Friday, 28 February 2014

Tomorrow is the end. Fucking balls.

Tomorrow is the end - the end of Birthday Month. It wasn't necessarily as glorious as I had hoped (not exactly a 28 day wacky celebration), but it was still pretty great. 

My actual birthday was in fact last Saturday. It was a good day! Hubby tricked me into taking Fraggle downstairs ahead of him in the morning, only for me to find several gifts scattered around the main floor, beautifully wrapped and tied to helium balloons. He also planned a lovely eat-in dinner. We shared delicious food and lovely conversation in our kitchen, sitting at Fraggle's tiny Ikea end table (aka our temporary dining table during renovations). Dinner was followed by the one true birthday necessity - Dairy Queen ice cream cake, with lots of cancer gel icing. And, most importantly, I DRANK WINE. 

So, all in all, a pretty wicked day. 

I wouldn't call the last week of Birthday month much to write home about, but I did eat plenty of junk food, visit with lovely new friends, and buy an "I'm not thirty" outfit for the big night tomorrow. 

I'm am so looking forward to my dinner with friends. The best part is that I seem to have taught Fraggle how to take a bottle (!) so I'll be a little less worried about leaving her with my mom for the evening. A little. 

If I'm bein honest, though, tomorrow is the really scary part. Tomorrow makes it real. You guys. I'm thirty. Fucking balls. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Emotional schizo

Today I learned that parenting is one of the more, um, emotionally schizophrenic experiences a person can have. (And coming from me, that means something.) 

Today I flip-flopped from feeling to feeling like an attention-deficitted captain kangaroo. Emotions ping-ponged me over the head while the audience in my head hysterically laughed. I was: pissed right off, exhausted, tolerant, happy, impatient, lazy, contemplative, frustrated, bummed, exhilarated, refreshed, proud, thrilled, joyful, impatient again, curious, worried, anxious, lazy again, frustrated again, disappointed, sad, a little bit panicked, irritable, lonely, cautious, and now tense. There was also some hungry and thirsty in there, and I think once I had to pee. 

The point is, I had not anticipated how intense all my mom emotions would be, let alone how easily they would frantically run away - sometimes with me still attached. I can't keep up.  The only constant is how much I love her - which isn't even constant, rather erratically and exponentially accelerating - WHICH only increases my worry and general angst. See? Emotionally schizophrenic. 

Days like today leave me so mentally worn that the mere thought of doing this again with some other child that I've grown and birthed is exceptionally terrifying and seemingly impossible. I'm not sure how to take it all in... How does one absorb this? I feel like I have no room in my brain for anything unrelated to my mom-ness. 

This unfortunately makes Birthday Month a much larger task than even I had expected. Although I have managed to arrange some lovely celebratory moments over the past days (such as walking outside, visiting friends, or watching movies with Hubby), the truth of the matter is that most things I do feel like chores. Mostly because they are chores, and in some cases gigantic life-dependent responsibilities (such as shopping, baking, or children's hospitals). 

Some activities do feel like a brief respite from chores (such as watching The Young and the Restless) but these are basically survival tactics to which I cling for sanity. In any case, they usually get interrupted and almost always carry guilt right along with them. 

I haven't yet learned how to be a whole person. Right now I'm just a mom, very barely a wife, and basically nothing of a me.  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Like Groundhog Day. Or that song by Meatloaf.

I'm not sure if y'all are aware, but winter is never stopping. It is just going to keep going and going into the abyss of forever. Like Groundhog Day. Or that song by Meatloaf. 

Up here in the Great White North it dropped into the minus 20s in November and it has never. let. up. I'm not even sure I saw the sun for a solid 9 weeks. I now share the baby's vitamin D drops because save me. 

I'm finding it harder and harder to imagine motherhood in a non-winter setting. I think? the first couple months of Fraggle's life occurred during the summer, but who can remember the foggy first couple months of a baby's life?  From what I recall, there may have been a river picnic, some Strollercise, and some 40-degree days that gave her a nasty heat rash. 

But into the future? What do you mean I'm going to play outside with her? What do you mean she won't be burried in blankets for a six-second walk to the car? What do you mean there will be grass? What do you mean she won't need socks? These are concepts I cannot fathom. 

Today I had ENOUGH. Today I had to imagine a world that was not a deep, white, salty, iceball - a world in which a city worker was not shoveling out the neighbourhood fire hydrants. Today I needed outside. 

I bundled that baby up like a tiny, fuzzy arctic puffin, plunked her in her stroller, and walked her around my 'hood for a good 20 minutes. My face got sore from the cold but it was only about -15, so basically a heat wave. 

Believe it or not, that was my Birthday Month activity for today. I needed the fresh air. I needed the movement. I needed the change of scenery. Most of all, I needed hope. "Look, Fraggle! This will be GREEN one day!" 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I fell off the wagon

I fell off the wagon.  Birthday Month took a turn down the wrong path.  I consider it a problem when so-called "celebratory" activities shift from guzzling a beer and eating a cake pop to cleaning my bathroom.

Although Saturday was lovely (including both beer and lovely friends), recent focus has shifted from "Yay Birthday Month!" to "Holy fuck giant anxiety ball".

And now, as I type this, my crappy laptop space bar is broken sothiswholepostisgoingtobewrittenlikeonegianthashtag.


Friday, 7 February 2014

Birthday cake pop = heaven

I went to the liquor store tonight and not only wasn't I carded (booo) but also, the legal drinking age is apparently now those born in 1995. 19-95.  What the hell?! I was already head-over-heals in love with Hubby by 1995! (Granted, we were 11 years old, but still.) 

Fortunately, thanks to my perseverance and commitment, I made a serious dent in yesterday's list of Birthday Month activities. 

I did go to the mall and I did have the perfect yummy treat. Behold: the birthday cake pop. 

I didn't buy myself anything nice, other than a pathetic pair of fluffy white slippers but I did buy Hubby a children's book of facts on human anatomy. 

I did get a haircut WITH a hot water wash, but the salon's cucumber water is a poor substitute for beer. 

I hadn't intended on picking up dinner, but I did anyway and it was decent. But it was rushed and stressy too, so it doesn't count because UGH. 

Thank goodness, tomorrow's visit with friends promises to bring fun and laughter as well as beer to my Birthday Month celebrations. Hallelujah. 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

I'm not ready to *exclaim* but I'm working on it

Birthday Month continues. 

I considered adding an exclamation point there, but I'm not quite ready to exclaim about my birthday. I obviously need to invest some emotional energy into a few truly exclamation-worthy activities if I want to achieve that sense childlike celebratory excitement I've been going for. 

Seeing as I've essentially sucked ass during the last two days in doing anything even remotely special for myself, I need to get moving. (Unless you count eating a second gingerbread cookie or cleaning my bathroom - which I almost do.)

So tomorrow I need to outdo myself. Voila, my list of upcoming Birthday Month activities:

1) Go to the mall. Buy a treat, like an icecream cone or a Poutine. 

2) Buy an item of clothing, something nice to wear, something new that isn't an over-sized tshirt conducive to breastfeeding or suited to a pre-baby chubbier me.

3) Get a haircut (sans baby) and close my eyes while she washes my hair. Make sure to ask for hotter water. Why is that water never hot enough?

4) Pick up pre-made dinner, because UGH MAKING DINNER. 

5) Have a beer. Or two. 

I'm open to other ideas if y'all have 'em. Go. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Fuzzy fleece sleepers shouldn't be depressing, but they are

Tonight's Birthday Month activity: going out to buy Baby Fraggle several new fuzzy fleece sleepers. 

Ok, not the obvious choice, but it truly wasn't about the sleepers. It was about leaving the house, by myself, at night, with a loud car stereo.  I also stopped at the bank and bought a McFlurry. 

There is, though, something very sad about the sleepers. The only reason I needed to buy them was that all of Fraggle's existing sleepers are too small. She grew out of them literally overnight. 

This is only one example of how quickly she is aging, and of course, how quickly I'm aging right along with her. What a cliché... They grow so fast. Well, I'm learning that clichés are clichés for a reason. She is growing so fast. 

After months of standing on furniture and rolling onto her back, and weeks of sitting up unassisted, she finally rolled onto her tummy - which was wonderful, until she decided she might like to sleep that way. So, with her face firmly planted in the mattress and my paranoia shooting off the charts, I sat and watched her nap most of the day yesterday. And do you know what I was thinking? (aside from "please don't suffocate")...  I was thinking: "Who ARE you?"

I didn't recognise this lovely little being. She was bigger and taller and she had longer hair. And she was sleeping on her friggin stomach. 

Who ARE you?

She's growing so fast, and I'm thrilled, but I can't keep up. She does something new every single day and yet stops doing something else. I miss her. I adore her, and I'm excited about all the fun places she's headed, but I miss her

Time is a jerk to me right now and my 30th birthday isn't exactly helping. But good god save me when she turns one year old. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

The year *after*

Part of the problem with getting older is feeling older. 

In some ways, this can be a benefit. For example, I like feeling a bit emotionally stronger, a bit wiser, a bit more me. On the flip side, however, feeling older also includes feeling a bit weaker, a bit more crippled, a bit less agile. 

Up until this point, the changes in my body have been gradual - a slow but relatively steady decline. Sure, this me isn't as tight or lean as the early 20s me, but whatever, I've been alright with that. 

Until pregnancy. 

Pregnancy beat me up. Not only was it risky toward the end, but it kicked the shit out of my unprepared and unfit body, and it did so at a rapid pace. It started with not being able to eat properly, moved onto not being able to tie my shoes, and ended with two months of "rest" and daily shaths. (Aka shower-baths.) Oh and then labour and delivery and stitches and hormones and breakdowns and oh good god save us all. 

My mind was probably stronger than when I was young, but not if you consider ignorance bliss (which may have served me well when pregnant). 

In any case, this year isn't only the year I turn 30. It's the year after the year I grew a tiny human and became its mother. 

As a mom, I feel so fucking OLD. Not only mentally and socially, where I'm a member of a new (super cool) club of parents - which means I relate more to the grandmas at a bridal shower than the bride and her friends - but also physically. Physically, I am so fucking WORN OUT. I'm tired all the time (although she does sleep 8 hours now!). My back is pinched in ways I didn't know were humanly possible. My knees ache. My neck aches. My head aches. 

The only thing that makes all of that not excruciating is the fact that it doesn't really matter. In a world where I have Fraggle, and Fraggle has me, I've got the mom superpower* that makes it all possible... even tolerable... even wonderful

But for chrissakes I'm in pain. I'm an old lady with kinks and cracks all over and I need a friggin massage. And an exercise routine. And probably a doctor. 

So. Tonight's Birthday Month activity was: a) a brief walk outside, providing much needed fresh air on a rough day; and, b) two pathetic sun salutations. 

And that totally counts. 

*See @msfreshfish's semi-recent post! 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

I like to exercise [my right to sit on my ass]

In case you missed it yesterday, we have officially entered Birthday Month - the month of my dreaded fun-filled 30th birthday.  My New Birthday's resolution is to do something for me every day this month, and to blog my progress. So hold on to your hats! And get ready for some really exciting blogging!

Yesterday's Birthday Month activity was - brace yourself - to order pizza.  Shut up, it was awesome.  I haven't had greasy delivery pizza since I was preggers.  Although, to be fair, I did experience a rather lengthy "order one large take-out Hawaiian pizza every week after leaving the doctor's office and eat it in the car on the way home" phase. The pizza last night wasn't quite as satisfying, but it was convenient.  

Today's activity was to be alone.  I let Hubby care for Fraggle while I went back to bed.  He then took her out grocery shopping (!) while I watched The Best Of Jimmy Fallon.  

I also shoveled the driveway, which was fucking hard given that the snow was packy enough to build a giant driveway igloo, had I had the energy to do so.  It was about time I got a bit of exercise.  I haven't exercised since, well, what year is this? Unless you count exercising my right to sit on my ass, which I totally do.  

In the end, I'm pretty happy with my Birthday Month success thus far.  I have no idea what's on deck for tomorrow but it will easily be as thrilling and exhilarating as a pizza, a shovel, and a nap.   

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Birthday Month

It's going to be my birthday this month, and it's going to be what they call a big'un. 

My 30th birthday will take place on February 22nd, and if you know me at all you could expect that I'm rather un-exited about it. In fact, my profile still reads mid-twenties because, well, denial.

Why birthdays bother me is a question for my therapist (of whom I've not visited in six months since the Baby Fraggle was born - when the Crazy induced by making an appointment, arriving on time for said appointment, and trusting a babysitter during that appointment began to outweigh the overall Crazy I live with on a day-to-day basis). In the absence of my therapist, I'm going to self-diagnose my problem with birthdays as the fact that birthdays are a marker of passing time

While I don't love my new wrinkles and grey hairs, I suspect I'm more concerned that my life is blowing past me while I spend so much time trying to stabilize it. While I'm off growing up, and marrying, and housing, and wifing, and jobbing, and growing tiny humans, my life is, I don't know, trekking onward. Life is apparently what happens while you're trying to get your shit together.

I try to remind myself that the number doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't - I've been in my thirties my whole life. Not to mention, I'll actually be entering my 31st year on my upcoming birthday so I oughta get the fuck over it. 

But I can't. I can't seem to let this birthday go by without it meaning something - meaning anything - bigger and better than just "oh yeah I turned 30 and I didn't like it."

So here's what I propose: Rather than sitting around dreading my upcoming passage into what is apparently Hell (?), I am totally gonna milk that shit. I'm gonna milk it for everything it's got. 

I bring you... BIRTHDAY MONTH. 

This month, until my birthday party on March 1st, I'm going to do something that is just mine every single goddam day. Starting with this blog post (and followed by what will hopefully be a daily blog post for the entire month - because who am I kidding I totally have time and I've been fucking lazy for months) and ending with a couple dozen "today I marked the occasion by..." activities. 

I know what you're thinking. "Hey that sounds light and fun and easy in a non-self-judgy kinda way Marianna! Way to go!"  But the idea isn't for this to be difficult. I simply want to celebrate rather than mope. 

So here goes. 

Welcome to Birthday Month. I'm sure it will be a joyous occasion for all. 

Fuck you, 30.