Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pavel Turns ONE!!!

Cool mom thing or not so cool mom thing... I am very sentimental. VERY.

I think I may have written a script for Walmart's next commercial yesterday.  I was there with Pavel on my way home from work last night, grabbing some things for his birthday gift. I was in a random aisle full of bins to store things in and along comes this really big guy - 6'3ish, muscular, bald, early thirties.. looked really tough.
He was holding a teeny tiny little baby in his hands, out in front of him, away from his body. He had his head down beaming at this little girl.

'Pavel, look! A brand new baby!!' I say as he is about to walk by. So of course I ask him how old.

He says ' Two and a half weeks, but you know, it feels like she's been in our lives for ever.'

We both got teary and I said, I know exactly how you feel.. my little guy turns one tomorrow.

And then we went on our way.

This is brand new Pavel.. his first picture!

My little baby is one today. I can't believe it.

I've said it before.. the last 12 months have been the best of my entire life. They have also been some of the most challenging.. but of course the reward is much greater than anything I've ever been given before.

I am going to share some of my survival tips from the last year.. and please do share if you have some you'd like to add!

I can not express how grateful I have been to have my family near me and so involved in our lives since Pavel has been born. My mom has been so helpful, I can't even explain it. It has brought us closer than ever and even has taught us a new sense of patience when dealing with each other. I love that my mom (and his other grand parents too!!) loves Pavel pretty much as much as I do.
My son is so lucky to get to know all of his grandparents and you can see it in the way his eyes light up when he sees them walk through our door.

It is so, so, so important to lean on your family when you have a new one.. and a dear friend (who you'll meet a little later in the blog) often reminds us of the mentality that it takes a 'village to raise a child'. A mentality that we don't practise in North America, like other cultures do. Don't be afraid to ask for help.. people WANT to help you! (sometimes a little too much.. hey strangers full of advice, I'm talking to you!)
On the other hand, I have a lot of friends without children who don't know how they can help a new mom (I was the same before Pav).. If that's you here's a few ideas:
- Bring over food!
- Offer to come hold the baby so mom and dad can shower/nap/clean/getgroceries/sit in the car and enjoy SILENCE for even 20 minutes.
- Oh and don't worry if you're holding the baby and it fusses.. I'm not stressed, I'm not judging you for doing something 'wrong', he/she would most likely be fussing with me too and I could totally use the break, so enjoy!!

Extended Family
Sheldon convinced me that we should move out to the burbs closer to our friends before Pavel came. I was reluctant, but I give him total credit. This was such a great move on our part. It's so hard to get out of the house sometimes with a fussy baby that has a strict nap schedule and if I had to commute 25-45 mins either way to get to see my friends, you can bet I would stay home more often than not. Having our close friends within 10 minutes has been amazing. Now that Pavel is older, watching him play with all the other kids his age is the cutest thing ever.

At the very beginning, it was so easy for me to be a hermit if I chose too, but it didn't make me feel very good about myself. Having a good circle of friends who you can lean on was key. Even though we live so close, sometimes we would go for a week or two without a visit, but just knowing I could pop over whenever I needed too was just what I needed. Find some other moms, find some people without kids, find a new hobby and meet people there.. just make sure you see people! This brings me to my next point..

Get a coffee
Get the car washed
Get groceries.. every single day.

Adult interaction is so important.. I would find myself saving up conversation ideas to share with my hubby when he got home from work and getting out of the house was a good start on how to find things to say. Not to mention, it helped me feel like I was achieving something each day. Don't get me wrong, raising a baby is more work than some full time jobs, but it's hard to get out of the mentality that I should be doing the things I used to.
'Honey, I washed the car today!!'
'Oh honey, have you tried the new Crem Brule latte at Starbucks?'
'Honey.. I made a new recipe AGAIN! Surprise!'

(Sidebar, make sure to have a little pep talk with your Honey and let them know how important it is for them to jump up and down with excitement and gratitude when you share your daily happenings)

Don't Rush It.
At the beginning I had a case of the baby blues. I found myself crying, like most women who just have babies, all the time for random reasons. I was sad my labor happened so fast.. it was so special, I didn't want it to be over. I was sad that Pavel was already one day old, three days old.. a WEEK OLD!! Time was going by too fast. I was sad Sheldon had to go back to work, that meant that life was going on and it wasn't supposed to. It was supposed to stop when Pavel arrived and freeze.

Later on, I couldn't imagine not nursing him. It physically hurt me to think of the last day that we would share that special time together. In the end, I didn't rush it, I let it happen naturally. He was distracted easily as he got older so I let him self wean.. by the time ten months rolled around, I was actually okay with letting go. I wouldn't have been okay any sooner.

Work. There was no way I was going back to work. It made me sick. And even though I felt this way, I still kept my options open. I was passed up for 3 or 4 positions over the year and I am now so thankful for it. I was not ready. When he was about 9 months old.. it hit me. I could do it. I wanted to do it. I knew it would be hard, but the thought of going back to work got me excited.

It still amazes me that life goes on after you have your first baby.. and it's perfectly okay to do it at whatever pace you would like.

Do Something for Yourself!!
You have a year off! Come on.. there has to be something in it for you, right? This was mine. I have always wanted to be good at doing my hair. I am so not good at doing anything more than a ponytail. It's a shame really. So I challenged myself to practice (apparently, my man Sasa who is my hair wizard informs me you have to actually work at being able to do hair good.. Bah!) curling my hair to look like I had Victoria Secret hair. It worked! I'm getting better at it! I can wear it in public too!
I'm very proud of myself.. What will yours be?

My Secret Weapon.
I share this 'secret' with every mom or mom-to-be I know, so maybe it's just my weapon.
Every mom wants to get back in shape after the baby pops out. It took me about three months to finally kick myself in the butt and get started.
I randomly found a program called FitMom Fitness. They have them all throughout Canada, but the founder Andrea Page lives here in Edmonton. Her classes made my maternity leave. You bring your baby along and they participate with you in yoga, bootcamps, swimming..

I'm not one to work out religiously, but once I signed up for FitMom, I committed! I can't explain to you how much these classes have meant to me over the last year. They gave me a reason to get out of the house, they gave Pavel and I an activity to do together - one that helped us get to know each other better, they helped me get in shape, they introduced me and Pavel to other moms and babies.. It was much more than just going to a workout class.

Andrea is fantastic. She's real. She has three gorgeous sons herself and knows what each of us in those classes is going through. She is supportive. She is funny. She has too much energy and at the same time she generously spreads it so thin. How someone who has so much to juggle in her own personal life (mom, business owner, wife, new city..) can find the strength to share herself with other moms and honestly care about each and every one of us, boggles my mind. She is special. I can't thank her enough being exactly what I needed in my life this year.

Oh, and Pavel can't thank her enough for wearing a big shiny necklace and a fancy watch that he was allowed to play with.. and eat from time to time.

Make sure you check her out! Be warned.. I've never sweat so much in my life!

Pavel. Today you are one year old. You amaze me every day with how much you learn, how smart you are. The list of words that you know is getting longer by hour it seems! (Mama, Dada, Bubu - bottle, Ball, Brady Brady (his fav books), Puppy, Nummy Nummy......
It melts my heart when you blow me kisses and when you show off your dance moves. I find myself laughing with you non stop - you are hilarious when you play peekaboo with yourself in the fireplace reflection, I love hearing you bark like a dog and say baaaa when you play with your baby sheep.

I hope that you read these posts when you are older.. it's why I started this blog in the first place. Don't be embarrassed! Be proud.. and thankful that you have a mommy and daddy that love you so very, very much. Happy Birthday little one!!

xoxo Mommy.

Pavel's First Birthday Cake!

Not really loving this cake thing.. 
Oh.. this is how you do it Mom

I LOVE Birthdays!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dear Canada... THANK YOU.

Cool mom thing... or not so cool mom thing.. having a baby has made me thankful for so many things that used to be so easily overlooked:

Waking up and leaving the house within five minutes from start to exit.
Pressing the snooze button 
Alone time with Dada.. formerly known as my husband.

It's officially over. My maternity leave that is. Well, it's technically been over for a while now, but I extended it past the government allotted and funded time, until I found the right reason to move on with life. (More on that in another post)

I got a bill in the mail from the hospital shortly after I had Pavel. I had expected this, as I knew it having a private room was an upgrade. 


It cost me $7 to have a baby.. with a private room.

To us Canadians, that's normal, even pricey! Health care is free! To my American friends though.. I feel for you. 

Could you imagine having to save enough money to have a baby? Could you imagine getting let go from your job right before you're about to give birth, losing your insurance and being stuck with a hospital bill in the thousands? Like, 20-30 thousand dollars? Not me. I can barely save enough for the next pair of shoes I want to splurge on. 

Thank you Canada. Thank you.

When Pavel was in my tummy, at our 20 week ultrasound, we discovered he had some kidney abnormalities. It was scary to say the least, but we had the most unbelievable health care from a number of different hospitals and clinics in the city.

At the Stollery Hospital

I must have had at least ten ultrasounds during my pregnancy and Pavel had a few after he was born. I had visits with perinatal urologists. I can't name the pieces of equipment that treated Pavel when he was just a month old, but they were big.. and fancy.. and free.

Out of all the things I needed to worry about bringing a new little person into this world, how I was going to pay for his health and give him the best start possible, was not one. 

I am so grateful. 

In Alberta, it is the law that your employer must hold your position for you (or one similar with the same pay) for one year after you have a baby. 

At first I was annoyed when I read this on the Service Canada website:

'The basic benefit rate is 55% of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $43,200. This means you can receive a maximum payment of $457 per week.'

$457/week! Before taxes! What a joke!

About half way into the year, my mindset changed a little. I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly thankful to receive approximately $1600/month for doing 'nothing'.

For free. For having a baby.. I am being paid to enjoy my time, with my baby. 


I am legally being given a year of free time to spend with my baby, while my job is on hold waiting for me, and I'm getting PAID all at the same time. And when I have this baby, it doesn't matter if I forget my wallet at home. 

Do you know how lucky we are? 

I found myself wanting to write Canada a thank-you letter. I'm not sure how to do this exactly, is it the same as writing Santa your Christmas wish list?

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thanks Canada, times 1,000,000, for allowing me to enjoy the Best. Year. of my Life.


 Pavel this week:

He won't stop talking.. ever! I think he got this from his mom. He says:
- Dada
- Hi
- Ball (this was his first word)
- Nummy nummy nummy - when he's hungry or is eating
- Buba - his bottle

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Big Move...

Cool mom thing.. or not so cool mom thing..

I've got nothing. Sometimes that happens.

Pavel's first birthday is November 11. Wow. I can't believe it's coming so soon!! I have so much to say about the last year.. more than I already have believe it or not. So over the next little while, I'll be sharing a bit more than usual! (So sorry about the blog slacking.. but it takes me time to think through my topic choices!!)

When I was 23, I bought myself a new condo. Well, I bought the contract to a condo that was going to be built. It was my first place. 700 square feet, the perfect amount of space.. and right smack downtown. Gorgeous location. I was very proud of my first home purchase.
From the day I signed that document, I was told I'd have to wait approximately 1 year for possession.

 Ha. Ha. Ha.

To make a really long, annoying story straight - don't ever buy a home with Abbey Lane Homes.. and it took us three years to move in.


Sheldon and I moved in 9 months after we were married and five months later, I was pregnant.

It makes sense that the story I'm about to share is not uncommon. In fact, I think it's more common than not that people get pregnant, and end up moving to a bigger place... right before the baby comes.

We hummed and hawed over moving out of the condo or making it work in a small space.

'People in New York City do it all the time!!'

In the end, we made the tough decision to find something else, even though we loved the space we waited so long for, and did want more time to enjoy it (yes, we should have thought this through more when we decided to pull the goalie!... ewe.. I can't believe I just typed that and am not going to erase it.).

The hunt began. Okay, it wasn't really a hunt. We went to the neighbourhood we wanted, visited some developers, and basically bought the only thing that had a possession date before baby P was to arrive.

We bought a property floor plan unseen. It was a spec home that was the developer's base model. We couldn't pick or change a thing.

To me it really wasn't a big deal.. you're having a baby, life is really changing.. worry about making it look how you want a few months or years down the road, once you're settled.. Right?

Well, no. Not if you know my husband. When he moves in, he needs everything done, ASAP.. including blinds and buying a new broom for the garage! It's annoying! It's expensive! But.. it's pretty awesome too.

We received possession of our new place on October 20th last year. I was due on November 2nd.

I would just like to stop an interject right now and let you know that for the last two moves (into our condo, and into our current home... when I was 9 months pregnant!!), my husband has been away on business. Is he for real? 9 months pregnant and I'M the one moving everything and coordinating the tradespeople?
Thank goodness for moms.. wow, was I ever lucky she was there to help out every step of the way. For the next move, Sheldon has been informed that he is sending my mom and I away to the beach for a week.

Sorry, I digress... We move in on the 20th.. baby coming November 2nd.. in 8 days, we completely transformed our 'base model, lino carpet, laminate counter top... ' home, into basically a brand new place.

We replaced:
- The lino flooring on the main level
- The upstairs carpet
- The lino upstairs in the bathrooms
- The appliances
- The cabinetry
- Kitchen counters
- Kitchen back splash
- The fireplace
- The closet organizers.

May I just say, being pregnant and renovating an entire home may seem like a crazy idea.. and yes, some days it was stressful.. but we had everything done on time. No one showed up late, no one forgot parts or tried to cancel on their install last minute.. in fact, the closet guys tried to reschedule and this was my response..
'I'm going to have this baby any second and if I don't have these closet organizers put in I'm not going to be able to unpack (insert tears), the only thing I want to do is unpack my baby's clothes (more tears.. not fake ones either.. hormones) and now I'm going to have to wait till.... '

They were there later that day. And I know what you're thinking, but I was not rude to anyone.. I just think they were scared the baby was going to pop out in front of them!

Because it's our year anniversary of living here.. and because I just wrapped filming a new show I'm hosting called Show Home Parade, where I got to learn design tips in 30 different how homes across the city... I thought I'd share some before and after shots. Enjoy!

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen During:

Concrete counter tops. Took 5 people to carry that slab in the house!
We love them!!

 Kitchen After:

Ah... the two toned kitchen.. You'll have to watch Show Home Parade for my take on these.

Livingroom Before: 

Livingroom During:

We used wide plank distressed hardwood. It's great because it doesn't show nicks and scratches!

Love our concrete fireplace!!
Living Room After:

Pavel's Room Before:
The carpet looks decent in this picture, but believe me, it wasn't.

Pavel's Room After:
We have a queen bed in here in case you want to come visit!!

Our Closet Before:

Our Closet After: 

Best money I've ever spent is putting in closet organizers.

We used Compartment Closets for these and they were nearly 50% cheaper than California Closets.

And because I'm a proud wife.. here is some of Sheldon's most recent artwork. Everything in our house (except one) was created by him. He was inspired to do some painting after Pavel was born.. something he hadn't done since college.

This is of a campground near my mother's cottage in the Gaspe. 

I think he just liked this picture from a magazine.

I remember the first night we stayed in our new home. I fell asleep listening to wolves howling in the farmer's field near by. Quite the contrast from the lights of the cityscape, sirens and traffic noise I listened to just the night before. It felt like we had moved to a whole new world... turns out.. we had.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's the People that you Meet...

Cool mom thing... or not so cool mom thing.. I've taught Pavel my dance moves.
Correction - I've very PROUDLY taught Pavel my dance moves. He's got the booty shake down, the pursed lip look (the just ate something sour face), and no rhythm. 
That's my boy.

I've got what I call my life theme song. It's weird actually. It shows up all over the place, totally random. A few years in Cabo San Lucas, it drove by blaring out of the car of some locals. Shopping in Glasgow, Scotland, it played a techno version in a department store. Walking along the beach of La Serena, Chile, showed up on an old CD on my discman (yup, discman). 

One of my favorite times was when I was 19 and alone living in Hong Kong. I was on a train going through the countryside on my way back from mainland China, looking out the window at the rice fields. I was scared, sad, and lonely, clutching onto my teddy bear that my brother had given me for Christmas the year before. The song starts piping through the train and it was weirdly comforting... that memory is forever in my mind. 

I've been very fortunate to meet a ton of interesting people in my life. A few months back, I was having coffee with one of these people, and he asked me what my dream job would be. 

My instant reaction was Oprah.
I thought about it for a second and changed my mind.. 
'Nope, Lisa Ling'

I love to talk and I love stories. I love a good story teller. I'm that person who will talk to random strangers in the grocery store.. and I love to people watch.

Have you ever driven past someone and wondered what was going on in their world today? 

Working at HelpTV, we did a number of shows on drug education. I interviewed a mom from a suburb of Edmonton. Her family is middle class. Her kids play sports and are good students. Both mom and dad are active in the family life.
To me, it seems like some of the simple ingredients for a healthy, successful family, but one day her son never came home. They started noticing something was different.
He ended up getting involved in drugs and was addicted to methamphetamine.  He got lost on the streets.
Believe me when I tell you mom and dad tried everything to help him.
When I had met her, they were a number of years deep into her son's addiction and he had been in and out of rehab, awaiting another turn, in another facility. At this point, as she told her story, she seemed numb to the details, but was still managing to continue along with her life. In fact, she had started an organization to help other families in similar situations as her and this was keeping her going.

Admirable. Scary. Sad.

This story still haunts me. 

I told you how my dad got married back in August. It was a great party, such a perfect day.  Maybe I get my story telling from my dad, because he's got a number of doozies. 50 years working in the oilfield will do that to you. I've heard for years stories about his friends, their hunting days, and traveling all over the world together on the hunt for liquid black gold.

Bob the Welder. Never just Bob, always Bob the Welder. He was there and he rushed over to me to say hi. We had both heard so much about each other. A few beers into the evening, BtW sits down and starts talking.
Turns out BtW, (who is about 6'5, with a white beard and hair, wearing a flannel shirt and a fur hunting hat my dad borrowed to him for the night) is a hermit. He loves to be alone and he loves nature.

He owns a little piece of trap land up by Fort Mac that is so remote, you can only access it by airplane or some sort of weird boat like you see on the opening of CSI Miami. He's got himself set up with a nice cabin with all the fixings, including Internet. (He only uses it to check his email to see if he's being called to work somewhere.)
He feels so strongly and comforted when he's in the wilderness alone, when he gets a message telling him it's time to leave his peaceful oasis, he cries.
After years of spending all his free time up there, I guess you could say he's become one with nature. He has a pet mole (or something small and creepy like it) who runs up his arm and down the other, and has a little attitude problem if BtW stops feeding him treats.
One day BtW was on his riding lawn mower cutting the grass on the airstrip. He could feel someone watching him. It was a familiar glare. He turns around and sees a full grown timber wolf about 15 feet away from him. Just sitting there watching him, curious and finally confident enough to come out of the woods and meet his friend, Bob the Welder.

Sheldon's grandfather Ken passed away on October 1st at the age of 81. Sheldon was close to him, and I was lucky enough to get to know him on a regular basis over the last five years.
Oh, Grandpa. How we loved your brush cut and your tan slacks with matching shirt and cardigan sweater that you wore almost every time you left the house.

If you knew Grandpa, I think you would agree with me that in his younger years, he was a cool guy. Very confident, attractive, great sense of humor and a real family man.
In the years I knew Grandpa, he became my number one fan. He never missed an episode of HelpTV. He would follow up with me on topic questions, and get annoyed if we ever aired reruns. At our wedding, Grandpa insisted on saying a few words, and put in a plug to our guests to watch my show.. even told them what time and what channel.

If there is a thought that would sum up what Grandpa's lasting memory will be for me, that is the love he had for his wife.
Granny passed away a number of years before I came into the picture, from Parkinson's... but I don't think she ever left his side.  I got to know her through the stories Grandpa told, from her paintings that still hung on their condo walls, and from the pictures he kept.
Not a family gathering went by without Granny being included in some way.

The love for your wife... it was the greatest lesson that Sheldon learned from his beloved Grandpa.

We got a call in the middle of the night about a week before Grandpa passed to come say good-bye. Sheldon and I packed up Pavel and went to the hospital.
Oh Grandpa, I can still remember the look in your eyes and how the first thing you said as we walked into the room was - Hi Pavel! We are so lucky he got to know you, even for a short time.

Driving home a few hours later, we shared some of our favorite memories of Grandpa... the radio playing in the background.

At 2:19 am.... my theme song took centre stage.

Beautiful Day, by U2.

It's like it knew I needed it.

As sad as it is for us to lose Grandpa, I know he is happy now.

My heaven is one big dance party.. and Grandpa and Granny are still dancing the night away.

We love you so much.


My little Pavel is 11 months old! He's such a great walker.. pretty much running now. Loves to talk.. just like mama!

Three words to sum up this little guy:
- Funny
- Flirty
- Determined

Sheldon freaked out last night because Pavel picked up his hockey stick and started passing the ball to dada with it. My life is over.

His favorite toys are the accessories to the vacuum cleaner... funny guy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Funny Story..

Everyone's been pocket dialed right? How long do you stick your ear as tightly to the phone as possible to try and make out some juicy gossip?

I'll usually give it at least a minute.

This one Thursday night at about 11:30pm, my phone rings. I take a look at it, thinking there must be an emergency (my late night, drunk dialing friends all seemed to have grown out of that habit... 11:30pm is late right?)

It's this guy I used to work with.

'Well, that's odd I.' I say to myself, and Sheldon who is looking over my shoulder now.

I pick up the phone.

'Hello...?' Pause. 'Hellllloooooo?' I can hear music in the background pretty clearly. One more time I say, realizing now he has most likely pocket dialed me, 'Helllllooo!!!'

So naturally, I listen to see if I can hear anything good... Nothing, the music is drowning out the conversation.

The song however is familiar.

Turns out him and his wife are on a little road trip, his phone is in her purse and she dials me by accident..

What is playing you ask?

'I've Been Thinking About You' Londonbeat.

In case you need a refresher on the lyrics:

I've been thinking about you
I've been thinking about you
I've been thinking about you
I've been thinking about you, shi-pow-pow!

Now that I think about it, it had been a while since we had spoken. 


** A new feature addition to my blog. A Funny Story. I have a few and I figure, I might as well share them so they can become urban legends one day or something when I'm long gone.. hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

'No' Translates to What, Exactly in Baby Talk... ?

Cool mom thing... or not so cool mom thing... I'm planning Pavel's first birthday party - 45 days in advance.. whoa, 45 days and he's going to be ONE!?! For real? In 45 days, he'll have been in my life, in my arms 'this time last year', 45 days away and he'll be dating, at the NHL draft or studying ballet in NYC, getting married, and totally not in love with Mommy anymore.

Party Canceled.

Clip clop. Clip clop. Clip clop. Clip Clop.

I left Pavel in the living room at the foot of the couch as I ran upstairs to grab my phone charger. We just got home, so he still had a pair of his fancy dad approved sneakers on.

Clip clop. Clip clop.

I run downstairs as fast as I can... 'Uh oh, NO! Pavel, don't move!'

He's so very proudly walked himself through the kitchen to the bottom of the stairs and today he decided he'd climb them!

Every day, all day, every fourth or fifth word. NO!

Pavel, no. Pavel, mommy said no. Pavel, listen to mommy please.

Pavel! (Said in a really deep voice, like dad's.. who he listens to, of course)

I think that we have been lucky, because Pavel didn't learn how to crawl until he was nine months old. I had nine months of being able to put him down and walk away or enjoy my coffee or talk on the phone.

Two weeks later, he started walking. A few steps at a time at first. Wow, did we ever cheer, clap, 'yeah Pavel!!!' all day long. That may have been a mistake.

Now he's so proud of himself, he's started walking around all alone, with a giant 'Look at me!' smile. Doesn't matter if there isn't anyone there to see it.

To be honest, I'm so happy he's started walking. I know it's going to be an inconvenience for us and our lazy, relaxing time, but I love how he's growing up and how happy it makes him.
On the other hand, I've had experienced friends who have tried to warn me not to teach him to walk because he'll learn in due time. That may not have been bad advice.

Every single wire in the house, Pavel will find and chew. Have you ever noticed how many cords you have in your home? Too many.

The first thing Pavel does every morning is get his butt over to the TV stand in our room and turn the Play Station on. Loves to see that light go from red to green. I actually don't mind this, but when he sees the modem hiding behind it, he loves to pick it up and smash it over and over again on the glass stand.

I was getting ready the other morning in our ensuite. I set Pavel down at the foot of the bed with some toys. Probably about 7 seconds later I hear a tinfoil noise.
'Oh great, what is he eating now?' I say. 'Pavel, look at mommy please'
He's on his tippy toes at dad's night table drinking a pop.

Pavel loves jewelry. At our workout classes, he will ditch me and go hang out with his favorite lady friend (and instructor), Andrea. She's got a great big fancy necklace she wears and he always goes for that first. Then he'll go for watches. And then earrings. I'm hoping he's mentally keeping note of future Christmas gifts for mom.

I'm saying NO all the time. I hate saying no. I hate that already, he listens to daddy way better than me. Today he actually looked at me and smiled as he was trying to pull the metal side table over.  Yes the one with the heavy coffee table books on it. Same thing he did yesterday.
(we have done some child proofing, but no, we haven't changed our entire house... yet)

Don't even get me started on how hard diaper changes, brushing teeth, and the bed time routine has become. I'm literally sweating by the end of it.

Do any of you guys have some ideas for me on how I can say NO, other than saying N.O. - NO?

And if he's already smiling at me while doing something he's not supposed to be doing, what will happen when he's making big decisions, like homework, kissing, alcohol and drugs?

I was chatting with my life coach when I first became pregnant. I asked her how to be a good parent.
'What makes the difference between the parents whose children leave home early, do drugs, drop out of school, rebel... and those whose children excel, are focused, who tell their mom how pretty she is and that they love her Every. Single. Day. ?'

Her response:
'Oh, don't worry, you'll be fine. I'm sure you'll figure it out'

Translation: no idea.


Please. I'm asking for advice! Let me know what works and what doesn't!

Thanks in advance.


PS. Yes, I know he's still a baby... and yes, I realize it would be a miracle at this age if he actually listened to me!

PPS. We found him a great day home. He's been going the odd time when mommy has some things she must take care of Pavel free and Nannie isn't available to come give him some snuggles. We LOVE it there!! Ceyda and Nadia.. thank you so much for putting my mommy guilt at ease!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Feel Sad Today...

Cool mom thing... or not so cool mom thing...
Went on a road trip, just Pavel and I. Had to stop to pee...
How exactly do you go to the washroom on a road trip with a baby!? I'll tell you how.
You don't leave him in the car or hand him off to a stranger. Oh, and a tip, don't wear button fly jeans.
I held him. He was fascinated by the flushing noise, and didn't even seem to notice I left the washroom with my pants fully undone.

Friday nights sure aren't what they used to be. I remember when Friday nights used to signal the end of the week, relaxation, a drink maybe. Now, well the days all blend into one. There really isn't any difference in my Friday, except for a few TV shows I wait all week to see. Doesn't that sound pathetic? I'm writing this blog post because I feel sad tonight, a little lost, but I refuse to sound pathetic!

My favorite part about Friday nights now, are Saturday and Sunday mornings! I love family mornings. We snuggle in bed together and we go on family walks. No tv, no facebook or twitter, I'd like to say no phones, but let's be realistic here. It's our chance to catch up from the week, laugh with our son together, and dream about the future.

I recently just read a blog of a lovely lady I kind of know who dedicated a post to her husband. What a great idea. I'm going to tell you about mine coming up, but first I want to share with you an idea that her and her husband have implemented in their lives.

They have a couples mission statement. I love this idea!

In business, a mission statement is a necessity. It helps guide the actions of the organization, helps define what the overall goals are and provides a sense of direction. It's something you can always flip back to, to ensure you're still on the right page. A mission statement doesn't have to be set in stone, it can absolutely change as the years go on.

So why don't we use this in our lives? Okay, let me be more specific because you smart people who are reading this probably do use something along these lines in your life:
So why don't WE use this in our life?

Do you ever wish you went to school to become a doctor or lawyer or plumber or hearing aid technician?
What I mean is, do you ever wish you went to school to become a specific something, so that when you finished you'd know who you are in life and what you are supposed to accomplish?

Don't we all wish (even the doctors, lawyers, plumbers and HAT's) that it was so simple.

This is one thing I love about my husband. He has a very demanding career. Lots of pressure, lots of travel, a lot of hours, and a lot of satisfaction. I like to check in with him every so often to see if he's hanging in there.
Me: 'Hunny, are you tired? Are you getting burnt out? Is there anything I can do.. maybe you should slow down a bit?'
Him: 'No, I'm fine. I actually couldn't be happier. I was born to do this.'

I was born to do this.

I have to admit that I'm a tad jealous of this. Maybe jealous isn't the right word, I'm not sure what is.. but could you imagine if you woke up everyday and knew with absolute certainty, that this is what you are supposed to be doing?

My husband has this knack for not caring what people think. Now, I know your'e reading this and thinking, 'ya sure, we all say we don't care, but we do...'

No really, he doesn't care. Let me put it another way. I make emotional decisions, he makes decisions without emotions. He does what's best for him and the people he loves, period.

Think about that for a second. How many times have you said to yourself something like this: 'Oh, well I can't ________ because so and so will be annoyed/mad/furious/hurt, so I'll do ______ instead and I won't ruffle any feathers.'

Both ways of deciding have their pros and cons for sure, but there must be something to always putting yourself FIRST.

My husband motivates and inspires me. He is so smart, so ambitious, he understands things that take me much longer to grasp. I love talking through ideas and plans with him.
*Sidebar: I love to plan. Too much actually. My life coach said to me once 'Jenny, it's great to make things happen for yourself in life, but at some point, you just need to let life happen.'*

I'm sure this incessant need to plan life is the one thing that is bringing me down right now because I've never truly been able to plan my life. It's the Universe's little trick on me. (Why didn't I go to Med School!! ;)

Time to cut to the chase:

I've got a great idea. Like really good. It hit me one day a few weeks ago like a tonne of bricks and I haven't been able to calm down since. I need focus, determination, a little courage and to be able to let go for a while to do it.

Or, I can do what I should be doing. The safe route, the route people would agree with, the one that makes sense financially, and looks good on paper.

I love being married. I have many stories of life I love to share, and Sheldon, he's heard them all. I love the way he'll always listen to them again though and respond 'I know Jen.. you've told me that one..' I wish you could hear my tone of voice though, it's not said in annoyance, it's full of love.

There are so many things I love about this stage in life, and always having a rock by my side to keep me propped up is one of them. I know that Sheldon will support me no matter what I decide to do for the next 89 years. He just wants me to have DIRECTION. Put all my energy into one thing, time to get off the fence. I can hear the disappointment in his voice every time I change my mind.

You often hear of couples who get married, have their children, have careers and when they are done blinking, they realize 20 years have gone by and they aren't sure who they are anymore. Who they are personally and who they are as a couple.

I'm planning on avoiding having that conversation in 20 years, I'm going to start working on it now.

First things first, The Mission Statement. Wish me luck!


M.B. I dedicate this blog to you tonight. You have given me the inspiration I have been looking for. I can't tell you what a sense of relief I feel to know what I need to do next!

Dear Pavel,

You will be ten months old tomorrow! Month number nine has been your craziest by far. I can't believe all that you have learned:
- You finally started crawling! Slowly at first, but now you move from room to room and you get into EVERYTHING
- More than that though.. you started walking! We're up to ten steps little man! You should see and hear how proud your mommy is of this.
- You have perfected the clap. 'Clap, clap, clap' is your favorite.
- You were starting to full on wave bye-bye, but have gotten confused, now when we say bye-bye, you clap!
- I swore you've said a few words.. but no one seems to believe me. Bye and ball
-Now you don't just pass the ball back and forth, you throw it back like you mean it!

If I had to use three words to describe your personality right now, they would be:

Determined. Gentle. Observant

I love you!