Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Magic Sleeper Loses Its Magic

A little while ago, my husband and I noticed that when we "accidentally" put William to sleep in his ski jacket, he would stay asleep way longer than in his pjs. This realization corresponded with my parents giving us a one-piece Santa Eskimo outfit, really meant to be a snowsuit but more cuddly and sleep-appropriate than the jacket. It was immediately dubbed the "magic sleeper" and William wore it to bed, and slept through the night, ever since.

Happy ending? Well, no. The magic sleeper's effect is wearing off, it seems. Last few nights William has gotten up once or twice. No biggie, just a quick nurse and a change and he goes back down. Then there's last night:

3:15* am: William wakes up crying. Babies have various different types of cries to indicate different moods and desires. This one was across between a gym-teacher's whistle and the scream of a movie heroine in a horror flick. It is usually used to I don't know, I'm not a baby whisperer.

3:15- 3:30 am: I nurse him and he's quiet until I put him back in the crib, then the shrieking resumes.

3:30 am: Tag team Adam. Adam changes William's diaper.

3:45 am: more nursing. No effect.

4 am: Adam gives William some baby Advil, you know, for the teething.

4:20 am: Adam gives William some gripe water. You know, in case he's gasy.

4:25 am: I bring William into bed with us. My husband and I immediately decide that was a bad idea. I rock him and sing to him (with little result) and put him back in his crib.

4:30 am-4:40 am: William's shrieks gradually subside to a nice steady waa waa, the kind that might be recorded by Mattel if they were making a doll.

5 am: William is no longer crying. Asleep?

8:15 am: William wakes up for the day, cheerful as ever, with no mention of the previous night's crankiness. I guess he wants to let bygones be bygones.

*All times are approximate.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Cheer

As you can see, our second attempt at meeting Santa didn't go much better than the first. This time William didn't wait until he got on Santa's knee to cry, he began as soon as he saw him. I guess the imposter at the Burlington Mall left him traumatized. (The things we do to torture our children). Anyway at least we got a picture. And the Mapleview Mall Santa was much nicer. Although he thought William was a girl. Isn't Santa supposed to have a sixth sense about these sorts of things? I guess he hasn't checked the naughty/nice list for this year to see the new additions.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Not without help

I'd like to thank everyone who made our trip to Toronto possible today:
  • -Everyone on the GO Train to and from Union station, who smiled at William, marvelled at his cuteness, and entertained him when he got squirrelly. Good luck to the girl we met who is seven months pregnant. Most of the time they're angels, really.
  • -The Ryerson University bookstore. For offering a student discount so enticing that it's worth sending your wife and child all the way to the big city. And for making it a rule that only I, as a student, can purchase software in the store. I just want to say for the record, that that Adobe Suite is for me, and totally not for my graphic designer husband who needs it for work.
  • -All the people who helped me carry the stroller up and down the stairs when Toronto's wheelchair access system failed us.
  • -The man who showed me how to use the elevator in the underground. You have to hold the button. Who comes up with this stuff?
  • -The trio of friendly Torontonians who guided us to Union Station when we got hopelessly lost in the underground path.
  • -The Employees of the Saturn dealership for welcoming us in and letting me have a hot chocolate, even though I made it abundantly clear that I have no interest in purchasing a car.
  • -John, who works at Saturn who helped me carry the stroller over the snow banks that blocked the sidewalk outside the Saturn dealership. I know you would have helped me all the way home, if given the opportunity.
  • -And finally to William, for being such a trooper, and only crying for about a third of the trip.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not the Real Santa

Now that we have a baby, it's mandatory that we aquire the customary "baby on Santa's knee" photo. This is an account of attempt #1.

Adam was shocked and hurt when I even suggested that I take our son to see the Big Man in Red during the day when a)it wasn't that crowded and b)William was more likely to be in a good mood. I want to go too, said he.

So today when Adam got home from work, I suggested we give it a shot. I called the Burlington Mall across the street to make sure Kris Kringle was on duty (he was). So we weeded through William's onsies and found the perfect Christmas outfit (by "perfect" I mean clean), put him in his nice red winter jacket, in his nice red stroller, and braved the dampish night.

Twas around six thirty when we arrived at Santa's Getaway, the modest cottage adorned with stuffed animals and garlands located just outside the Bay, but it was empty. The women (elves?) working Santa's camera and cash register informed us that Good Ol' St Nick would be on break for about 20 minutes. Not feeding his reindeer mind you, on break. The man who can deliver all the gifts to all the children in the world in one night, was on break.

So we took a brief stroller stroll around the mall, purchasing some cute outfits at Old Navy and some bandaids at Shoppers for this wicked blister that I have on my heel. But I digress. Anyway, by the end of our stroll, Mr. William was asleep. So asleep in fact that Adam and I were able to enjoy Cinnabons in peace, before once again trying to snag a pic with Father Christmas.

We returned to Santa's Getaway with our groggy child. Christmas Man had a child on each knee. Adam and I perused the photo package and waited. I greeted Santa and told him that we had come while he was on break and William had fallen asleep while we waited. No response. Not smile, no Ho Ho Ho. Least jovial Claus ever.

I placed my son on Papa Noel's bony knee. Now William's usually pretty good with strangers, but Cranky Claus insisted on holding him rigidly facing outward, instead of allowing him to choose a comfortable position on his lap. That, added to the fact that William was tired having just woken up, equaled wailing baby. The elf/girl/photographer gave me some bells for William to hold and we smiled and made faces to get him to stop crying. Santa made no attempt to cheer William up.

I rescued my son and he settled down immediately, he even smiled for the elf-girl. We let the one other family in line go ahead. William played with the bells some more and seemed over his traumatic experience. We tried again.

Again Santa was rigid and unjovial. Again William wailed. So we gave up. Anyway who wants their picture taken with an old fuddy duddy masquerading as Santa?

I consider myself a Santa Claus agnostic. The question of whether or not a portly man in a sled can really deliver all the worlds' presents in one night is essentially unanswerable. However, one thing I can say for certain: this was not the real Santa.

Perhaps He works at the Mapleview Mall.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

William's First Steps

William has been using a walker for quite some time to strengthen his leg muscles for the big day when he would take his first unassisted steps. A slight shuffle forward wasn't enough, our criteria ("our" being my husband's) was that William had to take at least three steps in a row to warrant any milestone marking.

Well today he did it. Hooray.

To be honest I expected more fanfare. I mean first steps! That's like the milestone of babyhood. But it's not as if he just stood up one day and walked with no warning. For weeks we've been saying (we being the collective we that includes extended family, friends, and random strangers met at the Early Years Centre) that William would walk any day. Today is any day. Baby mobility is all a gradual progression, which in William's case went something like this:
  1. Roll over front to back
  2. Roll over back to front
  3. Get up on all fours
  4. Rock back and forth on all fours
  5. Lunge oneself forward on all fours
  6. Crawl backwards
  7. Crawl forewards
  8. Stand in crib
  9. Crawl like a pro
  10. Stand with the aid of furniture
  11. Let go of furniture to stand unassisted
  12. Use a walker, laundry basket, kitchen chair, or other slidable item to "walk"
  13. Stand up without needing furniture to pull up.
  14. Stand unnassisted while waving both hands.
  15. Attempt to shuffle forward, but fall on bum.
  16. Shuffle forward one step.
  17. Shuffle forward two steps, but using the same foot.
  18. Shuffle forward two steps, one foot then the other.
  19. Three steps = walking

Oh, and for those of you who aren't counting, William is 9 months old as of Nov 15th.

Monday, November 05, 2007

William Signs "Light"

For those of you looking for more evidence of my son's genius status: William recently learned to sign the word "light". This sign involves reaching upward towards the light in question and opening and enclosing your hand.

Unlike previous signs, which may have been random gestures or flukes, even my husband, ever the doubting Adam, has admitted that this appeared to be a genuine sign. It seems clear that William is on the road to becoming the first infant University graduate.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

William's First Halloween

I went trick-or-treating tonight for the first time in ten years (yes, I trick-or-treated until I was 18) and this time there were no "Aren't you a little old for this?" comments. Sweet! Babies can be quite useful in scoring free candy.

The pictures above were taken at the Ontario Early Years Centre near my house. It was a Halloween party there today. Kind of exactly the same stuff went on as any other day, except all the kids were dressed up. For those of you who can't tell because the disguise is so clever, William is the one dressed as a dinosaur/lizard/Godzilla-thing. His best friend Aedan is the lion.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Girl's Night Out. (and why we should always bring a male with us)

The following is a transcript of the interaction we had at the end of the night after the one male we had in our group left for the night:

Nearly deserted Lion's Head Pup in Hamilton, INT. Approximately 2 am. Four women, V, B, A, and ME, sitting around the table. None of us are drunk enough for the encounter that is about to take place.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Hey ladies, I hope you don't mind me asking but how old are you ladies?

V,B,A and Me go around the table and stupidly give our real ages (all between 26 and 28).

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: (seemingly pleased that we are legal): The reason I ask is that my friend and I think you ladies are very attractive.

V,B,A and Me giggle nervously

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: (indicates scraggly friend): This here's Pirate Man. You seen that Pirate's of the Carribean? Well this here's the Pirate of the Carribean. This here's Johnny Depp.

JOHNNY DEPP does bad drunken pirate impression.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING:: You girls wanna dance?

A: It's not really that type of atmosphere. Nothing personal.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Nothing sexual. We just want you girls to have a good time. (pats ME on shoulder) I feel like you girls are like my daughters. I'm just dear ol' dad here.

V,B and ME loudly compare wedding rings. A unfortunately doesn't have one.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: (reaches across the table and grabs A's hand): You especially, your beauty just penetrates.

A: Penetrates what?

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Any you girls wanna dance?

A: As I said before, not really that type of bar.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Nothin sexual just making sure you girl's have a good time. Say I never got your names.

V,B,A and ME go around the table and stupidly give our real names.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: That's okay I understand if you don't give your real names. I'm Howard the Duck and this here's Johnny Depp, the Pirate of the Carribean.

Me: Howard the Duck? That's an obscure reference.

B: I was a just a kid when that movie came out.

V: Yeah, that's kind of before our time.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Say, can I ask you, can I ask you ladies. Any of you wanna dance?

B: I don't like this music.

V: No thank you.

A: No.

ME: We really don't want to dance!

JOHNNY DEPP: Nothin' sexual.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: (inches closer to me on bench, I move away, he inches closer again) We ain't trying to pick you's up, we just want you ladies to have a good time.

ME: You go ahead and dance. Don't let us stop you.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING and JOHNNY DEPP get up and do a weird homo-erotic chicken dance around the bar. CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING makes a point of flexing his muscles.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: They're alot smaller than when I was young. We're old men compared to you girls.

V, B, A, and ME nod our heads in agreement.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING sits down again and squeezes my thigh.

I look away and pretend I don't notice. Attempt to shake him off by crossing my legs.

CREEPY DRUNK 40-SOMETHING: Aren't you girl's pleased to have met Johnny Depp this evening.

JOHNNY DEPP tries to hold V's hand.

A: Well it's getting late.

ME: Yes! Let's go!

V (stands): Nice to meet you guys, bye.

V,B,A and ME leave quickly, rush to the parking lot and drive off. As we're passing the bar on our way home, we see the creepy guys are out on the sidewalk, looking for us. Thankfully, we made it to our vehicle just in time to avoid further harassment.

Other than that it was a fun night. Note: When bar-hopping in Hamilton, always bring a male chaperone.

Friday, October 26, 2007

William Pooed on the Potty!

My goal of producing a baby genius has officially been realized. 8 and a half months old and he pooed in the potty. Why would an eight month old be on a potty in the first place you ask? Well I read recently about "Elimination Communication" aka "Infant Toilet Training" aka "Natural Infant Hygiene", etc. Basically, teaching babies to use the potty from birth. William is considered a "late-starter".

I have an article to write for my magazine writing class, so I've been pursuing this potty thing, half-seriously, as part of my "research". I've been giving him naked-time and cooing "pee-pee" every time he makes a puddle on the floor (which is quite often). Well yesterday I decided we were ready for phase 2, so I bought him a little potty that's low enough to the ground that he can crawl off it if he wants (so as to avoid undo pressure and resulting psychological damage). Well he crawled up to me and I thought, maybe he wants to poo, so I put him on the potty and he went right away! The first day I bought the thing.

And yes, I admit the possibility that this was a fluke. I'm not the tree-hugging hippy you no doubt believe me to be at this point. I still think my baby is a genius though.

Update: it's not a fluke! He pooed on the potty again this morning!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

It's been almost a month hasn't it? There are several reasons (aka excuses) for my absenteeism on this blog. If you would indulge me in a bulleted list:

  • My baby crawls. As you might imagine, crawling baby requires much more attention than a stationary, sitting baby, who is fascinated by his own toes. My son is especially talented at testing the limits of baby proofing, using baby radar to detect the most unstable piece of furniture is the room and using sofisticated acrobatic techniques to stand up, vigorously shake the item, and creatively bump his head.
  • My writing brain is being used up by school work for an advanced writing course I'm taking. Yes, this is the same course that was cancelled while I was pregnant, and I'm just crazy enough to think that I have time for "investigative reporting"
  • The other thing my writing class has done is given me the eroneous impression that every word I write is worth money. One dollar to be precise. That means I've already wasted thousands of dollars that some poor schmuck may have paid me for.
  • Every time I think I have the time to do anything for myself, William wakes up from his nap

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Taking our Scottish Friends to the Zoo.

Those of you who know us (and/or have been reading this blog more than a couple months), know that my husband and I are big zoo nuts. We'll find any excuse to go to the zoo, including (but not limited to):

  1. It's Boxing Day so admission is free.
  2. It's winter, so it's totally not crowded.
  3. It's summer, so the weather's nice.
  4. One of us has recently purchased a new camera.
  5. We are entertaining our Scottish friends for the day.

Today we used excuse #5 and picked Carol and Derek up at their hotel for a day of zooriffic fun. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to Canada Carol and Derek!

Yesterday Mr. William spent the day hanging out with his Omi, while I went to Toronto and played tourist with Scottish Carol and her husband Derek. Now I know Toronto just about as well as the next Burlingtonian (or less) so I really wasn't much of a guide. I took them to 401 Richmond (where the art galleries are, one of my fave Toronto destinations especially since it doesn't cost anything) and we spent most of the day wandering the streets. Carol says the city is "very clean" but I think that has more to do with the fact that it was so sunny yesterday that everything seemed to be shining. I hope we have this nice weather the whole two weeks they're here, then Carol and Derek can tell the folks back home in Scotland that Canada is the perfect tropical destination. Incidentally I learned that Scotland really doesn't have fire hydrants, who knew?

In other news, my son has been kind enough to share his cold germs with me, so last night I had a hard time getting to sleep as my nose was running like Niagara Falls on speed. When I finally got to sleep (because my nostrils stopped dripping and just clogged themselves) my darling husband woke me up to offer me nasal spray. It seems my predicament caused me to "make weird noises" that prevented my hubby from sleeping.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fame and Fortune Here I Come!

When I came home from my camping trip, I went downstairs to check the mail and found the box full of professional writery things. Well, two writery things and junk mail. The first was a cheque paying me for an article I wrote for Today's Parent Toronto (isn't it great when the cheque is actually in the mail?)

The other, more super exciting, thing was a letter from Sumach Press. They're putting out an anthology about mothers and daughters and body image. As part of my goal of becoming a serious professional author person, I'd written and submitted a semi-autobiographical story about bra-shopping with my mother (though I changed the names to protect the innocent). Well they accepted it. They loved it. Finally having both ginormous breasts and a louder than life mother has paid off! (I love you Mom).

Now that I'm a professional fiction author, I spent the day doing writerly things. And by that I mean we went to the Eden Mills Writers' Festival. For those who don't know, the Eden Mills Writers' Festival is a writers' festival held every year in the small town of Eden Mills (maybe that was self-explanatory). Anyway it involves spending the whole day listening to authors read and (in my case) showing my baby off to all my mom's friends and colleagues. Every year it's super hot and there's no shade and we almost die. Well this year it was super cold and rainy and we almost died. But I had a good time anyway.

Friday, September 07, 2007

William's first camping trip extravaganza

We're back from our camping trip a few days early but it wasn't for lack of good times had. We managed five days of sleeping in a tent in the woods with a baby, without freezing him to death or giving him West Nile Virus. We had perfect bug weather. I got about as many bug bites the whole time we were there as I usually get on one trail!

Speaking of trails, William even hiked a few (riding in the snuggly of course). With the number of guide books he digested he could probably tell you all kinds of fun trivia about glacier lakes and bog ecology. After the above photo was taken, Adam found a wasp's nest in the middle of the trail and got stung. He's okay. Luckily Mr. William and I were far enough away that we avoided the wasps. I liked the Bog Trail the best. It was all boardwalk, wheel chair accessible so we could even take the stroller.

The chipmunk gets the prize for the most ferocious animal in Algonquin park. Now I don't normally use the word ferocious when talking about chipmunks, but these guys wouldn't take no for an answer. One of them jumped on my arm, another climbed up Adam's leg, and another (maybe the same one) jumped in our trunk and ate our trail mix. The rule about keeping your food in your vehicle doesn't really work if the animals are in the car. Other animals seen on the trip: wood peckers, robins, bluejays, rabbit, mouse, crows, ravens, various other birdies, raccoons, frogs, grasshoppers, moths, dragonflies, sunfish, human beings, and...

Squirrels! This squirrel was almost as bold as the chippies, and what a ham. Here he is posing for a picture.

So there you have it. Algonquin Park Camping Extravaganza 2007 was a success!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

William stands.

Today I awoke from a sleepless night (okay, not completely sleepless, there must have been some sleep I just don't recall when) and found William standing up in his crib. He's been perfecting this trick for a while, grabbing things, pulling himself up on things, falling down. But this morning he was not only standing, but dancing, his pride showing through that big gummy smile of success.

Later this morning, while William was "napping" I heard a kind of banging noise coming from his bedroom. That is not the sound of an asleep baby, thought I, and went to investigate. William had yanked down his mobile (I probably should have taken that down a while ago but, no worries, he did it for me). The mini bears were strewn about like the unfortunate victims of a Godzilla attack.

Every day William shows another sign of grown-upedness, so now he's ready for his first camping trip. By "camping" I mean bringing large quantities of junk food into the woods and trying to prepare it over an open flame. That's what the boys and me will be doing from Sunday to Sunday. My parents took me camping when I was an infant, so it can't be that hard right?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Three Generations of Filipowicz Boys

We were at my in-laws' for dinner today and my mother-in-law took this picture. You can see that there are strong genes in this family. Strong, handsome, square-headed, Polish genes. William is looking to the right because I was there, making faces and singing "William, William, what a nice name..." Intergenerational photos are fun, aren't they?

In other news, there is a big wet spot on the carpet under Adam's computer desk and we have no idea how it got there. Something leaked, but what? It's not near the wall really and it definitely didn't come from the ceiling. Perhaps some gremlins peed there. Adam told security and filled out a form. Someone will check it out on Wednesday (by check it out I mean they'll get the form, I don't actually know if anyone will check anything out). Adam tidied the bedroom in case.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Someone bought a t-shirt!

This one.

That's right, your chance to be the first to own an original design has passed. But never fear, there are plenty of designs that noone has ordered yet! (Including the "I Believe in Cookies" shirt. That one is classic).

On a completely unrelated note, check out my son in his new polar bear sleeper. Can you believe it's cold enough in August to wear this thing?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We have a mortgage! (and a floating baby and a business)

We have signed both mine and my husband's souls over to the bank, along with our life savings, just for the pleasure of paying more money for the condo we already live in! This is a big deal because not only will we get some equity (which I think is bank-talk for magic fairy dust), but it means we have fulfilled all my previous mental requirements to consider myself "a grown-up":

  • a)grown-ups get married (check)

  • b)grown-ups have kids (check)

  • c)grown-ups have a mortgage (check)

Yikes! I'm going to have to come up with new criteria. Like, perhaps I need a real job before I truly mature. This journey into adulthood seems maybe I should be wearing a life jacket...

Speaking of life jackets (and really forced segues), William wore a life jacket at water babies today, look at him all cute:

In case you're wondering, no I am not naked in this picture, that is a strapless bathing suit. Anyway, notice how I'm not holding William at all? He can swim ALL BY HIMSELF.

In other news, I would like to end this blog entry with a shameless plug for mine and my husband's new online t-shirt business, which I have doubts will ever make any money. But if you happen to not believe in God, and want to advertise that fact on a t-shirt, go to: . In the closet....because we sell t-shirts...which you store in your closet...get it? Anyway there are nine super-cool designs so far. Some of them I think are cute even if you're not an atheist. So throw us a couple bucks will you? We have a mortgage for Spock's sake!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

William Eats Cereal!

It's official. My baby boy is all grown up! Look at him taking the spoon like a pro (pros can be messy eaters, right?) Anyway, he had a big helping of booby for dessert, so there are no worries yet about him going off on his own and not needing Mommy (although this is the beginning of the slippery slope toward independence).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Law and Order: Special Empress Unit

When William and I got back from Mother Goose class this afternoon we saw five police cars parked in front of our building (by "we" I mean the royal we, William was asleep and didn't see anything). I asked our security guard why we had a sudden need for the squadron of law enforcement vehicles, but he didn't know.

I rode the elevator with two officers, both of them sporting bulletproof vests and packing heat (that's cop lingo meaning they had guns). I asked them why they were here and they said "we're looking for a missing person."

A missing person eh? A missing serial murderer/rapist who preys on innocent condo residents? I locked my door just in case. Anyway, in the unlikely event that any of those cops are reading this: Good luck in your search.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Future Olympian

Adam can't always get off work on time to take us to water babies swimming lessons, so my parents help out. Here's my Mom (aka Omi) with William in the changeroom. I love the rolls of baby fat on his chest.

And here William is way too interested in looking at the pool to waste time on more photos

Here he's smiling because I just told him that he is the best swimmer in the whole class (in my unbiased opinion). Well, to tell you the truth, I really wasn't looking at the other babies, but William can kick and everything. He's advanced, I tell you.

Let's use this photo to compare mother and child. I think he's starting to look a little like me. Same-shaped eyes, similarly-shaped nose, both wearing a goofy expression.

Yes, all these people are with us. From left to right: William's Daddy, Auntie Eireann, Uncle Craig, Omi, cousin Hunter. My dad (Opa) was also there (he took the picture). William is a novelty right now and thus my family's favourite source of entertainment.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

William Signs "Doggie"

As part of my ongoing quest to create a child genius, I've been teaching William baby sign language for a while now (by "teaching" I of course mean waving my hands around like a mad woman while he giggles and drools). Today I was at my parents' house, and my dad was playing with Morty the Jackapoo, and William was on my lap watching them. And he made the sign for doggie.

Now, to be fair, "doggie" isn't one of those signs that involves contorting your arms and fingers in a bizarre way. It's a simple slap of the knee with open palm (as if you're calling a dog) and is the type of gesture that William (and I assume every baby) makes randomly when happy and excited. But this time he did it over and over while watching a dog play.

Adam wasn't there at the time, but William was kind enough to repeat the sign for him later when I was telling the story. My hubby needs more convincing before he will "consider" that William's first sign.

But I'm the Mommy, so I say William signs "doggie" and is clearly a baby genius.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baby's ready, Mom needs weaning

In two weeks it will be August 15th, William's 6-month birthday. This is significant because 6-months is when Health Canada recommends introducing babies to solid foods (the term "solid" is used very loosely, as baby food is often quite liquidly and mushy). I'm the first to admit that this 6-month mark is hardly set in stone and I know plenty of women who started their children on "solids" at 5-months, and even 4 months, with no ill results. And William has shown himself to be advanced in other areas, so there's no reason to believe he isn't ready right now. I, on the other hand, need to be weaned to this idea of my son eating food.

So far, I have done the following things to wean myself:
  • I bought a box of rice cereal, the recommended first food to introduce because almost noone is allergic to it. Now my husband teases me almost every day saying "Let's feed William some of that cereal." Nooooo! NOT YET!
  • I put him in his high chair when I am eating so that he can "get used to it".
  • I feed him his vitamin drops with a spoon. In theory, by the time he gets to real food he'll be a spoon pro and I'll have no problems. Actually, he already takes the spoon like a pro and really doesn't need any practice.
  • Today Adam fed William some water with the spoon, and I made no protest.

If all goes well, I should be ready for solid foods by the 15th.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

William says Mama

Yesterday, as I was feeding my five-month-old son, he looked up at me and said "Mama". He did it again while we were playing, looked right at me and said "Mama." His cries now tend to sound like "Ma! mamamamamama."

I admit, these "Mama"s are usually followed by a string of "Ga Ga Ga Ba Wa Goo Grrrngg" and other noises that could be interpreted to mean any word in the English language (or any other language for that matter). So whether or not William actually knows the meaning of the word "Mama" or whether he is just exercising his vocal cords is unclear.

I, of course, choose to believe that he says "Mama" because he loves his Mommy. It makes me feel all happy and cuddly inside.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Toasta17 versus the General

My dream of playing the villain in a science fiction movie has finally been realized! This is 2nd time I've voiced "The General" in one of my brother's Space Craig movies. I like this one the best so far because I get to be evil and drive a cool ship.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Graco deeply and sincerely apologizes

Hello Jennifer,

Thank you for taking the time to email us with your concern. Firstly, I deeply apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced in this matter. I have shipped you (express post) a battery for your monitor, it will be there within 4 business days.

What, just a battery? Not a life time supply of free stuff? Not a free university education for my son? Well, at least she deeply apologizes. That's something. No, wait, it's not.

In regards to why the second agent did not know why your unit was being picked up, simply put it was not her file. Her task was open the packages to ship you the replacement part you were waiting for and then to give the defective part back to the original agent. It is up to your original agent to forward the defective product to the appropriate person or department for testing.

That's all very well and good, but if opening and sending mail was this associate's only job, why did it take her two months to get around to my package? And then why did she neglect to send me a battery?

Once again I sincerely apologize for the trouble you were experiencing, and I wish to thank you for your time in this matter.

Heather Somethingorother

You are not welcome Heather McBeather!

Graco: the saga continues

Regular visitors to this blog may remember the incident of the exploding monitor and my subsequent e-mail correspondance to Graco customer care. For a recap, you can read about it here and here. Well the speedy little elves at Graco finally got around to mailing me a monitor. Of course by "speedy" I mean "slower than the thought processes of a neandrathal" and by "a monitor" I mean only the parent unit and without the battery! Sigh. Back to the e-mail I go:

Dear Graco Customer Care,

In May I e-mailed you regarding my Imonitor Digital Baby Monitor (2791DIG). The battery had overloaded and melted, destroying the parent unit. An associate named Allan Correia (service 3030) sent a prompt reply, promising me a new monitor if I sent in defective one for your "inspection". Your company even sent me postage so I didn't have to mail it in on my dime.

That was the end of my pleasant experience with Graco service. Nearly two months later, an associate (who did not give her name) called to tell me that they were finally mailing me a new parent unit. The associate did not seem to know anything about why I had sent in my parent unit, which led me to doubt whether the device had been "inspected" at all. It is important to me that your company investigate what went wrong with the monitor because I believe that the defect might cause a fire or serious injury.

Two days ago I received the unit in the mail. I was hesitant in using the monitor, worried that the battery might melt again and I wouldn't notice in time. When I did inspect the parent unit I received, I found that there was no battery in it at all!

So far, Graco has offered me less than the bare minimum of customer service on this issue. I realise that sending the parent unit without the battery was a simple error, however, added to the delay in mailing, and the original overloading of the battery, that error spoke volumes to me about the lack of care your company actually has for its customers. I will certainly avoid Graco products in the future.


Jennifer Filipowicz

There you have it. And yes, I will certainly try to avoid Graco products in the future but it's going to be darn hard seeing as they make everything. Maybe Graco will send me a new battery, maybe not. At this point I don't really care. I've been without a monitor for so long that it just doesn't seem necessary any more. It's not as if I live in some gigantic (or even regular sized) house where I can't hear the baby from most of the rooms. This is a two-bedroom condo!

Right now the issue is justice. Justice!!! I paid for a monitor with the understanding that it wouldn't explode. I should have a non-exploding monitor! In addition, the people of Graco should get down on their knees and beg me to remain a loyal customer, and should thank me for alerting them to this problem with their monitor, and should recall the monitor to save other people's children from monitor-explosion-related injuries. Finally, as a token of their appreciation, they should pay for William's university education. That, to me, would be the bare minimum of customer service.

Monday, July 16, 2007

William's 5-month Birthday Marineland Extravaganza

It was William's 5-month birthday yesterday so we went to Marineland with William's best friend Aedan and his parents Becca and Drew. Truth be told, I didn't actually remember that the 15th was my son's 5-month until Becca reminded us. In any case, we saw much marine life and I took many photos.

I like the one above the best, because everyone is looking and pointing the other way while a killer whale swims by. This begs the question: what could possibly be more interesting than a killer whale?

The sign next to the underwater viewing area read "ANY LEAKS YOU MAY SEE ARE NOT A SAFETY CONCERN AS THEY WILL EVENTUALLY SEAL ON THEIR OWN." I found this less than reassuring because it told me that a) the tank (full of killer whales mind you) sometimes leaks and b) the park staff do nothing to fix these leaks reasoning that the problem will just go away on its own.

Other stuff we saw/did: a seal/dolphin/walrus show, a roller coaster, one of those swing-of-the-century-type rides (that's my favourite kind of ride and I'm not sure why, I guess I'm a 7-year-old at heart), one of those drop-you-from-ridiculous-heights-type rides (I watched the babies while the less sane adults went on this. Am I the only one who finds hurtling towards the ground from high altitudes to be a less than appealing prospect? I am. Alright then.), bears (which you could feed corn pops), beluga whales (which you could feed fish), fish in a river (which you could feed fish food), and fish in an aquarium (which wasn't stroller accessible). We didn't approach the deer pen, because most of us had had bad experiences with the viscious marineland deer, and I refused to go near them with my baby.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Warning: Computer Nerds in the Gym!

My husband and I have decided that we need to get in shape (or, more accurately, I have decided to force my husband to exercise), so three times a week we're using the gym in condo-building's basement. What a special place that is, complete with exercise and weight-training equipment from every decade (except the one we are currently in). It's been going okay, I do sit-ups in a futile attempt to regain some ab muscles, Adam uses the push-the-handlebars-lift-the-weights machine, and we both run on the treadmills until we sweat. We exercise for at least half-an-hour (pending baby crankiness) then reward ourselves with ice cream.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The World of Jen (and William)

Rolling update
When William was just over a month old he learned to roll over from his front to his back. Shortly afterward, he would roll over instantly when he was placed on his tummy. Fast forward a few months, William learns the back to front roll. Now he immediately rolls to his tummy whenever he's placed on his back. This is great for things like learning to crawl, but not so great for things like changing diapers.

Jen and Carol's International Tag(the blog where we compare our respective cities with photos) has gotten more challenging, since we ran out of street signs to photograph. Right now it's stuck at "school bus" because I forgot it was summer holidays. Carol assures me she knows where the buses go at the end of term.

A Little Work a Little Money
I'm updating the October calendar for Today's Parent Toronto. It's an interesting exercise to search for info on Hallloween activities in the middle of July. I'm surprised at how many people have their websites up to date for that period. Yesterday I finished all I could do with the net and today I'm going to once again confront my phobia of calling people.

Meme Dreams
My dream of creating a super-meme has somewhat fizzled, as so far only my devoted husband has filled out my little survey. Just as well, I'm going on to bigger and better things.

Youtubing the Flash
Frequent visitors to this site will recognize this little flash I made a while ago of Spock mind-melding with an orange. With a little bit of finangling I managed to get the thing posted to youtube. It was not, as I first imagined, as simple as exporting the flash file as a video. The end result has a bit of weird interference at the beginning of the clip, but I think it adds to the charm. One day, I hope to create more flash movies of Spock mind-melding with various objects and animals, but that may be one of my lofty goals that never comes to pass. In any case, I'm now in the 21st century.

Baby-proofing Baby-schmoofing
William is getting better and better at that trick of putting his legs under himself and pushing forward. Next step, crawling. I don't have any stairs , luckily, but other than that I think my place is one giant baby death trap. I need to baby proof soon and don't know where to begin. Perhaps with a good cleaning and vacuuming. Ugh. Blech. I HATE to clean.

The masterpiece (or it should be after all this time)
I'm rewriting the one and only book I've ever finished (way back in the day when I first started dating Adam). I say "rewriting" instead of just "editing" what I'm writing now is barely recognizable. It started by me fixing a few things that had always bugged me. Then those small things snowballed into big things. And now it's like I'm writing a whole new book. My Mom and husband liked the original, but I don't want to be the kind of author who goes around toting copies of her self-published schlock going "all my family and friends enjoyed it".

The water in the pool is very nice.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Meme That I Wrote Myself

Facebook quizzes, or memes for the blogger, are a string of questions to answer about yourself that nobody really cares to read. Most of which were obviously written by a teenager living in suburban USA. But for some reason they are highly addicting, so I'm going to take a stab at writing my own.

1. Make up a name for yourself that isn't your real name: Captain McZany of the Federation Starship Crazytown

2. How old are you? 27

3. No, how old are you in days? 10,100

4. Do you believe in God? No.

5. What about Santa Claus? I consider myself a Santa Claus agnostic.

6. The tooth fairy? The next tooth I lose is totally going under my pillow.

7. Capital punishment? I really don't think it's a good idea to be killing people for any reason.

8. War? See above answer.

9. Abortion? I believe in a woman's right to choose.

10. What did you do yesterday? I made a potroast and a strawberry cake for Adam's birthday. Dad and Craig and Eireann came over and we ate. It turned out pretty well, except the icing on the cake was very runny because of the strawberries.

11. What did you do today? I went to Mother Goose class with William. We already graduated, but we're taking it again because we had so much fun the last time.

12. What are you doing tommorrow? Not much planned for tommorrow. At some point I'm going to buy some Star Trek earrings that I saw for sale online. This may require driving to Mississauga.

13. What was your first pet? It was a gold fish. Either Fido or Shammu or Bubbles.

14. Name your siblings: My brother Craig, my sister Robin, my sister-in-law Julie.

15. Name your first cousins: Jason, Jeremy, Jodie, Kelly and Joey.

16. Your grandparents? Ernst, Gertrud, Thelma, Alan

17. Any of them still alive? Thelma and Gertrud

18. Do androids have belly buttons? An interesting question. An android is a robot made to look like a man, ergo if one is made properly he/it should have a belly button. However, since the definition of android can be broadened to include any mechanical device that resembles a human (ie: animatronic people in the "It's a small world" ride, mechanical arms in automobile factories), I would say that not all androids have belly buttons.

19. Do chickens have belly buttons? Hmmmn. They hatch from eggs so no. But that's just a guess.

20. Does a woman in her third trimester have a belly button? Yes, but not a normal-looking one.

21. If you had the telephone number of the afterlife, what dead person would you call right now? Anyone from a super duper long time ago. Like a woman living in ancient greece. I would be like "Operator, get me ancient Greece, and a translator. I don't care who in ancient Greece you get, just make it snappy!" Or I would call one of my grandfathers. Or both of them, if the long distance charges weren't too high.

22. Do you believe in the afterlife? No.

23. Name someone you went out with but wish you hadn't: I haven't gone out with very many people. My boyfriend before Adam was named Travis. It didn't work out, but I wouldn't say I regret going out with him.

24. Name someone you wish you'd gone out with but didn't: I generally wish I'd gone out more in high school and stuff. I don't have a specific person. Now that I'm married, I think I'm past any regrets about old crushes.

25. What's your favourite expression? Captain ________ of the starship _______. Example: if my computer is running slowly I might say "This computer is Captain Slowpoke of the starship Hundredyearstoload."

26. Including watches and jewlery, how many articles would you have to remove in order to be naked? 6. Assuming I don't take off my rings.

27. Name something that's important to you that you haven't mentioned in the above answers: My son William.

Now if anybody actually does this meme, I would ask you to add three random questions to the end and answer them. That way the meme will grow and grow to become a super meme!

Adam's Questions:

28. At what age did you loose your virginity?: 21

29: if you could get rid of one person to make the world a better place who would it be: I'm not big into assassination so I'll pick someone who's already dead: Jesus Christ

30: Did you torture insects as a child?: Quite the opposite. I used to rescue insects from being squished and release them outside.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Operation Pot Roast

Tommorrow is Adam's birthday, and like a good wife I am going to make a yummy dinner and a yummy cake. My plan was to walk to the super market today and get all the things I need to make a delicious pot roast and cake. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas.

Yes, it is raining.

Yes, this morning my Vonage phone service cut out on me. Not for long. Just long enough for me to panic.

No, I have never made a potroast before in my life.

But fear not, my Mommy is coming to save the day. She has made pot roast before. She owns a slow cooker. She has baked many delicious cakes. She has a car. She knows whether I should use red wine or beef broth or both. She is my cooking idol and she is coming to be my grocery-shopping guide. All hail the all-mighty Mom!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy 140th Birthday Canada! (Belated)

So this year Canada Day fell on a Sunday, so we get Monday off too. Sweet.

Yesterday, we celebrated the occassion by playing pass the baby at Amy's annual pool and sangria party. One of Amy's friends is a midwife and another is an ObGyn so there was much talk of babies, childbirth and other related topics. The air was on the cold side for a pool party, but luckily Amy's Dad keeps the pool a refreshing 32 degrees C (90 degrees F) and everyone including William had a dip. As the night went on and the sangrias flowed, some guests opted for a swim with their clothes on (by "opted" I of course mean they were thrown in). My small nuclear family stayed dry during this episode, as none of us had consumed as much alcohol as the other partygoers. Nevertheless we all enjoyed the entertainment (except for William who was asleep in his stroller).

We left the party at around nine thirty and considered going to the fireworks at the waterfront. In the end we just went home because I realised I am past the point in my life where vulturing a parking spot and a patch of grass just to watch loud lights exploding in the sky holds any excitement.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Congratulations Becky and Dave!

My kindergarten class is getting married off one by one. Today was Becky's turn. She and her husband Dave tied the knot in a medieval-style ceremony at Webster's Falls. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding. Nothing but sunshine, and no sticky humidity.

Here's a shot of the happy couple with Becky's Mom:

And here's a shot of the whole wedding party:

And finally, here's a shot of Becky blowing out the candles on her wedding cake:

Okay, you got me. That last shot wasn't taken today. That was Becky's tenthish birthday party. (Guess who that is on the left?)

Every once in a while it hits me: Hey, I've known these people since kindergarten and now we're getting married and having babies! I didn't have a lot of friends in elementary school, but most of them are still my friends today. Craziness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

William's first trip to the library

Yesterday William sat up on his own. Adam and I were hanging out with him on the couch when we both suddenly realized that neither of us were holding him up and he wasn't falling over.

So now that he's all grown up, I figured it was time he got his own library card. Finally the weather is neither too hot, nor too rainy for a nice long walk. Long, but nice, we strolled through Central Park, past the Labyrinth, around a playground, and across a soccer field.

I've been going to this same library since I was six years old, long enough to know many of the librarians. Today we saw Marnie, who went gah gah over William. She complained that when people she'd known as kids came in with their babies it made her feel like she belonged in an old folks' home. I complained that since the library was renovated, I can't find anything. The children's department is now upstairs, and the elevator makes a scary noise.

William's BM schedule today allowed us to test the change tables in both the upstairs and downstairs washrooms. When that was done, we got William his own library card and he took out his first books. What an exhausting day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Best friends

William and I went down to St. Catharines today to hang out with Aedan and his Mom, Becca. Look at them being all chummy. Totally not posed. Really they just climbed up on the couch and put their arms around each other.

Anyway, going to St. Cath meant I had to drive Adam to work all the way in Mississauga then drive back the way I came and past Burlington to the end of the world. Then miss my exit and get lost in the worst city to get lost in in the universe (the streets are laid out in a diamond grid pattern). Then drive through torrential downpour and rush hour traffic at the end of the day to pick Adam up again. I have no concept of time whatsoever, but I would estimate that I did roughly 350 years of driving today.

But I had fun. Becca: move to Burlington!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Rabbit Season

All of a sudden there are rabbits everywhere!

Here's a picture Adam took of the rabbits nest at my in-laws' yesterday:

And just now Adam and William and I went for a walk and we saw this baby rabbit in the mall parking lot:

And this huge Mommy rabbit nursing her babies by my building (honestly, this thing was larger than my parents' dog):

Back in the day, you only saw a rabbit around here once in a blue moon. Now they're multiplying like, well, like rabbits!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

I bought Adam and William matching outfits for Father's Day, enhancing their cuteness for the Father's Day events at my in-law's house. My mom-in-law invited a whole bunch of cousins who have never met William over for barbecue and baby. Everyone praised William for being so ultra-cute and well-behaved.

After Babcia and Dziazio's it was off to Omi and Opa's (my parents) for some Father's Day lobster. William was a bit cranky by this point because it was evening and he was tired from all the baby-passing. Hunter, my six-year-old nephew, wheeled him around the living room in the stroller to keep him quiet enough for me to eat my dinner. Even cranky, William is better behaved than most other babies, seeing as he is (in my unbiased opinion) the greatest baby in the world.

As tired as he was, the bedtime ritual went painlessly tonight, freeing me up to write this entry and post photos on my international tag blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sound of Music Day 1: Philosopher Kings

Woohoo, thought I, a band I've heard of is playing at the Sound of Music Festival. So I left William with my favourite babysitters (my Mom, Dad, and nephew) and headed out with my good friend Amy to enjoy the show (we met Dayna there). I do love a free concert, especially when I get close enough to take some decent photos. Yeah, and the music was okay too.

Some of my favourite points about the festival in general:

Every year musicians who are used to singing to adoring fans try to get the audience to sing their lyrics back to them, only to find that noone there knows the words. Tonight was no exception, but the Kings were unphased.

You always see people you haven't seen in a hundred years. It's like facebook live. In addition to Amy and Dayna, I saw a girl from my high school german class, one of my sister's old friends, and an old pal from high school.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's Alive! To jest Żywe!

Every day, Adam calls from work to tell me he's on his way home. Yesterday the call came from the Canadian Tire across the street. Our '99 Subaru Forester was overheating (no kidding, so was I!) and he had taken it in to be checked out. An hour and a half later the boys (and girls) at Canuck T told us that our jalopy needed a new (insert name of engine part here). Apparently, this widget is buried so deeply in the engine that, while the part isn't too costly, the labour is super duper expensive. Might as well get a new engine, so says the Canucks.

Cost of an engine and labour at Canadian Tire: approximately $7000
Total cost of the car when we bought it: approximately $7000

So you can see why we don't find this scenario cost effective. Luckily there's the Filipowicz garage (my in-laws' house). We've already saved a tonne of money using Adam's Dad as slave labour. Now he might be able to use his Subaru Frankenstein tricks to resurrect our monster for a more reasonable price.

Despite our Polish mafia connections, we will still need a new car one day. Or at least another old one.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Baby news

Yesterday we switched William from the highly convenient, very portable infant carrier, to the big cushy, stays-in-the-car-forever, big boy seat. He reached the max height for the carrier. William is going to be tall like his Daddy. *tear* My baby is growing up.

In other highly fascinating baby news: this morning, rather than be woken up to crying, I awoke to an electronic version of Itsy Bitsy Spider, courtesy of William's Pooh Bear. When I went to investigate, William was playing on his tummy. He's been able to roll to his tummy for awhile ( since about June 2) but normally he just freaks himself out and screams for Mommy. This was a pleasant change.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Jen and Carol's International Photo Tag

I started a new blog with my Scottish friend Carol that everyone should check out. ( Here's the description:

"Canadian Jen posts a picture, then Scottish Carol posts a picture of the same thing (only Scottish). Then Carol posts a pic of something else, then Jen posts a pic of the same thing (only Canadian). And one day, with luck, we'll have a photo blog that compares Burlington, Ontario, Canada with Glasgow, Scotland in some interesting way."

Okay, so the description's lame. But I felt the best thing to do was to tell it like it is. If you go there right now you can compare Canadian and Scottish squirrels.

On a completely different topic: It's hot. And I got suckered into Morty-sitting again today. And Monday. And it's hot. Did I mention it's hot?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Morty the Jackapoo, Becca and Drew, Aedan, William and Hunter too.

I don't have much energy for brilliance (read the title). Here is a list of things we did (in no particular order):

  • played Wii Sports
  • played Wii Play
  • played Donkey Kong
  • built a two-headed alien monster car out of lego
  • went to McDonald's
  • watched Quantum Leap
  • watched Terminator 3
  • went to the park
  • played tv tag
  • played Star Wars Monopoly
  • played the Nightmare Before Christmas Game
  • played Simpson's Jeopardy
  • went to the grocery store to buy a cake and pick out a birthday card for Omi
  • visited Omi at the old folks' home (ate cake)
  • attempted to put William to sleep (in progress)

Almost 9pm, and no dinner here yet. Adam's gone to pick something up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Morty the Jackapoo, once again

It is now 11 o'clock. Morty has been here since 8:30 and he's already puked on the carpet. I was nursing my cranky teething baby and thus confined to a rocking chair when Morty trotted in and began heaving. For those of you who have seen a dog throw-up, you'll know they do it in slow motion.

First the heaving, like every muscle their body is working together to dislodge this hunk of ... whatever. And you're thinking: "He's about to puke! Oh no! I should do something. But what? I'll look for something to catch the puke in. Oh, too late." Or in my case: "If only I wasn't confined to this rocking chair."

Now, to a human, the sight and smell of ones own vomit is so repulsive, it has been known to make one vomit again. But a dog will eat anything. Anything. Most likely the reason Morty tossed his cookies in the first place. You'd think they'd learn. But then again, if hurling meant I got a tasty snack, instead of a gross puddle of disgusting barf, I might want to do it more often. Normally I would make some attempt to prevent the re-eating of previously evacuated stomach contents. However, as I was concentrating on my cranky teething baby, and thus confined to a rocking chair, I could only utter a half-hearted "No Morty" while the Jackapoo devoured a hunk of up-chuck about the size of his head.

Now both baby and puppy are asleep (baby in his crib and Morty at my feet) and the day is getting better already. Oh here's a fun quiz to see if you were paying attention: How many different words/phrases meaning "puke" did I use in this blog entry? List them all in the comments session if you are so inclined, and let me know if I missed any.

And if you're still looking to waste time, try this random movie quote generator:

Lions and tigers and Morty, oh my!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Morty "the Jackapoo" McNicoll vs. the Filipowicz Family

Yesterday William and I were dog-sitting. My parents are in BC and Morty the Jackapoo came over so he didn't have to stay in the crate all day while my brother was at work.

Morty (4lbs) vs. Lokai (2lbs)

About 3 seconds after my husband left for work, leaving me alone with baby and puppy, Morty found our smallest, often forgotten family member. Yes, that's right, Lokai the Guinea Pig. I yelled "down!" at him enough times that Morty understood that he wasn't supposed to look at the pig, bark at the pig, or jump on the pig's cage. So he only did those things when I was out of the room. Lokai was pretty laid back about the whole issue. He gave more squeaks of protest when I put the lid on his cage (something I haven't needed to do in about a year), than squeaks of fear at the attacking pooch. Of course even if Morty had been able to get in the cage, I think Lokai could probably take him in a fair fight. In any case, no family members were eaten.

Morty (4lbs) vs. William (16lbs)

But some were tasted. Everytime William got anywhere near the floor, Morty would run from wherever he was and lick the baby's face. William wasn't sure if he like this at first, but eventually decided he didn't and made pouty faces when Morty came near. William likes to stand on the floor while I hold his hands, and he didn't get to do a whole lot of that yesterday. Funny thing, next to William, Morty looks like a full-sized dog.

A Test of Baby Proofing.

One good part of having Morty here is that the little guy finds and chews on things that maybe William will find and chew on when he becomes more mobile. Most of our baby proofing will involve cleaning up and vacuuming more often.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Willam's Talents

I was going to post a video I took of William in his exersaucer, but I am having technical difficulties. Instead, here is a list of William's current abilities:
  • Rolling over front to back
  • Reaching for things, grabbing them, and putting them in his mouth. "Things" include (but aren't limited to) blankets, toys, t-shirts, hair, hands (his and those of others), stuffed animals, necklaces, nipples.
  • Playing with the toys dangling from his crib gym. This skill is related to the grabbing skill. It's not unusual to see him with one toy in each hand, holding another with his feet, and trying to get all three in his mouth.
  • Turning around in the exersaucer. He can now play with all the toys around the side properly too.
  • Getting out of his carseat. Not while it's buckled though, thankfully.
  • Cooing and gurgling and making a whole vocabulary of noises.
  • Smiling.
  • Laughing.
  • Standing while someone holds his arms.
  • Sitting while someone holds his arms.
  • Turning around in his crib. Note, not rolling around. He simply manoevres his legs in such a way that he ends up with his feet pointed in a completely different direction.
  • Sleeping all the way through the night.

Now he just has to learn to post a video on youtube so he can teach me!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Baby's All Grown Up

I first noticed it two days ago. A little roughness on the bottom gum, and a possible explanation for his recent meltdowns. Now there's no doubt about it: William has a tooth.

Teething Worries:

1. My baby is in pain. He cries unconsolably. Wants to be held constantly. He hasn't had meltdowns like this since he was learning to breastfeed at a week old. The worst thing in the world is to watch your baby in pain with no power to make the pain go away. I tried teething rings, which work for three seconds and then not. This morning I finally gave him baby tylenol. He's calm, but now I'm one of those parents who medicates her children!

2. My baby will now be able to bite me. William is breastfed exclusively. I don't know if it's my imagination, but I swear I can feel that tooth when he feeds. Soon it will come in fully and he'll be able to draw blood!

3. My baby is all grown up. In addition to the new tooth, William can now stand if I hold onto his hands. Soon he'll be able to stand while holding onto stuff and then he'll be able to walk all by himself. And, with his new teeth, he'll be able to eat big people food. And if he can walk, and eat, he'll be able to take girls out to dinner. And if he can take girls out to dinner, he can get married and leave me!

I'm not ready to be the Mom of a grown-up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Mommy Cooking Show

William is screaming in the other room. Now I'm not a let a child cry it out type of Mom, but I figure it's better for him to be screaming in the other room than to be screaming in my arms. At least this way I can blog.

Update: William is quiet. Maybe he's asleep. I know he's tired but the reason it seems he's been cranky is (and this is really weird) that he missed the Mommy cooking show.

To explain: about a month ago I started putting William in his carseat in the kitchen so he could watch me make dinner. It was the only way I could get a meal on the table without screaming. I'd tell him what I was doing while I did it and count out all the ingredients for him.

Yesterday, Adam called to say he was going to be late and I decided to wait before starting to make anything. Around the time I usually start to cook William wailed inconsolably. I thought he was tired, but he wouldn't go down in his crib. I went through the baby checklist, fed him, changed him, burped him, put him in the exersaucer. Nothing. Finally, I noticed the time and put him in the carseat in the kitchen. He smiled as if to say: okay, I'm ready for the show.

Today Adam's going to be late again. This time I'm wise to the game and put William in the carseat at the appropriate time. But, problem, it was too early to make dinner. The dishwasher was full but not clean, so I couldn't make a show of emptying it for him. I decided to wash the the stove. It badly needed it because I HATE (note I'm using the word HATE in capital letters) cleaning, especially when it comes to the kitchen. William has similar feelings about cleaning, because he did not enjoy the Mommy cleaning show at all. I think this is because a) he sensed how thrilled I wasn't about the activity and b) I forgot to narrate.

So I tossed my screaming infant in his crib (by "tossed" I of course mean, lay him down gently with a kiss) and here we are. Yes, he's tired, but he was very disappointed not to be able to catch the Mommy cooking show before his evening nap.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dances with Lobster and Kindergarten Reunion

I was reading Kill the Goat, a blog that puts my semi-regular posting to shame. Every time William falls asleep long enough for me to read it, there's at least two new incredibly long, yet humourous and well written entries. While I enjoy the posts, I can't see how she (she being Jay, the author of the aforementioned blog) has time to write them, and can't help but feel a twinge of guilt at not keeping my few faithful blog-readers similarly updated. So here's my weekend.

Saturday May 26th and Sunday May 27th were days that I've been looking forward to for a while.

Saturday, because of Lobster Fiesta, a night of all-you-can-eat lobster and dancing with my husband. I love lobster and I love my husband almost as much, maybe even more. Okay definitely more than lobster. My parents go just about every year, but this was my first Lobster Fiesta and also the first time Adam and I have danced since our wedding. I'm still madly in love with him (Adam, not the lobster).

Sunday, because of Becky's bridal shower. When you've known someone since kindergarten, friend seems too shallow a word. I mean, we know each other's Moms. We're family. I don't hang out with Becky all that much anymore, regretably, but I'm happy to be included in her wedding celebrations. Other kindergarten alumni in attendance: Alex, who I haven't seen since we were twelve years old. She and I were friends in grade six but didn't go to the same high school. Seeing her was like a page from the past. Becca, the friend I hang out with the most (husbands and other blood relatives accepted) mostly because our lives seem to be running parallel. We were married in the same year and her son, Aedan, was born only a few weeks before William. I hope William and Aedan will still be friends when they're getting married and having kids of their own. Forget high school reunions, we should have more kindergarten reunions!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Graco's Response

I got an e-mail today from "Allan" at the Consumer Service Department of Elfe Juvenile Products (aka Graco) in response to my exploding monitor story:

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us with your concern. I am extremely surprised to hear that this incident has occurred and I can honestly say that we have not had any other reported cases regarding this.

Well Al, that's because I'm the only nerd that e-mails the company whenever stuff breaks (or a commercial is annoying).

Please forward your complete mailing address, telephone number and the name of the retailer this was purchased from. I will gladly have a prepaid postage label and a tracking number sent to you to have the defective item returned to us for inspection. I will then have a new monitor sent to you once we receive the new unit.

Best Regards,

Allan Blah blah blah

Um, er, I think you mean once you receive the old unit. In any case, if I mail my monitor to Graco, I can't also return it to the store (thereby thwarting my plan to get money PLUS a new monitor). Oh well. I diligently sent Big Al all my information, including my phone number (which I hate giving to corporations) and a sample of my blood in case he wants to clone me (ok that last part's not true). It's amazing how the simple promise of a free baby monitor can entice me to send all my personal information to a stranger.

I hope this doesn't take too long. I'm tired of straining my ears to hear William in the next room.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

William's William Shirt Revisited

On March 11th, I posted this picture of William in the personalized onesie that Scottish Carol sent us:

At the time this photo was taken William was just under a month old (24 days to be exact). He was growing quickly and I remember thinking how big he was. Now I can't get over how tiny he looks.

Today William is wearing the same onesie. I'm amazed it still fits (though it is a bit snug). Here's my big boy now, at age 3 months (exactly 97 days old):

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My monitor exploded.

The recent demise of my baby monitor prompted me to write the following e-mail to Graco:

Dear Graco Customer care,

I have an Imonitor Digital Baby Monitor (2791DIG) that I purchased just after my son was born (in February). It has been in almost constant operation since then. Recently I heard a 'pop' sound coming from the parent unit (it was in the charger at the time). When I went to investigate I found the parent unit was smoking and smelled like burnt plastic. The battery inside had somehow overloaded. After it cooled we opened the unit and found the battery casing had melted. (see attached photo)

All of the above is true. Except by "almost constant operation" I of course mean "totally and completely constant operation". At the time of the incident William was asleep, the monitor unit was behind me on my night table, and I was goofing off on my computer, trying to keep up to date on the latest wogger mini games. But I digress, the e-mail continues:

I no longer have the receipt or packaging for this product so I hold little hope of getting a refund. However, I believe that this is a safety issue and that your company should take some kind of action. I'm concerned that if this happens to someone else's monitor, it might cause a fire or something more serious.

Okay so I'm a pretty laid back gal and I'm not actually all that concerned that other people's monitors are going to burn their houses down. I do think that Graco should take some responsibility for its products though. Otherwise baby monitors would be exploding all over the place. Civilization as we know it could go up in flames!

In addition, I would like some advice on how I can get a replacement unit, along with assurances that it will not have the same defect.

Or just the replacement unit, without the assurances. As I said I'm a pretty laid back gal. I thought quite a long time (like a whole minute) about how best to ask for a new monitor when I'd already stated that this really isn't about getting a refund. Like heck it's not. I want my money back! I want a new monitor! I want free stuff!

Thank you for your efforts in resolving this matter.

Jennifer Filipowicz

I will, of course, blog about any efforts Graco makes in resolving this matter. In other news, William's poo was slightly greenish today. According to the internet this could mean any one of several things:

1. nothing, baby poo comes in many colours.
2. I'm drinking too much milk and William has a sensitivity.
3. William has a virus.
4. William isn't getting enough hindmilk so he should drink longer on one boob instead of switching.
5. I've become one of those moms who talks about her baby's poop.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Carol!!!!

Today is Scottish Carol's birthday. I was going to call her but, alas, by the time I thought of it, it was 5 pm. That means it's 10 pm in Scotland, which is too late to call someone if you want to be polite (and I'm Canadian, so of course I want to be polite).

Carol and I have been e-mail buddies since we were fifteen and now that I have free long distance to the UK, we talk on the phone all the time. We met in person once, in 1999 when I went to England and Scotland with my family. Since then we both got married, Carol bought a house and I had a baby. In September, Carol and her husband are vacationing here in sunny Canada. I can't wait to see her again!!!

Anyway. Tonight we are going to the drive-in to see Shrek. And expect to see more birthday-wishing blog entries in the next few days. Tomorrow is Becca's birthday and Monday is my brother's. Holy birthdays, Batman!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

William's Public Meltdown

William had his first shots a month ago, so today when the Early Years Centre Calling New Parents' topic was immunization, he staged a protest. Wailed his little lungs out. Normally, when my little angel gets a little fussy during one of these talks, I tell myself that noone else thinks he's disrupting the whole group. This time there was no denying it.

Since this talk was given by some official shot expert, the woman who normally heads the class came over and offered to help me with riot control. She walked him around the room for me and he was fine until she gave him back. Figuring it was because I was sitting down, I stood up and rocked him, trying various holding positions like some kind of baby juggler.

Finally I sat down and whipped my boob out. This muffled his cries but didn't do much else because he wasn't hungry. I stripped him down to his diaper and tryed again. This time he sucked until he fell asleep. He woke up three seconds later, slightly cranky but definitely improved.

Even now, as I write this blog, I've been trying to transform William into a happy baby. He's quiet now in his crib, but at last check was not asleep. Yes, it is 4:30 pm, but he needs his nap. (Or, more specifically, I need his nap).

My only explanation for William's mood is that it's hot today, and the child has inherited his father's intolerence for heat. My husband is legendary for wearing shorts and sandals on cold October days.

Today's playlist quiz:

1. She-ra! She-ra!
2. I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind.
3. Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime.
4. May I have your attention, please? May I have your attention, please?
5. Inspector Gadget. Woo hoo!

Hint: I have a lot of theme songs on my playlist.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Eva/Babcia, and Robin, and Becca, and all the Moms at the Early Years Centre, and Lynda and Cathy (who threw me the Salsa Shower) and all the other mothers in the universe. But most especially, Happy Mother's Day Mom (aka Omi). This year I have a whole new appreciation for everything you did (and are still doing) for us. I love you Mom!

Anyway, here's what William got me:

And today's playlist quiz:
1. Don't wish it away
2. Been so long now I've wanted to touch you
3. Greetings, Kermit the frog here.
4. The tables are empty.
5. Does she walk, does she talk, does she come complete?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mom's cooking for us again

Today we are going to dinner at my parents house. So far we have eaten at my parents' house every day this week but one. I love my parents, and my Mom's cooking, and a break from cooking for myself, but soon I think I'll have to start contributing to the grocery bill. Anyway, just to prove we are not leeching, here are all the legitimate reasons why we chose to frequent Omi McNicoll's:

Monday: My nephew and my dad's birthday, so we had to come. Hunter picked Pizza as his meal of choice, and even though that is not technically my Mom's cooking, the family still footed the bill. Plus, Mom made a delicious strawberry cake.

Tuesday: I went to the zoo with my parents and Hunter. Now you can't really go out with my mom without her inviting you home for dinner and I would be crazy to say no to dinner made by Mom! We had manocotti.

Wednesday: I went to the farmer's market and bought corn. We had corn and porkchops for dinner. Not at the parents (Silly me).

Thursday: Adam had a Sound of Music meeting and, rather than sit around alone with William all night, I invited myself over to my parents house. Okay, this one could be considered leeching. We had ribs. Yum!

Friday: My uncle and aunt and cousins planned to come over today, but Mom randomly called me yesterday afternoon and said we were meeting them at Spencer Smith Park. We hung out at the park for a while. Baby William and Morty the Jackapoo collected "Oh how cute"s and the rest of us had ice cream. Of course Mom invited everyone back to dinner. We had spinach, baked macaroni and cheese, vegetarian chilli, and barbecued sausage.

Saturday: Today's the day my aunt and uncle actually planned to come, so my Mom's cooking a "Feast". Of course, every meal my mom makes is a feast. I'm sure it'll be delicious.

Thanks Mom!

Today's playlist quiz:
1. Give me a kiss to build a dream on,
2. Oh the power to be strong and the wisdom to be wise...
3. Isn't awfully nice to have a penis?
4. Another day is gone and I'm still all alone.
5. It's been a hard day's night and I've been working like a dog.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Mother Goose Baby Singles Club

William and I went to Mother Goose today at the Ontario Early Years Centre. Apparently there's a waiting list ten kilometres long to get into this program so it's kind of a big deal. The idea is you and your baby go and learn rhymes and songs and have a good time. What actually ends up happening is a bunch of babies looking around, squawking and goobering on things, while their Moms go "Come on honey. Look at Mommy. La la la." I think William has a crush on the little girl Emma who was sitting next to us. He kept staring at her. While he my son was fascinated by his new love, I was learning some songs and rhymes. Here's a simple one I like:

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That's what Tony knows

When you say a body part, you're supposed to point to it. Like TOE, KNEE, CHEST, NUT(head), NOSE, EYE, love you. Get it? I like it because 1: it's very punny, and 2: William likes it when I touch his nose.

Anyway, my facebook friends got me wise to a fun time-wasting quiz. I post the first lines of tracks that randomly come up on my iTunes, and my internet buddies can rack their brains trying to figure out what song it is. I've decided to make this a regular blog feature (until I get bored of doing it). No fair googling lyrics guys.

Today's playlist quiz:

1. Stardate 2434.2
2. Baby can't you see I'm calling
3. What I've got you've got to give it to your mama
4. Maybe I didn't love you quite as often as I could have
5. Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away.

Hint: # 1 is not really a song.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

William's first trip to the zoo (and Hunter's too)

Being a zoo-going family, my Mom felt she had neglected her duties as Omi when my nephew turned six on Monday having never set foot in the Metro Toronto Zoo. So she made yesterday's trip to the zoo one of his birthday presents, and invited William and I to come along. I love the zoo, so I jumped at the opportunity to give my 3-month-old son the experience.

William's favourite animal:

For the first 15-20 minutes of our trip, I took William out of the stroller to show him the various animals (afterwards I gave up and let him sleep all day). He was more interested in staring into space than looking at Orangutans, but I got a smile out of him when viewing this snake. Of course he could have been smiling because I signed "snake" for him and he always finds it amusing when Mommy does goofy things. We'll go with he likes snakes.

This trip's most photogenic animal:

The hippos. It was feeding time when we got to the hippopotamus habitat so they were strutting around showing off just how majestically ugly they really are. I got like a billion shots. Last trip's most photogenic animal, the goat, barely made an appearance.

Hunter enjoyed the zoo thoroughly. His favourite animal was the zebra, but for some reason I didn't get a picture of it. So just for fun, here's another hippo shot:

And some gratuitous baby shots:

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