Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crazy or not, you gotta respect the traditions.

Hi friends,

Just a few more sleeps until Christmas. The excitement is building. I’ve gone through peaks and valleys over the years, in my excitement for Christmas. As a child, nothing could hold back the excitement. I remember waking up early and running out to see what Santa had brought. As I got older and became teenager, the excitement was not as much. I preferred to sleep in, as much as my younger sisters would let me. Then they entered their teens and the wake up times got later and later…proportional to the growth of surliness in our household.

Eventually, we grew up (kinda) and grew less surly (mostly), got married and moved out. We always have Christmas Eve dinner at my parents’ and we kept the tradition of opening presents at their house on Christmas morning.  This means a late night and an early morning. Not always ideal when you want to sleep in. one of us was always late (not me). We started giving false times for present opening but someone was still late. One year my sister (Baby Auntie? BAuntie? We’ll work on that one) suggested that we open one present each on Christmas Eve. My Dad lost it. I think he was more upset that we were all grown up but I understand now, he wants to hold on to our traditions. I don’t blame him. I want to hold onto them too and create my own for The Boy.

This year, we are still doing Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning present opening but it’s more a late morning present opening. Last Christmas, we had 2 new babies, The Boy and my niece. We agreed to open presents at our own homes with our babies and then go to my parents’ house.  That way we get the excitement of Santa in our homes and at my parents' home. Wins for everyone.

As much as things change and technology speeds by, I like that some things stay the same.  I love that I can watch videos with The Boy and share his pictures and antics via the internet with friends and family around the world. I love that Christmas morning is a blending of old and new traditions and phone calls to family in Trinidad are sometimes replaced with Skype conversations but at the core the feeling is the same. I cannot wait for The Boy’s second Christmas! The possibilities for excitement are endless…

What's better than this on Christmas morning?
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thank (insert deity of choice here) for the internet!

Hi friends,

The holidays are here! Yay! I’m giddy for the holidays. Don’t know why but I just get excited, especially now that I have a child. Last year was the first time I experienced the season as a mom. This year is the first time fro me as a Mom who is working outside of the home. It’s different but still great.

Life is a bit challenging for me this week. We are in the midst of our busy season at work, Baby Daddy is on a business trip, The Boy is recovering from being sick last week and I got wicked 24 hour stomach flu in the middle of the week. It was like the perfect storm of “what can go wrong next?” This weekend is very busy too with a kid’s Christmas party and a cousin’s baby shower back to back. I have my hands full.

This week, more than ever, I appreciate the internet, the PC and my smartphone. I was not able to get to store to buy my present for the baby shower but through the magic of the internet, I was able to purchase my present online. What was even better, is that I got the option to ship my present (for a very small nominal fee) directly to the recipient. Wins all around. I didn’t have to lug the present to the shower, along with The Boy and his gear and the future Mom does not have to worry about taking it home with her. I’m still going to pick up a small toy for the baby when I get a card so I will still have something for the shower. I’m just glad I don’t have to wrangle a bulky present.

Usually, I make a list on my PC, email it to myself so I have on my phone and hit the streets. Internet purchases have been getting easier and easier in Canada. Many popular retailers even offer free shipping options. I’m definitely going to take advantage of that this year. It’s much easier and I don’t have to brave the mall crowds except to get my cheesy picture of The Boy and Santa. I know I’m a little late to the game and I used to actually enjoy going shopping. Now, not so much. I rather spend my free time playing with The Boy.

No chance of him sitting still this year

Carrying this many presents and a baby is not a good idea
Maybe a little less of this craziness this year

Hopefully more and more and more of this craziness every year

The holidays are coming – get ready with the right technology. Ideas, tips and more from Intel® Canada bloggers only at Intel® Canada’s Facebook page.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nostalgia and Magic in the air

Hello lovely friends,

Today is December 1st. I get giddy at this time of year. Something about the holidays makes me a little Christmas crazy. It got worse once we had The Boy. I got even giddier than normal for his first Christmas. This year is going to be even worse (or better in my opinion) in the degree of Christmas craziness. I think having The Boy turned me into a kid again for the holidays. I’m so excited for his 2nd Christmas.

Tonight I attended an alumni event for a company I used to work for a few years ago. It made me feel very nostalgic. Do not get me wrong, I love where I am now but I fondly remembered those days. It was great to catch up past coworkers and reminisce about working together and laugh at the shenanigans we used to get up to. I was a little nervous and hesitant (and lazy) to go to the event, especially since I’m still getting over a wicked stomach flu. I’m glad I sucked it up and went though. So much had changed and so much has stayed the same.

I did miss my boys though. One is on a business trip but he will be home soon. The other was up way past his bedtime when I got home. I could not resist going in to see him for hugs and snuggles. It probably disrupted him but we both loved it, selfishly me more than him. I had to kiss that little face and hold him while I sang the goodnight song I made up for him. He’s sleeping soundly now and I’m cyber stalking him on the webcam.

I’m so giddy right now and I did not consume one drop of alcohol. I better get off the internet or I’ll start signing about rainbows and unicorns.  Happy Christmas Magic everyone!

The Boy last Christmas

Cannot wait for the cuteness to come this year!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adapting to change

Hi everyone,

The Boy is 17 months now. Life after having him has been a roller coaster but there are definitely more ups than downs. Before having The Boy, I had all these plans in place. Plans on how I was going to sleep train him, educate him, entertain him, photograph him…the list goes on and on. Much like my birth plan, most of my other plans either got tossed out the window or changed as we learned to be parents.  

I had the ambitious plan to take one photo a day of The Boy, for the first year of his life, using the DSLR for “high” quality pictures. It started off well but turned into a challenge sometimes. It’s hard to wrangle a big, heavy camera and a baby at the same time. I started to rely on the trusty smartphone to take some of my pictures. The quality was not as great as the DSLR but they were still very good. I had the added bonus of taking videos with my smartphone too. I must admit, I did miss a day or two (around the holidays) but I did manage to get my project done. Now I look at that album and can’t believe all of the change in one year.

The other thing I promised myself I would not do was depend on TV or PCs (screens) really to entertain my son. Of course, I had to change my way of thinking. Especially as he got older, I needed some help while I cleaned up from his increasing messy meal times. Short education videos help me out.  Now he happily watches videos on the PC or iPad for a few minutes while I decontaminate the kitchen. The bonus is that he’s learning the alphabet and counting (I’m hoping). Videos and games on my smartphone are super helpful for public meltdowns. A little distraction geos a long way.

The biggest things I’ve learned since becoming a parent is plan for you plans to change. Babies have a mind of their own and quite often, they refuse to cooperate. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How did we get from here?

To here?
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Having a baby gives you a new option for gift giving…especially for the grandparents

Hi everyone,

I knew things were going to change when I had The Boy but there were some really unexpected changes.  The minutes I had him the centre of my universe shifted to him. My extreme appreciation for my Mom was not something I expected. I felt guilty for all the times I was a brat, now that I understood what she went through with pregnancy and labour (drugs for me, not for her, thanks Mommy!).

The other thing I did not expect was people’s reactions to the new baby. My husband’s transition into fatherhood was amazing to watch. I still love it. He was the one who shouted “it’s a boy!” even before the doctor. I loved watching my family and friends meet The Boy for the first time.  I love watching people falling in love with him

Last year, The Boy’s first Christmas. We stumbled across a great idea for presents for the grandparents at Indigo. We are not lacking food and shelter. Everyone has so much stuff and we really don’t need anything (except winning lotto numbers and a maid service).  The grandparents however, could not get enough time with The Boy and could not get enough of his pictures.  We did a couple of things. We took photos of The Boy, in our home, using our DSLR, I wrote a little diddy and we made our own Christmas card. It was a big hit, a lot of people still have it on their fridges. It’s a little cheesy, I know, showing off your kid but he’s so cute! For the grandparents, we made “brag books” and Indigo.  The Boy happened to be 6 months last December and the brag books we found had six spots for photos. We took one photo from each month since his birth and made our Christmas presents for his grandparents. They were not expensive either (between $12-$16) and they are still the favourite. We are even  asked for updated books.

If you are on a budget and want to cut down on spending and really buying crap no one really ones, I suggest photos for the grandparents. Check out what Indigo is doing this year (they are not paying me, I just really like their stuff) - They have cool gifts for everyone really. This year, I plan on expanding on the photo thing and offering up sleepovers, a win for Baby Daddy and me and the grandparents.

How are you tackling the holidays? Check out what the Intel Canada folks are doing.

Who wouldn't want to see this face everyday?
All the grandparents ever want (kiddies only, not the floating arms)

These little sweet feet are the best presents ever!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Working Mom Guilt

Hi friends,

I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to experience Working Mom Guilt. Doesn’t make it suck any less though. Moms are judged so harshly. You’re judged if you stay at home to raise your child, you’re judged if you go back to work. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I’m not sure how to deal with Working Mom Guilt (WMG). My job is very demanding, especially now because we in the midst of our busy season. I’m also new at this job so I have the added stress of a steep learning curve.  I don’t have the opting of clocking in and clocking out at specific times, there is always work to be done but I make sure that I spend time with The Boy. He’s my stress  relief.

I wish I could stay at home with him instead of going to work and sending him to daycare but I have bills and a mortgage to pay. When I was on mat leave, I sometimes missed the adult interaction. Can’t win either way. The challenge for me is to unplug and spend time with The Boy and not feel guilty if can’t get everything done in a work day. I have to teach myself that work is called work for a reason.

How do working moms do it? How do singe working moms do it? I have new heroes.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

People suck.

Hi guys,

People are stupid. I know, I know, not all people are stupid. I tend to make generalizations when I’m felling especially crumudgeony.  I spent most of the past year in the baby bubble so I forgot how grumpy, mean, judgy, finger pointy and nasty grownups can be.  Some people just don’t get the whole flies and honey concept. Do mean people derive pleasure from dumping on other people? I think the fake nice people are even worse than the outright mean people, they lull you into thinking they are nice and then bam! Nastiness.

The other thing that bugs me is those people that always have to be right. Those people also waste no time in making you feel like an idiot for not know something (give the new girl a break for Pete’s sake). Instead of being lovely and helpful, they ask you questions they know you do not have the answer to make themselves feel superior. Morons…

I’m just grumpy because I miss The Boy when I’m at work. I do have pleasant interactions with adults but it’s the unpleasant incidents that can sour an entire day or week. Enough venting, I’m going to eat some Nutella with a spoon straight out of the jar and then kiss my sleeping boy. He never makes me feel like a dummy (yet).

Ok, sometimes he looks at me like I'm a dummy but he makes up for it in cuteness


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Introvert to extrovert to introvert ish…

Hi friends,
I often write about how indispensable technology is in my life. I’m addicted reliant on technology, it makes so many things so much easier. But…I don’t think it always is a plus. Technology has allowed me to do a lot of great things but it also is a gateway to introvertism (I made up that word but I like it so I’m keeping it).

I used to be way more shy and less confident than I am now (don’t get me wrong, I’m not brimming with confidence now, but I’m better than I was).  Then I got older and stopped caring as much about what idiots did or said or thought, I became less shy. I became more of an extrovert.  I became surer of myself. I trusted my decisions.  I also embraced technology more and more. I found myself emailing, texting and IMing more and making phone calls less.

Lately, I’ve noticed something about myself, I seem reluctant to make a phone call if I have the option to email or IM.   I think this started when I was on mat leave, it was often easier to email or send a text from my smartphone while I was nursing the baby or while he was napping. It was not always easy to talk on the phone  and sometimes I just wanted quiet. I could compose my thoughts better and more importantly , share photos too. Now that I’ve gone back to work, I still find it easier to email, especially if it means avoiding speaking to someone with a particularly aggressive personality.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I prefer not to have unnecessary stress.

I’m comfortable with my re-introduction to introvertism. Technology has given me options for communicating. I still use the phone but I like knowing that I don’t always have to. Email lets me think about what I want to say and do it more clearly than I may have on the phone but nothing beats a great phone call with a friend or colleague. I love hearing the smile in someone’s voice. Just the other day one phone call turned my crappy day around. Hearing The Boy say “mama” on the phone diffuses a bad day.

Do you prefer phone calls or email? What’s your preferred method of keeping in touch? Tell us at the Intel Canada Facebook page