If there’s one thing I’m not – it’s outdoorsy. But Alaska, with it’s unparalleled beauty and raw, untouched landscapes is almost enough to make me change my mind. I was so enamored with it’s powerful mountain peaks, breathtaking glacial waters, and piercingly fresh, salty air that I wanted to strap on my hiking boots (which I don’t own) and ford some gold speckled streams. While this was technically my fourth trip to the land of the midnight sun, it was the first time I had tossed my preconceived ideas about northern living and actually soaked up a tiny bit of its allure. Of course, a quick trip in the dead of January would probably dispel most of these romanticized feelings towards the “last frontier.” But from the comfort of my cruise ship stateroom, this city gal can still appreciate the stunning, natural elegance of an unbridled land.
Warning: This post is disgusting and squishy and most certainly not for individuals prone to queasy stomachs or an overly active gag reflex. If you’re currently chowing down on lunch, you’ll probably want to save this post for later…
Congratulations! You’ve just brought a milk guzzling, sleep stealing, poop machine into the world. Sadly, gone are the days when you can simply pass the bottom heavy baby back to its mother for a quick change. You are now the parent! It’s time to grab some zinc oxide cream and a gas mask because you are about to wrestle one squirming baby out of an obnoxiously tight sleeper that’s erupting with half-digested carrots.
Ah yes, the joys of parenting… Who knew there were so many wonderful things to learn about babies? Because standing knee deep in a pile of fermenting diapers, you are now an expert on pimply bum rashes and oddly colored excrement. No one can say that having a baby isn’t informative. This, however, is one subject that you probably wish wasn’t covered so extensively…
To all the Mothers with Empty Arms and Grieving Hearts
Some days are easier than others. There are days when the painful throb of a broken heart briefly eases and tears are replaced by small smiles. These are the moments when the world seems a little lighter, a little brighter, and this new form of “normal” appears almost manageable. There are days without questions, “what-if’s” and the heavy weight of a grieving heart. But today is not that day.
Today is Mother’s Day.
Usually, I consider myself a pretty good skater. I grew up on the ice and spent a fair number of Saturday’s wheeling around the neighbourhood on a pair of inline rollerblades. So, finding myself wobbling around the rink, clutching at the sideboards, was a new experience for me.
A couple weeks ago, Andreas and I persuaded the grandparents to babysit our wee one (doesn’t take much to persuade them) and headed out on a date. We try to make date night a monthly occurrence and are always looking for fun, new ideas. That’s why I was so excited when we were given a Groupon for Christmas: two passes for an evening of rollerskating at Central City Arena in Surrey.
Today, Alistair turns eight months old. (I know, I can’t believe it either!)
Because Alistair was born nine weeks early, his development (size and skill) has always been approximately two months behind other babies his age. Upon discharge from the NICU, we were referred to the Infant Development Program with the Developmental Disabilities Association. In order to assist babies with developmental delays, this program partners with their families to provide support, information, and encouragement.
As far as I know, neither Andreas nor I have Irish roots but we cannot deny our indisputable fascination with the country. Our family has yet to visit the Emerald Isle but given the chance, we would be on a plane headed over the Atlantic in a heartbeat. Is there any sound more lovely than the lilting melody of an Irish accent? Oh, to spend the day traipsing around crumbling castle ruins and soaking up the breathtaking beauty of a lush, green, countryside or craggy, windblown coast. And truthfully, a good part of our fascination probably centers around the music. On road trips, we spend hours blasting this song on repeat and when Alistair is in his jolly jumper, there’s nothing like some good Irish music to get him bouncing. My research on an Ireland trip has officially commenced. Now if only our bank account would agree with my plans…
Okay, where did the saying, “Sleeping like a Baby” come from? Because as peaceful as they look for those brief moments of blissful slumber, we all know the truth. Babies suck at sleeping. I’ve been sleeping on a baby’s schedule for the past seven months, and hands down, I would much rather sleep like an adult.
I love traveling. There’s such a thrill involved in the discovery and exploration of somewhere new. But more than just the final destination, I love the process of getting there. I love being propelled upwards through a ceiling of grey clouds to skim along the rays of brilliant sunshine. I like sitting thousands of feet in the air, jostled by turbulence, watching the world pass by below. Hmm… maybe I should get my pilots license, or something?
But add a baby to that combination and the magic of flight fades a little. When a screaming baby drowns out the rush of the engine, you start counting down the seconds until the plane touches down and that seat belt light switches off.
On Sunday morning, Alistair and I stayed home from church. He had developed his first “real” cold complete with a drippy, clogged nose and an adorably sad, little cough. So I bundled him up and went for a walk, in hopes that the cool air and bouncing buggy would help clear his stuffy nasal passages.
Surrounded by high density apartments, it’s not uncommon to cross paths with moving vans and stacks of brown, cardboard boxes. Today, I noticed more than the usual share of real estate yard signs advertising an “open house.” As I passed the third sign, a startling train of thought emerged. “For the first time in my life, I’m homeless.”
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through the links here, I will earn a small commission (without affecting your cost at all). Be assured that everything that I link to here is a personal recommendation for something that I’ve actually used and/or am still using.
When my son was born at thirty-one weeks, we were immediately ushered into the preemie life. But at just three and a half pounds, we quickly realized that when it comes to the littlest of little ones, some products work better than others.
Here are a few of my thoughts on some of our favourite preemie baby gear.
Today marks the six month birthday of our beautiful Alistair! Half a year with this little one.
My heart swells when I look at him and think of just how far along he’s come. Inquisitive and determined, always bursting with smiles, he’s the sweetest, funniest little man. With tiny feet that are now as long as his arm was at birth, he’s grown exponentially before our very eyes. His three month clothes are being packed away for a bigger size and our arm muscles quickly tire when snuggling all fifteen pounds of baby chub. Alistair loves to sing and squeal, coo and gurgle. He’s strong and has the most adorable, squishable, baby rolls.
It was Tuesday evening. I was 31 weeks pregnant (seven months) and had been on maternity leave for a week and a half. We had spent the week getting the boys room ready: two cribs built, framed photos hanging on the wall, two carseats and a double stroller purchased and sitting in the living room.
Andreas and I were sitting on the couch, chowing through a bowl of noodles and watching an episode of Downton Abbey. But at that moment, not even Maggie Smith’s classic one-liners could chase away my growing sense of unease; a gnawing “mother’s instinct” that was threatening to build into an all out state of panic.