Monday, March 26, 2007

Is this child for real?

So, while I was off reassuring Andrew in his mid-nap waking that I am in fact still here and have not abandoned him, I had Aaron sitting on my lap, leaning back in typical little baby fashion in the crook of my knee. And what does he do? He pulls himself forward so that he's staring at his feet. Like, as in, he pulled his whole torso up to sitting. This child is insanely strong. Just had to boast about my baby.

A Word of Advice to People without Children

Dear Friends who do not have children;

When buying toys for my child, please consider how they will effect me, the adult involved. There are two ways in which I would like my needs to be considered. The first way involves the annoyance factor of the toy. If the toy makes a noise or flashes or otherwise creates a cute distraction for the child, this child will want to reapeat this experience. About a thousand times. So please consider the parent who will also have to hear this noise or see this display a thousand times. Will they be thinking pleasant thoughts as the cute cuddly lamb prays your child to bed again, or will they be cursing you as the latest Elmo-inspired toy sings that oh-so-charming song for the ten thousandth time? The same applies to books. If you would not want to read that story at least a million times, don't buy the book.

Second, consider the breakability factor. Young children get extremely attatched to their toys, especially to anything they are really interested in. This may promp well meaning childless people to purchase cheap, dollar or bargain store version of this adored thing (such as a tractor with many small parts). If you choose to do this, please consider the durability of this purchase. If the toy falls apart in 10 min., the child will be crushed. If the toy can be put back together, but continues to fall apart every 10 minutes for the next two months, the parent will again be left cursing you.

So, childless friends, be kind to us hard working parents and make our lives a little bit easier. Buy toys that work. Buy toys that are not annoying. Buy toys your friends will thank you for 2 days or 2 weeks or 2 months from the date or purchase. Thanks.

Monday, March 12, 2007

California, ebay and nuns.

Dave bought a car last night on ebay. If it was anyone else, this might sound like a rash and impulsive move. But as is true with everything with Dave, it was a carefully calculated and researched decision.

Since my break down two weeks ago Dave has decided that we need a new car. First, we determined that we were not ready to get a mini van just yet. No matter how practical they are, I am not yet ready to make the move to future soccer momness quite yet. We also won't get an SUV because, well, we don't need one and we're cheap when it comes to gas. So we are buying that old, unpopular stand-by from the '70s, the station wagon.

Next he got the Lemon Aide guide and did his reasearch. He determined that we should buy one of three station wagons that was within our price range, etc, etc. So far, this was all pretty normal. We always do this stuff, except when we have a lapse of judgement and let his brother buy us a car.

After this, Dave started hunting for cars on the internet. He did this for his motorbike, too, so I wasn't surprised. I was, however, surprised when he told me last week that he had seen a 2000 Suzuki Esteem up for auction on ebay for $2000. He said it was from California and looked like it was in good shape. He got the serial number thing and checked if it had been in any accidents, which it hadn't. He looked in to bringing the car across the border and calculated how long it would take him to drive home from California and how much it would cost to fly there one way. He determined that if he got the car for under $3200, he could justify the trip and the drive because it would still be cheaper than buying the same car in Canada.

Last night he won the auction for the car for $2700 dollars. He emailed the sellers to pay a down payment and discovered that the car was being sold by a convent of conservative Catholic nuns. It was, in fact, the very convent our friend Brian went to retreat at 4 years ago (he stopped to visit us in B.C. on his way down and tried to convince Dave to drop everything and come with him for a week). They said they will be interested to talk to Dave because they're trying to develop some sort of eccumenical something or another.

In any case, the long and the short of it is that it looks like next week Dave will be flying down to Los Angeles and bussing out to a Catholic convent, where he will visit with the nuns, pick up our new car and drive back across the US to Saskatchewan. How crazy is that? And how jealous am I that I can't go too?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why our house will never get decorated.

We had a green mat in out back hallway. It was about the width of our hallway by about a meter long. It was not spectacular, but it did add some colour to our very neutral back hallway, and it allowed several people to step inside and take off their shoes at the same time. Unfortunately, due to many washings, the rubberized stuff on the back was coming off, and it had a tendency to shift and bulge. I guess this was really bothering Dave.

The other day I woke up to find this in my hallway instead of my normal carpet. During the previous day, Dave had went out and bought this carpet and thown the old carpet out. Now, I must say there are several positives to this carpet: it sticks to the floor, it is colourful, and it has a nice scrachy surface for scraping off your shoes. It does however lack one thing: size. It is a bit narrow for our entry way. People entering our house have to line up to take their shoes off without getting the linoleum wet or dirty, and frankly I think it looks ridiculous. Dave doesn't see what my issue with the carpet is since he usually enters the house by himself, and it does stick to the floor well, so he is not irritated with it at all.

Suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, Andrew developed a laundry room phobia. He refused to enter the laundry room. Instead, when I did laundry he would stand in the hallway and call, "Mommy, please come back to me". It took me about a week to figure out that he didn't like the feeling of the carpet on his feet and so refused to walk over it. I explained to him that he could go around the carpet, and that I wasn't going to lift him into the laundry room. So he began to meticulously lean down, flip the carpet in half and crawl over the soft rubberized underside of the carpet.

Last week, I moved the carpet like this. It is now even less practical, but it doesn't look quite as silly, and my son can once more enter the laundry room in peace.

The Demolition Site

Presently, our favorite video series are the Mighty Machines. These are TV Ontario kids shows (Good ol' TVO) where they have taken cameras into various places where big machines are working and taken film of them working. Then they give them weird names and voices that talk as they go about their business (in The Construction Site, Skinny the crane has an inexplicablely bad Italian accent, and Dino the big claw thing in this video growls incoherently as he destroys things, while the Mac Truck starts every sentence with "YO!"). The lastest one we took out was "The Deomolition Site". I must admit this is a really cool video. Basically for 22 min. you watch these two big arm-type machines smash and drag things around. The big claw (Dino) is by far the coolest big Cat I have ever seen. It pulls apart the iron structures that hold up these brick walls and the bricks just crumble in huge sheets. They also blow things up. Specifically two water towers and a giant smoke stack. This reminds me of the great scene in Elizabethtown where Orlando Bloom's character gets all these kids to behave by showing them this video where a construction worker tells the kids he will blow up a house if they promise to listen to their parents. Anyway, the videos are pretty great because there are no annoying whiny kids voices, no aggrivating "you can do it!" or other cheezy self-esteem type messages and no scary parts that give my sensitive child nighmares. Just lots of big machines.

There is one downside; my entire house has been turned into a Demlition site for the last few days. For example, this was a neatly folded and packed box of clothes ready to be stored downstairs. But the front end loader had other plans.
The same with all the alphabet blocks in the living room, the couch cusions, the recycling stacked under the kitchen sink . . . you can only imagine what my house looks like at the end of the day lately.

My apologies

I have been thinking about my blog entries in the last few months, and realized that a number of them are almost inexcusably whiny. I like to keep my blog upbeat, optimistic and funny. I generally only allow myself to complain if I can find an amusing way to do it. Unfortunately my sense of humour has been on a slight hiatus in the last few months, and my complaints have been more ranty than entertaining. Sorry. Hopefully now that my postpartum hormones are rebalancing I shall be back to my usual chipper self. Thanks for sticking it out with me.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Take a Picture of ME, Mommy"

So, I did. Andrew is big into being a builder lately. This is partially becase he loves to build things and then knock them down, partally becuase he loves to bang everything with his assorted hammers and partially because it gives him an excuse to wear his winter boots and his dad's headphones around the house (his boots were wet this day). As you can see, pants are not a hot ticket item in my house hold.
Rest assured that I do wear pants all the time.

Aaron at almost 2 months

This was yesterday. Look at my son -- he's such a chunk. I laugh whenever I give him a bath or change him completely because I've never had a chubby baby before.

Also, check out those great argyle socks. Classic.


My friend Kris (who has gone hoity-toity now that she lives in New Brunswick and started calling herself "Kristen") wrote a post about her son's love of pancakes.

I have no such story, but I must say, these are some great montages about a wagon full of pancakes. If you haven't had your daily dose of weirdness yet, enjoy.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

6 week check-in

Aaron is almost 7 weeks old and we are all still alive!

We had our 6 week appointment this week, and Aaron is huge! He's 6 kilos or 13lbs 3 oz, and for weight and head ratio he's in the 90th percentile. The doctor says his proportions are great -- he's not fat, he's just a big guy.

We are slowly adjusting to life with two children. I am getting better at getting us all dressed and packed and out the door when I need to in the mornings. I am learning how to breastfeed while getting snacks / taking Andrew potty / putting on dress up clothes / reading and turning pages with another child on my lap. Andrew is starting to sometimes laugh at and talk to his brother, although some days he still ignores him and insists that HE is the littlest baby in the house. He does get nervous if someone else holds him, though, or if he doesn't know where he is, so I think he secretly likes him. Andrew has settled in a gone back to his normal self in many areas.

I had a classic "mother of two young children" moment the other day. Some youth group kids were coming over to help plan youth group, and as they came through the door I had two naked children in the bathroom, Aaron was screaming, and Andrew was covering himself, the potty and the floor in shampoo. And I wonder why I don't have a lot of cool credibility right now?

Sleep -- our eternal battle ground -- is not one of these areas. He has started waking 2 - 3 times a night and crying for mommy if I'm not right next to him. He wakes up more often and also much earlier than Aaron, which is really infuriating. I felt awful because the other day I almost let my first "why can't you be more like your brother?" slip out. He has also stopped napping. When he is tired I try to put him down, but since I no longer have an hour and a half to read / cajole / wrestle back into bed / ignore while staying in the room / cuddle with / replace blankets on / get milk for Andrew, it is rare that I can get him settle enough for long enough to go to sleep. The last two days have been exceptions, but he has a cold, so I don't know if that will continue. What this means, since Aaron doesn't usually fall asleep for good until 11 and Andrew wakes up around 6 and between to two of them they wake up several times a night, is that I am really tired and tapped out.

Anyway, enough complaining. Aaron is doing great. He still sleeps a lot, and is usually content. Most of his complaining happens when he is really tired and Andrew keeps waking him up. His head support is really good already and he loves to ride forward facing in the sling and see what is happening. The other day when I was cooking and chopping a bunch of things for youth group he actually fussed to come up in the sling and see what I was doing, which I though was funny. He just started smiling last week, but I don't see many smiles yet. This is partially due to a lack of time to interact and play with just him. Today I was napping with him and he woke up and I though he wanted to nurse, so I flipped him to my other side and fell back to sleep. About 3 min. later I got tapped in the face with a little fist, and when I opened my eyes he was smiling at me. It was a pretty major accomplishment at 7 weeks old, and pretty cute.

Andrew lives almost entirely in his head. I am no longer allowed to refer to him as Andrew. He corrects me with "I'm being Kitty Number 6 right now" or "I'm being a goat right now". Its quite funny. The other night, he woke up in the middle of the night and I ran in to see that he was okay. He sat up and said "The puppy is happy." and went back to sleep. So for all that he is very frustrating right now, he is also very very cute and funny.

I am hanging in there, although I am chronically behind on everything and feel completely disorganized. But then I ask myself "is this really new?". I decided to fast from my online mommy forum for lent and I think it was a mistake. Its been really hard so far. I miss you, MDC mammas!