25 Weeks

It amuses me that I haven’t written here in months; that the last post I wrote was made when I was 25 weeks pregnant and now my daughter (whom we named Tegan) is now 25 weeks old. She’ll be six months old tomorrow, 26 weeks old on Saturday, and is absolutely the joy of my life.

The past six months have passed by in an absolute blur of all those things people tell you about before you have your first child: sleepless nights, seemingly endless dirty diapers, spit up, second-guesses…I’ve dealt with all those things. But I’ve also been blessed with smiles and giggles and the sweet smell of her breath after I nurse her. Sure there were hard times at first (a long haul with jaundice and getting the hang of breastfeeding was a nightmare), but I wouldn’t change one single second of the last six months. Not a one.

In my previous post I wrote about how I didn’t want this space to turn into just another “mommy blog”. I still don’t, but that fact of the matter is that “this is me now”, as I like to jokingly say. I’m a mom now. Every minute of my day is spent looking after a beautiful little girl, so there’s not much else to write about right now. The break I took from writing seemed like a natural one, but once again I’m feeling the siren call beckoning me back here.

Bear with me while I tread the new, murky waters of navigating what I share here? I’ll make it to the open ocean again soon.

Where Have You Been?

Almost three months have passed since I’ve added anything to this space. My bad. I’ve been a little bit preoccupied with some things and haven’t had much inspiration to write.

What have I been up to over the past nine-ish weeks, you might ask? Well.

I’ve been listening to a lot of music. In heavy rotation in my iTunes library are Ben Howard’s new album, I Forget Where We Were;¬†Taylor’s Swift’s new disc, 1989;¬†Tove Lo’s Queen of the Clouds and Calvin Harris’ Motion;¬†as well as Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic.

I’ve been reading a lot, too. I recently re-read the last two books in the Harry Potter series, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows.¬†Up here on “Canadian Thanksgiving” back in October, one of our TV stations showed¬†an HP movie marathon over the weekend and reignited my love of all-things-Harry. I always appreciate¬†seeing my favourite novels brought to life on film, but, like most bibliophiles, I get extremely irked by how much is lost in translation or just plain left out, so I wanted to take a walk down memory lane and remember the¬†exact high jinks Harry et al got into during their quest to defeat the big-bad Voldy.

Another novel I’ve been working my way through (because it is loooong) is Edge of Eternity, by Ken Follett, the third book in his Century Triology. It’s a super interesting read, but seriously lengthy, so I took a break three-quarters of the way through. Harry and his friends¬†were a great escape from the darker¬†tones of the Cold War period.

What I haven’t been doing a lot of is running, which kind of makes me sad, but there’s a pretty good reason for it. Over the past three months¬†(right around the last time I posted), I looked like this:

14 Weeks

But, as of last Saturday, I now look like this:

25 Weeks

Readers of this space who¬†know me in real life have known for weeks now that¬†Dave and I are over-the-moon-excited to be adding¬†a little girl to our family at the end of February. I’ve wanted to write about it here, but I’ve been purposefully holding off. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons, actually, but mostly because I don’t¬†want this space to become strictly a blog about babies. Or parenthood. Or pregnancy. Although I like to write and share stories about my life as it happens, I can also be immensely private. To me, pregnancy is a wonderful experience, but it’s a personal one. I don’t feel the need to bombard everyone with my feelings or thoughts or views on the process.¬†I strive¬†to maintain a balance of me-as-a-mother and me-as-a-person, here in this space, as well as in real life. Thankfully, it hasn’t been too difficult yet.

Just as I’ve missed running (I’ve been sidelined since the end of my first trimester due to a plethora of things), I’ve missed writing here. I’ll try and be more present, but ask you to please¬†forgive my possible preoccupation. There might be an increase of posts about babies and parenthood and pregnancy, but there might not be. At this point, I’m unsure of what direction this blog will take.

I will say this: I don’t want my little corner of the Internet to fall by the wayside because I like it here. I feel comfortable here. I want to be here. All I know is that I¬†love a good adventure and I’m incredibly excited to be embarking on my biggest one yet. I hope you’ll continue to tag along for the ride.

The Best Of All Of Us

Yesterday someone in my Facebook network shared this photo and it really got me thinking:

10633392_10152371479848460_8026366488169711718_o

When I was growing up, I always thought my parents’ separation was a BAD THING. I’ve written before about it here in this space, about how I was so angry at my father for leaving, so angry at my mother for letting him leave, so angry at my step-siblings for the time they were able to spend with my father, time that I could not. For a long time I was a mean-spirited, hateful girl who grew into the same kind of woman.

Thankfully, things change and time (usually) heals all wounds.

You’d think, as one who strongly subscribes to¬†the theory of “everything happen for a reason”, I would’ve calmed down a bit and let life¬†progress as it¬†should instead of railing on and on about how my family did me wrong. It honestly wasn’t until Dave and I started dating that I realized that this one, big, BAD THING that had happened was actually¬†one of the best things to occur in my life. Why? Because my father moved to Prince Edward Island when I was seven years old and still lives there to this day. I moved in with him for a short amount of time when I was twenty-two. Of course, being a young adult, I needed a job. When I finally got one in Charlottetown it was where Dave worked. Aside from a few muddled years apart, the rest, as they say, is history.

But this isn’t about Dave. Not this time.

It’s true that if my parents hadn’t split up and my¬†father¬†hadn’t moved to PEI where my stepmother’s family lives I never would’ve met my husband. I mean, maybe, I might have, some other way, some other time, but I doubt it. I guess it’s possible.¬†The chances would have been slim, but maybe still possible.

What I do know for a fact, however, is that if my parents hadn’t separated when I was four years old I one-hundred-percent, for-sure, without-a-doubt would not have¬†met one of my most favourite people in the world; without whom my life¬†would be very different indeed. Without her, my life would be a little duller, a little less fun. If my parents hadn’t separated and my father hadn’t met my stepmother, I wouldn’t have the privilege of knowing and adoring my little sister, Saundra. Without a doubt, if the BAD THING hadn’t have happened, she wouldn’t have happened either.

This is about her.

Saundra was born when I was six years old. I don’t remember my father telling me about her impending arrival. Honestly, how I remember finding out I had a little sister¬†goes¬†like this: My father came over to pick me up from my house one day and told me he was taking me to meet my new baby sister. I was a little confused, but I went with him to the hospital. She was in one of those glass, incubator-ish, crib-like trays (technical term), with a name card on the side. She was pink and tiny and wrapped tightly in an equally tiny blanket.

We met twenty-four years ago today.

Today is her twenty-fourth birthday.

Regrettably, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Saundra as we grew up. I wish I had. My father and stepfamily¬†moved to Ontario shortly after she was born and then to PEI not long after that, and I remained home with my mother, 300-plus kilometres away. As I’ve touched on before,¬†I usually only saw my¬†stepfamily for roughly six weeks during the summer months. Six weeks out of a year is not enough time. I think we both wanted more, but distance – and life itself – would not permit it.

But, again, things change.¬†Thankfully, Saundra and I have spent more time together as we’ve grown¬†(although not nearly as much as I’d like) and our similarities have paved the¬†way¬†for¬†a close bond¬†to form¬†between us. Even though we don’t see one another or speak as often as I’d like, I love and appreciate her¬†more than there are words to explain¬†(but it wouldn’t be like me not to try).

I might not know all there is about my sister, but of this I’m sure:¬†She is the best of all of us.

She gets her kindness from our father, something he instilled in her from the very beginning of her days.¬†From her mother she received her intelligence, her raw and demanding desire¬†for knowledge.¬†She has Andrew’s big heart, as vast and deep as the fathomless sea. From James, she acquired a sense of unbridled ferocity, ready and willing to defend anyone or anything she believes in or loves. She gained¬†her strong sense of determination and her love of children from Sarah, and there are¬†three kids (almost four!) who are incredibly blessed to have her as their aunt.

I’m not sure what she got¬†from me.¬†Sometimes I think it’s my love of all-things-nerdy, like books and films and tea and all those random things that come from the off-beaten path. Sometimes, maybe, I think it could be my strong sense of empathy and how I just feel everything so damn much because, sometimes, she does too.¬†Maybe still¬†it’s only those physical traits she has that we both have, traits we¬†received from our father, the same hands and the shape of our eyes and how we can crook our left eyebrow like it’s nobody’s business.

I’m not sure what she got¬†from me but I know one thing’s for certain¬†– she is the slyest and surest of thieves, for she’s stolen my heart completely. She damn-well does it to just about everyone she meets and you just can’t help but let her. She is disarming and selfless and a force to be reckoned with. She is laughter, love, and light made real. She is our brightest, shining star.

Everything happens for a reason. Without the BAD THING that happened to me, I wouldn’t have one of the BEST THINGS that ever happened to me.

Sisters

Happy birthday, you wise, beautiful girl. My goodness, I just love you so.