January 30, 2012

a smile for your Monday

In the last week or so, my grandma has stopped recognizing me. As tough as it is, it is completely understandable, she's 100. What I love is how happy she gets when she sees Stella. My heart soars to see the joy on both their faces when they are together. Even if their paths cross just briefly in this life, I am so happy that they have met. 100 years of life between them. Pretty amazing.

January 27, 2012

Funny Fridays: the hair salon

I know I called this Funny Fridays: the hair salon, but don't get too excited, I didn't get a funny cut. I just think the overall haircut experience is quite funny.  Most men I know aren't metrosexuals and treat a haircut as just something they have to get done: fill up car, pick up milk, get haircut. They drop in a local barbershop or presidents choice salon, see if there is any wait time, get a cut and then wait for their change from their $20. For women, the hair salon experience is entirely different. First of all , it gets marked on our calendars- we block off a night for it. We have our specific "someone" and we have built a hair trust relationship with this someone. We have such close bonds that we feel we are cheating on them if we go to someone else. If you are a woman and a friend at work asks you what you are doing that evening, and you say "getting my haircut" they inevitably lean in, "ooooooh! Are you getting it coloured, trying our a new style?" Women understand. It is an experience and they want to know your plan of attack.  For men, it doesn't even register as something worth mentioning unless the barber had some porn mags hidden under the sports illustrated. Last night I walked in to see my hairdresser with a magazine ad clutched in my hand, hoping the glossy image could speak volumes to my stylist. She looked at my photo of Penelope Cruz and then back at my red frizz, continuously back and forth with a puzzled expression. I wondered if she could see the desperation in my eyes, my pathetic plea for her to not only transform my hair into something smooth, but could the aforementioned haircut also somehow make my boobs look bigger and transform me into a Spanish goddess? I never seem to walk in clutching a photo of some pasty white girl, like myself. Clearly I view my stylist as some kind of miracle worker/illusionist hybrid. I am greeted by a younger woman who takes me to the hairwashing station, you know what I am talking about ladies, the scalp massage that you do everything in your power to refrain from professing your love to this stranger as they pretty much give your scalp an orgasm. This lovely hairwasher then led me to my stylist's workstation and asked if I would like a coffee. I think before she even finished the question I excitedly blurted out yes please!! As a new mom, coffee is pretty much the only thing keeping me upright. Shortly after taking my order, I think she went off shift. I never saw her again or that coffee. I'll categorize that experience as soul crushing. Please don't dangle the offer of a coffee in front of me, watch my face light up in anticipation and then leave. I will key your car - maybe with the words latte liar! I considered asking my stylist for the coffee, but she was busy telling me the story of someone she knows with cancer, and there is nothing that makes you look more like a jackass then saying, "I'm so sorry to interrupt the story of your sick friend, um, do you have any idea about the status of my complimentary coffee?" As the haircut progressed, a sketchy looking man leaned in the salon saying, "hi ladies." I thought, hmmm, so this is how I'm going to go out, bored creep opens fire on small town salon. I can't say I saw that one coming. He then asked, "does anyone here drive a silver Toyota?" A customer responded that she did. He said, this one right out here? And she followed him out. I thought, well, it has been nice knowing you Toyota driver, at least your hair will have fresh highlights for your funeral. But he actually found $20 on the ground beside her car and thought she probably dropped it when she walked into the salon. Boy did I feel like a fool for mistaking this amazing Good Samaritan for a pervert/killer. Isn't it refreshing that people like that still exist? Can you imagine if the Toyota driver bought us a round of celebratory lattes with that $20 at the neighboring Starbucks? That would bookend this story so nicely! She probably used the money to tip her hairdresser, which, I suppose, is also nice.  Happy Friday! I hope you have a great weekend lined up! xo
** Sorry this entry is lacking a photo, we are housesitting and I am lacking my camera cables.

January 23, 2012

January 22, 2012

Running to stand still: adjusting to life as a new parent

I just hit the five week mark of being a new parent and thought it was time to write about the biggest life transition I've ever experienced. Take it from me, someone who has wanted to be a mom as far back as I can remember, and who tried for years before pregnancy miraculously worked out, being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have stepped up and helped my friends out more who had children years ago. I can't even begin to tell you how much respect I have for them and for my own parents now. Everyone has their own experiences as they adjust to parenthood. I wanted to be open and honest because I think I walked in a bit blind, expecting to be a natural and in all honesty, I am struggling. I am not having a tough time bonding with Stella - thankfully I felt bonded to her right from the start (which isn't always the case with new parents, and that's also completely normal). The struggle I am having is constructing a new life for us. The first big adjustment post- pregnancy is the physical one: my stomach was healing from the C section surgery, my nipples were cracked and bloody from trying to breastfeed, my feet were swollen so much I had to wear Craig's shoes (men's size 12 shoes!) and my eye had blood smeared across it from burst vessels from pushing so much during labour. As you can imagine, I thought Stella's crying was from her fear of looking at her new monster mom. I remember feeling so physically overwhelmed, wondering how could I possibly look after a baby when I was hardly able to move off the sofa? The physical ailments eventually healed but I still felt stuck at the proverbial starting line. With feeding and diaper changes every 2 - 3 hours, time just has a way of flying by. It's often easily 11 or 12 before I realize I haven't had any breakfast or showered, and dinners are often pushed back until 8. If she goes down for a nap, I find myself quickly trying to catch up on dishes/meals/laundry/vacuuming (all super glamorous options!). Our outings have become walks around the neighbourhood - life quickly became very quiet. Luckily we've had a lot of friends schedule regular visits which has helped tremendously to stave off loneliness. I know as time passes and I get more confident travelling with Stella, that we will be able to broaden our horizons more. It takes time to build the confidence of exploring the world again with a baby strapped to you - you worry about their eating and sleeping schedule, their meltdowns, your energy levels. It's funny, when I first found out I was pregnant I had lofty goals of whisking Craig and Stella to France during my year off. Now I'm thinking, let's try a weekend in Victoria first and see how we do. :) I imagine rebuilding a life as a new parent is a little like finding your way again when you transition into retirement or move to a new city - you have to find a new routine for your life - a new reality to bridge the gap between your former self and your new role. I've reached out to moms I know to find out how they coped with this adjustment - the keys they have told me are: self care, feeling connected to others, making dates with your partner and keeping your expectations realistic. I think I expected to breeze into parenthood because I wanted it so much, but all the love in the world doesn't prepare you for the shock it is to the system.  I think the transition was especially tangible coming from a busy full time job where I was surrounded by a lot of people daily. My goal in this second month of parenthood is to set up a regular exercise schedule once my doctor gives me the green light, to join a mom's group, to take a class with Stella, to schedule dates with my friends & my hubby and to get back into cooking healthy meals. I can't wait to rebuild our life together with our little peanut and create a new sense of "normal". xo 

Here is something that will definitely make pregnant women/new moms smile.

January 20, 2012

Funny Fridays: Yay, it's wine o'clock!

Happy Friday!  I hope you have a great weekend lined up! Stella has started smiling a lot these past few days, so of course I am shamelessly using her photos on yet another blog posting. I like how in the top photo she looks like she is really mulling over something (naturally hilarious) that I said before she belts out laughing in confirmation that yes, indeed, her mom is absolutely hilarious. I think the funniest moment I had today was spooning out instant coffee into one of Stella's bottles. Oh the hilarity that would have ensued had I given it to her by mistake. Craig looked at me in complete fear as I happily spooned out my coffee into her bottle whilst chatting with him. It's official: I have booked my ticket to OZ in search of a brain.

Here are a few funny finds around the web to get you giggling......
Have you seen this fresh stand up by Demetri Martin?
I think it is such a hilarious concept: Get people drunk and film them talking about key points in history. Check it out here.
Remember this little girl? What a day we'd have if we all started it out like this! 
I think this moment was the funniest bit at the Golden Globes last weekend.

January 17, 2012

one month old

She's only been in our family for one month and yet I feel like I've known her all my life. I can't imagine my life without her. I can't describe the depth of love I have for our daughter. When she looks into my eyes, I well up. I never thought I'd be so lucky as to have my own baby. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, all I wanted was to have a healthy pregnancy and make sure I did everything in my power to have her arrive safe and sound. Now that she is here, more than anything, I want to stay healthy and live a long life so that I can see her grow up. I want to show her the world, to fill her days with happiness and to build memories together as a family. I want to instill in her that she is worthy, that she is treasured, that she has two people who will ALWAYS have her back. I want to slow down the clocks and savour every day that I get to share with her. xoxo 

January 13, 2012

Funny Fridays

Hi friends! I hope you have a fun weekend lined up! I want to do a few tweaks to my blog so that it doesn't become an "I heart Stella" love fest. I will still post some photos of her and do write ups on being a new mom, but lately I've been out of control with the Stella photos. (The photo above cracks me up, she's just met her new friend Jacques, and is already leaning on him, chatting up a storm, "so I says to the guy...."). I want to add some other features so that more people than just my parents will read this blog. One of the first things I'm creating is Funny Fridays, where I just write about the funniest life incident of the week and add a few funny things I've found in cyberspace. I hope you like it. I know that everyone doesn't have the same taste in humour. If you love shows like Arrested Development, An Idiot Abroad, Curb Your Enthusiasm or Modern Family, chances are, you and I will be on the same page. If you prefer Whitney or Happy Endings then I applaud our differences but privately, I weep for you.

Some favourites on the web:
Can you relate? So funny: shit girls say part 1 and here's part 2

This week's funny incident:
My dad, who hardly even uses email, just bought a new Iphone 4S. He came by to get our help in setting it up. "Oh my god!" he exclaimed.
"What? What is so suddenly wrong in your life?" I asked.
"The sales lady got water on it! Look!"
Sigh. "Dad, that's your screensaver."
And so his adventure with technology begins.

January 10, 2012

my favourite time of day....

I love these quiet little moments - snuggling up with Stella. I look pretty tired in this photo - a rough night's sleep and sans make up, but I couldn't be happier. These are the moments I dreamt of when I pictured motherhood and the ones that stand out the most to me. I love feeling her warmth, hearing her sleep and feeling her little hands touch my arms while she dreams. Friends of ours bought her a sweet little book this weekend called "Love You Forever," by Robert Munsch. A verse repeated throughout it is, "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." Isn't that sweet? I couldn't make it through page one of the book without tearing up (big surprise) - but I really love the sentiment of it. I feel like life has finally let me exhale. xo

January 7, 2012

some movie tips for you.....

With life in the slow lane, it's no surprise that our movie viewing has ramped up a notch. I thought the least I could do is pass along a few great finds lately. Yes, the Stella photos have absolutely nothing to do with this topic. I am just shameless. 

A movie we've seen lately that I feel confident to recommend to anyone: 50/50. I was wary to see a film about Cancer because I have the capability to go into the "ugly cry" at sad movies. (You know that kind of crying where you can't seem to catch your breath and you try to cover your mouth and instead let out a strange squawk). But, thankfully 50/50 isn't one of those films. It is incredibly funny, uplifting and deeply moving and the chemistry between the two leads, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, comes off as very genuine. It's just one of those really well done films that not enough people know about. To view the trailer, click here

For lovers of political thrillers: The Ides of March. This cast is phenomenal: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. Ah-mazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. You can slap an oscar nom on any of these performances. The movie centres around an idealistic campaign manager (Gosling) for a Democratic presidential candidate (Clooney). He quickly learns about dirty politics and finds himself stuck in the middle of a brewing political scandal involving his beloved candidate. View the trailer here

A film for art and book lovers: Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen should definitely win an Oscar nod for this incredibly original screenplay about a writer who meets up with famous artists and authors from history while he wanders Parisian streets after midnight. For the trailer, click here

A film for sports lovers: Moneyball. I found this film fascinating. When my hubby Craig was designing a baseball game, he had spent time with Billy Beane, the Oakland A's baseball manager, so I was instantly intrigued by the film's subject matter.  The film centers around how Billy Beane applied a new talent scouting theory using statistics and mathematical analysis to turn his low paid team into a competitive franchise, much to the outrage of traditionalists. To view the trailer, click here 

I'll keep you posted if we come across some more gems soon. Happy weekend! 

January 4, 2012

our quiet little life....

Do you know that expression, the days are long but the years are short? I think it must have been a parent who came up with that one. The weeks are sailing by, but the days unfold slowwwllly on this little girl's schedule. I love her wakeful time, when she's just been fed. She kicks up a storm, is really content and just looks around with her big eyes (which make my heart just melt). Between feeds and diaper changes every few hours, I've learned to let go of how little we get done in a day right now. If we get out for a walk around the hood, watch a movie, or if a friend pops in for a visit, then it has been an amazing day. Isn't it funny how much we take our free time for granted? Maybe it's because I had free time for 30+ years, or should I say 30+++ years :), the adjustment is tangible. I wouldn't trade my new role in for anything, but I just wanted to be honest to parents-to-be, you will definitely notice a strange new passage of time - it is palpable like never before. It's truly living in the moment. 
I hope you're having a great day! xo 

January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!!

I know, I know. I seriously have to reel in the shameless barrage of Stella photos. I just have this new favourite photo subject, and we don't leave the house much yet. I'm pretty sure that she thinks my camera lens is part of my face. It's hard to believe it's 2012 already. Did you make any resolutions? Do you find yourself making the same resolutions each year? I'm keeping my list of 39 things handy this year, so that I don't forget my goals, both big and small. I always find that making more dates with friends and family is my biggest resolution - for me it's the most important use of my time. I hope you are able to stick to the goals you set out for yourself. The reason why I stress how important it is to keep your dreams and goals at the forefront is from a conversation I had once years ago. I was volunteering in New Orleans, rebuilding homes after Hurricane Katrina had struck, and was roommates with an actress in her 50s. I remember asking her if she had any children or a partner and she said no. She said she always wanted a family, but somehow she just got so busy with her work that it all just kind of slipped away. She warned me to never let that happen. It really hit a chord with me. You can easily fill your days with lists of things to do. There is always work to do, chores to do, errands to do, it's easy to be "busy." Add to that all of life's distractions, TV, Facebook, internet surfing, time-sucking blogs ;). Keep your goals and dreams at the forefront and set aside time for them so that you can have the satisfaction of making your life really reflect you. xoxo