Monday, February 28, 2011

"Tinkle, tinkle for little stars..."

Last week I decided that we needed to make potty training a priority. Lu will be 27 months old shortly...and frankly I'm sick of buying diapers. I hate diapers, they're expensive and wasteful. I'd love to do cloth with our next one but I don't have access to a washer and dryer at home. I'd have to drag my dirty diapers to the laundry room and pay a crazy amount of money/wasting a tonne of water washing 'em. Hard to figure out which would be better in the long run. My dad is really awesome about picking up diapers in his city (when he sees them on sale) and bringing them to us when he and my mother visit. It's like he's my second "baby daddy"...bringing diapers and (when Lu was small) formula.

Disposable diapers can be added to our compostable waste which is then picked up by the city. Unfortunately, my apartment building does not have a green box program. It's really frustrating when such options are available but big corporations only see the problems in instituting them as opposed to the benefits long term. I *could* sneak over to someone's green box on trash day and toss em in but how creepy would that be?

So we started potty training last week and it's been going quite well! I was surprised...people are always talking to me like every little thing she needs to accomplish will be difficult. When I cut her off of her pacifier, I was told to prepare for endless nights of crying. You know what? It was easy! I had a "sooce" addicted kid too...if she could've injected sooces into her veins directly, she would've done it! I took it away from her when she was 18 months old and explained that she was no longer a baby and that other babies were going to need her sooces. She helped us round them up and throw them out. She cried off and on that night as she tried to fall asleep without it. She eventually did and the rest is history...she never mentioned them again and we didn't miss them either.

When Lu was a year old, she would sit on her potty and go. We thought we had it made and she would be trained early. She, on the other hand, had other plans. After a month of training, she regressed until this point. I figured she was ready since she would tell us right after she had gone in her diaper. She knew she had to go...isn't that half the battle?

My plan was to create some kind of chart. A way for her and I to keep track of how often she was going. It helps motivate her like you wouldn't believe. We use small gold stars which she helps put on after she's gone to the potty. I don't think it's working because

of the stars but more because she is proud. She loves to show dh her progress and gets a high-five for her efforts!

As I'm typing, she is sitting on her potty. It's so rewarding knowing that your child is progressing in these big ways. Stuff that I dreaded having to go through, are actually easier than I thought. I guess I was being "bullied" into thinking that everything was going to be hard. Family and friends with their own kids love nothing better than to say how hard milestones will be to attain...I believed them. Guess you just have to take things as they come, only you know your kid!

Since last Wednesday, she has nearly 20 stars and I'm one happy momma. We've had the occasional accident in her underpants but she doesn't go on the floor. The accidents are 90% in her sleep which I can't fault her. It'll take some getting used to on her part but she's really handling it well. I'm lucky to have such a lovely easy-going miss.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New experiences...

Lu and I decided to check out our local Early Years Centre yesterday. She's 2 and we've never been to check out our free government child programs. It's weird I know, but I have a stroller phobia. Dh and I saved for months during my pregnancy to afford a Bugaboo. It's the Cadillac of strollers. I'm not pretentious and I didn't purchase it because it cost like a grand, I bought it because we don't drive. I needed a nice set of wheels, something that could turn on a dime and get onto buses with ease. It's traveled internationally too and works everywhere we've been.

My stroller is my car. I have used it everyday practically for the last two years. I can't even fathom the miles it has on it and sorta wish I had an odometer. It has never failed me and has been worth every last scrimping. Anywho, I'm getting away from the point...I fear my stroller being stolen. It happens quite frequently in the city, I read stories all the time. Craigslist ads from people putting out APB's..."It has a scuff near the wheel!" like their car is missing. Losing a stroller is tragic, especially if you have a small child.

So, the Early Years Centre doesn't have a safe place to put strollers, they're left outside near the front door. I might as well put a sign up saying "SWIPE THIS INSANELY EXPENSIVE, EASY TO SELL STROLLER!"

So yeah, I've been avoiding the Centre even though we could really benefit from the extra baby hangout times and it's free! I did some research and realized there was an off-site drop-in location and it was literally across the street from me! We went to check it out and sure enough there was a little spot inside to park strollers and I was like the 4th Bugaboo parked there. I felt safe and decided to venture into the class and sign up.

Lu ran directly to the little kitchen set up and played away happily. Mother's nursed, babies rolled around and some of the grandparents who brought their grandkids stared at me. I HATE being stared at by people. I'm tattooed, have a sleeve done and my chest...feet...legs...back...k I'm pretty much covered. I don't mind people staring at my work and love when people ask me what it's about but I HATE when people give me the side eye. I'm a good person, friendly and generous. I don't warrant angry looks and do not appreciate judgement calls without meeting me. If you meet me and think I'm a jerk, fine...then we're cool.

So my view of the Early Year's was well-organized, staff was friendly, some mom's were approachable. No one introduced themselves to me but I chatted with another mom who seemed nice. It all felt a little cult-ish though. Everyone knew the songs and leered at me for not singing along. I just could't get into the mentality of singing and dancing with people I didn't know. I'm going to take her back again on Monday and hope it gets a little easier, otherwise we'll just do our own thing like we've always done.

Today we attended soccer. Lu loves soccer, she loves the coaches and the other kids. I love how she looks forward to Thursdays all week long. She attends "Little Kickers", it was started in the UK and now they have branches throughout the US and Canada. I can't say enough about the group, it's been a lifeline and we love attending every week. It's really helped her with learning to run and she has been working on her colours through different drills. Lu has a hard time naming colours and pretty much calls them all "blue". The sticker she receives at the end of soccer is her favourite part though, no matter what colour it is. Today a little girl shouted out "I like gymnastics better than soccer!" and we all laughed. The whole class is just hilarious, kids running amok and coaches trying to keep them in line. I have multiple friends who love to come with us because it's just so funny and awesome.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'd want her to know...

I'm sure it's every moms fear that they won't be there to see their child grow up. I found myself pondering this last night into the wee hours of the morning. Reflecting upon the death of a friend who passed days after the birth of her child, I couldn't just leave these thoughts be.
I don't live just for myself anymore, I am someone's everything. My daughter told me I was her best friend today and it melted my heart and scared the crap out of me. What if I'm not here forever, what if...?

You hear about all of these random deaths. A woman accidentally walks out in front of a bus or a stray bullet kills a teen. It got me wondering, at my daughter's age she might not remember me all that well in ten years. She would have to rely on other people's interpretations and memories.

So the big question is...what would I want her to know about us? About how I feel about her?

Dear Lu,

I'm writing this because I want to know that in the event I'm not around for you growing up that I loved you desperately. In highschool I probably would've been "the person least likely to parent". It was no secret among friends that I never wanted kids. It all changed when I met your daddy. After we got married, all I wanted to do was be a mom and one special day I became one. It was like the world stopped and my sole job was to raise you to be awesome. I wanted you to be strong, independent (but not too soon!), kind-hearted and intelligent. My life flipped a switch and it went from being all about all about you and I loved every minute of it. From buying teeny tiny snuggly onesies to nursing in the middle of the night while watching a 1980s episode of Cops (which by the way is wayyyy better than the newer ones!)...I revelled in every milestone. Your first smile, first laugh, first crawl, first walk....first everything!

I want you to know that I made you an awesome baby book and it's full of all of these milestones. I thought you might get a kick out of them one day, like being able to see how much you weighed when you were 5 months old. These things were important moments for your daddy and I. We loved finding out you were thriving and that we were succeeding at that whole parenting thing.

Right now you're having a nap. Sleeping away with your little puppy in your arms, squeezing him so tight that I'm thankful we don't have a real puppy...because you would've loved him to death ages ago. You are very loving and gentle with the kitties, which I'm sure they appreciate.

You relish in pouring tea, giving sneaky unexpected kisses, grinning from ear to ear, playing soccer with your new baby friends and going for hot chocolate with me on our random strolls.

You have such a big personality and you make people smile everywhere you make me soooo proud to be your mom.

What I want you to know is that no matter where I am, I'm thinking about you and there will always be a huge pile of people around to love you and take care of you. I hope you never need this letter and I hope I live til I'm 100 but I'd hate to leave you without it.

Love Mommy xo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Be bop a Lula, she's my baby...

Here's a quick run through of the last two years with my little miss! She was born in December of 2008 and has quickly become the center of our tiny family. We tried for over a year, rather unsuccessfully, to become parents and randomly it just happened. I had gone in for a consult to discuss our fertility options and the next day tested for the heck of it. Lo and behold a big sparkly +! We were both thrilled and so was everyone else in the family as this is the first baby in quite some time and the only grandchild.

My little miss is an awesome kid (I know, I know...every parent gushes) but really she is! She's friendly, polite and loves to play with other kids. One of my main issues as a new-ish parent, is finding other moms to hang out with. None of my friends have kids so I'm either stumbling across things to do or planning special outings so she can stretch her baby legs and mingle. Recently, we've joined a soccer league.

We love to go to random festivals and events but also enjoy spending a few hours in the sandbox at the local park. Here's one of my idiosyncrasies...I have this strange mindset that if I don't get out once a day and go for a walk or do something...that I'm missing out. It drives dh crazy to say the least. It means less time is spent lounging about which I feel guilty about because dh works so hard but we live in a huge can practically trip over a festival so it's hard not to want to enjoy them!

I'm a strong-minded tattooed lady. I can't stand rude, ignorant or cruel people. Also, we are a family of vegetarians and consider ourselves eco-conscious. Guess we're a little wacky, dh is a computer nerd in an office
environment and I'm a freelance graphic designer/sahm. We're on two ends of the job spectrum but it sure is handy having someone nearby to fix your computer at your whimsy.

I'm not sure why I have this itch to write but I'd love to be able to share our way of life with other moms and get some pointers while inspiring others to get out there and just do. Sometimes grabbing a coffee (and mini hot chocolate) are all it takes to break up the monotony of dishes, vacuuming and cat boxes.

So yeah, this is us. We're a little strange and not your conventional 20 something parents. I think I have a lot to say and hope someone somewhere wants to listen!

Monday, February 21, 2011

And awaaaay we go...

Guess I should do a brief intro to get this ball of fun rolling. I'm a mom, I'm married and I live in a big city with tonnes of things to do. My daughter Lu and I spend our days playing, reading and exploring our world together. It's rarely a dull moment.