Five for Fun

1. I’ve been back to work for three and a half weeks now. It feels pretty okay, you guys.  We’ve got an excellent and highly efficient morning routine going, the lunches have (so far) been homemade, the clothes have been clean, the dog has only punished us once for leaving her alone all day, the Tupperware lids are all still accounted for, and we all still like each other at bedtime.  Almost always.  So, there has been some bickering.  And there may possibly have been one or two incidents where I may possibly have screamed repeatedly at my family to GET IN THE VAN!!!  But generally, things are going well.  I have not even misplaced my keys that many times.  Okay, so seven times.  Really what I’m saying is that 43% of the time I knew exactly where my keys were at the exact moment I needed them.  That’s less than half the time, people.  If you know me at all you would know that the cards in my wallet are organized alphabetically, I fold my family’s underwear, and I have labels on all the things.  But I can rarely keep track of my keys.  So maybe I’ll work on that.  In any case, I feel pretty good about finding that this working mom thing is totally cray-cray most of the time but also highly doable most of the time.

 

Cabin

Cabin 18

2. I recently spent a night away from home at White Point Beach Resort.  Oceanfront cabin, a fireplace, coffee, wine, girlfriends to share or sit in silence with, waves crashing on the rocks, a salty sea breeze, hand-knitted socks, a good book, a comfy chair, and blessed quiet.  It was everything I knew it would be.  Sometimes all it takes for me to remember everything I love about my life is to step away from my life for a short period of time.  It’s good to be back.

 

3. I tried a new curry recipe last week that my entire family (all three of my small people included) loved.  You will find it here.  The only changes we made were to add some sweet potato, diced carrot, about a cup of chicken stock, and about a tablespoon of fish sauce.  I served it over warm naan bread and, you guys, it was nommy.

 

4. My eldest son lost two teeth last weekend and I am pleased to say that the Tooth Fairy remembered to show up both times. Also, I was so not prepared for how emotional I would get over him losing his first tooth.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need to be sedated for his first middle school dance.  My baby is growing up and I don’t like it.

 

5. I really need to go to the dentist, see my family doctor, get a hair-cut/color, wax some stuff, and mop my floors. Since I am having difficulty deciding on the order in which to prioritize these things, in addition to the difficulty I am having in remembering on any given day that these things ought to be prioritized in the first place, I find myself doing none of these things every day so far this month.  I need to change my ways.

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Reflection on the First Year

Please join us in welcoming Chelsea to Mama Might!

Just over a year ago I left my job to begin my maternity leave.  Waiting for the arrival of my daughter was both exciting and torturous… I have always struggled with patience!  What made the whole experience even more amazing was that I would have a year off to spend time enjoying my new family of 3 (4 with the family pooch).  I had all kinds of plans and ideas about what I would accomplish while I was at home.  The gardens would be beautiful, the house spotless. I would have a chance to do all kinds of crafty projects and cook more nutritious, homemade meals.  I was going to get in shape.  I would indulge in terrible books and bad romantic comedies!

My daughter was born on her due date (punctual like her mama!).  It was the most incredible day of my life.  We felt blessed, happy, relieved and terrified all at once.  We were lucky enough to be working with a fantastic team of midwives so we were able to head home from the hospital a few hours after her birth.  We were all exhausted and despite the first-night-at-home anxiety, we got a much needed night of sleep.  As it turns out, it was really the only “peaceful” night in our house for the next six months.

Our perfect and beautiful daughter fit the textbook definition of colic.  She cried, and she cried, and she cried.  Before she was born we decided that we were not going to give our daughter a pacifier until after breastfeeding was well established.  By day two we were desperately trying to get her to take it, anything to soothe her and stop the crying and screaming.  We went into new parent problem-solving mode.  We had read so many pregnancy and baby books, surely we could figure this out.  We tried swaddling, rocking, shushing, breastfeeding, swinging, cuddling, massage, white noise and chiropractic.  We blamed it on milk supply and gas and acid reflux and  teething. I eliminated caffeine, dairy and chocolate from my diet in case that was the cause.  No matter what we tried we most certainly did not have the happiest baby on the block.  In fact, we spent most of last summer with the windows sealed shut so that neighbours wouldn’t be bothered.  Within a couple of weeks the daytime crying had decreased but evenings remained very difficult.  Without fail the crying would begin at 5pm and carry on until 11pm each day.  While the other new moms that I met had babies who were already sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, my daughter was waking up (at least) once every hour.  I gave up sleeping in bed and decided that camping on the couch was much less frustrating.  I came to accept that exhaustion was the new normal.  I had a more difficult time accepting that I could no longer drink coffee to try to balance myself out!  I remember thinking that my husband and I would never be able to eat dinner together again—who would hold the crying baby?

Thankfully, around 3-4 months things began to improve.  Slowly but surely the tears were replaced by happy baby giggles and gibberish.  We were even able to spend time together as a couple when she would go to bed.  It was still a long time before my daughter slept through the night but she began to wake less frequently.  With each and every milestone we were overwhelmed by a sense of pride.  It was incredible to watch as our daughter developed more and more personality each day.  We were in love from the moment we met her, now we were having fun too.

We recently celebrated our daughter’s first birthday.  My garden is overgrown with weeds, my house is rarely as clean as I would like and my craft room has been turned into a storage area.  I have tried out 5 new recipes (only because I committed to do so for my blog), and read exactly zero new books.  I am proud to say that I did accomplish my health and fitness goals!  I look back and I wonder how my husband and I managed to get through the first six months.  I have no doubt that it was the most difficult (and rewarding) thing that either of us have ever accomplished.  I am so grateful that our friends and family were there for us.  They provided us with words of encouragement, visits, the occasional dinner and oatmeal cookies!  My daughter is now a happy, confident, and determined toddler.  She is also a great sleeper, something that I never could have imagined a year ago!  If you have are the new parents of a “cry baby”, hold on.  I promise you that you are in for more fun than you can imagine!  Be patient, ask for help and give yourself a break from time to time.  Soon you too will be celebrating your child’s first birthday and as difficult as things may seem you will look back on these times and miss them.

ChelseaChelsea Bastien is the mom of a sweet, funny and adventurous toddler.  She is happily married and living in Ottawa, ON.  She is passionate about health and fitness and is currently pursuing a career as a personal trainer.  Follow her blog at www.labfitness.tumblr.com

Mama-gram

First, let me say that I’m sure there’s nothing wrong. I’ve been having some slight, intermittent pain in my left breast, and I asked my family doctor about it. She couldn’t feel anything amiss, but, since it was unilateral, said she would refer me for a mammogram if I wanted. I wasn’t sure, but she said she would go if were her, so I said yes.

I showed up at the clinic this morning, and after getting registered, washing my deodorant off and putting on that sweet double-layered hospital gown, I met the nicest tech who made the whole process totally easy and comfortable. Verging on delightful, really. She took a brief history, asked me if I was nervous (I wasn’t), and helped me contort myself into a few positions I’m sure would have been impossible to maintain if it wasn’t for the yoga. The pranayama probably helped, too.

Easy peas-y, Lemon Squeezy (or Melon Squeezy. Ha!). The whole thing took about five minutes. No pain, and discomfort so minimal I felt it was blog-worthy. Having heard a couple of stories about how much they hurt, I think it’s my duty to be the dissenting opinion. Be your own health care advocate! If you’re under forty and you think you need one, get a mammogram! They’re not that bad! Spread the word!

~Monique