Saturday, 31 December 2011

Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)

2011 felt like that Adam Sandler movie Click where certain parts of my life get fast forwarded super fast and other parts go on for a painfully long time.*  Pregnancy and the first two months of motherhood dragged, now it's as if time has picked up momentum - the minions turn 5 months next week. Yesterday when I was thinking about 2011 I realized that technically Molly and Jack have been with me all year (even though I didn't know about Jack's existence until March) and that 2012 will be my first full year as a mom.

New Years Eve last year I spent at a Pajama Party where I volunteered to be designated driver, because as a newly pregnant person it was an easy way to hide from my friends why I wasn't drinking.  I ended up, angrily,  driving two friends who will remain nameless home.  These two friends tried to sneak a bottle of scotch** into the backseat of the car so they could drink on the road.  Fully charged with pregnancy hormones I took all of my DD frustration out on my husband and started out 2011 with both of us completely unaware why I was so incredibly angry with him, when he had done nothing wrong.

This year we debated a lot about how we were going to go about New Years Eve with the kids.  With a huge math equation that explored the drink to fun to pain in the butt ratio and decided that for the second year in a row I will be DD.  Babies come with a lot of stuff and although the subway runs until about 4am tonight I kept on having this image of Chris and I in a dangerous cab ride from the subway with the babies strapped to us all the way home, only to have to return to my friends condo the very next day, likely hungover, where we would have left all of our baby accessories.  With babies taking up all of our back seat hopefully no one will be trying to guzzle scotch in the car tonight.  I'll miss those crazy New Years Eves, but am just as happy to watch them from the sidelines knowing that I've had my share of them myself and that I have to be up in just a few hours.

Tonight when I get home, exhausted, when everyone is tucked into bed, I'd like to say that I'll pour myself a glass of wine and reflect with Chris, celebrating 2011, but we'll probably just fall asleep before our heads hit the pillow.

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012, Hello Molly and Jack....It's going to be an amazing year!

*This is a terrible movie.  Don't watch it.
**When are you breaking up with whiskey again?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Ballad of Wendell Clark, A Holiday Tradition

Every family has different traditions.  About four or five years ago we started the family tradition of going to a Toronto Marlies hockey game over the holidays.  This year we took Molly & Jack to their first real hockey game.  After an hour of preparation (one diaper per baby per hour, plus one extra, three extra sleepers, two teethers, three soothers, 32 ounces of food, Baby Tylenol, gripe water, plastic bags and wipes) we were on the subway heading to the Air Canada Centre.

I'd say that our outing, while exhausting, was a huge success.  So I've come up with a list of tips when travelling with your young babies to a sports outing to help make life easier:

1) Apologize ahead of time and set low expectations for those around you.  When we sat down with our content babies the group behind us cooed over how cute they were. They may not have felt that way by the end of the game...but we thanked them just the same.
2) Scope out the washrooms for change stations ahead of time - before you need them.  While there were no changing stations in either men or women's facilities right by our section there was a family washroom down the hall.*
3) Over-prepare.  We went through all of the food but 4 ounces and had to change 5 diapers during our outing.  Extra diapers never hurt anyone.
4) Always have at least one more adult than child present.  They won't have to do much, but the extra set of hands makes a huge difference when it comes to holding your beer, pizza or grabbing a soother.**
5) Mascots can be your best friend, or worst enemy?...During the first period when Molly got fussy Duke the Dog came over to cheer her up and it actually worked.  Then he moved three rows in front of us and pretended to make out with a woman while her boyfriend was getting beer.  Service and a show?
6) Overchange don't underchange diapers, because no one wants a wet lap.  At the last break in play during the first period we ran to the family washroom to change both diapers, even though both babies weren't fussing.  Unfortunately the children enjoyed their clean diapers so much that they both immediately crapped their pants when they got back to their seats, but we only missed a few minutes of the second period.
7) Be prepared to miss some of the action and have a good sense of humour about it.  Worst case scenario you walk around the concourse for a while - they have won't miss too much.

We got lucky..there was only one set of tears from each baby...and it lasted about 5 minutes each. Jack slept through most of the game, while Molly watched intently.  It was a big success.  The people behind us didn't hate us by the end of the game.***  When we got home we all took a nap - it was glorious!  Long live holiday tradition!

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*To the person who used the family washroom as their own personal smoking room in the third period, Are you kidding me? I didn't appreciate the wait or the hotbox of smoke I walked into.
**Thank you Grandpa Jim for being the third pair of hands.
***Although Chris probably owes an apology to the woman he kept on hitting in the head with our backpack full of baby stuff...Sorry...the seats at the ACC are really narrow and our backpack is epic.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Time After Time

Parenting has created a rift in the time space continuum.  It takes FOREVER to do anything, especially when I'm solo.  I have a few meetings downtown this afternoon beginning at 3:30PM and this morning at 9AM I had a mini panic attack about whether or not I had enough time to get everything ready. (Meaning pack a bag for the babies and myself, get all three of us bathed, fed and dressed, a drop off at Nana and Grampa's and then take the subway downtown).  Not that hard, right?

Pre-mom Sara could  get ready with makeup in under half an hour, mom Sara knows better.  On weekends post baby Sara does her makeup in the car while Chris drives.  Babies know when you're stressed and in a rush, so they purposely slow you down, like how cats flock to people who are allergic to or don't like cats.*

Last week Chris and I got in an argument in the parking lot of Rona while we changed Molly's diaper mid air between our car and the poor sucker who pulled in right beside us.  He had to wait for us to finish before he could open his door.  I'd asked Chris to pack the diaper bag and he'd forgotten to do so in the chaos of getting out the door.**  Luckily I have gotten into the habit of having a spare diaper into my purse along with an emergency sandwich bag of wipes.***

Time and reality can speed up and slow down in an instant with kids.  Getting ready takes 2 hours and it feels like 20 minutes.  Screaming colic for 15 minutes feels like 10 hours.  Sleeping for 4 hours feels like you just set down your head.  Cleaning before company arrives while looking after kids can take 3 days.  I can barely remember life before Molly and Jack.  Ready, start, time to get ready....See you in 2 to 5 hours.

*Sorry to my dad, my brother and Eva for my 13 year old tabby Pan's constant, ill advised quest to make you love him.
**Sara: "I asked you to pack the diaper bag while I changed Jack."
Chris: "I couldn't hear you over Molly screaming and you usually pack the bag."
Sara: "Just admit that I'm better than you and you forgot."
Chris: "Don't be an ass just help me change this diaper, It's December, she's half naked and outside."
Molly: "EEEE-OOOO maniacal giggle."
Sara: "Man your daughter loves to be naked."
Chris: "It's frightening."
***A month and a half ago we went to a formal dinner without the babies.  I opened my clutch to find that I had shoved a soother in "just in case" on my way out the door.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Vomit On My Sweater, Mom's Spaghetti

I have often (even before I was pregnant) heard people talk about how multiple trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night were nature's way of preparing you for sleepless nights with an infant.  The thing is, I've always had mad bladder control and even in the late weeks of pregnancy my bladder didn't keep me up at night.  Acid reflux and heart burn kept me up. My daughter punching my rib cage kept me awake. My son trying to claw his way out of my belly from the inside disturbed my slumber. Nausea and leg cramps woke me up. The boiling heat of July and August made me restless.  And finally a jealous cat who didn't like my "pregnancy smell" and urinated on me several times in the first half of pregnancy to show me how he really felt kept me awake at night.

I have a different theory about what prepares you for life with babies.The utterly disgusting things that your body does while pregnant prepares you for life with an infant (or infants in my case).  The leaking, the constipation, the vomiting is not in vain, it's to get you ready for parenthood cause babies don't always smell like baby powder.

One night, in the first month home with Molly and Jack,  we heard a horrifying scream from the nursery.  It was Chris's turn to investigate, so I was a little annoyed when he rushed back into the bedroom and flipped on the light laughing, "You have to come check this out." I got out of bed and stumbled down the hallway to find my very upset son covered in vomit and my daughter sound asleep beside him.  Only it wasn't his vomit - it was hers, there was a very clear path where she had turned, spewed and then gone back to sleep.  I'd cry too if someone threw up on me and then passed out.

There was also a period of time (before we learned our lessons) where right before a big event, wedding, work party etc. one or both children would throw up or defecate on one or both of us.*  I now have the babysitter arrive at least twenty minutes before I have to leave for an event to avoid barf hair.  If I manage to get dressed early I put on my Cooking With Christopher Walken Apron over my clothes until it's time to go.**  My husband has been particularly unlucky getting a dress shirt sleeve full of poo at least three times.

My husband, Chris****, is a germaphobe (major understatement) and I didn't know how he'd handle babies sneezing in his face, but so far he's done very well.  Last week when teething Molly drooled directly into his mouth he didn't stick his fingers down his throat and pour rubbing alcohol in just to kill the rest of his germs.  I was amazed.  Then at dinner he did the unthinkable, he offered me a taste of his soup****, I don't know if it was to prove a point, if he's really over the germ thing or if he's finally realized he's fighting a losing battle.

Finally, a friend of mine was having a tough time at work, so to cheer her up I told her a little bit about my Monday morning:

While you are waking up and begrudging a Monday morning remember that I just finished cleaning my son's feces off of my cleavage and night gown....yeah that's if you're having a bad day, just think...when I first came into work today, did my boss literally take a crap, step on it and then kick it onto my chest?   Cause my boss just did.  And then he laughed maniacally.

*I now can't count the number of times where a friend visiting the house has pointed out vomit in my hair. 
**Yes I really own an apron with Christopher Walken flying on it, and yes Christopher Walken has always wanted to have his own cooking show.  Don't believe me - Google Christopher Walken Cooking - your life will never be the same again.
***Not of the Walken variety, unfortunately.
****This is a huge deal.  Chris will not share soup or cereal and often forms a wall of cereal boxes in front of him when eating breakfast because he can't handle anyone watching him eat cereal or the threat of them shoving their spoons into his bowl.  I often imagine him growing up in a house with a giant communal cereal bowl that has led him to this insane level of paranoia.