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.
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