Thursday, 24 November 2011

Learning to love the new me....

A lot of you have asked why I haven't blogged for a little bit, and the answer isn't, "I've been busy with the baby" but, "I've been spending some time with myself". I am constantly working on me. Trying to improve my attitude, working on my ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, and recognizing and dealing with my issues rather than project them onto other areas of my life. It's a never ending learning process and it helps me be the person I want to be. Just because I had a baby, doesn't mean I'm going to stop looking within; I'm hoping this will allow me to be the mom I dream of being.

Over the last little while I've been actively working on learning to love me. Somewhere between "oh shit, I'm pregnant" and "hang on, Penelope needs boob", I acquired a couple curves. So, I should say I've also been actively working on learning to love my new body. Sorry to those of you itching for a new Penelope blog, this one's about Mama. 

Finding a balance between mamahood and all the things I love to do is difficult some days, but not impossible by any means. I'm a mom. But I'm also a partner, a radio host, a lover, a painter, a yoga enthusiast, a sister, a daughter... you get the drift; I'm not self identifying as a mother alone.  

I'm also a belly dancer (who is still very much in the learning stages). I was asked to participate in a cabaret show this past weekend and at first I thought hellll no, I'm not good enough to solo in front of people, I'm not back to my pre baby body, I'm not... I'm not... I'm not... Then I realized I was being ridiculous. I decided to try to turn those negative thoughts around in my head to what I am! 

So, I put my ego and insecurity aside and teamed up with my favorite body painter Shelley to create something spectacular for a circus themed puppet cabaret show: a snake lady. 

And really, what better way than dancing in front of 200 people in nothing but paint to a) stop taking myself so seriously, b) try to let go of being in control of everything and c) fall in love with, and be comfortable in, my new body. I figured if the dance wasn't A+ at least we'd have fun painting, get some great shots for the portfolio (thanks to Josh Lyon), and I could tackle all of the above.  

Everything that could go "wrong" did. I cried through the process of creating the costume - sewing slinky fabric is like trying to walk a straight line after 6 shots of tequila; the air brush machine didn't work the first night; the paint came off certain parts of my body before I hit the stage; and having Penelope in the audience for a show caused my breasts to engorge so much I thought the nipple covers were going to come off.

I (and I'm sure Shelley as well) got confirmation that everything happens for a reason, and that we can control nothing but our attitudes.
In doing the show, ego turned to self confidence, insecurity to self awareness and control to whimsical frivolity. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The never ending parade of crap...

When you have a baby there`s this assumption that you need a whole bunch of stuff. From special seats for bathing and play mats with fancy arches, lights and mirrors, to 'Sophie' and teething bling for Mama. From the sleep sheep to the latest swing that simulates babe's days in the womb, it's a never ending parade of crap that marketers tell you will help you be a better parent. We're told that we need this stuff to stimulate our babies, in order for their development to be on track; to make parenting easier.

Congratulations new parents! You are now a niche market. 

I personally feel that all our babies need is the human experience ~ tagging along with us every day is going to teach them how to use their senses. (Remember, P is only 3m.)

It almost seems as though it would be easier to not get any of it. Some days I think, wouldn't it make more sense just to get down on the floor with her on a bright quilt with a toy and a book? Let's just read to her in silly voices and have J play her guitar, rather than try to figure out which play mat is made from decent fabric and materials (preferably not in China), that has arches that will stay up, and toys that will encourage her to play on her tummy. 

Because I'm borderline OCD and slightly neurotic, I end up analyzing each item. Which of these items do we really need? Am I going to pay less attention to my daughter because of this thing? Or, am I simply going to be able to have a shower and eat something when J isn't home? :)

I'm trying soooo hard not to buy into the BS that I need any of it. J helps - when I mentioned the Giraffe (Sophie) to help with the teething that has just begun, he went down to his workbench and made teething rings out of a beautiful piece of untreated wood we had.

It was Thursday afternoon that I surrendered.

I did it.

I bought a Bumbo

I'll admit I thought they were ridiculous when I first saw them. Not to mention, the thought of spending 60+ dollars on a piece of moulded polyurethane made my eyes roll so far back in my head I got glimpses of my frontal lobe. But, when I saw a little flat spot on P's head while perusing the Kijiji ads for a breast pump, I found myself looking for the seat that will let her sit up... without the back of her head resting against something. 

Now that I've given in, what color do I want? 

The shade that's only $20 please. 

So there we have it, the acquisition of our first trendy baby product.

And damn it if she doesn't LOVE it.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

sushi baby?

Every so often, I do something unthinkable. I pump a bottle, leave babe with Pa and do something for myself. I know, radical right? It doesn't happen often so it has to be huge, like showers that not only include both shampooing and conditioning but exfoliation too.

Friday, I decided the margin of difference between the length of hair on my legs and J's beard wasn't nearly a large enough and headed to my esthetician. You know you need a baby break when you are looking forward to having all the hair ripped out of your body. After an hour and a half of ~ahem~ relaxing sans babe, I decided it was too nice out to go home. Why not take P and venture downtown for a mama-baby day. I thought I would take a nice walk, grab a latte, do a little shopping, and stop for a sushi lunch. Visions of sitting with my babe on my lap while flipping through a copy of Mental Floss, popping pieces of maki into my mouth went through my mind.

I should have known better. 

I managed to get my coffee and buy the magazine. Then it was a matter of finding a restaurant that was baby friendly. We all know the best sushi in town is Akira on John Counter but it's a little further than I'd like to walk. And they love babies. It's so baby friendly they would actually hold yours if you really needed them to.

But I was walking and downtown, so the first restaurant I thought about stopping into was this cute little place on Princess who has pretty decent sushi. But it's tiny and congested inside, especially around 1pm on a Friday, making it next to impossible to maneuver a stroller. Add that to the few steps leading up to the door, and the long staircase to the bathroom and you've got an environment that isn't baby friendly. Even if I had been wearing her, it feels like a pub at last call when there are more than 3 tables taken. So, I headed up the street to the other place. 

Oh Ta-ke, how I love your 9.95 sushi lunch; how I hate your attitude towards the stroller, even when it's dead inside. Last time we went in the waitress asked us to move it away from our table because they wanted to seat the next customers at the table it was blocking. There wasn't anyone else in the restaurant. 

Seriously. And you thought I was just being sensitive. ;) 
Maybe I was just in a mood, and I realize I have risked this post turning into a rant because I'm feeling bitchy, so I won't go into details about the hour that followed. Instead, I've let this experience inspire a new quest: finding a baby friendly sushi restaurant within walking distance of my house (downtown). 

ps. speaking of the baby and sushi combination, did you realize there are a lot of people out there who like to dress their babes up as their favorite nigiri or maki?

  Or, if you'd rather have the Tuna.
 Sad that it's not even the baby as a hand roll that makes this kid creepy. I can't put my finger on it but... oh no wait, it's totally the Trump hair.

 And our favorite - California roll and shrimp nigiri - I think we need to see the California roll close up
 I think the wasabi helmut wins over the soya sauce one
 These folks went out of their way to sew the shrimp tail. I'm impressed... but don't think you need sewing skills - you could simply tie a pillow to your kid's back and make them crawl around to imitate your favorite sushi.
  and to think we missed Hallowe'en by thiiiis much. ;)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Why don't friends with kids have time?

You have to admire a writer with the balls to tell it like it is... or tell people when they have their heads up their bums. (just click on the article to make it larger)

I have to admit, while I wasn't quite this ignorant, I didn't always get it. And it doesn't have to be daily, weekly or even monthly, but I still think you need to make time for those you love. 

No matter how busy you get.

Baby or not.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Ancestors, spiders, and biker babies

Hallowe'en is host to many of my favorite childhood and adult memories (even that year I got the broken nose *cough-Naresh-*cough). Getting P into her costume yesterday, I sat and reminisced about heading down to the basement with my big brother. We would sit and sift through the giant trunks and boxes of costumes and accessories my folks had for hours, trying to find that perfect costume. Would it be the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz, long nose and green paint? A creepy clown, or princess? Then we would head out together, parading around the neighbourhood hand in hand with the kids from next door. 

This year I started a costume trunk for Penelope to do the same thing... spider arms and biker boots added from her costumes this year - plus all those wonderful items I happen to have laying around due to my love of all things dress up. Hair extensions, jewellery and veils all got added to the box. I can't wait to add something new every year. It wasn't just continuing this tradition that made this year's Hallowe'en so magical. Watching the kids shyly walk up to our door with a mousey "trick or treat" and being on the other side of dress up was just as much fun.

I knew that I would be approaching this year's Hallowe'en and Samhain festivities from a different perspective, but I didn't realize just how much I would enjoy it. Except for the sugar hang over, it was a fantastic day and night. We even made it to our friend's birthday party after the trick or treaters called it a night.

And now what you've been waiting for, pictures of Penelope in her costumes...

Penelope was such a trooper, attending her first Boo Boo Baby party. 10 adorable babies, all in their plushy costumes. 

 And the babies were lined, row by row ...

Long gone are the days of Krueger and Jason

Penelope's the spider since her name means weaver (It also means duck but Suzanne nailed that costume with her son Ralph, dressing him as the duck and herself as a duck hunter). 

Penelope ended up having a two in one costume since she was wearing black underneath -- with her kick ass new biker boots. Yup - you guessed it....

BIKER BABY! ~or Abel for my SOA girls;)

And now that yesterday is behind us I leave you with the following moment of intense cuteness.