Zombie Mom*

I had every intention of crawling into bed and curling up into the fetal position until I passed out tonight (which would probably take… oh, six seconds or so). But as I brushed my teeth, I realized that I needed to write tonight. Today was hard, and I think that I neglect to write about the reality of parenthood sometimes. I’m always eager to share my good days, but sometimes the hard days are the ones I need to share most, so that I can remember that I did survive them… and that a brand new day always comes the next morning.

My hard day actually started yesterday. Ruby had an unusually short nap after church, and when she woke up I noticed that she felt a little warm. She had a low grade fever but it wasn’t anything serious, so I just pushed the fluids and gave her a little Tylenol before bed. She went out like a light at 8pm, and I should have gone to bed with her. Alas, I stayed up until almost midnight watching a show on Netflix, enjoying a few precious moments alone.

At 3am Ruby woke up crying. She does this occasionally, and she often just needs a hug or to be tucked back in before she will drift off to sleep again. The Hubster heard her before me, so he got up and went in to her. He went through the usual routine and got her back in bed, and when he returned he mentioned that she felt rather warm.

So, I waited. Sure enough, less than five minutes later she was up again. I went in, armed with a thermometer and a glass of water for her. Her temperature had spiked up to 101.5, so I gave her another dose of Tylenol with a drink of water, tucked he back in, and slipped out of her room.

She was crying before I even had the door closed, and I knew then that my night was just beginning. It took a long time for her temperature to come back down, and she was only calm when I was either holding her, or laying next to her bed on the floor. I tried bringing her into my bed with me, but there are only certain positions I can sleep in right now with my bad shoulder, and we just couldn’t find one that we were both happy with.

So, I brought my pillows and a little blanket with me and camped out on her floor. It was almost 5:30am before she passed out and I quietly collected my things and prepared to slip back into my own bed.

…but of course Hank woke up just then, ready for his first breakfast. I nursed him and rocked him, and by 6:15am he was mostly asleep, though he seemed a little restless. I put him in his bed and prayed that he would crash and let me get an hour of sleep.

Nope.

By 6:50 he was wiiiiiiiide awake and ready to eat again. When I heard him on the monitor, I glanced over at the Hubster and seriously debated waking him and making him take Hank downstairs… but I knew he would want to eat and even though I felt like a zombie, I was already up.

And thus began a long, long day. Ruby’s fever came and went all day long. She would go from being her usual, chipper self then would crash and become small and whiny each time the fever reared its head. Hank was spared from the fever, but something was still a little off and he would not nap today. He was exhausted, but wouldn’t settle. It took him almost two hours to fall asleep this morning, and bedtime tonight was a disaster.

Having been awake since 3am with no real opportunities to get a good nap in today, I felt like a zombie all day long. My house is a disaster, I didn’t even get time to do my hair or put make-up on, and I can’t even remember if I ate breakfast or lunch.

But that’s okay. As much as today sucked for me, I knew it was worse for my kids. I could tell that neither one felt themselves, and it broke my heart that there was so little that I could do for them. They are both asleep now, and I can only hope that tonight will be a little less eventful for all of us.

So, I’m exhausted, and I honestly can’t even remember the point I was trying to get across when I first started this post. But maybe that is the point–someday, many moons from now, when Ruby and Hank have children of their own and encounter these hard days, I’ll be able to look back at days like today and say, “I understand.” And even though this day was filled with several excruciating moments, they do pass. Your ninth wind kicks in, and somehow the hours pass and you survive the day.

Being a parent is the best job in the world… but sometimes it’s also really, really hard. When your kids don’t sleep and whine all day, and your house feels like a disaster zone and all you want to do is sleep but your bed is buried beneath a week’s worth of clean laundry that you have yet to fold–I understand.

Just push the laundry back into the basket and go to bed. It can wait.

Tomorrow is a new (hopefully fever-free) day.

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That Time I Got Stuck in a Shirt at Target*

Ah, long weekends. The Hubster decided to take yesterday off to make it an extra long weekend, and we had a wonderful day together as a family. We went for a run, played at a new park we found in our neighbourhood, went swimming, and spent a fortune buying things we probably didn’t need at Costco.

Both the kids were tired, and by some happy miracle they were both in bed asleep by 8:30. One of our neighbours came over to visit with the Hubster, so I decided to go do something for myself: I went shopping.

When you have kids, going to a store alone is almost as relaxing as going to a spa. Shopping with kids means having a list of exactly what I need, and a map of which aisles to hit first to make it as short a trip as possible. Usually I am grabbing things on the fly, tossing an item into my cart while I am already seeking out the next. But instead of racing the cart through the store trying to finish shopping before Ruby has a melt down or Hank needs to eat again, I was actually able to stop and look at things.

Pretty things. Frivolous things. Things for me.

Going to a store alone means that I was actually able to browse through shoes and clothing and have time to try them on at the store. *swoon*

While I shopped, I had my purse on in my cart so I wouldn’t have to carry it on my shoulder. Two weeks ago I did something to my left shoulder and it has been killing me ever since. I’ve had two massages and it’s getting better, but my mobility is still limited. I have a hard time putting my hair back in a pony tail or lifting that arm above my head.

As I browsed through the store, I found a few cute tops that I wanted to try on. As it was after 9pm the store was pretty quiet, so rather than go to the fitting rooms, I just found a full-length mirror and tried them on in the racks over my clothes. I found a new pajama set that I loved, as well as a new running top. I also spied a cute pull over denim shirt that I really liked. It’s different from anything I own, so I thought I’d try it on and see how it looked.

It slipped over my head fairly easily, and I really liked how it looked on. It’s fitted, and looked a little nicer than my usual “mom-uniform” of shorts + cotton t-shirt.

Then I went to take it off.

I started to pull the shirt up from the bottom so I could lift it over my head, but I immediately realized that denim does not give and stretch like cotton. I got the bottom up as high as my chest before my sore shoulder loudly screamed, “NOPE.”

I tried to gently pull a different way, to which my sore shoulder responded, “NOPE. Not happening.”

So, here I am in a clothing rack at Target, stuck in a denim top that I can’t seem to get out of. Of course, this is when all of the women in the store decide to come shopping in the section I’m in. I began to look around for a quieter spot to struggle out of this shirt, and, not seeing one, do what any self-respecting woman who is stuck in a shirt she hasn’t paid for does: I dropped to the floor and hid behind a rack.

Now I’m hunched between my cart and a rack of clothes, desperately trying to think of a solution. I tried to shimmy out of the shirt again, but my shoulder prevented any success.

By this point I was beginning to panic and was trying to find alternate solutions. I thought about simply wearing it to the front and telling the clerk that I loved the shirt SO MUCH that I just had to wear it out of the store, but it just didn’t feel right. Then I thought about trying to find a sales associate to see if they could help me out of the shirt, but of course, every associate in the women’s clothing section at that time was male.

Awesome.

Then I thought, “I can just ask one of the other women shopping to help me out of my shirt! They will understand my plight.” But as I scanned around, all I saw were couples happily shopping together.

Where were the other young mothers who had just put their children to bed and needed a wild shopping adventure to soothe their souls!?

*sigh*

As my panic kept rising, I decided that I had to get out of the shirt no matter what. I pretended like it was totally normal to be wearing this shirt that totally didn’t match the shorts I had on or my actual shirt that was underneath it and kept shopping. A few minutes later I saw a window of opportunity where the happy shopping couples and male associates were all busy and out of my section and decided to go for it.

I tried to gently pull it off again, but my shoulder screamed in protest.

I knew my next attempt would be my last–it was either coming off or I was wearing it out of the store. I grabbed on to the hem of the shirt  and got ready to yank. For some reason, my body decided that the best position to do this would be bending over so far that I was almost upside down. I took a deep breath, braced myself against the mirror and pulled. I nearly cried out from the pain in my shoulder, but I finally felt the shirt go over my head and it dropped on the floor.

I closed my eyes and laughed a little in relief, momentarily oblivious to the fact that several shoppers were eying ‘the crazy lady who was stripping in the aisles’ rather suspiciously. When I opened my eyes several people looked away quickly, so they had obviously been watching my struggle. I blushed about eight different shades of red before I threw the shirt in my cart and ran out of the women’s section.

It was only later that it occurred to me that I could have simply gone to the fitting rooms to try and take the shirt off privately instead of diving in between clothing racks and putting on a show.

Oh well. I still got to go shopping by myself.

Totally worth it.

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I Heart My Shoes*

I mentioned that I’ve been doing some thinking about the future of my blog.

I’m not going to lie, right now I find it very difficult to find time to write. Between taking care of the kids, trying to stay on top of the house and attempting to spend a little time with the Hubster, I don’t have a lot of extra time to throw around. And honestly, when those magical “free moments” appear, I’m often too burnt out to write anything coherent.

That being said, I’ve been thinking about my little blog, and I hate that I’m not writing. I started I Heart My Shoes eight years ago (eight years!) and I have chronicled so much in that time. I think about who I was back then–a newly married university student who was struggling to find herself in a new city–and I marvel at how far we’ve come. From those first posts as a shoe-obsessed second year university student, I’ve written my way through my undergrad, teacher’s college, my job search, my marriage and my entrance into parenthood. There is so much here.

But I also look at this and think: is this still me? When I started this, it seemed natural to title it after something I adored–shoes. Oh, shoes. Eight years ago I had over 100 pairs in my closet and I coveted every cute pair of heels that I saw.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love shoes. It’s just not in the same way. My collection has dwindled and quite frankly, these days I’m more interested in comfort than the latest fashion. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a pair of shoes just because I wanted to. They just aren’t my passion anymore… so I sometimes look at my blog and feel like it and I don’t fit together anymore.

In the last few years I’ve realized that my passion for shoes has diminished as I’ve discovered new passions in running my home, cooking, and my career as a teacher. I don’t feel that I’m the same person that I was when I became Shop Girl and began I Heart My Shoes. Should that matter? Does it? Should my blog change  as I’ve changed over the years?

So, what do I do? I know that I want to keep writing, I just need to feel more connected to where I do it. I’ve debated whether or not it was time to end my journey here and start somewhere new, but that didn’t feel right. This has been my home for too long, and I don’t want to leave it just yet. My question now is whether  it’s time to leave “I Heart My Shoes” behind and take on a new name–something more reflective of who I am today.

Thoughts?

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Summer Lovin’*

Just Me & A Wee-Bean*

Just Me & A Wee-Bean*

I honestly don’t even know where June went. I feel like it was the end of May then all of a sudden I blinked and it’s July 8th. It was a jam-packed month full of loveliness–here’s a few of the highlights!

I began the month with a momentous occasion: I went out by myself for the first time since Hank was born. My hair has been falling out like crazy, so I finally booked a hair appointment and chopped off five inches in length and about five pounds in weight. Hank and I have been attached at the hip since he was born and he wasn’t terribly happy that I left, but it was so nice to have two whole hours by myself.

The head massage was pretty nice too. :)

The rest of the month was a blur of play dates, birthday parties and visiting with friends. It seemed like we had something on every other day, and while my poor chore chart sat neglected, Ruby’s social life thrived. My little bean loves to be around other kids, and I feel bad that most of the time she is stuck hanging out with me!

She is growing and changing faster than my heart can handle. She has lost all her toddler rolls and is now a tall, beautiful little girl. She is so smart, funny, independent and determined–and we’ve learned that she definitely has a temper to match her red hair. June brought us a wave of defiance that had us pulling our hair out for a while, but she seems to have calmed down and will do just about anything to avoid a time-out. Her vocabulary is the best part–every day she comes out with some new word or phrase that I have no idea how she learned. While she definitely lets you know when she wants something, her manners are wonderful and I’m so proud of her!

Today was Hank’s four month check-up, and our “little” boy weighed in at 20lbs 4.5oz. I’m not going to lie–I’ve been a little concerned about his size because he’s just so much bigger than Ruby ever was. He’s perfectly proportioned, but he’s just… big. I spoke to my doctor about it, but she had no concerns. He’s totally healthy and all his measurements are on the same curve (above 95th percentile) and she just thinks that Hank is going to be a tall, strapping young lad.

Hank has the sweetest little personality and is almost always ready with a smile. In the last four weeks he learned how to roll over (both front to back and back to front) and he surprised me with his first word: “mum”. He’s not much of a napper during the day, but he sleeps pretty well through the night so I can’t complain. :)

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Hank the Tank*

June also brought my 29th birthday, and a visit from the Hubster’s mom! We were so happy to have her stay with us, and we spent a wonderful week together. Ruby is still asking, “Where’s Grandma?” The Hubster took a week of holidays, and we took a trip out to Center Island, went shopping, visited with family, ate too much and probably slept too little… but it was so worth it. We’re already looking forward to her next visit!

And now here we are in July, and I’ve somehow gone nearly five weeks without writing again. I’m still not entirely sure how to fit this into my new life as a momma of two, but after reflecting seriously on the future of my little blog (more on this soon) I’m still not ready to give it up completely. I’ll figure it all out somehow.

Someday. (ha)

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Diaper Cream Adventures*

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I’m going to tell you a story.

The Hubster’s birthday was on the weekend, and we had the most lovely day on Saturday. We woke up to a beautiful sunny skies, and decided to go out on a family bike ride to check out some local yard sales. It was the kind of day that you wait all winter for–perfect temperature, beautiful warm breeze and gorgeous sunshine. It was perfect.

We ended our bike ride at the park to let Ruby run around a bit, and Hank had a snooze in the bike trailer. After our bike ride we went out for a sushi lunch as a family. Ruby was SO good in the restaurant, and the Hubster and I gorged ourselves on fabulous food. We ran a few errands after lunch, then came home and spent the rest of the day relaxing and working on a few chores around the house.

Ruby didn’t have a terribly long afternoon nap, and she played hard outside most of the day so we figured she would be pretty tired at bedtime. We read her some stories and put her down a little before 8pm. We normally hear her playing in her room for a little bit, but we weren’t surprised when we didn’t hear a peep out of her. After all, we had had a busy day.

The Hubster and I were watching the hockey game and were just starting to get ready for bed when she cried out a little before 10pm. I normally go in to check on her, so I figured she just needed to be tucked back in.

I opened the door and knelt by her bed. I kept the lights off so I wouldn’t wake her any further… but when I went to give her a hug, I noticed that her clothes felt damp. I thought that maybe she was overdressed and had sweat while she was sleeping, but when I hugged her I noticed she smelled funny. I couldn’t place the smell, but I knew it was familiar.

I quickly switched on the light.

Ruby was covered in diaper cream. My jaw dropped as I looked at her. It was all through her hair, all over her arms and legs, and all over her face.

Then I looked around the room. She had painted her bed +bedding, her table, her drawers, her cupboards and her “Baba”, her blanket that she drags around everywhere. There was also gobs of it on her turtle rug and it was mashed into the carpet. To give you an idea of how much she used, she emptied the jar at the forefront of the photo… and Sudocream spreads like creamy, white paint.

As I took it all in, I tried to figure out how she had done it. We always leave her cream up on a shelf where she can’t reach it. I quickly realized that she had taken her foam chair, carried it to the shelf and used it as a stool to climb up and get the cream.

Clever little monkey.

It was 10pm, and as she was already obviously upset I knew there was no point in getting angry with her. I called out for the Hubster, who walked in the room and just gasped. I took her down the hall to the bathroom, while he began to wipe up her artwork.

As I ran the tub and stripped her down, I realized that she must have been trying to imitate me. She loves to be with me while I get ready in the morning, and always asks for some “lotion” while I’m putting it on. I could see that she had rubbed in on her arms and legs like I do, and it looked like she had run it through her hair like I do with my mousse.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I scrubbed it off her arms and tried to get it out of her hair. A word to the wise– combing baby powder through hair will pull out any oily substance (Vaseline, diaper cream, etc). It’s a life saver.

The Hubster was still wiping down her room when we returned from the bathroom, so we quickly changed her bedding and and ordered her into bed while we cleaned up as much as we could.

We amassed a monster load of laundry, but we got most of the cream off her furniture and removed every bottle of cream and lotion from her room (as well as her chair) before putting her back to bed.

It wasn’t quite the finish we had imagined for the Hubster’s birthday, but at least it wasn’t worse. I wish I had taken a minute to take a picture, but I was just so shocked at the sight of her and her room I immediately threw her in the tub.

Seeing as she has already done her hair with Vaseline (twice), I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity in the future anyway… haha!

How was your weekend? ha.

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