i've found that many of my pre-ben lifestyle choices made becoming a mother an easy transition. here are my tips if you are planning to become a parent in the next few years:
> stay home a lot. then when the baby comes and you have to stay home, it's not so difficult.
> don't sleep too soundly. this will make it easier to wake up so many times in the night. if you already DO sleep soundly - set your alarm for every couple of hours. great practice.
> start wearing sweatshirts and jeans/lulus more often. then when you have a poochy stomach that is difficult to hide in regular clothing, people were used to seeing you in a hoodie pre-baby anyways. they don't think that you're letting yourself go now that you have a kid - you just have always let yourself go.
> only wash your hair every other day. if you start this pre-baby, your natural oils will have time to adjust so once you have a baby and no time to shower everyday, on day two your hair won't look as greasy.
> don't buy any expensive, new shoes if you plan to get pregnant soon. you will be very sad when they no longer fit post-pregnancy.
> add a lot of blogs to your google reader. those bloggers that post 20 times a day may bug you now but when all you do is hang out at home all day, you will come to love those posters! (let me know if you want some recommendations...)
yep - do these things and you will be well prepared. i know i was. (ha)
i have found over the last 5 1/2 months of being a mother, that i'm often thinking of the upcoming milestones that ben is working towards. you know, like 4 months ago, i was wondering when ben was going to start reaching for things instead of just looking at them. and two months ago i was thinking, "roll, ben, roll!" and when the time passes that he "should" have been able to do those things and he's not, i've wondered, "oh no...i hope he's developing okay..." (you cannot laugh at me if you don't have kids) but then he starts reaching. he starts rolling. and of course all is fine.
except now when i sit him on my lap, he grabs stuff on the table so quickly that i sometimes miss and it falls onto the floor. and now when he rolls over, he cries because he doesn't want to be on his stomach but when i flip him over, he immediately rolls back onto his stomach and cries some more. i wonder why i was so looking forward to these milestones and i think to myself, "try to enjoy this stage and don't wonder when your baby is going to start crawling..."
so today i practiced having TWO kids. ben's friend elias came over and hung out for the morning and a little bit of the afternoon. elias is 7 months older than ben and it was interesting to watch him and imagine how quickly ben will be there.
in preparation for a crawler, i cleaned my kitchen floor and tried to pick up all things around that i might not want him to pick up. i also cleared all low tables of things breakable/sharp. watching ben rolling around on the floor, sticking his butt up in the air, it made me realize that i should be making these preparations permanent because i'm going to have a crawler on my hands soon.
when kara left and it was just elias and i (ben was sleeping), we mostly just stared at each other for awhile. i was talking to him but he wasn't too sure about me. i started to get a little nervous so i quickly downloaded barenaked ladies' kids cd: snacktime. it definitely broke the tension. and i'd recommend the cd - it's pretty crazy fun.
ben loved having another kid around. he just stared at him without blinking. when elias made noises, ben smiled and made noises. it was hilarious. for a long time they just sat on the floor playing with toys. elias and i did some dancing but ben had never seen his mom dance around like a crazy person so he just stared at me.
all in all, it was quite a success. if ben grows up to be as good as elias, shulba number 2 will be fine. :) but don't worry...that won't be for a very long time.
great SYTYCD episode tonight. in the words of adam, "i love this show."
favourite dances: jakob and ashleigh's sonja routine & legacy and kathryn's ballroom routine. though legacy's tears at the end? wow. what a guy.
and speaking of sonja - tim's quote of the night: "she's a freak of talent." i love her routines.
is anyone else weirded by the white underwear that the girls sometimes wear under their dresses? like i know it's not their underwear but if it was a colour that went with the dress, it wouldn't be so stand-out when their skirt twirls.
so nigel saying, "oh, not another concept routine." and "i like watching dancing with the stars because it's just dancing." wow. not the usual, "i've invented the greatest show ever." vibe.
who do i predict to go...who knows? these 12 are all pretty great. but predictions: victor and molly.
baby feet are kind of a strange shape. (or maybe it's just MY baby...) but ben's feet don't really get thinner closer to the toes - they're chubby all the up to the toes. this makes it difficult to get them into shoes. so ben had a tiny pair of shoes that he wore when he was tiniest and then i shoved his feet in them for his dedication also. but for the most part, ben's been shoeless. i put a warm pair of socks on those puppies and we're good to go. most often, his lower half is under a blanket when we go out anyways. however, i'd been given a gift from a local baby boutique from tim's cousin and while the outfit was super cute, it was for a long and skinny baby. i have a short and chubby baby. so i kept the hoodie but went to the boutique to see if i could exchange it. i could. and so, i bought ben some shoes...
little high-top plaid robeez. SO CUTE. and yesterday, i wondered if perhaps they'd fit yet. and what do you know? they did. well, close enough. today i was jamming his feet into them as we were heading out the door and i can tell that his heel isn't down inside the shoe and by no means are his toes where the toes should go. is this just how baby shoes fit? or am i doing something wrong. either way, i'm glad they're velcroed at the top because i stuffed his foot in as best i could, velcroed the top and off we went.
yes...it's been a few weeks already and i've had yet to say anything. are any readers here watching? well i have the computer sitting on my lap tonight while i watch (waaaay too much media) and i have many thoughts on th show thus far...
i really didn't love last season and so i reasoned that i must have gotten tired of the show (like survivor, amazing race, etc). and then the opening show to the top 20. no voting - all in the dancers own styles? WOW! what a fantastic idea! bringing adam on as a regular judge - SO smart. yes, nigel - you HAVE created the best show ever bringing dance to the world. i'm love love loving this season - these dancers are such a good mix (once those tappers were out...haha).
but after all this gushing - thoughts on tonight's episode: >nap and tab - it wasn't love at first choreographed sight but man, i really love them now. what a great dance tonight. > and travis from season 2? he is a fantastic choreographer - i hate to say it but he really should have won season2. i couldn't see it at the time but all these seasons later, i'm finally admitting it. the fact that he used the stars' music for the dance of course made it the BEST dance of the season so far!!! too bad it was ryan. it seems to be okay for russians to be ballroom guys but this guy bugs me. he kind of looks like a charicature (spelling?) of someone...but he DID do a good job on the dance. and i lovvve eleanore. > the pasa doble was amazing...not to mention the killer abs on "legs". yikes. when he came out shirtless, i was like, "is he constantly flexing or are those seriously his muscles?" > and wasn't tyce's blackbird routine so emmy-driven? but even though i'm not channing or victor's biggest fan, it was so well done. > now molly and nathan...the babies. i want to dislike molly. but she did so well tonight and many other nights. i think laurieann is one of those choreographers who can pull a lot out her dancers from what it looks like. i was suprised by nigel's kudos to nathan though - perhaps the best dancer to have ever been on this show? huh. is it just my memory or did adam tell every couple that they're going to the top ten? that's gonna be tough.
let's just give a mary-shout out to kat tonight. she's really the best host. her best moment? mocking travis's crazy voice when announcing ryan and eleanore.
anyways...wanted to let you know that yes, i AM watching this season and if YOU are watching...i'll keep blogging my sytycd thoughts.
as you know if you are a frequenter of this blog, i wish i was crafty...but am making no moves towards actually being crafty. but the other day, after i spent countless hours searching etsy pages and bouncing around from one crafty mama blog to another, i decided that i just need to start. sure, i may not knit or sew...i may not have my own creative ideas...but i can find knitting patterns and give them to alyssa...and i can copy crafty people's ideas. and so today i set about a whirlwind of beginning steps of projects:
inspiration: michael's flyer
i got a flyer yesterday from michaels and there was a little ad about the free demo of how to make this countdown calendar. love it. but i thought - i can SEE how to make this. no problem. and today i began a search in michaels for these little silver cannisters. i was going to buy 24 and do a big advent calendar. i get to the store, search by myself for awhile and finally ask someone. she has no clue about the demo OR the little silver cannisters. i showed her a picture from the flyer and she left me to go ask someone. well i never saw that girl again but i did see a michaels lady walk by with a set of these little tins in her hands so i followed her. i asked her about them and as it turns out, they have none in store. what? you're doing a demo today in hopes to get people in the door to buy stuff and then you don't have the stuff they're going to want? so she showed me some other container options that i could make my calendar with. squares...hearts...hmm...so i thanked her and stood in that aisle for while contemplating. i decided on squares and they came in boxes of 18. so i'd have to buy 2 packages. and they were $30 each. yikes. so i was wandering with my 18 cannisters in hand and my friend, robyn, saw me. and she works at michaels. i told her my story and she's like, "i'm sure i saw those around here..." and i followed her to the candle section. little round silver tins in packages of 4 for $5 each...totalling $30 once i buy my 24. of course there were only 3 packages but she checked the langley michaels and apparently they have some there too. yes...it's a long story to tell you that i'm planning on making an advent calendar this year. it's going to be in the shape of a christmas tree.
inspiration: an etsy store i've been wanting something to hang my jewelry on for some time and since my jewelry collection is mostly earrings, this is the type of thing that i like. but when i saw this for sale online for $30, i thought, "i bet i could make that..." so today i went to a couple thrift stores and found an old frame for $6 and then i went to home depot and got a roll of screen like you'd use on a window screen for $9. i plan to spray paint the frame tomorrow and we will see what happens.
inspiration: an article in a magazine that i think i might have already returned to the public library! shoot! it's a DIY little mural idea for a child's room. a wavy border of blue around the top of the room walls and a wavy border of brownish closer to the bottom of the room walls. then you paint three trees over top. it sounds hard but it looked really easy...hmm...
so while at home depot this afternoon, i checked the "oops" section in the paint department and found the perfect blue and brown for only $3 a can.
soft play blox. these are sewn by hand...which i've never done before...but how hard could it be? haha. i saw these two pieces of felt at one of the thrift stores and bought them in case i speed through these other crafts and feel that i need more of a challenge. :)
lastly, one craft i'd planned on making when i left my house today shopping for supplies was this "taggie monster". i thought the tutorial looked do-able and let's face it: i need to get that sewing machine out and start trying it out again. this seemed like an easy enough project to get me back into the groove. but when i went into the fabric store today where EVERYTHING was 50% off because they're closing down, i was slightly overwhelmed. i walked around the entire store and then left. i didn't know what to do. i need to take a fabric-store-regular with me so i don't feel so out of place. so i decided that maybe the taggie moster is a new years type craft.
i've attempted to upload a couple videos over the last week. i leave the browser open fo-eva and it never seems to work. once, i left it open ALL DAY thinking maybe it's just that slow. but no. never happened. am i doing something wrong? are my videos too huge? they're maybe 30 sec - 1 min. long. and they're wicked cute. maybe the cuteness factor is too much for my computer to handle. :) anyways...i wanted you to know that i'm making efforts here but it's beyond my control.
you know sophie? the giraffe? from what i'd seen of her celebrity appearances, i was skeptical. oh brother, leave it to hollywood to love an old school-looking, rubber giraffe. what kid wants to play with that? well...i eat my words.
ben got sophie from from his auntie rachel and once soph was out of the box, i realized that she's not solid rubber - she's very bendable. she's kind of soft. she's the perfect size for ben's little hands to hold. she squeaks and is so easily squeaks that sometimes ben can even make squeak which always gets a laugh. plus, turns out she's for teething babies...which ben is. and the reason she looks "old-school" is because she's 40 years old and was born in france. c'est fantastique!
i love etsy (all things handmade) but i've never actually bought anything on it. today i decided to search for canadian etsy shops just to look around. well, man there is fantastic handmade stuff out there. and i finally bought something.
if you have a kid to shop for this christmas, check out timeless puzzles. i bought a benjamin puzzle. can you believe that it wasn't in stock? they have crazy names in stock - atticus was there...and benson...but no benjamin. if you can never find anything with your kid's name on it, you will be able to find it here! haha. but for an 8 letter, custom made puzzle PLUS shipping, it was $27 CDN. what a great christmas present! and great to support canadian artists. hurry and order if you want it for christmas - the date to order by is november 15.
well, i'm almost 5 months into motherhood. i had big plans to hit the gym often. i have not.
there's this "stroller stride" class at the rec centre that i've often said i was going to go to but it's a 9:15am. it seems to just be a time that i cannot make work. ben always seems to either need to be fed or is napping at that time. well today was the day to get there. ben got up at 7:15am and was back in his crib at 8:10am for his nap. naps are always 30 - 45 minutes so i figured i'd get all ready to go and when he woke up, i'd pop him in his carseat and we would get to stroller stride! so while he slept, instead of also sleeping (which is often what i do), i shaved my legs, i did my hair appropriately for sweating, and i got dressed in workout clothes. i packed a diaper bag. i got the car seat ready with blankets and toys and a hat. i was ready.
9am came and went. ben was not up. guess who decided to sleep a whole hour this morning? maybe tomorrow.
SO...the shoes. i'm not a shoe person. this grid may make you question this but let me assure you, in dorms, no one was wishing that they had the same size feet as me so we could swap. i've been alternating between two pairs of shoes this fall: row three, pair 4 and row three, pair 6. both were way overworn last fall/winter/spring at work. both have terrible, thin soles that eventually make my feet tired if i wear them and walk too far. both leak and make my socks wet if it rains...umm...which happens often. and i've been lamenting about how "i need new shoes." now that i have them lined up like this, i see that i "want" new shoes. but nonetheless, i also see that i need, need, need to get rid of some of these.
now i HAVE put a few of these pairs on craigslist because they're in perfect condition only to have them not sell. later this week, i'll post a few pairs here to see if you want them. those red ones really stand out, hey? i wore them on sunday. i have such bad blisters from 2 hours in those shoes that i'm still recovering. does anyone else have this problem? like, every pair of shoes gives me blisters. and if they don't, it's because they're lame. i buy shoes, knowing that people have to "break in" their shoes and i try. i honestly do. ask the people i have worked with because they've seen me walking around barefoot by lunchtime with bleeding blisters. yuck. it keeps me from being a shoe person.
so out of these 32 pairs, i wear 6 often, 6 occasionally, 3 pairs that used to be occasional no longer fit me post-pregnancy, and the rest are nevers. in fact, one pair belongs to liz - i should give those back. so how many to toss? i'm giving 8 pairs away to salvation army, 4 pairs i'll try to sell again before giving them away. 12 out of 32? it's a start at least.
well, a few pounds gained in ontario, i've returned to BC with a new determination. i need some rules. sure, if the rules are made FOR me, i'm not too keen but if I make the rules, then i can do it. so still counting my 22 points a day - here the new additional rules for the month of november:
only 2 pts. can be alloted to dessert-like food per day. (that would be like a mini chocolate bar or a 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt)
only 2 pts. of "junk" food per day. (that would be about 14 baked chips)
fries can be once a week at the most.
one diet pop a day. (yes, at this point, that is cutting back)
pizza is allowed on sunday nights of course. (this is 20 year tradition in the macdonald household though it used to be fridays)
yes - this helps me to write it out and throw it to the internets. ;) now it's public, i can't break the rules, see? so here we go - november is my month to turn it all around. i need to get "on a roll" and this is it. (thanks for being a part of my self-pep-talk).
so the day before we left for ontario, i was feeling like ben was getting tired of his playmat and how great would it be if he could play in his exersaucer while i was packing and cleaning? i went and pulled the box out of the closet where it's been waiting since april. in my mind, i was going to dump out a mostly put together toy. you know, snap the legs on and snap the top and bottom together and voila! exersaucer.
instead, i dumped out a billion tiny pieces in baggies and way more plastic pieces than i was expecting. okaay...well i had obviously gotten myself into a bigger job than i'd realized. but hey - let's get it done. i pull out the 12 page instruction booklet. i go to the garage and get the screwdriver. (who knew there'd be screws to this thing?) and i set to work. as you can see, ben watched from his playmat.
work, work, work. eventually, ben was tired of the playmat and moved to his jolly jumper to watch the process. lots of snapping things together and using my sscrewdriver to make things stick. i'm working away, thinking how handy i am as well as speedy but 45 minutes in, i discover a missing piece. WHAAAT? a missing spring. now, springs ARE round and have a tendancy to roll and i DID pour all the parts out of the box. so i search my kitchen for about 15 minutes. and the kitchen is not 15 minutes big. i searched thoroughly. in fact, i even walked around my house looking...just in case. no spring. GAH!
i email evenflo to say that i am missing a spring. can they get me one? a pieced together exersaucer sitting in my kitchen is at stake. well the very next day, i'm in ontario. i check my email and discover a prompt email from evenflo saying, "yes! we can mail you a spring! it'll be there in 2 - 3 weeks." WOAH! i'm pumped. maybe it'll be home before i get home!
nope. i got home on thursday and it wasn't here yet. but no worries. it was on it's way. so friday morning, i'm on the phone with my friend, kara, and as i walk into my kitchen, i see a glimmer of silver from under the sink cupboards. i stop talking mid-sentence and get down on my hands and knees to look into the cavernous hole under the cupboards that leads to a heat vent. THE SPRING! it had rolled all the way over there and even though i'd gotten down on my hands and knees and looked under the oven, i hadn't looked in this direction apparently. shoot.
so i set to work and finished up the exersaucer. ben's pumped. and if anyone finds themselves missing a spring...i have one for you.