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Friday, March 27, 2009

Dyl in Paper Again

For the second time in as many weeks, our supastar has made the papers. This time he's just a little dot in the corner, but still. Click the link if you also want to read the story, which is about homelessness in Halifax.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Life Abounding

Some pictures of our simple life - Chris, Dylan and me loving each other and laughing in bed; Dylan in his hybrid high chair (mostly good to have him beside us when we have supper); diapers bleaching on the line; Dylan's two fiercest loving grandmas; and a homemade jungle gym made of tent poles and dangling spoons and mason jar lids.
There are some cliches that folks feel compelled to repeat when you're pregnant, including, "Having a baby will change your whole life" and "You'll understand your own parents in a new way." Those who know me will know my stubborn streak, my sometimes shameful unwillingness to admit when maybe I didn't know everything.
I've thought about these cliches, how much they annoyed me when I was pregnant and yet how very true they've proven to be.
Life changes more than I can describe. Not because we're somehow weak or controlled by our children, but because the continual care of someone who needs you so completely can only be described as absorbing. And if you love them, which most parents do, then your own needs will always take a back seat. Check out all the parents of newborns who fail to shower or feed themselves while they cuddle their well-fed, freshly diapered children. I never knew, for instance, that when you're talking to a mom of a newborn, the chances are pretty good that you're talking to somehow who has been sleep deprived for months. How we manage to look like happy whole people is amazing.
The core of me is still the same. Still have the same values, the same likes and dislikes, the same passions and interests. But there is something more too and mostly it's humility at having the awesome responsibility of being a caregiver and that despite my best efforts, there are times when I am defeated by that responsibility. Plus of course the very logistics of caring for a small child.
As for understanding my own parents better, I think this extends to a completely new appreciation for family on the whole. My mom came to visit over March Break and I wished upon a star that the trip would go well. It was the best visit we've ever had, probably largely because there is so, so much to do and I am deeply appreciative for the extra pair of hands. More than that, though, I lay beside Chris one evening and we pondered how we are beginning to notice our parents age. My mom, it seems, isn't the 40-something woman I remember. And suddenly the finality of time takes on a whole new dimension. As I shared my thoughts with Chris, I started to cry for the shame of the wasted years of bickering, pettiness and fighting. Maybe too because I wish that Dylan has all of his grandparents around for a very, very long time. And because I want them there too, to share my own love of him with them. My mom always says that you can never brag to anyone about your kids but to your parents and this is one of the reasons she missed her mom so much when she died. I've heard her say this a million times andI don't think I ever really understood. Now I do.
And lastly, and perhaps dangerously personally, I never, ever understood how devastating it was to my parents when my eldest brother died. He was six years older than me, so much older and I was only a teenager. It was sad but I didn't get it. At 21 years, I thought he was old! Now I understand. Now I understand that the nights spent rocking Dylan to sleep, the giggles and gurgles, the firsts and the delights... I finally understand how were I to lose him, I feel I would lose a part of myself.
Yesterday I was flipping through a bunch of old pictures and sharing them with Chris. I came upon one of my two brothers and me nearing the end of Lauri's life when he was thin and very sick. Maybe for the first time, I saw that picture and understood the enormity of the loss and the sadness. I didn't before.
Phew. That's a whole lot. The blog is a funny thing as I try to avoid just simple updates on babyhood. Particularly as there is usually so much more going on just below the surface. Oddly I feel more comfortable with sharing the learnings than the poo stories. Though there are many of those too!
More later, Miia

Thursday, March 19, 2009

3 stories

Click the picture of the dude in front of the recycling bins to see a story I wrote back in July, finally published last week in Progress Magazine, about employees who take it on themselves to green their companies.

Click on the cartoon streetcare for my first editorial in The Coast. I wrote it as my usual column but they had no editorial this week so they just cut a couple paragraphs and used it for that.

Last but highly exciting, guess who made the paper for the first time?! That's right, the same guy who turns four months old tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it took me at least 3 years to make the paper. Click the picture of Dylan and his Mama to read the article in the Chronicle Herald.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

happening here

Been a crazy busy couple weeks for us. Here are some of the highlights:
-Dylan is learning how to sit up, getting there, and concurrently:
-Dylan is learning to stand, and concurrently:
-Dylan is learning to pick things up and put them in his mouth. He is doing a lot of this.
-The boy is literally off the charts in size; he's about the size of an 8 month old and he's not yet 4 months - how did we sire this giant?
-We spent the weekend at my folks' place for my dad's birthday; there's no crib there but luckily Dylan still fits in a suitcase anyway
-Dylan likes reading with me, whether it's Snuggle Puppy or Naomi Wolfe; notice in this picture he's already looking a page ahead of me
-We went to see CBC Radio's 'Go', "the only live variety show in Canada", which was in town for the 'Canada Writes' contest, and featured 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes'' Shaun Majumder, who is hi-larious. Also, the host, Brent Branbury, is very buff.
-We hosted a brunch that spiralled into a largish event with more than 20 people coming by. A crokinole tournament broke out. I lost, which is unusual.
-A new bar opened near us and it has loads of good events. We went there with my mother and brother and Dylan for international women's day, and saw the Raging Grannies do their thing.
-Danny Michel finally came to Halifax! We saw him at The Carleton and he put on a great show as usual. The sound was great but the layout of the venue is strange; it's V-shaped so the musician doesn't know which side of the room to face. I felt Danny favoured our side. My brother felt he favoured the other side. Half-empty half-full? I dunno. It was fun and we chatted with him at the intermission, friendly guy. There were no free buttons though.
-And now, Miia's mother is in town to visit her grandson. Surely hundreds more photos will result.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Religion and Life

Click the picture for my latest column.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Were you hoping for more baby pics?

A superb weekend. A great balance of friends, family, rest and work.
A couple of nights ago I had brought Dylan into bed with us in the night as I was too tired to get out of bed to feed him. Our big cat Bosh was at my feet, taking up much space. Dylan was making his usual noises keeping me awake anyway and Chris had the bulk of the blankets. Frustrated, I thought I wouldn't get any sleep with no room, no covers and no peace. Then I thought again, "Look at all this love in my bed. My husband, my baby, my cat. My world. Enjoy it and love it right back." I fell back to sleep eventually with a smile.
Last night we went to the Danny Michel concert. Really a great, great show and much fun. Danny finished the night with the Los Lobos "Life is Good" and it made me think of my life. It is so damn good.
Here are the lyrics:
I get happy 'cause my life is good
I get laughin' 'cause I know I should
I get all happy 'cause my life is good, so good
And I go Ooh la la Mm (x4)
I get happy 'cause my life is good
Turnin' out just like I thought it would
I get all happy 'cause my life is so dang good
And I go Ooh la la Mm (x8)
I get all happy 'cause my life is so damn good
Ooh la la Mm (x8)
And I go
Ooh la la Mm (x8)
Love, Miia
PS Here's a DM song not from last night but one he did sing and made me think of the long, long love I have for Chris.