Monday, January 25, 2010

It's just my style

I've got five weeks before the hypo half. Guess who hasn't gone running in months? Yes, months. I'm a lazy arse with a million different excuses, I know. So instead of making promises I don't intend to keep or trying to pump myself up, I'm just going to accept that each year I sign up for an early half only to not run it, then PR the next one a few months later. OK? So deal, I just donated my entry fee to the cause (the Running Room is a cause? Sure.) I'm totally picking up my race kit though. Can you say black shiny fanny pack? HOT!

In other news, the job interview on Friday went well. Maybe too well. As in, I think I might get the job and then what? I'm going to have to work my ass off. But heck, I asked for more, and I'm (maybe) getting more. I have no one to blame but me.

Oh, but the big shake up? Still in the works. Just in an edited form.

Also, two days of being snowed in apparently makes me a very hyper, happy person. Weird.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First birth

I've attended a birth before, but never as an official doula, with training, for someone who is essentially a stranger and all the while trying to balance busy work, life and toddler rearing.

Lucky for me, my client's baby decided to be very good and arrive a day early, on the weekend, days before life was about to get so complicated that I wouldn't have been able to be there for them for three days straight.

The birth was both amazing and difficult. The nurses were mostly wonderful and only one or two truly awful (why do some people go into labour and delivery when they really have no interest or knack for it? I mean, really.) I feel very lucky to have been their doula and got more than a little weepy when the wee man finally made his appearance. It's funny, that really without even knowing a baby or his family doesn't really change how emotional you feel about meeting a new person. I don't know how L&D nurses and docs stay dry-eyed all day. Maybe they don't.

I learned a few things, made a few mistakes and did a few things very right.

But the biggest lesson I learned was that being a doula in anything other than a very temporary capacity right now is not going to work. That makes me sad. But one of the least favorite things about me is my over-promise and under-deliver tendency when it comes to people. As someone's doula, the golden rule is that you get to and stay with a labouring woman from the time she needs you until she delivers. With full time work that, at times, requires me to leave town, a hubby who is supportive but also travels often and a toddler that needs watching (and no family or close friends to help) and well, there just isn't enough flexibility in my life to account for attending labours.

Sad? Yes. But there will come a time that I will be able to do this, and this first birth showed me that yes I can do it and would want to do it in the right situation.

For now, though, we wait.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Photos

I'm into weekly deadlines, monthly for another two magazines, have a doula client due any day now and I've signed up for a boot camp class. Translation? Most of my blogging is going to be posting photos for the next bit. Sorry, y'all.

An excellent example of Chou's style.

Pico is waiting patiently for the bounce sheet. She loves them.

Most bibs double as capes. Now you know. (And her shirt says RCMP Recruit. Too cute.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Night

It's morning. In Saskatoon. I am here and Chou is not. I've been here since yesterday in fact.

Friends, it's true. I left my baby over night and we both survived.

I look like Dolly Parton, but we survived.

I can't wait to see her tonight.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I'm not prone to being a Debbie Downer, but recent events have got my head in a bit of a tailspin.

Let's just get some things out in the air so everybody is on the same page, er, screen.

I spent the Christmas holidays seriously considering what I want to be doing on a day to day basis and if that's what I've been doing or not (life, work, all of it). My dad has been having heart trouble for a wee while and finally went in for an angiogram this week. On Monday, my boss, trusted colleague and friend quit his post as editor of one of the magazines I work for (I probably spend 60% of my time on that pub).

Three unrelated things? Yes and no. What the shite does that have to do with fourteen? I'll tell you.

(And here's where it gets a bit downer, but really I mean this as a positive so bear with me)

Mum died at 44. I'm 30. No, I'm not one of theses weirdos who thinks they're destined to only live as long as their parent. Trust me, I'm in it for the long haul. That said, I do think of mum often, of what she accomplished in a relatively short life, and yes, now and then I compare where I'm at with where she was at this age. And yes, every now and then I ask myself, "What if I only had 14 more years?"

I think of this in a healthy sense. I think of this as motivation - as in, if you only had 14 years left how would you spend it? Is what I'm doing today and what it looks like I'll be doing for the next two to five years how I want to spend up to one third of these 14 years? See? It's a good thing. Everybody start smiling now.

Add to this my dad's heart issues, which being male he doesn't talk about easily, and yes, that pesky idea of mortality creeps into my thoughts now and again. Before I forget, Dad's angio went well. Unsurprising to us, he has no blocked arteries. What this doesn't answer, however, is just what is wrong and what to do. More on that later.

Now we come to the meat of all of this - my boss jumping ship. Over the holidays I really had put an end date to my career in agriculture. And I was sad. Let me explain. I believe in working hard for what you want, but I also believe that sometimes you shouldn't push what's not working. Take it as a sign, cut your losses and go. I feel that way about agriculture sometimes, like I've yet to really find my niche or be truly happy with what I'm doing and I can't seem to make the most of all these so-called opportunities out there. So I started to think that maybe, just maybe, it was time to close that chapter and move on to something else. What else? Well, you'll have to wait for all that because of the first sentence of this paragraph.

My boss leaving means his job is open and I've been asked to throw my name in for the position. I've spent the afternoon putting my thoughts and ideas to paper (screen) and I meet with the higher ups in a few weeks. I'm excited, a little intimidated but mostly glad to have the opportunity to move up to what would truly be the most I could possibly do with this company.

And what if I don't get the job? There are worse things. But you better believe I won't be spending the next 14 years doing the same thing I am now. No way.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


One of the great/crummy parts about my job is that I run across many, oh so many, opportunities. As a writer, I'm always chasing the next best thing, highlighting under-supplied markets and showcasing those who are doing it right.

Talking to that many inspiring people can do funny things to your mind. And this is why it's a great/crummy part: great, because well, it's interesting and inspiring, and crummy because for my too-busy imagination I see my role in making the most of every opportunity.

I've discovered, sometimes after beating my head against a wall trying to make the impossible possible, that not every opportunity is the right opportunity. That while I may have varied interests, there is only one of me. There are only 24 hours in a day. I have a child. A puppy. A home. A life. I cannot and should not chase down every hint of personal and professional satisfaction.

I have to choose my opportunities. I have to stop trying to be Jack of All Trades and master of none. I need to prioritize. I need to put my family and health first, and then, if I'm going to work, I need to take my profession seriously and make the most of it.

Here, friends, is your first hint at my 2010 Shake Up that is already not going according to plan.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Green, pink, dark, mine, own

Everyone tells you how much babies change in a month, how toddlers suddenly acquire new skills and language, but to see it happen is another story entirely.

I'm a bad mum, that's for sure, in that I've missed the last few "monthaversaries" of Chou's. My listing of her feats, skills and loves has fallen by the way side as life gets in the way of blogging (stupid work/life!), but it struck me yesterday that I need to get some of this down as she's changing so quickly.

Within a week, her vocabulary and sentence use has more than doubled, maybe even tripled. She recognizes her own name if I print it, and points to green and pink without fail and identifies them. Black she gets sometimes; blue and red she doesn't say. She now counts two and three, but never says one. Maybe my favorite thing is she loves to tell us "It's dark!" when she looks outside, upstairs or into an empty room. She grabs toys, yells "Mine!" and runs away and more than once has insisted on a snack of her own instead of sharing. "No, OWN!" she cries.

Chou dresses herself...often, as in, many times a day. She's mastered getting nude, smacks her rump and yells NAKED! (Thanks to Jen's Newt for teaching her that one). She's pretty good at putting on her gitchies and pants and attempts shirts and coats to much less success. She diapers her dolls and teddy bears and makes them sit on the potty too.

Chou is unfazed by the weather. It was -20 something plus a windchill and the kid refused to come inside. She screamed and yelled and stood frozen in the yard while I tried to coax her in. Daddy went out and bought her a toboggan (known as "boat" to Chou) and now we can't ever get her in without carrying her.

She commands Pico to stay "off" and "down" and loves to get her dog to chase her. If I give the dog heck, so does Chou, complete with little finger pointed at Pico and a very stern look.

Chou has finally started saying words that until now were only signs - please, sorry, more and milk - are all now Peas, So-wee, Mone and Mok. SO. DAMN. CUTE.

She starts back at daycare tomorrow and her care provider is on board to get rid of the diapers and really allow Chou to potty train. I am so very glad. And unlike many mums I know who are sad to see their babies grow, I'm loving the new level of understanding Chou has of what we're doing, of taking direction, of actually helping, and I think "I can't wait 'til we can do all this together."

We'll be there soon enough, I know.

Making gingersnaps. Chou can smell a sweet mixing spoon or beater from across the house.

I had forgotten the joys of playdoh. It smells the same. Like childhood.