Day 113-114 – They Grow up so Fast!

Day 113 – Post-its and folders and stickers… oh my!

I’ve had the amazing fortune of being hired to teach stage management at the University of Ottawa this term.  The entire class has been an exercise not only in gaining a better understanding of what it is to be a stage manager, but also in understanding my style as a professor.

I think I’ve done a pretty good job, based on the feedback I’ve received so far.  I’m also super impressed with the students themselves.  For obvious reasons, I can’t go into large amounts of detail.  I can say that the final exam was a take home project which involved creating a full prompt book, complete with blocking notation for a scene I recorded, rehearsal schedule and documentation up the wazoo.   The first few samples I’ve seen of the work my students have done is exceptional.   In full geek-mode, I ooh-ed and ahh-ed at every perfectly drawn line, every color coordinated cue and contact list printed on fancy paper.

Organisation gets me hot!

Day 114 – Bubbles

There was a time where I wouldn’t let my kids near bubbles.  Taking them out always resulted in tears.  Either one of them would try to drink the bubble solution or lick the wand or fight over who gets to blow.  Luckily though, AJ has shown “maturity” when it comes to bubbles.  Today, I relaxed and let her hold the bottle with one hand and the bubble wand in the other.  She was a pro.  There was the occasional spill, but there was no use crying over spilled soapy/watery liquid.  AJ even came up to me, held the wand in front of my face and said: “Your turn mommy.”  At the sight of the floating spheres in the sky she smiled and said: “Good bubbles blowing mommy…nice!”  She was praising me.

The tables had turned, even if just for a moment.

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Day 108-110 – New Directions

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  I’ve been taking this exercise for granted.  I should be making a real attempt to take 5 minutes to write every day.  It’s at least five minutes that I can call my own and if that’s all I get in my day, I should appreciate that.

Day 108 – An interesting quote about marriage

“Marriage is not just spiritual communion, it is also remembering to take out the trash.” – Joyce Brothers

Day 109 – Hello

Day 110 – Re-prioritising

For people who don’t have kids and who aren’t a workaholic like me, it’s hard to understand the guilt associated with being a full-time mom/career woman.  When the job is done right, to the outside world, it seems effortless.  The problem is that no matter how much I get done in a day, I still feel guilty for “neglecting” other things.  It can be difficult to celebrate what I have achieved and not beat myself up over what didn’t get done.  You’d think just simply keeping two toddlers clean, fed, alive and happy would be cause to break out the champagne.  Lord knows that (sadly) plenty of people can’t raise kids without some degree of screw up.

So I’m learning.  Taking baby steps.  My most recent achievements were:

– Teaching myself to NOT check my work email unless I can devote time to the work itself… otherwise I’m just splitting my focus and causing myself panic attacks.

– Enjoying how clean my living room was this afternoon while the kids were asleep (and ignoring the fact that I moved the mess into the basement.)

I am not perfect, and that’s ok.  Actually, it’s more than ok.  It’s completely normal.  I’m too hard on myself and, in the meantime, I am missing tiny precious amazing moments to be had.

Baby steps.

Day 106 – My Titles

I play many roles in my life… sometimes too many to count.  Sometimes in my daze of going through the motions, I forget who I am.

Today I overheard the Fringe administrator talking to a friend on the phone and the words that stood out were “My Boss“.  For a second, I didn’t know who she was talking about and then I realised: “Hey!  I’m the boss!”

There are days when I pick up my little ladies from daycare and have to look behind me when they come running towards me saying “Mommy!”  They can’t be talking to me, but they are.  I am “Mommy”.

I am many things and all of my titles are beautiful.

(Though I’m not always be a fan of the job descriptions!)

Day 93-98 – Sights and Sounds

My in-laws arrived last Thursday, so I’ve been quite busy.  Apologies for the late update, but here it is:

Day 93 – Today was the first day I noticed buds on the trees.  I’m always fascinated by how one day there aren’t any, and the next the tree is full of them.   Buds on the trees always get me excited too, because it’s proof that spring is finally here.  Goodbye Winter Blahs!!!

Day 94 – Late in the evening, my husband and I sat out in our backyard.  We are fortunate enough to live in the city, but be in a quiet area.
The road at the back of our house hardly gets any traffic and is lined with trees.  It was a particularly windy evening and, instead of chatting, he and I listened to the leaves dancing across the pavement.  Dried leaves and branches make beautiful music together.

Day 95 – Do you know what’s better than a freshly painted kitchen and hallway?  A freshly painted kitchen and hallway paid for and completed by someone else!  My in-laws are the best.

Day 96 – While at my parents’ place for Easter, I decided to bunker down with AJ for her nap.  I don’t normally sleep in the same bed with her, because she’d rather play than sleep most of the time.  But she quieted down and a few minutes later my husband joined us.  The three of us slept soundly together for most of the afternoon.  It was so sweet.

Day 97 – I love this song.  And it has so much more meaning for me now.

Day 98 – I’m not usually a fan of storms.  They scare me.  But last night’s storm was made alright with a bit of imagination.  I opened up my window as wide as it would go because I noticed that the sound reminded me of my honeymoon camping in the Rockies.  I lay down and close my eyes and I was there again.    The storm wasn’t so scary anymore.

Days 44 and 45 – R&R

My Saturdays always start way too early.  Teaching kids at 9am (after teaching at the university on Fridays at 8:30am no less) is rough.  Even though my little ladies get me up way earlier than that, I’m still of the opinion that one shouldn’t do theatre (or theatre-related things) until at least 10am.  It’s just how I work.

But once I’m in class, it quickly becomes one of the best parts of my week.  The kids are energetic, playful and adorable.  Time flies.

Yesterday was no different.  I had a great time.  Class was followed by some quality fun time with AJ and B and then an excellent evening of chilling out with a good friend.  Around midnight, it dawned on me how beautifully relaxing and fun my day was, but I was enjoying it too much to want to get away from it to write.

The awesomeness continued today. Breakfast with the lovely ladies… Peanut butter, banana and honey on a toasted English muffin.  Good coffee.  Spent great amounts of time watching B play peekaboo with a transparent plate and giggling her chubby cheeks off.  Later on, great conversation and more good coffee with a friend.    A nap.  More “quiet” time with the ladies and my husband.  Yummy candied chicken and rice for dinner.  More chilling out with my good friend.

Rest and relaxation… oh so beautiful.

Day 26 – One thing I know I can do.

Being a mom is by far the most difficult job I have ever had.  You’ve probably heard this from other people before and they are absolutely telling the truth.  Being responsible for a living, breathing being is hugely stressful.  Add on unrealistic expectations, a long learning curve and many unexpected challenges and you can struggle immensely from one day to the next.

I always wanted to be a mother.  I can’t really explain why.  I never really liked kids.  Even as a young person, I preferred spending time with people older than me.   The perfect example of this was at my grade 8 graduation.  I shocked many of my friends by showing up with  not one, but two “dates”.  Both of them were over the age of 20.  They were (and still are) like brothers to me.  I was always more comfortable with people more mature than me.  It gave me something to work towards.  Playing with kids younger than me always felt forced.  It just didn’t come naturally to me.  But yet I always knew I’d be a mom someday.

I had “baby blues” after Alexandra-Joy was born, but they were much worse after Beatrice was born.   Full-blown postpartum depression kicked the life right out of me.  Throughout all the difficult times, there was always one thing I felt I could do “right” as a mom and that was breastfeed.

I’ve heard of so many women having breastfeeding issues and other than the odd bout of mastitis, breastfeeding came really naturally to me.  AJ had latched on properly within her first 24 hours… Beatrice within her first 24 minutes.  I was blessed.  And while some women find the exhaustion and hormonal ups and downs during feeding a deterrent, I loved it.  It didn’t matter if some days I felt completely lost and clueless, I knew I could provide nourishment for my baby.

Specifically during stressful times, breastfeeding calmed me more than any spa could.   Sitting down, in the quiet, holding a warm bundle of baby close, having her sweet little eyes look up at me, her chubby hand tugging gently on my shirt… those were the simple, easy to manage moments that made my crazy life as a new (and 2nd time) mom bearable.

While many people try to shove the breastfeeding ideal down he throats of new moms, I was having the opposite problem.  Because I was dealing with depression, many people suggested I stop breastfeeding.  Maybe the re-balancing of my hormones would help me heal quicker.    And you know, maybe they are right.  But I’m really not keen on saying goodbye to those quiet moments that bring me such relaxation, love and joy.

Day 25 – Still Processing

It was a pretty grey day for me today. Rainy. Stayed in all day. Dealt with an earful of wails and cries and whys. It was a day of picking up cherrios, doing 6 loads of laundry and cooking multiple meals. Mom-like drudgery. Some people thrive with it. I sometimes sludge through it with the hope I get to the next day with all the hairs in my head and possibly a shower.

I got lucky though. A few beautiful thoughts came to my mind later on in the day. But now it’s 10:45pm. And 7am will come too soon. Haven’t yet fully processed.

Sleep is also a beautiful thing. So I’m going to get some.