Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! My Baby is 1 Tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

William's first movie

Adam and I took William to see his first non-stars-and-strollers movie. He napped until five pm after riding the train and carousel in Hamilton, so we reasoned that it would be okay to keep him up past his bedtime to see The Princess and the Frog with us. We were right! He was so good! He sat completely still for the first half of the movie. By the second half he was getting antsy, but never whined or asked to go home. Of course it helped that we had popcorn and drinks. I was a little nervous about the latter but despite copious amounts of juice consumed, William did not pee his pants. He went to the men's room with Adam after the movie was over. When asked what his favourite part was, William cheerfully answered "The Princesses!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

The race is over! Jadzia walks.

I was at a playdate with two of my Mommy friends, sitting on the couch, chatting, barely paying attention to the baby at our feet, when suddenly my friend Columbia exclaimed "Jadzia just walked from there to there!" There to there was a distance of four or five steps between two sections of Columbia's L-shaped sofa. She crossed the distance completely unassisted, determined to show my friend Becca a toy.

I immediately called my husband, who was jumping up and down in his office (I can only assume because I don't have a video phone). He asked me to film the event, but since the event had already passed, attempts to capture it took some effort (much to the amusement of everyone). Finally Becca succeeded in getting a repeat performance out of my daughter.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Torch Time!

I just want to say a quick congratulations to my elementary school classmate, Gavin Browne, who carried the Olympic torch today. I was holding a baby and my pic of the event is a bit blurry, so here's one that Adam took:

There was a short wait before the torch (and Gavin) ran by, so I amused myself by hugging mascotts:

In case you're wondering, the one in the middle is a giant pita, only you can't see the veggies from this angle so it looks a bit...well...nevermind. Anyway, the kids fell asleep in the stroller until just before torch time, which was perfect. I ran into a few of my old school friends, who were presummably there because they are also on Gavin's facebook. Didn't get to chat long, but that's what the internet is for. To quote Gavin (from msn): "It was very special. I had on a pin my grandfather got at the Montreal Olympics in 1984. He was military security."

In case you were wondering, Gavin isn't in the biathalon or anything, he got this gig by applying through royal bank. They wanted to know what people were doing to help their community. Gavin took their suggestion about spending time with seniors to heart, and moved in with his grandparents to help them out. Which is actually better than skiing and shooting at things, but less likely to garner multi-million-dollar endorcements.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jadzia's pre-first-birthday race

As Jadzia's first birthday rapidly approaches, there's a race to see which ability will manifest itself first: walking or coherent talking.

Jadzia is getting very good an standing up unassisted in the middle of the floor, and has been doing the furniture shuffle for a while now, but still prefers crawling as her primary means of transportation.

As far as talking, her communication skills are growing rapidly. I have the definite impression that she understands 90% of what I say. She has several hand signals: waving, pointing (at nothing in particular-it's just fun to get adults to turn their heads), clapping, the signs for more (which she tends to use interchangeably with clapping, for apprieciation, as in "more Christmas tree") and the sign for milk. She nods yes, and shakes her head no (the nod being accompanied by "ya, ya, ya, ya, ya"). She says "Hi", only it sounds more like "Hieeee". Also she says something that sounds somewhat like "Doggy" to describe any animal that even vaguely resembles a dog (such as a chicken). I can't be sure, but amongst her babbling I think I heard her say "William" and some other almost words and names that I can't recall right now.

Today she kept saying "Daddy" as clear as can be. Unfortunately, since Daddy wasn't home, she used it to refer to various inanimate objects and people. That doesn't mean she didn't know what she was saying. I figure she must have meant something like "That's Aedan's Daddy, where's my Daddy?" or "This toy belongs to Daddy," or "Daddy would get a kick out of this" or "That shiny doorknob is so great, it reminds me of Daddy."

Yes, she is a near vocabulary master. Still, talking is a complicated skill, and we'll probably see steps before we see sentences.

I'm going to go ahead and post a video below that has nothing to do with walking and talking and everything to do with the hilarity of watching my almost one year old attempt to wake a dead-to-the-world sleeping almost three year old:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Jadzia's Big Steps

For a while now Jadzia has been climbing one step, then getting stuck and screaming for help, but recently (some time after the Burlington Mall Santa but before the Mapleview Mall Santa), she climbed the entire flight herself. Going down stairs she is not nearly so graceful and has already fallen down twice. Once I was sitting right next to her and couldn't catch her in time. The other time I thought the door to downstairs was closed when in fact William had opened it and encouraged her to "Come down Jadzia". So far, no visible bruising.

A less dangerous skill she's also developed is clapping hands, so I now get lots of applause.

Paparazzi Santa Photos

You know you're a parent when Santa Claus becomes a photo-worthy celebrity.

The guy with torn gloves and hairy arms on the Christmas Train in Hamilton may not have been the real deal, but at least he gave out candy canes. He also performed a Christmas rap.

I was more convinced by the Burlington Mall Santa. I didn't get a close look at him, but he had an entrance and an entourage worthy of his fame.

The Mapleview Mall Santa drew a big crowd, but they may also have been there to see Sir Topham Hat, Bob the Builder, Barney, and other renown television personalities.


It's happened again, I've neglected my blog. I have a few excuses for this:
  • William is in the process of giving up naps and thus I have less me time during the day. Also my exhaustion level rises proportionate to his crankiness level.
  • I've been spending my evenings watching DVD box sets of tv shows I borrowed from the library. They only give you a week before you get slapped with a fine and forget about renewing because they're all on hold.
  • I've actually been writing my novel for a change. The wonderful people in my writer's group know that I'm pretty good at neglecting that.
  • General laziness.

I have been doing things, though. My mind is itching with events that, while perhaps not interesting to the world, are blog-worthy at least for documentation purposes. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

William's first story.

Rather than entertain William with computer games and videos, I decided to open Word and write a story together. It ended up being less of a collaboration and more of him dictating to me while I prompted him with "and then what happened". So here's the story. I don't think it's publishable yet (the narrative thread needs work), but it's quite impressive for a first try.

William and Craig and Hunter

Once upon a time, there was a boy named William who wanted a hockey stick. Craig plays hockey with a hockey stick. William wanted to join in so he said to his uncle Craig “play hockey with hockey pucks!”

“Great idea!” said uncle Craig and they got some hockey sticks and hockey pucks and they played for a whole hour. Just then, Hunter came by.

Hunter got a hockey stick. Hunter got a hockey puck. Hunter went to play hockey with Uncle Craig and William. William got the puck in the net. “Score!!! I win!!!!” he yelled.

Then Hunter and William and Craig got guns. Hunter got a new gun, a ball gun that shoots paper. They shot at shooting guys. Craig and William and Hunter were mad. The shooting guys made them mad.

Then Hunter and William and uncle Craig went to watch some tv. It was Toopy and Binoo. They were happy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


On Saturday my friend Becca and I bribed William, saying that he could play in the Ikea play area if he learned to use wear underwear all the time and use the potty. Today I'm happy to say I was able to keep my promise.

Before we signed William and his friend Aedan in, we had to swear on the souls of our ancesters that they were both completely toilet trained. Of course, said I. Noone has to know that William had only been wearing underwear a little less than five days.

The boys played while Becca and I (and Jadzia) had lunch at the Ikea restaurant. When we got back an hour later, we found out that William and Aedan had gotten kicked out of the ball pit for throwing balls (gasp). But much to my relief, had not soiled the ball area resulting in a ban from the premises.

After the bribe had been carried out, the boys ate sandwiches that I had packed and then Becca and Aedan had to catch the bus. (William was very disappointed that we had to take the car home). William held his pee (he doesn't like using public toilets) until we got home with no accident. He even opted to wear underwear during his nap.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's my real birthday today

It's my real birthday today, as opposed to my birthday party on Saturday. I had to celebrate before the actual day, because I assumed I would be far more fun loving and carefree while still in my twenties. Well I've passed that deadline. I'm thirty. I'm old. Or at least, I'm an adult.

Today I spent the morning with one very good friend and the evening with another. Becca and Amy both went to elementary school and high school with me, and were both in my wedding party when I got married. Becca, who I spent the morning with, and I have followed similar paths, our sons are the same age and are really good friends. On the other hand Amy, who came over for dinner, is a career-woman who uses her excess income to travel the world. Funny how that works. I feel like we just graduated high school together. In fact, it's been a little over ten years.

All in all it was a pretty good, if somewhat low key birthday. Having already celebrated on Saturday, I didn't feel the need for any hoopla. Adam was late from work, which was fine (I had Amy), and I even had a birthday cake (which somebody brought to the party and was in our freezer).

So anyway if you want to get me a present, or click on the donation button, today would be the day to do it. Alternatively, if all two hundred people (who apparently read this blog on a regular basis) sing Happy Birthday in your heads at once, you might reach me telepathically.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Best Birthday EVER!

I'll hit the end of my third decade in a couple days, so yesterday we commemorated the event with a wild party in my honour. My fabulous husband cleaned the house, made pierogi lasagna, and baked a cake shaped like the Enterprise. The "wildness" came in the form of children of various ages that attended.

That morning, as my husband was getting ready for the shindig, I took the kids to Ikea with my friend Becca and her family. Becca showed William the play area Ikea has for kids to play in while adults shop. The room has a ballroom, big screen, TV, play kitchen, train table, and tonnes of toys. William's eyes were wide as saucers as Becca told him that this was a special place where no Mommies were allowed, but kids can go if (and here's the catch) they know how to use the potty and wear underwear all the time. William immediately wanted to put underwear on. We promised to come back on Wednesday if he kept wearing underwear, so he could play there with his friend Aedan (Becca's son who is already toilet trained). So far he's still wearing underwear (with several accidents). If this works, Becca doesn't have to get me anything for birthday or Christmas at least until Jadzia turns 2.

Some fun moments:
My friend's daughter 7 1/2 year old Katelyn totally crushing on my nephew Hunter.
William and his friend Leyla having a twenty minute hug and wrestle fest. Yes, love was in the air.
William peeing on the carpet in front of like ten people.
My totally awesome Star Trek Cake.
The screening of my brother's wedding video on Adam's computer, including hilarious video clips depicting the history of my brother's filmmaking career.
Did I mention my totally awesome cake? I don't really have a picture of it before it was devoured. Anyone?
William, Craig, and a bunch of other people, dancing in front of the wedding slideshow.
Karaoke after party with Eireann and Craig!

BTW: William still pees on the floor, and on chairs, but now he comes rushing to us after he does it, announcing "I'm going to clean up all pee."
Also: William pulled down his underwear and peed on his little potty, which is small enough that he can carry it around himself.

Friday, November 06, 2009

William Quote of The Day

As I was standing on the road buckling William into his carseat:

"Mommy watch out for cars. Watch out for cars Mommy. A car will come and it will hit you and you'll be dead. And you'll turn into an octopus."

I'll leave that open to interpretation.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Super Happy Paintings

Some of you may recall that I went to school for art, specializing in painting. That's right, I have all the qualifications required to become a professional artiste. My friend Becca turned me on to Etsy, a site for selling handmade crafty stuff (like paintings).

I've posted a few fun paintings that you can buy. They're 8 x 10s, which is small so obviously I recommend buying several and hanging them together in your own Jen exhibit. In the past I've painted larger works, and plan to again, but for the moment my Mom brain cannot contemplate the logistics of mailing anything larger than an 8 x 10.

If you're not so interested in buying paintings, check out the shop anyway. I just threw it up so I could get my work out there and any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The H1N1 Line

I've heard some crazy stuff about the Swine Flu and flu shots in general, but truthfully I was more worried about waiting in line with small children than I was about any bizarre complications. My Dad is super pro-vaccine, so I easily convinced him to wait with me in the ridiculous line up.

The clinic we went to was open from 12 to 8, so we arrived at 10:50 to beat the rush. The parking lot was already full, so I let my Dad out with Jadzia, and he held our spot in line while I parked down the street with William. The above photo shows what the line behind us looked like at 11:30. This is also about the time that I ran out of healthy food to give to the children. William had already eaten a sandwich, a yogurt, and two clementines (one in the car on the way there).

Luckily the clinic, held at a high school, opened early. By 12:30 we were inside, just past a sign reading "1 hour wait beyond this point". We quickly burned through the handful of halloween candy I brought with me, and Jadzia threw my Dad's glasses on the floor 800 times.

The kids behaved reasonably well the entire time. A woman behind me even commented how good they were being. Although when we hit the end of the food, and passed nap time, William stopped listening to me and ran around the school gym, playing with caution tape, jumping on chairs, and generally being a bad influence on other kiddies.

We got our shots at around 1:30. Even my Dad got one because he's a school bus driver (I think that makes you high priority or maybe it was because he was with us). Neither William nor Jadzia cried when the shots went in. Jadzia cried afterwards, but quickly calmed down when I shoved a boob in her mouth in the recovery area (aka the other side of the gym), where they make you wait 15 minutes.

Apparently the kids have to get a booster of this shot at the end of the month, but I'm hoping my doctor will have it by then. The next time I stand in a line like this, I'd better be seeing a rock star, or a play, or getting on an airplane to go some place exotic.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Candy, candy, candy, zoo!

In many ways having kids is like reliving my bizarro world. After years of donning costumes and shlepping a pillow case of treats around the neighbourhood, it's very strange to be the parent hanging back on the driveway calling out "Say Thank You." (I also was all mommyish and made a pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds, although the seeds burnt).

Noone stayed to hand out candy, our entire family of four went down the street and back. (Despite the fact that we had two kids with us, my little cowgirl did not earn us double-candy). On the way home, William decided that climbing people's front steps in an over-sized horse costume was not worth the free candy. "How 'bout I just go home and eat some candy. How 'bout that?"

My parents put him to bed that night (we had a stag and doe to go to) but I can only assume that the sugar adversely affected the bedtime process. I'm torn about how to ration his candy. On the one hand he shouldn't have too much at a time, on the other hand he earned it so it doesn't seem fair to keep it from him. On the one hand he will eat nothing but candy to the exclusion of all else, on the other hand if we ration it too much the candy debate will go on forever. And the couch will be sticky. I will definitely have to eat some.

Today, we decided that we should go to the zoo. A sugar rush, followed by a day without a nap. Nice. At least we didn't bring the candy stash (just a few chocolate bars in our picnic lunch). Jadzia loved the zoo. I took her out of the stroller so she could see the animals and she was so happy. She even learned a new trick: pointing! I would point at a lion, or a monkey, or a rhino, and she would look at my finger and laugh, then immitate me by sticking her arm out. I think she liked some of the animals too, the tiger in particular. I enjoyed the giraffe, who was kneeling down bizarrely to eat the grass and the tigers, who we saw being fed (the keeper said that he was feeding them horse meat). On the way home, the kids fell asleep in the car, and the adults wanted to.

After dinner, William asked if we could go trick-or-treating again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mall Trick-or-Treating

Tonight we trick-or-treated at the Mapleview Mall. So did everyone in Burlington, apparently. The place was a zoo (and not just because most of the kids were dressed like animals). I was meeting some friends there but some of them I didn't end up seeing, and the rest I saw but lost them immediately in the insanity of the candy grab.

William doesn't quite get the concept of dashing from store to store grabbing as much candy as you can. Instead, he waited until I yelled "William! This lady's giving out candy! Say trick or treat!" then mosied over and silently held out his hand. This was followed by ten to fifteen seconds of examining his treat bag. Then he'd say "Mommy. How 'bout I go sit down at a table and eat my candy."
Needless to say our haul wasn't that great. (Especially since the stores were particularly stingy with the chocolate). Oh well, there's always Saturday.
I've been told I don't blog enough about Jadzia. She doubled her teeth in the last few days (her top front two came in) and still she doesn't get candy. William actually got more "Awe, how cute"s today than she did, so she must be growing up. Too young to eat candy, but old enough to complain about not getting any candy. No wonder she refused to wear her cowgirl hat for more than five seconds.
We left before we had hit all the stores because William was sweating to death in his horse outfit. I bought a tube of Thomas the Tank Engine toothpaste on my way out and William balked, proclaiming "Mommy! You said we were going home! Let's go home now, Mommy!"
On a sidenote, a CHCH News reporter was there pretending to trick-or-treat for the camera as we walked by. I doubt we got on tv, but you never know, we could be famous now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

William quotes of the day

While playing with my wristwatch:
"I'm just pushing your buttons. I know how to push your buttons, Mommy."
So true.

When asked to come to the washroom to have his diaper changed:
"No! I'm a shooting guy!" (Makes an angry face and 'shoots' me with the syringe from his doctor's kit).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween party at Columbia's

Cuteness alert! Here are all the children who attended yesterday's Halloween Party: Londyn (princess), Leyla (dragon), Aedan (lion), baby Zoe (chicken), William (horse), Zoe (dalmation), and Jadzia (cow girl to go with the horse, get it?).

My friend Columbia went all out for this party. Children are quite happy playing with a few toys and each other, and Moms are even easier to please, wanting only a place to sit and chat while the kids are otherwise occupied. Let me tell you, we had much more than that! There were many varieties of snacks (some provide by other mums), guck and moon sand to play with (you know you probably shouldn't mix those), circle time with a home made halloween pinata, and loot bags to take home. Did I miss something? Ah yes, pumpkin decorating:

When I asked William which party pic to include in my blog post, he insisted I include this one of Leyla, him, and Aedan drinking juice boxes (the juice boxes may have been the highlight of his day). This was near the end of the party when all costumes had been removed. My son even feeling comfortable enough to go pants free.

Leyla incidently has quite the crush on William. She got him to help her take her shoes off, enjoyed playing with the moon sand and guck together (and mixing them gah!), and later pulled off William's horse hood and exclaimed "It's you William! William it's you!" Of course when Leyla was gone, William was content to play with Zoe in the elevator. He's quite the ladies man.

As if hosting this weren't an exhausting enough affair, Columbia is already planning a Christmas Party and a Birthday Party. Just thinking about it makes me want to go have a nap.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Family videos of the future

My husband and I have been playing with JibJab's "starring me" video selection. I've posted a couple of my favorites below.

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Monday, October 05, 2009


I took this picture today, because William asked me to. "Take a picture Mommy," he said. I had to run to the car to get my camera. Surprisingly, when I got back they were both still standing in the same place, posing.

In the picture, William is holding one of the cookies we just made together. He is without a shirt because, while we were making cookies, he poured an entire bottle of vanilla on himself. I handed him the vanilla when I was getting ingredients out, thinking it was a fairly safe ingredient for him to carry to the table (plastic bottle, cap won't come off if dropped). As I was reaching for the sugar, I heard William's little voice say "Mommy, I got vanilla on my shirt." Indeed, it was not only on his shirt, but all over the table, on the chair, and on the floor. The only place that was completely free of vanilla, was inside the vanilla bottle.

Did I mention that I was already exhausted by this point? My daughter is allegedly getting a new tooth, and got me to share in her misery by keeping me up all night. Jadzia was playing the scream-until-Mommy-holds-me game at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 5, 5:30, and 6. I think it was teething because when I gave her Advil, she went longer before screaming again (just long enough for the meds to wear off), but she could just as easily have been messing with me.

My husband was kind enough to let me sleep in all the way to 9:30! Still, I was looking forward to a nap (for William, of course, not me). We didn't go out in the morning, partly because of my late start, partly because I was feeling lazy, so I guess it's not surprising that he refused to go to sleep. I fed him lunch, I read him stories, I tucked him in, I hugged and kissed him and his stuffies. He just kept getting up, screaming when I put him back in his room. Finally I gave up and said "Let's make cookies!"

A little while after the picture was taken, I decided that I needed to get out of the house. I remembered that there was an Early Years Centre drop-in on Monday evenings that I never go to (because it's on Monday evenings). It was just before 5, and Adam had messaged me to say he wouldn't be leaving work until 6. Far too long to be cooped up in the house any longer.

On the way I was stuck behind an extremely slow truck, carrying a mini-backho (or maybe a bulldozer). Then, as I got to the intersection just left of where I needed to be there was an accident by the side of the road. No decapitations or anything, just a fender bender, and a cop talking to the drivers. No rubber-necking needed, people. I couldn't weasel my way around them either, because there was a cop there. I tried going around the block using a side street, but it turned out to be one of those curvy roads that takes you right back where you started from. I tried taking a short-cut through the McDonald's parking lot but the lots didn't connect.

The lot was littered with signs that said "McDonald's customer parking only." Still, only meters from my destination, I decided I would park there. I pulled into a spot, turned off the engine, opened the door to let my son out, and found that both my children were asleep. Just as well, thought I, with the way the day was going I'm sure Ronald McDonald would tow my car if I parked there.

I looked at my watch to see if it was worth going anymore. My watch said that it was 1 am, on January 1st. "Liar!" I thought and threw it on the floor of the car.

I was going to go home, I was on my way, but instead at the last minute, I went around the block (when I say "block" I mean the block that is half of Burlington) and went to the Early Years after all. I woke the kids up, but they didn't mind (and if they did who cares). I had fun. And my husband made spaghetti when he got home. So it wasn't so bad a day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mom's Birthday Buffet

Today is my Mom's birthday so the whole family went to the Red Maple Buffet (which serves chinese food, go figure). Jadzia made a gigantic mess under her chair from "trying" the food a little too enthusiastically, while William enjoyed choosing pork perogies, fish, fruit, and large quantities of jello. I sat across from my good friend Eireann, who is pregnant with my future niece or nephew. She's 14 weeks along, so they are officially telling people (although most of us already knew, we just weren't permitted to broadcast it on the internet).

Favourite foods of the evening: salmon, chicken on a stick, pork perogie-like thing, fried shrimp, ice cream on a waffle.

Disappointing foods: onion rings, nut pie, sticky rice.

I didn't have any wrapping paper but Mom's present (a pedometer) was just small enough to be wrapped in one of Jadzia's diapers (much to my amusement). I always make my own card, and I like to have a subtle hint about the present. This time, I printed a picture of my Mom reading to William and Hunter, with a pic of Jadzia on the back of the card. I tried to get William to give me my hint.

Me: What should we put on this card?
William: A car.
Me: Where should I draw the car?
William: In front of William and Hunter and Omi.
Me (after drawing the car): Now what should we make Omi say? Something about walking?
William: Go on the road!
Omi's speech bubble: Go on the road.
Me: Now what should William say? Something about walking?
William: Right there! Right there! Right there!
Me: I'll write it right there, but what should it say?
William: Right there! Right there! Right there!
William's speech bubble: Right there! Right there! Right there!
Me: What should Hunter say?
William: Something about walking!
Hunter's speech bubble: Something about walking!
Me: What should Jadzia say?
William: Something about crying!

Okay, so the card made no sense, but the process was fun, and the present hint was subtle enough for my liking.

Everyone enjoyed the birthday dinner but, though we had many buffet desserts, we lacked a birthday cake. I did have a fortune cookie though: "Someone is looking up to you. Don't let them down."

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Angry Bear

Today my sweet lovable son was somehow replaced by and angry growling bear. When William has a tantrum he roars, really. First, this morning at the Early Years Centre, William took a toy into circle, which is frowned upon. Rather than sit with his toy boat quietly and covertly, he drove it through the center of the circle, so that all the behaving children could see what he was getting away with. When I took the boat and asked him to sit (unreasonable, I know) he roared and growled, bellowing "I want my boat." I took him aside, calmed him down, but as soon as he got back to the circle, he roared and growled again until we had to go home. On the way his growl switched from "I want my boat" to "I want sit in circle."

Later on, when it was time to change William's diaper, he again did his ferocious bear routine and refused to go. When I finally got his diaper off, I asked him if he would like to pee on the potty. "No!" he screamed, and peed on the floor.

I hoped that he would be in a better mood after his nap. Reasoning that I would have more chance of sanity if we got out of the house, I put both the kids in the stroller and walked to the library. We had to leave before we'd checked out anything because William was throwing books.

After dinner, I was going to give Jadzia a bath because she put food in her hair. I asked William if he wanted to have a bath too and he did. I had to cut the bath short, though, because my son kept splashing water all over the side of the tub, even when I told him repeatedly to stop.

They say that when children misbehave, they're actually communicating. I'm guessing that William's bear routine stems from a combination of his sister getting attention (she's been sick the last two days) and icky rainy weather. I can't do much about either of those things so I'll just have to hope my growling bear, turns back into a teddy bear tommorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Guessing Game

William and I have been playing a guessing game, where one of us describes an animal, and the other one guesses which animal is being described. A typical round might go like this:

Me: I'm thinking of an animal, that lives at the zoo, has stripes, and goes ROARRRR!
William: I know! A tiger!
Me: That's right!
William: I have a animal. Have hair, and it's a monkey.
Me: Um, is it a monkey?
William: That's right!
Me: I'm thinking of an animal that is very very big. It swims in the ocean and it breathes through a hole in the top of its head.
William: I know! A fish!
Me: Close, it's like a fish, but it's very very big, and has a blowhole.
William: A shark!
Me: A shark is a fish, but this is not a fish. It looks like a fish, but is very big, and has a big tongue just like a whale.
William: A whale!
Me: That's right!

As you can see, playing a guessing game with a two-and-a-half year old is a bit like playing a guessing game with Cookie Monster.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My first book (or perhaps my second)

I found this laying around the crawl space and I thought I should document it before it disintegrates. I wrote this picture book in Grade 3. The construction paper has held up extremely well, considering it's on of the least archival paper known to mankind (particularly in red)

I Hate You. What a great, attention grabbing title, eh? Someone should have told me that yellow marker on red is not the best colour choice for the author's name.

Mrs. Ursel was a great teacher. I had her twice, for grade 3 and again for grade 5. She was also the one whe commissioned this project. Perhaps I should look her up. I wonder if she's on facebook.

Tainpere was my way of spelling "Tapir". The Malayan Tapir was my favourite animal at the zoo at the time (it's still pretty cool).

I don't know why Martha is trying so hard to be Elisabeth's friend. She should have more self respect.

Dono Dolphin may be a better friend than Martha gives her credit. Then again, perhaps Martha is a social outcast that only hangs out with rejects. Considering this is based loosely on my life at the age of nine, I'd say a bit of both going on.

The teacher, magical solver of all problems. I'm sure this is considered "reporting" not "tattling". The character of Miss Monkey is based of course on Mrs. Ursel, who has a wonderful sense of humour.

This turning point is a bit odd because it's the antagonist that makes a character change and we don't see that change happen. That teacher talk must have been something.

Not sure what this scene adds to the plot but I recall Mrs. Ursel found it hilarious. Adding "the Octopus" was an editorial suggestion by Mrs. U, if I remember correctly, I thought it was self-evident.

This part just makes me tear up. Elisabeth isn't so bad. She doesn't have it in her to hate Martha.

Leaving Dono Dolphin and Persie Penguin in the dust.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Telling Tales

My mother (Sylvia McNicoll author of such hits as Bringing Up Beauty, Walking a Thin Line and Last Chance for Paris) was one of the talented writers presenting at the Telling Tales festival in Westfield Village. The kids missed their nap to watch the show, so I'm not sure how good of an audience we were. William ran around screaming on a fatigue-induced high, but was fairly well-behaved otherwise. Jadzia kept squawking, until I put her on the ground, then tried to escape.

The only other presenter we saw is an illustrator named Ruth Ohi, who I'm a pretty big fan of because she wrote Chicken, Pig and Cow, one of my favourite (er, I mean WILLIAM's favourite) picture books. I meant to buy her new book Chicken, Pig and Cow on the Move, so I could get it autographed, but I got distracted and didn't.

We also took in a puppet show, played with a parachute, did a craft, chatted up some olden days people, and petted some farm animals. The geese were gigantic. One of the sheep was named William.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Laundry and Bravery

It's been one week since we got back from our weekend in the United States, but I only just now opened our suitcase to wash the clothes we wore. Don't make that disgusted face, I've done laundry since then, just not the stuff in the suitcase. In fact, I've been feeling pretty proud of myself for getting so much laundry done, and at the same time confused because none of my favourite shirts were resurfacing. That's when I remembered the suitcase, and the trip. Then I thought, it's probably not too late to blog about it, since the laundry's not done yet.

My father-in-law is a big BMW motorcycle enthusiast, so we all made the trip to Watkins Glen, New York, for the Beemer Rally on Labour Day Weekend. A BMW Rally is like camping, only without the campfire, and with more motorcycles.

The most memorable part of our vacation for me was the day-trip we took to the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park. This basically involved one hour of hiking up a steep stone staircase, beside a gorgeous and terrifying rocky cliff. Now I'm afraid of heights, and that fear is amplified when I'm accompanied by my children. I kept imagining scenarios in which one, or both of my babies fell horribly to their deaths. Each time I thought of this, my eyes watered, and my stomach lurched as if I was falling. My mother-in-law later said that we wouldn't have gone if she'd known I was afraid of heights, but that would have been no fun (it was the most memorable part of our vacation after all).

Besides death and dismemberment, one of my worries is that William will see that I am afraid, and develop a fear of heights himself. So you can imagine my relief, this Saturday, when he gleefully tackled this death-defying leap at the Bronte Creek Playbarn, a drop that made me fearful when I was two or three times his age.
I think his new buzz cut gives him super powers.

Shot at Here

I just remembered a dream I had last night. I was wandering through an old warehouse, or some other industrial building. Everything (walls, floor, doors, stairs) was made of rusted metal, covered in worn orange paint. Some things were labeled, not as what they were, but to narrate events that had happened there. For example, "shot at here" was printed on one wall with arrows indicating some bullet holes. I vaguely remember that I went through a door, across the hall with the bullet holes, down some stairs, maybe through another door into a very very large room. As I was making my way back the way I came, I heard the clang of footsteps on the metal. I hurried, but the sound became closer. "Don't shoot me!" I yelled. I got outside and ran toward the car I had apparently come in, a red Toyota, my mother's car. I managed to get inside the car and lock it when the dream ended.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Apple Farm

Went to Chudleigh's Farm in Milton today to pick apples. For more details, check out William's video blog entry.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Who has a penis?

Conversation with my son as he peed in the toilet:

"That's my penis."
"It sure is."
"Daddy have a penis?"
"That's right, Daddy has a penis."
"Mommy have a penis?"
"No, I don't have a penis. I'm a girl. Girl's don't have penises."
"Zia not have a penis."
"That's right. Jadzia doesn't have a penis."
"Frogs have a penis?"
"If it's a boy frog, I guess so."
"Spiders have a penis?"
"That I'm not so sure about. Bugs are very different than us. I'll have to look it up for you."
"I will have a candy?"
"Wash your hands first."

In case anyone's interested, the answer is no, spiders do not have penises. When they urinate, it's a solid (because their bodies can't afford to lose too much water) and it comes out the same hole as their poop. When they mate, their man juice comes out of a modified mouthpart (so I guess they only have oral). Male frogs do have a penis-like organ, but it's inside the body. I'm not sure if they pee out of it though.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Underwear: Day 2

This morning William woke up and wanted to wear his underwear immediately. I opted to skip our usual trip to the Early Years Centre in favour of pee patrol. I asked him often whether he needed to go pee, and about every forty minutes to an hour I staged a mandatory bathroom trip. Each time he would stand in front of the toilet and let loose a satifying stream of urine and he didn't have one pee-accident all morning.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about number two. The good news is that his Transformers underwear contained the toddler excrement quite nicely. A relief, since he was sitting on our beige sofa at the time. The bad news is that I was stuck cleaning partially digested grapes out of my child's tightie whities.

I put William in a clean pair of underwear, rinsed out the stinky ones, threw them in the wash, declogged my sink, and washed my hands three times. William stayed dry for the rest of the morning.

Just after lunch, I took him to the washroom and put him in a pull-up in anticipation of nap time. Then I fed Jadzia and put her in a crib. In all, William was in his pull-up for about ten minutes. So of course he pooed in it.

I had just taken him to the potty but, being a boy, he's all gung ho about standing to pee and not so thrilled about sitting on the toilet to do his business. Whatever, I'm just glad the second one was in a pull-up. I'm told that children are toilet trained for pee long before the get poo, but I'm highly motivated to minimize future underwear messes.

I haven't decided yet what my plan is for the afternoon. Should we try undies at my parents' house this evening?

In any case, I'm calling this morning's toilet training another great success.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Underwear: Day 1

Yesterday I asked William if he wanted to wear big boy underwear like Daddy, he excitedly answered "Um, Okay!" So this morning, before my husband went to work, we took a family trip to "the Underwear Store" (aka Zellers). We made a big deal out of letting him pick out his new undies and he studied each package, exclaiming "Look at this underwear!" and "What's this one Mommy?" Finally he settled on a pack of Transformers undies (odd since he doesn't watch the show), with my husband quickly tossing some Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine packs in the cart aswell.

On the way home William told me "I like the underwear store Mommy."

When we got home, I was all gung ho and asked if he wanted to put his new underwear on right away. "No, I will not wear underwear," he replied. "I will have watermelon."

So we had a snack, then we read some books, then I fed Jadzia. While I was occupied with his sister, William pooed in his pull-up.
"Let's change your diaper," said I.
"Noooooo! I will not change diaper." Meltdown.
I counted to five, ready to pick him up and carry him to the washroom, when he suddenly calmed himself and marched toward the bathroom, chanting "I will wear underwear. Underwear in the washroom."

After I'd cleaned his bum, he peed in the potty man-style. I offered him his Transformer underwear first, since that was the one he picked. Once he had them on he said "No, I will not wear Transformers underwear. I will wear racecar underwear."
So I helped him take the Transformers briefs off and slip on a pair of Cars undies.
"No, I will not wear racecar underwear. I will wear Thomas underwear."
Fine, whatever. I helped him put the Thomas the Tank Engine ones on. I expected him to change his mind again, but this time William seemed satisfied with his choice.

He ran around the coffee table excitedly for about twenty seconds, then exclaimed "I'm hungry." It was almost lunch time, so I fixed some zoodles while William munched on a yogurt appetizer. When the food was ready, I noticed that William was not sitting at the table wear I'd left him. He was in his room. So was about a gallon of pee.

"Did you pee on the floor?" I asked him and he responded by slipping and falling on the wet mess. I told him it was okay and accidents happen sometimes and next time he felt like he needed to pee to please tell me (a repeat of the same speech I'd given him about a hundred times before the underwear excursion began). Then I rescued his books from the edge of the puddle (he'd managed not to pee directly on any of them) and wiped the floor with a towel.

I helped William change his underwear, though the ones he was wearing were only barely wet. Then we had lunch and I let William play on my computer for a bit. He had about an hour of dry underwear time before it was time for nap.

"Your underwear is dry, good for you!" I exclaimed. I asked him if he would like to sit on the potty. "No." Then I asked him if he would like to pee in the potty. "No." I asked him eight more different ways if he was sure. "No." I suggested we put a diaper on him so he doesn't pee on the bed. "No, no, no, no," he said and ran out of the washroom and went straight to the bedroom and sat on his bed.

I told him he could wear his underwear to bed, as long as he came and got me if he needed to pee, and he didn't pee on his sheets. At that moment he got a faraway look in his eyes and wet splotch formed under him. Gah! I carried him to the toilet, pulled off his underwear and put a pull-up on him. Then I changed his bedding. Okay, maybe I said the word "pee" too many times, but it all seemed rather premeditated to me.

I told him I understand that he is just learning and apologized for getting frustrated. Then we read stories and he went to sleep, in a pull-up. This afternoon we're going out, so I'll forego the big-boy undies until tomorrow. I'm calling this morning a success.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cuteness and Momhandling

Above is a picture of my children climbing on me. Note, I am not holding William up, but rather guiding his body so he doesn't break his neck (or hit his sister) as he leaps over my shoulder. Below is a video of Jadzia eating a peach (co-starring William also eating a peach). It's cute. This is my life, a mixture of cuteness and manhandling. Children love with all their strength. They love by crashing into you running full speed, by leaping on and over you, climbing on you, offering tight strangle hugs, pulling hair, pinching faces. (Those last two refer to Jadzia). At the end of the day, I'm exhausted from all the love.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Real Life Timmies Drama

Tonight Adam and I went and saw the 7:30 showing of District 9, an action-packed documentary-style sci fi, that left me thinking I should learn more about world politics to appreciate all the metaphors (and left my husband wanting his own robot suit). Good movie.

Of course the real world is far more exciting because, when we stopped at Tim Horton's afterwards, we saw a drunk guy passed out at a table! Drama at its finest, and unlike District 9, this was happening right in front of our eyes.

We sipped hot chocolate and munched on blueberry and boston cream donuts, keeping one ear open to staff's discussions. First, about who was going to clean up the man's vomit, and later, whether they should call the cops.

Finally the cops did arrive. Two guys, looking burly in their bullet proof vests, and wearing gloves (I assume because vomit was involved).
"What's your name?" asked the cops, over and over, "How old are you?"
I couldn't hear the man's response, or even whether he responded, but eventually they figured out that his name was Adam (about which my husband Adam was just tickled pink).

When they couldn't get anything useful out of Drunk Adam, an ambulance droved up outside and in came two female paramedics, with walkie talkies and green scissors in their utility belts. They tried basically the same thing as the cops did, which was to say "Hey Adam, how old are you?" in various different ways. Drunk Adam looked to be in his mid twenties, old enough to drink but young enough to get carded at the liquor store. The paramedics also asked Drunk Adam where he lived, but that wasn't nearly as interesting to them as his age.

I guess they suddenly realized that this guy wasn't going to stand up and walk out, because right then one of the paramedics said "we'll be right back" and they both went outside and got the stretcher out of the ambulance.

The cops and the paramedics then worked together to lift Drunk Adam onto the stretcher. Drunk Adam didn't seem to notice or care that he was being wheeled away, but perhaps he was just happy to have somewhere more comfy to sleep than the chairs at Tim Hortons.

Then Drunk Adam got into a giant robot suit and started blowing people up with his ray gun. No, actually nothing else happened, we went home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

If we had a million dollars...we'd be rich

Every time money gets a little tight it inevitably leads to a budget discussion. As in, what would we do if we had millions of dollars in our budget. Adam and I were having such a conversation last night. I'd decided that I wanted live a modest suburban life, while using most of my money to travel. But where to go first?

To engage him in our conversation, I asked William: "Where would you go?"

He replied, "Zoe's house."

I thought he'd misunderstood my question. We'd just gone to his friend Zoe's house that day and sometimes I ask him to recap recent events. So I clarified. "No, I mean if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?"

"Um, I know, the park!"

So this morning we went to the park. This is where you'd expect something shmultzy about the best things in life being free, except we had to cut William's dream gettaway short because he refused to stop throwing rocks at me. Turns out he did this because he was thirsty (a logical response for a two and a half year old). So we went home and had some water. And he threw his cup across the room. Now I'm not sure what the moral of this story is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Adventures of a Napping Toddler

William normally naps at 1 pm. Today:

Went to a playdate/baby shower. Stayed until 2:30 pm.

William fell asleep in the car.

Got home. Saw a note on the door from my Mom and remembered that I was supposed to pick up Morty the Jackapoo to look after while my parents are at the cottage.

Drove to my parents'. William stayed asleep.

Put Morty in the car. Jadzia shrieked happily. Morty whimpered. William stayed asleep.

Drove home again. Tried to convince Morty to go outside so I could put William to bed. He refused.

Carried William to his room while Morty was leaping on me. William stayed asleep.

Noticed that William's bed had no sheets or pillow. Remembered he had wet the bed the night before.

Lay him down anyway. He woke up briefly, stared at me, then rolled over and went back to sleep.

Got Jadzia from the car. (I know, I know, but she was only alone in the car for a minute). Put her in the exersaucer.

Morty licked her face immediately. She cried. William still did not wake up.

In other news: Today Jadzia got her first taste of chocolate cake, which she stole from one of William's girlfriends.

Also: On the way to the playdate, I saw a woman walking her cat on a leash.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Play dates rule

After yesterday's incident with the outlet it was nice to have a bunch of women around who can relate to having a two and a half year old. Today's festivities included: eating timbits, eating cookies, eating animal crackers, playing with toys, playing with balls, fighting over balls, holding Jadzia, baking a pretend cake, throwing magnets, shrieking, practicing indoor screaming, jumping on William's car bed, reading a book, eating noodles, throwing noodles on the carpet, watching Cars.

I can see why children nap, they make four hours seem like ten. Still, it was oddly relaxing having three extra toddlers running around my house, while we Moms sat on the couch in the eye of the hurricane. My friend Columbia calls me "Zen Mommy" because I'm always so calm and don't let things phase me. In reality I'm only calm with my Mommy friends around. They remind me that I'm not alone in the universe.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Electrified toddler

This afternoon I was on my computer, as I often am, while my children played in the dining room. Only Jadzia was within sight, but I could tell that William was only a few feet away from her, chatting merrily in his sing-song voice. Since she started crawling, Jadzia tends to follow her brother around like a loyal henchman. I was feeling quite proud of myself for remembering to close the basement door, when suddenly a bunch of things happened at once:

My computer abruptly shut down.
I heard a loud pop, accompanied by a spark, from underneath the dining room table.
My son began wailing.

I rushed to the dining room and grabbed an histerical William into my arms. The room smelled like burnt plastic.

When William was first born, we went around our condo putting safety outlet covers on all the outlets, anticipating a time when he would be crawling and getting into everything. Our efforts were in vain. He got into everything, except outlets. Apparently they aren't that exciting to an infant. When we moved into our house a year ago we didn't bother. For one thing that's a lot of outlets to replace, way more than we had in our condo. And for another, with all the dangerous appliances, sharp corners, and stairs, we thought the outlet covers were the least of our worries.

Now that William is two-and-a-half, he understands a lot more. And he's observant. Like he's seen me lock and unlock the front door enough times to know that a key is meant to be shoved into a hole.

So now the outlet in the dining room has a tiny explosion of black soot coming out of it, the same soot covers my son's arm, my keys are sticking out of the outlet, and the power is out in the dining room and family room.

My first thought is if my son is okay. As I'm comforting him I check his arm for burns, I wave my hand in front of his eyes to be sure he can still see, and I ask him questions to be sure he can hear me. I think about taking him to a doctor, but he seems completely fine once he calms down.

Next, I yank my keys out of the outlet and hang them up high, then I run downstairs and flick the breaker. Then I grab my son, tell him I love him, and burst into tears. I'd always assumed that sticking something metal into an outlet would cause you to die a horrible death by electrocution. I'm not sure how likely that is, but in my mind my son almost died, and it would've been my fault.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jadzia Stands

She's been taunting me with this one for a while now, grabbing onto furniture, almost pulling herself up only to be distracted at the last minute by an interesting bit of carpet fluff. Today, she finally did it, Jadzia stood up in her crib.

My husband immediately announced that it was time to lower her crib mattress and went and got his tools. Now the walls are about eight feet high (baby feet). I'd like to see her try to stand now!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Algonquin Park Summary 3: Water Water everywhere

Yes, we did have rain, pockets of rain, pockets of sunshine, pockets of rain again. Still we spent lots of time at the beach, swimming and splashing in the cold "refreshing" water. William loved the splashing, so did Jadzia. Hunter was content to stay on the sand perfecting his sandcastle-building skills.

During a pocket of sunshine we optimistically rented a canoe. It began raining immediately. We joked that every time we said the word "canoe" the sky would open up again. We ended up paying for an extra day, so we could actually get some paddling time in. And we did, taking turns enjoying the quiet serenity of the water, spotting some herons, some ducks, and some Canada Geese (who I suspect were also tourists from Burlington).

Algonquin trip summary 2: a family of four in a tent.

When I say that I went camping, people inevidably ask: "Did the kids sleep okay in the tent?" Yes, is the short answer, as in "yes, they did sleep." Our sleeping arrangements were as follows: Jadzia in her playpen, me theoretically on the thermarests but nearly pushed under the playpen by William, William sleeping between me and Adam usually sideways with his arms around my neck and his feet kicking my husband's face.

Jadzia, who seemed determined to keep her regular schedule despite all the camping going on around her, went to bed first. Our ease in getting William to sleep might have something to do with keeping him up hours past his bedtime, roasting marshmallows on the fire. In William's case, "roasting" meant cuddling on someone's lap, with a dazed look in his eyes, holding a marshmallow stick so far away from the flames as to keep them eternally raw. When I offered to roast them for him he exclaimed "No, I will do it!" and when I asked if he wanted to eat the marshmallows he replied "No, marshmallows not done" or "No, marshmallows too hot."

My nephew Hunter seemed to enjoy roasting more than actually eating the marshmallows. He'd roast two at a time, usually offering one of them to my Mom or Dad, or announcing before he started "I'm roasting marshmallows, does anybody want one?" He was always on the quest for the perfect marshmallow.

After the mallows we'd take a long walk to the comfort station to use the washroom and brush our teeth. William was afraid of the loud flushing of the toilet, and would cover his face when I took him into the stall. Once my Mom, Hunter, and William got lost on the way back from the washroom and it was pouring rain and we didn't have a flashlight. Finally we found the camp office, where they gave us a map and directions.

At around ten, ten-thirty, we'd say goodnight, go into the tent, turn on our lantern, change into our pjs, and read a Robert Munsch story from the library anthology we brought with us.
Jadzia didn't wake up during any of this.

She did, however, wake up at six am to the sound of cawing grackles. Jadzia would then wake up me, then William, and then Adam. The adults were more than willing to go back to sleep, but William insisted we leave the tent to "See Hunter" and "Eat breakfast". Of course, once my daughter had woken up the rest of us, she went back to sleep until 9.

Algonquin trip summary 1: Hiking with the gang

My husband is demanding a blog entry summarizing our camping trip. Instead I think I'll write three. The camping-type excursion we engaged in the most was hiking. Each day we went on a different trail, carefully selecting the shortest loops.
All of the trails visited cliffs showing off the majesty of the park. Not being a heights person to begin with, and having a toddler along, I found myself constantly repeating "careful, careful" until my son began chanting "I will be careful. I will not be careful" as he stepped over tree-roots and around mud puddles. I stood between him and the drop-off whenever I could, but I wasn't as freaked out as I thought I would be.
I'd been on most of these hikes when we came here two summers ago, when William was the age Jadzia is now. The quiet serenity of nature was somewhat diminished this time. My family tends to fill any space it inhabits, even the great Algonquin forest. This is a good thing, lots of fun, lots of laughter, lots of love, resulting in a completely different hiking experience.
And a tip: if it has been raining, don't go on the Whiskey Rapids trail. The second half of the loop is a giant mudpie with no way around. You'd think this would be true of all the trails, but the rest were fine despite the rain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Four Days of Grateful Things

I plan a longer entry after I've downloaded photos and such. I've been away from civilization and internet for four days camping in Algonquin. Of course I must list five things I am grateful for each day, so here's twenty:

blue herons
the deer in the blueberry field
Adam taking my nephew Hunter fishing twice, and William fishing once
Having a big gang to hike with
Having some moments just my husband and I
My Mom and her electric frying pan
My Dad and his iPod
Herman's Hermits and other oldies
Warm nights
Everyone sleeping okay in the tent
Hunter being so grown up, but still being a kid
Ice cream
The beach
A shower
Being home again

Thursday, July 23, 2009

William's computer ability

William has been watching me play on the computer since before he could crawl, and more recently he's been playing games by himself. His favourite are the ones on the Sesame Street website, what he calls "The Monster Game". He used to limit himself to games requiring only a keyboard, of which there are very few. Any time a mouse was required he would say "Mommy do it" or, if I was out of the room, scream "MOMMY HELP!"

A couple of days ago, he was busily working through a playlist of games and videos while I was feeding Jadzia in the other room. I listened attentively for the call I was sure I would hear once he reached the mouse game. Instead, I heard Big Bird's cheerful voice praising him for getting the right answer.

I now suspect he's known how to use a mouse for ages, and was pretending just so I would spend time with him. Now that his cover is blown, I can point to anything on the screen and he will click on it.

Today, I left him alone for a minute playing Sesame Street games and, when I came back, he was surfing videos on youtube! (Luckily he only found ones that were family friendly)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kamping with a K

Kamping at KOA (Kampgrounds of America) is as much like real camping as krabmeat is like real crab. I love krabmeat, it's a lot of fun, but somehow not as authentic as the real thing. Instead of wilderness, our kampground was bordered by suburban houses, cheap motels, and a train track (a freight train drove by periodically).

Though it wasn't exactly Algonquin Park, we had a blast. My parents stayed with my nephew in one tent, with my little family of four in another. Jadzia slept like a dream in the playpen, while William cozied in between Adam and I. Our ease in getting William to sleep may have had something to do with us keeping him up past ten, roasting marshmallows by the fire. I doubt we could have gotten him to bed earlier, though, not with his favourite person in the world along. No, not me, I was talking about his cousin Hunter.

In lieu of hiking and stargazing, we swam in an indoor pool, played in a playground, took a wagon ride and sang karaoke. (Of course I sang the most, but Hunter sang too and now I've got him hooked). Hunter also road a rented big wheel bike and jumped on a giant bouncy pillow. William collected rocks. I think we could take him any place that had a gravel road and he would be happy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Roughing it

When I first saw "computer" on Mom's packing list, right alongside "marshmallows" and "sleeping bags", I laughed. That is so not camping. Now, here I am, sitting outside in our fold-out camping chair, trying to tune out conversations about firewood, enjoying the fresh air, and blogging.

Adam says that using a computer while camping is "lame" and "defeats the purpose of going camping." He also objects to my Mom's electric frying pan. His humungous expensive camera, along with multiple lenses and tripod, is okay because it is vacation technology.

To come: A full entry on the trip, along with a 30-40 second video of my Dad and husband talking about their toys.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two videos

Here are two videos that show evidence that my daughter is growing up, despite most of my attention being paid to her brother. The first is of Jadzia crawling, lured by a strategically placed library book. The second video, which shows off her babbling skills, is William's directorial debut.

For those of you viewing this as a note in facebook, it seems facebook imports text and photos but not videos. My facebook friends don't seem to notice what they're missing, like on the previous entry when everyone commented on the photo, without realizing that there was a toddler meltdown video to accompany it. If you're reading this on facebook, go to my blog instead. If you're reading this on my blog, don't worry, you're already here.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Jen forgot to post pictures from the event so I felt obligated to help out!
check'm out!
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