Happy Canada Day! Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend… (May the sun shine in this gloomy cold little part of the province. After June-uary we don’t need July-uary.)
Say hello to the lovely Ms H who hatched in June. That’s Ms H asking for a worm (!) in the nest photo in the post below this one. Such a smiley girl, despite that utterly adorable prune face in the last one above, and such a sweet mommy she has, too, and I know the big heart on this mom will help little Ms H fly towards her dreams!
I am indebted for the princess and the pea idea to Kate Moss; I had been dreaming of this set for a few years, but Kate galvanized me into action. I am beyond thrilled to have assembled/built this adorable set (thanks, Joy, for the ladder construction!), and Ms H was the perfect first princess.
Did I mention that I had a baby Downey Woodpecker fly inside the studio last week? We’ve never had Downeys at our suet…instead, that’s gobbled up by squirrels (sigh), starlings (sigh…why don’t I love them more?), chickadees and sparrows, along with a dedicated squad of flickers we live and breathe to watch. But just lately we have been attracting Downeys, and I opened the door last week and watched one woodpecker flutter to the rose-laden arbour, while a second dove in beside me. I followed the urgent flaps up to my office where I found it in hiding behind my image files. I was able to pluck it out and carry it to freedom. Poor little boo…I didn’t even stop to grab a closeup of my rather unwilling model.
Our July fundraising drive is for the Cassidy’s Craft Campaign. Cassidy Briggs is a little 8-year-old Surrey girl who died in January of liver cancer. There weren’t enough craft materials at Children’s Hospital during her stays, so all on her own initiative, she started a charity drive to purchase supplies. Now that she’s gone, the charity is continuing, and all little sick kids will have this sweet gift from Cassidy. We are pleased to offer Cassidy’s Craft Campaign $1 for every comment received on this blog during the month of July, 2010. So come one, come all! Send your friends and family to this blog to leave a comment. It’s such a little thing, but it can make such a big difference. We are happy to send the hospital a cheque for up to $200 at the end of the month, depending on how many comments you leave. You must leave your email to leave a comment, but we don’t collect them and they don’t appear on the blog. You can subscribe to the blog, above, or send us an email to be placed on our seasonal newsletter list.
Here are some words from mom:
Ms H is your second child. Tell us all about number one.
Ms V is a proud big sister at 3.5 years old. She’s such a bright light in our lives and a big part of the reason we took the leap into becoming a family of four.
Did you always know you wanted to have a second?
Definitely not! We’re still chuckling over how many times I said after my first labor, “never again!” As a couple, we felt life was so perfect with one child, eventhough we are both second children ourselves. But little Ms V is such a social and loving little girl that it soon became apparent that bringing a sibling into her life would bring us all a lot of joy. And secretly, I always wanted a big sister, so it was a way to live vicariously!
Any fun stories from when you found out you were pregnant?
Wow, its hard to recall that moment eventhough it wasn’t long ago! I recall coming back from our first ultrasound to tell Ms. V what the gender was because she wasn’t accepting the idea that it could be a little brother. There’s nothing like a 2.5 year old wiping her brow and stating, “I’m so relieved mommy. A sister. I always wanted one of those.”
How was the pregnancy? How was labour?
I loved being pregnant the first time and had easy pregnancies, though the second time around was much more difficult… no more daydreaming about crib bedding and nursery wall colors. Instead you’re chasing an active toddler and trying not to vomit at the park or fall asleep during storytime. I was just so impatient to meet the new baby that I lost some of the appreciation for being pregnant. I did take advantage of the metabolism though and worried less about exercise, and indulged in much more chocolate.
Is little Ms H up partying all night, or are you guys getting some slee
Ms H knows how to party into the wee hours but gives us a few hours reprieve at a time. Sleep has been hard to come by but mostly due to our toddler, ironically. The big sister caught a nasty infection and a cold so the first few weeks included an all nighter at the hospital, 40 degree fevers, antibiotics, and a lot of wanting to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. At 5 weeks, we’re feeling like we’re getting much better rest now that we’re all healthy again.
How are things for hubs? What is his favourite time with baby H?
Hubs is hanging in there. The second time he says he is feeling “older”. But again, he’s been a superstar dad with our eldest, being the one to take her to the hospital and stay up with her during the nights. He still finds the energy to get to work everyday and come home to cuddle Ms. H before running off to the park with Ms V. Being a dad seems more physical so his favorite time with baby H is bath time. He loves to fill up the tub and hang out with both girls. Ms V washes Ms H’s “monkey toes” while dad makes sure to get under the chin(s).
Is there a moment between hubs and babe that just makes you melt?
There is nothing better than catching him with his eyes closed and a tiny little baby bum leaned up on his chest, humming 80′s rock songs (Guns ‘n Roses “Patience” is my favorite) when he thinks I’m not listening.
Is there one between you and Ms H that makes you melt?
Just the other night after a particularly harrowing evening of screaming and crying when I felt I was at my wit’s end, Ms H just went suddenly quiet and turned her head. Shee seemed to recognize me for the first time. She coo’d and smiled and became so still. It was such a powerful moment.
Is it true you are more relaxed with baby #2? Tell us about the differences.
Wow, it is so true. The first time I tried to absorb all the advice and reading material I could get my hands on, but nothing can prepare you for the anxiety of first time motherhood and the identity crisis I struggled with- who am I now that I’m a mom? Now I know who I am and have so much confidence as a mom that when there is a night of crying, I know that it will soon be over in what feels like a blink of an eye. The first time, there was such an underlying fear that I would fail or be judged, or that the tough times wouldn’t get better. This time I’m trying to just enjoy the whole experience because I know how quickly Ms H will grow up.
How is the family in general adjusting to having two?
We’re really happy to have 3.5 years between our children. Our eldest struggled initially and told us, “She didn’t want to be a big sister and she wanted to be regular.” Recently she has changed her tune and is now very involved in the process of taking care of her baby sister. We’re adjusting to having a baby again… we tend to forget alot, like leaving the house without a diaper bag or leaving Ms H in the living room when we go to bed. It’s slowly coming back to us.
What is the best thing about motherhood for you?
For me, the unconditional love of my children is my greatest joy. I feel a great deal of pride in being a mom now and feel its my most important role and achievement. It took me awhile to really let go and embrace that role but it’s been such a great lesson in self-discovery. I love being a kid all over again with my girls… jumping in puddles, reading fairytales, playing dress up and finding any opportunity to be silly. It keeps me young at heart!
What is the most challenging part of motherhood for you?
I am a pretty career oriented woman and consider myself to be quite ambitious. I am continually reinventing my career so that it balances with my family life. I always struggle with that supermom desire…wanting to do everything at 110% and its an ongoing challenge to let go of that notion and not feel like I’m letting someone down, or giving a part of myself up.
Do you have any advice for moms juggling more than one kiddo? Or any other wisdom from the trenches of motherho
I really rely on my friends and family… mostly just to listen when I need to vent or share a milestone or cry irrationally in my glass of wine. It really gives me perspective and reminds me that its ok not to know all the answers.