Saturday, May 30, 2009

What I've Been Doing Lately

Hannah is still in her "don't put me down EVER" phase, which means I'm still doing a lot of things one-handed. One thing I can do really well with one hand is use a mouse, and I can nurse Hannah with the other. This works out well for playing games like Farm Town on facebook. I really only started playing because Mom and Dad and Shirley were doing it and wanted me to do it so I guess I have them to thank for the hours of contented nursing that I've been enjoying.Actually, doing something because everyone else is doing it ends up producing positive results for me most of the time. It's why I started playing Farm Town. And why I started watching Grey's. And it's why I wear clothes most of the time. So really, sometimes peer pressure is a good thing don't cha think?

(The picture is of me hanging out with some friends on Farm Town. Good times.)

(Hi John.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

ATTENTION TELEMARKETERS:

If you want to have even a HOPE of convincing me to buy your product, answer your survey, or donate some money DO NOT use a computer to phone me up to five times a day. DO NOT think it's okay to leave me waiting for much longer than ten seconds (or more) for a human being to come on the line and tell me why you've been harassing me. DO NOT hang up on me when I ask you to speak up because I can't hear you over my screaming baby. And finally, after you've hung up on me, DO NOT try to tell me that there must have been another reason why the last one of your cronies hung up on me.

'Cause seriously. I'll go off on you. And I promise. The next time I won't even be this nice. This was just a warm up.

(I have no idea why any company or charity would think that computer phone calls would make them any money. They just piss me off times one hundred. And after I get about twenty of them with nothing but silence on the other side I am practically guaranteed to tell them off without even the benefit of a "Could you speak up please?" You would think they'd figure out that they get better results when they use actual human beings to phone their victims.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Five Years Ago

I remember that at this time, five years ago today, I'd made it to around nine centimeters. Everything was moving so fast. We were all sure I'd have my baby boy within the next few hours... And around twelve endless and agonizing hours later...
(Actually, this picture was probably taken closer to fourteen hours later, since I didn't get to meet him till a few hours after he was born.) Look at all his hair! And look at how puffy my fingers are! All that fluid... No wonder they make you take off your rings.

In this picture I was still totally stoned and only mostly conscious. I don't even remember it being taken. All I can remember are brief flashes... Glen walking in with him, me being shocked by his thick dark hair, the weight of him in my arms FINALLY, and the nurse helping me to nurse him for the first time. It sucks to have missed so much of his first hours, but I'm glad that I can at least remember the first time I saw him. In my opinion, planned c-sections are definitely better than emergency ones mostly for that reason, but I'd do the whole thing all over again ten times if that's what I had to do to get my Benjamin.

Happy Birthday buddy. Your mommy loves you more than words could ever say, and she's so glad that five years ago you changed her life forever by coming into this world to be her Benjamin.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Itsy Bitsy

Oh man. Those two crack me up. (Plus, aren't they just the cutest?)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today

I'm not having a very good day today. I wish it was sunny. Somehow when things are sunny, everything seems a little easier to take. I'm cleaning the house to try to make things feel better, but it's not helping.

What's wrong? Oh, lots of dumb things contributing to make everything seem worse than it is.

First of all, I'm getting a little frustrated with my inability to remember things. These are the things I've forgotten in just the last week:

  • I forgot to go to the ladies' birthday dinner at my church. I was totally planning on it. I could have used a night out. I didn't remember it till the next day.
  • I forgot to bring a medium sized gift bag to Ben's preschool on Thursday.
  • I forgot to bid on something I really wanted to buy off of ebay. Of course, I remembered the auction about a half an hour after it ended.
  • I forgot to pay my mom for Mother's Day presents for my Grammas.
  • I forgot to bank Hannah's cord blood. (This didn't happen last week of course, but since I just realized that I forgot it last week, it feels like it just happened.)
  • I forgot to pick up a baby sling that a friend of mine offered to lend me on my way out of Saskatoon on Sunday.
  • I forgot to pick up a nursing pillow that another friend offered on my way out of Martensville that same day.
  • And to top it all off: I forgot to take Ben to his Kindergarten registration this morning. Once again, I was totally planning on going. I even had everything out and ready to go last night. I didn't remember this morning till the school called wondering where we were. Nice. Now the teacher has to do a special registration just for us and Ben misses out on meeting all his little classmates.
Aside from all the forgetting, Hannah won't let me put her down for longer than five or so minutes at a time. It's getting tiring. That sling sure would have helped.

And the boys are sick. It's just colds, but there are boogers everywhere and they are grumpy and whiny and coughing all over the place. Plus, because they have colds, no one is sleeping very well. I seriously don't need the boys getting up three or more times in a night when Hannah is doing the same thing at different times. I'm thrashed.

And I can't take Ben to preschool today, (one of his last days ever) because of all the people bringing their sick kids to school. And not just sick with colds. Sick with strep throat. I don't understand it, and I find it upsetting.

On the upside, I just hanged my mind about the weather. As I was writing this post it started to thunder and lightening. I love thunder storms and I find rain soothing. Gloomy weather is completely different than stormy weather in my books. I'm going to go light some candles and open some windows to let in the rain smell. Then I'll try to get the boys to take a nap while I hold Hannah (of course, what else would I do with her?) on the couch and watch some taped episodes of House Hunters.

Later I'm going to go buy a sling online, because I am really getting tired of listening to that little girl cry while I do stuff like posting.

(Sammy just noticed the rain/snow/hail. He said, "Oh no, we gotta get our brellas!")

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mom Stuff

I don't usually do these things, but something I heard yesterday made it seem appropriate this time. My mom gave me this award over on her blog:
The rules for this award: Admit one thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off you shoulder. Once you have written it down, you are no longer allowed to feel bad. It is over with. It is in the past. Remember you are a good mom! After you have that off you chest, list seven things you love about your kids or that you love doing with them or that they love about you. These are the things to remind yourself everyday that you ROCK!

Yesterday at my old church in Martensville I got to hear, yet another, great Kevin message. One of the things he said especially resonated with me... A mom is supposed to make the world a safe place for her child. She's supposed to give her child the security of knowing that they are loved always and forever. That's the one thing I feel awful about. It's not that I never do that, but I wish I always did, or at least that I didn't fail at it as often as I do.

The problem is there are days and times when I put more value on my children doing what they are supposed to do, than I do on just loving them the way they are. Those days I wish I'd remember that it's more important to drop Ben at preschool knowing his mommy thinks he's great, than it is to get him there on time. Instead, I send him off with a scowl on my face because I'm frustrated with how long it took to get him ready.

I hate how I do that. I want my babies to look in my face and see approval and tenderness. I scold my kids too much. I know better. I know how to get them to do what I want without having to scold them at every turn. I know all about positive reinforcement and preventative discipline. What I need to be better at is keeping things in perspective... To remember every day how important my actions and words are to my children's lifelong well-being. I need to remember how easily I can hurt them with my impatience and my frustration. And then I need to remind myself that they are more important than what I'm frustrated about.

Now for the seven happy things:

1) I love love love the way my boys are so singy. (Yes, that's a word.) The sing all day, every day. They sing along with things they are listening to, and they sing all on their own. Sometimes they make up songs. Sometimes they surprise me by singing songs they've only heard once. They have the sweetest little voices, and when they add actions or dance moves to their songs... Oh man. They can totally make my day with just one little song, so imagine how it is to listen to them sing their way through a whole day!

2) I love mornings in bed with my boys and now Hannah too. Ever since Ben was little, we've spent many mornings lazing around in my bed... Playing with toys, reading books, singing songs, tickling, wrestling, cuddling, and when I know I'll be changing the sheets that day sometimes we eat in there too. It's a pretty nice way to start the day. It's getting a little crowded though. Maybe we need to upgrade to a king size bed to accommodate our growing numbers.

3) I love taking pictures of them.

4) I love watching them play together. I love hearing them talk to each other in the mornings. I love it when they "read" each other stories. I love it when they hug. I love hearing them say each other's names. I love it when they tell each other, "I love you."

5) I love buying them stuff. I'd say, don't tell Glen, but he's quite aware of my problem. I have a real problem telling them, and myself, no. Maybe I should say, don't tell Ben and Sam.

6) I love watching them learn how to do new things. Ben just learned to write his name and I don't think anything could be more exciting. I love it when they encourage each other and praise each other for their accomplishments and I love it when they ask me, "Are you proud of me?" I always am.

7) I love their hugs and I love hugging them. I like hugs, I always have, but there is something about feeling your child's arms around your neck, feeling their little heart beating against your chest, feeling their breath on your cheek, feeling their head resting on your shoulder. When I'm sad and crying, when they're sad and crying, when we're both happy and giggling, or quiet and peaceful... I love hugging them.

My kids are so great. I wish I could be a perfect mom for them. They deserve it. I know it's not possible, but that doesn't stop me from wishing it was and trying to do better. I know I can.

And the first step? Getting off this computer. Sam is sick with a cold and wandering around snotting on things. He needs to be put down for a nap. Ben is up on the toilet waiting for me to come wipe his tush. And I just put Hannah down seven minutes ago and she's crying to be picked up. Ben first, then Sam, then Hannah. Annnnnnd... GO!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Hannah Banana!

I can't believe it's already been a whole month! It feels like she just got here and it's already time for her one month photo shoot. You can see that she really enjoyed it and was very excited about the banana cream pie that she can't eat. (Actually, I got a few nicer shots, but only because I persevered through quite a few shots like these. Poor thing. And she has a whole lifetime of posing in front of her.)

Anyways, I have to say, I don't remember ever enjoying a newborn as much as I'm enjoying Hannah. I think it's all about placement. With Ben, everything was so new and overwhelming. It was hard to really enjoy him because everything seemed to be happening so fast and I really had no idea what I was doing. With Sam, suddenly I had to adjust to being the mommy of more than one child. It was hard to really enjoy him because, aside from the fact that he cried a LOT, I wasn't used to dividing my time and attention between both boys and frankly, most of my time with him I spent feeling guilty that Ben was being neglected. But with Hannah, I'm used to having more than one child that needs me during the day. I also know that she's probably my last baby and that just makes it so much easier to remember to cherish every minute with her. I wish I'd been able to do that more with the boys, but that's life I guess. They don't say live and learn for no good reason.

The other thing that makes it easier to enjoy Hannah is how much the boys enjoy her. When I brought Sammy home, Ben was only two. He was too little to really be interested in Sammy as anything other than a novelty. Ben and Sam just love Hannah. (Some of Sam's loving is completely just him mimicking Ben, but that doesn't change the fact that he is enjoying her.) I love watching them with her... Holding her, kissing her, telling her "It's all right Hannah! Don't cry!" (Ben), or "Uhhhhh! Hannah! Calm down!" (Sam). All three of them are adorable, and all three of them together? Too cute to even begin to describe with words.

So, Happy Birthday little Hannah! Today I've been thinking about something Ben said about you before you were born when we were both wishing for a little girl just like you. He said you'd give him "a big smile in (his) big heart," and that's just what you do every day. You make all of us very happy, so cheer up. The photo shoot is over and Mommy promises not to bug you with another one for at least another day.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Here are some sleeping recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS:

- Place infants to sleep on their backs.
- Place infants to sleep in a baby bed with a firm mattress. There should be nothing in the bed but the baby. No covers, no pillows, no bumper pads, no positioning devices and no toys.
- Do not place your baby to sleep in an adult bed.
- Do not sleep with your infant.

And here are some pictures of Hannah's favorite sleeping positions:
This is her number one favorite way to sleep... (Unless you count sleeping on a person.) On her tummy in her vibrating chair. It's how she's sleeping right now, and it's why I have time to post in the middle of the afternoon with no Glen around to pass her off to.
I'm pretty sure if your baby isn't even supposed to have a blanket in bed with them, that a blanket completely covering the her head is a total no-no. (She did this. Not me, and not the boys. And when I pulled it off she woke up and cried.) She is on her back here though, so that's something.
Here she manages to break four rules in one shot. On an adult bed, with someone else, near a whole lot of blankets and comforters, and on her stomach.
Here she is actually sleeping on her back. But she's on a pillow. A down filled pillow. That's the only way she'll tolerate being on her back for an extended period of time. Of course, it also helps that part of her is on a person. And that person had just finished nursing her.
I'm pretty sure upside down sleeping has to be a no-no too. Sigh.

I have to tell you, it's really hard to force your baby to lie on her back when you know that she'll only sleep for a half hour or so like that, but if you put her on her stomach you might get a five hour sleep out of her. No one is sleeping very well here, and if they are you can bet it's because Hannah is on her stomach! (Don't worry. We're working on it.)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sold (For Real This Time)

I'm fairly certain that if we'd felt like waiting we could have got a bit more money, but by golly... I'm so glad it's sold. Just the thought of having to keep two yards mowed and tidy, plus all the little things that really needed fixing at the old house to get a top price... GBlen and I have just completely run out of energy for that stuff. So, as of June first, we'll only own one house again. Phew.

Being Becky though, I have to confess to feeling a little sad to see it go. I really did like this house. I know it still needed lots (and LOTS) of work, but it was a nice house. Our first house. (I don't count rentals.)

It's where Ben took some of his first steps and learned to talk. It's where he said things like, "Gonna goin inna caw?" and where he played with his grampa in those carefree days before we knew Dad had cancer and we took having him around for granted. It's where we brought Sam home from the hospital and where he spent the first months of his life crying his cute little head off. It's the place where the boys swam naked in the paddling pool and where Ben peed in my flower bed one sunny summer day. It's where I cried on my bed when I found out how sick Dad was, and where Ben put his little arms around me asking me why I was sad. It's where Sammy made me laugh hundreds of times and where we played "chase me!" back and forth between the kitchen and living room. So many happy days, lots of ordinary ones, and a few really sad ones, and I have trouble letting go of any of them. I don't like change, and letting go, so I'm sure the last day we lock the doors and drive out of the crumbling driveway I'll cry a little. But that's the way life goes... It's a series of greetings and goodbyes...

New house, old house. New life, old life. Hello, goodbye.