought me tums, gas relief pills and organic apple cider vinegar, all which did not seem entirely effective.  i'm quite sure now that it was the sudden daily introduction of coffee to my diet.

sad but good.  it was great at waking me up but i don't have a coffee maker at home nor the money to fund the addiction.  i wish the damn indigestion could have started next week since McDick's is currently having FREE COFFEE for this entire week!!!  i started going back to Franc Depart the last couple of weeks, admittedly partially for the free coffee.  however, instead of coming home to maybe get things done around the house, i decided i would give myself a break and hang out with some other mamas for that support and company.  i know it's probably the only place i can go dressed in mismatched sweats with no make-up and half tied hair and nobody will look twice.  we are all there to sit on the couch and shut off while our little one plays or does crafts and someone provides them with a free snack at 10:30am.

i have been trying to walk up more often.  the last 50 feet of the incline before it levels out is the perfect peak for the 20 minute walk making it a total workout.  i need to get some exercise into my schedule because i'm not losing the weight.  i totally thought i was going to lose it faster this time around but the same voracious appetite that reared its head after chloe was born has returned.  it's the breast feeding, or at least that is what i tell myself.  it's not that i'm peckish or craving anything, i am actually just hungry all the time!  outside the 70% dark chocolate to curb times of distress, i'm eating well, but it's not enough to shed anymore pounds.  i had lost 11 of the 25lbs i gained and then gained 3-4lbs that are going NOWHERE.

i imagine a small but still significant percentage of my weight gain is in my truly gargantuan rack of lamb.  according to the new bras i purchased a few weeks ago, i am at a 32H and a 32J.  i guess once you hit H, HIJ is all kind of the same???  i hate it.  I HATE IT.  i hate the way it looks and i hate the way it feels and i hate that they won't start go down until i stop breastfeeding which probably won't be for another 6 months .  i look like a freaking fool.  i am 5'1".  my legs are still tiny, i've still got the belly going around so virtually ZERO waist, and then these gag-like tits that are impossible to to hide.  there is nothing i can wear to detract from their ridiculous width that spans beyond my arms.  i made a quick dash to the Oak + Fort warehouse sale last Friday with lindsay, hoping to find some larger, low neck tops but left empty-handed as all the shirt styles were high necklines.  i feel more able to hide them now beneath oversized coats and large scarves, but come summertime, i don't know what i'm going to do.  and on top of the low blow to the ol' self-esteem, it feels awful.  i have a permanent strain happening across my shoulders that T-bars up my neck and gives me a mild fuzzy numbness at the base of my head.  if i set the snaps on the tightest to send the support work to my torso, the cups just jab into my ribs.  as tight as it is, the sheer weight and volume and size of the girls drags the bra down anyway that i might as well have it a little looser to sit at the same place.  and of course if i try to tighten the shoulder straps, my entire shoulder and neck area will just go numb.  HOORAY.  i usually end up sans bra for the majority of the evening at which point they are swaying back and forth just above my belly button.  the single silver lining here is that i am able to feed Malcolm without having to prop his head up as they hang so freakishly low on my torso.  grumble.

i take a deep breath and tell myself that it's just a part of this first year.  it won't be like this forever and i really do hope by the time they go down, they will go down to a mall size cup.  i'm trying to find a balance between caring and not caring about how i look.  i can't care too much because i don't have full control of my body right now.  i'm trying to feel good about myself as a person and not concentrate so much on my body's current state, though sitting in clouds of baby + me flatulence while breastfeeding is a constantly unpleasant reminder.  SIGH.

all that said, i have managed to do more things with one hand than ever before and managed to do more things while breastfeeding than ever before.  the most impressive being eating a bowl of pho while breastfeeding on both sides in about the same time that i would with free hands and a free body.  when you first have a baby, so much of your mentality revolves around the things you CAN'T DO or HAVE TO DO, but by the third child, you're mentality changes to the number of things you CAN DO and how impressive it is that you have managed to do them despite their level of difficulty.

wow.  i actually managed to write this entire post while kevin took the kids with him to do a Costco run after dinner while Malcolm has slept the entire time!  SCORE!

next post: Malcolm's Updates...


Parenting 5.5

just as i was feeling a little hopeful after last night's post, i received an email this morning from Momo's teacher saying he was drawing on the floor again with permanent felt.

i'm feeling embarrassed and frustrated and lost.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Parenting 5.0

here it goes… Malcolm has been sleeping for almost 2 hours and i'm sure he'll interrupt this post any second but let's take a risk anyway.

we are approaching the 2 month mark, coming up on Thursday.  i'll take his photos in the morning, rush him off to his appointment (first vaccinations!) and then meet up with Ash and the Stoners for lunch at Foundation.  chloe will be along for the ride as she does not have class.  it's been really lovely having her around for Girl Time, both prior to Malcolm being born and still afterwards.  as much as i absolutely relish having this special time with her, i must admit i feel horribly guilty at the same time.  i never had this kind of special time with Moses.  he was so young (18 months) when i had chloe that really, he has had the worst of me for the past 5 years as i have stumbled blindly along the path of motherhood…

they say that a child reaches their adult completion by the time they are age 6, that who they will be as an adult is more or less who they are by this young age.  as a parent, that is so unfair!  6 years isn't nearly enough time to formulate a proper human being, never mind figure out how to be a parent.  it feels like i'm only really getting there as Moses' 6th birthday is just around the corner.  it feels like the first 3 years are mostly about survival and being broken into this lifelong series of bootcamp.  it's only at this point when they are actually capable of speaking full sentences for chrissake!  then they start pre-school and you are thrown into another pit of confusion and frustration as you battle morning cries over being too tired, not knowing what to wear, not wanting to eat, and not wanting you to leave them with all these new strangers.  just when you both start to settle and cozy into this routine, it's time to research and register them for Kindergarten.  because figuring out what to make for dinner isn't enough of a pain in the ass already, say goodbye 2.5 hour stints with a little snack at preschool 2-3 times a week, and hello to making snacks and lunches for 5 days a week.  someone call the waaahhh-mbulance.

i don't know what i'm doing.  i imagine none of really know what we are doing, all of us struggling with our own children.  my new year's resolution was to be MORE PATIENT.  i don't come from a family of calm cool cucumbers and i have come to recognize the pattern of learned behaviour making its comeback on my bad days.  we were spanked left and right, with hands and dusters and my mom was known for her signature nail-digging pinch and twist of the ear.  i belt NO! in the exact manner as my mom, i know because i still hear her do it on occasion when the kids step out of line.  i have stopped spanking for a while now.  as much as i don't feel like it had a negative impact on my relationship with my parents (as studies claim it does), i still feel bad for spanking Moses at such a  young age.  fast-forward to the last year or two, spanking has been replaced with yelling and hurtful sarcastic jabs and slices to their self-esteem, all done in explosive anger.

i've been trying really hard.  i've gotten a lot better.  i've made a lot of progress though there is the inevitable slip up.  i make it a point to sit down and give my sincerest apologies when this happens.  i let them know i am not perfect but i will keep trying my best.  this is something that has helped wonders with both kids.  i repeatedly let them know that nobody is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes, and no matter how old you are, people are always learning to be better.  this has helped chloe with her confidence in terms of learning her letters and numbers and drawing and creating.  and more recently, it seems to be helping Moses as we try to work through his difficult behaviour over the last 2 months.

his first month of Kindergarten was as much an adjustment for him as every other child.  after the first month, he was note free until winter break.  upon his return, things started going downhill and it is no big surprise considering he has had so much to adjust to.  the notes started coming again until in the last 3 weeks, he was the only other boy to have his behaviour regulated in a notebook.  a small piece of paper is broken down into the different subjects/breaks of the day, and beside each section he received either a red or green sticker based on his behaviour.   he's been lashing out physically when he gets upset with chloe and at school and home, he just does not listen.  his failure to listen or respect the person who is speaking is abominable.  he just seems to be doing a dance routine of shitty behaviour that he knows too well he will get in trouble for but does it all the same.  then when he gets in trouble, he totally gives the same death stare i remembering giving my mom when i was the same age, which of course just make me want to clobber his snotty face.  UGH.

i'm frustrated on so many levels.  my frustration is exacerbated by sleep deprivation and anxiety over trying to juggle LIFE.  i'm frustrated that i lack the energy that is required to tackle his behaviour in a consistently effective way.  i'm frustrated that my time with him is even more limited with a baby's needs taking priority.  i'm frustrated not knowing what shitty behaviours are "normal" for an average 5 year old, which are being caused by all the change and which are a direct consequence of my parenting.  thankfully, his substitute teacher from last week offered some help.  she was subbing for about a week and a half while his regular teacher was recovering from a concussion.  after a full week of tracking his behaviour and offering written details of the day, she called me inside to speak with her.  she recognized his learning to be above average and having a daughter of the same age with similar learning capacity, comforted me with the notion that kids that are ahead of the class usually have crappier behaviours.  she gave me the name of a local child psychiatrist who worked wonders for her, and that with a referral from my doctor the service would be covered by MSP…  SO THANKFULLY Malcolm's appointment is in 2 days!

sigh.  he's had 3 good days in a row so far so i am hopeful.  i was very much at the end of my rope two weeks ago.  i am so thankful to have had his substitute teacher for that short period of time to help direct me and make me feel less stressed about the situation.

well, i think i got most of that out just in time.  The Malc just awoke for mealtime #12.

this post was supposed to be more of a general update on things in general, but i'll have to save that for next time.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Creative Juice

it has become very apparent that my creative juices are released when under high pressure and tight deadlines.  i've had to create a few birthday cards in the last month or so and they have all turned out super awesome, usually 20 minutes before i need to blast through the door to whatever occasion prompted the card.  my dad always thought i would go into the card making business.  my mom made sure that i made a card for every relative on their birthday and cards for grandparents on mother or father's day.  even valentine's day and easter were sometimes thrown into the mix.  i have passed down this tradition down to my kids and i love it.  it allows me to be creative as well and in a variety of mediums that i otherwise do not exercise as much as i would like.

i set out to make a card with them for my nephew's First birthday but ended up going totally crazy and making a card entirely on my own.  at first i felt bad, but the kids took cues from me and began madly creating their own cards.  we took turns with the scissors and glue and laughed as we went along creating.  

ugh, if only i had been less selfish and documented Momo's creation, it was so very very much better than mine in terms of originality and creativity.  inspired by my creation, he went onto create a tiger himself which looked like a total Rock'n'Roll feline with giant black sunglasses.  he did an amazing job and i can't even show it to you UGH!!!!

as super stoked and proud of myself for this very detailed, very labour-intensive card, it was directly inspired by one of our favourite books:

i've been doing much less photo and trying to tap into other areas of creativity these days.  i'm really really wanting to do some painting, printmaking and more illustrations.  once i fill up my $600 debt, i am going to buy some beautiful pastels and a giant pad of pastel/watercolour paper.

i love doing arts and crafts with the kids.  the mess is an atrocity every time but the things we end up making and the time spent together is well worth the clean up… every time.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

I am doing my best to make peace with the fact that I can only do so much with the energy I have these days.  Every year I hope to make it out to the Lunar New Year festivities and every year I end up deciding not to hit up the malls.  Last year we miraculously made it out to Chinatown for the parade which was a wonderful day despite the cold.  I had hoped we would make it for a second year in a row and had the kids make a craft to bring to the parade.  As it turned out, I was on my own while Kevin was busy working on a car for extra cash and I just didn't have the energy to drive on my own with three kids downtown for 11am.  maybe next year!

We did, however, do our usual Dim Sum gathering with my Dad's side of the family!
my mom bought little outfits for the kids which was so thoughtful of her and made up for the fact that i had absolutely no time and no cashola to make it happen this year.  


chloe's Spidey senses tingled as Lucky Pockets emerged from my Gung Gung across the table, she darted over to his side

Malcolm received his lucky money

but didn't seem overly impressed

yes yes Moses needs a haircut really badly

Lola's Boy

me and my bro
god i am looking ragged as all hell...

this makes me so so happy

love my aunties

this guy needs to watch Kung Fu Hustle

my gweilo

it was really nice to stay home today.  the weeks are go go go, with a merciless drummer keeping me on what feels like a never-ending treadmill.  sundays are really my only day to rest with dance and soccer calling us to rise early on saturday mornings.  

god, i have so much to write about these days but no time and i know i am going to be mad at myself when i try to search through my blog a year, two years, three years from now to see how i was handling these first couple of months.  i'm feeling overwhelmed.  thank god we finally have our shower as that cuts one giant inconvenience out of our schedule.  i'm managing new baby and big kids schedule but its definitely rough and exhausting as all hell.  kudos to all you mamas out there that don't have a cooking husband because damn this is a lot of work taking over dinner time.  with the kids needing to be in bed early in order to wake up early for school, i need to be the one that has dinner ready by the time kevin gets home, no more waiting for him to come home to cook dinner (though i know he would be happy to if i really needed the help…).   UGH.  all i can say is thank god i have learned HOW to cook over the last couple of years otherwise we would all be suffering big time.  

more updates on Mom of Three life another day…  piles of laundry to put away, a kitchen table overflowing with craft stuff from this afternoon to tidy up, lunches to prepare, and grocery list for this weeks meal planning to write up and it's 11:54pm

sigh.  life is good.  though i feel like a heap of bones day in and day out, i know these days are the best days and i am going to miss them with these cutie pies are old and awkward and even worse, when they become wretched teenagers…