Saturday, February 28, 2009

Somewhere between Saturday and Sunday...

Liam is turning a year old. He's my little leap year baby, so we get to pretend he has a day three years running and have a big bash every fourth year.

I am not sure how we got from this:
To this:

But here we are!

At one year old Liam:
  • Whistles as he "works". He crawls around or cruises around doing his toddler-ish errands and puckers his lips to whistle. It's cute.
  • Cries so much less than he used to. We've figured out that Zantac is indeed our friend.
  • Signs more and all done.
  • Says "Mom mom mom mom mom", but only when he is really ticked off.
  • Laughs a lot.
  • Thinks his big brother is wonderful!
  • Can eat everything but milk products.
  • Is pretty easy going, when he is not after something. (Often the something is Mommy's computer or mouse.)
  • Can go up and down the stairs.
  • Crawls, cruises the walls and furniture, and is taking the odd step and occasionally stands without holding on.
  • Sleeps in his own bed most of the time. At last! Also goes to bed without much fuss.
  • Loves to play peek-a-boo and will hide himself in blankets and even his bib to do it back to us.
  • Chugs the rice milk in his sippy like a beer-swilling barfly.
  • Thinks crackers are the perfect food.
  • Pulls books off the book shelves at every opportunity. Sometimes these are for chewing and other times to sit and "read".
  • Likes to go off and play by himself, but comes back to check on Mommy and Daddy at intervals.
A year has brought a lot of change and we are looking forward to the next year.

Happy Birthday Sweet Liam!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Blog

I've been going out a fair bit with my girlfriends and the kids lately, so we've been trying out new activities. It occurred to me that there is nothing around here that reviews these places. And why not?

So here I am. Starting another blog. It's just in its infancy, so be kind, but check out my new blog.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Passing the Blog Love Around

Sweet Lisa gave me this fantastic award. And what better way to celebrate blogging and the community of awesome women I am involved with than to pass this award around. Here's what you do.

The rules:

* When you receive the Blog Love Award, you should place the logo on your blog proudly!

* Link to the blogger that awarded you the love.

* Nominate your friends and bloggers you read regularly, as many as you like.

* Finally, let them know you’ve nominated them to receive the award.

Here are the people I am awarding this to:

The professor and his human

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Liam vs Stairs

Liam has mastered going up the stairs and will attempt them at every opportunity. And Grandpa taught him how to go down the stairs, so now we have double the fun.

We've put a gate up at the bottom of the stairs to try to coral him....with mixed results!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Notions of Home

A few of you know that I grew up "an army brat". We moved every 2-4 years my entire childhood. Most of this was great and I adjusted well. We did have one move that wasn't great, but I survived that too. For the most part, "home" was where Mom & Dad were and where our stuff was...or most of our stuff, since there were a few postings that the bulk of our things ended up in storage.

In my early twenties, I had things at my parents' home, things in storage, and things with me. I finally managed to get my spread-out-self into one location and I moved in with Ray. That's when the crisis hit! It did not help that my parents moved to a new place and I had never lived there. When I went to visit, it was not "going home". This lasted through several moves and finally they have settled in their own place and I feel okay going there. It is not my home, but I like it and I enjoy going to visit.

Ray and I have also lived in a few places together. First it was a rented condo and we shared with another woman. She was a pig and very hard to live with. After a year she moved out and things settled. It was not exactly my home, but I liked living there. Eventually we moved to another city and lived in an apartment there. Let me just say that in no way shape or form would that be considered home for anyone. It was not a great place. I was never at home there. Our stuff lived there, but we escaped to visit friends and family almost every weekend.

Then we started looking for a house. We decided on another city, because we didn't like the last one, and ended up here. The housing market was booming and it took 3 bids before we got a house. We moved. We had a house and a yard. I have trees!

Ray and I settled in, started to make friends, and slowly grew into this place. We had a baby. More life and more settling. As our firstborn grew and began to make friends, we made more friends too. We had another baby and I realized how many friends we had!

This morning, I was showering before getting my babies up and ready for the day and thinking about the days when I was having a crisis. What was home? Where was home? Would I ever have one or was it something for other people? I have never once regretted my childhood, but I desperately wanted someplace that was home in the deepest sense of the word. And this morning it dawned on me that 5 1/2 years later, a home birth, a community, the ability to come into the neighbourhood and have my whole self sigh with the relief of coming to my place...well, I am HOME.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Advantages

I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately. The last few weeks have not been fun. The job I was hoping for disappeared (literally). The kids have been sick. I am sick. And I am having a hard time focusing my life and my work. Maybe it is going around. I know many of the people in my life are feeling a bit like this because of winter and colds/flus.

I've decided that instead of spending all of my energy on the negatives (which is one of the reasons I have not blogged much lately), that today I am going to write up some of the positives in my life as it is right now.

  1. By being at home, I get to be there with my kids when they laugh and cry. Today I held Liam close and rocked him to sleep. He won't be this little for long and he is sick. Holding him made us both feel better.
  2. My kids are teaching me about patience. Sometimes it is trial by fire, but when I look back at it, there are a lot of moments of laughter too. Xander wants to be silly all the time now. Part of me gets impatient, because I feel like I have so much to DO. Silly me. The best thing to do right now is to enjoy the little boy in the backseat of my van who is insisting that HE is Buzz Lightyear. "To infinite and beyond!" The second best thing is to make him laugh when I tell him that I am Lightening McQueen.
  3. We are all, by and large, healthy. A little chubby, perhaps. And full of colds and flus. But that is still within the normal range.
  4. I'm full of little ideas these days. Ways to get Xander to cooperate. New projects. Ways to fundraise for the preschool. If I could just harness it all...I'm trying!
  5. I have a wealth of friends, both those who live near and around me, and those who live far away. I also have this amazing support system of online women who help guide me and share in this crazy thing called parenthood.
  6. My husband loves me. I love him. He makes me light up inside and I can see him do the same when I come in the room. He comes to me for opinions, to share news, and to bounce idea off of. I do the same and feel lucky to have that.
  7. I've been able to help a few friends lately with the skills I have. It's something that can really make a difference and that feels good.
  8. I've been making some new friends and renewing some older friendships. I've had times in my life when it seemed the majority of my friends were guys. Right now I am basking in the solidarity of women. Don't get me wrong, I love my guy friends, but women can understand each other in a way that cuts to the core. There is nothing like a girlfriend.

I challenge all of you to find some positive things in your life as it stands at this second too. Share if you are able to do so, either here or on your own blog. Or just write it down for yourself.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I've been a bit holed up this week. I've been a bit more absent than usual on the online groups I frequent. And not very motivated to write in general.

The week started off okay. I felt like I was getting a cold, but the weather was nice and I ran and then did spinning class back to back on Sunday and Monday. And enjoyed it a great deal. It's always a good sign when I exercise. Then Tuesday hit and I was dragged out. Wednesday I had a brilliant time out during the morning with another mom from the preschool. We're in the process of becoming friends and might end up being very good friends. Our kids seem to like each other too, which is a nice bonus. Plus, there is a solidarity, I am finding, amongst women who are moms to "just boys".

Wednesday night was hell on earth. Liam was up for 4 solid hours from midnight to 4 am; we still don't know why. Xander was up on and off for 3 from midnight to 3 am; he has his first ear infection. Thursday was not a pretty day. We went to the doctor and had us all looked at...well, me and the boys. I have a cold. Liam is just being miserable for unknown reasons. And Xander has this ear infection. My parents arrived from Manitoba. It's good to see them, but dealing with visitors and sick kids is no fun. Bless them, on Thursday night they kicked Ray and I out, so we got a breather.

Today wasn't bad. I had preschool duty this morning. 15 kids, 4 adults and Valentine's Day activities. Fun, but also moments of wildness. I was pretty much in the groove though and enjoyed it.

This afternoon I slept for almost 2 hours on the couch. With Xander up and watching TV. Then Liam was up and trying to pull my hair and walking around the couch repeatedly. Thankfully Ray was watching them. But you know you are zonked out when...

I also have a small pile of work I am doing. Some of it for pay and some not. I've managed to get the preschool application form all pretty and it is posted online! Hooray!!! I am working on a resume in the bits and pieces of time I have. It's a job I feel strongly about and is coming together nicely. If I could only put my life on pause for an hour or two, it would be done. You know how these things go. And I have part of an article written too. Ditto the pause thing. I am planning to get Ray to remove the boys from the house for a couple hours on Sunday and see if I can get some of this accomplished.

For now, it is almost 11 pm and I need to sleep. I'm going to err on the side of wisdom and go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.

Oh yeah, and this update is brought to you by the letter S, which says, "sssssssssssss like snake", according to Xander. When I questioned him about other letters, he said, "Mom, I don't want to talk about it." What a guy! But he was examining and talking about what seemed like random letters and their sounds this afternoon. I later realized he was taking steps to sound out the letters on my laptop. It's progress!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Warmer Weather and Running

January was a bust of a month for running. It was cold and snowy and icy. Three of the four of us got colds and stuff. My parents were in and out. And work for Ray was hell, resulting in lots of nights and grumpiness all around. Running was the last thing on my list.

The colds and other illnesses are gone. We are sleeping a bit better. Work is looking up for Ray. And yesterday it was warm enough to melt half the snow we have! Today is not as warm, but it is sunny and ever so slightly above the freezing mark.

I keep telling myself I am going to run, but lack the motivation. Today I decided I had to get back at it. So I did. It was so nice to only be bundled in one layer and my jacket. Not have to wade through the snow (although there were some brutal icy patches). And to have sun on my face.

I missed running. Thank God for warmer weather. The weather information out there says it is supposed to be like this most of the week, so I am hoping that is enough to get my motivation in gear again.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Part Where I Laugh...

Because someone else I know planned to have a week off before the baby came and that baby showed up on her last day of work! I hope she got to finish her day at work too...just like I did.

The irony of it is that it is my boss's wife. Tee hee! What goes around, comes around.

Of the many hats I wear, one of them is that I do reception one day a week and one Saturday a month for a chiropractor's office. It's a fantastic deal for me. I like the chiropractor; he's a good guy. It's a little extra money. We get our family chiropractic care for free as part of the deal. I don't need a sitter, because DH is home with the kids. And I get to go out and chat with people. A good portion of whom are also runners. It's like socializing, but I have to answer the phone and schedule appointments.

My Saturday this month was supposed to be the 21st. Unfortunately, we have to work a Bingo that day to fulfill our preschool requirements. There are only 2 a year, so no biggie. But one of us does Bingo and the other gets the kids. So on Wednesday, I switched with someone else and was scheduled to work tomorrow morning.

About an hour ago I got a phone call that the chiropractor's wife had their baby: a third baby girl. Hooray for them! Everyone is happy and healthy from what I hear.

So I get to work tomorrow, but instead, it is me calling everyone on the patient list to let them know that the doctor will not be in that day. Should be fun.


I have been dairy and soy free since Mother's Day last year. Dairy a little longer. It has been months since I have had cheese. MONTHS! I miss cheese. I love cheese.

Liam has been doing so well on his reflux medication. We've tried soy and had success. He's now eating bread and eggs happily. (He loves bread!) But I have been afraid to try dairy. This week I have given him a little bit of dairy here and there, just to test the waters. He had a few spoonfuls of milk on Monday and a tiny bit of cheese Tuesday.

Today, for lunch I had cheese. Sweet, goey, wonderful cheese. Yummmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

This is Why Parents Clean When the Kids are Sleeping

I hate wasting the precious bit of sleeping time that my kids have with chores. If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that sleep is erratic and rare in this house. Why waste that on scrubbing the toilet, gathering garbage, and mopping the floor?

Tonight I was trying to mop our very, very dirty kitchen floors while my husband attended a telephone conference. The kids have had a busy day and should be able to chill out for a bit.

So, first I get our front hall done. Then I start working on the kitchen portion (it is all one long floor). First I had both kids roll on and walk on the portion of the floor that is clean: to find out what I was doing. After removing Liam a few times, I put a gate up on the one side, but there is no way to gate the other side, so I just blocked it with stuff. Next thing I know, Xander is over the other stuff and on the floor...AGAIN! And then he is on the other side of the gate, poking at the broom and mop alternately, depending on which of them was not in use, and complaining about not helping. Don't forget the long thing of infant beads that he stuck over the gate, so he could touch the floor despite me gating it off. That one ended in screaming, because I took those beads and threw them down our gated back stairs, which are adjacent to the kitchen.

Oh, and have I mentioned that Liam has learned how to screech? I am thinking of checking my ears again...for bleeding.


Yeah, this is why people use the time when kids are sleeping to clean. I get it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Screaming kind of day.

We've all screamed today.

Liam has screamed the most. Part of it is that he is working on his top front teeth, which would make anyone grumpy. He also is giving us a hard time (again! ::banging head on wall::) about sleep. Especially naps. I do not know what is with this child and sleep. Every new system we use works for about 7-14 days, then falls apart. We are on day 10 and have had 2 days of crazy and a few more where naps have been nutty too. I am baffled. He's also developed an I-am-mad or I-really-want-that-NOW scream. Piercing. I shiver thinking about it, and I am going to check and make sure I am not bleeding from the ears before bed tonight. No, really!

I do have to laugh though. I left him happily playing in our living room for a few minutes to put away clothes. It's pretty well babyproofed. Even the bookshelves are fastened to the wall! I hear the aforementioned shriek and go racing down the stairs...only to dissolve into giggles. I made Ray come and look before rescuing Liam: he had somehow gotten under the rocking chair and was stuck there, screaming his lungs out in protest. I'm still not sure how he even managed to get under there.

Xander has by and large been pretty good today. We've had a few skirmishes and, frankly, he is bored at home. It's snowing like crazy today. He'd love to go out into the snow, but it is hard to do when Liam hates the snow so badly. Anyway, he screamed but good in time out a couple of times.

Ray and I have had little inconsequential screaming at each other. I think we are shack happy. Time to get out! There is such a thing as too much togetherness.

And with Xander singing some Diego ditty and Liam screaming blue murder for the 50th time in an hour, I lost it before dinner and screamed: "Everyone just SHUT UP."

Right now I am in my office, having a little peace and a self-imposed time out. I am supposed to run tonight (first night back after a sinus infection), but there is no outdoor running, due to the snow. Nice touch, that is.

Monday, February 02, 2009

And one for ME!

Ray and I went out tonight without the kids. We have a new babysitter; tonight was her second time coming here. Xander puts up quite a fuss about having a sitter (heaven forbid you use the term baby with it...he is NOT a baby, thank you!), but by the time we left, he was already in the don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out mode. Quite likely because he was flirting up a storm with her. Too funny. He's 3.5 and she is 14! Apparently it starts young.

We needed the time away. It's been a little while and we are both wiped. We didn't do much: a quick dinner and a jaunt around Best Buy to see what videos are out (knowing we don't have much time to watch anyway). It was fun. Best of all, it seems to have quenched some of my "run away, run AWAY!!!" feelings from today.

It was a hard day. Xander has always been a handful. He does not play by the rules from "the books" (you know, the parenting books say things like to give them a choice between X and Y and this will help them to feel like they have control over their lives...Xander chooses C in that context every SINGLE time). It's hard not to burn out when each and every moment is a battle of some kind. Today I wanted to just run away from it.

So we got a babysitter and went out for a couple of hours. It's a good thing.

As an added bonus, we came home to a sleeping Xander. So that was one battle we did not have to fight. He was sound asleep! Liam, on the other hand, was awake and wanted to hang out. I finally got him down too though.

I'm off to bed myself in a moment.

For Carla

I have discovered that my dear friend Carla has been lurking on my blog. More importantly, she just revealed that she is pregnant and due the end of July with her first baby!!!!!

Many congratulations to you and your husband, Carla! We are looking forward to welcoming another beautiful baby into the extended "family". May your pregnancy be sweet, beautiful, and without complications.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

For Lisa

This one is for Lisa, who talks of wanting snow. Well, we have it this spades. And lots of icicles too! Today we are slightly above the freezing mark, so there is some melting happening. I thought I would get pictures. To give a little perspective, some of these icicles are almost 2 feet long now!!!

From underneath:
From a window in my stairwell, looking down on the snow and ice.