Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve 2008

I'll have a hard time making 2009 as eventful as 2008. This year I bought a house, got pregnant, and gave birth for the second time. It was also a big year for William, who celebrated his first birthday, first haircut, first big boy bed, and grew from a baby to a little man with an ever-expanding vocabulary. I look forward to more milestones for him, and to celebrating the same ones over again with his sister, Jadzia.

Tonight we rang in the New Year at 10 pm (the city of Burlington being ahead of the rest of the world) with a 50s-themed evening culminating in a very nice fireworks display. We had to leave the fireworks early because her royal highness began screaming indicating that she was cold or hungry or freaked out by the loud noises, or whatever else might bother a newborn.

Now I'm off to ring in the New Year for real, by watching the ball drop on television. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My little girl is becoming a woman

Jadzia's umbilical cord fell off today.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The worst labour, the best labour, the best Christmas present ever.

So even though I was in labour I got in as much Christmasing as I could, opening presents at my parents' place, then going over to my in-laws for their traditional Christmas eve dinner. At around 6, I decided it was time to high-tail it to the hospital. I'd been having contractions since the morning before and by this time I would describe them as intense, bordering on unbearable.

But at the hospital, the nurse did a poke-in-the-vagina test and said that I was only three centimetres, and they won't even admit people until they are at least four centimetres. No!!!!!! The nurse then suggested I wander around the hospital for an hour to get my cervix to open up.

I took a walk in the hall with my husband. Since it was Christmas eve, Santa Claus appeared and gave us candy canes. I should have asked him for an epidural, the only present I really wanted. Every three seconds (it seemed) I had to stop walking and hold onto my husband to handle my intense (but only 3-centimetres intense) pain.

We went back and another nurse poked my vagina and told me I was still only three centimetres and should go home. I burst into tears. The nurse then attempted to make me feel better by telling me what a big wimp I am. Apparently, these were actually "pretty mild" contractions and if I were in "good labour" my belly would be as hard as a rock and I would be in so much pain I wouldn't be able to talk. Call me a wuss, but I wanted an epidural before that happened.

I went home, had a bath, beared the unbearable contractions. My husband told me I wasn't a wimp, and that he was proud of me. I talked to my friend Becca on the phone, who told me that being a wimp makes me a better Mom. She also suggested I ask the hospital to prescribe me a sleeping pill. So I called the hospital and begged them to give me something. Based on the fact that I could still talk on the phone, the nurse didn't think that I was in pain enough, but tried to humour me by telling me to come back in to be vagina-poked again.

We went back to the hospital, where I puked all over the parking lot and wet my pants (pregnant women have no bladder control). I didn't mind too much because I thought this would earn me brownie points with the vagina-pokers who hold the key to the epidural. The nurse didn't seem to care about my wet pants and vomit breath, but when she poked my vagina this time I was between 4 and 5 centimetres. HA!

She admitted me and casually asked if I wanted an epidural. I wanted an epidural three hours ago!!!!! So after the epidural guy's coffee break (or whereever he was), I got some needles in my spine and my pain went away. It was midnight, and I really wanted to sleep. I wasn't feeling pain anymore, but I was shaking all over even though I wasn't cold. Not to mention the fact that I now had more tubes coming out of me than a borg drone. Anyway I couldn't seem to doze off.

Christmas morning, the nurse poked my vagina again and found that I was fully dialated, which is code for show time! She and Adam helped me hold my legs up to do a "practice push" but she quickly made me stop because she saw the head and I wasn't allowed to really give birth until my doctor was there. After my doctor did arrive, I was able to pop the baby out (along with some gross-looking life-giving juices) in hardly any time at all. Jadzia Victoria, my beautiful baby girl, was born at 5:15 am Christmas morning. She's the best Christmas present ever (though I've never had one that was quite so difficult to unwrap).

I only spent one night in the hospital (I would have left earlier except they needed some of Jadzia's newborn blood for their vampires). So now, instead of being a wimp, I look like a super-strong woman for being up and about such a short time after giving birth. So there!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Its a Girl - Merry Christmas

At 5:15 am this morning (Christmas Day, Dec 25th 2008)
Jadzia was born (pronunced jahd-ZEE-ah)

7 lbs 7 oz

mom and baby are doing well :)

she's a beauty

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Let the games begin

Yesterday, after William's bedtime drama, my head hit the pillow and I started having contractions. I didn't wake up Adam. At least, not intentionally. I read somewhere that the way you tell the difference between the El Fake-o Braxton Hicks contractions and real ones is that you can get rid of Braxton Hicks by changing positions. So I was moving around a lot. They seemed real, and were coming about every ten minutes. By morning, though, they had mysteriously disappeared.

I happened to have a doctor's appointment and told him all about my magic disappearing labour. He did his poke-in-the-vagina test and confirmed that I was 90% effaced and 2-centimetres dialated. In other words, I had not imagined it.

So I convinced Adam to stay home (although not much convincing was needed the day before Christmas). The doctor sent me to the hospital to do a non-stress test, which is where they hook my belly up to some monitors, like they're giving the baby a lie detector test. Then they gave me some juice and a jeopardy-style button to press whenever she moved. She's the most laid-back baby in history. We were there for 45-minutes (or 6 bucks and change parking), and she only moved when me and the nurse were poking at my belly. Anyway she passed the test, not a stressed out baby.

William stayed at my parents' house while we painted the town, going out for lunch, and then to a movie. My contractions started up again, but not with any consistancy. First they'd be ten minutes apart, then maybe 9, then 15, then I'd go an hour without feeling anything.

Today is Christmas Eve, and no baby has made an appearance. According to my stop-watch-keeper husband, my contractions are now six and a half minutes apart (I've had three while writing this blog entry).

My guess is my daughter's birthday will be today or tomorrow. It might be annoying to have your birthday overshadowed by Christmas, but I feel absolved of all guilt. She could have come at the beginning of December, she could have come in early January. Instead, she chose the biggest consumer holiday of the year.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bed time wars, D-day

While I had pretty much given up ever getting a full night's sleep in my own bed, my husband Adam was all gung-ho to try the "Super Nanny" technique of gettting a toddler to sleep by himself. For those of you who haven't watched any of the many nanny-themed reality shows, this involves putting the child back in bed everytime he gets up, never giving into his demands that Mommy or Daddy lay with him(and William can be very demanding). It also involves a lot of crying and very little actual sleep.

William woke up around 2am, wanting one of his human teddy-bears. Adam went in first and began super-nannying. I tried to stay asleep, but there was much wailing from the other room. Then it was my turn. I'm no good at the drill-sargeant-ness required of a super nanny. I'm more of a coach: "I know you can do this William", "I'll be right in the next room", "You're a big boy now, you can sleep in the big boy bed", "I know it's hard but I believe in you."

After several hours of tag-teaming. Adam got bed up and started threatening to make William sleep on the floor if he didn't choose to stay in bed. I thought this was a ridiculous technique, and said so. On my turn, I noticed that William was now asking me to sit on the edge of his bed, when previously he had demanded that I lay down on his pillow. Progress!

By about 5:30, William was clearly exhausted and a lot less vocal. Although he did become a bit chatty, telling me all about his night-light and the colours it was turning. At this point, Adam suggested calling it a night and bringing William to bed with us, since he seemed very awake. NO! said I. I almost got him to sleep, but it took one more Adam turn for our son to crash, at 6 am.

And of course he still woke up normal-time at 8 am.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Adventures at the Doctor's

This morning I had an appointment at 11 to see my baby doctor. Normally on Fridays there's an Early Years drop-in at the church right near my doctor's office. My plan was to go there, hang out a few hours, then head to my appointment.

So William and Adam and I got into the car. My husband actually enjoys driving in the snow, so the snow storm was no big deal for us. Of course the Early Years drop-in was cancelled due to inclement weather. No worries, most of my doctor's patients had also cancelled and I was able to get my appointment in at 9:30 instead of 11. So far, so good.

As we were leaving, Adam went out ahead so he could pull up the car and we wouldn't have to walk in the blowing snow. William didn't understand why Daddy was going ahead, so he stood by the door, and kept pressing the wheelchair button and trying to make a break for it. Somehow, in doing this, he got his middle finger stuck in the door. The heavy metal door had closed completely on his tiny finger before I was able to release it.

If you're going to get hurt, the doctor's office is the place to do it. I immediately went to the pharmacist and explained the situation. They gave me an ice pack (which William refused to even touch) and advised me to get the finger checked out at the walk-in. The walk-in sent me upstairs to see our family doctor. The family doctor made us wait, with a screaming toddler, in the exam room for about a half-hour.

The doctor told us a bunch of obvious things like "put ice on it" and "give him tylenol" then gave us some tylenol and sent us back downstairs to get an x-ray.

William wasn't really interested in waiting in yet another waiting room (especially since this one had no toys). Luckily, the tylenol started to kick in and his finger, which now looked like a small sausage, didn't appear to be bothering him as much.

Adam took William into the x-ray room, where they were apparently all decked out in led coats and bibs. I wasn't there because all pregnant bellies are banished from the x-ray room. William got a teddy bear sticker and a disk with his x-ray pics on it to show the doctor. Back upstairs we went, where the doc confirmed that William's finger was not broken. Hurray!

We left the doctor's office (finally) and made it home for just after noon, about the time we would have made it home if we'd kept my original appointment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Angels

Hanging out outside when both of us are getting over a cold may not be the best idea, but how could I resist all that freshly fallen snow? William wasn't nearly as impressed with the weather as I was and wanted to go back inside after only five minutes. Just enough time for me to create my first (and most likely last) snow angel of the season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now, who will take care of me??

When my baby was sick, I lay down with him, I gave him hugs, I cuddled him, I took him to the doctor, I gave him medicine. Now he's well enough to whip toys at the tv, to rummage through the freezer, and to find and play with all the most dangerous items in the kitchen drawers. Meanwhile, my brain has liquified and is coming out through my nose.

Friday, December 12, 2008

With Any Luck

Since I haven't posted in almost a week, I'm sure some of you have assumed that I'm in the hospital pushing out a kid. No such luck. However, with only eight days to go, I'm looking for signs that the luck of the universe is on my side.

William has been suffering a pretty bad cold the past few days. So bad, in fact, that the only way he could sleep last night was if I slept the entire night beside him in his car bed (had to be me, because I'm the Mommy, Daddy doesn't have magic mommy powers). Luckily, my husband opted to make William a full sized twin, rather than a toddler-sized bed.

Still, a sick child is bad luck, but this morning I had some related good luck. I had a prenatal appointment and was going to take Mr. William to the walk-in at the same time, before I went I called our family doctor (same building as my preggers doc) on the slim chance that I could get William an appointment. Not only did they actually give me an appointment, but they gave me one a half-hour after mine!

Unluckily, William and I were both called in at around the same time and my Dad had to take William in. William has an ear-infection (surprise, surprise).

Luckily, my doctor says the baby's head has dropped lower than it was last week. Unluckily, he says I probably have at least another week to go.

Luckily, I remembered to buy diapers. I bought a crossword scratch ticket while I was there, to look for further signs of luck. I lost but, if only I'd had the letters H, N, R, and Y, I would have won 50 thousand dollars.

Luckily William fell asleep in the car, and actually stayed asleep when I put him in bed. Unluckily, he just woke up, just now.

Luckily, the Cleavage anthology, which has my story in it, just got a good review which mentions my piece in particular as one that young girls can relate to.

So with any luck, if you add up all this bad and good luck, carry the one, we should see a baby girl sometime before Christmas.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Santa Photo 2008

While William still isn't thrilled to meet the big guy in red, he didn't cry this time. However, I did have to hold him prisoner on my lap, making this year's Santa photo a family photo:

For more amusing Santa antics, here's a video of the event:

Listen carefully, at the end when William is playing with the ornaments, I say "Sweetie, Santa doesn't want you to touch his balls." Oops! Afterwards Santa told me I made his day with that line.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Preggers Photos

I think we're well overdue for some preggers photos, so here are some that were taken today:

And, as a bonus, something we can never have too many of, a cute picture of William:

Isn't it wonderful that what fits in my belly one day, will soon become an independent little human? Just call me a cuteness factory.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

How to make a pregnant woman uncomfortable (and hopefully put her in labour).

On Sunday my family (plus sister-in-law Eireann) went to the zoo. If you've ever been to the Toronto Zoo, you know that it involves a lot of walking. If you've ever been in the middle of winter, than you're just as crazy as I am. As a rule, if you're eight and a half months pregnant, and it's really cold out, you probably shouldn't spend the day at the zoo. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially with Eireann there as an extra toddler-chaser.

The next day, as Adam was leaving for work, he casually announced that our cordless phones weren't working and I needed to plug in a land line. Once he had left, I began to panic. I didn't know where the corded phone was. What if I went into labour? What if I had some other emergency for which e-mail was too slow? Unfortunately, the phone was where I thought it was: in the crawl space. As the name suggests, the crawl space is a space that can only be accessed by crawling (or bending over at an odd angle). Ours takes up half the basement and is, especially for someone in my delicate condition, a back-pain-inducing nightmare. I totally blamed my husband for making me do this. I'm going to go into labour right here, thought I, won't Adam feel bad then! After I plugged in the phone, I decided I was going to totally overwork myself and put myself into labour, just to show him! So I put away one load of laundry, then got tired and lazy and went on the computer.

Today, to add to Sunday's excessive walking, I went to the mall with William's good friend Aedan and his family (Aedan's parents have been my friends since kindergarten). The good thing about toddler-malling with a gang is that there are plenty of toddler chasers. And of course, in my delicate condition, it's perfectly acceptable for me to walk at a leisurely pace, while others take on the task of running after my son (who has only two speeds: sprinting and dead stop).

After all this walking and crawling and walking, I now feel excessively pregnant. My gigantic uterus is sore. It hurts when I walk, stand up, or when a certain toddler takes flying leaps at my belly. When I was pregnant with William, I didn't feel like this until after my due date, fairly close to the time I was induced. At the time I blamed my doctor for doing a membrane sweep and bruising my insides. Now I have noone to blame but myself.

My friend Becca (Aedan's mommy) recently directed me to a site that boasted "Jump start your labour cookies". When I mentioned this to my Mom, she said "Ahh! Don't do that. If something is wrong with the baby you'll never know if that was why." However, having very low hopes that a cookie recipe (one that contains no cocaine or pharmaceuticals) will have any effect, and taking my current discomfort as a sign that labour is imminent, I made them anyway. They're basically ginger cookies with a little cayenne pepper in them to make them spicey. So if I do go into labour in the next 24 hours, I'll totally credit my baking (or, you know, the hours and hours of walking in the last few days.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Deck the House

As you can see by this, the darkest picture ever, we put up our Christmas lights today. By "we" I of course mean my handy husband (he loves when people call him handy). I don't climb ladders, ever, even when not pregnant. This is the first time we've put up outdoor Christmas lights because, up until this year, we didn't have a house. Our first apartment didn't even have a balcony, and our condo was run by elderly people with persnickety rules about everything.

Now, as homeowners, we are officially festive.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Puppies in the Basement

Had a strange dream.

First there was a knock at the door. I was still wearing my pjs, which these days consists of one of my husband's t-shirts and a pair of undies. I saw through the glass that it was my mom so I opened the door. When I did, I saw that Mom had someone with her, a thin dark-haired woman I didn't recognize. I assumed she was a colleague of my mom's, like a writer or an editor. I must have taken a while to answer the door, because they were sitting at a plastic patio table they had set up on the driveway.

I invited them in, then went downstairs to get a pair of pants out of the dryer. When I got to the laundry room, I saw that the dryer was open and the clothes inside had been dragged across the unfinished portion of the basement (much larger in dreamland than in reality). I found my pants, which were full of tiny holes, as if an animal had been chewing on them. I started to put them on anyway (they were my only clean pair), while looking around to see who had caused the destruction.

At first I thought we had squirrels, but actually they were puppies. I thought they had found some hole and come in to keep warm. On further investigation I found a fenced in pen in a corner of our basement, filled with puppies and emus.

I was toying with the idea of keeping one or two of the puppies and finding homes for the rest, though I was thinking how difficult it would be to care for dogs and two young children at the same time. I guess I went upstairs, and when I went back to the puppy pen there was a woman standing among the animals.

The woman was wearing old fashioned clothes, a dress with a bussel I think. She also had skin so pale that I thought she was a ghost. I reached out for her hand, thinking that my arm would pass right through her like she was air. I was able to grab on to her though, she was solid.

And that's all I remember.

BTW: William slept until 6am in his own bed, then I went a lay with him until 7:30 when we all woke up. I don't remember if I had this dream before or after I fell asleep in the car bed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Bedtime Wars

When we first put William to sleep in his big boy bed, I was pleasantly surprised. He went to sleep just as easily as in the crib, and in the morning he was much happier because he could get out of bed by himself (no need to scream for Mommy). This is easy, thought I, I'm the greatest Mommy ever.

One day William had a fever and, according to my theory, this is when things started to go wrong. I lay with him all day and, by the time he was better, he had gotten used to the good life.

So our bedtime routine is thus:

Bath (usually)
I lie with him until he falls asleep

For a while I was the only one who had problems with this. I would read him ten books before he even agreed to lie down. I lay with him until I thought he was completely dead asleep (or I really had to pee) then slink out from under his near comatose little body. Somehow, he would still wake up and scream and scream. I would then declare it Daddy's turn. My husband went in and came out 5 minutes later: "He's asleep."

Adam's theory (said with pouty face) is that William only wants to hang out with me, so that makes it harder for me to leave his room. My theory is that I'm more of a push-over, so William knows he can get what he wants from me. This makes it especially hard at nap time, when Adam isn't around to tag team.

To correct my pushover reputation, I have since limited his books at night to three. I let him pick each one out and I'll tell him "This is the first story, story number one" then "this is the second story, story number two," then "this is the third story, number three, the last story." Who knows if this is understandable to a child who calls every number (and some letters) "two, two, two." At least it makes me feel like I have some measure of control. Unfortunately, I still have to lie with him until he's dead asleep to have any success.

The obvious answer to this problem (at least for me) is to have Adam put William to bed every night.  He'll likely have to take over anyway when the new baby arrives.  Unfortunately Adam has started to have problems too, particularly when I am on my computer, and I can be seen from the hallway outside William's room.  But eventually, one of us gets our son to sleep.

When we're lucky, he sleeps until morning.

On every other night, he wakes up at midnight, one, or two am, wanting nothing except a parent to sleep with.  He just saunters into our bedroom, always to my side of the bed, and demands to be picked up and cuddled immediately. We try to get him to go to sleep, each of us taking turns lying with him and fighting to stay awake longer than he does so we have a chance of making it back to our nice comfy grown-up bed.  Of course, being exhausted, we're more likely to give in to William's demands.  Last night, my husband slept from one am until seven am in William's car bed.

As I write this, Adam is putting William to bed.  Though I love my son dearly, I hope I won't see him again for at least ten hours.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Baby Girl's Room

So we finally got around to painting the new baby girl's room. As you can see, rather than the traditional girlie pink, we went with a light blue, with friendly clouds and a big yellow sun. The advantage of this colour scheme is that we were able to achieve it using paint we already had from various other projects so we didn't have to waste time going to the paint store. (Although we did anyway, just to see what they had, and to get some paint rollers and drop cloths).

Now all that's left to do is to get a dresser/changetable, put sheets on the crib, put up some blinds/curtains, and pack mine and the baby's bag for the hospital. At least if the baby were to come today, she would have somewhere to sleep.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Basement door plus screaming toddler equals...

So yesterday William and I were having one of those days. Instead of waiting until I said "no", William would jump right into toddler tantrum mode before I had time to respond to any of his requests. Lots of screaming, lots of fun.

Later on, I was calling my husband to ask if he was going to be late (and beg him not to be). Since talking on the phone, even for 30 seconds, has nothing to do with William and is therefore unacceptable, my toddler screamed. I left the basement where we were, and shut the door behind me so I could hear the phone.

This was a mistake.

The door to the basement opens into the stairs. Immediately my son effectively locked me out by standing at the top of the stairs, his body pressed against the little windows (I think it's what they call a French door). As he howled, I told him "Go downstairs, William. Go down. Down! Down!" But he wanted to go up, where I was, so he banged on the glass and yelled louder.

I remembered that there's another door to the basement from outside. I put on my coat and shoes and ventured out into the snow, climbing over a frozen-solid garden hose treacherously placed on a flight of cement stairs. The door was locked. I went back inside and got my house key, but it didn't work.

I actually looked up how to pick a lock on the internet, but I obviously I don't have a lock-picking kit, so I grabbed a hair pin. Macguiver, I am not. Apparently it's actually very difficult, if not impossible, to pick a lock with a hair pin.

William was still screaming. Reasoning that he couldn't possibly stay there forever, I started to make dinner (I could see the door, and my hysterical son, from the kitchen). Of course he was still at it when I had the dinner in the oven.

I tried to talk him down, like a hostage negotiator.
"William would you like to have a snack?"
"Okay, go sit on the couch and I'll bring you a snack."
"Would you like me to come watch tv with you?"
"Okay, just go downstairs and sit on the couch and we'll watch tv together."

I tried to throw a cookie down the stairs, but it ended up on the first step and it didn't even calm him down.

Finally I opened the door just enough to get my arm through. I grabbed his shirt and, as gently as I could, nudged him down the stairs, while holding him so that he didn't fall. By the change in pitch of his cries, I could tell he was just as dubious about the safetly of the manouever as I was. Luckily, I was able to get the door open, and the incident ended without broken toddler bones.

I gave him a magic mommy hug, and he was completely happy as if nothing had happened.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

AGO is A-Go!

So the Art Gallery of Ontario unveiled its redesign this weekend and we decided to take advantage of their free admission. "We" in this case is me, son William, hubby Adam, and my brother and sister-in-law, Craig and Eireann. For the grumpy gus review of our experience, I asked my husband who called it "The most expensive free trip to the gallery ever." He also complained that "the line-ups were too long, the elevator was too slow, and the food was too expensive." He was just mad because he wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the gallery, and that's the only way he knows how to have an experience. "The head was cool, that's it," he says, referring to a creepily life-like yet distorted, silicone and real hair, sculpture by Evan Penny (I had to look that up, of course, I don't take notes while enjoying a gallery trip). While we were there, Adam also expressed an admiration for the effort it must have taken to carve the intricately detailed, yet super tiny, ivory sculptures, in the old art section. (Yes, I majored in Art History, and it shows).

I couldn't decide which art I liked best, though I'm always partial to the contemporary stuff. The head Adam liked was cool, as were these paintings done directly on old televisions so that the snowy image became part of the artwork. There was also a bathroom made of material that was neat, and too many awesome painting to mention. Oh, and I like African sculptures depicting breastfeeding. Some of those kids were devouring their Mom's entire boob.

We stayed until we were all arted out (some of us more than others). Being exhausted from looking at art is the best kind of tired. I love it.

For any of you who are going tomorrow (it's still free this Sunday), I recommend bringing a baby in a stroller. We got to skip part of the ridiculous line-up outside and go straight to the VIP stroller entrance.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New bed, new haircut, new fridge

The car bed is finally complete! Well, actually it's been finished for a while, I just haven't posted a pic. My husband designed and built this thing from scratch, not a speedy or cost-effective method of acquiring a child's bed, but you can't argue with results. This bed is awesome! I was hoping to have mine and Adam's bed converted into a car bed, but apparently I'm too old to have a cool bed. Plus the baby's coming soon, so no more using her room as a workshop.

William cried right through the haircut, even though he got to sit in a fighter jet while he got it done. Also he's had two other cuts before and didn't seem to mind them. Afterwards, though, he was quite content to wander around the salon, trying out all the various toys and games (it's basically a toy store that happens to cut hair). Yes, he's holding the game controller upside down, but he still got Luigi's car to move, and that was delightful enough for him.

Merry Christmas to us! The fridge guy who came on Tuesday said that there was no point in repairing our fridge, because we could get a new one for the same price. This one was a bit more, but still a good deal. What does it matter anyway? It's not as if we have the money, we just pull it out of a hole and wait for magic fairies to come along to fill the hole in. (Pay no attention to the mess beside the refrigerator.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Presents from the Family


From Craig and Eireann (my brother and sister-in-law). A reminder of Eireann and my glory days in art and art history, especially in the class of van Gogh expert, the humourless witch Bologna Welsh.

From my hubby Adam and my son William and Captain Kirk. Captain Kirk is thinking about me on my birthday and wishes he could have attended.

From Robin, Kevin, and Hunter (my sister, her bf, and my nephew.) Rob's sense of humour may have slightly exaggerated my age, but that's nothing compared to my cakes candles. According to them, I was celebrating my 7522nd birthday.


From my Mom and sister. Four nursing bras and two "before and after" shirts from thyme maternity.

From Craig and Eireann. A maternity top, a hat and scarf. And, last but not least, a totally awesome wallet that I desperately needed. William likes it too, he threw a fit this morning because I wouldn't let him yank the cards out of it (an activity that destroyed my previous wallet).

From Adam and my parents, and Adam's parents. A camera that takes good, in focus, pictures, and not just in the bright sunshine. Adam wanted to get a pink one but this camera is too good for colour, so instead he got me a bright red camera case. Awesome!

Here's a short video (if it ever loads) of my family at my birthday (to demonstrate my camera's video feature). Minus Craig, Hunter, and William who are in another room dealing with a poo-mergency. That's right, my brother changed a poo-diaper. What a fabulous birthday present from him!

The question is what will come first, the video or the fridge repair man.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me. It's Snowing!

This morning I woke up to the universe's birthday present to me: beautiful white flakes floating to the ground. And William's birthday present to me: a big smile.

I'm hoping his cheery mood this morning will set the precedent for the rest of the day. Ever since he got over last week's fever, William has been quick to jump into freak-out mode unless his wants and needs are instantly met. This is especially annoying when a) I don't know what he wants, b) he doesn't know what he wants, or c) he wants to play "Super Cow" a computer game that is rapidly shrinking our brains.

At the moment William is eating apples and watching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, narrated by the late great George Carlin. There are trains involved that I don't remember from the Ringo Starr episodes of my youth. Who the heck are Molly, Freddie, and Rosie? Did they move to Sodor from some other island that also has talking trains? A puzzle that is too much for my bovine-saturated braincells.

In other news my refrigerator is broken. I don't ask much of my fridge. I don't need it to make me ice, or tell me when I'm out of milk, or upload my photos, or play DVDs. All I ask is that is keeps my food cold. It's having trouble doing that one simple task and is now acting as a large cupboard/artwork display. We dumped most of our food into my parents deep-freezer and tommorrow (because I don't want to deal with repair people on my birthday) the fridge guy is coming to magically make it cold again in exhange for our immortal souls.

Later my Mom and sister are taking me out to lunch, thereby post-poning or perhaps even eliminating William's naptime. Should be interesting.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My poor sick cuddly bear

Last night at around 4am William woke up very congested and feverish. From then until now, I've spent quite a bit of time lying next to him in his bed. Sometimes he plays with my hair, sometimes he snuggles into me. When I need to leave the room, I often have to lift his sleepy head off of my arm, and occasionally pry a section of my hair from his fingers. Sometimes I can get out of bed without disturbing him at all, but I don't, because it's nice just to watch him sleep.

When you have a child who loves to run, jump, dance and climb, you have to treasure the cuddly moments. Not that I want him to be sick, no, it breaks my heart to see him in any discomfort. Especially since I'm the one he runs to for hugs when he's upset, hurting, or sick. It's more than love, I think he truly believes that I have some sort of magic power to take his pain away.

In a way I do, kind of. Give him some children's tylenol and within a half an hour he miraculously becomes good old William, wanting to babble, and play with cars, and eat fruit, and colour on the table. But I don't want to have him drugged up all the time, because I know that a fever is a good thing, the body fighting off infection. So mostly I just give him hugs, and let him sleep.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Halloween Wedding Made the News!

The wedding my husband and I attended on Halloween night, for our friends Kerri and Kevin, was a media circus! By media circus, I mean there was one photographer there from the local paper. Anyway here's a link to this multimedia thing the photographer did with his photos.

At 0:54 on the counter there's two pics of me volunteering for one-armed Bob, where I'm laughing and holding a rat trap. Also there's some nice audio of Kevin and Kerri talking about why they had a Halloween wedding. Although, like I've said before, if you knew the couple you would need no explanation.

Apparently, there might be something in tommorrow's Post. So all you Burlingtonians keep an eye out.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lokai Filipowicz 2005-2008

It's been 2 years since the passing of his brother, Bele, who, annoyed by Lokai's laid-back attitude, used to chase him around the cage and bite his bum. When Bele died I was pregnant with William, perhaps that pregnancy and this one sent out airborn hormones that are harmful to Guinea Pigs. Someone should really do a study.

Yesterday, William wanted to play with Lokai, but I was busy doing laundry and told him "another time". Now there will be no other time.

I filled up Lokai's dish yesterday and noted that the bag of food was almost empty, but I forgot to buy more. Now I don't need to, so I guess that's good. In fact, Lokai's death solves a problem. We have been trying to give him away to a good home. We haven't been able to give him the attention we should, and I knew it would only get worse when baby #2 came along. Lokai has always been so robust and healthy-looking that I was sure that he would live at least another year, and that he could make some other owner very happy.

I'm a terrible pet-owner, that much is clear. When I saw that he was dead, part of me thought "oh good, no more cage-cleaning", and that made me feel even worse. Lokai was a good pig. He deserved better.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Baby Girl

Two blog entries in one day? What's this? But look, this is really cool:

Here's my baby girl making kissy faces. As you can see, we went and got a 3D ultrasound today so we can compare how this baby looks in gold compared to how William looked. You can clearly see that this is a completely different baby, her nose is a bit more upturned, so I think she looks a little more like me (okay, actually I can't tell if she looks like me).

William got a bit fussy when he couldn't sit on the bed with me while I was having the scan done. Ok, a lot fussy. Mostly he just wanted to play with the large and impressive computer, and wasn't all that interested in the pics of his sister. The lady forgot to turn the DVD machine on and had to start all over again, so we basically got double scan time and a ridiculous amount of pictures. Unfortunately the picture CD cracked and, since we were the last appointment of the day, we'll likely have to wait until Tuesday to find out if we can get a replacement disc. (The images above are scans of the two prints they gave us).

The important thing is that we have confirmed girlness.

Halloween 2008

Here is my independent little pachyderm trick-or-treating at the Burlington Mall. We gave up trying to get him to wear his elephant head.

He was quick to catch on to the taking candy from strangers and putting it in your bag custom. Until he remembered that he could eat the candy, then he just wanted to do that.

Unfortunately, this is the only shot I have of William with the elepant hood up. It was taken in the morning at the Early Years Centre and is slightly out of focus. My Mom took a better pic of him when he tried on his costume at Thanksgiving. It's on her blog here.

Congratulations Kevin and Kerri!
While William went off to do real outdoor trick-or-treating with his cousin Hunter and Auntie Robin (and Kevin, Robin's boyfriend), Adam and I donned Star Trek Uniforms and went to Kerri and Kevin's wedding.

Here's the bride looking fabulous in the dress she sewed herself out of black vinyl. Kerri owns her own goth clothing business and is very talented.

And the groom, also in a Kerri creation.

And here's Captain Adam and Lieutenant Me in our uniforms.

Showing some leg, because Original Series uniforms are all about the leg. Can you tell I'm almost 8 months pregnant? You couldn't could you?

As much as they tried to steer away from the tradional wedding, that's pretty much what it was. There was a ceremony, speeches, food, cake, dancing. Aside from the costumes, the decor, and this freak show performer they hired for entertainment, it was just like a regular white wedding.

Here's a shot of One-Armed Bob (who really is missing one arm) getting a note stapled to his tongue. Yes, he really did this. The blood on his cheek is real blood from another note. Among other things, he also put out a blow torch on his tongue, and stuck his good hand in a rat trap (I was the volunteer holding the trap). Ours is not to ask why, only to be entertained.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The good and the bad.

The Good
-The dentist didn't find anything horribly wrong with William's tooth.
-The visit only cost $30 and I was expecting it to be more.

The Bad
-What a waste of $30.

The Good
-Willliam slept on a mattress not in his crib last night for the first time and he slept beautifully.

The Bad
-William would not go down for a nap today and now he's impossible.

The Good
-My friend Columbia is in my parenting class at the Early Years Centre.

The Bad
-I drove back to the Early Years Centre for afternoon drop-in, but William fell asleep in the car so I didn't go in. Yet, when I got home again he STILL wouldn't go down for a nap.

The Good
-I tanked up the car today, for less than a buck a litre.

The Bad
-I think I lost my debit card at the gas station.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And the Mother-in-law of the year award goes to...

Eva! Who sewed these fabulous Star Trek Uniforms for us:

Adam is going to be the Captain and I'll be his sexy pregnant lieutenant. I can't wait to wear this to our friends' Halloween wedding (yes, a Halloween wedding, if you knew the couple, this would make perfect sense to you). Maybe I can also wear it when the new movie comes out in May (for extra nerdiness) but I hope I'm not still the same size by then. Eva doesn't quite get my obsession with Star Trek, so I'm not she understands what a fabulously marvelous thing she's done for me. First, I get to have the coolest Halloween costume in the history of time, second, I get to be sexy even though I'm pregnant, and third, STAR TREK RULES. Eva, you are truly awesome!

Adam inherited his mother's creativity and has been using it in the past few months to construct a carbed for William based on the Subaru Rally Car. The bed is currently almost done and is in our family room looking like this:

I have to admit, this thing is super cool. The only problem with the whole project is that our second bedroom aka "the new baby's room" is being used as a workshop and currently looks like this:

And it's time for me to be nesting darn it! Luckily, Adam promises to have the bed done by the weekend, as long as he doesn't have another week of late work nights.
BTW: I hate how blogger's spacing gets all screwed up everytime one adds a picture, and how the program automatically puts the pic on the top of the entry when I clearly want it in the middle!
BBTW: I'm off to take my toddler to the dentist to check on that loose tooth.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


This afternoon I felt exhausted. This may have had something to do with the fact that I spent the morning taking William to the fall fair run by the early years centre. Lots of chasing William around, then carrying him around, then bouncing him on my hip because my baby loves to dance. There were also some raffles that we paid for but didn't win (at least I think we didn't win, perhaps they just haven't called the winners yet) and also some animals that kids could take turns holding and petting. William doesn't quite get the concept of taking turns so he would start to cry as soon as his turn was over right up until the next animal landed in his lap (it was nap time).

Soon after I got home I went out again to help my brother and his wife pick up some new furniture. Of course I didn't physically lift anything (that's for non-pregnant people), but they needed me to chauffeur their new endtables because our Forester has the largest trunkspace of anyone in the family. Not an overly difficult task, but afterwards I was ready for bed (it was 3 pm).

I would have been tired anyway, but I also felt that pregnancy-related tiredness, where all your bones hurt, especially your hips, and your whole body feels like jello.

I told my husband this and he said "If you were jello then you would have no bones so they couldn't hurt." I get the feeling sometimes that Adam doesn't understand the depth of my exhaustion. So I complain more. Also I got him to take me out to dinner and then watch William while I took a bath. That last part is especially difficult because William loves baths so much that when he hears the water running, he runs to the bathroom door and screams until someone lets him in, or someone forces him to go somewhere else.

Anyway I felt much better after my bath and I put William to bed and everything was peachy. Adam unfortunately had to go in to work, even though it's Saturday night, and he worked until past nine pm both yesterday and the day before. Late-night graphics emergencies happen more often than you might think. (Hence why I'm awake writing blog entries at midnight, instead of sleeping).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baby Expo

My husband says "baby expos are a crock." If by that he means a transparent attempt to sell useless products and services to pregnant women (who are more open to suggestion because of abnormal hormone levels), then I agree. But I feel like I haven't been paying enough attention to my pregnancy this time around, and I should be engaging in more mom-to-be activities. (Plus, the last time I was at one of these things I won $70 worth of maternity clothes. Sweet!)

My husband also says "never bring a toddler to a baby expo." This seems like good advice, in retrospect. William is unwilling to sit still for any length of time (even if that length of time is less than ten seconds). This meant that Adam and I took turns chasing our toddler around the conference room, while one of us sat and listened to various baby-related salespitches. (By "listened" I of course mean partially zoned out with one ear open for our number in case we won a door prize). Toddler-chasing was especially difficult for me because I tried to also fill out the many contest entry forms at the same time. Have you ever tried to fill out a form with a squirming toddler on your lap? I guarantee, noone will be able to read my entries.

At the end of the night we had a tired (past bedtime), frustrated (he couldn't take the toys home, or eat the candy) toddler, and no doorprizes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tragedy (we missed garbage day)

Okay, so I know the garbage handbook says to put your garbage out by 7am on collection day, but up until now they've always come after 11 am, making it quite convenient for my hubby to put it out as he leaves for work every other monday morning. So now we have a small garbage dump in our backyard attracting all manor of bugs and vermin. Some points that elevate this minor annoyance to a tragedy:
  • We have a toddler still in diapers, so much of our garbage is made up of festering poop. Some municipalities take diapers in the green bin that gets picked up weekly. Not ours, of course.
  • Two weeks ago, our last garbage day, the sanitation engineers neglected to fully empty our giant outdoor garbage bin, leaving half of the waste (and whatever is feeding on it) still in the bottom.
  • Last week, our last garbage and recycling day, was on Tuesday instead of Monday because of Thanksgiving. Of course we forgot and didn't put it out.
  • This weekend my inlaws came for dinner so we cleaned the house. This left us with a lot of extra "cleaning" garbage and recycling.

This means we have, in our yard, 3 weeks worth of festering poo, 2 weeks worth of rotting kitchen garbage, plus whatever waste has been hiding under our furniture since we moved in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Famous Children's Author Breaks Her Arm

Tonight my Dad called from the emergency room "Looks like Mom broke her arm, can you come get Mortie?" (Mortie is my parents' jackapoo). Apparently they were with Mortie at Spencer Smith Park, when Mom fell off her rollerblades. That's all the details I got from my Dad (not the story teller my Mom is), so I've decided to create my own version of events:

As part of a publicity stunt to promote her new book, Mom decided to attempt a death-defying roller-blading trick. First she would navigate a hotwheels-style loop-de-loop, culminating in a hoop that was set on fire. When she jumped through the hoop she would need to stay airborn long enough to clear an olympic-sized pool filled with sharks with "frickin' laser beams" on their heads. Unfortunately Mom didn't know that her jacket wasn't flame retardent, so it caught fire as she jumped through the hoop. In a desparate attempt to extinguish the flame, Mom jumped into the shark pool, which put out the fire. Unfortunately one of the sharks bit her arm and broke it.

Of course, I wasn't there, but that seems plausible to me. Totally something my Mom would do. Anyway my Dad said that Mom had her arm set, and a cast put on, and when I talked to him a few minutes ago they were just waiting for the okay to go home. Me and William are totally going to sign the cast later.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The tooth

Last night just before bedtime (William's not mine) my husband asked William if he wanted to have a bath. The answer of course was "yessssss", in fact William was so excited by the idea that he raced up the stairs and out of sight. As Adam and I were working up the energy to follow our enthusiastic toddler, we heard a thud, following by screaming.

I raced up the stairs, and William came running towards me, blood gushing from his mouth. Not usually a good sign.

After much hugs and kleenex we were able to determine that one of William's bottom teeth had been knocked loose. It didn't fall out, but was definitely slightly off from its original position.

After our son had calmed down a bit, Adam gave William a bath and some advil and I put him to bed. He slept through the night like normal, but this morning he had trouble eating his cereal and had to be given yogurt instead.

The internet has varying opinions, from giving this a wait and see approach, to taking him to a dentist right away. Some places say that he should be taken to the dentist if the tooth is bothering him, or he has trouble eating. Of course the tooth is bothering him, this just happened yesterday!

Of course we don't have a dental plan of any kind, but I'll pay out of pocket if my baby needs a dentist, no problem. The trouble is, having no dental plan means I have no dentist that I see on a regular basis, and I'm becoming overwhelmed by the hundreds and hundreds of dentists in the yellow pages (we almost have more dentists in this city than we have teeth). I'll just have to play pediatric dentist roulette.

On a lighter note, William now says "Cow."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My vote didn't count (as usual)

The Conservatives won again. They even won in my riding. Again my faith in the intelligence of the average Canadian has been shattered. First a brief history of the Conservative Party:

Back when they were losing... they were called the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (or CCRAP). They changed their name to the villainous-sounding "The Alliance" to avoid the unfortunate innitials, and began touring the country promoting "family values" which is right-wing code for anti-gay, anti-feminist.

There was of course also the Progressive Conservative party, a more middleground conservative group. They won only 12 percent of the vote in the 2000, with the crappy Alliance winning 66. These two parties merged to form today's Conservative Party (they were forced to remove "progressive" from their name because the Alliance is anything but).

Now they've won their second minority government in a row. This last election called prematurely, breaking new laws that the Conservatives themselves came up with. Come on people!

If you voted Conservative, fine, not everyone has to have the same opinion as me. If you didn't vote at all (and this time that makes up nearly half of the population) shame on you! It's YOUR fault that we have crap running our country.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Glucose Test

Well I went in for my glucose test today. This one of those things things they give to pregnant women to torture them. It begins and ends with a blood-sucking needle and involves sitting in the waiting room for an hour and a half (I was not allowed to leave), having skipped breakfast, and forbidden to ingest anything except a rather disgusting orange drink designed to test the limits of my sugar-tolerance. As she was sucking my blood, the nurse said "The things you have to go through to have your baby eh?" I didn't know what to say to that. After all, this bizarre custom was invented by the vampirous medical profession, and I'm sure my baby would eventually be born, happy and healthy, without a 50 ml bottle of medicinal orange Crush.

While I was in the waiting room, I was reading an issue of Chatelaine (my choice was that or Canadian Living) and I noticed that one of the features was written by my Ryerson writing prof, David Hayes. I immediately flipped to the article like the groupie I am. The story was about some women who were horribly tortured by their foster mother as children and, having sent the old woman to jail, were now going after the authorities who knew about the abuse but refused to do anything. It was kind of heavy reading for so early in the morning and left me searching the front of the magazine for a fluffier piece. I'm now remembering that David might actually be reading this blog entry, he used to be a fan, and I heard it through the grapevine that he's still recommending my blog to his class (perhaps as an example of how NOT to make money with ones writing). In that case, nice job on the article David, well-written and emotion-provoking.

Afterwards my husband and I went to the school near our house to vote against the Conservatives. I'm hoping Stéfane Dion will squeak by with a win.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pretend it's yesterday

I realize my one-a-day post marathon has already been derailed as I forgot to post something yesterday. So pretend it's yesterday, and maybe you'll see another post tonight (I'm having Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's so something interesting is bound to happen).

The other day I watched about half a minute of Little People Big World (which is a reality show about a family of dwarves). Anyway during those thirty seconds dwarf daddy was fixing up some buildings on his farm and he had made a checklist of what needed to be done at each building posted the list on the door. So since then I've been day-dreaming that I'm super-organized and toying with the idea with making and posting lists for each room in my house. I'll use my computer desk as an example:

-Throw away all yogurt containers, kleenex, and candy wrappers.
-Put floppy disks and old laptop into storage
-Put socks into laundry
-Put toys into bin
-Create somewhat attractive filing system for "important" papers.
-Get ink for laser printer
-Put up a shelf above computer for miscellenous DVD-roms, books, etc.

The beauty of this strategy is that once you've created a list, you feel as if you've done some work, and you can take a break and play a quick game of Spore or Family Feud Online Party.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Picking

Today our good friend Amy took us apple picking at Chudleigh's in Milton. Not only do they have apples, but also a petting zoo, straw maze, and a big pile of sand with toy trucks in it. It's a good thing that Amy was there, because she has better luck with weather and thus we had a perfect fall day. She was also on hand to take cheesey family photos:

At the petting zoo there was some excitment when two of the sheep got loose from their pen and had to be rounded up and tackled by the teenage girls that worked there. I can imagine this sort of thing happens a lot since it is the only petting zoo I've been to that doesn't have a double gate at the entrance.

We rode the tractor to the orchard and picked a ridiculous amount of ridiculously big apples. William had fun running down the aisles of trees and eating apples that were the size of his head.

BTW: Amy, the pie turned out fabulously

Friday, October 10, 2008

Post-a-day Marathon Day 1

My husband tells me that I should be posting a blog entry every day. He says this will generate interest in my blog (though I'm not sure this was ever my goal). I think he just wants something to read when he gets bored at work and, this being the turkey-day long weekend, he probably won't even read my posts until Tuesday. At any rate, this is today's entry in my new one-post-a-day marathon.

Another thing my husband/critic showed me is this website he heard about on the news: The goal of the site is to keep Harper out of power because (they say) he's bad for the environment. I'm sure you can think of your own reasons not to vote Conservative, but this site prevents you from having to think (bonus!). Just type in your postal code and they'll tell you who to vote for based, for the most part, on which MP has a chance of beating Harper's lacky in your riding. The site is telling me to vote Liberal, which I probably would have done anyway, but in some ridings they'd rather you vote NDP. Or you could vote based on looks. Both strategies are equally likely to change anything.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Voting Based on Looks 2008

I just finished watching the English leadership debate (and, of course, like the keener I am, watched the French one yesterday). It seems like just three seconds ago that the last federal election was being held, but here we are again. This year the networks have chosen to give us a cosy, round table discussion format. Most likely because this year we've added Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and they only have four podiums in the store room. I think my commentary will be of special importance to voters, because while many news media outlets will no doubt comment at length on what these guys (and gal) have said, only I will focus on the important issue: who looks the most prime-ministerial-like.

So, in alphabetical order (for fairness):

Stéphane Dion, Liberal Party (first from the left in the pic above): Stéphane Dion looks like the kid who would get beat up a lot in school, maybe not that tough but very smart. This is because he's quite slender and wears glasses. As a former glasses-wearer I'm always mentally trying-on other people's glasses. I think Stéphane's would look good on me, but I don't they're doing anything for his tough guy image. I also noted how flawless his complexion is; either the make-up and lighting guys are brilliant (and Liberal) or Stéphane has the complexion of a twenty-year-old. So I looked it up: he just turned 53 on Sept 28th. Happy Belated Birthday SD!

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Quebecois (fifth from the left, but who cares you can't vote for him): I've said it before and I'll say it again: vampire. With Halloween coming up, he might just be the candidate that people are drawn to. Again he wore his pinstripe suit but he looked much more Dracula than mafioso. This is probably because, with the round-table format, he leaned forward a lot like Nosferatu coming in for the kill.

Stephen Harper, Conservative Party (fourth from the left): I couldn't help but stare at the current PM's lips the whole time. Was he wearing lip gloss? Or perhaps he is made of plastic after all and he's starting to melt. He definitely has a joker-grin going on. During the French debate, Steve won hands down for best tie (shiny blue and stripey), but during the English debate the tie situation was more equal across the board. Oh, and he wore a tiny Canadian flag pin, which is good, because it's important for the prime minister to be patriotic.

Jack Layton, NDP (third from left): He still looks like a kindly uncle, even when he's yelling across the table at Steve. People with no hair and mustaches always look extra-friendly. He does agree with the PM on one point at least: fashion. His tie tonight is very similar to Steve's French debate tie.

Elizabeth May, Green Party (second from left): At the French debate, Liz dressed like a school librarian, complete with cardigan and ridiculously over-sized costume jewelry. For the English debate she wore a power suit so you could see she means business. She still looks like a school librarian from the neck up though, with glasses that aren't nearly as fashionable as Stéphane's and uncombed fly-away hair.

So based on both leaders debates, I have decided to vote for....drumroll...undecided. I will admit leftish leanings, so that means no shiny joker lips. Other than that, everyone wore very nice suits, so I'm just not sure.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Pin Cushion Plant

On Wednesday I went to the launch of Cleavage, the anthology where my first published fiction appears. In addition to the other esteemed authors and their guests, my mother, brother, and sister-in-law were in attendance, as well as my darling husband, and show-stealing son. William has a talent for getting groups of random people (some relations but mostly strangers) to entertain him with food, books and toys. There were mocktails, pizza, and cupcakes and everyone was schmoozing, and asking me and the other authors for our autographs. We were rockstars.

Near the end of the night all the authors that could make it read from their stories (the rest live out of province and couldn't attend). Miraculously, I did not stumble over my words, and people actually laughed at the funny bits.

As a thank you present and souvenir we (the authors) were each given a teeny tiny plant. I was told that this was a pin cushion plant and not to put it in direct sunlight and to water it from the bottom. Clearly, I am not the only one who considers herself more of a word person than a plant person, as I caught more than one of my colleagues eyeing their gift incredulously.

Today I looked up my doomed plant and found its wikipedia page. Apparently there are lots of plants called pin cushion. Mine is a nertera granadensis and, indeed, one should water it from the bottom and keep it out of direct sunlight. I also learned that it is a tropical plant, that would not survive a winter outdoors.

Also the wiki page says "Nertera granadensis is somewhat difficult to maintain, and it is not recommended for beginners." Luckily, I am no beginner. I have killed many many plants.

BTW: Now that I am a serious professional, my talented husband designed me a new serious professional website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

William's words

William has learned quite a few words and I feel the need to record them for posterity.

Ball ("Bah"): this was William's first word after Mama and Dada and lead to a mild obsession with all things round. He also refers to plums as "Bah" and can often be seen hanging off the the fridge door handle whining "Bah!" "Bah!"

Car ("Cah!"): William has more than a mild obsession with cars. He owns a growing collection of matchbox cars, dollarstore plastic cars, ride-it toys, and various things with steering wheels. He also points to every vehicle that passes by and says "Cah!" This means that on some car trips, William can be heard from the backseat, babbling, "Cah, cah, cah, oh boo cah! Cah, cah, cah."

Dog ("Gah!"): Why is a dog pronounced "gah"? Not sure. But he consistently refers to all dogs (and occasionally other animals) as "gah". He loves dogs, and has no fear of hugging the biggest and scariest-looking ones. Of course I always ask the owner if it's okay first. He gets knocked down frequently, but that doesn't deter him. (Although he sometimes gets fed up with the incessant licking of my parents' jackapoo.)

Cracker ("CahCah"): Similar to the word car, but you take it in context. If William is pointing to the snacks on top of the fridge, he wants a cracker. If he's pointing out the window, or is playing with a Tonka Truck, he's saying car.

Apple ("A-bah"): This is an evolution of the word ball, and can mean any sort of round fruit, including apples, pears, plum, nectarines and peaches. His love of all things fruit may be responsible for his interesting bowel movements, but fruit is good for you so I just deal with the mess.

Up: He says up very clearly. Mostly this means he wants to be picked up and is accompanied by the gesture of reaching his hands in the air. Sometimes though, he uses up to refer to any direction he wants me to follow him. For example, he says "up" and then points downstairs.

Rock ("Guck"): If you live in our neighbourhood, and have a rock garden or a gravel driveway, you may have noticed it is occasionally in disarray, almost as if a toddler has been playing in it. When we go on walks together, William always stops to rearrange any rocks he finds.

More ("Noo-noo"): He uses the sign for more (the only bit of sign language he ever picked up) and always says "noo-noo" at the same time. The sign doesn't just mean that he wants more of something he already has, but is also used to ask for anything and everything.

Yes: Mostly William nods his head for yes and shakes it for no, but if you ask him to say yes, he can say it quite clearly. This is useful because he often does this goofy half-nod, half-head shake, which I guess means maybe. You then ask "Yes?" and he nods and says "yesss".

That's all I can think of right now, but I think I got most of them. Hardly an extensive vocabulary, but Mr. William still prefers the whining and pointing method to get most of what he wants.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cleavage has arrived!

I've always thought of myself as a fiction writer, but strangely I've never had any of my fiction published. Unless of course you count that story that got printed in a kids magazine when I was eleven, or the time my husband paid to have one copy of my book published. But now, I have a real short story published in a real anthology: Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. So now I'm a genuine fiction author.

If you buy the book, or just flip through it in the book store, you can find my story ("My So Not Ballerina Boobs") on page 133. It isn't so much a "story" as it is an account of all the times I went bra-shopping with my mother rolled into one embarrassing excursion. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. "I hope I'm not as loud as the mother in your story," Mom said. Of course not, Mommy, I exaggerated in the name of fiction.

If anyone lives in the Toronto area (and actually cares), there will be a book launch on September 24th, from 5:30pm to 8:30 pm at the Canadian Children's Book Centre (Suite 101, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto -- Yonge & Eglinton).

Now I'd better go read all the other stories quick before the boss wakes up from his nap.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Our Weekend In Photos

Having enjoyed many a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's in my youth, I thought it an odd place to stop for dinner on a long car trip. But it was genius! William ran around and enjoyed rides and slides and games, and then konked out in the car right afterwards. And look, one of the rides printed out a momento for us.

Here we our standing in front of a wall in our nation's capital, Ottawa. We were there to visit with Adam's best friend Chris and his girlfriend Lisa. Also to sight-see.

I think that the prime minister secretly takes orders from this cat. There are a bunch of cats living on the grounds of parliament in a little house. I didn't notice it at the time, but the cat appears to have a hideous boil on his face, which I think makes him look more like a polititian.

There's Adam and William and Chris and the centenial flame. I thought this was an eternal flame, but according to Wikipedia, they extinguish it every year for cleaning. What a let-down. Anyway don't the parliament buildings look nice in the background?

Here I am chasing William on the parliamentary grounds.

A bird that's been dead a while, also on paliamentary grounds.

Here's our tour guide showing us the house of commons, where all the political magic happens.

Later that evening, we went to a family barbecue at the home of some of Chris and Lisa's friends. You know these people are cool because they have a rocketship.

And their son can ride a unicycle!

Then on Sunday, it was down in the trenches for us at the war museum. For some reason, this replica of the trenches, complete with dim lighting and scary machine gun sounds, was William's favourite part of the museum. He kept signing "more", asking to go back in.

"Mommy it's scary in here, but I love it!"

William was really interested in the tanks when we viewed them from the top floor, but once we went down to that level he lost interest. Of course, this could be because I put him back in his stroller so he couldn't run around touching everything.
Luckily we made it home to Burlington for the last day of ribfest, which we've missed every year for at least three years in a row.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...