Category Archives: La Bebe

Sideways Snapshots

When my life contains things that I cannot blog about because it infringes on other people’s privacy, I take pictures of the sideways things we are doing instead of the main things. This is a blog about what’s happening with us, but not everyone wants to have everything publicly announced. So I share with you today, the pictures of the sideways things. Shifting the camera away from main events to the backstage, so to speak.

In Between Clouds

It rains a lot here. In saying this, we had a remarkably good September and October and the rains only started last week. In between clouds, we dash outside in sweaters, boots and toques for a quick puddle stomp or a trampoline jump or a beach romp. We get outside and stretch and sniff the cool air. (Cool! Downright COLD if you ask me!) We even sometimes hang up some laundry outside with the intent of bringing it in quickly when the rain returns.

Then it does. And we light a fire inside. Playing “cozy” under a blanket. Playing hide-and-go-seek. Reading lots of books (or just the same few over and over again) and do some colouring. And thus it continues for the next four to six months.

Waaaah!

That’s a long time!

All the playgroups have started up again. There is one nearly every morning of the week. Gabrielle could have quite the little social calendar if her mommy was so inclined.  I feel like a bird who has chuffed out her feathers in preparation for the Winter. Or the bear who has found a hole, stuffed it with leaves and is ready to settle in before the winds begin to blow.

Gabrielle is becoming very vocal about her preferences these days. She has favourite songs, her own cushion on the couch, preferred snacks and an opinion even about my singing and driving! She has become much better when I leave to go to work but doesn’t like it if I’m away too long. She’s extremely interested in all things musical and maternal. Any story I make up is always too short. And she finds pretend food eveywhere! She’s such a joy, even on the more contrary days, and we are really loving this stage.

But how do you keep a toddler entertained in a small house through the Winter? Any ideas?

Brie’s Boots

When my baby was tiny, I hoped she would get bigger, and thought it inevitable. But I couldn’t picture it. How could a 5 lb baby ever fit into an 18 month old sleeper?

Gabrielle was given a pair of very special boots. Real leather and very fancy. But they looked huge!

The boots were given to us when Gabrielle went in for her first heart surgery. They were given in faith that she would survive the surgery, and someday fit into these boots.

Today is that day.

It is very close to Canadian Thanksgiving. As we buy our turkeys, think about the garnishes to add with such a significant bird, I smile. This year I feel like Gabrielle is my little turkey, and the boots are the perfect garnish to add alongside such a tasty meal.

And I continue to be thankful.

While being grateful, having the flu.

 

Hi, my name is Amanda and I have the stomach flu. Boo!

And can you believe, I have been grateful today. No this is not a post of how wonderful my attitude is when I’m sick because seriously, who does that? But this is me reminding myself that even today, sick as a proverbial dog, I am grateful that I am not on call. I am thankful it’s Saturday and my husband is home with Miss G and that she even got a beach date in with Gramma.

It was even a relatively sunny day for my friends’ moving party (which I could not attend and I am not grateful for that!)

A friend asked me recently if Gabrielle’s “upcoming two” behaviour was truly horrible? She wanted to know how bad it got, how close was I to throwing my kid out the window?

I said, “Well compared to heart surgery, this is all a breeze.”

And I say this about my icky flu too.

But we can’t live there. In that intensely awful yet grateful place too. I can’t stay in those extremes. So when life calms down and is flowing “normally” I blog about having the flu. When I was watching my child go through heart surgery, there was a mom forum where a mom was complaining that her 4 week old baby slept on her stomach. Please help! My baby is sleeping on her tummy! I thankfully kept my fingers still and did not comment that my baby, at the same age, was in heart surgery so please let your baby sleep on her tummy.

Because we can’t live there. We can’t stay in a place where everything is life or death, where we’re hanging on a thread. But sometimes we do live there, for months at a time as Baby Maya’s family aptly demonstrated.

I complain as much as the next person when my kid won’t poop on the potty or when her whining is driving me up the wall. But at the end of the day, I hold her and my heart bursts with mushy mooshy appreciation that she is with me. Last week I held her close to my chest when she wouldn’t go to sleep, and I felt her enlarged repaired heart beating against my heart. Have you ever felt that? Your kid’s heart against your own heart?

I can tell you, I wasn’t dry-eyed about the experience and it gave me that much more grace for her as she’s figuring this world out. Because I’m seriously grateful, even on flu days, that she is exactly the way she is.

Being Gentle

So I was in the bathroom a lot yesterday trying to get Gabrielle to start using the potty. When you hear yourself start saying “The potty is your friend!” You know it’s time to take a break from potty training.

That’s when I noticed, of course, how I needed to clean my bathroom. With this in mind, I reviewed the rest of my house and thought, “What a dump!” And immediately thought of myself as a bad house-keeper. A bad mother as I can’t seem to get my child to use the potty consistently and I am so sick of diapers. Then stopped myself.

And wondered with great curiousity, why does it come back to a self-image issue when my bathroom is dirty, my house is cluttered, the kitchen is a mess and my child pees on the floor again.

There is a book called “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” which changed my life. It is a book about addiction, and though I do not suffer from addiction (other than my apparent need for chocolate) the end of the book talked about dealing with yourself with great compassion. Asking without judgement, Why.

So I ask it now. Why do I feel like a worse person when I can’t seem to keep up on household chores? Why do I judge myself as a mother for my daughter’s ability to control her bladder?

I make up these stories in my head for how I am perceived and that’s all they are. Just stories. But of course, the dangerous thing about all this is that Gabrielle is the biggest copy cat I know. If I model this behaviour, being self-critical, she will learn this too. I realize as a parent we do not have the luxury of being perfect so that our children will be perfect. But being gentle to ourselves, now that’s something I can practise.

So, in an effort to be gentle to myself and consequentially gentle to Gabrielle, we are fleeing to my mom’s for a couple days so I have a hand dealing with my very contrary toddler as she perfects asserting her ginormous will. It is there I will seek out some chocolate and some quiet while Gabrielle and Nana eat buckets of raspberries.

Until then, I may buy a bottle of wine. Don’t judge me!