Tales From 2AM Feedings: Naps Are Overrated, Anyway

Sleeping Baby-2

There’s this sacred window of opportunity where I’m winning the battle of sleeps with my tired fussy baby.

I’ve fed him, changed him, shushed him, prayed over him; his droopy eyes and limbs seem to be cooperating.

As his body goes limp, I know it’s now or never. Delicately, I lay him to sleep, secretly rejoicing for this gift of solitude.

Success! I know he’s tired. He needs his sleep. I do the math and estimate about a 2-hour nap.

My heart races with joy thinking of all the things I can squeeze into 2 hours: reading, workout, writing, chilling, cooking, shower… excited, I brew some hot tea and open my laptop to maybe write or catch up on some reading.

Ahh, bliss.

“ahh-hek ahh-hek aaaa aaaa …” 

Annnnd the whimpering begins.

Quiet and faint at first, like a distant train. My ears must be playing tricks on me. He can’t be awake, I just put him to sleep 15 minutes ago.

The whimpering gains full steam and before you know it it’s full on wailing—the train has arrived.

“Wouaaa wouaaa wu wu wouaaaaaaaaaa WAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”

As quickly as my dreams of mommy time formed, they fade away. The peace and quiet dissipate. Time to throw away that tea.

Naps are overrated anyway. I’ll dream again tomorrow.

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That Moment When Your Child Outsmarts You

Truly, it’s got to be a privilege to watch children grow and mature before your eyes.

My 4-year-old Princess continues to astonish me with her wit and emotional intellect. She really knows how to navigate tense situations, even when I’m downright mad at her. Take this situation for example:

  • After rough handling her little brother, I disciplined Princess Z with a time out. Sensing that I was unhappy with her behavior, Princess Z decided to win me over using her armamentarium of mommy tools: crayons and coloring sheets. I watched her transform Peppa Pig from a white empty shell into a bold colorful life force, a process she calls “change the colors.”

Once she was satisfied, this is what she presented to me along with an innocent charming question, “Mommy are you happy now?

Peppa pig

Mommy are you happy now?

My heart MELTED.

Even though her actions were one part manipulation, one part intellect, and one part me being a total sucker for her charm, I couldn’t help but smile loudly. She knows me better than I realized. It’s commendable that this smartly colored Peppa Pig could overturn my mood so quickly.

Kids really do say the darndest things. What’s been a proud or witty moment with your child?

Are You Fluent in Emoji?

Emoji

Yes, I’m a self-confessed dummy when it comes to “speaking” emoji.

A Japanese transplant, the word emoji literally means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji) or “picture letter.”

I can handle the simple Smiling Face 🙂 or Disappointed Face :(, but I have no idea how or when to use the myriad of other emoji.

Only today, I discovered the icon for The Joy emoji —also referred to on the ­Emojipedia website as “Face With Tears of Joy” or “the LOL Emoji.”

In an effort to stave off my ignorance, I thought it was time to learn this evolving language, so as to better use the emoji keyboard next time it flashes on my smart phone.

Take the quiz: How well do you speak emoji?

Below you’ll find meanings for some basic emoji. Check out Emojipedia for a more comprehensive list of emoji meanings.

Emoji

Emoji-2

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Laundry Relaxes Me

Laundry

Sometimes the mundane things in life bring the most relaxation. On days when my brain is fried, I do laundry.

Sure, laundry is usually an annoying chore for most people. But, the freshness and sheer accomplishment of an empty dirty laundry basket is so rewarding.

What seemingly “annoying” tasks bring you peace and relaxation?

Wow, C’est Bon!

Z, my baby girl, is buckets-o-fun.

Through her, I get to see the world with glittering eyes: colorful, curious, and all agog.

Her playful and joyful attitude humbles me; sometimes I wonder if we’re really cut from the same cloth … but I’m convinced it’s God in her.

She says the quirkiest and smiliest things, her latest phrase being:

Wow! C'est bon!

*Translated: Wow, it’s good!

Just yesterday, we went to the clinic for her 2-year check up. As we entered through the sliding doors she screamed, “Wow, c’est bon!” Meanwhile, I was muttering, “Please God, don’t let this be a long stressful appointment.”

… talk about attitude check!

The beauty of this expression is that it’s active. You’ve got to say it with:

  • Tremendous oomph
  • Hands raised
  • Loud voice

If you don’t follow protocol, it won’t deliver the intended dose of joy.

Try it: “Wow! C’est bon!”

My Colored Life

Color

Yellow, orange, pink, and green
So sunny and inspiring

I love in red
I smile in blue
I live for sunsets
I bathe in hues

My world I choose to saturate
with rainbow laughter
in prisms of love

Color is a form of nonverbal communication and an important aspect of our daily lives.
I’m not afraid of color. I love its power to transform atmospheres and emotions.
I love wearing colors that make people smile; colors that convey joy, hope, and love.
I’m not blind to color, I embrace it avec gusto!

What do you convey through color?

Toddlers Are a Slippery Bunch!

As a first-time mom, everyone impressed on me the need for baby proofing, but nothing or no one could have prepared me for the joys and hazards of toddlerhood.

I’m convinced that a toddler’s motto should be: Keep up or there’ll be TROUBLE!

Toddlers are a slippery, sneaky bunch who will:

  • Escape through the front door, and “politely” close it behind them
  • Change your Facebook profile pic, while you handle the embarrassing fallout
  • Hand you a diaper of poop, and congratulate themselves for being helpful
  • Crayola your couch in red and blue, as your back is turned to them
  • Fetch a heap of books to read just before bedtime, knowing you’ll have difficulty saying no
  • Demand an “encore” for everything, and have a meltdown if they don’t get their way
  • Use your cheque book as a drawing pad, and ignore the fancy art kit you bought for them
  • Spill their dinner on the floor screaming,”fini,” while you agonize over another clean up

Raising a toddler is like celebrating Christmas, riding a roller coaster, having a root canal, getting a promotion, being pooped on, and eating your favorite meal … all at the same time … and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What are your experiences with toddlerhood?

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Life is fleeting. To maximize our time we must live safely and responsibly. But this is not the case in many East African countries where motorcycles, commonly known as boda bodas, have become one of the most popular means of transport AND also the riskiest. So much so that many hospitals in Kenya and Uganda have opened special wards to cater for the rising number of boda boda accident victims.

Visit any Tanzanian, Kenyan, or Ugandan town and you’ll witness reckless driving and blatant violation of traffic laws and safety:

  • Mothers hitching boda boda rides with their infants
  • Multiple passengers and their luggage riding a single boda boda (overloading is a common feature)
  • Underage and unlicensed driving of boda bodas

I captured this boy driving a boda boda in Tukuyu, Tanzania. Notice the lack of helmet and proper shoes.

Despite the tremendous safety risk, people are ignorant and/or blinded by the seeming advantages of these death traps. Boda bodas offer the fastest form of public transportation, particularly in hard to reach village towns. They are swift, cost efficient, and can easily navigate dense traffic. Importantly, operating a boda boda is a source of income for numerous unemployed youth.

So where to from here?

Authorities are now cracking down on motor cyclists and seizing boda bodas in many cities across East Africa. According to New Vision, some cyclists have been caught transporting up to 7 school children in various city suburbs!

Clearly there needs to be an urgent push towards educating riders and passengers on the dangers of boda bodas. There needs to be better legislation and law enforcement promoting the safe and responsible use of boda bodas.

Life is too fleeting to waste away due to ignorance.

No helmets, no safety, no traffic laws apply to the boda boda

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Signs. Funny, poignant, symbolic, incorrect, informative, foreshadowing … there are so many signs in the world.

One of my favorite places to get poutine—a Quebec dish made with french fries, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds—is a fantastic family-owned restaurant called Grégoire.

Funny thing though, at the entrance to Grégoire is a conspicuous sign:

  • VÊTEMENT OBLIGATOIRE S.V.P

Translated, this means, “Clothing mandatory please.” Wonder what prompted that signage!

Restaurant Gregoire, some of the best poutine in town

Restaurant Gregoire has some of the best poutine in town

“PROPRIÉTE PRIVÉE. DÉFENSE DE PASSER” translated “PRIVATE PROPERTY. DON’T TRESPASS…” anytime someone tells me “DON’T” I get tempted. I swear the geese at this farmhouse were beckoning me to come play. No worries, I didn’t break any laws.

Although this sign said

Geese at play. Wonder if they’ll break loose from the sign

What signs have tickled your fancy?

For more offerings, check out the Daily Post.