Tuesday, February 23, 2010

::Hi Ho! Hi ho! It's off to town we go!::

I try to plan my trips to Brandon carefully. Driving 25 minutes to the nearest town will make you do that - it's a lot of gas, and a lot of work to get a little baby bundled up to get there on days like today (it's currently -27C). I go two days a week, at least, because Dora is signed up at Prairie Dog Daycare, where she can run and play with a huge pack of dogs without getting a frostbitten nose and cracked paws. But some days, like today, I just need to get out of the house. (Dora can guard the house.)

I will hit up the Corral Centre (Brandon's version of Langley's Power Centre) for some essentials - there they have many stores where I can pass a few hours just by walking across the parking lot (meaning I only have to unload the baby from the car once!):

Wal-Mart (for our dry goods and the cheapest milk and butter in town, I've heard);

Safeway for our perishables (because I'm sometimes too lazy to drive the 10 mins to the other side of Brandon and get the baby out of the car again just to go into the mess that is Superstore);

Dollarama for some wicked deals on pretty things like stationery and seasonal silk flowers (seriously the best dollar store I've seen in a long time!);

Winners for a good bargain;

Reitmans to check out their latest shipment of tall pants (I just scored navy stretch cords there last week for $9.99! Tall girls, take note!);

and, of course, Starbucks for a cuppa joe and a sense of home. Always made better when your big cousin sends you a gift card for your birthday. Thanks, Sarah!

There are a couple of other places I'd like to check out that come highly recommended. Just up the street from the Corral Centre is Lady of the Lake, a shop/pub/cafe that features Latin dance lessons, live music, AMAZING local and homemade-style food, and 7,000 sq. ft. of "shabby chic home decor, charming gifts, body adornments and vintage furnishings. . . . creatively displayed in colour-coordinated themed room settings"! I've only had lunch there once and didn't have the chance to check out the shop so I may stop by there today, too, depending on Heidi's mood.

On 18th Street, in the middle of Brandon, there is The Little Shoppe, a small home decor shop similar in treasures, I think, but so small that I know the stroller wouldn't be welcome, and Heidi's too heavy to carry in the car seat. Perhaps I'll go with Wayne one weekend. Or take the opportunity to purchase a little umbrella stroller while I'm at Wal-Mart today. Now that she's sitting, it has revolutionized her ability to play on her own, or spend time in said stroller. Yay!

On the same street, there's also a store called It's About Tea, which looks fantastic. I imagine they have many varieties of loose leaf tea, as well as fancy tea pots, cups and cozies (my favourite!).

I also discovered two baby boutiques: Lil' Bit Baby (on 18th) and All Things Beautiful (on 9th). I have to be careful in these stores and have only purchased gifts there - if I come home with designer-type stuff for Heidi, Wayne gets a little annoyed, especially when I say, "But it was on sale!" Forty-dollar items on for half-price still cost $20. So I try to really keep myself in check in stores like that.

Anyway, for those of you who think I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere, well, I am (I mean, the BASE is in the middle of nowhere). But 25 mins. away is a lovely city that holds enough lilttle gems to keep this big-city girl entertained...for now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

::a day of firsts::

Time is flying by here. It's an odd sensation, especially when I have no real schedule, like I did at work. While I am a super organized and scheduled person, I do tend to let things slide and I get a tad lazy when I have no deadlines or bosses around. This doesn't help me at all, because things get out of order here at Casa Baxter and when I get behind, I get cranky. And, "If momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!" as the old saying goes. It's unfortunate, but true.

On top of this identity crisis, of sorts, is my teething and fussy child. The child who has slept through the night since 6 weeks of age. And even before that, awoke only twice or, at most, three times at night to feed. Now, at five months old, she has me up SIX TIMES in the night (every hour, on the hour) to pop her soother back in her mouth. I feel like the walking dead. At the same time, I'm wondering if weaning her from her swaddle while sleeping would give her the opportunity to put the soother back in herself? Or, do I just need to get rid of soothers altogether? It feels like I'm moving backward because I originally used the soothers so she wouldn't suck her thumb. Now I'm thinking at least she is in control of her thumb and I wouldn't have to go in at night to replace it. Or is it all just teething and it'll be over as soon as it began?

So far today, she has napped once in a sleep sac with her arms free - a totally new sensation for her - for 45 mins. I thought she'd be out for a couple of hours at LEAST after being up every hour through the night. But no. She didn't have her soother all morning while awake, but I did give it to her for her naps. During her 2nd nap, I also safety-pinned the armholes on the sleep sac closed to create a more swaddle-like sleep sac to make the transition easier. But she only slept 20 mins and is now screaming bloody murder again. I'm not an advocate of letting babies "cry it out" (or "Ferberize") and have no problem rocking her to sleep, but it seems she is just miserable. I think I'll give her some Camilia (teething meds) and see if it helps.

She also had rice cereal for the first time today. I also hoped that would fill her tummy and make her drowsy. No such luck.


As you can deduce, trial and error is not my favourite way to learn in life. Especially when I have to waste an ENTIRE day figuring out what a child wants. I feel quite stifled by how long it takes to get things done these days - even getting ready for a walk in this cold weather - and then I end up feeling guilty for feeling stifled because we chose to have Heidi; in fact, I've never prayed harder in my life for something as I did to conceive her. I'm thinking these feelings are common in most first-time moms who are used to the predictable and pleasant regimen of career and social life. And independence. Blessed, elusive independence. Oh, to be able to finish something I start again!

But I don't think that will happen until this little redheaded furor moves out to gain her own independence. I've never been terribly maternal and surprisingly, that hasn't changed since I've become a mom. I love Heidi with ALL my heart; I have never known a love so strong. BUT, I have always valued my quiet time, my time to sort, plan, organize and relax. I think the problem lies in accepting this stage of life and enjoying it for what it is: precious. I know I'll wish I could have it back again in 12 years, when I have a moody preteen on my hands.

So today I'll do my best to be thankful for the opportunity to witness the growth and progress of my little girl, and allow each day to surprise me with something new.

Like, a full night's sleep?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I have not read anything that has impacted me emotionally this much in a LONG time. As a new mother, this post cuts to the core. As ANY mother, I think it would do the same. It is a journey of raw emotion...with a beautiful conclusion.

Break out the tissue, turn up your speakers, and read on.


On a housekeeping note, I will aim to post here more often. I'm still finding other things to do while H naps as of late. But I need to write.