Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A (Loud) Cry For Help

I love my daughter.  More and more each day.  That sick in the guts I love you so much feeling.  It is undoubtedly the most intense love I have ever felt.  Coming from me...the slightly obsessive girl (maybe I should start saying woman??)...this is big.

She is honestly the most adorable creature on earth, and that isn't my bias coming out.  I swear! Her little hands and feet are always on my mind when I get the urge to nibble.  

Her cheeks have filled into the best cheeks ever.  

Her insanely beautiful eyes melt me more than the blazing summer sun every time I see them.

Her gorgeous mouth has the most insatiable pout anyone has seen.  

This pout is now coupled with real tears that break my heart every time they appear.
And along with this pout and these tears is an ear piercing, glass shattering, nerve wrenching...

Cry doesn't even begin to describe it.

I love my daughter.  More and more each day, but dear lord above her cry can turn the most calm person into a raving lunatic!

When our little pumpkin starts crying and you can get to her in a millisecond, you might be safe. But if you are that fraction of a second too long?  Sorry, you lose. Game over.  Get out your ear plugs.  It takes a great deal of effort sometimes to calm her.  Don't get me wrong, this is not all the time.  It is the worst when she is hungry or tired, the latter of which she fights almost every nap time.

And this is where the guilt factor comes in.  Have we missed a cue?  Have we taught her that she has to become frantic to get what she needs?  Is she feeding off of our anxieties of being first time parents trying to muddle our way through keeping this red faced, flailing bag of cute alive?

The answer I have come up with is:  Possibly.

Nice, eh?  Vague.

What I have discovered, through weeks and months of asking "Why does she cry so furiously?  Why is she so upset?", is that my daughter is PASSIONATE.


Even though there were days early on during my bout with Post Partum Depression when this crying sent me into automatic shut down I love this.  Patience accompanied by plenty of sleep (thank you swaddling!) has helped me see a lot more clearly that my baby just wants what she wants when she wants it...and this desire is fierce.

Who wouldn't want a fiercely passionate baby?  A lot of people I am sure, but it gives me so much hope for what is to come for this little girl.  To be passionate and intense and to know what she wants.  I take so much comfort in the thought that my child will be strong willed and determined when she is older.  Right now, it is a little frustrating at times, but it is part of my job as one of her parents.

What we as parents have to understand is that babies aren't crying to piss us off. They need help with something.  And sometimes it just takes a little bit of trial and error to find out what that something is if your baby isn't one of those "has a different cry for different needs" types of babies.

I don't want boring, always calm children.  I want children with a wild zest for life that make getting up in the morning to see them smiling at you the best feeling in the world.  Children that keep me on my toes and delight me with the strange and clever things they will come up with.

Of course, it would be lovely to have a slight decrease in the volume of these cries for help, but this is my baby.  I love her and cannot change her.  I just like to think she is saying please. A lot.  Loudly.

Love your roaring babies.  They are nothing but charming.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It Looks Like Fall

However, it looks like fall on my front lawn all summer long due to the dying tree in our neighbour's yard.

But, the air is fresh.  The colours are lovely.  And, luckily, the sun is shining today.

Also luckily,  I am feeling pretty good after a busy weekend.  A fall wedding weekend.  My first wedding as a performer and guest since baby. Our first weekend somewhat "baby free".   This is something I have mixed feelings about.  

I absolutely adore my little girl.  Love her more than I can say...even when she is crying/screaming/flailing.  She's adorable and sweet. 

Was it hard leaving her for 6 hours on Friday and 12 hours on Saturday?  

Not really.

For starters, she was the care of people we love and trust.  People who genuinely were excited to spend some alone time with our baby.  This makes me feel amazing.  I can't better describe what it feels like to see someone else love the wee thing you love so much.  It is great.  And it was all too appropriate for me to feel this on the weekend of a wedding.  The parents seeing the lovers loving the ones they love to love.  

And let's be honest.  It is so, so, so nice to have a night out where you get to talk about things other than diapers and formula and burps and soothers...  

A night where I get to wear heals and make up and have have a puke free head of hair and dress!  

A night where I can have a few drinks.  Ok, a little more than a few.  But I could do this because I knew our cute thing was going to be just fine.

Was it hard not waking her up so I could smother her with kisses and hugs?

Oh yes.

Was it hard not getting to say goodnight?


But it is ok.  This is not something that will happen all the time.  And that makes these evenings so much more valuable.  They let you miss the one you love and makes seeing them again very special.

I hope you all feel this for somebody from time to time.  


Monday, September 13, 2010

Obsession Files #1: Red...Rot...Rouge...Rojo...Red

Merriam-Webster defines obsession as : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>

I don't get obsessed...I get absorbed.  Or so I used to think 15 years ago, give or take a few.

I'm fairly certain now I get obsessed.  Along with my obsessions I have a surging need to get what I want when I want it.  When something comes along that fits into one of my obsessive fields I have a hard time not purchasing/making/getting it.

To begin with, the colour Red.

Dreaming of Red Doors...well, I can't get enough of Red Doors.  So much so that I almost crash my car every time I drive past one, completely fixated on looking at it...I painted our front door Red...named a business after Red Doors.  Obsessed.

Then there are things within my home that my loving partner embraces and sometimes procures for me.  His family feeds my obsession for Red, as well...Red Coffee Maker...Red Coffee Cups...Red Frying Pan.  Red.  Red.  Red.


The newest additions, and also a kitchen item, are our fancy new Red Silicon Grip Oven Mitts:

Then their is my fashion accessories collection of red items.  Bracelets, necklaces, purses, boots and my favourite Red Shoes:

Another area I cannot handle having Red-less is my office supply cabinet (ok, there is no cabinet and they basically find home anywhere, on any surface in our house). My day planner this year...Red.  Keeping in line with the above shoe idea...my super cute Red Shoe Tape Dispenser:

Which goes nicely with my Cheap Red Pen:

My most prized Red possessions (rhymes with obsessions) are my musical instruments.  My youngest is a parting gift from a past job...a Red Ukulele:

From my love, a kick-ass Red Electric Guitar:

And last, but definitely not least, are my dad's Red Bongos...Sparkly Red Bongos. How did he know back in the day that his daughter~to~be would love not only music, but the colour Red.  And Sparkles:



These are just a smattering of the red items in my life.  Maybe it is silly, but it makes me happy.

Be happy.


Friday, September 10, 2010


Today's will be big, so let me break it down (and so I don't forget what I want to write about):

1) Parent Council Meeting at local Public School: Music Classes cut
2) Fighting sleep
3) Banana Bread
4) Love


To follow up on yesterday's blog about the Music Program being cut...it is not an entire School Board having this cut, but my local Public School.  And as I suspected it is a numbers thing.  Money and student/teacher numbers.  

As an artist and advocate of music in schools it enrages me that when it comes down to it (not just in this case) Music/Arts are often the first target.  As a logical thinker (yes, sometimes I do think logically :D  ) after hearing the reasoning behind the decision it does make sense.  There are so many guidelines imposed on schools by the boards to ensure quality education to the children.  

The issue here?  The Music Teacher at this school...the only teacher qualified to instruct instrumental music to the senior classes...is a primary teacher.  In order for this teacher to be able to leave the primary classroom to go instruct the senior classes, someone would have to cover the primary class in this teacher's absence.  Of course.  The people able to cover would be the senior classes.  The problem with this, so we were informed, is that the primary classes would then have 5-6 different teaching figures in their classroom.  That is a lot for little ones...consistency is vital for these cute things.  

So here it comes to money:  there needs to be enough money to hire someone to teach music to the senior classes.  The board has to approve allocation of funds to this school to hire a music teacher.  

There are a few other options which this school will be exploring  that I won't get into right now, but I am hopeful that there is a feasible solution that will appear.  And soon.  As one of the passionate parents in attendance pointed out, the longer music is out of the classroom, the harder it will be to get it back in.

I will keep you posted.


My sweet, charming daughter fights sleep like none other.  I can't complain about the amount she sleeps, as it is quite wonderful thanks to swaddling.  But getting her to sleep?  Oy vey.  On occasion it happens in a blink of an eye.  More often than not, however, we have to really work at calming her down.  We try to get her cues that she is tired and help her before she gets frantic, but with her there is such a fine line between cue and panic!

At almost 4 months, this little pumpkin is getting very strong and is almost too big for her swaddling blankets/contraptions.  This worries me since for the last month she has been sleeping 9-11 hours at night!  WOO!  Amazing and lovely...but what happens when we can no longer swaddle her?  We will do what we have to, naturally.  Even if it means going back to getting up in the evening with her every 2-4 hours.  But I do hope we can find a way to help her sleep through the night without the swaddling because sleep...oh sweet sleep...saved my life.  (For real...I am one of the unfortunate mothers that battled with a bout of Post Partum Depression...luckily a mild case of it.  But a case of it, nonetheless.)


Today I am trying on my super-mom hat.  So far...not too bad.


~ baby fed
~ formula made
~ laundry in the washer and dryer
~ baby napped
~ banana bread made
~ baby fed
~ mom puked on

This is a good day so far.

It's been months since I've made anything from scratch and decided to take out some of those brown bananas from the freezer.  The result?  My mom's banana bread...with a few little twists.  Instead of white flour I use whole wheat...this makes the bread super yummy, actually. And I add chocolate chips AND peanut butter chips.  MMMmmmmmM!  



My parents.  They are wonderful, amazing beings.  I love everything about them...their abilities, their flaws, their voices, their hugs and the way they love all of us.  Recently, our family saw the addition of its first grandbabies!  In the same summer.   Incredible.  My brother and I didn't plan this...although it worked out perfectly.  Now we have little cousins that will, hopefully, be fast friends!

Back to the parents.  They live a ways away.  As in, New Brunswick.  Sooo, they had a few trips to make back to Ontario this summer.  Every parting is hard...but their return this time was especially hard.  They had to say goodbye to their precious little granddaughters (both incredibly yummy).  What is great and applies to this #4 is witnessing how much they love these two wee things.  

We learn how to love from those around us and I am so lucky to have learned from my mom and dad.  I can only wish that my children feel the same and learn to love unconditionally, wildly and intensely.


Not on the agenda, but fun.  Was just doing some chair dancing while writing this to Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow.  If you want to feel fun...have a listen.  And have a wiggle in your chair.  It's sunny out, so why not!?

I'm off to change a very stinky diaper.  #4 ~ I love my daughter...I love my daughter no matter how stinky.

Be well,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OK, I hate to rant...but...

I just received an email from a parent of one of my piano students.  Seems the school board is taking away music class...yet again.  

For those who know anything about me, music is almost everything.  Has been for more than half of my lifetime and will be forever.  Music is the best way I found as a young person to feel good in my skin.  It helped me express myself, feel a part of something and opened me up to numerous experiences I never would have come across had I not taken music in school and privately.

I have played with the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, was accepted into and graduated from Queen's University's School of Music, formed a folk-rock band and started up my own business based solely on MUSIC!!  

There are studies that show knowing how to read and play music makes people smarter in other areas (mathematics and writing for example), but it also assists in coordination (COUGH COUGH ESSENTIAL FOR ATHLETES) and can improve focus.  Being a part of a band/orchestra is a wonderful outlet for children who don't make the soccer team, who can't paint a barn to save their lives.  Options, people...our children need options.

I know in the end it all comes down to money.  The school boards can't seem to find the funds for the instruments, the music, the teachers.  So, now I find myself throwing my hands in the air exclaiming "For the love.  Do I have to fight for this again?"

I think I do...because, at the end of the day, someone that can draw in the air a clockwise circle with their right foot and the number 6 with their left hand (coordination...you try it!!) is a valuable member of society.

Go forth with your days...and make music...any way you know how!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Art of Procrastination

At this, I am a master.  

Throughout my 31 years, I've successfully learned many skills.

In no particular order
~ playing a variety of musical instruments
~ figure skating
~ crocheting and knitting
~ making banana bread
~ driving
~ applying makeup tastefully etc.

But the one at which I am most successful:
~ procrastination

Why is it that when I am bored I can never think of anything to search for on the internet.  I can never find interest in reading the paper.  Can't seem to write a song...clean the bathroom.  Ok, the bathroom one is obvious.  But the rest?  

Today, however, when there are MANY things I SHOULD be doing (practicing, showering, packing up to bring baby to the doctor, preparing something for dinner) I suddenly find myself with oodles of time to blog.  Time to read what people have posted on their own sites.  Look up crafts that I will, without doubt, not finish.  For me, it is most definitely not the thrill of getting it done last minute.  I hate last minute.  Makes me physically ill.  So what gives?  

At the very least, I should have taken this lovely 1.5 hours my beautiful daughter is napping to nap myself.  

Oh well.  It is what it is...I am what I am.  And somehow, it all works out.

Here is hoping you are having a productive day!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And So We Begin

Today is the first day of school for many.  Since I am not returning to the familiar smells of books and classrooms (that can still be remembered almost a decade later) I decided to start something new...just for me...and anyone that decides to read.

Let's begin ~ I love dancing and eating, my family and friends, things that are pretty and homey.  I don't know what I am doing half of the time and marvel at the fact that we get our daughter to sleep every night.  I like to read but have a hard time focusing on what is written in front of me.  I often get lost in my own thoughts. I am a mother, partner, musician.  I want to be better at many things.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day and joyful new beginnings,