Wednesday, July 27, 2011

what I'm wearing...

It's been a frustrating morning. I just want to get the laundry in the wash. I would love to spend more than two seconds on my hair. I need to eat something that is not a half-box of crackers...

I go to put baby down for one minute to pour myself a glass of water (remember when 8 glasses a day was a reasonable feat?) only to realize that baby does not care if his mama is thirsty. He needs me and he needs me NOW.

My inner dialogue starts off on a rant: how breastfeeding mothers need to stay hydrated... how did I, soft spoken and easy going, get such a vocal baby... is water too much to ask for...what the hell are those other mothers doing to get their baby to sit in those stupid bucket car seats all damn day long...

Before I get too carried away, I stop.

I do what feels instinctual. 

I take my wrap and, like second nature, start methodically wrapping baby up, tight against my chest. As I start the process of tucking and tying, baby resists. I bounce a little and reassure him. He melts. Head resting on my chest. Legs like little cooked linguini noodles. Soft breathing. By the time I tuck his little head in and pat his back a few times he's asleep.

I drink my water.

One thing I believe about babies is that you want them to cry.... how else do you know that they need something? There is a reason that a babies cry is shrill and loud: so we never leave them. It's survival. Baby-wearing is the perfect way to honour every baby's need to be close to it's parents. 

Using slings and wraps is not just a trendy granola mom thing to do to fit in with the AP moms and dads. It's a mutually beneficial way to go about your day peacefully and joyfully. It's convenient. It's fun. It has many social, physiological, emotional and developmental benefits for babies, and helps parents bond (the feelings a parents has toward their baby) and facilitate strong attachment (the feelings a baby has toward a parent). Babies get to experience the world and are appropriately stimulated when being worn (properly) in a carrier. 

Wearing Jeremy also means that he is as much a part of this world as I am. When I walk through the market he walks through the market as well, smells, sees and hears what I do. When I wear him he interacts with the people we pass and they interact with him. And when he's such a part of my world I can talk to him about what were doing. His brain is always learning. 

Jeremy sleeps, eats and explores the world from the safety of my body and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

confessions of an introvert...

This makes me smile. 
I wrote it a little over a year ago at a time when I was spending a lot of energy "being cool". Enjoy!

April 2010

I have this feeling that I want to "un-invent" myself. Forget about what I think I should be like and rediscover who I really am. A flower-in-her-hair-peace-loving-flip-flop-wearing-homebody-who-loves-crafting-and-tea-on-a-Saturday-night.

Yes, that about sums me up! :)

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sometimes I feel like the concept of time dissolves our chances of living in the moment and of being content with the present place we are in. I have never felt the pressure of time more than I do now. Days and weeks seem to escape me because as they pass by I can't see what I have done to fill them (as if I healthy, happy, brilliant 17lb baby is not enough!).

These days hanging the laundry on the line while wearing a baby in a sling takes twice the time. Knitting a pair of socks takes a month or more. Nesting in my new home is still a work in progress after three months (my very dirty secret is I have not washed the windows yet... really. never. They are absolutely filthy!). My garden is embarrassingly sparse in the flower department and full in the herbs-that-need-to-be-harvested-before-they-go-to-seed department. Putting thoughts into words takes much longer when done sentence. by sentence. by sentence.

My concept of time must change. While before motherhood I could devout my attention to completing a task, see the results, and celebrate the fruits of my labour (cold glass of Chardonnay?), now I must find a way to be content with what I am able to accomplish with a babe strapped to my chest.

It's a good lesson for me I think.

I am learning that my sense of self is not based on how clean my home is. I am learning that I don't have to plow through a book or a knitting project - books are read paragraph by paragraph not chapter by chapter and sweaters are knit stitch by stitch not arm by arm. I should feel accomplished if I have done a load of laundry and swept the floor, all in one day. Made it to one yoga class this week? Yay for me! Salad out of a box with a squirt of lemon is now considered cooking. And I feel just dandy about spending the afternoon singing songs to my littlest and biggest fan. Dust bunnies? What dust bunnies?

The biggest lesson I have learned this year- to embrace the moment... 

I read a quote, author unknown to me, that says exactly what I need to know : 

"Don't push the river; it flows on its own".

Soon enough Jeremy won't need me like he does now. Soon enough I wont be able to solve all of the worlds problems by nursing him. Soon enough he won't want to snuggle his mama all day long, and he won't think my songs are the bee's knees. Some day he will go to school and play with his friends and not come home until the street lights come on... but not today. Today I will spend the day making him laugh and showing him what cool water feels like on his toes.

Time is teaching me a much needed lesson. As the hands on the clock tick their way through the day I remain grounded in now. I remember what really matters. I grow patient. I am content.

making the bed with babe sleeping on my chest

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

we are forever changed...


On the 27th of June 2010, a little over one year ago, I became a mother.

The discovery of my pregnancy was both shocking and not shocking at all. I knew even before I had proof, but the proof was mind blowing. On the day that I took a pregnancy test I wrote "when we saw the two little pink lines we held each other with teary eyes, our minds racing, thinking of the year to come. We are forever changed." This photo was taken not long after...

fated by two pink lines...

Exactly one year from that day Jeremy turns four months old. Unbelievable. From the moment I learned that he would be coming the preparations and research began. However, when babe does arrive in a pink screaming fit of rage,decisions like where to register for baby showers and  what theme the baby's room will center around seem so... so indulgent! 

As another June 27th comes and goes I remember that feeling like it was only yesterday; the wondering, the imagining, the dreaming, the obsessing over pregnancy "symptoms"...

I remember the way it felt to go so the drug store and purchase prenatal vitamins, or "What to Expect" at the book store. I remember feeling so nervous, like a fraud; the same way I felt as a 17 year old using a fake ID.  Like I needed a permit to go into Babies R Us. Certainly the sales clerk does not consider me to be competent enough to be a parent... Look at me now Lady-At-Chapters!

365 days later, and how things have changed! I don't quite have the words to honour all of the changes Warren and I have gone through... maybe one day. All I know for certain is that life is nothing like I imagined it would be on that June day. I had a ridiculously easy pregnancy, a surprisingly traumatic delivery and a baby with what most would describe as colic. Jeremy is more beautiful and brilliant than I could have imagined. He is developmentally early with everything, and so very much like his Daddy. 

Every day I am challenged, and every day I am rewarded.

When I look back at all of the reading, researching and pondering I did one year ago, I really don't think I got the point of it all. It really doesn't matter what kind of swaddle-blankets I have. Babies gestate just fine without mama knowing what kind of stone fruit they resemble this week. The books and websites all miss the mark I think... all there is to know is that when the time is right a baby is born, and at that moment so is the mama. They both have to learn how to live in this new, scary world, and they do it together in their own little ways.

I am learning to be a mama just like Jeremy is learning to be a person. I suspect that this is the process we will follow as days turn into years. 

At first I doubted that I was a natural mother but really I just had to be patient with myself and trust my heart and my baby. That's all there is to it.

One year later we are happy and so in love. Outside our little family life goes on like it always has, and this little baby fits so nicely in our loving nook...

love in our family bed.

Looking forward to the years to come (but not too forward as to miss the magic of now!).

Love Always,
Joan Blondina

Monday, July 4, 2011

this speaks to me...

...does it speak to you too?

Fear and Creativity. For me they go hand in hand. It looks like I'm not the only one (click here and here to see what I mean). I always feel down on myself for never getting the motivation to do more with my ideas. I have lists of ideas, and a folder of things that I think "I could definitly make/do", but the ideas remain lifeless.

From a blog called Noodlehead, these could just as easily be my words:
  • fear that I won't be able to keep up, with my family, my job, my blog, with the 8 gazillion other awesome bloggers out there.
  • fear that I'm not using my time wisely, like I should be doing 'this' instead, etc.
  • fear of creating something someone else has already done and I'll be accused of copying
  • fear of failing
  • fear that people won't like what I made
  • fear that I'll use my favorite fabric and not like how a project turns out, this one's kind of sad, but true

Fear and Creativity. Something to think about...

Love Always,
Joan Blondina