Monthly Archives: May 2015

Mom Date

Over the last 2 weeks I have had the opportunity to go on a “mom date” twice. A mom date is when two moms hang out, without their kids.

This is completely opposite of a “play date”.

I have no idea if this is a real term, if there is another catch phrase out there for what I’ve just described, or if this is a totally normal thing to do and I am super late on the bandwagon. Whatever! It’s an original thought 😉

This idea for a “mom date” came to me when I had reached that pit of despair during some late hour of the night when Joseph just would not sleep, and I realized that I needed a break. I needed to not be mom for a bit. I needed to go and have a conversation with someone that did not involve bouncing a baby on my knee. I wanted to talk about other things than my baby. It didn’t need to be a long time, 2 hours at most, but I know that my soul needed it.

So then I was thinking about who I could go out with. I realized that most people I know in this city have kids. Young kids. Babies. And then I started to panic, thinking that there wasn’t anyone I could go out with and WHY DON’T I HAVE MORE SINGLE CHILD-LESS FRIENDS.

Then the thought hit me. If I need a break, surely those other friends need a break too? And that’s where the idea for a “mom date” came from.

The dates I went on were marvellous. The first, I went to dinner with a mom that I barely knew, but who I had chatted with a few times at church. I had wanted to get to know her better, but she has 5 kids, and going out for a coffee to get to know her was not an option. So I gathered my courage and sent her a Facebook message:

“Hi ____! It was so great to see you at church on Sunday. I was just wondering….are you able to get out of the house…. without the kids? I was thinking how nice it would be to go and have dinner with someone to have real grown up conversation!”

Totally awkward right? Haha. Well, she responded with an enthusiastic yes, she CAN and WILL leave the house without her kids. We had dinner and chatted as if we had known each other for years. And we barely talked about our kids at all, which in itself was miraculous.

The second mom date came when my friend and I were chatting a baby shower we were both attending. She had just beat an illness that usually comes when someone is under a lot of stress, but she was confused because she didn’t feel particularly overwhelmed. But I told her, “You just had a baby, and are now dealing with having 2 kids! Maybe your body is stressed more than your head realizes! Friend, you need a break. Let’s go out without our kids.” To which she replied, with rather damp eyes, that she would LOVE to go out, and that a break would be lovely.

So when her and I went for coffee early Saturday morning, she shared with me that this was one of the first times she had been away without her baby. She told me that her husband is quite nervous and uncomfortable with the baby, almost as if he doesn’t believe that he has the skills necessary to soothe her when she starts to fuss. Or that when mom leaves, the baby will break down into inconsolable crying. She said that he seemed quite anxious that mom was going to be leaving, even if it was only for a maximum of 2 hours.

She received a panicked text about an hour and half into our coffee date that stated that she needed to get home. Being the chatty selves that we are, it took about 20 minutes to say goodbye. I sent her a text a little while later to find out how things had gone. Turned out baby cried. Baby fell asleep. Dad did it! All before mom got home. We both agreed that he felt more confident in his baby-skills so that we could go out for coffee again soon.

I was reflecting on these moments away, and sharing my thoughts with Josh. I’m a pretty laid back person, but it can be hard for me to surrender control sometimes. When I see Josh parenting in a way that’s different than the way I would do, I feel the need to take over and say, “No no, do it THIS way.” This creates problems for both of us. For me because I feel like I am always “on”, and for him because he does not feel empowered as a parent because I make him feel like he’s doing it wrong. He said that it’s almost easier when I leave, so that I don’t feel the need to sweep in and take over when Joseph isn’t happy. That was both humbling, but freeing to hear.

I want to let go a little more, and let Josh do things the way that he will do things with Joe…even if they aren’t the way I would. This will be a huge weight off of both of our shoulders, and I think I will gladly hand over the reigns more freely now.

I am eagerly looking forward to my next mom date 🙂

Project 52: Simplicity

Week14-1I didn’t think too hard about this one. I just decided that I want to capture my surroundings, as I often find them beautiful in their everydayness.

I was sitting, drinking coffee, and reading a book in my living room in mid-afternoon. I just love the light at that time of day; it casts a kind of dreamy glow on everything. My Mother’s Day flowers were sitting on the sill drinking in the sun, and I was so struck by their beauty.

A Graduate!

Graduation Weekend-21I am so, so sososo proud of Josh.

This week, he earned his Masters degree.

What a long way he has come from that underachiever I met in high school.

When I met him, he had never read a book, was told he was not smart enough go to university, had been labelled with a learning disability, and was never made to feel like “school” was something for him.

But he began to believe in himself in college, and made it onto the Dean’s list. With that, he gained some courage and confidence. He did the unthinkable and enrolled in a sociology program at Dal. His first few essays had a lot of red ink on them (primary editor right here!). But my husband is the hardest worker I know, and pretty soon he was acing those essays, and eventually made it to the top of his class where he graduated with the University Medal and as an Academic All Canadian.

His professors loved him, and convinced him that he needed to do a Masters degree.

Three (3!) long years later he finished that Masters. Not only did he earn the right to sign M.A. next to his name, he also received a pretty awesome award. The Canadian Sociological Association gave Josh the “Outstanding Graduating Student Award”. So cool right?! I love bragging about him.

His parents made the trip from Ottawa to celebrate with us. We had lots of good food, and Joseph thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Grandpa Bob and Nona.

Joe having a snack with Grandpa Bob. Look at those little shoes...aren't they the cutest!?

Joe having a snack with Grandpa Bob. Look at those little shoes…aren’t they the cutest!?

Graduation Weekend-14 Graduation Weekend-17 Graduation Weekend-18^ check him out. Wearing shorts and Sperry deck shoes. So casual. Some things never change….

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^ That is from out high school graduation. He has a huge grin on his face because right before this picture was taken our principle yelled at him to put the sash around his neck. Haha. What a trouble maker.

Graduation Weekend-20 Graduation Weekend-23

Oh my gosh. Baby feet and dandelions.

Oh my gosh. Baby feet and dandelions.

Graduation Weekend-27 Graduation Weekend-29 Graduation Weekend-30 Graduation Weekend-31

 

 

Let me be kind

I get stressed and anxious when Joseph doesn’t have a good night’s sleep (which means I don’t get a good night’s sleep). When I wake up tired, I feel like I don’t have the mental faculties to deal with the day, and I get this overwhelmed feeling. This morning was like that. He was up at 6 am after a fairly short night’s sleep, even by my own sleep standards. I felt that familiar wave of frustration and stress, that I just can’t deal with this right now. Unfortunately, Josh was in my path. I smelled brewing coffee, which made my spirits lift slightly. I was very let down when I saw that there wasn’t any for me.

“You didn’t make me any?”

“Oh, sorry. I thought you would go back to bed”

I replied, rather sharply, “Kind of hard to go to bed when Joseph is wide awake.”

He quickly brewed me some, even though he was rushing to get out the door to drive his brother to work so that I could have the car. He didn’t respond to my crankiness with his own, and for that I am thankful. He was kind, and sacrificed, even if it was small, to make me feel better by making me coffee.

As I put Joseph down for a nap and took some prayer time, my daily scripture reading was from Phillipians

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: Rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:4-7

Nothing but the wisdom of God can speak into my life like that! I am not kind when I am stressed or anxious. I need to keep reminding myself that when I feel those stressed or anxious feelings, to bring those things to God. To tell him what I want and what I need. “God, I need and want Joseph to sleep. I am feeling overwhelmed with tiredness and frustration. Please give me the graces I need to deal with this situation.” Then the peace of God will be present within my heart. And I will be able to respond to my husband and child with the kindness they deserve.

Sure enough, I felt renewed, and vowed to make the most of a beautiful day with the car. I decided to take Joseph to Sir Sandford Fleming Park. It’s a beautiful park just off of Purcell’s Cove Road that overlooks the Northwest Arm. It’s on the land that was formerly owned by Sir Sandford Fleming, the man who invented universal standard time! I didn’t get any pictures, but there are actually sundials all over the park…so cool!

The Northwest Arm. It was just so beautiful with the sun hitting the water.

The Northwest Arm. It was just so beautiful with the sun hitting the water.

A great little park  by the water. I will have to come back when Joseph is old enough to play!

A great little park by the water. I will have to come back when Joseph is old enough to play!

The stunning Dingle Tower

The stunning Dingle Tower

Such a gorgeous day

Such a gorgeous day

When we had enough, we went to go visit Josh at work for his lunch break. We took a walk on Dalhousie’s campus, got Tim Horton’s and walked some more. I love Dal’s campus…so beautiful!

Joe loves his daddy!

Joe loves his daddy!

Oh gosh. That little baby belly gets me every time.

Oh gosh. That little baby belly gets me every time.

 

 

Project 52: Landscape

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

Landscape is the subject for my 13th challenge of my Project 52 (yes yes, I am SUPER behind..but I will not let that stop me!).

I love this category…it’s so broad. It means that I can revisit it throughout the year as opportunities arise.

I recently found Samantha at Elah Tree and noticed that she is doing a photography challenge for 10 weeks called the Lens Revolution. This week I am deciding to link up with her here!

Her most recent challenge is shooting landscape, which was totally perfect because Josh and I just did a trip out to Peggy’s Cove.

I just love living in Nova Scotia. I never have to travel very far to get a beautiful scene. Enjoy!

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Espresso On Deck Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

 

 

Lighthouses and a Great Weekend

What a great long weekend this has been!

On Friday we celebrated the 15th ordination anniversary of a very dear friend of ours. He celebrated in his typical fashion, with food, friends and alcohol. Hehe!

Joe getting to enjoy some patio time with friends

Joe getting to enjoy some patio time with friends

Drinks and laughs...just relaxing!

Drinks and laughs…just relaxing!

We also happened to have a beautiful view of the clocktower at St. Agnes

We also happened to have a beautiful view of the clocktower at St. Agnes

Hot off his trip from Rome, Fr. Paul was sure to include some Italian favorites

Hot off his trip from Rome, Fr. Paul was sure to include some Italian favorites

Long Weekend-6

First BBQ'd hamburger of the season!

First BBQ’d hamburger of the season!

I got to go on a Mom Date with a good friend of mine (mom date: moms going out without their kids…post on this to follow). We grabbed coffee at one of my favorite coffee places and talked and talked and talked. I love having friends I can do that with 🙂

It was such a gorgeous day, and Josh asked me how I wanted to enjoy the day. I said, “I don’t know, but I DEFINITELY want to see the ocean!” Josh and I decided to be tourists and drive out to Peggy’s Cove.

I got to wear my new summer hat and we got to sip espresso outside of the cutest little coffee shop (Espresso On Deck) with an amazing view of the ocean. I love our little piece of the world here in Nova Scotia.

It's officially summer because I am rocking my Summer Hat (but it was actually kind of chilly by the ocean)

It’s officially summer because I am rocking my Summer Hat (but it was actually kind of chilly by the ocean)

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

Um, hello there Handsome Dad! What is it about men and babies!?

Um, hello there Handsome Dad! What is it about men and babies!?

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Long Weekend-14 Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Long Weekend-17 Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

Me and my boy enjoying our drinks outside

Me and my boy enjoying our drinks outside

Espresso On Deck Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia Espresso On Deck Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

Sunday was a rainy kind of day, so after church we stayed in a snuggled and played Carcasonne 🙂

Unfortunately, my 6-game winning streak ended :(

Unfortunately, my 6-game winning streak ended 😦

Hanging out at Costco

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I think it’s ridiculous how fast kids grow up. Joseph is 8 months old…only 4 more months until he is a year old! Wild.

Today, Joseph and I decided to brave Costco. I haven’t been in a while, mostly because it is absolutely nuts in there, pretty much all the time. Now that Joseph is past that “I will sleep almost anywhere because I’m just an infant” stage (let’s be honest, that was over a loooooong time ago), Costco just isn’t as fun when you have a baby to entertain!

But today, it was different. It was fun!

Joe is big enough that he can sit in that little space at the front of the cart, which is totally his favourite because he can see all the things. He was bright eyed and cheerful after waking up from his nap. We toured around Costco, not in any particular hurry. I would say something to him, he would say something back, we would both laugh.  I FED HIM SAMPLES. It was great. But the best part was that whenever someone came up to us (to him) to say hello, he gave them his best smile in return and often a big story. My heart just swelled with love to see my boy being so friendly and social.

Who would have thought it would be so fun to hang out at Costco with my baby?!