Jealousy: when you least expect it

Jealousy: when you least expect it

Recently I was lucky enough to spend several weeks back home visiting my parents. It was fantastic spending time with them and especially seeing them enjoy having their grandchild around.  I loved seeing them run after him and giggle and laugh along with him.  There’s just something magical about the grandparent-granchild relationship isn’t there?

My son has especially taken to his grandfather (also known as abo).  Little man is just 15 months old so now is when he’s really getting into running and talking, so of course we’re all overjoyed at witnessing his advancements.  His fascination with his abo resulted in him running around the house all day long saying “abo, abo, abo” with his arms outstretched waiting to be picked up.  He would run downstairs (ok I carried him down the stairs, then he’d run) in the morning searching for his abo, and when his abo went out he felt no greater joy than seeing him arrive home.  When he couldn’t find his abo he’d look all over the house and upon spotting him he’d say “ahi esta!” (spanish for “there he is!”).  It was truly adorable to watch.

But here’s the real kicker: I got jealous!  Who would have ever thought that I’d feel jealous of the relationship between my son and my dad.  It seems crazy, I know.  I adored seeing how much they love each other, how they would search for each other in the house, and how they played together non-stop.  The problem is that when I would arrive home with his abo, he’d run straight past me and into his arms!  I mean seriously?!  No yay mami is home!  It was more like move out of the way mom, my abo has arrived.  Somehow it felt like a rejection, and I found myself feeling quite offended and jealous.  I wanted to say to him; don’t forget that I birthed you and I’m the one who feeds you, changes your diapers, and kisses away your ouchies!

When I went home for a visit I was super excited for my parents to have the chance to spend several weeks with my little man.  I imagined just how happy they’d be, and in turn how happy my little guy would be too.  But not once did it occur to me that I might feel rejected or envious by their relationship.  And don’t think he wasn’t equally as crazy for his grandma (also known as grams), it’s just that the sun rose and set over his abo.  I should also point out that his grams was getting equally as jealous as I was!  So there we were, thrilled the boys had formed such a bond, and yet feeling jealous at the same time.

Have you ever found yourself feeling jealous of the relationship between one of your kids and someone else?

Mummuddlingthrough
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

10 things you should NEVER say to a woman dealing with infertility

10 things you should never say to a woman dealing with infertility

When you’re going through something like infertility it can be quite difficult for people to relate to your struggle.  Sometimes, in their failed effort to impart wisdom, people can say some incredibly ridiculous and insensitive things.  Here are the top 10 worse comments I’ve ever heard. (some comments were made to me and others to people going through their own struggle).  To read my original post about my struggle with infertility click here.

10.  Have you been to see a doctor yet?  Yeah Like it hadn’t occurred to me to do that??

9.  Are you sure you should be drinking that coffee?  I mean seriously? Are you just trying to kick me while I’m down?

8.  Everything happens for a reason.  What is that supposed to mean?  That I deserve to go through this struggle?

7.  If it’s meant to happen it will.  So basically you think that I’m just supposed to sit back and accept a life with no children because nature is somehow telling me I’m not deserving of having a child?

6.  Why don’t you just adopt?  Adoption is a fantastic and blessed way to start a family, but who are you to tell someone to give up on their dream of carrying their own baby?

5.  I wish I had that problem! I’m always worried about getting pregnant!  This has to be just about the dumbest things I’ve heard.  I mean seriously, are you looking to get punched in the face?

4.  Wow I don’t know how you do it, if it were me I think I’d just fall into a deep depression.  Ok, thanks for the encouraging words.

3.  If you really want to get pregnant then shouldn’t you save your money for more treatments rather than spending it to go on vacation?  How about you walk a mile in my shoes and then we’ll talk about how…oh wait, even then it’d still be NONE of our business!

2.  Maybe if you had tried when you were younger it would have been easier.  Are you a doctor?  No!  So shut it.

1.  Stop thinking about it and you’ll get pregnant.  This is by far the WORST thing I used to hear when we were trying to get pregnant.  First of all, if it were that easy we would have gotten pregnant in our first year of trying.  And second of all, telling a woman who is struggling to get pregnant to just stop thinking about it is like telling a baby that if they just stop thinking about it then they won’t be hungry anymore.

No one expects you to understand what it’s like to experience infertility, let alone have some magical words to make it all better.  But please, just take a second to think a little bit about what you’re about to say before actually speaking.  If you’re looking to be supportive, then just be a friend, no one expects you to know the perfect thing to say.

Know of any other remarkable comments that should be added to the list?  Tell me and I’ll update it! (with a link-back to your page of course) 🙂

A Bit Of Everything
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My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Once a baby, now a toddler

Once a baby, now a toddler

The first year has come and gone, my son is now a toddler.  It seems like only yesterday we received the joyous news of being pregnant.  And yet now, somehow, we no longer have a baby in the house.  We blinked, and there he is, a gorgeous, angelic, sometimes frustrating, toddler.  I know, I know.  It all sounds so cliché.  Every parent out there says that it goes by too fast.  But here’s the thing, the reason every parent out there says that is because it’s true!

I knew this going into it, I knew that I needed to savour every moment because they do in fact grow up quickly.  And I’ve done my very best to appreciate every snuggle, record into memory every milestone, and enjoy every moment of being a new mom.  But even so, here I am, after the first year, watching him in amazement and wondering when it went by so fast.  There will still be a lifetime of milestones and important moments to experience, but you only get one year to enjoy living in baby world.

It all hit me the other day when I put away several things he has outgrown.  I’ve put clothes away before, and while it did make me sad to put them in storage it didn’t hit me in quite the same way.  This time I put away the bouncy chair, the play-pen, the walker, and then the jumperoo.  That jumperoo is what did me in.  My little guy has loved to jump his heart out in that thing.  He could easily spend an hour just non stop jumping and grinning ear to ear.  And the laughter, oh the laughter!  I have countless videos documenting his joy.  All of which have of course been sent to his grandparents (and pretty much everyone that I know) so that they too could relish in his excitement.  Putting it away just signifies the closing of a chapter.  An adorable, amazing chapter.

I know I’m not the first mother, or parent, to go through this, and I certainly won’t be the last.  This past year has been one of the most exhausting, emotional, and simply fantastic years of my life.  Every time I look at my son I’m in awe of what we created, and how impossibly cute and terribly smart he is (not that I’m biased or anything).  I look forward to the years to come, to the many more fabulous memories that we will make.  And to me surely, on many occasions, looking back and wondering how it can possibly be going by this fast.

Getting pregnant is supposed to be easy…isn’t it?

getting pregnant

The other day I got asked if our pregnancy was a planned one.  Well let’s see, it took 3.5 years, a range of tests, being poked and prodded, pills, a surgery, more pills, and injections.  So to say it was planned is a bit of an understatement.

My story with infertility is not an uncommon one, it’s actually much more common than any one of us would like it to be.  We all just assume that when we’re ready to have kids it will be as easy as simply going off birth control.  But the reality for many couples is that it’s a long and complicated road filled with disappointment, shock, tears, and many many prayers.  But even though my story isn’t unique, it’s still somehow a topic that not many people want to discuss.

My husband and I were married for about a year when we decided to just leave it up to nature and see what happens.  So I went to my gynecologist to have my yearly exam and make sure everything was good.  And it was, supposedly.  But then time just kept going by and nothing.  Months and months passed, so we began to wonder if something was wrong.  I went back to my doctor and she immediately began a series of tests, then she sent my husband for tests.  Then there were more tests, and more tests.  It seemed to be an endless cycle of test with no answers.  My doctor was a highly recommended one and yet she didn’t seem to be making any progress in finding answers, so it became clear that we needed a second opinion.  That’s when a bit of fate stepped in, my husband was offered a job in Puerto Rico, so we were moving.

If you’ve ever moved you know it can be a bit stressful so we took a break from the fertility thing and decided to just focus on the move.  I won’t go into details about it but lets just say the move took a lot longer then expected, as in a couple of months longer.  But once we got to Puerto Rico I started my search for the best doctor, and I found him.  Within the first five minutes of meeting him I knew he’d be the one to help us achieve our dream, and he did.  It took another 8 months or so of investigation, treatments, a surgery, and more treatments, but we got there.  We were blessed with a beautiful little miracle, a baby boy.

It’s a strange thing when you first find out you’re pregnant after so long of trying to get there, it takes a while for it to sink in.  When I got pregnant I took at least 5 of those home pregnancy tests and still wouldn’t believe the positive result I was seeing.  It wasn’t until I went to the lab and got a blood test that I finally accepted that it was really happening, that I was really pregnant.  I remember holding that envelope with my test results in my hand and I didn’t want to open it.  I was afraid that it would say that all of the home pregnancy tests had been wrong.  When I did open it and saw that I was indeed pregnant I just cried, happy tears of course.  Then I sent a photo of it to my husband who was at work.  That man has never called me back so fast when he’s working! haha.  It was definitely a happy day.

I’m so grateful that my husband and I are a success story.  We never gave up, we changed doctors (we would have even if we hadn’t moved), we kept going back, we did what we had to do so that we could achieve the dream of parenthood.  It took several years but now we are so blessed to have our precious baby boy.  Our prayers were answered.

I wanted to tell my story not so that I would be showered with sympathetic comments, I wanted to tell my story because it might help even just one person to know that they’re not alone in their struggle.  I know what it’s like to be disappointed month after month, I know the frustration in not knowing why you can’t conceive, I know what it’s like to have your body feel like it’s been given over to medical experiments, and I know how lonely all of that can feel.  When my husband and I were struggling we had each other, but it often felt like we were the only couple having trouble conceiving, and that can feel really lonely.  I would never wish infertility on anyone, but there is a comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.  So if telling my story can bring even just a slight bit of comfort to just one couple, then it’s worth telling.

A Bit Of Everything
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Mami 2 Five

Little man turns one

Little man turns one

Recently our little guy turned one.  It’s been a few days of lots and lots of emotions.  I’m overjoyed to see hi grow and discover the world, I’m in awe of what a blessing it is to have him in our lives, I’m excited to celebrate these milestone moments, and I’m also sad to see it all fly by so quickly.  I find myself smiling ear to ear one moment, and wiping away the tears the next.

On the actual day of his birthday we had a small family celebration and he had his first piece of cake.  To say he loved his cupcake is quite the understatement.  He devoured that treat like he hadn’t seen food in days, then he made sure to lick each finger clean!  Afterwards we helped him open his presents and that led t quite the energetic play session with a hilarious baby laugh attack.  And is there anything better than a baby laugh attack?  That night he slept like an exhausted little angel.

baby turns 1
Getting ready to eat his first cupcake.

On the day of his birthday party it was beautifully sunny, perfect for his party in the park.  Everyone who came out to celebrate with us had a great time and the toddlers made sure to take full advantage of their play time.  By the time people left, every baby was taken home already fast asleep, recovering from so much play.  The food and the decorations went pretty much to plan.  Little man had his second cupcake which he found to be equally as thrilling as the first time.  He was a bit impatient during the happy birthday song because he kept reaching out for his cake.  It was a beautiful day and a great way to celebrate his turning one.

bday details
Just a few birthday party details

All in all we are very happy with how everything went, his first birthday celebrations have been a great success.  The highlight of it all has been having a house full of family members who travelled to join us in our celebrations.  We are truly blessed to have this little angel in our lives and we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with him.

Now as the dust begins to settle we can turn our sights to celebrating the most magical season of the year, Christmas! 🙂

 

 

Top 9 things I miss about a winter wonderland Christmas

winter wonderland Christmas

Let me start of by saying that I love living in the Caribbean.  I love that it’s never cold, I love that I don’t have to shovel the snow, or clear the snow off of my car.  That being said, there’s something magical about Christmas with snow.  As a Canadian expat I grew up mainly in the tropics, but we did spend most of our Christmas holidays in Canada.  Because of that there are certain elements of a winter that, to me, make Christmas magical.

Here are the top 9 things that I miss about a winter wonderland Christmas:

9. Tobogganing

8. Snow-ball fights, snow-angels, and snow-forts

7. Snow-men.  Although I have made sand-men before and that’s pretty fun.

6. The cute clothing.  That’s right, I even miss wearing cute boots and sweaters that I cannot use in the tropics because I’d probably suffer from heat stroke.  Of course that does not mean that I long for the scarves, and jackets, and mittens, and hats…especially not for an entire season.

5. Is there anything more adorable then a baby or toddler all bundled up for winter?  I think not!

4. The beauty of white fluffy snow

3. Street after street of houses beautifully decorated with Christmas lights.  In my experience, in Central American & the Caribbean, very few people decorate the outside of their homes.

2. Christmas stockings hanging from a beautifully decorated mantle.  Living in the tropics, most houses don’t even have fireplaces because we don’t need them.

1. Drinking a delicious cup of hot chocolate next to a wood burning fire.  There’s just something about the smell and sound of the crackling logs, paired with a hot cup of chocolate that just spells Christmas to me.

So there you have it, those are the top 9 things that I miss about spending Christmas in a winter wonderland!  Perhaps next year I can get my family up to Canada for a little visit and so that my son can experience the fun side of snow for the first time.  In the meantime I will dig my toes into the sand and continue to enjoy our life here on this gorgeous island with the turquoise water and white sand beaches.

Did I leave anything out?  What makes Christmas magical to you?

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Mummuddlingthrough
Running in Lavender
Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

Christmas gifts: go all out or rein it in?

Christmas gift giving

The other day I read an article that challenges parents to save their money and give only 4 gifts to their kids for Christmas.  The author talked about how, in the past, she was accustomed to showering her children with dozens and dozens of presents, until she decided that it wasn’t necessary and was going to limit it to just 4.  Each gift would be from a set of categories; something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  After reading this article the first thought that popped into my head was “wow, it never occurred to me to give anyone 4 gifts for Christmas.”  It seems like a lot to me, why do you need to give several gifts to anyone?

The more I thought about it the more I realized, it really depends on how extravagant each gift is.  Something to read is an easy gift to agree with, books aren’t expensive and reading is always a great thing to encourage, plus they make great stocking stuffers.  But the other 3 categories can be tricky because each one could easily be something expensive and over the top.  For something they need and something to wear you can certainly make an effort to not go overboard, but how do you limit something they want?  What if what they want is a really expensive item?  I don’t know how the author of the article goes about selecting the want item, and I’m not saying don’t get your kids things that they want, I just think that it’s a potentially tricky line to walk if you set the expectation for your kids that they will receive several gift each year.

When I was growing up my parents always provided us with a great Christmas experience that included receiving a great gift.  In general, each year we would receive one main gift and several small stocking stuffer items.  And no we did not have huge oversized stockings, we had the standard size (actually they’re small based on today’s average) stockings that my mom would fill with candy and small items (this could be socks, a scarf, pj’s, etc.).  Of course, when we were really little, we had a gift from mom and dad as well as a gift from Santa, as we grew up the Santa gift naturally went away but the gift from my parents always remains.

Now that my husband and I have embarked down the road of parenthood we are faced with the question, how much is too much?  I’ll most likely take the example from my parents; my son will get one gift from us, one from Santa, and a few stocking stuffer items.  Of course the key will be not to go overboard on those two gifts.  And I’m pretty sure that this year he will only get one gift, no stocking stuffers or gift from Santa, I mean he’s only one so he doesn’t even know who Santa is yet.

So my question to you is how much is too much?  It’s easy to go overboard because we all want to spoil our kids, but how do you decide where to draw the line?

Family and the holidays

family and the holidays

Every year around the holidays you begin to read many posts and blogs about the stresses of gathering together as a family.  So I thought I’d be a little different and rather than point out the annoying quirks of my family members, I’d write about the joy of reunited with those we love.  My husband and I are parents to one year old (he turns one is december) and we’re also expats.  So the only family members we have around are ourselves, our little family of three (four with our beautiful canine fur baby).  So any time family or friends decide to come into town we couldn’t be more happy.  We have an open door policy, everyone is welcome to come see us at any time they wish.

When you live far away from your loved ones you realize that there really is nothing more important than family.  With a new baby that becomes increasingly evident.  There is no greater joy than seeing a grandparent enjoy their grandchildren, especially when they only have the one.  We wish that family get togethers were annoying, because that would mean that we see them far too often.  But in our case the complete opposite is true, we don’t see our family nearly enough.  Family members are the ones that are there for you no matter what goes on in life.  They are the ones who love you and support you through all of your ups and downs.  Spending time with them and creating memories is a true blessing that we welcome with open arms.  I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year, and the idea of spending it without family is a sad and lonely prospect to me.  That’s not to say we haven’t done it, because we have.  And we still have a great time just us, but we have an even better time if we’re surrounded by those who love us the most.

So whether it’s us travelling to see them, or them coming to us, any time we can spend with our family is a truly joyous and positive occurrence.  If you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by your loved ones then please count your blessings.  No matter how much they may get on your nerves, having family who loves you, wants to spend time with you, and is close enough to do so, is the greatest gift you can receive this holiday season.

Time to plan his first birthday

1st bday planning

I can hardly believe it, but the time has arrived, my precious little angel is soon to turn one year old.  It feels like just yesterday that I was shedding tears when I heard his first cry as he entered this world.  This past year has been one of the most challenging, rewarding, full of love, years of my life.  I have relished every moment of it and the thought of my baby already being one makes me excited and sad at the same time.  But putting all of those emotions aside it’s also time to get down to some serious business, planning his first birthday.

When I first thought of his big day I just figured we’d do a quiet celebration at home with just any family members that happen to be in town (we’re expats so it’s often just us), but then the planned was to travel home for Christmas and his birthday.  So with that plan also came a big, and I mean big, party to celebrate his birthday as well as show him off to all of our family and friends that still have not met him.  I had everything planned out, down to the last detail.  While it was a large party it was an easy one for me to organize because I did it with a planner since I had to plan from another country.  But then life stepped in and as it turns out we cannot travel this year and will be spending Christmas here.  So I cancelled everything I had planned and found myself back at square one.

So here I am, at the beginning again, trying to figure out what I can do to celebrate our little guy.  Since my husband and I had both gotten excited over the idea of a party we now want to continue with that idea, however since we are staying put this year it also means that it will be a much smaller party.  Smaller is good for the budget, but also more complicated because of location.  There are a lot of places that are great for birthday parties but they’re just too big for what we need or simply not age appropriate.  That being said we’ve decided to go with the park that’s close to our house.  It’ll be nice to be outside, there are swings for the kids, and best of all I won’t have to worry about things breaking in my house.  Keeping it small also means that I will be testing out my DIY skills when it comes to the decor, so Pinterest has become my best friend as of late.  Then there’s the menu.  What should I serve?  Should I make it or buy it?  What about the cake?  What do I get for party gift bags?  So many details that on their own doesn’t seem like much when you start to add them up it can get a bit overwhelming.

I have a general idea of what I want but nothing is set and the party is in just a few weeks.  So it’s time for me to sit down, make my lists, and get to shopping.  The last thing I want is to be running around at the last-minute trying to pull this party together.  So this weekend is dedicated to getting all of my decoration purchased (or at least the materials that I need in order to make them all over the next few weeks), decide on the food, beverages, cake, party gift bag, and of course his present.

Family holiday

vacation

So we just went on a little family vacation.  It wasn’t a very long trip, just about a week, but the getaway was needed.  It was also our first shot at travelling with an energetic almost one year old.  The last time we travelled our son was only a few months old so it was easy, he pretty much just slept everywhere we went.  This time he’s older, mobile, full of energy, and needing to be entertained.  So suddenly travelling as a family has become a vastly different experience.  A fun, exciting, chaotic, stressful, dynamic, and thoroughly joyful experience.

We spent about a week in Washington DC and were lucky enough to stay with friends.  It was so nice to spend time with great friends that we hadn’t seen in some time whilst also creating some wonderful family memories.  Our friends have an 8 month old baby which just made for so much fun and adorable photos of our two little guys playing together.  Our days were filled with lots of baby laughter, and just a few tears.  Of course having two babies hanging around meant that there was no fixed schedule, unless you count feedings and napping as a vacation schedule.  For the most part they were happy to nap out on the road, but we made sure to get home early so they could each get a good nights rest.  No more late nights out when you have a couple of babies with you!

We live in Puerto Rico so this was our little guys first experience in the cold weather, and lets just say he’s not a huge fan.  When we arrived and walked out of the airport into the cold night air he was taken aback and gave us quite the look of shock and horror.  He got cranky when we put a coat on him and the look of shock made its appearance every single time we went outside!  Even when we were indoors his discomfort continued.  His crawling and general ruckus was much more low key as apparently wearing long pants just slows him down.  And socks, no way!  If he’s inside there is no way he’s having socks on.  By the end of the trip he did get more comfortable in his cold weather clothes but my little Caribbean boy definitely prefers the heat and his shorts.

The plane ride wasn’t too bad.  The way there was a night flight so he was cranky as all he wanted to do was stretch out in his bed and sleep.  He did manage to sleep but if he did wake up he cried, and no parent enjoys that when they’re on the plane.  On the way back it was a morning flight so he didn’t sleep too much, he was full of energy and wanting to play.  Fortunately he was quite well behaved, he was content to just play with his toys and eat his snacks.  Unfortunately for the couple next to us their 16 month little girl cried pretty much the entire way.  She, and her parents, did not have a good flight at all.  I tried to be friendly and help if they needed something but we all know that being the parent of a hysterical child on a flight is just so stressful.  The look of exhaustion and relief on their faces when we deplaned  was just heartbreaking.

I’m so glad we got to enjoy some time away as a family, and share that time with some really great friends.  Especially getting to know their little baby, kids grow so fast that I’m so thankful we got to experience him as a baby! 🙂

Autumn
Beautiful autumn colours. This was one of my favourite parts of our trip, it’s been far too many years since I’ve seen this!
the favourite bear
Little man’s favourite bear all buckled up and ready for take off!
playing on the plane
Entertaining himself on the plane. We had a couple of crying moments but for the most part he did really great!
Christmas tree
Beautiful Christmas tree at Mount Vernon