Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fantasy realized

I just had one of those experiences that we all secretly hope for : )

I got up this morning and planned my day around chillin' with the family. Took Sam to the pool with his buddy Noah (and Noah's mum), then headed home for a nap. Sam went down beautifully because he was pooped from "swimming". I had lunch then lay down for my pre-night shift nap.

Sam woke up after only 45 minutes of sleep so I brought him to lie down with me and we snoozed together for another hour. I don't care what people say about co-sleeping; there is nothing better than wrapping your arms around your baby and snuggling in for a nap together. I guarantee that Sam feels the same way : )

We got up and I got myself all showered (still had pool chlorine and a certain concentration of children's urine on my skin). A nice trip to the beach (no not the awesome gelato beach : (). Then home for a quick dinner and off to work with me.

Where is the realized fantasy? Right here, my friends:

I got to work and went to sign in . . . and my name was not on the assignment sheet. The holy, all-powerful piece of paper that determines who is supposed to be where on the unit. My name? Not on it.

At the beginning of every shift, when you walk on the unit and open the sign-in book, and scan for your name so that you know which area of the unit to go to . . . at this moment in time there is always an infinitesimal hope that maybe, just maybe your name won't be there. Any nurse who denies this is flat out lying. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time you find your name and accept the next 12 hours that are staring you down, grinning, stealing away your sleep and free time (that could be spent blogging).

But once in a very blue moon . . . the kind of blue that we enjoyed in the sky at the beach this afternoon; a sky as clear and vast as Sam's baby blue eyes . . . once in that kind of perfect blue moon, you don't see your name. And a sense of freedom washes over you. I'm here at work and have no responsibilities at all. I can walk off the unit whenever I want to! OMG, I can go to bed when I feel tired tonight!!

Of course, I went to the charge nurse to double check that there was not a mistake on the assignment sheet. And I absolutely offered to stay - because, shit, I was there already. But, no. They were fully staffed and, with health care cutbacks and all, they can't afford to over staff. Even if they probably will need another body at some point in the night.

So home with me!

I got in, kissed Sam's sweaty sleeping head, and opened myself a beer.

A nice surprising ending to a perfect day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Coiffed

There is not a single outing we can go on where someone doesn't comment on Sam's hair. How he has so much of it. How it is super cute. How it is absolutely crazy. His hair is loved near and far.

(photo by B. Deeter)

I have resisted trying to tame it with gel, despite its obvious need for taming. I think I made some excuse about concern over the safety of the ingredients in hair gel, but truthfully, I like his hair all crazy. This is the only time in his life when it really doesn't matter what he looks like - everything is cute, even big out of control bed-head. It's part of being a baby. And I didn't want to rush him out of that.

However . . . his bangs were starting to tickle his eyes, and the length around his ears was getting unruly.

So we took Sam for his first hair cut. It was a beautiful sunny day and we took the opportunity to drive into Vancouver to Granville Island where they have a kiddie salon called The Hairloft.

Before

He got to sit in a car or train - I don't really remember, a woman had a razor and sharp scissors next to my 9 month old's easily-distracted face and eyes! There was a large screen TV with a My Little Ponies video playing (two little girls had been having their hair cut just before Sam). He didn't care - Hey, moving colours and high-pitched cartoon voices! Cool!




So many arms!

After

OMG! Where did my baby go?!? He drifted to the floor with the tiny wisps of fine blond hair; swept away like the sleepless nights of infancy; leaving this grown up little boy in his place. I didn't cry. Not out loud, anyway.


OK, how can I be sad? He's so happy with life.
And he's still my baby Sam
-
at least for a little while longer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cancer-kicking success!!

It's the day after.

The day after an afternoon of organizing and packing. Of a drive into the city to find that traffic and parking were gloriously easy - and free!

The day after attempting to feed dinner, in a public place full of distractions, to a baby who has recently decided that if he can't pick it up with his fingers and feed it to himself then he is not interested; and it is too hot to eat anyway, thank you very much.

The day after enjoying some naked time to help alleviate diaper heat rash. Yes, in public. And yes, maybe there was some peeing on the ground and the large blow-up ball we were enthusiastically playing with. Yes, mum cleaned the ball with a diaper wipe before releasing it for others to play with . . . Why didn't she think to wipe it down before it was in the baby's mouth for 20 minutes?

It's the day after cramming into a huge, hot, crowded drill hall for a warm up and pre-race "getting pumped", during which I was sure Sam would have a tiny overwhelmed baby meltdown. But he didn't because he is awesome.

It's the day after running 10 kilometers in a cotton nightie. Under the hot summer evening sun. Around a beautiful waterfront course. With hundreds of others in various degrees of underdress. The day after crossing the finish line into the loud, hot and crowded drill hall to rejoin the rest of our team, including Sam who was pushed in a stroller by his Auntie and Uncle C&C in the 5k walk. I was absolutely sure there would be a tiny overwhelmed (and now overtired) baby meltdown as bedtime had been well passed and the noise in the drill hall was even louder, but no, Sam is awesome.

It's the day after a couple of sweaty drinks with the team before grabbing drive-thru and heading to C&C's for a shower and the after after party. Sam falling asleep in the car 2 hours past bedtime and resettling like a champ at our destination despite skipping his bath and book, and despite being in a room and crib he has never slept in before. Then proceeding to sleep through the night as usual anyway. Because you are so awesome, Sam!

It's the day after a fantastic time with friends and strangers to raise money for a worthy cause and remember loved and missed people. Our team raised $4,430 for the BC Cancer Foundation!! It was super fun and I can't wait to do it again next year : )

Note Sam's bum just over my right shoulder

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Date Night

It's been 7 months.

Seven months since David and I have been out together just the two of us. I tried to justify this by saying that we have plenty of evenings at home together after Sam is in bed. David said it's not the same. And he's right.

So we decided to finally take up some friends on their offers to babysit so that we could go out for dinner. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we are nervous about leaving Sam. Not in the slightest! We have fantastic friends who we trust and who Sam adores. It's that we are generally broke and haven't been able to afford going out. But now that I am back to work we have a little bit of spending money, so away we went, kicking our heels behind us : )

This was on Sunday. Before we left for the evening we thought we'd spend some quality time with Sam and take a nice little family walk to this small farm nearby where a horse lives. Most times that we go, the horse is either down the steep slope of the paddock or otherwise out of sight. Sometimes she is munching lazily and ignores us. That day, she must have been feeling friendly because as soon as she saw us she came lumbering over for a visit.

Sam was in the stroller, restrained and quite a bit lower than this towering ominous creature. I was crouched down next to Sam saying cutesy things like "Look at the horse!" and "What does a horse say?" Conveniently, the horse answered with a series of nickers (thank you google, for naming different horse sounds for me!). And Sam lost. his. shit.

In his defense, he had never seen a horse up close before. Or any living thing that large. The nickering was quite loud and abrupt. And I think a bit of horsey snot landed on us to boot. There was a fence between us and the mare, but Sam's understanding of "fence" and his appreciation for the security it provides is . . . underdeveloped?

His poor little baby brain simply snapped. Dude, I am 17 pounds and you are letting this horrifying mammoth charge me whilst nothing but some rickety wooden rails separate us? Not cool.

David was able to settle him by holding him close and tight while I fed the horse some grass. Nothing like the comfort of strong daddy arms : ) But the lower lip kept quivering and he definitely didn't let that animal out of his sight until we were well on our way back down the road.

The other mild catastrophe of the horse encounter was that I (knowing full well that I am terribly allergic to horses) made the stupid mistake of petting the beast. I was careful not to touch my face afterward but some magical floating horse dust must have gotten into my eyes and they puffed up and itched anyway. I had them mostly calmed down before we left for our date but it looked like I had been crying.

Me: It's going to look like we've had a fight or something. I could just wear my sunglasses through dinner.

David: Or we could have a fight.

But we didn't.

Until the Benadryl I took and the two drinks with dinner left me feeling ex.haus.ted. So I went to bed and David did not get any date night sex. : (

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Biting and other oral offenses

According to the stories I hear from other mums, we have been extremely luckily that Sam does not seem terribly bothered by teething. In fact we didn't notice that his top two were on their way until we could see them poking through his pink little gums. There was none of the telltale drooling, crying or rashy puffy cheeks. His sleep was not affected at all! Luck-y. Oh yeah, for him too : )

But don't worry envious mommies out there. I am getting mine. For that toothy little smile might have been adorable at first, but in fact I'm now certain it is the gateway to excruciating pain and potential child abuse. Sam's favourite nibbling area is my right shoulder. I have the welts and bruises to prove it. He is subtle and pretends that he is leaning in for a hug (I'm sappy and so am fooled every time) - then ever so subtly he opens his mouth (maybe he's going to give me one of those slobbery open-mouthed kisses that only a baby can make cute, my sappy mommy brain thinks). Then I am suddenly and painfully jolted from my estrogen-induced euphoria by four razor-sharp piranha teeth slicing into the bare skin of my shoulder.

Is it wrong to want to throw your child to the floor? Of course I don't want to, but instinctive response to pain is hard to control. The first time he bit me really hard while nursing I yelped and almost smacked him on the nose before remembering that he is not a puppy! My sharp reaction scared him I guess because he doesn't bite the milk button anymore (thank goodness, otherwise it was going to be an abrupt weaning). The shoulder is still fair game though.

Oh, but worse - far worse - than the biting? The GRINDING !!! I shudder to write about it! I have seriously nearly dropped Sam in an effort to get away from the horrific, nerve-shredding sound. Why? Why?? I know that the world is a bounty of discover for him right now. Every sound, taste and texture a sensory explosion. But seriously, that can't feel good! Please, for the love of your mother, STOP grinding your four tiny teeth or I will force feed you maple syrup until they rot and fall out!

Too harsh?

Finally . . . and more comical than offensive really . . . the spitting. Wet raspberries. Little motor boat lips. Love it! Even when there is a mouth full of food involved. I have to admit it's quite funny, but I don't dare let Sam see that I think so, because then it will become a game. As it is, he only spits out food when he's had enough and I've ignored the earlier cues. Serves you right, mum. I've been turning my face away and batting at the spoon during your last 5 attempts. How much more clear can I be? You want me to sign or something?!

I know there are many oral offenses on the horizon, what with the commencement of speech and all. Inane repetitive questions, talking back, inappropriate public discussions about genitalia. All flesh wounds. Quick to heal. The first time he screams that he hates me, though? I'll wish that bite would only leave a bruise.