Real Moms Drink Coffee

I am a mom. I drink lots of coffee. I drank coffee when I was pregnant, and while I was (and still am) breastfeeding. Having two kids, a cat that thinks he's a dog and a husband who sleeps through everything (including screaming babies) will do that to you. If the last five years has taught me anything at all, it is that real moms do whatever they can to survive. So sit back, grab a latte and enjoy the ride...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gabriel's mom

Yes, it has been quite a while since my last post. I am not very good at this blogging thing, am I? In my defense, it has been a busy few weeks! But that's for another time. Today, I would like to talk about something else...

Five years ago (tomorrow, to be exact), my step-son's biological mother passed away. Her name was Jennifer and she was 29. I never knew her, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about her a lot. I know that she was extremely organized and meticulous (she had an immaculate filing system for household bills that blew my mind). She loved baking (and I thank her for the many cookbooks and cake decorating items that I inherited and sadly attempt to use). She never forgot a birthday or anniversary and loved to give people greeting cards. She loved her family and talked to them every day. Most of all, she loved being a mom.

When I first met Mike, I felt threatened by this "other woman". We all tend to glorify people who have died and often only remember the good things about them. I felt like I was competing against a perfect woman, mother, friend, wife and I would never live up to her. I also went through a grieving process...for Mike, that he had experienced such a significant loss, for Gabriel, that he would never know his mom, and for Jenn's family and friends.

It took a long time, but I have accepted that I am a good mother and am doing the best I can to raise Jennifer's son. I am not her, and may not do things the same way that she would have, but I love Gabriel with all my heart and work hard to make sure he has a happy life. However, there are still times when I wish that I could have known her. I wish that I could tell Gabriel stories about his mom. I wish I could talk to her and tell her how amazing her son is, and thank her for bringing him into the world. I wish I could spend a Saturday taking cake-decorating lessons from her.

Sometimes Gabriel says, "I wish I could talk to Mommy Jennifer". I always tell him that he can, anytime he wants. She is always watching over him and listening to him. Once I say that, he usually waves at the ceiling, smiles, and shouts, "I love you mommy Jennifer!" and goes back to playing. I then tell him, "I heard her buddy, she said hi back and she loves you too." Though I didn't know her, I am pretty sure she would be OK with me translating.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baby K learns to hug

My daughter has never been a cuddler. From very early on (I'm talking the first few days/weeks of her life) I noticed that she just wasn't that "type" of kid. Whenever I held her, she was way more interested in what was going on around me than snuggling up to good old mom. She would squirm, and twist, and as she got older and stronger she would literally PUSH me away when I would try and hold her on my lap, or when I was carrying her around. She just wanted to be left alone, to explore this vast new world that she was now a part of.

And even though I pretended like I was totally cool with the fact that Kailyn was not the snuggle-up-in-your-lap type of baby ("my independent little girl.." I would say), it made me sad. I longed for those moments of gazing at my lovely, chubby-cheeked little girl as she lay curled up on my chest. In fact, even though I felt awful the first time she had a fever at six-months-old, part of me enjoyed was the only time she had ever really wanted to just lay on mommy's shoulder.

But times, they have changed. Just in the last few weeks, Kailyn has turned over a new leaf. She has become...*gasp*...a hugger! Now, in the mornings when I pick her up from her crib, she grips my neck and holds on for dear life. Two days ago, I brought her into my bed in the morning and she actually fell asleep on top of me, with my neck in a death grip. It actually hurt but I loved it so much that I just let her sleep like that for 45 minutes.

So yes, my baby girl (eek...I guess she is actually a "toddler" now) has finally learned to hug, and snuggle, and cuddle. It only took 13 months...but it was totally worth the wait.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I officially started back to work a few weeks ago, and lo and behold, I have already become a blog slacker (blacker? slog?). Sigh. But I am here now and promise to be better!

In many ways, it's like I never I put my "work self" on pause for a year and when I pressed the play button, I just started up where I left off. I was so afraid that I had forgotten everything, and that I would be absolutely useless to anyone for a while. But it all came flooding back pretty much as soon as I stepped through the office doors. Yes, some things have changed. I have a new office, for one. It has a fresh paint job, and is definitely cleaner than my old office. And at least once a day, I walk past it, forgetting that it is where I "live" now. I am also in charge of a whole list of new products that I know nothing about, which is both exciting and frustrating. To be honest, it makes me feel smart to have a bookshelf full of engineering and computer science books. That is, until someone asks me a question about them...

But perhaps the most significant change has to do with me. I came back as a different person. Not just in a 10lbs-heavier-saggy-boobed-tired-mom sort of way either. If this last year has taught me anything, it is that every single moment in life is important, and fleeting. I learned how to slow down, and just live. Even on my worst days, when Kailyn had been screaming for hours, and all I wanted to do was have a nap or eat lunch, I just kept reminding myself that she wouldn't be that little again...and someday I would look back and wonder where the years went. So, I made a pact with myself to enjoy every moment. And now, I can honestly say I am a calmer, happier person.

So now, on those days when I start getting stressed at work, I plan to try and take the same approach as I did with my screaming baby and repeat, "nothing lasts forever, just enjoy every moment." And if that doesn't work, then I plan to move to strategy #2: nothing is as bad as natural childbirth. If I can deal with that, I can deal with anything.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vacation day

There are t-minus three days until I start work again. Since K started daycare, I have been trying to cram all of the things that I have wanted/needed to do before going back. Day 1? Washed dishes. Day 3? Got my hair coloured. Day 6? Replaced my windshield that cracked last December. All very exciting stuff.

And then I realized that I needed to take a vacation day. I am sure that some people're not ARE on vacation. Well, as many other moms know, even if someone else is watching your kids for an hour, or a day, you are STILL working. Cleaning, grocery shopping, making doctor appointments, more get the drill. So, I took a real vacation day. And as I fled my house that morning (resisting the urge to leave a detailed snack-poo-nap schedule for my husband to follow) I felt a teeny bit guilty. Not because I was leaving my family, but because I DIDN'T feel bad about it. I deserved it, dammit! I headed to St. Anne's Spa where I relaxed in the outdoor hot tub, got a massage, ate amazing food (capping the day off with afternoon tea and scones was the best) and enjoyed the quiet. I left feeling like a different person. My "mom mask" washed off pretty easily in the hot tub and for a few hours, I was a 32-year-old woman who likes to enjoy a fancy pants spa every once in a while. It was nice.

When I arrived home that night, I became mom again pretty quickly as I was greeted by a sinkful of the previous night's dinner dishes. But I didn't mind one bit. As I sat down to a pizza dinner (daddy's night to "cook"), K blew me a giant kiss and G said..."I like your pedicure" (even though I was wearing socks and didn't actually get a pedicure...), and I thought...I have a pretty awesome family. It is amazing the perspective you gain from a bit of distance and a few scones.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Drama queen

My one-year-old is already a drama queen. She started daycare last week and didn't cry or fuss once. Now that she has been going for a few days, she knows the drill. We pull up, get out of the car, and usually somewhere between the car and the front door she realizes where she is going and starts to squirm. When the daycare lady opens the door, K immediately starts screaming. The exchange is quick and I usually stand outside of the door for a few minutes after it closes and listen for her wails. But, as soon as the door closes, she STOPS screaming completely. Yes, my daughter has already learned how to play her mommy. Hats off to you, baby K...