Saturday, May 30, 2009

Soccer

Xander started soccer last night. It was a load of fun. The first half hour was a bunch of games, all based on soccer skills for tiny people. The second half hour was a game, which was a riot. Many goals were made...not always on the right net. In fact, the kids argued with the coach over which net they were supposed to score on: this one was their net, so they needed to shoot the ball in there. Not all of them were convinced that they should score on the other net.

Turns out that Xander can run hard and fast. He can kick the ball pretty well, but he just doesn't get the team aspect and was always mad and pouting when another child had the ball. Also, since the game is 3 on 3 and they sub in every 3 minutes, he was off the field some. He wasn't impressed with that either.

Unfortunately, my camera's batteries died on me before we got to the game, so I only have a few shots.


Here is Xander in his first soccer uniform.
Playing games and practicing.
Xander is at the back of the line here.
And this is what Liam did for a good chunk of the hour.

Friday, May 29, 2009

15 Months

Liam is 15 months today. We had his well baby visit yesterday and he is 30 inches tall and 21 lbs, 8 oz. So he's grown 1.5 inches, but dropped 2 oz since his 12 month visit. He's still not really talking. I have been assured that some kids do talk later and there is still time, but our doctor also wants him on the waiting list for a speech therapy evaluation, as it takes 5-6 months to get in. Much better to tell them we don't need the service in 5 months, than to wait that time and not get services for another year.

At 15 months, Liam...

  • Goes up and down the stairs like a flash.
  • Can climb anything, including the chairs, kitchen table, couch, Xander's bed, and more.
  • Is big into imitation. His favourite right now is to blow on the hot food before putting it into his mouth.
  • Give kisses!
  • Loves his big brother and laughs big belly laughs when they are playing, however big brother is also the most likely to make Liam scream in frustration. Mommy gets annoyed by this, mostly because a lot of time she cannot pinpoint exactly what Xander has done to illicit this response, so it is hard to get him to stop.
  • Likes playing outside and will happily wander around the yard.
  • Can walk, although he also finds that crawling is still faster, so he'll drop to hands and knees and charge off.
  • Eats everything but milk products.
  • Has had 2 ear infections. Boo!
  • Sleeps reasonably well. Hooray! Finally!
  • Loves to play with Mommy's laptop and has been pulling the power cord out and knocking at the keys the whole time I've been writing this post.
  • Still has 2 naps a day.
  • Signs a bit.
  • Loves to point out lights and ceiling fans. (I have a Jeff Foxworthy joke in my head for this one.)
  • Likes to play with shoes.
  • Would wear a hat 24/7 and plops one on his head at every opportunity.
  • "Talks" on the phone to his Nanny and Grandpa in Manitoba now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back to Running

It's been 2.5 weeks since the half marathon, and I have been off running. The first week and a half, it was driving me batty. Then I settled into the sedentary life. I lack a specific goal, so it was easy to say "tomorrow". Also, I was injured.

Well, my wonderful massage therapist, Sarah, fixed me up. It was painful, but worth it. So I was massaged and I rested. Last weekend I was cleared to run again. Slowly and gently, but I could.

And I wiled away the time with household projects, work, and gardening. No running. Sometime around Tuesday I became aware of the nagging thought that I should be running. It's been a while. But I also had one heck of a headache this week, so a few more days passed.

This morning I got up and was determined that this would be the day. So I ran 5k this morning and then did my Runner's Core DVD. And I feel great! No pain at all.

Plus, I looked good in my new running capris! (Hey, a girl needs priorities.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Shape of a Family

I'm constantly surprised at how definitive people are about what constitutes a family. How many children is one of the big issues. I know some people who are open to many, many children. On the flip side, I know others who are very black and white about how there should be TWO children: no more, no less.

I've been told on many occasions that I absolutely CAN NOT have three children. Three is an odd number. If you have three, you have to have four. (This one boggles my mind. And I keep asking "Why?") Three is a disaster for the middle child. ...there are all manner of reasons why three is a number that drives people batty. It makes me laugh a little.

We are not sure if we are done at two kids. I know that three is my limit though. We'll decide in our own good time though. In the mean time, I am getting a bit of a kick out of how rigid the ideas people hold about family can be...really, really rigid. And most of them it is not that they feel "done", but rather that this number is a rule in their heads. Very interesting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Making Lemonade

How do shaving cream and lemonade work together, you ask? Well, it is like this: we've had a couple of really cruddy days. Days of high frustration and much yelling. Days I have hated and I know that the kids have not been happy either. This afternoon I decided that we needed to make lemonade out of our lemons and try to "reset" ourselves.

So I took out 2 cookie sheets, a can of shaving cream, and some kid-friendly (read: washable) paint. Our boys were stripped right down to their underwear/diaper and each got a cookie sheet with shaving cream and dabs of paint in funky colours on it. And they went nuts! What a mess! But it made for lots of giggles and lots of fun. Things which have been in short supply the last few days.

At at the end of the mess, we plopped the two darlings into the tub with a bunch more toys and scrubbed them down while they played. By 5:30 my kids were bathed and in jammies. We had dinner a bit late, but it all seemed to help.

So yeah, lemonade and shaving cream.

The Screeching & Annoyances

Most of the time I adore my children. They are fun people. But for some reason this week the two of them are jumping on my very last nerve. Liam is screeching a lot in frustration. He really does not talk, so screaming, yelling, chattering, and screeching are what we get. Xander is never far behind when this happens. It annoys me that I am not sure exactly what he is doing to prompt Liam's response, but I do know that there is almost no screeching when he is not there.

Xander, on the other hand, seems determined to drive us all insane this week. If there is a way to argue, not listen, or talk back, he will find it. The other day I called my Mom and offered her "the one-time opportunity to buy your grandson, before I sell him on the street corner." She laughed.


I'm wondering if it is the weather, a full moon, or just some crazy juice we've inadvertently fed them. Hopefully it is over soon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Got My Geek On

I got my geek on tonight by watching the new Star Trek movie. OH...MY...GOD was it ever good. The ship looked fantastic. The characters were amazing and the storyline was overwhelming. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I will just stop there.

Except to say that there is so much eye candy in this flick. Really. Five minutes in and I knew that there was just an extra something nice about this one. I'm still all drooly from it.

Now that I have satisfied my inner-not-so-secret geek, I feel like I have to deal with the girlie part of me. I'm having sudden urges for a manicure or something. tee hee

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hooked In

The power went out in our neighbourhood tonight for about an hour. Turns out that someone on the other side of the street and up the block a bit (we live on one end of the block and he lives almost on the other end) decided to trim his tree on his front lawn. Without heed to the power lines above! An hour or so later, and I am sure a bill for the emergency visit from the hydro company, power was restored.

As a result, Liam has learned to fall asleep without his white noise CD. Thank goodness, because I have very powerful daydreams of taking that thing and smashing it with a hammer...it is called "rest and relaxation", but I feel my teeth grinding when I hear it because I have heard it so frequently.

I spent some time washing dishes by hand (oh the JOY!) and hanging my load of laundry instead of using my dryer (more joy), while Ray cleaned the yard from our own tree trimming activities this afternoon.

I was supposed to be working, but without power there was no internet connection. My laptop has battery power, but what good is that without the internet? I kept thinking of things I would want to do since I had some time without work. And I came up short, because posting to my blog or boards was impossible (can we say addiction?), watching TV online doesn't work, replying to email messages...yeah, no good. Then I thought of the pile of movies I would like to watch and wondered what was on television. Doh! No power.

I do have crocheting and a few little projects to do. I do have a book I am reading, though nothing that is compelling me to read. And all of that requires light. A commodity not readily available without POWER.

In short, I was screwed. And I realized how well and truly I am hooked in.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Moments of Reality

I was just thinking about a moment during my wedding day. I had come out of the hair salon and had my hair and make up all done. Because my MIL was also using the same place and had just arrived, I had to sneak out the back (she didn't want to see me until the moment I came down the aisle). As I was going around the far corner to get into the car with my mother, I ran into a small family: mother, father and a little girl about 4 years old, as they were going into a restaurant for breakfast.

The little girl stared up at me with a special brand of wonder and said in a soft voice of amazement: "Look Mommy: A BRIDE!"

That was the moment that it hit me that I was getting married.

I have little moments like that intermittently and just thought that it might be nice if some of my blogging friends (and others who might email instead), will share theirs.

Think about it. A moment of reality that surprised you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Childhood Won't Wait

Last night I was getting a few fixings for a late dinner with Ray (he had the kids and I had worked that evening) and I stopped to get a bottle of wine. The gentleman who was working the wine shop and I got to talking about the weather, which has been fabulous. He was telling me he'd spent a good deal of time in the garden that day. I was a little jealous, since my garden is in need of attention and I love to dig and plant.

I was also talking to another mom at preschool the same day. I mentioned that more than sleep, which is at a premium this week since both the kids are sick, I would love to have a week to finish all of the little projects that haunt me and my house.

Here are a few things that are on my list:
  • Mow the lawn
  • Attach the rose bush too the trellis...again!
  • Finish sorting through the baby/toddler clothing
  • Finish getting my names and addresses into one phone book
  • Plant my flowers, beans, and tomato plants
The list just goes on and on, but you get the idea.

The thing is that my kids are little, which hampers progress right off the bat. Sometimes I can get them to help with some of it, and that can be fun or hell, depending on the day. But most of the time they want to run around, bike ride, go to the park, snuggle, read, paint, put hats on and be silly...

and I realize that this will not wait. And then I will have a nicer garden and my house will be organized again.

Childhood will be over before I know it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meetup in New York

I love to meet my online friends. So far, I have met 10 families. This past weekend was our long weekend in May, and we went down to Albany, NY to meet Jennifer and her family (they were our 10th family).

Jennifer and I have known each other online almost 5 years now, since we were pregnant with Xander and Mason. As luck would have it, our second pregnancies were at the same time too, and Liam and Megan were born within 10 days of each other! This meeting was long overdue.

Jennifer and her family are incredibly sweet people and we all had a fantastic time. So much so that our older boys were upset when we had to leave!

Playing in the yard:





Our four cuties together:

Our guys:

And the two of us with the "babies" who started our friendship:

This video makes me laugh. Xander and Mason have discovered a new method for international conflict resolution.

video

Thank you so much for a great weekend Jennifer. We are looking forward to seeing you and your wonderful family again soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ray

I'm compelled to talk about Ray this morning. I talk about him in bits and pieces here and on my online groups, but he rarely gets space and words that are just about him.

I first met him during my second year of university (his 3rd) in one of our English classes. Let's be clear that this was not really the beginning of our relationship. He remembers meeting me, but he doesn't remember that girl as ME. We laugh about it and I tease him occasionally about it. The start of our relationship was December 1994. I was 20 and he was 22. It was at (I kid you not) an English Society Wine and Cheese. I was trying to get the attention of another guy, who is a friend. Only that fellow would not look, but Ray thought I was staring at him.

Good thing too.

We were married 5 years later. In the meantime, he'd gone to live a couple hours away to do his Master's degree. Came back to town. Then I left to go to Korea for a year to teach English. He came to visit for a bit more than a week, and we had a great time. I came back to Canada, and we moved in together. Then we got married.

In September it is 10 years since our wedding. December is 15 years since we met. I'm not sure how all of that time has passed, but we've had fun with it.

Ray loves to read. Our house is overflowing with books because he also loves to collect and has a hard time weeding through his things. He's gotten better with weeding and organizing, and I have become better at letting go of my need to have everything "just right". Ray also loves comics...to the tune of 10 or 11 comic book boxes. If you don't know, a comic box is about 3 feet long. There are a LOT of comics in them. 10 or 11 of these seems mighty excessive to me, but to Ray, it seems reasonable.

He also loves to game. Traditional, table-top, D&D gaming. He's been doing it since he was a pretty little kid. I think about 10. When I came back from Korea he convinced me to give it a try. He's pretty persuasive and I thought that if I didn't like it, he could let it go, since I had tried. Well, I have been gaming with him ever since. What is not to like? You gather with friends and create a story together! I love stories (especially reading and writing them) and I love being with friends, so it was a match made in heaven. We have since gone to GenCon, which is one of the biggest events in gaming, 3 times. The last time with Xander, who was 2, and Liam, who was just a little swimmer in my tummy at the time. Our favourite event is The Open. The open is a huge game that you do in a group, that progresses through 3 rounds. The first year I did The Open, our group came in second and something I did was the deciding factor for us getting second place. I think Ray was as proud as I was. To add to our collection of books, Ray also has an abundance of gaming books. I occasionally comment that he should get rid of the ones he is not using, like the Orange Books. This causes him to grimace, since the Orange Books are his first books and they are several editions ago of D&D. I managed to slip that one in one day when we were hanging out with other friends who gamed and I thought our buddy Steve was going to have an anneurysm. He said, "Tell me she is kidding Ray!"

As a contrast to my wandering childhood, Ray grew up in a little town right outside of Stratford, and his family lived in 2 houses the whole time he was growing up. They refer to these two houses as "the little house" and "the big house". And they were down the street from each other! I am not sure I understand a life like that, though it looks more and more likely that our children will grow up understanding it.

Thankfully, Ray loves to travel. He and I have the best conversations in the car, driving places. He is a person of deep thoughts. Often our daily life is too busy to share those thoughts, but when we are in a car, it seems like time stands still and it is that neverland between realities, so we get time to share. It's always been that way. These days we have to wait until the kids fall asleep in the car, so there is not as much chatting time in the car.

And he is a fantastic father. I loved him before our children were born, but seeing him with the infant Xander made my heart expand and my love for him grow astranomically. I didn't think it was possible to love someone that much, but I do. We have a sling and Ray loves to carry our babies in it. In fact, the summer Xander was born, he spent a lot of time in the sling, being carried through the neighbourhood with his Daddy, as Daddy walked the dog. And much of that time was nap or shower time for me. When we added Liam to our crew, it just got better. Seeing Ray swaying with Liam, trying to get him to sleep, is one that squeezes my heart. Better still, the boys adore him as much as he adores them!

I can't possibly describe all of Ray in one post, but I wanted to try to give you a bit of a glimpse.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

1/2 Marathon Madness

It's been a few days (umm, well 4 if you are counting), but I did complete the Mississauga 1/2 Marathon on Mother's Day. For anyone who is interested, a half marathon is 21.1 kilometers or 13 miles. It's a pretty long way to run. I have run this race once before, 2 years ago, before Liam was thought of (just before mind you).

My last long training run I managed to do pretty substantial damage to my IT bands; they're the bands that keep the muscle and bones and ligaments all connected in the top of your thigh, on the outside. If you do damage to them, it hurts. A LOT! You feel pain either in the knee or the hip. Lucky me, I feel it in both places this time. (Yeah, did I mention I have injured myself this way once before?)

Thank heavens for massage therapists. I have myself a darn good one and her name is Sarah. If you are in the area and need an RMT, just drop me a message and I will hook you up. Be warned though...she's brutal. It hurts worse to have it dealt with than to hobble along with the injury. How's that for irony. But when she is done, I heal over a day or two and am MUCH better. This injury was so lovely that it took 3 massages over 2 weeks for me to be healed enough.

So, keep all of this in mind. Not only did I run 21.1 km (13 miles), but I did it with one leg aching.

In the end, I came in 7 minutes faster than my previous time. I am pretty darn proud of that.

Here are a few pictures from the race...

Before, with 3 others running the race from my training group, Jo's Runners:


Waiting at the starting line:

And waiting...
And Xander waiting with Rick, one of my teammates:

Did I mention there is a lot of waiting at the beginning. I heard there were over 4,000 runners for the 1/2 and full marathon distances, so it takes a while to get out of the gates.

Ray and the kids went to breakfast with my coach and a few teammates who were there to cheer us on. Apparently they spent time gossiping about us. Jo, my coach, loves the newest story about how I was talked into accupuncture at the Expo the Friday before the race and ended up with a huge headache out of the deal. She did warn us not to do ANYTHING different, so I guess it is fair to laugh at me. Thankfully that headache went away.

I ran every single hill there was (which was not the case last time). The first place marathoner overtook me between the 18 and 19 km marks. And I have to say that I jumped up and hit the sign for both the 18 km mark and the 20 km mark in sheer joy!

My biggest feat was that I was still running at the end of the race. Funny little aside on that one, the last 1/2 km or so is all uphill. It is not very steep, but at the end of 21 km, it feels like the Rocky Mountains. And, as I pointed out to my coach, it is NOT Boston for crying out loud...it's Mississauga. So I ran that last one too.


If you are interested in the professional pictures taken along the course, you can go here and have a look.

My boys met me at the finish line with roses. I got a quick massage in the massage tent, some food, spoke to my coach, and we went home to finish off a lovely Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Signs of Spring

  • The crabapple on our front lawn is flowering
  • The sandcherry in our front flower bed is flowering
  • Sandals are out
  • Coats are optional (some days)
  • Preschool is coming to an end soon
  • Patio lunches are becoming more frequent (hooray!)
  • Sunscreen is necessary again
  • Playing in our backyard is a feature of a good day
and....
  • The ice cream truck has been spotted in our neighbourhood!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Little Bits of Busy

Last Sunday we were out and about. We had a chance to visit with Kate, our old babysitter (who had the nerve to grow up and go off to university!) at her place. She's in the center, holding Liam.


On Tuesday, Liam was having a grand time eating spaghetti. I am not sure who won that encounter when I look at his face, but it took him an hour to play...um, I mean eat it. And he was happy!

I'm discovering that sometimes I am *that* mother. Tuesday afternoon, Ray came home to find the three of us sitting on the tile, surrounded by purple goo, eating popsicles. It was supposed to just be Xander and I, but I offered a lick to Liam and then he wouldn't let go.
And look what I found my little monkey doing this morning!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Riot in Preschool

Who knew that raisins could cause a riot? On Monday at Xander's preschool they were supposed to have raisins and apples for snack. Unfortunately, the parent who bought the snack didn't notice that the raisins were packaged in a plant that also has nuts. We are a nut-free school and have a child who is deathly allergic to peanuts, so there is no wiggle room here. There were no raisins for snack.

You should have heard the hue and outcry from the tiny masses. Where were the raisins? They were promised raisins and they wanted their raisins!!! Bring on the raisins. Nothing but a full explanation for a room full of 3 and 4 year olds would do. And even then, they were not amused that we'd failed to provide the promised raisins.

Rioting, I tell you.

These kids are going to shake up the world. Look out!