Thursday, 31 May 2012

What a difference a year makes

It's been milestone city around here for the past week or so. The bag at the end of the crib that I've been stuffing with Jack's too-small clothes is just  almost at capacity and yesterday he stood (assisted) on his own two flat little feet, rather than on tiptoe. He's been rolling like a... something that rolls a lot... and two days ago he pulled himself forward in what I can only imagine is a first foray into the crawling arts (more indication that I am probably going to need a leash for this kid once he starts walking). He got his first cold this week (which he was kind enough to share with me) and the other day, while doing errands in Brixton, I hoovered up his stuffed nose with my own face so the little man could eat properly, without batting an eye. Yep. Everyone is getting quite grown-up. Even me. And much to my delight, I now have a shiny little ring as further proof. Alex and I have decided to get married and if a giant smile and a left hand slimed in happy drool is any indication, Jack approves. When I think of where I was at this time last year (rather sweetly, Alex proposed one year from the day we found out about Bug), no one could be more surprised than me that life has landed us here. But no one could be happier, either. 

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tough crowd

Well, it's official. I have a British baby. For the third time this week, the temperature has soared to a sunny 26 degrees... and the little man has been rather out of sorts. Sweaty and grouchy as any London tube commuter. However, tonight, one oscillating fan (thank you Alex), one tepid bath, and a few Billie Holiday singalongs later, he's my buddy again. Throw in a few funny faces and lots of munchy cuddles and he's really, for real laughing. Which is pretty much the best thing in the whole world, ever.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

One tiny complaint

Dear Hair,
I'm writing because I'm a bit worried about us. I thought we had a really good year together - remember the Gay Spaniard and how he got you looking so fine? I do. But now, it seems you would rather move on. I understand that now that I'm fresh out of those pregnancy hormones you liked so much, we can't spend quite as much time together as we did. But is it really that bad without them? Do you all have to leave me at once? What if the baby ends up with a fur ball from my nocturnal shedding? If you really do need to go, I guess I understand. But is there at least any chance you might consider taking the last 10 pounds of baby weight with you?

A Very Royal Homecoming

So here I am. It's 8a.m. and I've been up for hours, drinking tea out of a Diamond Jubilee commemorative mug (thank you, Alex!) as my British baby sleeps off his jetlag. Definitely not how I thought I'd be spending a morning just one year ago.
But really? It's quite simply, a wonderful way to spend a morning. Jack and I arrived home from Canada Saturday. And while there were many tears on the flight (none of them his -- he slept the whole way, bless him), I realized on arriving home that I was totally, purely happy to have my little family back under one roof. Yes, leaving home was heart wrenching -- it was truly one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, having Jack at my Mom's and introducing him to his Uncle Brad and our friends and family.  But if I'm going to have to do this a few times a year for the rest of Jack's childhood (no matter which side of the pond we end up calling home), I may as well count myself lucky that I am truly happy in both places. I got home to a loving partner and father eager to see Jack's new tricks (he also cleaned the house and had Canadian Mother's day prezzies waiting for me!) and stay up way too late catching up and cuddling. Until I can convince Mother Nature to revert back to some sort of Pangea situation to get my homes a little closer together, that's just going to have to be good enough.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Baby Parade

Jack and I regularly cover 10km or more in a day. But while his days always begin and end in the company of people who love him, he's never had avid fans lining his route from start to finish. As we set out on our big Toronto tour yesterday, I was sort of concerned it might overwhelm him... but it seems we are related. He loved it. Started the day at Uncle Brad's and walked straight down Queen Street from Parkdale to Leslieville, meeting good friends along the way and ending up at Amanda's place where Grammie picked him up -- and I enjoyed a little well-deserved grown-up lady time with good friends.
Yep, the little man's Canadian invasion continues. And after a couple of days being out of sorts with the jetlag, he's back in the smiling, cooing, slumbery swing of things and loving every minute. Or almost every minute. Not the yelly ones, of course.
The trip's been quite a trip for me, as well. On one hand, it's been beyond amazing to introduce Jack to the people and places that matter most to me. On the other, it reminds me that while I love my life and adore my kid, my feet are currently planted very, very far apart.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mother's Day 2

To celebrate Mother's Day, Jack and I got up early this morning and crept out of the house to get all the fixin's (is that right? I know fixin' has an apostrophe at the end... so how on earth does one pluralize it?) of a traditional Canadian MD: a card, some flowers, and the makings of breakfast in bed.
Unfortunately, the only store I knew of that was open and selling any of these items was the gas station. Jack and I ponied up and got his Grammie some appropriately straggly flowers, a card that quasi-fit the bill (bizarrely, all the cards on offer contained obscure recipes) and considered a feast of Tim Hortons for the Canadiana factor. In the end we opted for lattes and pastries from her favourite bakery and crept back upstairs to get everything ready. In a shocking turn of events, writing my mom's card made me cry (I'm starting to wonder if maybe I actually cry more than Jack?). Partially because Jack has taught me just how much she must love Brad and I... partially because I'm just so darned happy to be here today. Happy Mother's Day indeed. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Back on-air

Well, hello blog! After a few reminders from Jack's daddy and the lovely Merrikate, we are back. I swore when I returned to this blogging business, there would be reams of catch-up posts from our recent adventures (Spain! Galleries! "Working from home"! Separation Anxiety! Babies being trickier as they get bigger! Um... A whole bunch of other things!!)... but it seems at least one cliché  I heard over and over again in early Mommy-hood is true. You really must record things, because you think that you'll remember them all... but you don't. Or something like that. I heard it way back in early Mommy-hood! How am I supposed to remember?! Another cliché that is proving true is that you really do start to care about and talk about poop. 
But I digress. And a promise is a promise, dear readers, so no poop will be discussed in this blog. Instead, I figured I'd choose today, the day after Jack and I landed on home soil for the first time, to start playing catch-up. Partially because landing on Canadian soil allows me to oh-so-smoothly recap our flight to Spain, which was just as gloriously (relatively speaking of course), smooth as this one. We started off  spending hours and hours wandering Gatwick (a big thank you to Cafe Rouge for providing comfy and discrete booths for breastfeeding and a big, 'oh, come on, Gatwick' for providing nothing of the sort), I realized that waiting for planes was a lot more mellow when all I had to do was read a book and sip on a coffee or glass of wine for hours, I skipped my old standard airport bookshop shopping spree in favour of buying my boy a new book (way more fun in a way, for the record... and besides, I'm lucky to read my Kindle one-handed when wrangling the little one). Then, in the final pre-departure moments Jack shrieked like the babes of Hades in the boarding area, terrifying our fellow passengers and (in a stroke of accidental brilliance) lowering any and all expectations of good behaviour. In Spain, this act had me in tears as I boarded the plane. This time, I just avoided eye contact and calmly boarded the plane. Because I knew (or hoped I knew) something those other people didn't. He was about to go from child of Hades to delivering an in-flight performance worthy of the angels themselves. See, the kid hadn't eaten in hours -- and as soon as we started taxiing and I let him go to town on the formula I was packing, I knew all anyone would hear would be his voracious gobbling down of said formula, no inner-ear pain induced shrieks and then he was almost sure to pass out in a state of blissful milk-drunkenness. Is it nice to bring your child to what he is probably sure is the brink of starvation (like, a whole 2.5 hours without food!) to ensure you hold such a bargaining chip? Maybe not. Is it effective? Happily, yes. I was relieved when it worked on our three-hour flight to Spain. I was amazed when he repeated the feat for our eight-hour flight to Toronto (obviously he cried a bit over the flight -- he's a baby for goodness sake... but nothing resembling his ground performance and never for more than a few minutes). I am delighted to report the kid is a great traveller. Which works out well... cause as a bi-continental babe with Grandparents who clearly adore him on both sides of the pond, he's gonna have to be.