I Had a Baby!

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Four months ago!

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It’s amazing how things like blogging, exercising, banjo-playing, and sleeping go right out the window when you have a new baby.

But yes, I had a beautiful baby boy and he’s a very sweet little guy. He’s an easy baby during the day, which is great because I have a rambunctious two-year-old to wrangle. He’s relaxed and happy, although he still thinks he needs to wake up every two hours to eat in the night. He also just turned four months and weighs nearly nineteen pounds. Could those two things be related? Hmmm.

Anyway, the fact that this baby has kept us so sleep-deprived has meant that I’ve had almost no time or energy to do much of anything other than baby and child care. But I’m determined to somehow reboot this blog. We’ll see how this goes.

Because I’m not doing much of what I originally set out to do in this blog (namely, things that I enjoyed pre-parenthood such as playing my banjo) I’m going to incorporate the things that I do with my little people. C and I have started baking together, so I’m going to start documenting that. Baking with a two-year-old is both stressful and hilarious, and I’m hoping I can convey all that in some new posts. We’ll see what else I can cook up (pun!) for the blog in the next few weeks.

Thanks, as always, for reading! It’s good to be back.

Blog Neglect

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I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. I’m sure no one is alarmed or particularly put out by this. It would probably seem safe to assume that I’m slacking because I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy and I chase after an almost-two-year-old all day. I am tired, but that’s definitely not why I’m slacking. No, it’s because I’ve been binge-watching. I’m not proud of myself, but I’ve become addicted to Orange is the New Black.

It’s so zeitgeisty of me to be binge-watching right now. And that’s weird, because I’m usually resistant to things that are zeitgeisty. I don’t even own a smartphone. But I was bored one night when Pete was working late and decided to give Orange is the New Black a try, and I got hooked. Mind you, I didn’t get hooked right away. I hated the first episode, and disliked the second. But I was addicted by episode three.

I don’t want to discuss much about the show, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but suffice it to say that OITNB has such a fantastic cast of fully-realized, fleshed-out female characters, it’s a joy to watch it all unfold. Once I got through the first two episodes, which essentially introduce the viewer to the main character and the world she’s entering, I started to really love learning about all the other characters and their backstories.

So, for now, I’m going to enjoy my binge-watching while I have the time for it. I’m pretty sure newborns don’t tolerate this sort of thing.

A Little Explanation

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I’ve been writing some heavier posts lately.  Pete has been proofreading them for me and he thinks that I should explain where these posts have been coming from.

You see, I struggle with self-doubt and with the idea that my writing is banal.  When I was in second-year university, a professor wrote this scathing word on one of my papers and it has haunted me ever since.  Looking back, that paper was banal.  I phoned it in.  But for some reason, his critique stuck with me.  I seem to have applied the crushing label “banal” to all my writing ever since.

Photo via thehothands.org

So, when I felt I had been posting too many recipes or lists of books that I’ve read (boring!) I decided to write about politics and current events.  I am a political science grad after all, and minimal-fee-paying member of the Canadian Political Science Association (don’t tell them I’m no longer a student!)

Anyway, whenever Pete reads my heavier posts, he always says: “Well, I think it’s really interesting and well-written, but probably no one is going to read it.”  Which is likely true, with the exception of my mom and sister.  But that’s okay.  I’ll post another recipe shortly and drive traffic up.  And I’m hoping, after they’ve jotted down the ingredients, that they might stick around and read about One Billion Rising.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Happy SITS Day to Me

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If you’re visiting Bike, Banjo & Baby for the first time, welcome!  I’m Suzanne, and I’m so happy you’ve stopped by.  You can read more about why I started this blog here.  I’m a (relatively) new parent and I’m striving to maintain some balance in my life.  I blog about fitting in the time for my interests, my hobbies (blogging included) and my passions.

(If you’re a regular reader, and you’re wondering what’s up, I’m a featured blogger today.  SITS is a community of bloggers, 40,000 strong.  SITS features a different blogger every weekday, and today is my day.)

I’m a banjo player who struggles to find the time to actually play the five-string banjo.  My husband rides all manner of bicycles and manages to do a good job of hopping onto one of his seven (that is correct, seven) bikes from time to time.

As a political junkie, I try to keep up with the news and I’ve even managed to attend some political lectures since having a baby.  I was once a voracious reader but I now often struggle to finish a book.  And I’m an avid hiker and camper who managed to take a ten-month-old to Algonquin Provincial Park and survive.  I signed up for an adventure race and learned to (kind of) enjoy stroller running.

I’d love to hear from you and to find out what keeps you busy, whether you’re a parent or not.  How do you find the time to fit everything in?  What excites you?  What keeps you motivated?  What would you spend all of your time doing if you had that luxury?

Thanks again for visiting.

My Good Deed Went Unpunished

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I’ve been struggling with this blog lately, for a few different reasons.  Firstly, the baby has been sick, she’s been teething, and I haven’t been getting much sleep or free time.  But more importantly, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this blog to be.

At first, I thought this would be a good place to document my efforts to keep some balance in my life while looking after my baby daughter.  Pete and I have managed to do some biking, some banjo picking, some cottaging, some camping, and lots of other fun things we used to do before C made her debut.  I have to admit that it’s nice to keep a little record of our lives during this time, because it goes by so quickly and it can be such a blur.  I’m sure I’ll look back and be grateful that I’ve written these posts.

At the same time, blogging can feel self-indulgent.  I’d like to be blogging about how I’m contributing, in some way, to making the world, or at least my community, a better place.  I’ve always volunteered, and I’m beginning to think that I should direct some of my extra energy toward something positive and productive.  I’ve considered a few different options.

I’ve been mulling this over for the past few weeks.  I really want to be making a difference.  I want to set a good example for C.  The culture she is growing up in can be so narcissistic and I’d like her to be a generous, empathetic little person.

This was all in the back of my mind the other day when I went out to Dairy Queen to get blizzards for Pete and me.  Pete would probably like for me to point out that we have Dairy Queen about twice a year (the last time was on two-for-one blizzard day, which was crazy).  It was about 6:30 pm, but it had been extremely hot that day, and was still quite warm.  I pulled into the parking lot next to an orange car and when I looked inside, I could see that someone had left their dog inside with the windows up.  The dog seemed fine, but he was panting.  I went inside, looked around at the other customers, and hoped that when I went back outside the car would be gone.  But when I got my blizzards and went back outside, the dog was still there, in the car, with the windows still up.  I considered my options.  Go back inside and let the staff know?  They were all teenagers running around trying to take orders, and I didn’t think they would be able or willing to do much.  Ask around to see whose dog it was?  That was a bit confrontational, and the thought scared me a bit (there were a few rough-looking characters in there).  I decided quickly to just check the doors of the car, in case they were unlocked.  The front door was, in fact, unlocked, so I opened it quickly and tried to roll down the window for the dog.  The dog jumped into the front seat and for a split second I thought he would either try to attack me (he was a big guy and I was in his territory) or try to escape.  The window didn’t roll down easily, since it was a pretty old, rusty car.  I managed to get it down a bit and quickly closed the door again.  I jumped into my own car and as I did I saw a man set down his order on a picnic table near the restaurant and start to walk towards our cars.  I’m not sure whether he saw me close his car door, but he gave me a very intimidating look as he walked toward me.  My heart was racing.  I didn’t look away, though.  I stared right back at him.  This was a scary, scary-looking guy.  I quickly started the car, drove off, and vowed that I would never do anything like that again.  It was stupid.  I put myself at risk.

I’m not sure if there is a moral to this story or not.  I tried to do the right thing, but that poor dog is still living with that man.  I didn’t save it.  I put myself in harm’s way, and for what?  I’m sure that guy didn’t learn a lesson about animal care that day.  He didn’t have a Disney-esque change of heart and decide to do right by his dog from now on.

I’m hoping that the lesson I’ve learned is that there are many ways I can make a difference that don’t result in a frightening showdown in a Dairy Queen parking lot.  And I’m hoping that I can blog about those things here.  (I do realize that blogging about them is still self-indulgent, but hey, baby steps.)  Whether I’m able to do so mostly depends on C, and those pesky teeth of hers.