The Honest Truth

The first time I held my son

The first time I held my son

While I was in labour I kept asking my nurse why women have more than one child. I could not understand why anyone would go through that a second time. In those moments I was not even sure why I was putting myself through it. She thought it was funny and laughed at me, I guess she knew the answer, she had been in my position before. I didn’t appreciate her laugh then but I understand it now, she smiled but her eyes knew, and she said nothing because I was about to know.

Have you ever been told, “you will forget all about the pain” when someone is referring to childbirth? I think it is everyones favourite thing to say. Honestly, it is bullshit. Who do these women think they are fooling? You never forget and it is horrible. We need to invent something to stop people from saying this. It really gets on my nerves. Maybe I am the odd one out but I would rather have someone tell me like it really is. I felt like there was so much I had to discover for myself with the birth of my son that a little honest warning would have been more appreciated. The fluffy whimsical fairy tales people like to tell about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood isn’t helpful.

I will never forget the pain that came with the birth of my son, I will never forget what it took to bring him in to this world. I do not even know how I made it through that thinking back on it. Would I do it again? In a heart beat. The moment he was out the pain eased and all I could concentrate on was knowing if my child was okay, that I wanted to see and hold him finally. That my friend, is the honest truth. You don’t forget, it just doesn’t matter any longer.

 

Relax, Have a Cup Cake.

Cup cake with text that reads: "Relax, eat a cup cake."

This past weekend I actually  had some fun, like real adult fun! Can you believe it? I can’t. My friend came over and we drank and played silly games, it was a blast. I have not had the opportunity to drink or just relax with friends since before I even got pregnant. This was a real treat, we have decided we are going to make it a somewhat regular thing.

It made me realize how little time I spend having fun ( I obviously enjoy spending time with my son, you know what I mean though). I know I am never shy to say how hard I work, how stressed out I am, or how lonely being home alone every day can be. Especially when I am often stuck at home even if the opportunity to go out arises with some health conditions of mine. After Saturday night though, I felt it full force. It hit me, I felt the full emptiness that comes with the realization that I am so very often completely alone. It’s kind of sad sometimes. I will call my grandma or my Mom for no real reason, just to hear an actual grown person speak to me. Even if only for a minute because we really had nothing to say. Not that I am writing this to tell you how pathetic I am, it is just relevant to the point I am about to make; I promise. 

I felt the need to state again to all of you how important it is to take care of yourself in every way. Even in ways we sometimes forget are good for us. It is important to be social, have friends, do things you enjoy, and be silly when you can. I am so type-A I cannot even stand it half the time, it is hard for me to let go and just have fun. Honestly, I think I forget how to do it. I did a good job of it Saturday night though and it was such a relief. I actually felt like a proper 23-year-old. Is that a thing? I feel like I am much older than my peers most days; I don’t feel like I had the same experiences as them. I was never one to go out and be stupid, I never went to a party as a teenager, I didn’t make any real or close friends in college (both programs I attended), and I generally kept to myself. It was probably my own fault but it took away from my ability to do it now; my ability to let loose. Now being a Mom my work day never ends and that takes a toll all its own. I have realized that by taking small steps and carving that “Me Time” out for myself allows me to have my cake and eat it too. The secret is to just make cup cakes! I think of it like this; with a box of cake mix you can either make one cake or lots of little cup cakes. What better way to think about having it all, right?

Set time aside for yourself, I know it can be difficult most days. It can feel impossible every other day but it is vital. You cannot care for others if you first do not care for yourself. Being a parent is stressful, you deserve time to unwind. Please take it in any way you can. Even if it is just 15 minutes a night after the kids are in bed; read a book in the bath with a glass of wine or invite a friend over to watch a movie. Just do something for yourself, you are important and you deserve it.

Let me know how you like to spend your time! Also, if you are interested in the Cup cake picture above it is one of three different cup cake prints available on my Society 6 store. They can be prints or put on things like t-shirts, pillows, and mugs! Check it out here (They also have free world-wide shipping going on until January 25th, 2015 at Midnight (PST) )!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”

Parenting Resolutions

This was not my first New year as a parent but I spent my first one in a bit of a haze. My son was only a few days old and we were all having a rough time. That happened to also be the night we ended up in the emergency room to find out that we were having some serious trouble with feeding. Clearly, resolutions were the farthest thing from my mind.

This year I was able to actually focus and feel as though I could work towards some goals. I have a long list of them this year. I wrote them out in my 2015 Smashbook so that I could keep track and document my progress, I thought it would be a great way to stay focused. Once I had finished writing out my list I noticed that I had naturally added in goals for parenting. I have never heard of people making these kinds of resolutions; maybe they do not share them or maybe I am just too new or not privy to this whole parenting thing to have realized. Either way it is an awesome choice to consciously make goals in regard to how you parent. If you have children that are old enough to actually have a conversation with them then I would go ahead and ask them what it is you can do better and what they would like to see you do.

My list included some educational and bonding activities such as reading together everyday, spending an evening a week doing a family activity, and working on numbers, letters, colours each day. We have been doing well with the reading and my son got a lot of new books for Christmas and his birthday to help with that. We just started introducing the alphabet by singing “ABC’s”.

Oh look! There is also a YouTube  video. Check it out to find out my tips on how to achieve your goals as well as parenting resolutions!

Ten little fingers meet ten little toes

toes

 

My son discovered his feet a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, he has not stopped playing with them since. Have you ever looked in to a baby’s eyes the moment they discover something new? There is a spark, a light, in their eyes that was not there before. You can almost see them learning. If you have not experienced this, I hope that one day you are able to. I have been lucky enough to see those exact moments twice now. The first time he realized he had hands and the second, his feet. You know that feeling you get when you come to a realization? It just washes over you. I imagine that is how babies feel when they figure out that those funny little wiggly toes belong to them.

It is so simple, so natural, and so perfect. I am not sure what will come next. I imagine getting up on his hands and knees since he already rolls all over the place and scoot around on his stomach. The days go by so fast, although they can seem so long.

I admire him often, it has been rewarding and enlightening to watch him grow every day.  I try to take it all in and adapt some of that lost child like magic in my life- like, when ten little fingers meet ten little toes and there is nothing more needed in the world.

 

DIY: Monthly Pictures

 

Noah - One Month

Noah – One Month

You may have noticed people taking cute monthly pictures of their new babies for the first year of life. If you haven’t you might want to come out from under your rock, they are everywhere. It is a great way to watch your child grow in such a crucial fast paced part of life. Some pictures are super cute and others… not so much. Either way I decided to give it a shot and share my tips on how to get  super cute monthly pictures to cherish as your little one grows. If you have not already guessed it, this is a DIY because who has the money or time to get professional pictures done every month?

Without further ado here are my tips:

1. Pick a theme: Without consistency how can the pictures be a series?  The theme can be anything. You could use the same theme you used for the nursery. For example I used “owls” as our theme.

2.Consistency: With that being said, stick with something once you have done it. For example, do not use a theme in two pictures and not in the rest.

3. Choose how to list the month: You can buy stickers you can stick on your baby’s clothing or whatever you want to stick it on that says the number of month.  You can also use blocks or a chalk board, whatever you like. I have seen some cute pictures where people have typed the text in on the picture and included milestones, likes and dislikes, etc.  If you are up to it you can even make your own sign or sticker to customize it to your theme.

4. Start at 0: Start taking the photos when they are first-born. I had not decided to do them until he was a month old so, I do not have a new-born picture. I regret that because he grew so much within the first month.   It is so amazing to see where they started at the very beginning.

5.  A happy baby is cute: Take the pictures during a time of day your baby is happy. Make sure to have baby fed and satisfied.  Who wants to try to pose or deal with a grumpy baby? Not me.

6. Keep it simple: The more complicated you make it or the more time-consuming it is the more likely you are to have a baby that is not going to cooperate. I took a total of 15 minutes setting up and taking the pictures.

7. Take multiple: I snapped quite a few pictures to ensure I could pick the cutest one.  I wanted to keep him happy and smiling during the shoot so, I played with him. At the time he was not interested in playing for very long which ensured I acted fast.

8.  Something to compare: I found it useful to have some sort of object by him to be able to see how big he is in comparison. We used a stuffed owl that we bought at the hospital for him. You could really use anything to do this, the owl just matched our theme and was a cute addition. It can also show milestones. He cannot hold it just yet in his first photo ( or first couple if you took the 0 month one) but as he gets older he will be able to interact with it.

9.  Photoshop is your friend: If you happen to have this or a similar photo editing software it can be really helpful. I used it to add in the month sticker, correct the picture, add in a border, and add text.  Who says photoshop is only good for air brushing those evil skinny models?

10. Have fun: Have fun and go with it! This can be an awesome time to make some cute memories. When you look back at the pictures they will have an added sentiment. These moments are beyond precious, soak in and enjoy every second that you can! You never get them back.

Remember, you do not need any fancy equipment to do any of this. I used my cell phone, a stuffed owl, a blanket my Grandmother made, and photoshop.

Let me know how they go! Be sure to share them with me when they are done!