Friday, November 27, 2009

I Give Thanks

Mrs. P (aka Mother Ship) baked some pumpkin spice cookies and a pie to take to Thanksgiving dinner. It's Fin's FIRST Thanksgiving and I was so very excited. This time last year I was 20 weeks pregnant with her and I had just started this blog.

Oh the difference a YEAR can make.

I give thanks for my Granny Dodie who saved everything. I inherited her rolling pin. Usually, it's on display in my curio cabinet, but, my culinary whizz neighbour informed me it was still usable and a great model at that! So, I used a rolling pin for the first time ever to roll out my cookies.

Brown Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I give MOST thanks for a healthy - happy FINELY!

I give thanks for my pumpkin pie, but, my hips won't.

Before dinner my 2.5 year old nephew said grace.
Here is it word for word:

GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GREAT, GOD is great, God is great, god is great. AMEN!

We gave thanks then I stuffed myself on DELICIOUS southern Thanksgiving goodness and some turkey. My favorite are always the sides. What's the difference between Canadian and American Thanksgiving? One Month and in the south - a lot more SUGAR! Sweet potatoes here should be called BROWN SUGAR with sweet potatoes not sweet potatoes with brown sugar. Fin loved them, on a sugar high she stayed awake for four hours after, missing her nap entirely! She was in a good mood so we let her stay up.

Fin' s FIRST taste of sweet potatoes.

Gavin (who said prayer) his brother Noah & Finley playing by the table before dinner.

This was a first family gathering for us with the babies all playing together. Prelude to Christmas when their three cousins join us! Can't wait! Really. We can't!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Family Who SKATES Together Stays Together

We added a new member to our family this week.... A SKATEBOARD! Seriously. Steve has to park his car a good mile from the entrance to the door at work. The hospital does provide buses which Steve will take on occasion but he prefers to walk if the weather permits. Steve arrived home from work the other night to tell me about a woman he worked with who skateboards from her car and of course he had to give the board a try. I think I'm going to get a skateboard he tells me. Super, I told him he could park it beside the thousand dollar road bike in our front entrance -which I've nick named the "hallway bike." I dust the darn thing like it's an art installation - it's been ridden ONCE when Steve was going to train to do triathlons. That was a year ago. Or he could park it with the kayaks they get about as much use as the bike. Okay skater boy - are you going to wear a helmet and wrist guards while you skate to the EMERGENCY Department where you work? He gave me a look and asked why I was making fun of him.

The Skater Family

This is Mother Ship about to pull an Ollie.

A gratuitous cute pic of Finley Mae

I'm walking with the stroller and Hubs is skating ahead.

How cute is he?

This is Steve POSING for a pic. Ha-hah Burn.

The very next day we headed to FUSION and Steve got all set up with a new skateboard. I have to admit I have a thing for skater boys - I always have! The skateboard has already seen more action than the kayaks and the road bike combined. I guess it's here to stay. So as Steve and I skate our way through the end of our thirties Finley will begin her first year grinding her pack and play and studying old school Tony Hawk videos. RAD!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ebb And Flow

It's a good thing, you bringing that baby to the beach. She needs it. Not for the body, but for the mind.

A man said this to Steve and I as he walked by us on the beach. He couldn't have said any clearer what I was thinking. Our sentiments matched. There is something about the ocean and the beach that have such a powerful restorative healing nature for me. It's not for the body it's for the mind. How true. How lucky that I can impart that on my family.

Today started as an off day for me. I slept fitfully and was irritable. Any day where I start dropping f-bombs before breakfast I know I need to make a change. So when Steve asked me what I had planned for the day I said - I need a road trip and I need the beach. How about we head to Morehead City for the day? Like I needed to sell this idea I further added; the weather is going to be awesome and I need to be outside. Within minutes Steve was packing the car with our surf fishing rods and I was packing a beach bag. We were out the door in 30 minutes.

My body and mind are not unlike the ocean. Sometimes a storm brews and the bottom mixes up and then a few good sized emotional waves wash over me. I need to wait for the tidal change to bring in new waters and new energy. I can usually catch this before an emotional tsunami hits. Heading to the beach I figured would be the cure all for this little imbalance I was feeling. So what was this feeling I was wearing?

Our Finley is seven months old and being a breast fed non-bottle taking, going to no-one but Steve and I kind of baby she and I have been together all day everyday since her arrival. We are each like one side of velcro. I'm not knocking it - I adore her, but, a part of me is jealous when Steve says he's going fishing for a couple of hours. He always asks me if it's okay for him to go, and I always say yes, because we value our play time.

I used to jump in the boat and go along, fishing was something we did together. It was our play time and our time to sit and chat or just sit quietly with one another. I have been missing my husband, my friends, mourning a little for the freedom I had before pregnancy and baby. I wouldn't trade my new life for the world, I just have to make peace with the old one and try to find a balance in my new one. After being stuck in my head and in the house for the past week's worth of Ida rain remnants I needed to get away from the same old and out of the house. So the beach was the perfect place to go. I needed to take my sour thoughts and my string of F-bombs and throw them into the outgoing tides.

This day looks as beautiful in pictures as it was for a spectacularly ordinary Monday in November. For us it was our weekend. Having been in a relationship with a shift worker for ten years we learn to make our weekend any two days in a row we can rub together. Sometimes, like on this day, we luck out. While most 9-5 Monday to Friday-ers are staring out the window contemplating playing hooky we are striding a beach, for the most part, alone.

Fins wouldn't keep her hat on (hence the bandanna) but she wanted mine!

Finley clapping as I fly her overhead.

Steve set up his lines and within a few minutes was hooking Blue Fish two at a time. The incoming tide brought a giant school of Blues with it. I video taped Steve several times as he cast and reeled in Blue Fish. The time code on the whole cast, reel and hook a fish sequence read an average of 20 seconds. Steve and I lost count of how many fish he reeled in and threw back into the ocean. We did keep a few to eat for dinner. Steve thanked me for thinking of taking us to the beach. Then he handed me the rod. Here you gotta reel a few in - it's so much fun! And so I did. It was awesome!

Finley had a blast too, she took of crawling like a champ after ocean scrub and shells stopping only to pick up and taste the sand. She had a few sandy poops after this day!

Finley & Steve walking along the shore.

A wave splashed over Finley's feet startling her, it was the only cry we heard out of her all day. She loved the beach and the fresh air I am certain was as good for her body as it as for her mind. The best part of it all was how good it was for my body and my mind!

This my friends is how I restored a little balance to my days after feeling slightly off kilter. It's not alone time I seek, but rather, time with my family doing something we like to do, or a good conversation with an old friend, making and eating a delicious fresh meal. Small things really, but, they are the most important to me.

It seems I just needed a little play time to restore order to my ocean.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Housebound During Ida?

Not so much or desperately!
Either way after 24 hours of constant down pour and my endless efforts to entertain our seven month old the walls began closing in and that stuffy feeling I get from being indoors too long was very present. I checked the radar for a weather window and when there was none in sight for another 24 hours I decided to get Finley and I bundled up in my rain gear to venture out into the heavy rains to comb the drive way and back lawn to collect pecans. It was not a cold rain so it was quite pleasant.

Fin & I a little soggy but happy

This is the trunk of one of our Pecan trees. The other Pecan tree is in the background. Our house was built in 1910 on property that was a pecan grove at one time. Our neighbourhood is full of pecan trees.

One of our neighbours posted this sign on their tree.

Hunting for pecans was like an Easter egg hunt! Thanks to the help of winds of up to 46 MPH over night the pecans were falling rapidly and due to the rains (only 7.5 inches in two days) the squirrels were no where to be found so there was no competition in the collection of the tasty nuts.
Pecan trees only make nuts every other year. This year the harvest has been great and the tree is still full of nuts. Pecans grow in a husk and when ripe they fall out of the husk onto the ground.

They look like this when we collect them:

So far we have collected about 600 nuts.
In pounds that's not a whole least a couple of pies full!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Too Many?

Can you even imagine our lives before Finley? Steve asked me the other day. Truth is I can't! I absolutely adore her! In the last few weeks my hubby has been talking about adding to our family AGAIN! Ohhhmygawd are you serious? We just got our baby girl. My body finally feels normal again. I am finally thinking straight, the baby brain fog has lifted. I have words and I am seriously enjoying the routine Fin and I are in and you want to throw a monkey wrench into all of this? Do you want to have another baby I asked him. Yes, he said. I think we should.

We always said we would have no kids or two. At my 6 week check up I told the midwife I would be back soon! I had a good pregnancy and delivery and wanted to have another baby in close proximity to our first born -largely due to my age I didn't want to wait.

That was before colic.

That was before she wouldn't take a bottle.

That was before a LEEP procedure.

That was before Finley made strange with everyone but me.

That was before Finley cried for an hour solid in her car seat several hundred times.

That was when I still thought I'd have time to garden, write, develop new TV projects all while the baby slept. Hardy Har Har.

That was before we decided to sell our house and move onto our sailboat.

That was when I was still wearing my birthing afterglow. By three months in, our darling baby had secured herself as an only child in my mind and I had become quite okay with this idea. In fact I'm still okay with this idea. I think. I know plenty of only children who are well adjusted, good people.

We can adopt my hubs said. Which is something I always wanted to do, but, we make cute babies so maybe we can do it just once more. Hmmmm. I'll think about it.

Can we compare our kids and pets for a second? Hubs made this argument the other day. Look at our dog he's high maintenance and suffers extreme separation anxiety with him we learned our lesson. We should have gotten two dogs to keep each other company. After ten years we can't add another dog to our home- our dog is too old to accept another dog and he is too set in his ways. Will this be the problem with only one child? Steve and his sisters get along great, my sister and I are besties, should we deny our child the chance to have a sibling?

But what if?

What if we have twins this time? Multiples are more common in older mothers.

What if our second baby is not healthy?

What if I'm too old and too tired to give my kids the kind of mother I want to give them?

What if we can't follow our dream of getting on a sailboat and sailing around the globe?

The first child changed our lifestyle, we're already broken of the old single person wild child ways. It's replaced with a new lifestyle - is it better - no - it's equally good but different. One child is portable. Two is more complicated for sure, but, only for a couple of years...right? Once they are walking and talking it's good -no? I love my new family. I'm adaptable, kids like me and I like kids and it is different when they are your own. I do want to continue with a career and I want to be able to do so without compromise to the family. Is two too much to take on?

Opening up the comments line: Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Seventh Month

Finley Mae is 7 Months Old!

Her eyes are still blue but we see flecks of green sometimes.

She LOVES books & talking.
I wonder where she gets that from?


She is a happy, BUSY, baby.
I wish this pic was clear but she's always MOVING!

We are having better luck with food too since I gave up on the puree. She has eaten BBQ pineapple, zucchini, pumpkin pie filling, toast, pasta noodles, mandarines, and home made vanilla ice cream. Shhh. She probably wasn't supposed to have dairy yet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giving Up The Boobies

Are you still breastfeeding?
I know! Fin is a very healthy baby towering into the 97th percentile for height and she is home grown on Mother Ship's milk.
That's some super caloric milk!

It's time to introduce solids.
Please child will you eat some solids?

We have been feeding Finley solids since the 4th of October. I will use the verb feeding loosely as she acts as though we are poisoning her. Every day we sit Finley in her high chair to go through the motions of eating food. Leading by example, we make our meals and sit to eat with her. Fin is curious enough about the food, she reaches for fingerlings of toast puts it to her mouth, slobbers all over it, then drops it over the side of the tray for the dog who is anxiously waiting for the bounty to fall. (I really must add a recurring segment to this blog accounting for the wee dog's weight gain by consequence of highchair droppings.)

Fin bangs her cup on the tray, chews the spout but has yet to drink. Keep in mind this is the child WHO NEVER TOOK A BOTTLE. We spoon food into her mouth, she opens her mouth takes in the delicious offering then sprays us with food. Maybe she doesn't like the texture of pureed food?

I have bought only organic cereals, and veggies to make her first foods as pure and delicious as possible. I've tried her on Baby Mum Mums just to see if she had the chew and swallow capability. Guess what? She does, she just prefers the boobies.

I love nursing, its such a nice quiet time for us. Not to mention it's the best weight-loss program I have ever been party to! However, I am restricted in personal time to Finley's feeding schedule. This week I wanted to take a course being offered by Duke Integrative Medicine, but, I couldn't because I can't leave Finley as she is dependant on the boobies.

Yes, I will miss nursing her when she makes the transition to food, but, for now I anticipate the freedom weaning will bring even if its just a few feeds a day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'll Boil Your Bones To Make My Bread

Finley the Mini Witch

It was an excellent Halloween for Finley and me. Halloween is my FAVORITE DAY! I love dressing up. Finley is definitely my girl in this regard, she wore her costume and make-up willingly. She delighted in the kids coming to our door and was totally entertained by our witchy friends.

Watch Out! She bites!

Best Legs EVER! Shoes by Heelarious.

Trapping and eating leaves.

Mother Ship is also a Witch!

My favorite Witches of the South aka My Journal Group

Aren't they LOVELY!

A fabulous night of trick or treating. We had 200 kids in an hour come to our door! As soon as we were out of candy I closed the door and lights so Finley and I could join my witchy gal pals from my writing group on the other end of my street. The witches were convening on the front porch of my friend Alice's historic mansion. The suitcase was filled with creepy dolls and candy. A cauldron with dry ice was set out on the lower steps. It was just awesome!

Witches could be heard calling to the kids telling them to approach so we could see if they were candidates for eating! The kids were intimidated, just a little, the witches coaxed them up the steps with lure of candy. No kid can resist candy or their curiosity. Most wanted a close up look at our wonderfully witchy group and left satisfied.

The wine was flowing and a wonderful spread of dinner awaited indoors once we closed the door on this night of trick or treating.