New Year’s Resolutions

I know it is already part way through February. And I have seen quite a bit on my Facebook feed people talking about their resolutions. How they are succeeding so far, and in most cases, how they are already failing so far. Which got me to thinking about resolutions. We all want to do something better every year. We make plans and an idea forms of how to do better as the clock strikes midnight and we vow to do that in the new year. I am pretty certain, however, that many of these plans and ideas might be alcohol induced. Which is partly why they might fail. But what about the ones whom are sober and make a resolution? That I do not have an answer for. I really do not. While browsing, reading, and just playing on the internet (instead of doing housework but I had an excuse – the baby was asleep on me); I found a post in a blog that talked about resolutions. Then everything clicked and it made sense as to why these elaborate resolutions fail. Especially the ones I have had in the past. Which is why I didn’t come up with one this year.

After reading that post though…I think I can handle a one word resolution for the year. Then I got to thinking which word would I strive for this year? There are so many I could bloody choose from that I want/need/desire/insert whichever verb here. I think I have come up with my word for this year after some contemplation of it over dinner. My word for this year is:

GRACE

Grace to accept compliments even when I do not feel at my best.

Grace to accept myself for who I am and how I look.

Grace to accept help when it is offered and/or needed.

Grace to ask for help when it is needed.

Why grace? Especially to accept compliments? I have always had a hard time accepting them. Even still to this day when I am complimented by Steve I find a way to put it down. Oh my hair isn’t brushed. Oh please I look like shit today. I haven’t had a shower in a few days I can’t be that great looking. The list goes on.

I have also come to the realization that media skews our perceptions of beauty. So bugger it all! I am not going to try and fret about my weight and what I am eating to try and loose a few more pounds. I am back in my pre-pregnancy clothes, I am healthy, what more could I ask for? I eat healthy enough when our budget allows. We do not eat very much processed crap, if at all. So here is my one finger salute to the media and their perception of beauty. I am accepting myself and the compliments I receive with grace this year. Oh and I enjoyed that steak I had for dinner tonight. Screw the calories. It was damn good.

For those up to it…what is your word for this year?

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Mommy’s Happy Hour

As you lay beside me sleeping I cannot help myself to just stare. I should be sleeping as well, I haven’t been feeling well today. But there are so many things to do still but the list can wait. I smell your soap on your skin and hair from last night’s bath and cannot help but smile just remembering. The laughs that echoed on the tiles as you played in the bath water splashing your father. I feel your warm little body next to mine and I curl up closer. I want the moment to stay.

This is mommy’s happy hour.

When all is quiet in the house. Even the cats are asleep. I should know – two are asleep at my feet. I stare. I remember. I think. And I whisper over and over in my mind “I love you”.

I remember when we brought you home how tiny and frail you seemed. That when you slept you were all curled up like you were still inside of me. Now, you sleep like a starfish, legs and arms spread out. I remember the first time I caught you giggling and smiling in your sleep and how hard it was to not start giggling alongside you. Just because it was that cute. It still is. It makes me wonder do babies dream? And if so, what do they dream about?

Almost 17 months later, I think I may have an idea of what babies dream of. Especially at your age. The adventures you will have, the places you will go and the things that you will do. Your imagination has no limits. I may not understand why you like to put the couch cushions and throw pillows on the floor. But it is part of your adventure.

I enjoy mommy’s happy hour. It is when all seems right in this world. At least for a moment. I do not know why you must fight these naps but you will understand when you are older, if you have children of your own, why naps are so wonderful. Because it is mommy’s happy hour to just relax, remember, and marvel at life. When we are adults we tend to forget to stop and marvel at the little things in life. Do not loose it too soon my little pumpkin. Do not grow up too fast. Let me enjoy this little moment for it shall not last.

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Mommy’s happy hour captured in black and white with a cellphone one day.

It Will Be Different

It will get easier.

It will get better.

I think if I had a dollar for every single time I heard one of the two above phrases uttered I would be a millionaire. Or at least rich enough to be able to be in some warmer climate right now instead of shivering in the Canadian winter cold. Thank you Mother Nature for the mid-January thaw!

How many of us have heard those phrases uttered? Especially when griping about a bad day. Am I the only one that wants to shake or throttle the person who tells me them? Please tell me I am not alone!

Now for those moms out there with newborns whom might be staying up all night, I sympathize. Not because I have been there, but rather, that you might be hearing these phrases right now from friends and family. It is all in the spirit of trying to be uplifting, positive, and supportive. I understand that. But I am putting my foot down and calling bullshit. It will not get easier. It will not get better. Do you want to know what it will be? It is a little secret….but here it is….

It will be different.

Yes, different.

Do you know why it will be different? Children change. They grow up. Their needs and wants change. They learn different ways to express themselves (although I do not see how the tantrums are expression I suppose it is my daughter’s way). They are constantly learning. We may not see the little changes but we do see the big changes. From being carried out of the hospital, to oh shit the baby can roll over, to uh oh the baby is crawling and then there is the we need child gates the baby is walking! Now do you see how it will be different?

The only reason it seem better or easier is because we, as parents, are also learning and changing alongside our children. Shocking isn’t it? We learn their preferences. We learn their attitudes and what works for them. That is why it will “be better” or “be easier”. But that is utter bullshit. It is different.

So chins up and remember to not choke the next person that tells you it will be better or easier. Just smile and say “No, it will be different.” Or at least try to. Trust me, I am trying to remember it myself as I go on this crazy path that is called child raising/rearing. I think I like the word child rearing some days. I do feel like I am trying to rear an unruly herd of cattle or something and I just have one child. How other people have more, I do not know. Brave brave souls. Or just completely crazy!

(Side note – I know I have not posted in awhile, January has already proven to be crazy for us. I am hoping February will be better.)

Oops…

So I seem to have been slacking off with the blog. Christmas was crazy (can we say lots of driving?) as was New Year’s Eve. But hey! I managed to stay up til midnight to ring in the new year with friends! Booyah! Although we did leave at 12:30. I was just too tired to go on. And oddly enough…I missed the munchkin. Who was fast asleep on the couch at grandma’s when we got there. Which was cute. Now that I think of it I should have taken a picture. Damn!

So now it is 2014. And thank god for that. 2013 was BRUTAL! Fun but brutal. Planning a wedding in the first 6 months. I think we hit every store in Montreal for ideas and trying to make it work in a limited budget. It was awesome! The last part…well…sort of fun. The move from one city to another. Ok more like from one province to another as well. So here is to 2014 and NO MORE MOVING! At least not until next year please. I am still unpacking boxes.

I was browsing Facebook as per usual in the morning while eating my breakfast and trying to get the little one to eat her Cheerios. She loves her Cheerios but my banana bread won her over. I saw the following picture a friend shared and it rang true. Moms (and dads) are rockstars!

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I think I might have to check out the blog it came from!

Day 12 & 13 – Christmas Cookies, baked goods and CHOCOLATE

What is Christmas without food? To be more exact – cookies. Oh and chocolate. We cannot forget chocolate at Christmas! Short breads, ginger breads, and a whole bunch of others. I am drooling at the thought. Oh no wait; I am also drooling because my house smells like fresh baked brownies right now.

I love to bake. Really. Ask my husband! I am the reason he gains so much weight over the winter. Banana breads, cookies, brownies, cakes. You name it, I will probably bake it over the course of the winter months. Thankfully between the three of us the baked goods do not last very long in this house. Then I get to bake some more!

The recipe for brownies I received from my friend Katie. Most recipes I have tried in the past all came out dry and crumbly and just…shitty. They were not the brownie I was looking for. I have found the perfect brownie recipe! And after trying it once, I decided to make a second batch. And alter it. I had the inspiration from Mexican Hot Chocolate. Reaaaaalllly yummy. Trust me. Don’t believe me? Google it for a recipe. Cinnamon and chocolate combined in a brownie sounds like heaven to me! Now I cannot wait for them to cool down so I can chomp into them. Or two. Or three. I have a funny feeling I am going to have to buy more cocoa soon….

Brownies

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 c. melted butter

1 c. cocoa

2 c. sugar

6 Tbsp. flour

1 c. chopped walnuts (optional) (side note – walnuts make the brownies healthier, right?)

splash of vanilla

about 1/2 Tbsp. – 1 Tbsp. cinnamon (really to suit your taste)

splash of milk (I find I need to thin the batter out a smidge)

Instructions:

Mix dry.

Beat wet into dry ingredients.

Stir in the nuts.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until done.

Day 11 – The Crèche or Nativity Scene

Now, I may not believe in Jesus, but to me Christmas just is not Christmas without setting up my grandmother’s crèche. Every year as early as I can remember, I would go over to her home to set it up for her. Everything had its place. Jesus and the three wise men with their camel hidden in the back until they arrived. The rest of the figurines in the front and how they were placed were changed every year depending upon my whim, fancy and imagination. Then the lights placed on top to light it up – always making sure the yellow one was in the center pointing straight up like the star of Bethlehem.

This year, she passed the tradition of setting up the crèche at my home. She says she has gotten too old for it, plus most of the time she is not home for Christmas. Even though it is not in my beliefs I still set it up. It is tradition. It might not be set up properly due to lack of size of where it is placed this year, but that is alright. It will also give plenty of stories to be told to Ashlynn when she is older. Mind you; Steve might have to do some minor repairs to it as the years go by as it is at least 60 years old. I guess that means I have an antique on my hands! But if he does anything to fix the ‘drunken camel’ I might be sorely upset. It is an icon of laughter of how come the camel always falls over or has to be leaned up against the crèche every year.

The crèche set up ontop of our antique three-tiered table. Where it is safe from little hands and cats.

The crèche set up ontop of our antique three-tiered table. Where it is safe from little hands and cats.