Monday, June 24, 2013

Living Through the Canmore Flood 2013 - Part 1



The Great Canmore Flood

This is the first time I've been able to sit at a computer since last Wednesday.  Scott has hooked up his laptop and I can't explain the sense of relief it is to type on a laptop - a sense of normality in the face of what has gone on the last 4 days.

It feels like it's been  a year but it is indeed only 4 days.

Since we still have so much to do (like going to collect more bottled water as we just received notice that the boil water advisory will be on for at least another week) here is a brief synopsis of our family's experience of the Great Canmore Flood of 2013.

Wednesday June 19 - Scott and I were supposed to go to Calgary that evening as I had won an award at the University of Calgary and we were going to make a date night out of it.  
But since the baby decided to keep us up the night before and it was pouring rain all day, we changed our plans and went to dinner in Banff instead.


Coming home just before 10pm that night we noticed the service vehicles on the bridge over Cougar Creek on Elk Run Boulevard.  Since the creek has sustained some damage last spring with the rains we weren't surprised that it was being monitored.  

Around midnight I woke up to settle Ellie back to sleep, and saw that there were service vehicles on the Trans Canada Highway (which we can see out our bedroom window), but also saw transport trucks driving through so didn't think twice of it.

Thursday June 20 - 5am - Bolting out of sleep to the sound of DINGDONGDINGDONGDINGDONG! and pounding on the door.

My first befuddled thought was 'what the hell is that?', followed half a second later by 'we're being evacuated'.

I raced to the door and answered it the same time as my next door neighbour to a fireman asking how many people in our house, and then told us to 'Get out now'.  In my sleepy shock I asked how much time we have and he said 'we think the bridge is going to go - the only way to get out of Cougar Creek (the neighbourhood) is over Elk Run and we're not sure how long that is going to last - get out now.'

I raced back inside and we began packing.  Scott's mum was in town visiting with us and ever the Gramma immediately made the baby a bottle.  Scott and I began throwing things into duffel bags - phone chargers, toothbrushes, every diaper and wipe in the house, and then as the minutes went by the questions came; 

Do we bring the computer hard drive?  Yes - put it in the trunk of the car.
Do we bring more clothing? - I don't know how long we'll be gone for.
What else do we need? - I don't know because we don't know where we're going or for how long.

We drove the two blocks to my mom's house and set up a temporary camp there.

At this point it was about 7am and all the neighbours were out, with their rain coats, umbrellas and dogs.  Elllie went down for her morning nap (thankfully there is a crib at Mimi's house), and Scott and I went for a walk to check things out.  Since the urgency had almost subsided with the dawn, we chatted with neighbours, took photos and marvelled at how high the water was.


The Creek at about 7 or 8am

Scott looks at the pedestrian bridge we used to walk on every day and was at this point an island


If you're not familiar with Cougar Creek it is normally a dry rock ditch that has water in it for about 2 weeks of the year with June rains and the snow melt.

It's actually an ugly site, and I was always thankful that even though our house backed onto the creek, our yard sloped so we couldn't see any of the rocks, only the trees and mountainscape on the other side.

As the minutes ticked by things drastically changed and it became apparent that the rain and the destruction of the creek was not nearly over.


Fellow neighbours watched the early morning destruction


We decided to walk back to my mom's house to get the car and pick up the cats at our house - as we had initially left them since the first evacuation had seemed merely precautionary.

As we came around the corner to my mom's street there was another set of fire department members evacuating the neighbourhood.  We went to the house and told the Grammas to pack their bags.

After somewhat successfully getting my mom packed, we took the car back to our house one last time and put the cats in the hatch of my mom's car, with Scott, his mom and the baby in our car.  


The last look of our house - roped off as we tried to evacuate.


We attempted to get out of the neighbourhood and were about 4 cars away from crossing the bridge when the bridge became too unstable and they turned people away; telling us to go to Exshaw.

We didn't know what would be in Exshaw for us, but since we had no where else to go we headed down to the 1A highway - and it was painfully obvious that it was washed out in both directions.  We turned and headed back up Elk Run Blvd, and saw that people were parking at the municipal Bylaw building.  

We parked the cars and left the cats in my mom's with food, water and a litter box - which Grover was hiding in.

The Bylaw building was in a state of excitement and confusion as more and more people started arriving.  Since we live in Canmore there were many dogs barking and fighting, along with scared children crying and people looking around for direction.


Arriving at the Bylaw building


A kind staff member led us to a small meeting room away from the noise and said that we should claim this space.  We had brought the play pen and as much food as we could, so we set up a little camp - thinking that we could stay here.


Ellie peeking out at the activity in the hall from our 'camp'

People began filling the halls; children of all ages, elderly people, friends, neighbours, strangers.  Rumours flying but a sense of camaraderie and support was prevalent. 

Scott and I walked down to the one restaurant open in the area, Valbella's Meats & Deli, and got sandwiches, cheese, chocolate and water.  We had a veritable picnic in our office camp, and Ellie had a great time watching all the people go by the window.

An announcement came that there were plans to get in school buses to take people out of Cougar Creek into town; it wasn't mandatory so we all (Scott, myself, both our mothers and Ellie) decided to stay put as we had been evacuated twice and were exhausted.

About 20 minutes later a Town employee knocked on our door and told us to pack up.  We told her that we had decided to stay, and she said 'you have a baby, you may want to check with Lisa (the head point of contact)', so I went out as she was finishing her second announcement and I spoke up: 'I'm sorry I didn't hear all of that - we have a baby, do we have to leave now?', to which she replied 'yes, and now'.

Once again we were packing our bags, and since this time we were going out of the neighbourhood and could not take our vehicles, we left the playpen at the Bylaw building, grabbed the cats out of the car (leaving my mom's cat at home with the door open to the upstairs suite - in hopes that if it did flood she could head up and be safe - and we only had so many arms to carry things), and boarded the bus.

I had (another) moment of panic when we approached the bus when a volunteer said 'ok pets go on the pet bus' as Scott and I were each carrying a cat.  I looked over and saw the two Grammas and the baby looking out of the window of the 'people' bus, and said 'NO. No way - my baby is on that bus and I am going with her!'  A neighbour offered to take one of the cats, but I pulled my mom off the bus and she, Scott and the two cats went on the 'pet bus' and Scott's mum, Ellie, myself and all of our bags went on the 'people bus'.

As we slowly rumbled over the Elk Run Blvd bridge in our caravan of buses, people were gasping in shock at the destruction.

We were on the north side and could barely see south towards our house, but at that point the creek had already destroyed so much.  

A woman in the seat ahead of us gleefully cried out 'our house is ok!  High five!' and began high fiving people all around her.  She turned back to me and I stared at her outstretched palm and said 'That's my home down there', and burst into tears.

We arrived at Elevation Place, the new recreation centre in Canmore, where it was busy but organized. Volunteers registered us, people offered food, blankets and hugs.  The child care centre was open so the little ones could play (which Ellie was happy about - through the day she was loving the whole adventure), and rooms upstairs for people to take their dogs and cats.


Elevation Place/evacuation centre

We got the cats upstairs and called a local vet, who had offered free boarding to evacuated animals.
This was a huge relief as we had got the cats out but didn't know what we were going to do with ourselves, never mind the animals.

Scott and I each took a cat - Grover still in his litter box and Cosmo in Scott's arms as we couldn't find the cat carrier in the garage in our rush to get out - and walked about 20 minutes down the road in the rain to the vets.  

I had been running on adrenaline since 5am and when we checked the cats in I finally lost it.

Walking down Bow Valley Trail back towards Elevation Place I doubled over in tears and hysterical sobbing breaths.  The fear, uncertainty and panic that we had been facing for almost 12 straight hours finally hit me, and we weren't nearly done dealing with this crisis.

Scott physically and emotionally supported me back to Elevation Place, and all I could think of was that I wanted to get out of there and away from all the people.  Scott had the mind to suggest that I call The Georgetown Inn, where I serve at the pub one night a week, and ask about a room.  When I told the general manager how many people we were she booked us all into a two bedroom condo - which was perfect not only in having more space for all of us, but also in that later that night the Georgetown Inn flooded.

If I had been thinking clearly I would have asked for a ride to the Mystic Springs Chalets, but as I just wanted to get out of the chaos we packed our bags again and all of us began the approx 1km walk to the Chalet.  The Grammas were obviously slow, being Grammas and that they were laden with bags, and Scott and I had our own bags and took turns carrying the baby.

We arrived at the Chalet and it thankfully had two rooms, three beds, a full kitchen and a tv so that we could watch the rest of the emergency as it unfolded along the rest of the southern part of the province.

Since stress makes for short tempers on a good day, we were all pretty cranky by dinner, and Scott and I decided to walk down in the rain to the Georgetown to get some takeout, and maybe a beer.  As we neared the western part of Bow Valley Trail it became apparent that this plan was not happening as the road was quickly flooding.


The beginning of the flooding on Bow Valley Trail Thursday night

We went to Dominos as it was still open (along with half of Canmore it seemed), and a kind woman gave us a ride home - just as we left the parking lot was being sandbagged and later was completely flooded as well.

That night we all went to bed exhausted, and yet still buzzing with frayed nerves.  Scott and I had decided that having the Grammas was like having two extra kids, and since it was still raining and the entire town was under a state of emergency, we stayed packed and ready to leave again on a moment's notice.

I laid awake most of the night, with Ellie sleeping in between us, tossing and turning and karate-kicking our faces in turn.  Around 1am the power went out and the quiet 'blip' of my phone jolted me awake.  I lay there with my heart pounding, anticipating the pounding at the door and the evacuation notice.  When the power 'blipped' back on around 2:30 I finally fell back asleep, giving thanks for getting through this day, and asking for strength for tomorrow.


Exhausted Ellie sleeping on the couch

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Then and Now

The theme of 'then and now' goes through my head at least once a day - comparing life before baby (BB) and after baby (AB).

Here are a few insights to how things have changed for me... 


Saturday Afternoon

BB - Drinking on a patio with friends, planning the night's shenanigans
   
AB - Trying to deal with the fits of despair that are a result of not letting baby play in the hypothermic kiddie pool - she is consoled by watching Daddy spray cat puke off the back deck - but only if held the entire time; fits resume when put down.

 

Sleeping in until 8am

BB - 8am?  That's not sleeping in.  That's only 4 hours after getting home.
   
AB - Delightful at first (although probably a result of a night of waking up multiple times to rub backs, replace soothers or make emergency bottles), then the realization that baby has not woken up on schedule hits.
Entire day is thrown into chaos and bedtime will require the patience of Mother Teresa and most likely the assistance of children's Advil and a bottle of Apothic Red.

 

Going shopping

BB - A delightful, sometimes spur of the moment day spent wandering, trying on clothes, enjoying lattes and juggling bags of goodies with designer purses.

AB - An event plant out weeks in advance, with more supplies and back up plans than a voyage across the Atlantic.
Timed to the minute to coincide driving with nap times, and a full-on itinerary of stores mapped out, with no room for deviation.
There is little or no personal shopping, as trying on clothes with a wandering, constantly touching everything with sticky hands, toddler is impossible, unless you have a partner to distract baby, or another mom to trade kids off with.
Plus disposable income is fairly non-existent, so any purchases for self come a return policy and never-ending guilt.

 

Laundry

BB - 4 loads/week:
  • Sheets/towels
  • Whites 
  • Darks 
  • Lululemon/workout clothing

AB - 800 loads/week:
  • Sheets/towels
  • Whites
  • Darks
  • Pinks
  • Emergency wash of favourite Tiger stuffy who was barfed on/had a cup of coffee dumped on/thrown into the toilet
  • Cloth diapers x 3 or 4 loads
  • More pinks
*note my special lululemon-only loads are a distant memory. My pants are now all fuzzy as they get thrown in with the rest - I can barely separate colours never mind my luon.

 

Getting ready for work

BB - Hit snooze until absolutely have to get up, shower, spend gratuitous amounts of time on hair and makeup, stress about outfit for the day, pair with accessories and 4" heels, buy lunch at coffee shop.
   
AB - Wake up a hour earlier just so I have time to shower, have a cup of tea and make a bottle before waking up baby by 7am (if not see consequences outlined in 'sleeping in').
Bottle/snuggle watching 'Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood' (PBS' modern take on Mr. Rogers), make breakfast for baby, diaper, dress and entertain baby with Dada while we juggle bathroom times and getting ready.
Grab clothing that is clean and easy to put on, with flats - grab an apple and granola bar for lunch; realize have forgotten to eat breakfast and inhale any scraps that are left from baby's 3 course breakfast.
 

*One thing I didn't give up was my hair and makeup.  When baby was a newborn I could do a basic 'face' in 6 minutes flat.  It is my rope connecting me to sanity, and the day you see me out in public without at least mascara and eyebrows filled in, call for help.

Meeting up with friends

BB - Call/text, proceed to meet friends for hike/coffee/cocktail.

AB - Call/text, check calendar, check with Daddy/Mimi for their plans and to arrange childcare, or else plan visit around naps/feedings/playtime.  
Proceed to visit with friends within 4 hour windows between naps (earlier depending on how young baby is) - or throw entire plan out the window if baby sleeps in and schedule is totally thrown off (see 'sleeping in'.  I told you - it is not worth the extra hour's sleep.).


Those are just a few changes that my scrambled brain can put together right now - taking advantage of the late nap happening now since I suck and slept through my alarm and now we are on the chaos schedule.

Oh, I almost forgot the obligatory 'not that I would want it any other way'.  


Which sounds cheesy, but is true.  Every day, even the ones where I am literally pulling my hair out, and wondering if this is it, that I'm finally going to go over the edge, there is always a silver lining.  Usually in the form of a little smile, a hug, or a squeal of delight at seeing me.

Things may have changed, but I have to say that change is good.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Year of Cloth Diapering


My brand new prefolds hanging on the line Jan. 2012!

I first started considering cloth diapering when I was pregnant (duh), as I had visions of piles of disposable diapers creating mountains in landfills.  Something we've all seen in our lives, but once I was pregnant, all of a sudden those semi-permanent mountains of plastic took on a whole new meaning.

Scott and I discussed diapering as part of our soon to be new life with our (amazing, angel of a) doula Jen MackinnonThis post-pregnancy life at the time seemed as far off as life on Mars, as when you're pregnant that is your world, being pregnant.  It is actually a shock once the baby arrives and you're like 'uh, now what?'.

Jen being the superstar that she is, told us about cloth diapering her own 4 babies (!!!), and brought a copy of an article that she wrote for Birthing Magazine on cloth diapering basics.

The article has great info, but what got me was the chart comparing costs.  I love a good chart, and my eyes just about bugged out of my head when I saw in print how much it was going to cost to wrap that baby's bum for (approximately) 2 years.

Here is the chart, but for all the great info read the full article here (originally published in Birthing Magazine  2010).

 Or here:  



0-6 Months
6-12 Months
12-24 Months
Total Cost (newborn to 2 years)
Pampers
$396
$444
$888
$1728
Bummis Prefolds
$175
$160
-
$335
Fuzzi Bunz Pocket
$552
$414
-
$996
Happy Heiny One Size
$899
-
-
$899



That was what convinced me to really look into cloth diapering.  The amount of money that we were going to have to spend, and literally throw out, in addition to all of the other start-up costs of having a baby really weighed on me.  

Then once I really started reading up on the benefits of cloth diapering (in addition to the environmental impact it's also better for their skin - not having those petro-chemicals next to their newborn skin for hours on end), I was sold.


Thankfully my awesome mother in law was a cloth diaper-er from way back, and I took her to our local baby supply store to check out the diapering options.

I used newborn disposable diapers for the first 5 weeks of Ellie's life (since she was Just. So. Tiny!), and then switched to cloth.  It did give her a big ol' booty, but with different methods of folding the cotton and the adjustable covers they have grown with her from 8lbs to 25lbs!

Baby got back


I was able to purchase my entire diapering kit for under $200.  (I was lucky enough to hit upon a sale at the amazing All Bottoms Covered which also helped!)

My diapering arsenal consists of:



  • 6 Flip brand diaper covers (3 velcro and 3 snaps) - I liked the velcro to start with for ease of middle-of-the-night changes, but now prefer the snaps for security, and Ellie isn't able to un-do her diaper.

 






This was all I needed to get started, and a year later, the only thing I've had to replace is the laundry soap!

So here are my tips from my experience of cloth diapering:

Reseach - which type of diaper is going to suit your lifestyle best?  A pre-fold? An all-in-one?
Find out if there is an online cloth diaper community or forum in your area.  I'm a member of the Central Alberta Cloth Diaper Buy/Sell/Chat group on Facebook.  It's a great place to ask questions, or to look for new/used diapers and accessories.

I also watched a few videos on YouTube to figure out how I was going to wrap this baby up:






Buy Used... or Don't - one thing I would have investigated more was buying my prefolds and covers used.  I didn't know you could do that, and it would save even more money.  If the thought grosses you out you can of course buy new, or like a girlfriend of mine did, have your mother (or someone with sewing skills) sew you your own cotton prefolds.

Don't Stress About The Poop - the big question I get from everyone is how to clean the diapers, and is it horrible?  Some of the other types (eg: all-in-ones) have different requirements of washing that don't take as much effort as prefolds.  

My reasoning is that I pretty much do at least one load of laundry a day as it is, so it doesn't really matter if I have to do a couple more a week.

If I'm really on the ball I'll wash the diapers after Ellie is in bed, and then line dry them overnight, so they only need a fluff up in the morning.  They are so thick that it does take a lot of time in the dryer if you throw them in right after, and always line dry your covers!

A note on washing:  I take the contents of the wet bag (which is in a diaper pail), and dump the prefolds, covers and the bag (turned inside out) into the washing machine all together.

I do a cold rinse, then a hot cycle with the soap.  (You can't use regular laundry soap as it will build up a residue and impact the absorbancy.)

Then I line or tumble dry - and that's it!

I do a vinegar soak on the cottons once every few weeks to freshen them up, and in all honesty they look great a year later, and don't stink at all.

Once Ellie went to solids, and the consistency of her poop followed suit, I started using the Bummis flushable liners.  I would say that 9/10 times I can just flick the liner and poop in the toilet or diaper genie, with no other fuss.

The other time it's like the Incredible Hulk snuck in after a big night out and left his mark in her diaper, so yes, there is some washing of the diaper in the toilet.  You can get a scraper or a sprayer, but I just wring it out Little House on the Prairie style and thoroughly wash my hands afterwards.  Having a baby definitely makes you desensitized to poop if you haven't noticed.

I have to POOOOOOP!!!!
Get Some Back Up Butt Cream - you don't actually need to use a cream or salve when cloth diapering, as their little bums rarely get rashy, but if you like using a cream or your baby ends up with baboon-ass courtesy of teething it's always good to have something on hand.



Man teething is a bitch.

I really love the Peas In A Pod line from All Things Jill, and it won't build up on the diapers (which would eventually affect the absorbancy).  When Ellie does have baboon ass however, I do rely on good old Penaten.



Balance The Cloth With The Plastic - if the thought of forgoing your Pamper's gives you anxiety, it's all good, you can use both.  We use disposable diapers for night time (as they absorb so much more and Ellie doesn't feel as wet in them, which then theoretically lets her sleep through the night... sometimes), as well as for some travel (a day long trip to Calgary lugging around soiled diapers along with your diaper bag, lunch, and groceries is not fun.

Scott and I have a compromise as well, as he isn't willing to can't figure out how to put on the cloth diapers, so if he is changing a diaper, he will put on a disposable.

So there is my experience of cloth diapering for almost a year now.  I am a huge fan and will continue to cloth diaper until babydoll is potty trained.

Incidentally - cloth diapered babies apparently potty train sooner and easier than babies in disposables, as they can feel when they wet themselves sooner.  I will let you know how that goes when it comes to that time!

Happy diapering!








Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The 5 Stages of Leaving Your Baby for a Night Out

No matter how much you love your baby, your husband/partner and your home life, there comes a point when a momma needs a night out.

I've been fortunate enough to have a few nights away from Ellie in her 10+ months.  I truly believe that it's not only beneficial for my sanity, but it also helps my relationship with Scott (ie: prevents me from smothering him in his sleep as I return to his snoring self after getting up every 2 hours with a screaming baby), develops Ellie's bond with her Daddy, and allows Scott to build confidence in caring for her.

There is a definite pattern that I have noticed every time I venture out without Ellie; and by this I mean not just for a coffee date or run, but for a night out with the girls, especially an over-nighter.

Here are my 5 stages in how this goes down:


1 - The Build Up
It's been a while since you've done anything that resembles your previous non-mom self.  You're days revolve around scheduling naps to accommodate story time at the library, staying up late means that you just discovered you're out of home made baby food so you're cutting and steaming at 10pm, and you're getting resentful that your partner gets to leave the house, even if it's to an office job that you would personally slit your own wrists if you had to do it.

It becomes apparent that if you don't get some time away from the house, the laundry, the never-ending chores and yes, the baby, shit is going to go down.  

You send out the call for help to your girls - and because they're your girls, they are on board.

2 - The Preparation High
The night is planned, the girls are in, and the hubby knows for his own sake not to argue or suggest that you stay home.

You happily feed and bathe baby, humming all the while in anticipation of a night of freedom.  
I will always love the act of getting ready for a night out; sometimes more than the night itself.  Picking out an outfit that will be free of smashed bananas and spit up is a special treat that you don't take for granted post-baby.  

Your boobs resume they're previous status as decorative accessories, instead of the gravity-fighting feed bags that they have been for the past months.

You enjoy a glass of wine and bust out the glittery eye shadow; you may be too old for it, but it's a glitter eye shadow kind of night damn it!

3 - The Driveway Guilt
You're packed, prepared, kissed everyone goodbye and have started the car.  Now the crushing self-doubt and mental bad-mom bashing begins.  

Why do you need to go out anyways?  Isn't this what you always wanted?  A home with a family and a beautiful baby?  What if something happens when you're gone?  Maybe you should call the whole thing off and just go and put your pj's on and watch a repeat of Say Yes To The Dress with the cats.

Thankfully we have technology that allows us to now frantically text our girlfriends/fellow moms who will immediately reassure you of not only that it's ok to go out, but it's damn well needed right now, so you crank the tunes and get on the road.

4 - The Back to the Future Moment
You're 3 drinks in, out in public after 6pm, talking about topics that don't involve vaccines, sleep schedules or day care, and for a few moments, forget your current life.  You laugh, flirt, gossip and re-connect with other grown ups. 

A 'retro' song comes on and you remember how to shake your booty like you're 21.  You do shots with ridiculous names that you wouldn't repeat in front of your mother in law, bought for you by sleazy guys from out of town.  You turn them down and strut off, thanking those long walks with the stroller that you can still strut.
You cab it back to your girlfriend's house and giggle and remember the highlights of the night.

5 - The Happy Return Home
The next morning you wake up with breasts the size and texture of bricks.  Milk may even be leaking down your chest as a lovely reminder of they're current purpose (true story).  You roll out of bed and head to the washroom, thankful that being used to such little sleep actually comes in handy for something.

Depending on where you are in feeding your baby, and if you remembered to pack a breast pump or not, you may even have the pleasure of milking yourself in the bathroom sink.

Yeah.  Enjoy that visual.

Since you're the first one up you make coffee and pack.  The girls get up and you groggily recap the night's shenanigans, enjoying the caffeine and the addition of another night of stories to reflect on.

In the back of your mind though you're itching to hit the road - it's been at least 12 hours since you've held your baby and now not only are your breasts aching, but your arms are too.

You hurry home, and the moment you see your little one with her Daddy, and her squeal of delight at the sight of you is the best feeling.
You see your messy house in a different light, your husband as a partner again, and your baby as the light of your life.  

The night out already seems a distant memory, and that's ok because you're right back where you want to be.






Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Mountain Mummy


Not all days are this crazy, but today, in addition to the normal every day dressing, feeding, changing, playing, napping, repeat, repeat, repeat, we had a marathon day of activities.

  • 5K jog to the Rec Centre for  swim 'class'.  Class = Singing 'If you're happy and your know it splash around!', and getting the babies used to the water and getting the heads wet for 30 mins.  Ellie has had her head wet since the day she was born, since we have to shampoo her mop, so she's an old pro at 8 months.  I do refuse to dunk myself though.  I apply liquid eye liner in the morning, and it lasts through my run, so I'm not about to look like The Crowe for 30 minutes in the water.  And I'm pretty sure Ellie doesn't care if I go under either - she is learning early that we sacrifice for beauty.
This is what I would look like if I dunked my head during swim class. Better for everyone if I don't.

  • 1 Hour power walk - tagging along on the lunch break of my banker buddies.

Not our actual legs, but this is pretty much what we look like. 
  • Lunch for Ellie, and breakfast for me, finally at 1pm.  Scarf down everything in sight.

So. Hungry. Must. Eat. Everything.
  • Baby story time/sing along at the Library - I swore up and down that I wouldn't be one of 'those moms', but the babes really do enjoy it, so I suck it up and sing, bounce and clap.


  • Mom & baby yoga - I thought it would have involved the babies more, but really it was a class for moms to do yoga, where no one cared if your baby cries, or if you need to stop and nurse. I hadn't been to yoga since the day before I gave birth, it made me a little teary-eyed thinking about it!
Also pretty much what I look like at yoga... except flabbier... and sweating...but my eyeliner does not run!

  • 35 min Walk home.



  • Inhale 3 veggie tacos and contemplate going to bed with Ellie at 7pm.
Post-tacos.

A great, long day, that I'm sure I will miss once I'm done my maternity leave.  Sniff, sniff.
Which is either a few weeks away, or a few months away, depending on when I return to work.

Gulp.

In the meantime I will  enjoy being a mountain mummy, and all the calorie-burning that comes with it.  And more tacos.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy 6 Month Birthday Ellie Bean




Dear Ellie,
Today you turn 6 months old.

Can we just take a moment and realize how momentous this is?  Never mind the fact that 6 months has blown by in a blink, but also that you are so happy, healthy, change every day (slow down please!), and most importantly, we're all still alive?

Here is Gramma and Momma - who is actually in labour in this photo and had you a few hours later!

There have been some hairy moments kid, and I wasn't sure we'd get this far.  But things seem to get getting easier now*, and we're starting to have so much fun.

You have gone from this little creature that I used to stare at and wonder 'what the hell just happened?', to this smiling, babbling, laughing little monkey who just lights up every room that she's in.



I think I'm finally used to getting stopped by random strangers who just have to tell me what a beautiful baby you are.  More often than not, after the initial 'look at all of that hair!' comment, the next to follow is 'she is just a little dolly', and you really are.

The Dolly
You are now so strong and smart, and can now sip from your cup (or any bottle or glass offered to you), want to feed yourself with your spoon, and as of today can travel the length of the living room by rolling over (and over, and over, and over).

Girl loves her peas!
I can almost see your little neurons zapping away when you're figuring out something for the first time; it truly is amazing to watch you grow Ellie.  People say that this time of babyhood goes by so quickly, but you really don't understand it fully until you think you have a handle on what your baby needs and is doing, and then the next day it's completely different.

One day old...How were you ever this little?

It's also amazing the change in myself - I've gone from being 'omg look how big this pregnant belly is!' to 'holy sh*t - we have a BABY'.  I didn't think I could do this in the beginning - I was scared to leave the house with you - scared to drive in the car with you by myself, scared to do most things actually.  But you have been very patient with me, and we're learning together.  

The new family - can you see the fear in our eyes?

Not to say that there aren't still moments when we're both crying together, and I say to you that I'm sorry and that I'm trying my best - and I always will my little Stinker.

That's the problem with being a first-born: your poor dumb parents make all of their mistakes on you, but you're a tough little kid and I'm sure soon enough you'll be rolling your eyes at Daddy and I, and then instant messaging your friends how lame we are.

As long as this doesn't happen while you're in kindergarten I think I can handle it.  I think.

I am so looking forward to the next 6 months Ellie.  Your first Halloween (now I can dress you AND the cat!), your first Christmas, and your first birthday.  Your life is a bit of a Truman Show experience right now, but we are so lucky to be able to share all of your 'firsts' with our friends and family, across the country and the world, online.  

(Especially since your Mimi and Auntie Vicki have shown your photo to every bank teller, grocery store clerk and gas station attendant in 4 different time zones!)

Talking to Mimi!

Thank you for being such an amazing little person, for the laughs, the snuggles, the crazy hair-do's, and the look of 'HI MOM!  Did you know it's a brand new day?  AGAIN!' from your crib when I pick you up in the morning.

The little Stinker face - first taste of yams!

You are so special my cheeky little monkey, and we all love you so very much.  Now go to sleep so Momma can drink her wine in peace.

Love, 
Momma

This was us 6 months ago!

*If things actually don't get easier, if they are in fact harder than the first 3 months of sleep deprived insanity, please DO NOT tell me.