Little Bubs

Updates… and VLOGS! What Fun!

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Things have been pretty quiet here on the ol’ bloggeroo lately.

It’s summer, Bee is home Mondays and Fridays, and I’ve been spending as much time soaking up these Littles as I can before I head back to work {*SOB*} in the fall.

So for that, my writing has taken a bit of a hit.  And that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything noteworthy happening around here!  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but for now, here are the bullet points:

– Bubs is nearly 10-months old and crawling around like a wee speed demon.  Well actually, he’s more butt-scooting than crawling.  He pushes himself on his bum while pulling himself forward with his legs and supporting his chubby upper-bod with one arm.  One arm, so he can hold something in his other hand.  Natch.

– He’s also still not sleeping through the night.  Which means no one is sleeping through the night.  Except for Bee, actually.  She sleeps like a dream, thank God.  But at nearly a year old, I’m still getting up with him around three times a night.  Ugh.  We’ve tried “sleep training” him, but you know what?  I really hate the sound of my baby screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.  It feels wrong to me, so we threw the whole Cry It Out business, OUT the window.  Call me crazy, but I’ll probably keep going to him until he just one day, MIRACULOUSLY, starts sleeping through the night.  And perhaps it’s just my sleep-deprived, exhausted brain talking here, but for now, I’m sticking to that statement.

– Despite the sleepless nights, he is one of the chattiest, happiest little babies I’ve ever met.  He has dimples for days and shows them off to anyone who looks his way.  His blonde hair is fluffy and growing into one badass mullet, it’s pretty spectacular.  Those two, nasty bottom teeth have finally poked through, and now we just await… the rest.  Sigh.  Teething SUCKS.  But thank goodness for hacks like THIS 😉

– Bee has entered the dawn of the Threenager, and a few months early at that.  Hooray.  “What is a Threenager,” you ask?  What, you don’t know?  You poor fool!  A Threenager is a JOY to have around!  Um, not.  A Threenager is a toddler who is prone to being moody, judgemental, and stubborn as hell.  The power struggle is real, and it’s CRAZY.  I am definitely revisiting my mantra a LOT these days, and constantly having to remind myself that, “she’s two.  She’s two.  She is only TWO.  And you are the Mama.  You Are The Mama.  What YOU say, goes.  Jeebuz…..”

– Yes, Bee can be a challenge.  A perplexing puzzle of a little human.  But she really is, at the end of the day, the greatest achievement in my life.  She is remarkable – brilliant, funny, polite and kind, and I know I totally sound like one of “those” parents, but if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll see I’m not full of sh*t.  She is the light in our lives, and manages to charm everyone who crosses her blazing path.  I’m loving every second watching her become the person she’s meant to be, and consider it a privilege to be her Mama.  *SOB*

– I’ve launched my newest podcast series through my iTunes channel!  Well, I’ve published the intro to the series.  You can check out what’s to come HERE.  Make sure you subscribe so you get the updates as they happen 🙂

Although the writing has been thin, I’ve been spending more time vlogging for my YouTube channel.  Head on over to check out the latest, but for your immediate viewing pleasure, please have a laugh at two of my recent contributions to the internets!

So there you have it!  This is what we’ve been up to lately around these parts.  I’m going to be a bit more diligent with the writing – I can feel I’m a bit rusty and would like to get my “voice” back. Until then, I’m gonna keep up with the vlogging and podcasting so you can join me in any way that suits you best.

Don’t be a stranger!

All Hail the Glory of the Nap!

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Here’s the thing about struggling with getting your baby on a schedule: you succumb to the exquisite rareness of the quiet moments and get so lost in them, that the laundry doesn’t get put away and the kitchen remains a mess from breakfast.

“Oh, well,” I tell myself during these complete blips-of-life (because surely these 45 minute+ naps are blips, right?)  “I’ll just do it all tomorrow, in-between his multiple 15-minute naps.  While wearing him.  And shushing him.”

Now, though – in this meditatively still moment –  I will take it minute by minute, lap up the ongoing quietness and stillness, finish this coffee, and write and wait until I hear him stir on the monitor.

***Note:  he woke up two minutes after finishing this post.  Literally.  Whatever.  I’ll take what I can get.

 

An Open Letter to Myself, 6 Months Postpartum: 10 Things To Do Every Day

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Dearest Beth,

Hey, there.  How’s things?  I like your haircut, it’s a nice change for spring.  Could be a bit shorter, but, you know.  And can I say, I’m super glad you’ve gone back to blonde.  It takes away from the deathly dark circles around your eyes.

What, I can’t say that?  But…I’m you.  Sooo…..

Anyway.

Can you believe Bubs is 6 months old already??  Where did that time go?   Like sands through the hourglass, amiright?!

It’s crazy to think about, but half a year ago you went into labour and shot out a baby in three hours flat.

Well.  Done.  Ouch!  But, well done.

Six months.  Gone, like a puff of smoke.  You breathed in, then out, and now, here we are.

Let’s just talk a bit about Bubs for a second, before getting into the real reason I’m writing you this letter (dum, dum duuuuummm….).

Li’l Bubs.  Li’l dimply, chubby Bubs.  His joyfulness is contagious.  He enchants anyone who glances his way.  He squeaks and smiles his squinty smile at strangers, but don’t be fooled:  the boy knows how to crrrrrrrry.  Especially when you’re out of the room for longer than he can blink.  Or sneeze.  Or fart (he does a lot of that).  He sits up without support, is thisclose to rolling over, and will only go to sleep on his belly, which scared the CRAP out of you those first few nights you left him that way (now, that’s to say he sleeps on his belly when he sleeps.  Which, let’s be honest, isn’t a lot.  And is  a whole other monologue onto itself.  Sigh.)  His favourite toy is any spoon he can reach, and his favourite activity is observing intently as he carefully drops it to the floor.  He loves watching his sister RUN, and squeals with delight when she dances.  His little mullet is growing by the day, such a random and hilarious thing… you better not cut it.  EVER.  He is a joy and a delight, and he completes your family in the most perfect way.

You have two beautiful, healthy children and a hottie of a husband who, for some reason, loves the living shit out of you.  You have a new house and a bunch of fun projects in the works, spring is finally springing – everything is coming up ROSES for you.

You are an incredibly fortunate woman.

Which now brings me to that real reason I’m writing you this letter:

It’s time to get.  Your shit.  Together.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh.  But let me explain.

Yes, you are currently a SAHM with two little kids.  And yes, your main priority day-to-day is keeping your littles alive and helping your family thrive.  But GIRL, all that “looking after other people” nonsense doesn’t mean you get to completely ignore the fact that YOU ARE A PERSON, TOO and let yourself fall apart and turn into that bowl full of mush that, let’s be honest, every kid in the world says “yuck” to in Goodnight Moon.

So, I’ve compiled a list:  Ten Things you must do every day to achieve “Regular Person Like Everybody Else” status, which will in turn help you get back to being YOU.

These are not huge tasks; I’m not asking you to paint the Sistine Chapel.  But after so long of not doing them (read: the last 6 months), these basic things may seem tedious and time consuming and every day you will no doubt think, “meh, this one’s no biggie.  I can skip it today.”

But listen, I am 100% sure that after a few weeks it’ll all come back to you, and not only will you begin to feel like a Regular Person Like Everybody Else again, but – most importantly – you will feel like YOU.  The YOU before babies and diapers and worrying about healthy meals and snacks and mountains of laundry that pile on top of themselves.  Before scraped knees and teething and sleep training and daily battles between your toddler and the hairbrush.  Before sharing became an issue, and tiny talons and scratched up faces, and food sensitivities and transitioning from your bed to their crib to their bed.  Before sweatpants became the uniform and braless-ness an acceptable state in which to be…. before all that – and oh, so much more – you were YOU.

But guess what?  You still are.  And these Ten Things are gonna get you back there.

Trust me.  I’m you.  Soooo, I know.

And now, I present to you:

Ten Things You Have To Do Every Day, Without Fail:

    • Brush your teeth, TWO times.  Bee is starting to brush hers regularly, so set a good example.  Not a smelly, gross coffee-breathed one.  Maybe you don’t have an obvious chunk of spinach between your front teeth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something more sinister lurking between your molars.
    • Put on deodorant (down, boys).  This literally takes 2 seconds.  Just because you may spend a few days not coming into close contact with anyone other than Bubs – and when you do you’re wearing a huge winter coat and layer upon layer of “clothes” (see above re: sweat pants & braless-ness) – doesn’t mean it’s okay to skip this crucial hygienic step.
    • Shower.  Okay, you can make this one every other day.  And hair washing only needs to be done twice a week, so you can use your judgement whilst showering to decide if that day is the day… and by “use your judgement” I mean determining if there’s enough time before Bubs wakes up screaming bloody murder for your boob.
    • Wash your face.  Remember a while back when you talked to the ladies at the Freeze Clinic about how you wanted to start washing your face again, every day?  Remember that??  And remember how you did it for a while and it felt sooooooo good but then you let the ball drop and stopped because you got pregnant and lazy?!  Yeah.  Let’s pick that back up again, shall we?  Those pores aren’t closing themselves.
    • Reach out to a friend.  Your friends are awesome.  You are incredibly lucky to have such amazing people who actually want to hear from you and be around you, and who offer support and words of wisdom in times of need.  So you need to be better at maintaining those relationships.  It doesn’t have to be an hour-long phone call or a hand-written letter (though, those are really nice) – just a little text or email can do great things.  Plus, it’ll be nice to engage with someone other than a 6-month old.  And to have someone answer you back!  With actual WORDS!!  Can you IMAGINE?!
    • Write.  Even if it’s on the notepad on the fridge, it’s time to get those squeaky wheels turning.  You love to write.  It challenges you and makes you happy.  So do it.
    • Take 5 deep breaths.  Preferably first thing in the morning, before the chaos of the day begins.  Centre yourself so you don’t fall off the edge when Bee is screaming in your face that she doesn’t want to wear a shirt to school.
    • Attempt a 30 minute workout.  The walk to and from daycare doesn’t count.  Get your heart rate up.  If you can’t squeeze in one of your 21 Day Fix videos (which, dude, you can) then throw Bubs in the stroller and tackle some of the hills in your new ‘hood while running errands.
    • Look your husband in the eyes and tell him you love him.  Because you absolutely do, and he deserves to hear it.
    • Be kind to yourself.  Probably the most important step.  You are doing the best you can, Mama.  Sure, most days aren’t perfect, and you can feel like you’re failing an awful lot of the time.  But listen to me:  you’re not failing.  And despite the daily challenges of raising a head-strong toddler with the imagination of Peter Jackson, a sleep-deprived baby who clings to you day and night, and keeping your insanely gorgeous husband in love with you, despite ALL THAT: you’re doing alright.

Trust me.  I know.  I’m you.

Okay, good talk.  Let’s do it more often.  Until next time, take care.

Sincerely,
Beth

August & Everything After

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Oh, hey there.

It’s really good to see you.

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve last hung out.  But, you know, it happens.

Everyone gets busy, and most of us have to unplug occasionally.  To check out from time-to-time and reset…

…and for the scary New Post button on your blog to become less cumbersome that it has been over the last 5 months.

FIVE MONTHS.

Over the last 5 months, my Life has filled-up with everything.  Overloaded with an abundance of good news (my sister, her husband and baby boy are moving home from the UK in July), exciting things (we bought a house…. AAAAAA!), nerve-wracking moments (…um, buying a HOUSE) and devastating heartache (saying goodbye to our beloved family dog of 14 years).

Of course, the first, and probably the most important thing, was the much anticipated arrival of our son, Li’l Bubs (formerly known as Pelé).  He roared into our lives in the early morning of September 17th, and has completed our family in the most amazing way.

I knew I had a small handful of people eagerly awaiting his birth, almost as much as me.  But as soon as we got home from the hospital something kind of shifted, I guess.  I decided that this time, these immediate moments that were directly in front of me, one after the other, happening at lightening speed yet slow as molasses, needed to be savoured.  I wanted to protect them and coddle them and hold them lovingly in my arms – from Bee meeting Bubs for the first time, to the first diaper change, the first (of many) sleepless nights, adjusting to a new body taking up space in our bed and home… all of these things, I decided needed to be just for me.  Just for us.  Our family.

I didn’t unplug completely, mind you.  I popped up on Instagram and the Facebook now and again.

But I did make a conscious decision to step away from the blog for a while.

And now?  Here I am.

*****

Full disclosure:  I’ve been working on this post for a few days now, writing and re-writing everything.  Thinking, “maybe it’s too flowery.”  “Should I elaborate on this?”  “Perhaps a bit about the birth?”  “Is anyone going to care about that??”  “WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!”   So I apologize if it feels a bit all over the map.

I had such a nice little rhythm going with this blog all those months ago.  I was having so much fun with it.  But then, over the last 5 months, the notion of “getting back to it” weighed on my mind – I found it starting to feel like a chore I had to get done.  Just the thought of having to sit down and plunk out my thoughts, when it was just so much easier to nurse Bubs on the couch while watching Vanderpump Rules The Bachelor Canada The Great Interior Design Challenge reading.  I had a million-and-one excuses to leave it be.

Now, though.  I don’t know exactly why I chose today of all the days, to clean it up and hit publish.  To dust it off and send it back out into the world.

There’s nothing particularly special or different about today.  The kitchen is a pig-hole mess from hell, there’s a mountain of laundry to do, there are boxes everywhere because, even though we bought the house, we have yet to move.

Maybe it’s because of Bubs.  Day in and day out, he is proving to be the sweetest, most jovial, dimply baby, excited to be a part of it all.  He has a shock of fuzzy blonde fluff on his cradle-capped head (which was a shock because Bee was born with a mass of BLACKBLACKBLACK hair), chubby thighs and the happiest demeanour I could ask for.  Maybe today because he’s growing faster than I can handle. Maybe today because I’m finally ready to shout out to the world that he’s here, he’s wonderful, look at him go.  To start recording all the awesomeness, as I tried to do with Bee.

Or maybe… no.  Okay.  Not maybe.

I think, actually, it is because of Bee.

Excuse me while I sob for a minute.

Bee.  My Bee.

Our wonderful, intelligent, caring, sensitive, outgoing, introverted, thoughtful, excitable, wondrous, curious, imaginative, inquisitive bundle of everything that is good and Holy in this crazy, scary, amazing world.  She is 2 years and 3 months old, but when I look at her, I see the big girl/young woman/lady she is to become.

And she is perfect.

In every which way.

She loves her brother with such… fury.  If that makes sense.  She squeals with glee when he wakes up in the morning, “HI, my little monkey!”  She bounces and crouches and reaches for him whenever he’s around.  She consoles him when he cries, “It’s okay, my little monkey!  It’s okay!  I’m here!  Your big sister!  You so BWAVE!”  And I can see in her big, twinkling eyes when she smiles at him that she is secretly counting the days until he is big enough to play with her.   He’s already smiling at her silly faces, as is everyone else.

Because, she is silly.  And sneaky.  And temperamental.  And loving.  And so smart.  And oh, so, so beautiful.

And my heart fills up with so much pridelovehappinessworrydoubtexcitement when I look at her or even think about her that I feel like it’s going to explode all over the walls.

Which, would be bad.  Because, this place is a rental.  So….

ANYWAY.

I could wax on for a thousand more words about how amazing my kids are.  About how they have changed me for the better.  But I don’t want to be THAT parent.

But I do want to start writing again.  I do want to start blogging again, to get back to sharing my stories, and maybe even shooting off a vlog or two.  The wheels are turning, the routine is slowly falling into place, despite being perilously close to falling off the tracks in the shadow of this big, crazy move (which happens in a WEEK, by the way).

So I’ve dusted it off, shined it up, given it a new look to boot.  I’ve re-plugged, if that’s even a word.  I’m glad to be back, and I hope you all come along for all the new adventures to come.

And for now, I get back to packing.  Bubs is sleeping, the radio is crooning, and I’m feeling good about just jumping, all over again.

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