The Giant Spider

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The giant spider is out again.  Michael wanted to do it bigger and better this year, meaning more webs, rats, mini spiders and even a fog machine.  Johannes and Michael did all the decorating, and Magnus and I just showed up for the finale.  It was quite the exciting event.  I think above all else I love how excited Johannes gets about holidays now.  Thanksgiving dinner parties, Halloween decorations, and lets not forget Christmas just around the corner!

Doing It Differently

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When Johannes was born I read all the parenting books, watched all the parenting videos, researched baby products and read all the consumer reports there were.  I was inexperienced and naive.  I assumed that babies could be raise by clear cut rules.  That we could fix sleep problems by reading someone’s theory or step by step guide.  And through trial and error and day by day we figured it all out anyways.  We figured out what worked for us and what didn’t and most definitely made mistakes along the way.  I say “we” because I certainly did not raise Johannes on my own, but 99% of the “research” was all me.  There were tough times and easy times but we worked it out and somewhere along the way the hard times were forgotten, and all that remains is the positive memories.

Since Magnus was born things have been much simpler.  Easier somehow.  I feel confidence in my role as a mother.  I don’t have Amazon book orders on standby in my checkout basket.  I let him sleep on me all day every day, or beside me if he so wishes….except at night when he likes to sleep in his own bed.  I don’t have the breathing monitor on at all, I don’t stress if he fusses and grunts, or sneezes or hasn’t pooped in 5 hours.  I just live and enjoy.  I think that along with confidence in myself as a mother, raising Johannes taught me how quickly the time goes.  That bad times WILL fade and they will be replaced with happy memories.  So I don’t sweat the small stuff.  And you know what?  I don’t think I am screwing it up.  In his short little 6 weeks of life, Magnus is such a happy guy.  He’s sweet and calm and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit with our family.  His new smile is infectious and I cannot wait to snuggle him in the mornings, while Johannes and Minggis the cat sit with us on the nursery bench.  I think I’m happier too.

And p.s.  don’t you just love kissing newborn squishy faces and that wrinkly bit of head scalp?!  ahhhhh its my favorite thing ever along with the baby smell, but I can’t smell Magnus.  As Johannes likes to tell me all the time, “mom you smell like Magnus”.  I guess I can’t smell myself.

Hello Blog…its me, Ana

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Does anyone read blogs anymore?  Or has everything moved over to Instagram now?  I ask this after an interesting conversation I had last week.  More and more I see people commenting on my Instagram posts referencing my blog posts.  So I guess some of you do read it, but is it just easier to comment on Instagram?  Is it because I can respond quicker?  Does it seem more accessible?  I am truly curious and intrigued.  I often wonder about the future of blogs, will people still be reading them 5 years from now?  I wonder too about the future of Instagram.  The microblogging platform is slowly becoming a mega marketing avenue for brands and shops all over the world.  What will happen when “they”, the power house at Facebook, decide to really capitalize on use.  Will people have to start paying for posts to be published, to reach our audience?  Will users start to back away from Instagram, like they do with Facebook?

I have a theory…I believe Instagram has replaced blogs on some level today.  But I believe that as more and more advertisements appear on Instagram and as the company tries to monetize on their ever growing popularity, people will start to back away from the social media platform and go back to the blog of the old.  I know that I for one am more and more turned off by Facebook, to the extent that I barely ever use it anymore.  The things that turn me off of Facebook are precisely the things that Instagram/Facebook would like to implement on Instagram as well.  For now my blog is still my own, controlled by me and accessible to all with no rules or restrictions getting in the way.  So here I am blog followers…are you still out there?

brothers

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Michael and I both have siblings, but they’re siblings of the opposite gender.  Michael has a sister, and I have a brother.  We don’t know what its like to have siblings that are the same as us and we’re not exactly sure what to expect.

I had worries before we brought Magnus home with us, that maybe Johannes wouldn’t want to have him around, or that maybe he would be jealous, but so far my fears have not materialized.  Brothers, it would seem, is a great fit for all of us.  Johannes loves his little brother, and wants to do everything for him and with him.  I hope that Magnus as he grows, will love Johannes back.

Maybe they will be best friends.  Best men at each other’s weddings.  Maybe they will want to share a room some day, or rent an apartment together in their twenties.  Maybe they will start a business together, or decide to live on the same street.  I’m pretty excited to grow old and learn more about their relationship.  I think these boys are going to teach us a whole lot about relationships and brotherly bonds.

Thanksgiving

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Canadian Thanksgiving came and went last weekend, and it was baby boy’s first holiday with our crazy bunch.  I had planned a whole bunch of activities for both the kids and ourselves.  Friday we were going to head out of town to a little farm, Johannes wanted to ride the tractor and pick apples, and I “selfishly” wanted a photo with the boys and the pumpkin patch.

Saturday we were going to can our leftover garden tomatoes, Johannes was very excited to help.  And Sunday we were going for our big family meal at my mom and dad’s.

But when we arrived at the farm on Friday morning, showered, fed and ready to enjoy the gorgeous fall day, I noticed Johannes wasn’t himself.  After thirty or so minutes of trying to play and walk I finally convinced him to head to grandma’s nearby and have a nap, hoping he was just tired and we could resume our fun later on in the day.  Unfortunately by the time we got to my mom’s he had a full blown fever, and was complaining of nausea.  Yep, the stomach flu has made its annual appearance.

And so the rest of our holiday plans were altered but still fun.  Johannes didn’t want to come back home in the car, feeling as awful as he did, so he spent a couple of days with his grandparents and we got to pick him up on Sunday when we gathered for the family dinner.  We even managed a little walk, and Johannes rode his car.  He was definitely well enough to go “super fast” as he calls it.

Why is it that we only make pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving?!  I think we need to make it more often because its by far my favourite kind of pie.

The Cure for the Baby Blues?

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Is there such a thing as a cure for the blues?  I guess the answer is multi-dimensional but overall there is no cure as far as I can tell.

I hoped the baby blues would stay away the second time around, but I wasn’t so lucky.  They came in with a vengeance on the second night we were home, and although I expected them, knew what it was and reminded myself that “it too shall pass”, I still suffered (suffer) three weeks out.

The blues for me start in the evening, or early afternoon.  I suppose that is when I am most tired, drained of patience and resources that keep me sane.  On the first night I had them I was covering up Johannes who had completely kicked off all of his covers and now looked cold and shivering to me.  I looked at him and remembered how he once was tiny just like Magnus.  How I used to pat his bum as a newborn to try and get rid of his hiccups, and how I would rock him to sleep with the sound of his seahorse playing in the background.  I suddenly felt an overwhelming fear of death, much like the last time I had the blues.  I feeling of impending doom.  Dread for the future and how quickly things change and how we all, including these babies, are not immune from getting old and one day ceasing to exist.

I suddenly longed for the days when Johannes was little, and wished deeply that I could turn back the clock of time.  I cried for a while.  I told Michael how I was feeling, that the blues were back.  I talked about it much more than I had the last time, with my husband and friends.   This time I felt less alone in my depression.  I now have mom friends who all went through the same stages, who felt various degrees of sadness.  We shared it with one another and it felt less lonely.  It helped.

Johannes, during the blues time of day helped remind me how funny he is, and how age hasn’t been a bad thing, but rather a way for us to get to know him better.  As sweet and little as he used to be, he is now a little human with a sense of humour and an emerging personality.  He is a source of inspiration and hope and helped tremendously.

A glass of wine or beer with dinner also worked wonders, and I have one like medicine every night….unapologetically.  So where am I now?  I still feel a bit down in the evenings, especially on rainy dark days.  But its getting better with each day.  What helps the most is knowing, from experience, that it will fade and give way for hope and positivity.  In the meantime I lean on my friends and family for support…and that glass of vino with my dinner.