Thursday, August 18, 2011

Waiting for an exam to start is the most boring thing

My computer is ready. I've read over my notes. I have water. My sitter is here and briefed. There is 11 minutes before the exam starts. I'm bored.

This is it though!! Final exam and then almost three weeks of freedom before I start 4 new classes. (I know I just said freedom, and I know you are rolling your eyes because really, how much freedom does a person really have when they have a baby, a five year old, a big dog and her niece on weekdays... but it lightens my load a little for three weeks so it can still be considered partial freedom.) And trust me - I have packed those three weeks! We are going to Magic Mountain on Sunday, camping next weekend, I have tones of cleaning and organizing to do, and I have to get myself ready for university, my daughter ready for grade primary, and my son and dog ready to be without me for a couple of hours four days a week! But I am not behind on the prep work - I just counted and I have 73 juice boxes, a diaper box full of granola bars, and another filled with pudding and fruit cups. We wont have to buy lunch snacks until after Christmas!

6 minutes to go... I did get a lot done today; laundry folded, dishes done, vacuuming, bathrooms cleaned, and even did my own pedicure! I was a bundle of nervous energy, I had to focus on something!

I know I am rambling, I know it is nothing interesting, but I just have to keep my fingers busy while I wait... 4 minutes... I should log off here and get my screen open. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do not disturb

Here's the scenario: you are at home, the baby is in bed, and you are reading your daughter a bedtime story. The door bell rings. The dog goes nuts. The baby wakes up. You go to the door. It's someone looking for money.
This happened last night at 8:30. Now I live in a busy residential neighborhood filled with young families. I'm sure I am not alone in thinking that anything after 7 pm is too late for soliciting of any kind. Now in this case it was a charity organization. It seems to happen a lot lately, people soliciting, to the point that I am considering a sign. I
Is that a deterrence still? Maybe I'll put a sign out saying I am broke, or I don't carry cash. I never give at the door anyways, unless it is Girl Guide cookies (especially the chocolate covered mint ones - yum!). And I really don't carry cash so it really is a waste of their time to ring my doorbell. Maybe a sign is in my future. "Don't bother, this old hag won't give you a cent."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

GAIA baby products

Nathan is still having trouble with cradle cap, and I am wondering if it is tied in with the acid reflux. He is very sensitive to soaps and detergents, and even baby oil, which I used on his head on the doctor's advice and his head was red for two days afterwards. So yesterday I made a trip to Planet Organic on Quimpool road and picked up some all natural shampoo and body wash. Used both this morning on Hailey and Nathan, and I used the body wash myself, and it was awesome. Nathan's head looks a little better already.
The products I bought were GAIA baby products. You can find the company website here.

I'll update on these products as we use them. So far, so good! Meanwhile, I am putting feelers out for a Naturopath experienced in dealing with children and/or acid reflux (or GERD). If you know anyone in the Halifax area, or better yet, have dealt personally with someone and you can share your experience, I would be very appreciative. It is not easy to look through the phone book and trust a stranger with the health of your child. But I'm afraid I just don't know enough about foods and products to figure out if Nathan has an allergy or sensitivity to something that is causing his issues.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ramona Quimby

For Easter, my mom and dad bought Hailey the entire set of Ramona books. Each night, at bedtime, Hailey and I read a chapter of one of the books. I love love love Ramona. She is so misunderstood, and creative, and real. Though when I was younger and I read the books, I don't remember really liking her. I always preferred Beezus. Anyways in tonight's chapter (we are currently reading "Ramona the Brave) Ramona is frustrated because she does not like the first grade, feels like her teacher doesn't like her or understand her, and has just given her parents her progress report. In it her teacher writes some things Ramona thinks are unfair, and Ramona's parents aren't taking Ramona seriously. So she states that she is going to say a bad word. As I am reading this out loud, I am really kind of panicking, because I'm not sure what she is going to say and if it really is a bad word, I am trying to make a decision on how I am going to handle it. After all, Hailey is only 4. I am certainly not going to swear. I should have known I had nothing to worry about, however, as the bad word is "guts". I laughed, I couldn't help it. Here I was expecting this awful word. I should have trusted both Beverly Cleary and the times that the book was written. Anyways I highly recommend reading these books with your kids. Ramona is such an interesting character and the adventures she gets herself into are so funny.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My last twenty-something birthday

I'm reflecting on my last couple of days of "twenty-eight". This weekend I celebrate my last twenty-something birthday. You know how I feel about birthdays! But, there is not much planned. No regular birthday week. Maybe some dinner plans when hubby gets home Monday.
I used to think thirty was so old. Ancient really. I always wondered how it would feel to be old. But I don't really feel old. Sometimes I have to remind myself of my age, that I am not a kid or a teen or even a young adult. Maybe it is because I regularly hang out with people who are older than me, who have already crossed the threshold into "thirty". It seems like I am always the baby of the group, so I see myself as the young one. It's rather odd to think this way, now that I am analyzing it, because I did everything so early; married at 23, kids at 24 and 28. I know it's not that early, but it's certainly early by today's standards. Many people my age are only starting now to settle down and start families, and I have a little girl turning 5 this summer! Where did the time go.
I find the passage of time all the more surreal when I look at my little boy, who reminds me so much of my little girl when she was his age. I can distinctly remember holding her on my chest as she slept. She would lay that way for hours and she was so warm and smelled so sweet. My heart would swell as I held her, knowing I should put her in her crib, but unable to let the tender moment end. The little guy doesn't snuggle the same way; we tend to laugh and play more than Hailey and I did, but our moments are just as tender and his smile is the sweetest I've ever seen.
He's getting two little teeth, and you can see them when he laughs - which he does often. He has the nicest disposition, as long as he is not hungry or wet or sleepy! In many ways, now that his acid reflux is under control with medication, he is an easier baby than Hailey was. He seems to be more content.
I should be watching a lecture right now. I'm a little behind with the lectures, and you and I both know I won't be watching any lectures during birthday weekend! I'll have to double up next week...
Speaking of birthdays, what do get for a child who has everything? I always want to get Hailey something spectacular, but I am out of ideas. The only thing I can think of is a personal DVD player for road trips. Yay? Nay? Ideas? Input is both welcome and encouraged. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to the best Mother on the planet

It is a very special day. A few dozen years ago, a wonderful lady was born. My mom.
My mom is the best. She is kind, loving, forgiving, helpful, intelligent and beautiful. There is nothing she wouldn't do for me, my dad, my sister or my kids. Really, she would help anyone in need. She is a definite role model (esp at being a Mom, I mean look at the awesome job she did with me!) and I strive to be as great a mom as she is (but I'll never be able to sew or iron as good as she can!!). Happy Birthday Mom. Thanks for spending the day with me and my brood.

It was a great day for a birthday. So hot today! We went to the public gardens, and it was beautiful. The kids were funny; they asked as we were walking through if I remembered to bring food for the ducks, and I reminded them that we cannot feed the ducks (there is a great book about Gracie the Public Garden duck - it explains the dangers of feeding them in a nice little story), Unfortunately not everyone has read (or heeds) the signs at each entrance to the park, as there were people there feeding the ducks with their kids. I quietly giggled with the girls that those people must not have gotten the memo, and tried to make them feel good about doing the right thing. Not an easy thing when they are watching other kids feed the ducks loaves of bread. (click here to read about Gracie's book) Nonetheless, it was a lovely morning at the garden's followed by lunch at Park Lane, where the girls tossed their pennies in exchange for whispered wishes, and then an ice cream at DQ to cool off. Nathan was really warm, so he cooled off when we got home in a nice bath, and spent the rest of the day in only his diaper. We finished with a BBQ and some trifle - delish. A nice change from regular cake, without losing out on the cake altogether!

I should give a little "shout out" to my new class at the Mount (English 1171) since I mentioned my blog during class today and may have some new visitors (I am a shameless self-promoter!). Going to "class" in your jammies while laying on your bed is another experience altogether!

HOW TO: Make mom's "famous" trifle.
It's all in the layers.
The bottom layer is pound cake. You can make your own, make a box, or buy a pound cake. Easy-peasy!
Next comes the lemon pudding.
On top of that is a layer of fruit - I like to use the very cherry canned fruit, but really you could use whatever you wanted.
Top it with a layer of whipped cream and BAM! you've got yourself a trifle. Mom puts pieces of mandarin oranges on top in a little pattern to dress it up. Easy to make and super delicious. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A week off and nothing to do

I've been waiting for this week of freedom for a month - no school and no upcoming events to get ready for, no renovations, just sun shine and rest. But I am finding myself slightly bored and wishing for a lecture to watch. Am I nuts? I think I am.
This morning we did have a lot of fun hanging out with a school friend. She has a pool in her yard and the kids had a great time swimming - Nathan was in a pool for the first time! He loved it. So now I am in "convince hubby" mode - we need a pool. He is all about nice grass and trees and plants in the yard, while I say PAVE IT and get a pool! Just think - no need to mow! And no need to drive anywhere - the fun would be a hop skip and jump away, right in our own backyard oasis. Who's with me!!??!! I always wanted a pool when I was a kid, but my dad wanted nice grass and said a pool would ruin it. He is right of course, but boo hoo to nice grass and yay for a fun summer in a backyard pool! I sound like a radio commercial. But how to get the hubby on board? Any ideas are welcome!
On a side note, I wrote all my finals last week and it was intense but I think I did ok. I know I got a B+ in Psych, which is especially nice considering I wasn't sure I would even pass it. I had a little trouble with the assignments but I did well on the exams. Not sure about History and English. This term it is only two classes instead of three so I should be able to devote more time to two and maybe do a little better.
The kids are doing awesome. Hailey had her preschool graduation on the weekend, and she did awesome. She was a little over-animated, of course, but she had a great time and she was adorable. Nathan had a special day this weekend as well as he was Baptized, and he had water and oil poured all over him and he didn't say a peep. He's such a sweet little guy. He was all dressed up in a little linen short suit with a sweater vest - so cute.
My mother in law sent home a cute little book for the kids the other day. It's called "Silly Snacks, cooking with kids" and features the Sesame Street gang. My little girl loves it. We are picking up the stuff today to make some Popsicles.
I'll update with a review on the recipes as we go - she made some little jelly sandwiches yesterday by cutting out the bread with cookie cutters.

Friday, June 10, 2011

baby teeth, good grades and preschool graduations

What a month!
Let's start with the baby. Growing like a weed! (I always wanted to use that old saying) He's finally putting on some weight. Plus, he's got a big ol head now to hold that big beautiful brain of his. He's doing quite well lately, even tempered and in good spirits. He has the most beautiful smile with two little dimples, and his face just lights up when someone talks to him. He is rolling over and trying to crawl, loving his jolly jumper and exersaucer, and trying his darndest to get himself some teeth.

My sweet little angel is about the graduate...from preschool. I know, it seems a little wonky, but moving up into big school is a pretty big deal with you are 4-going-on-5. They have been rehearsing for this cute little ceremony where they will do some dance numbers and get a certificate. I'm planning to take the little pumpkin out for lunch afterwards to celebrate. And in September - grade primary, or "maternelle". *sniff sniff* My little ducky is growing up.

School is crazy. CRAZY. But for the most part I am keeping my cool and doing well. All assignments are done except one (due in 2 days - argh!) and I am up to date on all my studying. But finals are fast approaching and I am getting a little scared! Mostly scared for history, because I have only done two assignments for that class - no tests - so I have no idea what to expect. Only 2 weeks left really and then BAM! I'm done... well... for a week and then on to two more classes! I know, it's craziness, but it's fun and interesting and challenging, and what more can you ask for really? And since there are no daytime classes, I can study at the beach!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wake a sleeping baby?!? Are you crazy?

The insanity that is my life just got crazier - I started school! What was I thinking??? To be honest, I wasn't. I'll blame it on mommy brain and leave it at that. I'm three weeks into the semester and I am overwhelmed! I'm taking history, English and psych, and because they are summer classes they are condensed, which equals major work loads. The upside is at the end of the summer I will have 2.5 units under my belt! And, the July/August semester I am down to two classes, so I'll get some relief there. It's not going badly or anything, although I am a little behind on my lectures, I am keeping up on the material, tests and assignments. Luckily all my friends are done university and can edit my papers! It's not that easy to juggle a 4 year old, infant, and dog with school work, but I imagine it will be even harder when Nathan is crawling!! He slept a lot today so I was able to get quite a bit of work done.

He's actually been doing quite a bit better with his acid reflux over the last week. The doctor switched his medication to Prevacid, and my husband discovered that he would benefit from taking it later in the day, because his episodes happen more often in the late afternoon and early evening. Today he only had one twenty minute episode and barely any spit up. I consider that a great day!

We have a nice little sign of "summer" in our yard - the trampoline is up! I heard through the grape-vine that there may be some sun in our future, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with the kids and the dog in the yard. My favorite parts of summer happen in the yard - children playing, BBQ, tropical drinks and chimenea fires - and don't forget the marshmallows!

Summer is also birthday season, and Hailey is already planning her fifth birthday. FIFTH BIRTHDAY?!? Yup, my little angel isn't quite as little anymore. And of course my vow last summer to ease up on the crazy birthday parties is meaningless... it's her FIFTH birthday! Such an important birthday simply NEEDS to be celebrated to the max. (see postings from last August for insight into why we vowed to end the crazy birthday parties...) She asked for another carnival party, but that took at least 6 months to plan, so we will see.

And, I've taken enough personal writing time for one day - time to hit the books!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hippity hopity Happy Easter!

It's almost time for E. Bunny to arrive, and my girlie is very excited. A couple of weekends ago we went to an Easter Egg Hunt at my sister-in-laws - it was so fun! She did an amazing job organizing it. The kids decorated cup cakes and eggs, and then found the one thousand eggs scattered over her front lawn! Even the bunny made an appearance. A great day filled with great friends and great memories.

This year Hailey has started going to church and gave up candy for lent. I wasn't sure how she would make out, but we are almost finished the 40 days and she hasn't even asked for candy! Sometimes she will ask if an item qualifies as candy, but if I say that it does she just forgets about the item and finds something else to snack on. I was very impressed when she stuck to fruit at the egg hunt party when there was candy right in front of her, and kids all around her eating it. I am pretty proud of my little sweetie, and I think she learned a huge lesson about sacrifice. I also think that the two of us will be in a sugar coma Easter morning! (I gave it up as well).

I have the Easter stuff all ready in the basement, and I'm super excited to put it out. I always fill the small plastic eggs with toys and hide about 25 of them around the house. I had to get a couple of things for Nathan so Hailey didn't think the bunny forgot him, so I picked up some teethers and a couple of boxes of baby mum cookies!

My husband will not be home for Easter this year. Actually, he hasn't been home the past couple of years, but we always tricked Hailey and had the "bunny" come when he was home, and not on Easter morning. But she is too old to pull that prank on, so he will miss out on the hunt this year, which is kind of sucky.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter filled with family and fun and relaxation. :) Cheers!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh 2 am, I thought I was done with you

The middle of the night and I have not spent so much time together over the last month since Nathan has started sleeping through the night, but here I am at two am with a fussy baby. And it's all my fault. You see, he normally has a bottle at some point between 7 and 9, and then goes to sleep for the night. But last night (or tonight, depending at how you look at it!) he fell asleep before this bottle and didn't wake up for it - until now. A smart, thinking ahead mommy would have woken him up and reminded him that it was time to eat. This mommy was so happy to see him sleeping, and wouldn't dream of ever waking him on purpose. So here I sit, waiting for him to digest before I try to get him back to sleep.

My poor little duck is still having quite the time with his acid reflux. It is so hard to see him in pain and not be able to do much about it, but the Ranitidine is currently working well, until the next growth spurt. He has a hard time in the late afternoon and evening, when I guess he is digesting from the day and a lot of acid is forming in his belly. Mornings he does ok, and so we usually spend them shopping. He loves the stroller and I love my VISA!

So I have this not so secret obsession with all things Twilight. I don't talk about it often, except with a select group of like minded individuals, because I truly have become the dreaded Twi-Mom, and it seems so typical. But I have to express my excitement at the release of the guide to the saga. I have barely made it through the opening interview, as what infants mother has any kind of reading time?!? But I am loving every word and every opportunity to escape to this fun little fantasy world.

In the opening interview Stephenie Myer talks about finishing that first book before realizing that you have become a writer. A close friend reminded me of the story I have been writing for about 15 years, one that I fleshed out quite a bit last spring, but that got pushed to the side to make room in my brain for the fact that I was growing my family again. The characters in the story are so real to me, as they have been living in my head for so long. It feels wrong to not finish the story, but it seems like I have made a real writing-faux pas. I mapped out the ending. Since I did that I have had a really hard time getting the words onto the page, as it doesn't feel as natural anymore. It's like I've decided where I am going to take it and now it's no longer the characters determining the story. I think I was too worried about the wrapping up the story in a tidy fashion. If I ever get the chance to get back into the story, I think I will toss that outline in the trash and open up the possibilities.

I feel like I can't end this blog without a picture, so here is my little girl at Sugar Moon Farms sampling a maple syrup sucker (it was really neat - they poured the hot syrup onto the snow and the kids twirled it around their popsicle sticks) while she was there on a class trip.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby baby baby

I am sitting on the couch with two free hands - it's amazing!

Time flies by so quickly, there are many days that I am cleaning up from supper and realize I spent the day in my pajamas. There are so many days that don't contain enough hours to get everything done, and others that I wish were shorter so I could sleep longer! Really I should be cleaning my house instead of sitting on the computer, but I am spoiling myself for a couple of minutes. The floor will still be covered in dog hair when I am done!

Nathan is the chattiest child! He is always practicing his ahhs and ahh-goos. Hailey was a very early, very good talker, and it looks like her little brother will be as well. I can't wait to find out his thoughts and his preferences. I can't wait to teach him songs and rhymes and prayers. I already love his smiling personality.

I've taken as much personal time as today will allow!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My little angels

                                             Nathan at 8 weeks - just before his first needles!

                                                          Hailey and Nathan - snuggles <3

Thirteen weeks and counting

I finally have a minute to sit and type. My sweet little guy has been having a hard time over the past two and a half months. Turns out he has acid reflux, which I'd barely heard of in babies before but now I am finding more and more parents whose children suffer from this. He is on Ranitidine, which helps until he gains a little weight and then it's off to the doctor to get the medicine increased, and at least 4 or 5 days until the increase takes effect in his system. Poor little guy. I had acid reflux when I was pregnant with him, and it was terrible, especially at night when I was laying down.

So right now he's doing pretty good, his belly is full and his bum is clean, and he is laying on the floor under his little arch talking to some butterflies. His big sister is keeping him entertained. He just loves that girl. When she is around, he watches everything she is doing with a huge smile on his face, laughing and squealing when she pays attention to him. It gives me goose bumps to watch them. I try to memorize the moments so I can recall them in a couple of years when they are fighting and slamming doors!

My other sweet little monkey had another female right-of-passage on the weekend. She found some makeup scissors on the bathroom counter and decided she'd like to have some bangs. She now has very very short boy bangs. The only grace is that there is 6 months or so before she is a flower girl in my sister's wedding, so there is time for them to grow. Each person, well, each female that sees her little hair-art has an anecdote of their own about cutting their hair as a child. In fact - I did this myself, although I was older than Hailey and definitely should have known better - I had was upset with some hair falling out of my french braid, so I cut them off, giving myself some serious side burns as they grew back in. Now that I'm not so angry over the incident, I'll have to take some photos. They will be great wedding material in 20-ish years!

Friday, January 28, 2011

He's Here!

It's been hard to find a time that I have two free hands for typing, but I finally am here to announce Nathan's arrival. He came on December 31st, just as planned, and was a healthy 8 lbs 2 oz. During the day he is a wonderful baby, sleeping a lot, eating on schedule, and being generally adorable. At night however, he becomes a fussy, hungry, wide eyed baby who wants to be constantly held and rocked. So, that sleep I was seeking last month? Still not here. But he is lovely and I love him dearly.

Hailey has been having a bit of a time adjusting to life with a sibling. I expected her to dislike him or resent him for the attention he gets that she craves. But she adores him, always wanting to snuggle with him, talk to him, sing to him, and stare at him. It's me that is on the receiving end of her wrath. She tells me I don't like her or that I am mean to her because I can't play with her or because I can't get her whatever toy or snack she is seeking. She struggles with being in a different room than me, or worse, on a different level of our three level house. She is getting better, after a couple of huge breakdowns, and with me learning to be more organized so I can carve out time to play with her one on one. I've also been encouraging her in her solo play, trying to stretch the time that she will stay in her room playing alone.

All in all, we are both trying to make the big adjustment that comes with a new, helpless little baby. I am still getting some help from some wonderful people in the way of sleepovers for Hailey and some housework help for me, because after surgery there are many things I can't take care of myself (although I've been cheating a lot). And the poor dog is getting the short end of the stick - I can't walk him so he's been a little mopey lately. But in a couple of more weeks I will be cleared for walking and exercise and eager to shed the last ten pounds that didn't disappear instantly with the rest, and Bentley and I will be walking buddies again.