Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Ray is home.

I'm not that thrilled with the care he received at the hospital. Most of the nurses were great, but the day nurse today and yesterday was one step away from incompetent. To the point where his IV bag ran dry and they had to take his line out and everything. Not fun. His doctor didn't show up at all yesterday, then waltzed in this morning and pronounced him good to go and let him leave. No new tests to check things and no day of full foods either. I'm not totally convinced. Although I am really, really happy to have him home.

The kids are happy too.

I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that everything is fine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bits and Bites

  • Liam has his first black eye. Pics will be forthcoming. He was walking along, thought he was close enough to grab on to our bed, but was not. And went crashing into the bed and whacked his eye.
  • Xander truly is his father's child. At 4 years old, he has watched his first episode of Star Trek. Original series, mind you. And he LOVED it. He wonders what an energy blast is though.
  • Liam has discovered the garbage can and the toilet in the past 48 hours. He took his diaper and confidently put it in the garbage can the other night. Today he was banging around upstairs and I bolted up there, because it was plain that he was playing with the toilet lid. Turns out he had also put a washcloth in there. That kid is going to be the end of me!
  • Xander is really drawing and starting to write now. His drawings resemble what he says they are. For example, he drew Daddy yesterday and it looked like a person (even though drawing legs and feet came before the body and they were originally right out of Ray's chin).
  • Liam was being changed tonight and he reached in and grabbed a wipe, pulled it up to his nose, and blew. I laughed my butt off. When I told Ray, he said, "Gee, do you think we've had a few too many colds lately?" Uh, yeah...that. Still cute though.

Update On Ray

First, let me just say that if you are a single mom or a mom who has a husband who travels all the time, I am taking my hat off to you and sending you a load of sympathy. By and large, the kids have been good, but running around like crazy with them is tiring. And Xander has questions. LOTS of questions about Daddy being away and in the hospital.

Ray is doing much better. The doctor came to see him yesterday and was pleased with his progress. He thinks that the hole in his bowl may have healed by now. I am under the impression that if it is going to heal at all, it is healed already. They've increased his food from "clear liquids" to "full liquids". Ray is unimpressed with full liquids, as his breakfast tray came with milk, yogurt, and cream of wheat. I was talking to someone this morning and mentioned that and he said, "Gee, don't they give that as punishment for crimes like stealing in some countries?" We now have to wait and see how his bowel deals with this food. If it is healed, he will be fine. If not, he will be in pain sooner, rather than later. I suspect that would mean surgery.

The doctor dangled the possibility of going home in front of Ray yesterday. He said, "maybe Tuesday." We shall see. Last night Ray was still battling a fever, so no matter how irritated he is with hospital life, he may be there a bit longer.

And yes, he is working some from his hospital room. He said something about boredom and "might as well". In fact, I understand he did work at 2 am. What a guy. This might count as OCD or workaholism.

The kids and I are managing. There are moments when I want to offer them up for sale, but I feel that way once a week or so when everything is normal too. Last night Steph and Cedric came to visit and help out. It was nice to have other adults to talk to! And they taught Xander how to play Snakes and Ladders. Xander loved it. This morning our daycare provider has kindly taken both of the kids to the park with her and her crew. Thank you!!! I've managed to call the people who needed calling and do a few things. Now a post to update everyone, and I am off to shower in peace and clean up around here a bit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ray is Sick

I don't have a snappy title for this one. Ray is sick. He's been a tad off for the last week or so. We all had colds and he and I have had sinus infections, so it is hard to tell when all of that stopped and the stomach symptoms began. He's been complaining on and off.

But yesterday he was complaining a lot and not feeling well. I asked him a number of times if maybe he should go see a doctor. No, no. He was okay. Then, about 4 pm, he came downstairs and said he had to go NOW to the ER.

Let me just say that in 15 years, Ray has never once even debated going to the ER. I was a little freaked out about it. We gathered the kids and various things for them (although we forgot shoes for Liam) and called Ray's mom to come up to help. I knew it would take her over an hour to get here, so we made arrangements to come and meet her back at the house later. Who knows how long a trip to the ER will take.

For the record, it was an hour and a half. The nurses and doctor latched on to the "bladder urgency" Ray had and assured him they believed him to have a UTI or stones. He was sent home with a prescription for Tylenol 3's and an appointment this morning to get a CT scan.

We spent a miserable night. Ray was tossing and turning. The T3's helped, but only minimally. And he had a fever that was up and down. As high as 103.6 at one point and I swore if it got to 104, he was going back to the ER.

This morning we called in a favour from a good friend (thank you SO much Jocelyn!!!) and left the kids at home with her while we traipsed back to the ER. I said "probably an hour or so", since I was under the mistaken impression that yesterday was an example of ER visits, instead of an anomaly. HA! The whole process of checking in and having the CT took 15 minutes. But we had to wait FOUR HOURS in the ER for the results. Seriously. 4 flippin' hours!

When they got the results, I didn't know what they were, but they meant business in that ER. The had him in, in a room, and told him to put on the gown. I shook my head and said, "Oh, you are not going anywhere, my dear." when I heard the gown comment.

The doctor explained to us that Ray has diverticulitis. I've added a picture of diverticula. It's when the colon has small, weak pouches. People can have these and never know. Most people have no idea. But sometimes they get infected and then people go to their ER or doctors, discover the problem, get some antibiotics, and go on with their lives. Occasionally with future attacks.

Ray has to one-up them all. He has one that has burst. It's not good. He's been admitted to the hospital and has already had a load of IV antibiotics. He'll be without food for several days. And they are also giving him a colon cleanse drink to make sure he is completely empty. Sounds like fun, no. I'm sure it is what Ray had planned to do with his Saturday night. After his colon has had a chance to rest and be treated with antibiotics, they will slowly give him some more food and see if it has healed on its own. Apparently, it does sometimes. If not, then he will have surgery to remove that piece of his colon.

The timeline on this is sketchy, but I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Letter to Liam

Dear Liam,

As much as I enjoy your company, it is now almost 9:30 pm. I know your whining is also keeping your big brother awake, so we would all appreciate it if you would just go to sleep. You have had a full day and were pretty cranky all around. You've played. Gone to the airport. Eaten a fair bit. Had a drink not long ago. Had a bath, clean jammies, and a story. You have a nice bed to sleep in, a soft blanket, some toys, and more soothers than any small person requires.

Please stop throwing the toys and soothers out of your bed in your pique. It's unseemly and has become annoying. If you wonder why I am not coming up there to put them back in again, think about the fact that I have entertained you by putting them back in about a half dozen times already. I've reached the end of it.

While we are talking about sleeping habits...why must you persist in getting up several times a night? You are almost 16 months old and your Daddy and I are exhausted. Sleep the night already, alright. You don't need the extra milk all night long either. I am tired of having to wean you off of it (we night weaned you 4 times while you were nursing and have done it once on the sippy and need to do it again). Daddy and I are TIRED. If it weren't for the fact that you share a room with your big brother, we wouldn't even entertain these shenanigans at all.

Your loving, but tired

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Few Funnies

With birthdays, my parents arriving, end of preschool, and our introduction to Kindergarten meeting, this has been a busy week. Add in that we are all sick and pretty tired and you get an idea of the chaos around here. So it is nice to share a few of the funny moments.

At the introduction to Kindergarten meeting, we got a schedule for next year and a tour of the rooms the kids use. The teacher was talking about the different activities, and she mentioned a "listening center". So I giggled and leaned over to Ray and said, "Do you think that will HELP?" We were snickering together.

This morning Xander was singing to the BINGO song. You know, "B.I.N.G.O...and Bingo was his name Oh." Only he was singing two different versions:

"B.I.N.G.O...and Bimbo was his name, Oh!"


"E.I.N.G.O...and Bimbo was his name, Oh!"

For the record, he was doing it on purpose. At another point he was singing it properly. What a kid!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Liam Videos

Liam signing "all done". Note that he gets really mad that we don't take it away the second he is done with it.

Liam walking along.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time Flies

One week old:
1 year old:
Xander at his second birthday party. (He ended up changed twice that day!)
Xander, 2 yrs, and Mommy (who was just barely pregnant with Liam):

Xander, 3 years, and Liam, 3.5 months:
Xander at 3 years old:

Xander at 4 years old (with some preschool friends):

Monday, June 15, 2009

34 more minutes

I have 32 more minutes until my oldest child turns 4. Tonight I thanked him for a good day (because it was a good one and he was a joy to be with) and I also thanked him for sharing this three years with me. I told him he would be 4 in the morning when he gets up, and that I am looking forward to spending that year with him too.

I know he doesn't get that stuff, but I do.

And at 1:11 am, he will be 4. Already.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Drive Thru

I've been thinking about this long and hard for about a month. Since we saw Jennifer's family in the States, in fact. And I want more things to be drive thru. The current trend around here is to limit them, and Toronto is trying to scale back on drive thrus in general. I know it is an environmental hazard and all of that jazz, but...I don't care!

Now, let's be clear here, I do care about the environment. We recycle. We compost. We go out of our way to properly dispose of batteries and paint and that good stuff. Did you know there is a special bin for cosmetics in our dump? It goes with hazardous material like lightbulbs and paint. Kind of makes you go "hmmmm?" doesn't it. We turn off lights, limit water usage. I could go on and on.

But I still want more drive thrus. In our area you can get drive thru food (usually crap, fast food) and drive thru banking. I was amazed and tickled to find that in New York state they also have drive thru pharmacy. Dude! Do you know how much easier it would be for me to get prescriptions refilled and pick them up if I didn't have to unbuckle my two kids and trot them through the store? So I have been thinking of other possibilities and would like to consider the following:

  • Dry cleaning: we don't do that much dry cleaning, admittedly, but I would do more if I could just drop it through a little window and get a number.
  • Basic groceries: I'm only thinking things like bread, milk, and eggs here. Maybe a bit of juice. I'd even be willing to go through the drive thru bank machine and give you cash for this.
  • Extended pharmacy stuff: how many times have you realized you are out of baby advil and have about 10 minutes before the next thing you have to do? I'd love to be able to drive thru and get baby advil or cough syrup without trekking the kiddos into the store. And I am cool with a limit of a couple of items. Say 3 items per trip. So it is a quick thing.
  • All renewal services: come on, you're the DMV, for crying out loud, and you can't get a drive thru service. Seriously.
  • The post office: this seems like another no brainer to me, and frankly, if I had to pick just one thing to have a drive thru for other than what we have, it would be the post office. Nothing annoys me more than having to get the kids out, put the little guy in a stroller or shopping cart, then go and stand in line. Again, I am very happy to have this be for simple items. You need to get something packaged up, weighed and measured, or sent via courier, I say you should stand in line. But for those of us who are either mailing regular mail or who are picking up a parcel, just let us have a drive thru.
And think about the brilliant exchange that this is: although it will damage the environment marginally more for us to have all these extra drive thrus, you will save us all from having to hear the babies crying and toddlers and school kids whining about waiting in line for some boring task that needs doing. My kids have a 2 stop limit most days, so anything after that and the other people in the store or line are in for a treat. That alone is reason for more drive thrus.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

13 Things

As borrowed from my friend Lisa's Blog...

Here's how to play. Post that pretty little ditty from up there on your BLOG and let us know the 13 things that YOU love!

1. I love...
The funny things Xander says and how he can twist things around to make something that really isn't funny, actually funny.
"Mom, I'll turn around so you can pee in private." (Not really private, since we are in the same toilet stall, but it's a nice little sentiment. And funny that he came up with it all on his own.)

2. I love...
How Liam snuggles right into my shoulder when I hold him and sighs. Lucky me, he's taken to patting your back back too these days.

3. I love...
That my parents come to visit the kids regularly. They live a long way away, but are as much a part of their lives as if they lived down the street. It's not easy for them and I appreciate the efforts that they make.

4. I love...
That despite almost 10 years of marriage and more than 14 years together (15 in December), that I am still madly and deeply in love with my husband.
He's a great guy and a good father. I got lucky!

5. I love...
That someone complimented me on my boobs the other day.
Seriously, what a great boost for someone who is 35 soon and has 2 little kids. It totally made my day! It's completely shallow and I will own that. I also own that I would have been horrified in my 20s, because the feminist in me would have been outraged at it. But I am older now and tickled silly over it.

6. I love...
To read.
Any time. Any place. Our house is covered in books and we are pretty voracious readers, all 4 of us. Even little Liam is getting in on the act.

7. I love...
To eat! Food rocks. And at our house there are a wide variety of cuisines on the menu. You name it and we have probably tried it.
There are a few things I do not eat, like mushrooms and peas. Yuck. But really, there is so much good food out there.

8. I love...
It's a good thing, too, considering #7. But I do love running. I'm not fast, by any means, but I can go for a really, really long time. And I come back feeling human and refreshed. It gives me time to think and to refocus myself.

9. I love...
My friends.
I have a lot of friends, because I'm outgoing and I have moved a lot over the years. Now I am part of a couple of online communities and have made some great friends that way. There's not much that is better than hanging out and chatting it up with some good friends.

10. I love...
As a military child, I was born into it, but I do love to travel. Lately our travel has been restricted to this continent, as we lack funds (see kids, house, and working from home), but I have lived and traveled on 3 continents. The great thing about driving vacations is that Ray and I love to talk in the car. And there are plenty of places to see and friends to visit within easy driving distance.

13. I love...
That Liam is walking.
Both of my boys have taken their sweet time to walk, but I love it when they do. Toddlers are fun people.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It works!

Our new converter box for digital cable works! We thought that there would be about 3 channels coming in on it. Not so: we've got 18! And there were a couple of channels we were just barely getting before that are clear as a bell through the converter. Hooray! Now we can watch The Big Bang Theory on tv, rather than on the internet. I'm a happy girl.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Please note that this is NOT our house, but our antennae looks pretty much exactly like this.

"Antennae?!?" I hear you, my dear readers saying.

Yup. We have an antennae. When we moved into the house, we discovered that the television was run on an omni-directional antennae. The cable box for our neighbourhood is on our front lawn, but no one has ever run it to the house. None of the previous owners wanted it. The last year we were in our apartment, I decided to try out going with just basic cable (because all we were watching was the Home and Garden network and I figured an extra $25 for that per month was ridiculous), so we were open to the idea of antennae television when we moved in.

Turns out that we plugged it all in and there were 20+ channels on our antennae television. Each year we've managed to get a couple more channels. Although we tend to discover that after a power outage, when we reprogram the television.

Two years after we moved in, we had a terrible wind storm, which knocked the insides of the antennae askew and despite the whole neighbourhood's efforts, we were unable to resuscitate it. So we went on the hunt again. Checked out the price of cable, then satellite...and realized that for about $50/month we could have the same as what we had for FREE with out antennae. So we ordered a new omnidirectional antennae (it was exactly the same as the last one), paid the $200, and have considered it a good deal.

This spring we started to lose channels. Our antennae is digital capable, but our television is 10 years old and is not. We've been losing our American channels. Oops. So, our kindly neighbour Nick picked us up a converter box in the States this past week. We're going to hook it up and see if it works. I'll let you know.

Oh yeah, so we are up to $240 for almost 6 years worth of television.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

And around and around we go

Ever have that project where you feel like you are getting nowhere? Or you can't seem to accomplish much because every time you try to do something, there are 5 other things you have to get done before you can do the first one. And then each of those 5 items spawns another 3 items.

This is how gardening is going for us this year. :sigh:

I have to get something up to stake the tomato plants to, before I can plant them. And I don't want to plant any other plants before I get the tomatoes in. Plus, it is getting late to put seeds in.

I also want to get a new bed into the one corner. It's started, but there is very little there. Plus, we have a compost that is now useless to deal with (we now have municipal composting, so it all goes there). And we are overrun with creeping charlie. If you have an idea how to get rid of it, let me know. We have a little bit of weed killer left, but it has been pulled from the market here. Urgh! All of Ontario will be covered in creeping charlie within 5 years if our experience with this blighter is any indication.

I have 2 new bushes to plant and 1 new climber.

I need a trellis for the climber.

And all of this is besides the regular stuff. Mowing. Whipper-snippering the edges. Regular weed control. Growing new grass. And planting the annuals.

Friday, June 05, 2009


This is Nouschka. She's a big, black Bouvier. We got her the first summer we lived in this house, about 7 or 8 months before I got pregnant for Xander. We had her for 4 years, almost to the day. She was already 9 when we got her and almost 13 when she died last year. That's pretty old for a Bouvier, and she was in great shape until the last year. And even until the last month or two, she was still okay. By the end, she had started to lose control of her bladder and was having trouble going up and down stairs. Unfortunately, our house is full of stairs. Poor darling.

It's been a year, and we still miss her.

I'm thinking about her tonight, because Xander is in the kitchen as I am typing, and he is talking all about her. How much she loved to go for a walk. How he would run with her when we had her off the lease on the back path in our neighbourhood. How she would follow him around (he was a toddler with food!).

What he doesn't know is that Nousch came to us and she had never known a cat. She was surprised upon meeting our two, but it took about a week for everyone to settle down. She scared the fur off Emmanuel when she barked at him the first two times she met him. I still giggle at the mental image. He doesn't know that she had a whole other life, where she lived in a kennel (though she was well-loved there too) and had about 5 litters of puppies. He doesn't know she came to us for her "retirement". She hated thunder and fireworks, and would climb onto the bed if you let her. She'd pant like her tongue would fall out any second. She LOVED food. Xander was a big boon to her diet! (I never knew how much she ate until she was gone. Now I have to sweep the floor when the kids are finished eating and I understand why we had such trouble keeping her weight down.)

She did not like to go outside for long. My Mother laughed about this. "Who ever heard of a herding dog who hates the outdoors." Truly, it wasn't so much being outside, but being away from us, her people. Nouschka loved us.

Nousch drove me NUTS when I was pregnant. I was always tripping over her, because she was always underfoot. She was not generally that kind of dog (she'd be close, but not right next to you or under your feet), but when I was pregnant, she would not let me out of her sight. It started happening even before the test turned positive too! Ray used to tease me and say that "Nousch knows you are having puppies."

I never worried about our kids with her around. If I left one of the boys sleeping in his bouncy chair in the living room, she would curl up right beside him. I could putter through the house, knowing that no one would touch that child. She loved our boys and had not a second of hesitation when they came into our family.

I miss her step. Her wet nose pressed at the door when we come home. Her whole behind moving when she was happy. Having her hopping beside me on a walk or jumping in the backyard. And this from the dog who was "not playful" according to her previous owner. She was serious, but she had moments of crazy playfulness too. I miss her sleeping on the stairs when I go to bed. It took me a long time to stop searching for her in the dark with my toes when I go down the stairs for water at night.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Walking Video

I promised video, so here it is. :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Birthday Party Politics

:sigh: And so it begins...

With school and school friends, there comes politics. This is Xander's first birthday where he has school friends. His class is 16 kids. There is no way to have 16+ kids in my little house. No Way. I let Xander choose the friends he wanted to invite, and there were a few surprises both on who was on and who was off the list. But we have 10 kids, including 3 kids who are his not-in-school friends. A reasonable number.

Still, why do I feel bad for not inviting everyone?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Date

Xander and I went on a date tonight to see Up. Our agreement was that he had to have his listening ears on all day (I expected trying, not perfection), which included not making his brother scream all the time (a new diversion he's been enjoying and Mom and Dad hate), and having a nap. The first was just because it is nice to have him try to be good and he's had some issues with listening lately. The second so he would enjoy the movie and not be tired.

We almost didn't get to go, because of protest over the nap. But he did end up napping and we ended up going.

The movie was great, although there were a few parts that scared him a lot. I had him on my lap shaking during the last action scene. Poor guy. But overall, we both enjoyed ourselves.

I have to say, that my older son is a wonderful date! He was polite. He listened well. And he was just a joy to be with.

It was one of those shining moments where you love to be a parent.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Walking Boy

Liam is 15 months and 3 days old...and walking!


Suddenly, this afternoon, he was walking across the room. Then down the hall. Then from Ray to me and back again (about 5 times, just because we asked and clapped for him). Definitely on his way.

Phew. It's not that I think 15 months is late to walk. Xander walked around that time too (in fact, Xander was 1 day earlier). But Liam has been cruising and trying to walk in one form or another for about 6 months. He has his own timetable, that child. But waiting on him when you think it might be close is what drives me nutty.

Hooray, Liam.

I also get the Mother-of-the-Year award, because our camera card is full and I have nothing to take photos and video with. Tomorrow.