Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow!

The snow is all but gone now, but we did have 2+ feet of it before Christmas. Over Christmas and Boxing Day the rain came in sheets and we have those brown crusty bits of ice and snow left in corners and gutters, but nothing worth photographing. This is what we had before though.


Before it all melted, Xander had the time of his life in our backyard. Too bad Santa brought him the new sled for Christmas and he didn't get to use it yet!
The look on his face in this one is my favourite of all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

10 Months

I would have taken a picture of Liam today and posted it, but he caught a cold from his big brother and is currently leaving snail trails of goo wherever he goes. Not a great picture.

It seems like he was born just yesterday. Time has gone even faster for this little boy than it went with Xander. And I laugh when I think about his birthday, because I can still see the words I typed on my March Mommy's group. For anyone who doesn't know this story, Liam was due 22 days after his birthday. I am on a lovely online group with women who all had babies due in March. Three of us had also been on a group for babies due in June of 2005. Well, one of those three ladies, M, was due at the beginning of March and had been showing signs of impending labour for some time, so the second lady, J, and myself teased her that SHE would have the Leap Year baby. Which rubbed her all over in the exact wrong way. Most of you know that rubbing a pregnant woman the wrong way can get ugly. I still laugh at the conversations we had. Well, the two of us who were doing the teasing were told by J's husband on February 28th that we ought to watch out, because he thought that one of us would end up with the Leap Year baby. (You've skipped to the end of this, haven't you?) Well, J and I both laughed. We were not due until the third week in March and J had her first baby late: there was no way we would have the Leap Year baby.

And here I sit, laughing on the other side of my face. For indeed, I did have the Leap Year baby. He's a cutie too. So, tonight, I am thinking about teasing M and being the one to have the Leap Year baby. (In case you are wondering, M held out for a few more days and had a March baby after all.)

At 10 months, Liam:

1. Loves to eat. He's mad that he can't have exactly what we are eating.
2. Still had no teeth. Though they keep teasing us. I can see them right there under the gums.
3. Has mastered the power crawl, can pull up on anything (including legs), walks around the furniture, and will stand with one hand holding on...sometimes he lets go too. He can also bend down from a stand to pick something up.
4. Conquered stairs this week.
5. Thinks that his big brother is amazing. He laughs and kicks and just plain acts happy when big brother is around.
6. "Sings" loudly in the car when he is happy.
7. Is working on sleeping better.
8. Holds Mommy and Daddy's hearts in his hand!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hey, Dude, your head is growing an animal!

After buying my very last Christmas gift this year (yes I am done and bragging a little!), I was coming out of a store that shall remain nameless, because my husband frequents this blog sometimes and he will have guesses for his present if I tell what store it is, and this guy was going in. I kid you not, he had the BIGGEST, FURRIEST hat on his head that I have ever seen. It was obviously fake fur, but this made it no less disturbing. It made his head double in size! I had to wonder if he was bald under it too. The idea tickles my funny bone. But I was tempted to stop him and say, "Hey, Dude, did you know you have an animal growing on your head?" I think I may have had a couple nightmares about that thing last night.

Also, I would have had every single one of my Christmas items purchased in cash (well, using debit, but it is pretty much the same thing), except that my account was hacked yesterday! So my last gift was on my credit card. Not bad, really. Thankfully the hacking was an attempt and my bank caught it and shut down that account. I had to make a trip this morning to get a new bank card.

And the last news is that Liam may get his two front teeth for Christmas. They are so close that I can feel them right under the surface. Actual ridges!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Battle of the Bands

Here are the two songs vying for attention in my head. One is thanks to Xander, who sings his song all the time. The other is Ray trying to drive me nuts.

Here is Xander singing his song.

video

The song Ray is slowly killing my brain cells off with is here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Late with 8


The Magic 8


Lisa tagged me with the Magic 8.....

8 T.V. Shows I watch:

1. The Big Bang Theory
2. LOST
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Grey's Anatomy
5. Desperate Housewives
6. Brothers and Sisters
7. House
8. Private Practice

8 Favorite Restaurants:
1. Boston Pizza
2. Jack Astor's
3. The Bento Box
4. Water Street Cooker
5. The Black Forest Inn
6. Bombay Grill
7. Rodo's On The Highway (in Moose Jaw, SK)
8. The Korean Place in Mississauga (not sure the name)

8 Things that happened today:
1. Slept in a bit (Hooray for Ray!!)
2. Fed Liam
3. Cleaned
4. Laundry
5. Put The Incredibles on for Xander
6. Sent Xander out to play in the snow with his Dad
7. Put Liam down for a nap
8. Blogged

8 Things I look forward to:
1. Christmas!
2. Seeing my Mom on NYE
3. Liam's First Birthday
4. Running again
5. Vacation time with Ray over Christmas
6. Sleep (LOL! I had to put that one in.)
7. Seeing Xander's face when he opens his digital camera!
8. Spending time with our friends and family

8 Things I wish for:
1. A booming economy
2. A bigger house
3. My children's happiness
4. To write a book
5. Less debt
6. To run a 1/2 marathon again (i.e. the foot pain to go away)
7. For Liam to outgrow his milk and soy allergies
8. Health and happiness for my friends and family

8 People I tag:
Laura
Kari
Mary
The Professor and his HO
Punkin (Seriously...I dare you to post. LOL!)
Lori
Michelle
Cryssy

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Busy Times

You'd think with how busy we have been, I would be blogging about it daily. Alas, I am so covered in paint, glitter, chocolate, and stamps, that there has hardly been time to look up.

Xander and I finished decorating the Christmas tree the other day. I will have to take pictures soon and post them. It is a new, pre-lit tree and I love it!

I've been cruising a site that has pre-school activities and we have done the glittery letters and the chocolate letters here: Let's Explore. It's been fun, but the glitter is everywhere. I found some in my bed this morning. As Ray says, "Of all the things to have spread all over the place, glitter is the best. It kind of makes a person happy." Actually, the glitter letters were a family affair. I painted the letters. Xander helps put the glue and glitter on (with enthusiasm). And then Ray uses a glue gut to put the ribbons on them. I am not to be trusted with a glue gun. The chocolate Xander helped with a little bit, but it was pretty messy and getting late, so I finished it up.

My Christmas cards are pretty much all out. I have a few to hand deliver and a few to go out today. I also have a couple of packages to go out. It's a work in progress.

Speaking of works in progress...Liam is beginning to cruise. He can now transfer from one piece of furniture to another (or a toy to a piece of furniture) and he's able to motor along a bit on whatever is helping him stay upright. It is halting and slow, but he's getting there. He also occassionally lets go of one or both hand. And just this morninghe leaned over from a stand to pick something up.

Sleep is better. We have the boys in the same room now and it is okay. Liam is up 1-2 times a night.

Today is Xander's last morning of preschool before the holidays. They are doing a sing-a-long for the parents at 10:30. We are excited to see that.

And last night it snowed enough to cover the lawn!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A To Do List?

Stolen from my pal Lisa at One-Hip-Mom.

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars. Last time was when camping outside of Paris, Ontario. It was about 8 of us in a blue tarp we knicknamed "the blue burrito".

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower (I've seen the Northern Lights on many occasions though and in many colours. Does this count?)

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain - a couple in Korea!

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo - as a kid

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris - Okay, here is where I feel gypped. I've been to 11 European countries and lots of places in France. Just not Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. - That would be interesting too. A better one is a lightning storm across the Prairies, from a roof. Awesome!

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning. - This is one I wish I could say I had not had.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - See #12

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb. - Almost as awesome as the lightning storm!

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a Marathon - I've done a 1/2 marathon.

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run - never gonna happen.

32. Been on a cruise - I am not very found of boats, so I am not sure how to answer this one.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language - Korean and German, though just enough to get by on the streets.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. - I wasn't sure how to truly answer this one. It is more the flip side to me: having little enough debt to be satisfied.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - see #12

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China - I would love to do the Great Wall Marathon!

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen - No, but I have volunteered in a nursing home.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - we call them Girl Guides here, but same thing.

62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason - Ray gets points for this one. He brought them last week too.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - Sadly, several. It's an experience you'd never forget.

67. Bounced a check - Not in a very long time!

68. Flown in a helicopter - I've been in a Herc though, which is something else.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt - I suck large at sewing. We'll leave it at that.

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London

77. Broken a bone - Um, yeah. Two. And it was nasty.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House - When we went it was almost impossible to get a tour. Bleach.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Um, I have done the preparing part, though not the killing.

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby - Two!

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee - No desire, thanks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

He's sleeping. In fact, both of the boys are sleeping. It might be a Christmas miracle!

This is Liam's second nap of the day. Both of them he just went down and went to sleep. I've been placing him in his crib awake and he goes to sleep. Sometimes there is a little crying and sometimes just some complaints. But nothing earth shattering.

I won't say we are there, but I am trying to count any victories and remember that it is a process.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Several Steps Forward and Backward

I've been asked about Liam's sleep a few times, so I thought I would update. I want to say it is better. And it is, overall. We successfully night weaned from 5-8 times a night for 5 minutes each time, down to 2.5 minutes. As the time got less, the number of feedings got to be fewer.

Then he got a cold, so we halted progress on the night weaning. And still he continued to drop feedings. We were down to 1 feeding a night for several nights. I actually had 3 or 4 nights of what I would now consider good sleep.

However, last night was terrible. He was up to nurse about 4 times, plus at the 4 am time, he refused to go back to sleep. He just could not settle. And we were basically up and down like jackrabbits. No fun. I am going to have to start the process of night weaning again.

The other problem is settling. The book I have says to have them completely night weaned and be weaned for over a week before starting the process to teach them to self-soothe. That's fine and good, but he is up for 2-3 hours each evening and not napping during the day. Nothing we say or do gets him to nap or fall asleep. Ray and I are beside ourselves (this is the "but" to the answer we give about sleep improvements), physically and mentally.

We are starting with naps and hoping that it gets better from there. It's funny, because we've already gone through the bulk of the steps in the chapter on self-soothing on our own. So now we are trudging forward.

Still tired and crabby. Still anxious. Still hoping.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Wisdom in the Snow

Last night we had enough snow to shovel. Ray is wonderful in so many ways, but outdoor work is not high on his list of priorities. Xander loves to go outside and use his shovel, so I put Liam down for a nap and the two of us went at the snow. Along the way, Xander had a handful of comments:

"We shovel the snow so that the squirrels can't pee on it."

"I'm shoveling the snow into the tree. The tree needs more snow." (He really was doing just that!)

"Mommy, does dirt hurt to eat?"

"Here Mom...you need more snow on your side." (As he dumps more snow right in front of me.)

These tidbits made me laugh, but I also had moments of pondering what really goes on in the head of a 3.5 year old.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Day Off

I need a day off. We've had a busy week or so, but even busier over the last weekend. Thursday, we did a play date with my cousin and her kids. Friday, Xander and I had a date. Saturday, I worked the morning and then we had friends over for dinner. Sunday, we went to my cousin's place and she and I went to this toy warehouse sale, then for lunch and a sprint through the mall. Afterward we joined the kids and our husbands and ended up staying there and having dinner. The shopping was successful, the play date with the older two was not as much.

This morning I raced to clean up around here and get us ready for lunch and a play date with a young man from preschool. Xander and Carter had a fantastic time, and Ray and I like Carter's mom too! Then I raced off to do a one-off yoga session with Liam (it's supposed to help them sleep and I am in for trying anything). I was late and I couldn't find it, so we ended up driving around and then coming home. Finally, tonight I have spin class.

Phew!

Plus the laundry fairy didn't end up visiting this weekend. She is sooooo fired!

I'm wiped. I just want to have a nice, long nap. Perhaps tomorrow? In any case, I think we will try to take it easier tomorrow.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Xander's First Date and Other Musings

Last night Xander had his very first official date...with his Mom. We went to Boston Pizza, so he could have bugs and cheese (think mac and cheese, but the mac is in the shape of bugs). He was a perfect gentleman and we had a lovely time, just the two of us. Definitely worth going again. We also went shopping afterward, so we could say hello to Katherine, who was his daycare provide until recently. We bought a present for Daddy for Christmas and so far, so good: the surprise is still intact! No easy feat when you are 3.5 years old.

We're going to go again soon, and plans are in the works for a "boys' night of wings or burgers" with Daddy.

Xander has been a load of fun and a font of funny little comments. The other night someone called for donations from Children's Wish. Normally I would do this in a heartbeat. Heck, if they called and said "we'll be there in 30 minutes" I would donate. But to keep track of when they are coming and have something ready for some point in the future? I know my limitations. Keep track of my kids, my own schedule, and Ray's schedule is more than enough for me. When I got off the phone and Ray asked who it was and I explained, I finished with "I can hardly remember my own name these days." To which Xander injected in a puzzled voice: "It's MOMMY!"

How do you not adore that?

And this afternoon we were digging around in the crawl space. Xander loved going in and out of there with his own flashlight. Well, he is in and out after I was out. To fill you in a bit, for Xander's first Christmas my brother gave him a drum set. Yes, that's right: a DRUM SET. It is a mini version of the real deal. Also, the age on it is 3+. My brother thought he was getting one over on me, but since it was so obviously inappropriate for a 6 month old, I put it in the recesses of our crawl space. Sure enough, he comes out of there this afternoon with a grin from ear to ear..."Mommy, I saw Kids Play the Drums in there!!!" Of course, he now wants to play with it.

Thank you Uncle Kyle. I guess it was bound to come out eventually.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Teeth or Walking First?















I had other things to talk about, but about 30 minutes ago this just blew us away! Ray and I looked over and saw Liam do pull himself up. Then he let go and stood for a moment with one hand. Ray and I were giggling. 5 minutes after he let go of the entertainment unit, he pulled up on the china cabinet.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

3 Hours IS An Improvement

I have long bemoaned Liam's sleep habits. I am not 100% sure how we got here. Part of it was my desire to feed him on demand. Part was his desire to eat All The Time. And I am sure there is some part that is linked to his food allergies and tummy troubles, which made him cry a lot and in response Ray and Xander both hounded me with choruses of "Liam's hungry. When did you feed him?" (I would get mad, tell them I had just fed him and offer more to prove it...of course Liam would eat every time, making a liar out of me.)

As time went on, we were all up with Liam. Over and over again all night long. Ray and I have reached the point where we are sleeping in 45 to 90 minute stretches. Xander is afraid to sleep in the same room, because Liam wakes up and cries so much, and he is now on the floor on his mattress in our room. We tried co-sleeping, crib sleeping, him in our room and in the nursery, and countless methods of sleep training. We've failed all of them. Don't get me wrong, they would work, for 7-10 days, and then fall flat.

By now we have reached further than "sleep deprivation". Much further. I have done nothing to harm my children, but I can say that I understand how and why people do. In this haze, we are sharp and we yell more. There is no patience left. No courtesies. As a tiny person, Liam escapes this, but Xander is an active 3 year old and he has noticed that Mom and Dad are falling apart.

My latest attempt is a little different. Desperate too. I need this to work. We all need this to work. My cousin recommended a book by a neurologist at Sick Kid's Hospital in Toronto. She said it was researched and done up differently. Well, most of the basic info in there is the same as what I have read before, but it is presented a little differently. What is more important is that instead of presenting a blanket approach, she narrows down sleep issues into different problems and different solutions...and then gives step by step answers on how to deal with it.

Liam has two problems: he eats all night and he cannot settle on his own. All the other approaches worked on his settling. Although I knew eating alll night was an issue, I had no idea what to do with it. Especially with breastfeeding. This author explains in detail that babies frequently have these problems and that you cannot teach them to settle until you wean them from their night feedings.

Talk about having a light go on!

So I began the process of night weaning. Only instead of cutting feedings, you knock them back literally 30 seconds per feed. Each night I have been wary. Would he accept this? Would he refuse? But each night he feeds and I take him off at the appointed time and he is fine. He goes back to sleep. But it was the same pattern.

Yesterday it changed: he added feedings an hour apart near the beginning of my night. 10, 11, 12 pm. Yesterday it meant an added feeding and still being up every 30 to 90 minutes. I rolled my eyes and kept going. Last night he did this again, but with one amazing difference...

He slept from midnight until 3 am, fed, then slept from 3 am until 6 am!!!

Now I am curious to see what tonight will bring.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

You know you are sleep deprived when... (PT II)

  • Your husband finds a tin of iced tea crystals in the freezer, and you know it was you who put them there, but you cannot clearly remember putting them there.
  • You throw diaper poop into the the trash and are just about to put the diaper in the toilet.
  • You rinse the carrots, put them in a pot, put them on to boil, but forget to put water in with them.
  • You start mixing up the names of your kids, cats, and husband.
  • You are covered in bruises from walking into walls and furniture (my sense of space goes when I am tired).
  • You find it takes you all day write a blog.
  • You post the first version of this blog with only a title.
My original intent was to post some pics and do some catch up today, but I can't get the pics in properly and have been trying to have more than 2 minutes to myself all day.

You know you are sleep deprived when...