Friday, September 8, 2017

Living in The Sweet Spot

Alright, I think this is it. That moment in time you look back on fondly, even though when you're living in it, it feels like you're failing and struggling. When I'm old(er) and grey (maybe), and my kids are grown, I'm going to look back on these days of their little boyhood and feel that twinge of longing. Noah and Elias are such a handful right now, but honestly, the problems are little ones. Noah throwing a tantrum because I made him stop playing Astroneer (his daddy's video game); Elias throwing a tantrum because he has big toddler emotions; never getting to sit down until after bedtime because I'm washing sheets soaked with pee, washing 700 sippy cups, or the never ending chain of demands I get from my two little guys. "Mama can I have goldfish crackers please?", "Mama, milk! Milk! MILK PEESE!" "Mama there's a spider! No, don't kill it, he's my friend, The Mosquito Eater!" "Mama! Hug, hug, hug!" "Mama, when can we go to Hawaii?" "Mama, walk outside!"

It's taxing, and sometimes very stressful, especially when I've got things that need to get done, or we've got somewhere to be, but honestly, I love my life. My two boys are both so affectionate and sweet, I never want for snuggles or kisses! I never tire of the explosive giggles that occur every single day. I complain a lot because I'm tired and always cleaning and taking care of people, but I also get to read to two rapt little boys sitting in my lap, smell their freshly washed hair, kiss their fat little cheeks, and listen to their little chirping voices asking for more bedtime stories and more songs. I love them so much, and I'm so grateful for this life, for our health and our safety. There are so many horrible things happening in our world right now, so much sadness, we really need to find the things that truly make our hearts content.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Strange Emotions

I got stuck on Twitter today, reading articles about the loss of children. The perfect thing for a mother to read while PMSing, right? I cried over these other people's stories, of course, but it also made me realize something kind of horrible: I think the emotional pain I felt after my miscarriage was erased by the birth of my second son. That realization makes me feel like a monster.

When I started to miscarry, I was 9 weeks pregnant, and I don't think I had ever cried that many tears or sobbed so hard. I snapped at anyone who told me to "just try again", like it wasn't a big deal that my baby stopped developing inside me and died. Now, when I try to think of "my baby that wasn't meant to be" as we call it, I don't imagine an almost 2 year old running around, or fantasize about his or her life. Probably because if I had that other baby, I wouldn't have my sweet, little, fatso, eating machine, 17 month old, Elias.

Seriously, I just willed my hormonal self to cry about it just now, to mourn the loss that seemed to take a piece of my heart and soul at the time, and I can't seem to get there. I think I'm just in a happy place right now. I'm going to go with that, instead of thinking of myself as a psychopath monster.

I hope you all had a happy Pi Day!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why I Named My Kids Noah & Elias: It Had Nothing to do With Michael Buble

The naming of people is actually a subject that sparks passion and coaxes strong opinions out of me. I've been asked several times now why I named my sons what I did, so I thought I would discuss it in a blog post. There was no real formula, but there were definitely several lists!

There are many reasons under the sun why we in western culture, choose to name our offspring. It may be for traditional reasons, like how some Jewish and Greek people name their children using the first letter of either the paternal or maternal grandparents to name their babes; or simply naming your child after a beloved relative that has passed away.

Nowadays, there is definitely the pressure to make the right choice. In the past, there didn't seem to be any issues with naming all the boys John, Michael, and James. (All names I love!) There seemed to be a list of "good, strong" names and people stuck with them. Today, it's all about being different and original, which can sometimes get annoying, but I'm a traditionalist. Parents need to see the big picture and think long term. You have to understand that you might be setting your kid up for a lifetime of hearing, "I'm sorry, what?", or, "How do you spell that?" I'm not talking about names that are culturally diverse, I'm talking about naming your kids things like, "Ribbon" or changing the spelling to "Tyffini".

When we chose Noah's name, I think I was about 8 months pregnant. My husband had drawn up a list of ninety-eight boys names, I kid you not. Brendan is nothing, if not thorough. We quickly whittled that down to ten favourites. Up until that point, I had my eye on the top ten baby name lists for both Canada and America, and Noah had never made the top ten. 

It never made the top ten until the year that our Noah was born, when it shot up to number one, of course. My generation views naming your baby something off the top ten baby name list as somewhat unfavourable, I guess cause we're all a bunch of hipsters that want to be seen as original, who knows. 

We named Small Human, Noah Anthony, after my dad, and Brendan's maternal grandfather, two men we love and admire. The name Noah means, "rest; wandering" according to Nameberry, and Anthony means, "priceless one". Plus I kind of dislike nicknames, and you just can't shorten Noah, which I love.

We chose the name Elias Brendan, because Elias has always been my favourite boy name, after Liam and Aiden, but for a time, every child being born was suddenly named Liam or Aiden. I had gone to elementary school with a blonde American boy named Elias Johnson, who was kind and smart and handsome, and so the name has always been associated with those positive traits to me. It means "Yahweh is God" in Hebrew, and its nickname Eli, I love just as much as the full name. We chose Brendan for obvious reasons, but also to honour my aunt (Tita Brenda) who passed away in 2014. It also means "prince" in Irish. Quite fitting for the husband of someone named Elizabeth Victoria, no? ;) 

Noah and Elias must be good names, because hilariously, Michael Buble named his kids the exact same thing, right after we did. Our goal was never to be 100% unique, because playing that game gets obnoxious, but it was to give our boys names that they would be proud to introduce themselves with. Whether they are garbage truck drivers, astronauts, stay at home dads, or famous sports stars, I wanted them to sound respectable and have good names they could live up to, you know?


Monday, January 16, 2017

Fournado!

77,000. The number of times I have tried to write a blog post today but kept getting overwhelmed, and interrupted by children/life. Small Human is 4 today! I started this blog the year that he was born, and it's crazy to think it's been that long since I've become a mother.

He's still Small, but he is definitely no longer a baby. His size is no indication of his presence though, he is a larger than life force of nature that I struggle to keep up with. I often get asked questions I do not know the answer to (already!), so Google and I have become best friends. My eldest son is smart as a whip, headstrong as a bull, knows precisely what he wants at all times, and thinks he knows better than his parents. I thought I had at least 11 more years before I had to deal with this.

Then just when I think I can't handle any more of the storm that is Noah, usually around 4 o'clock every single day, he proclaims in the car on the way home from his birthday car wash (he just loves them), that he is a very lucky boy and would like to buy the kids who don't have any toys, some toys with the money he saved up in his jar.

Basically, right when I think I'm failing because he has refused to listen to me all day, slapped his baby brother in front of company, insulted said company, and made unreasonable demands of both of his parents from 6am on, I feel like I just might have succeeded a tiny bit. Everyone warns you how hard parenthood is, and you brace yourself for it but it's so, so much more difficult at times than you could ever have imagined.

How did we celebrate our boy? At the zoo with the rest of the wild animals of course! He and his best friend, Keegan also happen to share a birthday, so we decided to share a zoo party together and it was a total blast!



This is how they play: violently

Best buds on the carousel

Snacking at Kuya Noah's birthday party

This boy is seriously fearless







I'm already embarrassing, apparently. :P

He's wearing not one, but TWO Birthday Zoo buttons, he was so proud!