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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Family is More Than

I received bad news last night- someone in my family has died, possibly, or probably, he took his own life.

He was related to me by marriage, but that marriage ended and both moved on. While I haven't seen him in some time, he was around for a good chunk of my life. It is so hard to understand how I'm feeling. I think it boils down to the idea of family and the definitions we place on it. Technically, he wasn't related to me any more, but does that make him less a part of the family? It certainly doesn't make our grief any less, or easier to wrap our minds around.

He was a genuinely nice guy but as my mom put it, "f*cked up". But as I said to her, "aren't we all a little bit?" I get that about him and a lot of people I know and care about. This is just one more event is a series of difficult things that are currently going on or have occurred in the family recently. Things I can't talk about here except to say that we're all just trying to help each other through step by step.

I've been mulling over whether I would say anything here or not about what happened. The fact is that when my mom told me yesterday afternoon, I didn't feel anything. There were words I was hearing, but they didn't have substance to them. My Mom was understandably upset and I was trying to help her but I couldn't feel anything at the moment. I felt a little useless. Then Bean woke up screaming and I was trying to deal with her, making me distracted. I know my mom understands.

It wasn't till I looked up the news article on the internet about the incident that I broke. Seeing his picture, broke open the dam that was holding all the emotions in. A monumental flood. When it passed, I didn't necessarily feel better but in a way I did, if you know what I mean. Though, even typing this last paragraph brought another wave on. A momentary release.

It's a reminder that the ties of "family" go beyond blood and genetics. There's the saying that you can choose your friends but not your family. I disagree. You can choose your family; and right now, we're grieving for someone we cared about and who meant something to us. It's the realization that family goes beyond life, and death.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Photo Challenge: STRENGTH

Welcome to the first installation of the Friday Photo Challenge!

The Photo Challenge aims to allow creative ways to explore a weekly theme through photography.

Follow these steps and join the fun:

1. Post your photo on your site. You are free to leave an explanation or none at all.
2. Leave your name and the link on this Challenge Post. Please use the PERMA-LINK (the link to your actual post, not the main link to your blog).
3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

Oh, and don’t forget one very important thing… HAVE FUN!

This week's theme: STRENGTH

Dictionary.com has 13 (yes, 13!) basic definitions of the word strength. But it also has this:


4. Strength, power, force, might suggest capacity to do something. Strength is inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure, and to resist. Power is capacity to do work and to act. Force is the exercise of power: One has the power to do something. He exerts force when he does it. He has sufficient strength to complete it. Might is power or strength in a great or overwhelming degree: the might of an army.
I like the idea that it's about manifesting energy, endurance and rsisitance. Throughout my life I have experienced this one way or another.
I set out this week with an idea of what I wanted to capture with my lens. For me, trees embody strength so simply, as if it were a part of their nature; as if they couldn't be anything but strong. The thing about trees here on the West Coast is that many of them are large, very large. I was trying to get a single large douglas fir tree in my focus but the funny thing about forests is that it's very difficult to isolate one tree from another. At first, it annoyed me. And then I laughed.
Can we get a large chorus of "duh"?
The individual is only as strong as the group. In each other, there is strength.

What do you see in the world around you?

Next week's theme (Feb.5): VARIETY

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Show and Tell: Intuitive Cooking

If I've learned anything from writing this blog is that if I'm going to do a post on food it must have a recipe AND a photo. To do one but not the other is to invite threats of being strung up. Hey, I hear you, I'm listening. Honest!

So, I have more food po.rn .(Are you excited yet?)

Lately, I've been thinking about food and how I cook. In my very humble opinion, the reason most people don't cook is fear. They're scared of screwing up and looking foolish. Why the fear? After all, it's just food! It can't bite you back. Really...

I love cooking, that's no secret. I come from a family of cooks. My father and brother cook for a living and my Mom learned from her Mom, who was a great cook. If I couldn't hold my own in the kitchen, I jokingly tell people that I'd be disowned. I sometimes think it's not so much of a joke.

When I'm in the kitchen, I like to play. Mostly, I take very simple recipes and change them up. Throw in this, and then a little of that. Taste. Repeat. I stop when I feel like it's done.  I add ingredients without always knowing what will happen. So while, I enjoy trying new recipes as much as the next kitchen goddess, sometimes it's much more fun to simply toss out the cookbook and play.

Last week, we had salmon on the menu. We had a package of wild spring salmon in the freezer. I pulled out a couple of fillets to thaw. I also had bought a beautiful large eggplant; it's shiny dark purple skin inviting adventure.

But I had no idea what the hell to do with it.

So I turned to Google. And even though there were lots of recipes involving salmon and eggplant, I either didn't have the ingredients or it took too long. When you care for a baby, time is of the essence.

So I did what I usually do in this situation... I made it up as I went along.

So here is my lovely creation, complete with a name and a recipe. However, if you were hoping for a full ingrediant list and a full play by play, I shall have to disappoint you. Go ahead and try something new, play, be intuitive about your food. You know what you like. Use only my ingredients, use none of them, or even a mix with your own twist- I'll never know. Don't be afraid of making a mess of it, because even if you do, there's always another day to try again.

Lindsay's Italian Eggplant Baked Salmon

Chopped onion
Minced garlic
Chopped eggplant
Fire roasted peppers, chopped (I happened to have these in my pantry, but you could easily use fresh peppers and toss them in wiht the onion etc)
Black Olives
Canned plain tomatoe sauce (or you can even use fresh chopped tomatoes and cook them down a little)
Salt, pepper, oregano
Salmon Fillets

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, cook the onion, garlic and eggplant. Add peppers, olives, tomatoe sauce and seasoning. Remove from heat. Place the salmon in a baking dish and cover with sauce. Generously sprinkle cheese over the top and toss in a hot oven. Cook until the slamon flakes easily (about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F).

Serve with whatever you like for sides. We had slices of whole grain baguette to soak up all the lovely sauce. Salad is nice too.

Food is only good for you if you enjoy it.

Now pop over to Mel's and see what the rest of the class is cooking. AND just a reminder to those participating in my Photo Challenge that the post goes up on FRIDAY.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Progress: Redux

Yesterday was another interesting day.

For starters, I had one of my crazy blurred vision, near blackout moments. I had this a couple of times before being diagnosed with fibro. It scared the shit out of me then and yesterday was worse because Bean was awake and eating. I kept worrying about passing out with Bean there with me. I desperately wanted her to go to sleep so I didn't have to worry about her. I ate breakfast right away so that blood sugar wouldn't play a part in it (it's not what causes these moments, so no comments about my not eating right away in the morning).

Then my Mom called. Moms have great timing sometimes, don't they?

We talked and she suggested putting Bean in her little chair beside the couch so I could lie down and rest and see if that helped. So I did and yes, I started feeling a little better.

But the event left me drained, so I decided I should keep thing low-key. I had made a list earlier of all that I had to do and was a little sad that I wouldn't get any of it done. But, I really started feeling a lot better by Noon and by the afternoon I had a surge of energy, which I took advantage of.

So I did it- finally: I called  the Post-Partum Society.

The nurse who gave me the pamphlet warned me that I may have to leave a messsage. I'm glad she warned me because if I had just gotten the voicemail for the support line, I might have just hung up right there and then. But I didn't and I did leave a message.

Around dinner time, just before R got home, they called me back. A lovely woman, whose name never did register in my brain, walked me through the intake and listened to my story and where I was at. She was wonderful. All of the support line volunteers are Moms who have been through Post-Partum Depression/ Anxiety. They've been there and they know how hard it is. She said she would mail out some info for myself and R and follow-up with me next week to see if 1) I got it and 2) I had any questions and where to go next.

I have no illusion that they can magically fix my issues- that's not what they are they for. But they have a support line I can call and in-person support groups. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but in the meantime, while I wait for my appointment with the hospital to come around, at least I know I have options and resources available to me.

It's funny, I'm still in limbo and I'm still not in the best place, but I think I'd rather go with things not moving at all, because perhaps that might mean that things won't get worse. Crazy? Maybe. In any case, I have options and when your world seems to be collapsing around you, options are like a few good pillars that are going to hold the ceiling up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

All that is Not Hidden

The mirror tells no lies.

Looking back at her is a face,
young still but having borne witness to life,
Real Life.

There are the scars and marks of acne,
Not the stuff of teenage angst but that
which sticks around (unfortunately).

High cheekbones highlight
a longer face with a distinctive chin;
a mouth framed with dimples.

Deep dark eyes that, at various times
show joy, and sadness,
love and despair.

And hope.
Always Hope.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So yesterday was an interesting day. I did somehting I wasn't sure I could: I went to the parent-baby drop in at my local health unit. Considering the place is all of two blocks away, I couldn't use distance as an excuse not to go. But I get anxious at the thought of being in a room full of people I don't know. Now, first off, if you've been around, you'll know that that is very unusal for me, as I am generally a very open and outgoing person. But then again, depression alters my personailty so drastically at times that I scare even me. You may recall that I tried to go to the holiday social back in December, only to find out that it was cancelled due to the flu shot clinic. [insert sob here]

So, I woke Bean up from her nap (she had been down for only 30 minutes), packed her in the stroller and made another attempt at being social.

It was both wonderful and awful.

Let's discuss the awful part first. When I first got there, there was only one other mom there and the two nurses running the show. Then slowly more people arrived. It was fine at first. But the more people that showed up, the less space there was in the room and the harder it was to have a conversation with people I didn't know. Add to that, that about half the women knew each other from coming to the group before, and I felt so alone. Bean was pissed off about being woken from her nap so I had to hold her and soothe her back to sleep. I couldn't put her in the stroller without waking her, so I held her through her nap. I felt so alone in a room full of people.

[Enter massive anxiety attack.]

I got up, walked around the room with the baby, and did a hell of a lot of breathing. Thankfully, it never progressed into a panic attack, but I had to fight to keep myself together.

No one in the room knew. I think maybe I'm too good an actress sometimes.

I calmed down a bit and tried to keep from crying. Bean woke up and interacted with people for a bit before indicating that I best get a bottle ready before she erupted with displeasure.

Then the wonderful part happened. As I sat on the floor feeding her, the group came to an end and people began to disperse. One of the nurses was talking to people as they left. At one point I caught her eye and asked her if I could ask some questions. She sat next to me and I began to explain the whole PPD mess including that I was freaking out a bit over having to wait so long for my appointment. I told her about the anxiety attack I had just had.

We talked a bit. Then she left to go get some info for me. While she was gone, a mom whose baby is only a couple of weeks older than Bean came over to chat with me. We had talked a little earlier. It turned out that she lived just down the street from me. She gave me her phone numbers just as the nurse returned and suggested we get together sometime. She asked if I was coming next week and I said I was planning to. We would make plans then.

The nurse gave me a pamphlet for a non-profit PPD group who might be able to help me in the interim while I waited for March to come around. She expressed concern about my anxiety and wondered if the group might be too much for me. I wasn't sure, but I knew I should give it another try. She gave me her card and told me to call or come see her or the nurse who did my homevisit after Bean was born (love her!). And, she asked if they could call me to keep tabs on how I was doing. I said YES! She also said that if I didn't show up for group next week that she would be calling me.

Three cheers for nurses! Sometimes I swear they get things more than the doctors do (and I have had great doctors).

The other really important realization is that I DO have an anxiety issue, whereas before I tried to convince myself it was nothing. My mom even asked at one point if my tension and axiety over being alone with her all the time might be what makes her more difficult on certain days. Then, I said it didn't. Now, I'm not so sure. My bad days correlate pretty well with her bad days.

And that bothers me! I have a hard time dealing with the fact that what I'm going through if affecting her negatively. I hate that I could cause her distress. Could this have a long lasting impact on her? I don't know. It's a question I have to ask. I'm going to take her to her pediatrician for a four-month checkup next month. I have a feeling that there will be lots to discuss. Good thing I LOVE her pediatrician. He's one of those doctors you can actually have a conversation with. Amazing, isn't it?

After I got home from the group yesterday, I re-took the post-partum depression questionaire. The scale evaluates whether or not some has PPD and to what degree. Anything over 13 (I think) out of 30 is considered significant. 30 is suicidal. I scored 20 6 weeks ago. Yesterday, I scored 23. Not a dramatic change but a change in the wrong direction nonetheless. A good sign is that the last question concerns thoughts of harming yourself. I still score 0. Small mercies.

So, the next step is to call this PPD Society and see what they have to say. I suppose we can only go up from here, right?

Show and Tell: Restoration of a Memory

So... two things on the plate this week.

Firstly, I'm going to shamelessly promote my new weekly photo challenge. You can read about it HERE.

As for the other half...

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most adept when it comes to Photoshop (or in the case of my computer, Corel PaintShop Pro), but I have learned a few things. I have this really lovely photo of my mom's parents on their wedding day. The original is distorted and oddly coloured. I was playing around one day and turned this:

into this:

Not too shabby, eh? Now hop over to Mel's and see what everyone else brought to Show and Tell this week...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Introducing a Fun New Project: Friday Photo Challenge

Last night got me thinking and suddenly I had one of those "AHA" moments that gets you really excited. If you've been reading as of late, you'll know that my being excited about anything is HUGE. As a Plan B while I await professional help for my post-partum depression, I am going to do a little self-therapy.

I have been into photography and art since I was a child. I still have the photos I took with my first disposable camera. I was at a Girl Guide camp. I took photos of my fellow guides but mostly I took photos of the world around me. Even then, I was more drawn to photographing nature that people. It came, well, naturally.

I'll never forget the moment after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had started medication and was starting to feel more like myself again. It was a sunny day and I went to go sit outside in the sunshine on the steps of the staircase that had previously crumbled under my weight, nearly sending me falling through them (I'm still a little traumatized). I was sitting there with a hot cup of coffee in my hands, soaking up the sunshine. I breathed in the fresh morning air so unbelievably happy to be alive. After spending months in pain, scared that there was something life-threatening wrong with me, I was sitting there, doing okay, grateful that what I would have my entire life was manageable.

If I had had a camera then and was to have taken a photo of the woman, comtemplating the preciousness of life, I may have snapped the photo from behind, a solitary image of calmness. Or it could have been a profile image showing her calm smile. Or, as I'm often wont to do, it would have been more abstract, such as the steaming cup of coffee or the streaming sunshine. The point is, that in every given moment, there are multiple ways to take it in and see it, truly see it.

Photography has allowed me to focus my mind and process the world around me in special ways. I see things I would never have seen if I hadn't taken the time to look a little closer, a little deeper. That is the beauty of the lens. Nothing is truly hidden, much is revealed. For me, art is my version of therapy. I believe in it so much, I wanted to be an art therapist, but alas, University and I don't mesh too well, and I didn't get too far in my studies, though I loved it dearly.

My daily photos have reminded me about the power this has in my life. I think the hardest part about PPD, for me, has been the isolation and disconnect from the things in my life that truly mean something. It's time to change that. And I'm dragging you along with me for the fun, if you're willing.

Hence the beginning of the FRIDAY PHOTO CHALLENGE! It is open to EVERYONE and I'm really hoping you'll help spread the word and encourage others to participate. I know there are lots of weekly memes out there (I participate in a couple when I can) but I wanted this one to be different. I wanted to encourage, everyone (including myself), to look at the world a little deeper and try to see things in a new way.

Here's the gist and the rules:

1. I will post a theme for the week. You will have a whole week to take a photo that YOU think best represents that theme. This is not about being a professional photographer. All I ask is that you post an ORIGINAL photo that YOU have taken. The beauty here, is that we all view the world is a unique way and art is a way of showcasing this view without having to explain it.

2. On Fridays, post the photo and mention the theme for the week (so we know we're all on the right week and what we're looking at). I will post the CHALLENGE post with an auto-link form. Fill out the form so that I, and others, can go visit your photo.

3. Share your thoughts about my photo and others on the list by leaving a comment. This is our chance to discuss the theme and how each of us thought to document it. Hopefully, this will be more than just "Nice photo".

4. While I would LOVE everyone to take a moment to take a photo, I realize that it may not always be possible. So, it is perfectly fine to post a photo you have taken previously, as long as it is representative of the theme and how you want to define it.

So, that's the deal. I would really love people to join me on this and have some fun with it. I'm a social person and right now I need to draw myself out and work towards goal. So help a depressed gal out and spread the joy of art.

The first CHALLENGE post will go up January 29th. That actually gives you more than a week to find your inspiration.

This week's theme: STRENGTH

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or email me (see right sidebar).

Photo of the Day: Honeysuckle

I went hunting for a photo to post and was looking for something to match my mood- gloomy and hostile. Alas, all I could find were happy, pretty pictures.

This was taken at a lavender farm in Kelowna, BC this past summer when R and I were on holidays visiting family.

Falling Through the Cracks

I called the PPD directly to find out about getting in earlier. I'm on the cancellation list. However, because they've never seen me before, I can't call them if I really need help. She did tell me that if I was having bad thoughts I should go see my referring Doctor or go to the ER.

Great! So unless I'm contemplating suicide, I'm on my own.

I'm working on Plan B. Not entirely sure what it will entail (calling my OB?) but I need to figure it out quick. All I know if that everyone`s support has been wonderful. Your comments have made me laugh at times and laughter is always good. Please keep them coming. It helps more than you know.

I'll keep you posted- off to check on my overtired and upset baby, attempt to make dinner and console myself with a couple of pieces of good dark chocolate.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Time's Long Echo

Fifty days. 5-0!

That's how many days I have to wait until my appointment at the PPD Clinic at the hospital. I want to cry. Almost 2 months seems forever. I've had horrible waits before (between ultrasounds to confirm miscarriage, the wait for medical all clear to try again after my D&C) but this, THIS, I don't know how to handle.

How do I hold out till March 9th? I don't know what I need right now but I'll take something, anything, to keep me from losing my mind.

Suggestions, a few well chosen curse words, a hell of a lot of chocolate? Help me out here, I'm at a loss...

Photo of the Day

This past summer, R and I took a little trip to Deep Cove, on the North Shore (ie. the mountains you typically see in pictures of Vancouver). A lot of kayacking happens in the area. These ones caught my eye.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Being Sung Awake?

I'm feeling quiet today. I have a couple of posts rattling around my brain but my thoughts are too disorganized. I think what I really need is a nap. Being off the Lyrica means I'm not sleeping as well as I was. I'm not as groggy but now I keep waking up a couple times each night.

R singing in his sleep doesn't help either.

I don't have time for a nap this afternoon, but maybe I do have time for some Wii. Moving is good.

Photo of the Day

Vaisakhi Day Parade, April 2008: This was the first time I ever attended the parade. I met up with a friend and her kids and she taught me about the religious significance of the event. Living in such a mulitcultural city has been a wonderfully eye opening experience. I like to think I'm open minded. Participating in the different cultures around me is forever expanding my horizons. As someone who has never been off the continent, I sometimes think my horizons could use expanding on a more regular basis. For more info about Vaisakhi go HERE...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthdays Are in Order

I wanted this to have it's own post. Today would have been my older brother's 30th birthday. It's a milestone, that while observed quietly, is on the minds of my family today. If you're not familiar with the story, you can read it here.

This year is going to be a different year for me I think. The loss anniversaries that haunted me last year aren't the first thing on my mind. Don't get me wrong, miscarriage has tainted so many things for me. But, holding Bean reminds me that right now I need to live in the present and enjoy what I have, today. If I don't I will forever miss all the wonderful firsts that are a constant part of parenting an infant. As it is, the depression has left me in a weird place and I haven't chronicled these wonderful moments the way I wanted to. But maybe that is just a part of the reality that is parenthood.

As I think of my brother and Bean, I feel a full circle of sorts has come to play. I once asked him if he knew the spirits of my two lost babies. Today I know his spirit is here to greet Bean on this, the day that marks three months. My baby is three months old! Um, how did that happen?

Photo of the Day: Signs of Spring

I like spring but am thinking it should hold off till after the Olympics...

Cooking for the Soul: As Requested

I LOVE Cooking Light! I have found so many favourite healthful dishes in their magazine and have expanded my ethnic dish repetoire.

Since everyone has been asking, here's the recipe for the Moroccan Chickpea Chili.

I love this recipe mostly for the fragrant spices. There's something wonderful about the earthy rich smell of cumin, tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, and red and black pepper, all mingling to form this heady warm fragrance. When cooked with the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, my apartment smells heavenly! I really love this dish because it's hearty AND vegetarian. I try to do a vegetarian meal at least one night a week, for my health and my budget.

Have fun and enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Photo of the Day: Spice of Life

Spices for Morrocan Chickpea Chili

Show and Tell: A Call for Help

Today's post is neither a show or a tell but rather an ask.

I don't have to show you pictures of the horrible disaster in Haiti. Turn on ANY newscast and you can see it for yourself.

My heart breaks for everyone there and also for those in the world with family there. As a mother, my heart can barely stand the thought of all the children who have died, are buried under rubble, or are homeless. Conditions in this poor country were difficult enough, but now, NOW, I can hardly imagine.

Today my husband and I have done the only thing we can do: make a donation in hopes that in the grand sceme of thing, such a miniscule act will join with other small things and just possible make a tangible difference.

If you want to join in and help there are several ways. Here are but a few:

In Canada:

Doctors Without Borders

Canadian Red Cross


In the United States:

American Red Cross [you can donate $10.00 via text (charged to your phone bill) by texting 'Haiti' to 90990]

I know there are probably more but it's a start. Tonight I think about all that I have and am holding my baby girl even tighter than usual.

Don't forget to drop by Mel's to see what else is on people's minds...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photo of the Day

Fountain, Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

Gee, I could have told you that!

So I saw the good doctor today. Alone. Bringing Bean only seems to distract him from what I came to talk about, so I left her with R.

The upshot of the appointment is that my fibro is MUCH better (yay!). I told him I didn't want to stay on the Lyrica because I can manage it without medication. I am a little more tender on my left side but that's the side I hold Bean on all the time, and really, a massage would help that easily.

In the discussion about the depression he tried to tell me that it would get better as the fibro eased off. I told him that it wouldn't and in fact, it was getting worse. I'm not in physical pain. The fibro isn't feeding the depression, rather the other way around. Then comes my favourite part of the appointment: he tells me that it may be post-partum depression and it's something we should be aware of.

Umm, yeah. Good call.

He's sending me to the PPD Clinic at the hospital where I delivered Bean. Just awaiting the referral. It can't come soon enough (I really hate waiting for these things). Meanwhile, I'm stopping the Lyrica tonight. Hoping Bean cooperates and sleeps through the night. Last night she got up, not once, but twice.

She can just cut it out now. Seriously. I think she's beginning to teeth. I had given up the notion since her gums were still hard but this evening I noticed that they are softer. Here we go...

On another (but health related note), I decided I was done waiting for a store (any store) to get the Wii Fit in stock since it's no where to be found in the city. I went online in hopes of being able to order one. No luck. Unless of course I want to wait 2-3 weeks before it ships from Amazon. I might as well wait for the stock to hit local stores.

Did I mention I hate waiting?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Holding the Pieces

I was bitchy (as I pretty much am ALL the time). I said things. He got angry and sulked.

We talked. I cried. We're better now.

I hate being like this. Depression affects not only the person it's tormenting but also the people around them. Is it any wonder I have to force myself to be social? I don't want to inflict this on anyone. But then I remember that the people who care about me are strong and can take it. Because they care.

Time for a shower and groceries. And then we're going to a park for a walk with our baby. This time, I told R to make sure I bring my camera (we'll see how that goes).

I know I'm supposed to give it time but 10 days in and I really think the Lyrica is not enough. I can handle the fibro without it. I can't handle the depression even when on it- that's not what it's for.

A few more days, that's all I think I can spare of what little sanity I have. Then we need to take more action. Somehow, that's a comforting thought.

Photo of the Day

Happiness is sleeping on Mama's chest.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Lessons in Parenting: Episode 1

A new year is full of possibilities. It just begs you to try new things. So we did.

I should begin with a disclaimer: Rebel Mom that I am, my daughter sleeps on her stomach AND with bumpers in the crib! Commence finger wagging now. I'll sit back and await the nasty comments to trickle through.

However, I really don't care what anyone has to say on the matter because Bean regularly sleeps 11 (count them!) hours almost every night. She's starting to teeth we think, so we're slowly losing a hour here and there- which sucks, let me tell you. But that is why I have an awesome husband who is willing to get up at 4:30am and give the child her bottle.

The bumpers are necessary because on her stomach, our baby travels the crib. Most mornings, we find her 90 degrees from the place we laid her down, head against the side of the crib, arms flailing, and crying "Hey people, I don't want to be on my stomach anymore, come get me out of here NOW!" She is rather insistent that way. But the point here is that I'd rather her bang her head against soft fabric rather than hard wooden rails. Yep, I'm a horrible mother, aren't I?

Anyway, this morning we decided to change things up and have her nap on her back. Yesterday she fell asleep on my chest and after an hour I really needed to get up and move. So I carefully laid her down on the couch and wrapped the blanket I was cuddling her with tightly around her little body. I waited for her to wake up. She didn't. So, we had proof she could sleep on her back still. But I'm not insane enough to try this at night when we might disturb the long beautiful hours of sleep she usually gives us.

So, thinking we're really smart, we thought we'd try putting her down on her back for her naps only. After finishing her breakfast feed a little while ago, I put her down for her nap (on her back) and went to go have a shower. R was getting laundry together and could keep an eye on her while we waited for her to go to sleep. A while later (I swear I was a marine creature in a previous life), I come out of the bathroom to hear her laying there noisily sucking on her thumbs.


I went into her room and looked down at her. Her lids were heavy and I could tell she really wanted to go to sleep. Considering she'd been down for 20 minutes already, I doubted she'd fall asleep on her own anytime soon. Then she opened her eyes and gave me a look that said, "Mama, I'm really tired! Can I go to sleep now?" So, I turned her over on her stomach, fixed her blankets and told her to have a good nap.

Less than five minutes later she was soundly asleep.

Moral of the story? Bean knows exactly what she likes and wants, and her parents are idiots.

Photo of the Day: Soupy Beginnings

Friday, January 08, 2010

Note to Self:

taking a daily photo actually requires you to have a camera on hand. Go figure! I must be the only person considering themselves a photographer who regularily forgets their camera. I'm thinking that I can only blame so many of these things on the baby. Right??

Thursday, January 07, 2010

An Experiment in Friendliness

So yesterday I walked the 20 minutes to the mall. I could have taken the train the two stops but the thought of lugging the stroller up the stairs at the station WITH Bean in it was too much (our elevator is under repair until Saturday- three whole weeks of no access). Besides, I needed the exercise- I always need the exercise. I went to the mall to see if the Wii Fit was in yet. It was not. My Mom suggested calling first, but that would have derailed the whole getting out of the house bit. Still, I was saddened that I still have no Wii Fit. (sigh)

A friend of mine met me there with her little boy in tow. He's five days younger than Bean. We walked around for awhile, feed the babies and then I was tired and decided to head home. Bean was having a hard time sleeping and I knew she needed her crib right about then.

As I walked home (I forgot my bus tickets- oops!) I encountered a lot of people. I was thinking about how isolating it can be to just exist in the world and shut away everything. We are on our cell phones, talking and texting. We walk down the street with our iPods on, listening to great music, yes, but shutting out the world around us too. I've been guilty of this many many times.
I also considered how rarely I made eye contact with people when I go for walks. So I wondered what would happen if I actually forced myself to make eye contact; and smiled even.

And that's what I did.

And you know what? As I always remind myself, people can surprise you. For the most part, simply making eye contact and nodding at people, or smiling, resulting in a connection. Often people smiled at me back, or at least acknowledged my existence. Of course there were those that didn't respond but it was rare that someone would catch my eye contact and quickly avert their eyes.

How refreshing.

So give it a try the next time you're out. Make eye contact with the random strangers you encounter. See what happens. You may be surprised; and you get that warm gushy feeling inside too. No kidding!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Show and Tell: Photographic Reflection

First of all, I'm very happy with the new digs. I'd love a place for a daily photo but am thinking the sidebars are too small and the place beneath the header too large. What do you think?


Anyway, Show and Tell.

In the frightening shadows of depression, I've found lovely glimmers of light. I've promised myself to hold on to them by delving into projects. One of the most important projects, aside from losing weight and getting healthy, is to keep up with my photography.

So with that in mind, I'm going to be doing a Photo of the Day. As mentioned above, I'm going to try and post them if I find a format that fits. I may just put them as a single post, I don't know just yet.

But here is a photo for you to consider:

Please stop by Mel's to see what the rest of the class is sharing...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


proud that I followed directions and finally added the left side-bar like I've been wanting to for ages.

Delurking Week

What do you know? It's International Blog Delurking Week! I never hear about these things until they're over, but lucky for me, I found out that it starts today. So.. January 4-10, 2010, is your chance to say hi if you haven't before (or even if you have). Leave a comment, let me know you're here, tell me what you think of my new space (suggestions welcome) or tell me what's on you mind. If you've got a blog, leave your url and I'll make a visit myself.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Too Many Things to Do, Not Enough Time

Changes are coming to this Blog. Mostly small things, but if I can figure it out, you may go "WOW". Maybe.

Day 4 on Lyrica. Had a story about it I was writing but got interrupted so many times I figured I may as well stop and continue with something else. The short of it is that I'm still very groggy in the morning and trying to be patient while I wait for things to take effect. And a note: 3:30 baby wake-up call does not mix well with a med that helps your sleep.
Meanwhile Bean is having a difficult day which means I am having a difficult day. Pretty sure it's a growth spurt but then again, who knows- babies are conundrums.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day One

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010!

I started this year curled in bed reading a book. We finished a movie last night about 15 minutes before midnight and crawled into bed. Bean had gone to sleep at 10:30 after her bedtime feed.

She didn't wake up till 8:30am! I took the Lyrica last night which helps with sleep so I slept right through until R woke up at 8am. I didn't crawl out of bed until 9am, mostly because the one side effect I usually get with these kinds of meds is grogginess. I felt like my body was numb for a good hour and a half. How I'll manage feeding a baby like this I don't know but I'm thinking I'll just have to push myself through it. And make sure I get my shower and coffe. Everything seems better after a hot shower and caffeine.

The only other side effect so far is a mild dry mouth. Not a big deal. It's too soon to know if it's actually doing anything. I'm a little achy this evening but then again it could have something to do with the fact that I cleaned the house and cooked dinner for friends who came over tonight.

R said from the kitchen as we were cleaning up after they left that we should do this more often. I agreed; partly because I enjoyed people's company and lovely food but also because it forced us to clean the apartment. Don't ask how long it's been since we vaccumed...

So we did end up getting a Wii yesterday. It took two phone calls to me and several stores to find it in stock but we have one. Today I tried to get a Wii Fit but no luck, all sold out. Though, I only looked one place since I have gift cards for there. We're going to check out one of the other stores this weekend and cross our fingers they have one. A Wii Fit is an absolute must. For me, it's the only way I can get in a workout and not worry about the baby. I can use it while she's sleeping and if she wakes up then I can come back to it later. So much easier than packing her up in the car seat and taking her downstairs to the gym in our building and hoping she lets me do what I need to. Methinks that wouldn't go so well. For now I'm enjoying tennis and bowling and baseball. But I get fully into it and use my whole body. After a few minutes I can already tell it's doing something and that my body is working. I also have a new pair of running shoes we bought back in November. I broke them in a little over Christmas when we were away. I'm looking forward to doing more- it felt great.

So here we are. It's a brand new year, full of potential and hope. My friend Claire and I always come up with a new motto each New Year's to set the tone for the year to come. I talked to a short while ago and she came across something she thought would work well, which I quite like. It's a no pressure sort of deal but still working towards something. So here we go...

"2010: Not trying to be perfect, just a little better."

Now to check out The Creme de la Creme list... (see my sidebar if you have no idea what I'm talking about)