Saturday, December 30, 2006


Rebecca has two favourite books right now: Dr. Seuss ABCs and Pat the Bunny. The ABC book is #1 and I have read it to her so many times, that I'm sure I could recite it from memory. When I read this book to Rebecca, I sit on the floor with my legs crossed, and she sits in my lap. Sometimes she helps me turn the pages (this is evident to anyone who looks at the book - the F and G pages are somewhat mangled). Rebecca has started carrying the book over to people if she wants them to read it with her. But the best thing is - if I am sitting on the floor and she wants me to read the book to her, she will walk over (book in hand), and sit in my lap - without any prompting or help from me. It's terrific! I love it!

Heads up: New blog name

Hello everyone!
It is our intention to rename the blog. We hope to use the following as our new URL (and there doesn't seem to be a reason why this would not be possible):
We will be implementing this change in the near future.

Rebecca feeds herself spaghetti

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Important Message

Hello everyone!
I just wanted to officially welcome Greg to the blog. Hello honey!
He will be posting too from now on, and adding his thoughts about the stay-at-home-Dad experience.
In light of this, Rebecca and I feel that the blog deserves a new name and address. This change will take place in about two weeks time. I will give a heads up on the new URL.
Thank-you for reading!

Blue steel!

The workplace Christmas pot-luck

My workplace has a culture of its own. It is understood, that on the last day of work before Christmas, people can bring their children to the workplace. So that's what I did on Friday. I brought Becca with me. Unfortunately, this meant nixing the morning nap, but considering she was eye-rubbing in the car on the way to work, her behaviour really didn't suffer all that much. She was definitely on the edge of a meltdown when we left, and her walking had become dangerously uncoordinated, but we escaped in the nick of time. There were a few other children that came in - notably, a 2 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. Rebecca was very interested in the little boy, made a squealing bee-line for him and began to molest him in a friendly way. This intimidated the poor boy who already seemed shy. It was clear quite quickly that she was making him intensely uncomfortable. Ultimately, I had to physically drag Becca away from him. The little girl seemed to be of less interest, except for the fact that she had a toy stroller that Rebecca was keen to claim as her own (just as with the full size ones at home, Rebecca wants to flip them over and look at the wheels). This distressed the little girl, who, being 2, has a comfort and familiarity with sharing about equal to Becca's. At the pot-luck itself, despite having enjoyed a large and nutritious breakfast, Rebecca decided to thieve from my plate. The food was arranged on tables "buffet" style, and I carried the baby in one arm, and my dish in the other. I was ony distracted for a few seconds, but in that time she grabbed a snack-size pita bread in one hand, and a chocolate timbit in the other. By the time I noticed and tried to intervene (to the extent that is possible with your hands full), the timbit was gone. Maybe this seems natural to you - after all, timbits are yummy, but you must understand that Rebecca has never eaten a timbit or a donut before. Her exposure to sweets has been rather limited. How did she know that it was the best thing on my plate?! Then she got timbit-slime all over my clothes and her clothes, while eating the pita. Just another day with a 1 year old. Two things excited Rebecca more than anything on Friday - one was a small punting dog that was at the pot luck. It was dressed up for Christmas and was running around underfoot (all the more so because Rebecca was chasing him, shrieking with delight). The other was my limber coworker who did cartwheels and walked on her hands to entertain Becca. This had her giggling and laughing with delight.
One final thought - people love to interact with babies. Of course, Rebecca was a bit shy when we first arrived, and clung to my legs. But, eventually she warmed up. What is strange is that she seems to naturally gravitate to some people more than others. What makes her decide that one stranger is safe, and another is not? I feel bad when she is not affectionate with everyone, because people actually feel rejected, and for some reason, being rejected by a baby seems to hurt people more. Also odd - people decide for themselves that babies just hate them, and readily accept this as their lot in life. I don't understand. Anyway, there were four people that Rebecca seemed especially fond of on Friday. They were all women - I don't know if that is significant or not. Maybe strange men are scarier for little children? Maybe it's because the women to men ratio where I work is incredibly skewed? Anyhow, she loved our limber girl - naturally, because she made her laugh. She loved my sweet and maternal coworker, because she played with her and has a gentle touch. She loved our pregnant admin support lady - walked right up to her and hugged her legs (I felt particularly happy about that - I suppose it's because I like the idea of sending a message to someone pregnant with their first child that says "look, you are going to be a mommy and what's more you are going to be loved and adored by a little person" or alternatively "you may feel crappy and swollen right now, but just you wait, soon you will be getting hugs from a baby"). And lastly, she liked a girl in my office for no discernible reason - of course, she is very nice, but Rebecca had no way of knowing that - and Becca just went in for the hug while surrounded by a group of people - all of whom would have been keen to receive one. Did they give off the right vibes? Who knows? Do they look like they could be family members? Did they have attributes or mannerisms that reminded Becca of people she already feels comfortable with? Just another mystery.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Heya, start of the stay at home dad era

Well, Mad and I decided I should post to this blog... maybe it should be renamed if I end up posting enough?

Anyway, I've worked out a super sweet one day a week in the office part time work arrangement which allows me to stay home Monday through Thursday with our little pumpkin pop.

There was some stress and uncertainty about my work status (contract vs. employee, rates, etc.) but that mostly got resolved in the last couple days.

She's ridiculously adorable these days. In the last few weeks she's gone from a couple of tentative steps and much furniture cruising to full on walking around the house, getting up without pulling up on an object, carrying two things in her hands, walking backwards, and bending at the waist and picking stuff up. Her transformation into toddlerhood was amazingly quick and coincided well with her first birthday.

I can't remember meeting anyone who smiles and has fun as much as she does in a day. It can be a little exhausting keeping up with her, but amazingly rewarding. She is persistent and sometimes gets into an impish mood where she goes straight from one thing she knows she's not allowed doing to another (opening video cabinets, opening the kitchen garbage, trying to touch the front of the gas fireplace etc. etc. etc). It gets tiring coming up with a hundred different ways to say 'no' without just saying 'no' over and over again.

She's become noticeably more willful as well, getting upset when she doesn't get her way. She's still easy to distract, though. I wonder how long this will last?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Week two back at work

I am now in my second week back at work. This week is definitely easier. I am beginning to adapt to the new routine, and I'm not so exhausted anymore. It's still hard not to be the one to go to her in the middle of the night. One morning when I left, she heard the door close and she started to cry. That was probably the worst thing that has happened. But, all the same, knowing that Greg is home with Becca makes a huge difference to me. Also, all my new projects are very interesting and keep me busy. I have photos in my cubicle in case I'm feeling blue, and there's always the phone. My bus ride is only about 12 minutes, and the bus comes fairly frequently, so that isn't too terrible. The truth is, I really like my job, and I work with some wonderful people on fascinating issues.
Rebecca got her MMR vaccine last week. Since she's walking now, the shots are in the arms, not the legs. I can only imagine how challenging it was for Greg and the nurse to hold her down. The doctor said her molar should be through soon (fingers crossed). The teething has been bad lately - no teethers really get that far back - so she has her fingers in there all the time.
Rebecca's new tricks - bending at the waist while standing, in order to pick something up (as opposed to just squatting). She has been walking backward since about the time she learned to walk, but apparently that's a little unusual. She is enamoured with hide and go seek type games, or chase-me games. Happily, she seems to eat books less, and will actually sit down by herself and go through a book, babbling away. Of course, she still rips pages, so most books are still off limit (I must repair a few, in fact). She really enjoys being read to - which is a joy for me. I can't imagine having a child that wasn't interested in books. Rebecca is doing a lot of independent play lately. The critical thing for her seems to be having one or both of us in the room, even if we aren't playing with her directly. As far as food goes, feeding success is directly related to how much of the food Rebecca is allowed to feed to herself. She wants the control. Big messes ensue. When she was a tiny baby, a day could have multiple outfits changes because of diaper-type accidents, now, it's usually due to her food redistribution efforts.

Monday, December 11, 2006

First day back at work

Well, it finally happened. My baby turned one. We had a big party, with cupcakes, balloons and many friends. The very next morning, I donned my work clothes and ID badge and headed back to careerland.
Happily, Rebecca is going to be home with Daddy, so that makes the transition easier for all involved. She hardly seems to have noticed my absence at all. I hope this means she will be an emotionally resilient child.
It was weird to spend the day in an entirely different universe. The clothing is different, the activities are different, the people are different. Everything feels just a little bit off - people included, and I have the impression I am playing a dress-up game. I miss my Rebecca.
I have decided to work a "compressed" schedule. By working extra time every day, I eventually get a day off (usually every second Friday). A whole day to spend with Becca in the manner I became so accustomed to. Of course, that made today pretty long. Fortunately, with so much catching up to do and new projects to peruse, I was busy all day long, so I didn't spend too much time pining for the fjords (so to speak). That is how I feel today. It might be different by the end of the week.
The bus ride home is only 15 minutes, which is good because I detest the city bus experience. More incentive to walk home some nights.