Friday, November 26, 2010

30 things

Inspired by a Facebook post, I decided to chime in on my blog instead. Below are 30 things you probably don't know about me...

  1. I never flush a public toilet using my hands
  2. I am totally dyslexic with numbers
  3. I’m anaphylactic to mango, most nuts, and fresh peaches
  4. I’ve only coloured my hair twice in my life and both times were disastrous
  5. I hate drinking water and would rather go thirsty
  6. When I’m really upset or uncomfortable, I laugh involuntarily
  7. I still get carsick if I’m not in the front seat
  8. I can touch my nose with my tongue
  9. The second and third toes on my left foot are lightly webbed
  10. I can’t drink orange juice with pulp because it feels like bits of skin in my juice
  11. I’m still a little afraid of the dark
  12. I still wear pants that I bought over 12 years ago when I was in college
  13. I’m really worried about my little girl but afraid that saying it out loud too often will only make my worst fears come true
  14. I believe in karma and try to put some good out into the world every day
  15. I use a sharpie marker to touch up my black shoes when they start to wear out
  16. I’m scared of june bugs
  17. I hate the taste of coffee and beer
  18. I make a killer pork chop
  19. 90% of my best friends live more than two hours away from me
  20. When I was a child, I used to practice using my feet for everything as I was convinced I’d one day lose my hands in some freak accident
  21. It really turns me on when my husband picks me up without even straining
  22. I’ve been pregnant 8 times in the past five years, but only have two living children
  23. I’ve breastfed for over three years now
  24. The only music I don’t like listening to is heavy metal
  25. I’ve had the following pets in my lifetime: cats, dogs, gerbils, a hamster, rainbow crab, geckos, tree frogs, fish, an iguana, newts, salamanders, a ball python, ferrets, and a wild mouse
  26. My feet grow half a size (and stay that way) every time I have a baby
  27. Women and teenagers who call their father “daddy” make me cringe
  28. I have to pretend escargot are mushrooms when I eat them or I gag
  29. I only reveal about ¼ of the writing I do – most of it sits filed but never read
  30. I stopped using my WiiFit because every time I stepped on the board it made a surprised “Oh!” noise that sounded critical

Friday, November 12, 2010


Since I’ve returned to work, I’ve had no less than a dozen people ask me if I’m happy to be back at work. I never know how to answer. I feel like they assume I was just waiting for the day I could escape my children and return to my cubicle. If I say yes, I’m happy to be here, would they infer that I wasn’t happy to be with my children? If I say no, do they then assume that I hate my job?

Truth be told, no, I am not happy to be back at work. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy that I have a job to go back to in this economy. And if I have to work, I’m glad that I am where I am. I have fabulous coworkers, a knowledgeable boss, and the compensation is really good. But I would like nothing more than to be at home with Hayden and Fliss all day.

The thought that other people are raising my children grates on me. I drop my babies off at 7am and don’t get to see them again until 4pm. That gives me about ten minutes with them in the morning as we all hustle to get ready (Adam is in charge of getting the kids fed and ready for school), and three to four hours with them at night. I feel like a part-time mother.

Not only do I not get much time with my children, but I often feel like they get the worst of me. I use so much effort and energy at work proving my worth, that when I get home I just feel spent. I often feel like I have no patience, no mental capacity to answer Hayden’s billions of questions, no physical energy to get down and really play with them. All the things I love about motherhood are pushed aside. I catch myself sometimes on the laptop while my children vie for my attention. All I want is five minutes to myself. And all they want is some love and attention from the one who bore them.

There is no easy fix. I need to work because we need the money and the benefits. I need to expend energy and effort at work to make sure that I still have a job tomorrow.

The children both go to an excellent daycare centre that teaches them not just colours and numbers, but also how to play nicely with others, how to share, and how to express themselves.

And so my children continue grow. Right before my eyes they change. They learn things that I wish I could have taught them myself. They surprise me nearly daily with the way their little minds are expanding.

I never wanted to be a working mother. I have a project from elementary school that states quite proudly that “I want to be a mother when I grow up.” In a perfect world, I would be at home with my babies every day. I can’t wait for the day that I can walk Hayden to school every day and have a hot lunch waiting for him when he returns. I can’t wait to spend my afternoons showing Fliss the world around her. I yearn to share my love of nature with them on daily walks. I ache to show them the joy of food by baking and making dinner together. These things all seem to get lost in the shuffle when there is only a few hours together before bed time.

I’ll keep buying my lottery tickets. And until that winning day, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to really spend time with them every day.

The laundry, groceries and the rest of the world can wait – tonight I’m too busy being a mother.

Friday, November 5, 2010

How a heartsong grows

At this time, on this day, four years ago, I was 9.5cms dilated. A naive girl eager to meet the little life that had already stolen my heart.

He taught me the meaning of the word patience. But more importantly, he redefined the word love.

He became my world with one flash of those baby blues.

As he grew, so did my love for him - though I never thought that possible.

He became our little shadow. Eager to learn, eager to do, eager to make his mark on the world.

He transformed us from a couple to a family. From husband and wife to father and mother.

He looks up to us to guide him, to teach him, to love him.

He taught us never to underestimate him. When his sister arrived, he greeted her not with jealousy but with adoration.

Watching them together warms my heart. Instead of sibling rivalry, he brings joy and tenderness to his baby sister. Even telling me that he wants more little sisters to love.

He is still my heartsong. My snuggly, affectionate, emotional, intelligent, active heartsong.

Motherhood has been nothing like I thought it would be. It's been more difficult, more rewarding, messier, more challenging, more fun, and much more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.

And this little guy...

...he was the catalyst.

Happy 4th birthday Hayden. I love you more than my meager words could ever say.

Thank you for showing me who I could be and for teaching me what life is really all about.