Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mr Cheesie Head

On Friday, James brought home some Cheesies as a treat.

Andy had a field day with his little bowl full!
He'd take them however he could get them!Nom Nom Nom!All gone!He loved his Cheesies but he must have got his fill of them, because yesterday he couldn't even look at the bag!

(Note: No, Andrew's main source of food does not come from junk such as Cheesies, it's an occasionally treat. Just clarifying so you don't think we're going to end up on Maury when Andrew's 2 because he's ballooned to 75 pounds or something...He's a healthy boy!)

Creative endeavours

I got quite sick today, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got more than a cold or just that I’m really run down. But since getting sick I think I might be starting to feel a bit better. My throat is starting to feel itchy and I usually take that as a sign that things are mending. I sure hope so, I’m tired enough without also fighting a stupid bug.

We still probably won’t be going to Andrew’s swim lesson tomorrow though, I don’t think I’m up for it and it isn’t good to spread those germs around at the pool if I’m still contagious. BUT my mom’s coming over in a few days and she’ll be staying at a hotel so we can use the pool there once I’m a bit better. I love taking Andrew to the pool!

I’ve been making Easter cards on the computer and got pictures printed for some friends and family. It’s so fun writing the cards as if they’re from Andrew. In them he gives little glimpses into his life, what he’s been up to, what his current favourite things are, that sort of thing. I love it, it’s a new creative outlet for me! It’ll be so fun when he’s old enough to draw pictures and write his own name in cards, but for now I’m enjoying doing it for him. And I know there are so many artsy/creative things we’ll be able to do in the future, I’m really looking forward to it.

Andrew’s been a good boy today, active but he wouldn’t be himself if he wasn’t bouncing off the walls! He’s napping now, likely to be up soon BUT he did give his dad and me a nice little break from his energy. We’ve been able to just sit with our computers and get things done that we’ve been wanting to do. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s such a load off my mind when I actually find the time to get a thing or two done.

Oh and I’m working on another creative project…My brother and his girlfriend are getting married in November. For our wedding they did an amazing slideshow and after the wedding they had a book made of wedding photos and added an extension to the slideshow of our lives to include the wedding. They really went all out! They’re having the most non-traditional wedding you could imagine so I don’t know that we’d be doing a slideshow for them…BUT I decided I do want to make them a book. Instead of doing pictures of them, I was thinking of making it more of an illustrated book about them. Fiction yet non-fiction, but with maybe cute/cool looking stick figure type illustrations. Does that sound stupid?! In my mind it’s pretty cool but I still have to work out the details, and I’m not exactly a great drawer but if it’s really simple I could probably manage it well enough to look kind of cute. I’m trying to decide a theme type song to use and the story would go in the tune of it. For example, it could be the tune of the Brady Bunch theme song only making it about their lives…I’m not sure yet. But I’m excited about it and want to get going on it because even though it’s still 7 months away, it’ll go fast and it’s a lot of work considering I don’t have a ton of time to work on it.

I’ve started working a bit on the cover of the book though, and so far it’s pretty cool. My brother loves graffiti art and his girlfriend once had someone write her name in graffiti in her hometown…So I found a cool picture of a wall with a graffiti heart and I downloaded some free graffiti fonts and I’m writing their last names together, and initials and that sort of thing. That’s as far as I’ve got with it but it’s fun. I’ve been feeling the urge for a while to have something creative to work on. This new project idea is just the ticket!

Now if I could just feel better, I could get so much more accomplished =P

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm sorry, but I think you have the wrong number...

Wrong numbers are really bizarre. I just had someone call my cell phone and he was determined to get through to ‘Hawthorne.’ Okaaaay. I told him, ‘Sorry, you must have the wrong number’ but he was certain he did not. I told him that my name is Elizabeth and I’ve never heard of ‘Hawthorne’. He repeated the number to me that he was trying to reach, and sure enough it was mine. ‘I’m trying to reach him up there…um…err, where is it where you’re at?’ I told him Vancouver and he sounded shocked. He didn’t tell me where Hawthorne was supposed to be at, and I didn’t care to ask, but I could gather from his tone of voice it was nowhere near ‘Elizabeth in Vancouver’! He repeated my phone number again and I once again told him, yes, that was the number, but it wasn’t leading him to Hawthorne. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said, ‘But I really think you have the wrong number!’ He mumbled a bit and was about to protest again that I must be hiding Hawthorne somewhere but thought better of it and just hung up the phone. After that long an interaction, a ‘goodbye’ would have been nice, but it didn’t sound like this guy was entirely there so I guess I’ll forgive him.

Weird…You never know who it is who’s calling either. I wonder where that guy was, what was his story? Who was Hawthorne, and why was MY number written down instead of his?!

It's Saturday

While Andrew is napping with his Daddy, I have a little time to myself. Aaaahhh =)

I’m so glad that we opted not to travel to the island this weekend. Yesterday I felt pretty awful with the cold coming on, and today it has hit me pretty strong. So I know we did the right thing not going.

We watched a movie last night with Larry David called ‘Whatever Works’- it was good. Too lazy to post the link but it’s worth checking out (if you like Woody Allen movies, that is!) It was quirky and silly, with a lot of funny moments.

Andrew went to bed (his crib) but woke up a few minutes after James and I went to bed, so instead of bringing him to us we both got up again and watched some 30 Rock (season 3) while I nursed the boy back to sleep. We’re really trying to cut out the sleeping with us all night thing. Especially with me being sick, I don’t think it’s good for him to be wedged in between us, me breathing on him all night. Not to mention I sleep horribly when I have about 4 inches of bed space to myself. Our plan worked – he slept in his crib from just after midnight till 6:30am, then slept in our bed till 8:30. I don’t remember waking up once till he was up at 6:30, so I actually got a decent amount of rest. I definitely need it. It’s hard to fall asleep because my chest aches when I lay down but at least once I was out, I was out!

Even though I was feeling like poo when I got up, we decided to go out so I could get some fresh air. I didn’t want to go far though, so we went and got a drink at a little café along the seawall. A strawberry smoothie, which Andrew ended up loving! AND he drank from a straw for the first time, he finally figured it out!! He started drinking from a regular cup so early, so he couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with a straw for the longest time. I was so excited when I put the drink to his mouth and he immediately started sucking it up with the straw!! He also had no trouble wolfing down half my peanut butter cookie. I am the one with the sweet tooth around here, I’ve become accustomed to James not ever sharing in on whatever sweets I get (or at least not much) because he isn’t that big on sweets. I told him we’re going to have to start getting two of whatever we used to just get one of, because it appears Andrew inherited my love of sweets =)

From there we took him to the kids park. Truth be told, our mission was to take him out to take a photo that we could use on some photo mugs we want to make (I just placed the order a few minutes ago in fact). They’re Easter gifts for family, although they might end up getting them late since we waited so long to do the ordering (oops). We have tons (read: thousands) of pictures of Andrew, but we wanted a recent one, outdoors, where he’s smiling and looking at the camera. We had hoped to have the water in the background but no such luck…Here is the image we decided on though (I personally think it’s adorable, but who am I to judge?!):

Andrew is swing obsessed and was not pleased that he had to wait till the baby swing was available for his swinging pleasure. But he finally did get his turn. Even though he was the one who started fussing like he wanted out, when we took him out he cried and cried (till I gave him some smoothie, and a cheesie! lol) When we got home we took him to the outdoor area on the 4th floor and he loved it. We never think to go there but it’s great because he’s confined, we don’t have to take the stroller and diapers and everything since we can easily take him upstairs, and there is grass for him to run around on. Note to self: start taking him there more often!

Now my boys are napping and I think I’ll go have a hot bath with peppermint bubbles – maybe it will help clear my sinuses a bit. It sucks being sick but at least we’ve still managed to make the most of the day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's never a good time for a cold

I’m supposed to be napping right now. James came home at noon and has taken Andrew out to get some groceries and spend some time away so I can have quiet sleep time. Only I lay down and my chest gets this horrible feeling and I can’t function even to sleep so I have to get up again =( I’m getting a cold most likely, it’s not actually in my lungs. But for some reason whenever I’m getting sick I get this weird indescribable feeling in my chest at the beginning. The only way I can put it is that it feels like my body is fighting the virus and what I am feeling is the war taking place. It’s not pretty, nor fun.

We were supposed to be heading to Victoria tonight to spend the weekend at James’ dad’s house. We were looking forward to it, I was especially excited to see Andrew spending time with his Papa and Grandma B, who he hasn’t seen since his birthday on new year’s eve. But there’s no way I could travel feeling this way, nor would it be fair to be spreading the germs around to everyone we’d be visiting with. We’ve already rescheduled, but still I feel sort of guilty since we had to cancel because of me. It’s not like I did it on purpose, but still…I liken it to when I was in elementary school and had to stay home for a sick day. My mom made it clear that if I was staying home from school it wasn’t about going out and having fun, I had to stay home and get better. Sometimes she’d rent me videos, such as Faerie Tale Theatre (which I have on DVD now and have been introducing to Andrew!) but it still wasn’t meant to be about ‘fun’ being home from school, you know? So it’s like now I feel as though I can’t do anything this weekend as a sort of punishment for not going to the island. It’s not like I’ll be up to doing much anyway but it still makes me feel a little glum!

But oh well, hopefully it’ll be similar to the last cold I got – it seemed to come on really strong all of a sudden, then in a matter of about 2 days it cleared up completely. If I had to have a cold, it was one of the better ones to have.

Yesterday Andrew’s club chair arrived and it is even cuter than I thought! As soon as I got it out of the box, he was climbing all over it. And he sat in it to watch his Wiggles dvd. So freaking cute. It came in a big box so I cut holes for windows and he’s using the box as a fort =)

His latest ‘thing’ is going to the fridge and whining and crying till I open it. Sometimes he really wants something – he’ll point at the pickle jar and I’ll get him a dill pickle and off he’ll go back to watching a show or whatever he was up to. He also loves to take out the container of hummus and I give him a spoon and he feeds it to himself! He also likes to get a yogurt out, or point to the juice or milk that he wants. It’s pretty cute, although it gets annoying when I KNOW he isn’t hungry, he’s just doing it because it’s a new thing he’s learned and he enjoys the power of picking things off the shelves of the fridge. He’s lucky he’s so cute, that’s all I can say!!

He hasn’t said words yet, other than Momma, Dada, or when asked what animals say he can Moo, Meow, say Uh oh (that’s what Momma says!) and Ho Ho Ho for Santa. But it’s interesting because you’ll say something and then SWEAR you heard him repeat the word, but then he doesn’t do it again so you’re not sure. Like this morning, he had the fridge door open so I said, ‘What do you want? Do you want some water?’ and I am positive he said, ‘water’ but maybe I was just hearing things?! That happens from time to time, other words I’ve thought he said were more, yes, ‘i did it’ (lol, seriously, that’s what it sounded like)…and other things I can’t remember right now. Oh he can say No and also his latest one is trying to quack like a duck!

So we’ve got swimming twice a week and I seem to have found a play group on Thursdays to take him to (it doesn’t start for a couple weeks so I don’t know yet if it will be good but we’ll see). I’m always trying to find new things to do with him – most things are for ages 0-12 months or ages 2 and up, so he’s kind of at an in between stage. But in a few weeks all the Olympics things will be cleared from the community centres and they’ll be resuming normal activities so I can look into signing him up for more things.

But for now I think I’ll try sleeping sitting up…if I’m tired enough, it should work!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On death and dying

I’m terrified of spiders and cringe at the mere thought of rats. But nothing in this world frightens me more than death.

The permanence of death is so scary to me. If you make a mistake (unless it’s a fatal one), you have the opportunity to try again. If you have an off day, you can hope for a better tomorrow.

But what happens if and when that tomorrow never comes? It scares me so much when I think about how one day every single one of us will be dead. Death does not discriminate, it gets us all in the end.

Other people’s deaths or the thought of loved ones dying is really hard for me to think about. I have lost a few people in my life who I was really close to and it was extremely hard. I wish I could safely say I’d never have to go through that again, but I know that unless I die first (which isn’t a good scenario either!), I will have to face it numerous times over.

I had never given death TOO much thought, till one day my dad and I were talking about something and he said how children should never die before their parents. That freaked me out because it hit me that that would mean I’d have to go through losing both my parents and somehow manage to go on without them. I still to this day can’t think about that too much because it’s way too scary to imagine how I would be able to handle either of them not being here anymore.

I also hate the idea that I will have to one day die and leave Andrew behind. Not that I would want him to die with me, because I never ever want him to die. I’d die a thousand times over if it meant he could keep on living! But I just hate the thought of him having to go through the sadness and hardship of losing his parents. I also can’t think about the fact that I could die before he’s all grown up…this terrifies me to no end because I don’t want anyone but me and James raising him. I don’t even know what I’d say in a Will as to who should raise him if we can’t because I can’t picture anyone else doing the job. We’re his parents and we have to raise him, end of! I hate the idea that I might not see him grow up and know him as he gets older. I have to survive because I need to be here for him.

I hate the idea of dying before James because I hate the thought that he could move on and love another woman (as selfish and awful as that sounds, it’s the truth). I hate the idea of how sad he’d be to lose me because I don’t want him to have to feel that kind of pain and loss. But in some ways I think I should die before him because I don’t see how I could possibly go on living if I lost him. That’s how much I love him. How could I possibly survive that? Or if I lost Andrew. I can’t even think about losing either one of them because they are my everything. I put all my eggs in one basket, what can I say. I just can’t even picture it, it’s too painful.

I think about death from time to time but try to push it to the back of my mind as much as possible. Which I’m sure isn’t entirely healthy, but what am I supposed to do? How can I get comfy with the idea that we’re all going to die? I can’t. I realize it’s a reality and we all have to cope in whatever way we can because death is part of life and there’s nothing we can do about it. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it or act as if it doesn’t rip my heart into ten thousand pieces just to think about.

When James’ boss died, which still wasn’t long ago at all (last I heard it is suspected he died on March 1st) I was forced to think about death and its consequences and the sadness that trickles down to so many people. It makes me feel so sad to think that V is gone because he was a person and he had so many thoughts and ideas and hopes and dreams. It is so hard for me to believe, let alone accept, that he is now nothing but memories in other people’s minds. Distorted versions of his actual self, his actual self a pile of ashes somewhere. What? How can that be??? I still feel sick about it. How can V be gone? I still can’t face that reality. I’m having way more of a time of dealing with it even than James, who has already seemingly moved on. Sure he misses him and wishes it weren’t true but he is much better at accepting reality and bucking up and moving on than I am, clearly.

When I took Forensics I saw an autopsy performed on some guy. Thank gawd it was just a video, but still, it was very real, none of this CSI crap – it was a real person, dead, laying there helpless, his remains slowly cut away till he was basically a shell. It disturbed me so much, for obvious reasons. But what upset me the most was when his brain was removed and cut into various parts. Knowing that this man’s whole life essentially lived inside his brain and then to see it being sliced and diced, it still haunts me that image. It saddens me so much when a person’s life is taken because at that point they are truly and 100% gone. Memories of a person are not actually that person, and nothing in this world can bring them back.

James and I asked each other recently, what if you could have the contents of your brain – your thoughts and feelings and all your personal memories – stored somewhere (say, on a computer) after you died? You could live on in a way. Perhaps some would find comfort in this, but saving it all doesn’t work for me either. It’s a shame to have everything lost but at the same time I don’t particularly like the idea that every thought and idea floating around my head could be read by someone else later! Random bizarre thoughts go through a person’s mind and are better off not recorded, let alone read by people when you’re gone. I don’t think there could be a more severe breach of trust than that, and if there was an ability to do such a thing I can well imagine it would be used more often than not for evil.

I don’t mean to be such a downer in this post, it’s just that I needed to get this off my chest. I don’t feel any better about death or dying than I did before I wrote it, but I’m hoping that I can gain some perspective somehow and figure out a way to be less terrified of the inevitable.

That being said, I do hope we all get to live long and fulfilling lives before the inevitable happens!

Just a little bit of time for me would be nice...

More than ever I am finding myself wishing I had more time just for ME, to myself. I don’t know what it is, am I burning out? I just feel so tired, both physically AND mentally. I need a break but it seems to me that there’s no such thing as a break when you’re a mom.

I love Andrew so much and have tons of fun with him and at the end of every day I smile because he is so beautiful and precious and amazing. But I can’t deny that I am struggling in some ways, just in trying to keep up with the amount of energy he has and the amount of attention he demands. I sometimes find myself getting short fused and it’s not at him but just because I want to sit down and close my eyes or just BE and not have to deal with the whining and crying for this that and the other ALL THE TIME. Most of the time I’m pretty good at taking it all on, (and luckily Andrew is a fairly easy going baby so he’s not super fussy!) it’s just occasionally that I find myself getting this burnt out feeling where I get fed up way too easily.

But how do I get these ‘breaks’ without having to pay for someone (as in daycare) to look after Andrew (we can’t afford it, and I don’t really want to be putting him in daycare anyway). Maybe I should ask my aunt if she’d be willing to look after him for a few hours a week or something, she lives close by. I don’t know. I don’t even know if that would help, although I suppose it wouldn’t hurt. I should get out on my own once in a while, right?

I just find that when I DO have a chance to go somewhere on my own, I suddenly am at a loss for where to go or what to do. And I always feel so guilty when I go somewhere without Andrew and I HAVE to get over that. Last Sunday I needed to get something at the dollar store so James said go, and he’d stay home with the boy. Such a simple thing and yet it was like a huge deal for me (mostly because Andrew was beating at the door and sobbing and I could hear him right up till I was on the elevator!) I have no sense of freedom anymore. I love my baby and most of the time it’s wonderful how attached we are because I know it’s a fleeting moment in time, in the grand scheme of things, that he will want me around this much. And I feel as though I need him as much as he needs me most of the time because it has been this way for so long. My life before him feels like eons ago. And I’m OK with that, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just need a break once in a flaming while.

I think I’m coming down with something, and couple that with Andrew not napping till 4pm the past few days (I just got him to sleep a few minutes ago), it makes for a very tired Me. I’ve been napping with him lately because otherwise I am a zombie by the time it’s 7pm (what am I saying, I could feel like a zombie by 3 in the afternoon! Although it’s usually somewhere around 5…) I SHOULD nap with him right now but this is my only chance for a bit of time to myself so I’m writing this instead of resting. I don’t have the option of both!

Having a little one is the most special and wonderful thing in the world. I wouldn’t trade my life for any other. I wouldn’t take all the freedom in the world if it meant not having my son. I feel so much more complete and much more at peace with my life with him in it. I feel guilty saying I need space, but it’s only natural to feel that way, right? Often literally the only time I have to myself in an entire day is when I have a bath after supper (and I take short baths so we’re talking maybe 10-15 minutes MAX…and while I’m in there it’s not uncommon for Andrew to be whining, even if James is trying to keep him occupied, because he knows I’m there and it drives him crazy when I don’t let him in. So it’s not always an entirely RELAXING bath!) and I get more time if I stay up late after Andrew’s gone to sleep, although he seems to go later and later – lately I’m not putting him into his crib till 12-1am. So…no time whatsoever for me, at least as a non-zombie!

In my head I think of all these things I could do but in reality there isn’t time or energy for any of it. I feel like I’m in a rut. I’m living in a toddler world. I love it, but it’s lacking the adult-me component at the moment, and I guess I kind of need that!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Andrew's first busker sighting...and other stories

Last night the washer stopped draining. I couldn’t take the clothes out sopping wet and put them into the dryer so I had to just leave them soaking in the machine. We have an online system with our building, so I logged on and put in a request for maintenance. That was probably around 9pm last night. By 2:30 this afternoon, the washer was fixed! (A sock had got lodged in the drain, an easy fix for someone with know-how). I love that about our building – they are really on top of making sure things are working and things that aren’t are fixed in a timely manner. In my opinion, they really go above and beyond.

Today Andrew and I went to Black’s and got a bunch of pictures developed. Some for his new album (his first year album is of course full!) and some to send to family. Andrew loves to look at pictures and point at people he recognizes in the photos as we say their names (and his, since let’s face it, he’s in 99% of the pictures!!) It’s a great learning tool because you can ask him where certain people are in the pictures for face recognition, but also objects. I’m always amazed at the things he knows (says his mother, tee hee!)

I thought it would be one hour processing but the time frame given was more like an hour and a half. I had no idea what to do to keep Andrew occupied in his stroller for that length of time. He needs to run around, not be stuck sitting. I knew he’d only sit nicely for so long.

First we went and shared a strawberry Julius. Yum! He enjoyed that, and especially playing with the straw. Then we had a quick look at Sears but he started getting antsy pretty quick so off we went to the lobby at the Four Seasons.

Along the way we saw a busker who has been on Granville Street since the beginning of the Olympics as far as I know. He’s basically a silver Elvis. Of course he was just standing there, the only way to get him to move was to give him money. I thought Andrew might enjoy seeing what he would do so I put a toonie in his cup and he did a little dancing and robotic sort of movements. Andrew clapped! He seemed to like it.

There were conferences going on at the hotel so lots of people were milling about, but that didn’t phase Andrew. He did lots of running around. When I started to get tired of chasing after him, I got him back into his stroller without too much fuss (surprisingly!) and fed him some cheerios. His little container has a spout thing that opens up to get the cheerios out and he liked making a game out of it. He’d eat one Cheerio, then take one from my hand and drop it back into the container and I’d make a funny sound, like, ‘Bloop!’ He giggled every time!

We still had half an hour to wait for the pictures but I decided to head us back in that direction. We walked around the mall a bit and then made our way back to Black’s.

Andrew started falling asleep just as we got home, and about 2 minutes in the door the guy showed up to fix the washer, so everything worked out perfectly time-wise. I was concerned Andrew would wake up with all the noise of fixing the washer, but I should know better – once he’s out, he’s out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

oh, what i could with another hundred square feet (or so)!

Last night I was feeling sort of blah. When I get in that type of mood, one of my favourite things to do is clean and rearrange.

It’s hard to do much differently in our apartment in terms of furniture layout since it’s such a small space. I miss the roominess of our first apartment together (2 apartments ago) because I had a lot of space to work with in the living room AND both bedrooms. Yes, it had 2 bedrooms! AND 3 full sized closets AND a big storage closet all in the unit. Sigh. I love living downtown, and I know the perks we have (location, in suite laundry, fairly new building) are trade-offs. One day in the not-so-distant future we’ll be venturing back to the ‘burbs to seek out larger accommodations. But I do love our place despite the smallness of it…so I have to work around that when I get that urge to rearrange.

I put the couch against the window and it opens the room up a bit, although it doesn’t work super well with the tv unit – which can’t be moved…I’ve decided to keep it this way for a while though, and I moved a chair and did a few other adjustments to try to make the room still make sense. Andrew’s club chair (yes, I ordered him a toddler sized micro fibre club chair, so what?!) should be arriving any day now and I have the perfect place for it, right beside the couch facing the tv. So he will be able to relax in style while watching The Wiggles and other Treehouse favourites!

We’re seriously considering ditching cable. Having access to the Treehouse channel is seriously the main thing that makes me resist pulling the plug immediately because sometimes my only saving grace is letting Andrew watch some shows. But we were looking at our cable bill yesterday and were astounded by how much we’re paying. It’s totally not worth it when there are literally maybe 3 shows we like to watch ‘religiously’ and all 3 are easy to download. Maybe the Treehouse shows can be downloaded too?!

We went without cable for about 6-7 years, I know we can live just fine without it. When we got it I was always glued to the couch nursing Andrew (when he was newborn) so it made sense to be able to just plug myself into the tv while the boy was latched onto me. He still nurses but I don’t need to zone out on tv while he’s doing so. He is nursing far less than he once was! I would say he nurses about 5 times in a 24 hour period, and one of those times would just be in the middle of the night or early morning where it’s more of a source of comfort and knowing he’s attached to me than a needed feed. So we’re slowly but surely working toward weaning.

Anyway, I’m totally getting off track here. I feel good about the changes I’ve made to our place, it’s nice to have change every once in a while, and to do a good clean of places you usually don’t think about (such as under the couch…I even found a shrivelled up piece of a pickle that Andrew obviously lost under there at some point! lol) Also, since I do spend a lot of time at home, I get so tired of looking around and seeing everything looking the same. It’s still all the same stuff but placing things around a little differently can really go a long way!

Still, as much as I love it here and will be sad when we move, I do daydream sometimes about a bigger space and all I could do with it. James says I need to get new hobbies and yes, I’m sure I could do with some, but he just doesn’t get my passion for decorating. It’s therapeutic!

Doing stuff


I don’t know how much time I have before the boy is up. He’s been napping for 2 hours now! I expect he’ll be up any minute. He had the first of his next set of swim lessons this morning and didn’t nap on the way home as he usually would, so it’s no wonder he’s so tuckered out!

We’ve been getting out and doing stuff and I’ve been meaning to write it all down but every time I sat down with a new Word document open, I’d start a sentence and then close the program. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood to write.

On Friday we went to a mom and tots swim meet up. At the pool where we go for lessons, I just thought it’d be fun to go when it was a scheduled group. Sometimes in the lessons people don’t talk to each other a whole lot, whereas if the reason you’re going is to meet up with other moms and babies, it makes sense the people there would be a little more chatty. I saw some moms and babes who I’d met months and months back at our community centre meet ups so it was fun to see how the babies had grown. I remembered Andrew having bullied one of the little girls long ago. LOL Luckily he was a good boy this time, he did try to do a bit of hair pulling but nothing too extreme. I did notice though that even of the babies in his age group, he was the only one who seemed to HAVE to be constantly moving around and exploring new toys and things in the pool. The other babies seemed happy to sit by their moms (for the most part) and play with one thing or just splash their hands in the water. I know Andrew’s curious and I love his spunk, I really do, but sometimes it would be so nice if I could just sit and relax in the water like the other moms and be part of a whole conversation instead of having to rush off because he’s so on the go!

On Saturday I had ‘me time’ – a major rarity in my life! I got my hair done and I have BANGS! For me, this is a really huge deal. I am not the biggest fan of bangs – I like them on other people but I hate the way they feel to have. But I was determined to leave the salon looking different than when I arrived and because I’ve decided I want to grow my hair out a bit, I could only do that by a) getting bangs or b) doing something drastically different colour-wise. I went with bangs because I’m happy with the colour (I got slight variations of the colours already in there) – I like having my hair dark since I had blond in my hair for such a long time. And having it closer to my natural means the roots aren’t as noticeable if I go longer between cuts. The bangs so far haven’t been bugging me, they’re a little longer so I can have them off to the side but it definitely changes the look I have. James loves them and said I look younger (not that I was looking old!) I think I naturally look younger than my age (30) but then with being a mom now sometimes I feel so ‘mom’-ish, it’s hard to explain but being told I look younger than my age, while I am completely happy with now being in my 30s, felt like a nice thing to hear!

After my appointment I went to look for a new bathing suit but without luck. It was still so busy downtown with the Paralympics still happening so I gave up, and instead went to a deli and got a sandwich and sat a little ways away from the cauldron so I could enjoy it one last time before all the Olympics were over. I have to be honest, I enjoyed the Olympics and got really into the first bout of it but I was getting tired of it by the end so I didn’t pay attention to any of the Paralympics at all, and I’m kind of glad it’s all over now so we can resume normal activities in the city!

James and Andrew had quality father/son time while I was out. They took advantage of the sunshine (yay for spring!) and hit up Stanley Park. James loved all the attention Andrew got in his sunglasses and just in general for being so cute, he was quite the proud papa bear from the sounds of it!

Yesterday we went to Milestone’s on Robson for brunch and Andrew was so good. He had some of my eggs benny and hash browns and a bit of James’ veggie burger, some cheerios, crackers, and apple juice. They gave him crayons and he didn’t use them much but he is understanding now what to do with them and it’s so cute to watch him try to colour. Soon he will have crayons at home and I will have all his beautiful art up on the fridge =)

We ran a few errands after brunch, including FINALLY getting a new telephone (why do so many come with 4 handsets, isn’t that a bit excessive?! Even in a big house would you really need 4?! We got one with 2, which is one too many than we need but it seemed like the smallest option out there!) then we stopped at the Four Seasons so Andrew could run around the lobby. LOL He loves 4-5 star hotel lobbies, what can I say?! They’re spacious and give him the room he needs to run around and burn off some energy. The plan worked: he fell asleep on the way home and was out for almost 2 hours!

Things are going well, although James’ job is stressful. He’s taking so much on but I am SO proud of him. He’s doing a great job and I know that V would be very proud of him also. Still can’t believe V is gone, but he is, and the show must go on. He would want it to. But it does mean James is extra busy, and here I thought he had an insanely long work day before this all happened! It’s ok though, we do what we have to do, and for V’s sake I really want to see them finish this product and sell it so I am cheering James on.

And the boy wakes – at least I managed to recap our whereabouts the past few days!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Back from the island once again

(Written last night)

I’m beyond tired. I hate it when it gets to this point and it’s late evening but Andrew is still wired and wanting more play time.

We just got back from visiting my parents for a few days, so I’ve left the room, James can deal with the boy for a while. He had a few nights to himself so it’s only fair!

Taking Andrew on the ferry on my own is E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G! We sat, tops, for 5 minutes during the whole trip (till the bus ride home, that is). He is go go go from the moment we park the stroller till the moment I force him back into it to get off the ship.

At least with the weather being nicer (we had sunshine going over and coming back), we were able to spend a lot of time outside on the outer deck. Andrew loves it out there. And I like it better than walking around inside because it’s more spacious, and it’s different than our usual. Plus, chasing him around makes me sweat but when we go outside (since it’s still a little on the cool side) my body temperature feels just right!

I like carrying him around up there and asking him where the water is, where the seagulls are, where the mountains are. He loves to learn new things and points at the things he knows.

Even though he’s tiring to travel with, he’s a good traveller. He will get fussy after a while but if you keep him stimulated with things to look at and wandering about, he’s happy as can be.

Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers – a guy helped me lift the stroller with Andrew and everything in it so we’d be able to get to the front of the ship on the lower car deck to get off quicker than taking the overhead walkway. If he hadn’t offered to help, we wouldn’t have been able to do that.

And at first when an old lady sat next to us on the bus I was annoyed because she was really talkative and I didn’t really want to deal with that the whole trip into town. But it turned out she was really nice and a perfect distraction for Andrew, who by that time was wanting to get up and move around but of course had to stay strapped in his stroller. I also brought a lift the flap book to distract him (which is his favourite thing at the moment). He gave a guy on the bus a high five when the guy asked him to, and I also got him to do a few other tricks, like ‘how big are you?’ and he lifts his hands up over his head. He’s been doing that one for a long time, but just yesterday my parents taught him, ‘How old are you, are you one?’ and he holds up his index finger!

It feels chaotic taking the bus and I hate it when I have to announce loudly that I’ll be getting off at the next stop, although it’s often necessary because a lot of people are going to have to move at the front so I can get the stroller off. I know some people judge me and think it’s ridiculous how big the stroller is (even the bus driver was mentioning it tonight, lol) but it’s the best stroller ever for someone who only takes the bus when travelling to and from the ferry, pretty much. It’s so handy for just walking everywhere, doing grocery shops with baby, etc. But I have to say, while I KNOW there is judging going on (I used to judge people in my very position, before I was in it!), there are so many people who are nice about it that it actually surprises me. I always make a point to apologize for the inconvenience and so often people will pipe in that it’s not a problem and they’re more than willing to help in any way that they can. It’s interesting – people are a lot nicer about helping me with the stroller than they were about giving up a seat when I was pregnant! And yet now, with the stroller on board, I take up the room of 4 seats, not just one!

Tomorrow we have a swimming play date and on Saturday I get ME TIME, which I am soooo looking forward to. I’m getting my hair done and I plan on doing a little browsing around afterwards – as in, I am not rushing home after! It’s about time Andrew and Daddy had some quality time, and there’s no reason why the boy can’t be without his Momma for longer than a couple of hours.

I was mentioning to my mom how I’ve never been away from Andrew longer than about 5, maybe 6 (although I’m pretty sure it’s only been 5) hours EVER since the moment he was conceived! And he’ll be 15 months at the end of March. I asked her how normal that is and she didn’t think it’s all that normal. Although she said for her, for one thing my brother and I weren’t breast fed so it was ‘easier’ for us to be with other people longer, but also my mom’s parents lived in the same city so it was also not an issue to drop us off with them to go out for longer without us. I don’t have that option – the people we have near us wouldn’t be looking after him for that length of time.

I think it is a good idea for me (and for Andrew) to get people looking after him a little more, even if it’s not for super long periods of time but just so he’s not so attached to my hip. I love that he’s attached to me but I also think it’s important for both of us to have some independence.

I think I might join an aqua fit class and maybe see about putting Andrew in the daycare at the pool, just for an hour a couple times a week so I can take that class…I’ve said a few times I was going to do this and every time I chicken out but I think I might be close to ready to actually do it soon!!

This post is all over the place so I think I will say goodnight.

Goodnight!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's amazing the difference a year makes!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's hard to believe it was a whole year ago that my little munchkin experienced his first St. Patty's Day.

Here he was then:
And this was Andrew today:
It was fun looking back on his pictures from a year ago. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It's hard to believe he was only a few months old then, barely able to sit up in his Exersaucer. And this year he spent the day running around the house getting into everything he could!

He might be bigger now, but he's still my baby =)
I wonder if I'll be able to convince him to wear his little green hat again next year?!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An early spring

Instead of wallowing in the bit of blah I'm feeling tonight, I decided to look at some recent pictures I took during some of our outings. Here are a few of my faves:
We live in such a beautiful area, I feel so lucky to have this scenery so close to my fingertips.And of course I am delighted to have this boy at my fingertips!We discovered this cool mirror thing that makes everything near it seem enlarged. Andrew was taken by it, but even more so loved how the medal grate under his feet made so much noise when he walked on it!He was very upset when we forced him to leave that area...so to cheer him up again, we took him to the playground nearby.He absolutely LOVES the swings, and had fun swinging alongside this cute little boy who kept smiling at us. He was just as pleased as Andrew to swing away the afternoon!Andrew was so into swinging that when Daddy tried to lift him out to give another toddler a go at it, he gripped the handles with all his might in resistance!

I might feel glum sometimes because of things that are happening around me. But I feel so fortunate for so many things, and this face is tops on my list of things that can cheer me up in an instant!

Some time to relax

So where did I leave off last night? Oh yeah, James and I got to go on a date yesterday! We left at the perfect time too, right after Andrew had nursies and went down for his afternoon nap. We figured he’d be out for an hour, since that would be his usual routine (although fairly often lately he’s been napping a little longer than that in the afternoon).

Off we went to Voda at the Loden Hotel on Melville. Gawd, that hotel is amazing. I’ve never seen one of the rooms but the lobby is so posh and the hotel staff are super friendly. The bathrooms are also very classy. I love it! I think it’s a very pricey hotel and obviously we’d never stay there since we live in the area but still, it’s fun to go to the lounge for drinks and appies once in a while. Which is also quite pricey BUT we got a $100 gift certificate from my bro and s-i-l for Christmas, so we were there to use that up.

The drinks are to die for, seriously such good cocktails. My favourite was the Glassy Junction, which has such ingredients as basil, aloe vera and coriander. Sounds bizarre right? But it is SO GOOD and so refreshing. I could drink a pitcher of it, and I’m not one to drink a whole lot. It goes down easy! Then I had a drink called the 21st Century (recommended by our server) and it was so good that it just might be my new favourite. It has white chocolate and lemon in it, which sounds so strange when you read it on the menu but the way all the ingredients come together, it’s just the right level of sweetness and it’s DELISH.

James had a few different drinks so we were able to sample quite a few from the menu, and we shared some appies. Yum! It was so nice to be out together, just the two of us. We did talk about Andrew but we tried to talk about other things too!

After leaving there we went and got a coffee and walked over to the cauldron, which was re-lit for the Paralympics. There was finally no line up to go see it from higher up so we went and did that. I’d have been disappointed if I’d had to wait in line for hours for it because it’s not THAT different from viewing it through the wire fence BUT it is pretty spectacular. I love feeling the heat of it and listening to the crackling flame. It’s so calming and I could just stare at it for hours.

But after a few minutes we left and walked home along the water. It was a wonderful time out, BUT I stupidly ate too much guacamole and had a horrible stomach ache that I could have done without. I’ve been allergic to avocado since I was 16 (at least, that’s when I discovered the intolerance) but recently I tried it again and out of 6 times eating it, only once did it upset me…so I took my chances and ate some on nachos and boy did I ever regret it big time. Even though lately it seems like I’ve done better with it, and I LOVE the taste and texture and WANT to be able to have it, I’ve decided once and for all to completely cut it out of my diet for good. It’s really too bad, but it’s not worth the risk. The pain I get when it doesn’t agree with my tummy is so severe, I’m not kidding, I actually want to just double over and die. So why take that risk, right?

But despite the way I was feeling, we had a nice little walk home, then had a visit with my s-i-l and then my bro came over for a while too. We walked in the door, after being out for 3 hours, and Andrew was still laying in the same spot as when we left! He had only been awake for 15 minutes, and he’d been waking up slowly so he was just laying there on the blanket. We couldn’t believe it!! We should have stayed out longer, but who knew?! He was happy when he got up and ended up having some play time with his uncle, which was nice to see.

So it’s great because he’s so good for my s-i-l, which means she’ll be more likely to want to babysit more often =)

It was so nice to get out, just the two of us. It’s a pretty rare thing that we get out 2 weekends in a row, although last week was more of a need to get away due to processing the info of James’ boss dying, so it wasn’t really a ‘fun’ time out. But yeah…super important to get out as a couple every now and then!

We just got back from a little walk along the seawall and then we stopped by Starbucks for a coffee and so Andrew could run around a bit. We were going to take the boy to see the ducks at Lost Lagoon but we ended up meeting up with my aunt and uncle along the way and it was quite cold so we went to the hotel instead and had a coffee and a chat. It was so nice, James took Andrew on a little meander and then most of the rest of the time my uncle was wandering around with Andrew, so I got to have a bit of a break. It makes all the difference to have that bit of time because I feel sort of refreshed after in a way, and less likely to get impatient or super exhausted by Andrew’s antics!!

We came home, had some lunch and Andrew nursed and is sleeping now. Aaaahhh, a bit of relaxation on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It’s 11:11, make a wish.

Dang, I just remembered we lose an hour tonight. Just what I need, when I was just saying how there aren’t enough hours in the day. Oh well, getting more sunlight is always nice, once we adjust to the time change. Which I don’t see being such a big deal for those of us who understand it but I’m a bit concerned what this is going to mean for Andrew…Going to bed an hour later and getting up an hour earlier doesn’t really work for me….

Last night James took the ‘3am shift’. Totally unusual that James gets up with Andrew in the night, its only happened a handful of times in his life. He had told me through the day that since we’re really trying to not let Andy into our bed till at least 5-6am, he would take the 3am shift if I wanted, thinking it might help get the ball rolling on Andrew sleeping in the crib better if Momma isn’t always the one going to him. Anyone watch Modern Family? I am Cam, always wanting to run to my baby at the first sound of a cry! lol

Anyway…we’d already been having problems with the monitor getting all staticky and waking me up when I could have been sleeping, then at 2:30 the boy woke up…So I said in a bit of a harsh tone (hey, I was exhausted!), ‘If you were planning on taking the 3am shift, well it’s starting early tonight!’ LOL

James was up till 5:30 and I won’t get into the logistics of it all but it was quite the process getting Andrew to go back to sleep! And it is very evident he is all about the Momma and wanting me to come get him. If James mentioned my name, Andrew would start wailing and he just kept pointing and whimpering thinking I should be there. Awww! I just can’t help but let my heart strings be torn, he makes me want to cuddle him. BUT…I also want to get more sleep at night!

We’re going to do a repeat tonight if necessary. I got the best sleep I’ve had in SUCH a long time, at one point I slept for 5 hours IN A ROW and that is seriously unheard of for me. So when Andrew woke up again just after 8, I was totally fine with getting up and actually had some energy, felt alive and ready to face the day. Also usually unheard of for me! It is truly wonderful, the gift of sleep.

James had to make up for the lost sleep through the night so he didn’t get up till 11am! Which was fine by me, I managed – in amongst playing with the boy and feeding him yogurt, which he likes to have every morning for his breakfast, I managed to get some laundry done, tidy the apartment, clean the kitchen, and I even cleaned out Andrew’s bureau and weeded out stuff that doesn’t fit anymore. Some I am going to see if my neighbour wants, since she recently had a boy, and the rest I want to keep for sentimental reasons. But it was good to scale back what’s in the drawers (let’s face it, to make room for more, right! Tee hee I LOVE dressing my boy!)

I also got the stroller packed up with a whole bunch of stuff to take to a local thrift shop to FINALLY get rid of a bunch of stuff we don’t want or need anymore that has been piling up. There’s always more to weed through and get rid of but at least we got a bunch of stuff taken care of today.

I made us a yummy (if I do say so myself!) omelette and toast for breakfast. I like how we sit at the table (and Andrew in his high chair of course!) for all our meals now, we used to sometimes but would get lazy and eat in the living room a lot. But with Andrew needing his chair, it makes more sense to be at the table all the time now and it’s a nice family time to share.

After that we got ready and went out, dropped off the stuff at the thrift store, picked up some Baguette Time, got stuff at Safeway and then went to London Drugs because we needed a new vacuum cleaner. Ours went caput 3 days ago and with 2 long haired cats, we can’t go much longer than that without vacuuming! Luckily my trusty dust buster came in handy when I needed it but that can only do so much. We got a Hoover that was on for only $69.99, which I actually thought was fairly cheap for a vacuum that looks (and seems after first use) to be a pretty decent machine. It’s not like we need something super heavy duty, our place is less than 600 sq feet! It was an expense we didn’t need but at the same time I think this machine is going to prove to be better than our last one.

On our way home we stopped by a playground to have a bite of our sandwiches and so Andrew could play. It was geared more for older kids but he still had fun checking things out. He also sampled our sandwiches – he spit out the bocconcini and went straight for the brie! That boy is HILARIOUS. He has such an affinity for flavours far beyond his age, it’s ridiculous. I wonder if it will stick or his tastes will change, but right now he’s all over things with garlic, loves pickles and olives (especially olives stuffed with garlic, although he also likes kalamatas!) He loves cheese and chocolate, pesto, and tomato risotto! lol

After our outing, we got ready and my s-i-l came over so James and I could go on a date. But I’ll write about that tomorrow because I’m exhausted and want to sleep before Andrew inevitably wakes me up before Daddy’s shift at 3am ;P

Friday, March 12, 2010

I wish I could just live in my own little bubble world for a while

I’m going to try to convince my bro and s-i-l to look after the boy for a while sometime this weekend so James and I can have a little date. For some reason it’s really feeling as if it’s catching up to me that we rarely have time to ourselves.

I think I’m really getting bogged down by everything that’s going on around me. I wish so much that even just for a little while I could just be looking after myself, Andrew, and James without having stress from other people added into the mix. I know that’s not possible, and I know that everyone has issues in their families or what have you…But I also know it has got to be natural to feel a tad resentful about it once in a while.

It’s enough trying to deal with V dying, which I know anyone who reads this regularly is probably sick of hearing about. But it’s just so hard to accept. I know James is feeling it more than he lets on but there just isn’t time to deal with it. When he talks about work, all I can think about is V and how he’s gone and how sad it is. I honestly don’t know how James manages, although I guess he doesn’t have a choice. So much stress there.

Then of course there’s the ongoing issues with my mom, which are REALLY taking their toll on me. I am getting to my wits end about it and I don’t know what to do. I feel like while I want to be there for her, I also don’t want to be the one taking so much of it on anymore. Her therapist made a suggestion of what she thinks could help her, but she’s not acting on it. I did some research on it for her a few days ago and she hasn’t got back to me on her thoughts about it. So I can’t do any more myself, and I know that. But I feel like I have to in a way because otherwise she’s not going to make any changes in her life, which ends up transferring onto me in such a big way. Which sounds selfish I know, but seriously, the weight on my shoulders is getting to be WAY TOO MUCH. And I don’t think it’s fair, and SHE says it’s not fair, yet it happens over and over again. I feel so sad about it because she just keeps saying she’ll ‘think about it’ but never actually does anything, just keeps saying how afraid she is and comes up with reasons for why the solutions won’t work. I want to be able to help her but I know she needs to help herself. Way too much stress there.

And now there are more issues with the m-i-l again. I’m so mad at her right now because she’s causing problems when she KNOWS what we’re going through with losing James’ boss. She knows what a sad time it is – I mean, we only found out he was gone a week and a day ago, it hasn’t even been a week since his memorial. James is exhausted and needs time to work through the stress of that, let alone having issues with his mother again. I tell you, her timing is impeccable! She always seems to stir things up at the worst time (cough, cough, such as when we were waiting for our baby to arrive…) Totally unnecessary and unneeded stress there.

So while I look forward to our family time this weekend (as in, Andrew, James and me), I hope James and I do get a bit of time on our own together to relax. I also hope the weather bucks up so we can take Andrew somewhere fun!

I can't think of an appropriate title for this post

(Written last night)

I’m going to start reading ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ next. I got it for my birthday. I’ve read a few pages and I’m finding it interesting already.

I want to try to make more of a habit of going to bed a bit earlier than I normally would and read a bit before going to sleep. I feel better when I’ve read than if I just zoned out watching some lame show on tv. And even though I’m exhausted when I go to bed, not being a great sleeper ever in my life I do find it hard to drift off. Reading helps to shut down my usual thought process and I find I fall asleep MUCH faster. I’ve been creating this new pattern over the past week and so far I’ve stuck with it most nights so I’m pretty happy about that. Baby steps, but hey, whatever it takes!

I have other motivations as well, but I think James’ boss dying really kind of slapped me in the face and reminded me that time is of the essence. If I’m going to do things, there is no time like the present. Not that I am suddenly doing 10,000 things per day to get er done, but at least the gears are in motion!

This afternoon we managed to get out while the sun was semi-shining. Met up with our neighbour, who has 2 kids (17 months and 2 ½ months – gawd, she must be busy!) I’m hoping we can get together for a visit in the near future. It’s silly that we live beside each other and are both home a lot with our wee ones but we hardly ever see each other. I’m vowing to put some effort in there and knock on her door.

After running into her, we went to Safeway and got the few things we needed. Not much, just a bunch of produce and some milk and orange juice. It’s amazing how cheap the bill is when the majority is fruits and veggies!

Leaving Safeway, I decided to hit up the liquor store for some Scotch as a gift for James. He was thrilled when he spotted it on the counter when he got home =) I don’t know how anyone can drink that stuff, but it’s his drink of choice. And while it’s not necessarily the healthiest way to drown in one’s sorrows, I figured he deserved it after all he’s been going through with V dying and his new job issues. Oh, a majorly good tidbit of news is that he found out his other boss (it feels weird calling the other V his ‘boss’ as if he is the only boss, even though that’s how it is now…) wants him to expense his trip there for V’s memorial. Phew. What a load off our minds, given it cost over $1,000 for just over 24 hours there! We would have paid it, given all V did for us in the past and the fact that it was really important for James to be there. But…seriously, what a load off.
Anyway, I’m getting off track here…I took Andrew to the hotel lobby to run around and he was loving it. He found a ramp to run up and down and he became obsessed with it, then the stairs. He’s not so great at coming down them (he runs and doesn’t realize that he’s going to fall if Momma doesn’t catch him). But he’s learning and it’s so much fun watching him climb up the stairs. I say, ‘Biiiig step’ and he careful steps up without using his hands!
After running around for a while, I thought he could probably use a drink so we went to Starbucks. We shared a peach green tea iced tea (he LOVED it!) and a chocolate chip cookie, although I ate most of the cookie and he had his goldfish cheese crackers, which he seemed to prefer. Well, after I had some cookie I would wipe my hands, kind of like a clap but where you’re just kind of brushing your hands together, you know? Andrew thought that was the funniest thing and started to mimic me. Every time he finished a cracker, he would wipe at his hands. Now when I say, ‘Andrew, wipe your hands of it!’ he does it. It’s hilarious!

I’m so glad we got out for a while and had a bit of fun, even if it doesn’t sound like much to anyone else!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Motivated, but to do what?


There are so many things that I want to do, I just have to find the time to do it all. We all feel that way, I know! There just aren’t enough hours in the day, at least not enough where we’ve got the energy to do all the things our minds desire.

I finally finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. Gawd, what’d it take me, like a year?! Not quite, but I think I bought the book last September and that’s a long time to get through a book. I kept putting it down and not going back to it for a long time. It’s not a good book to do that with, because it’s so all over the place with the dates and (obviously) time travels, so if you haven’t read it and are going to, I’d recommend sticking with it and reading it in a much shorter amount of time than me! Of course, I’d pretty much say the same for any book…but still.

It’s hard to find the time to read around here, unless of course it’s a board book. I read plenty of those every day! Andrew’s current fave is a pull-the-flap book about Spot the dog. He hasn’t eaten his supper, silly dog, and we must find him. Is he behind the clock? How about under the stairs? Blah blah blah. A few of the flaps have been pulled off, one I found and taped back on…One was chewed off halfway and couldn’t be salvaged…LOL But Andrew just loves this book. I read it and use a different voice for each animal behind the flap saying, ‘No’ (that Spot isn’t there)…After reading it about 5 times, I am getting board (oops, I mean bored!) so I put it down and say, ‘Go get Momma another book!’ but no other book will do. I hand him another and he throws it down and whines till I read the Spot book again. I tell ya, kids and repetition! I love watching his little bowling pin fingers lift all the flaps though, it’s so cute.

PS I liked The Time Traveler's Wife, as in it wasn't a waste of time to read...but at the same time part of me doesn't quite get it. Maybe I need to think about it some more, but part of me feels like, yeah, so what? Did I really just read over 500 pages...and not really feel like it went anywhere?! Anyone else read it - want to share your thoughts about it?

I am really feeling this NEED to get creative. I wish I knew how to sew. I know I could learn but I have no room for a sewing machine, so I don’t think it’s something I can take up right now. I really would LOVE to learn how to paint, and not like a kindergarten kid (which is pretty much the level I’m at now) but as in actually paint. Is it possible to learn that or does it have to be a skill you’re born with? Could I take, say, a watercolour class, and actually learn how to do watercolour paintings that have wow factor, or would everything turn out like a silly kid painting and the only person who would want one would be my mom?! I’m curious about that. It’s something I’d love to do (not necessarily watercolour, but painting of some kind) but I wonder if I joined a class, would everyone else have a natural flair and then there’d be me with my 5 year old drawing skills?

Anyway…something to think about. Not that I have the time to take any sort of course right now but at the same time it’d be sooo nice, even if just one evening a week, to have something to go to that was just for me. It’s hard though, because if I get time to myself James is going to want time to himself too, and of course he should be able to have that. But I can’t handle the idea of being on my own with Andrew from, like, 8:30am all the way till 9 or 10 at night. It’s soooo exhausting because he’s soooo full of energy and I am soooo not! LOL

I have more to write but I think I’ll go get the box down from the closet with all my craft stuff in it, while Andrew is napping. See what I might find in there for inspiration…

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A mixed bag

It’s so hard for me to sneak time away. And I mean literally ‘sneak’ as I have to try to get into the bedroom and close the door before Andrew hears or sees that I am going. I started using my laptop and it sounded like he was still enthralled with a show so all was well…then all of a sudden he seemed to notice Momma was gone and now he’s just wailing and won’t stop no matter what James does to try to distract him. I love that he loves his Momma but it’s hard not ever getting a break (without feeling totally guilty for upsetting him!)

I feel like issues are arising with the m-i-l again, which right now is truly the last thing I need. There is enough stress given my own family issues, James’ boss dying and the implications of that on his job…We don’t need to go down this road again where his mom isn’t happy with us.

Here’s the deal: She’s planning a trip out in May because she wants to see Andrew (the last time she was here was November and that was when she met him for the first time). Completely understandable that she wants to come out and I don’t have a problem with that at all. But she decided of her own accord that wouldn’t it be glorious to go away to a cottage somewhere on a lake or island away from the city and spend a week there together. Her original plan included James being at work through the week so it would just be her and Andrew and me and then James could meet up with us on the weekend.

Given our history, it really irks me that she would even suggest such a thing. In my opinion, it’s like she’s begging for a conflict here. Sure on the surface it sounds nice – we go away to a cottage on a lake, she helps take care of the boy while I read and go for walks on my own etc. But realistically? There would be such high expectations on her part, ones I KNOW I could never live up to. Not to mention I couldn’t stay just with her on my own…and the thing is even if James was there, the most I could go for would be a couple of nights. I need to be able to have space from her, and not just where I go off for a walk on my own but to be able to go home and be away, you know? I feel like we’re finally getting along and I don’t want it to be ruined by a trip that would totally stress me out and could never live up to how she has it built in her mind.

James had the wonderful job of breaking this to her (in the nicest way possible) tonight and of course she didn’t take it very well. She’s re-evaluating her whole trip now, apparently. What bugs me is that she asks US what WE want and for us to talk it over and get back to her so she knows what WE’RE COMFORTABLE WITH and then when we tell her, she blows a gasket. It’s exactly why no one ever feels comfortable discussing their feelings with her and is exactly why things went awry the Christmas before Andrew was born. I can’t have a repeat of that, so lets hope she reflects on things and doesn’t take it all so personally. There are so many fun things we could do in and around the city, day trips we could take since she’d be renting a car anyway. Why not focus on the positive of all the fun things we could do and not freak out because we won’t be together literally 24/7…

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in what I can handle. Given all that has happened in the past, it seems only fair to me that space be given where needed, and respectfully.

Anyway…I’m so tired of all these things draining us emotionally. I know things could be a lot worse, but sometimes I feel like they could also be so much better.

Any ideas for things to do with a toddler while the community centres are still closed (seeing as the Paralympics start soon, they’re closed till April). We’re signed up for swim lessons again, but that doesn’t start till near the end of the month. What can we do besides go to the park swings or aquarium?? I know there are other things to do in the city, maybe I just need some sleep so I can find the energy to get up and go!

But right now it’s time to get ready for LOST!!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Rest in Peace, V. You will be missed.

James is home from San Francisco. He didn’t get back till after 2am and had to go into work this morning but at least he’s back.

The memorial went as memorials go…sad, but what can you do. James of course knew V as his boss, so he said it was interesting getting more of a sense of who he was outside of that role. They did spend some time hanging out during the times when James was in California for work, but of course the majority of their time was spent doing work related things and talking shop. V was a kind and generous soul though, and it sounds to me like that really came across in what people were saying about him at his funeral.

It was an open casket funeral though…which totally freaks me out more than I could ever express. So glad I didn’t have to see that. James wasn’t particularly happy to have seen it, I think it was quite disturbing for him. There was a great blown-up picture of V beside the casket and I think that would have been nicer to focus on than the body.

I know different people have different customs and I by no means am intending to sound rude, I guess you could say I am ignorant about these things but that’s probably because I’ve never been to a formal funeral before. The party as a send off type, but not the body in the casket (whether opened or closed) type.

V was Indian so after the memorial they did a ceremony in Hindi with chanting and whatnot. Then immediate family went into the back room and V’s body was cremated while they chanted. I realize that this is their custom, and I do respect that. BUT there is absolutely no way I could handle that myself. I can’t lie and say I understand how you could or why you would do that. I am having a hard enough time with the made-up image in my mind of what V would have looked like in his casket, all done up with make-up to make him look as ‘real’ as possible (James likened it to looking at a wax figure) – there is NO WAY I could stomach watching someone I care about be burned up into ashes.

Obviously it’s not ‘easy’ for the family to do – they do it because that’s their custom, that’s their way of sending the person off, knowing their soul is in a better place and the body must be disposed of.

But it still frightens me and makes me want to curl up and cry at the mere thought. James is a stronger man than I, I don’t know if I could have been there for it. He wasn’t in the room for the cremation, but you could hear what was happening, and just knowing that made me cringe.

This is not meant to take away from the things that were said about V and the fact that so many people thought so highly of him and for good reason, because even though I didn’t know him well, I definitely got the sense that he was a man who was full of life and was a good person at heart.

But just hearing about the whole memorial process…I am 100% certain that I don’t want anyone to have to see me dead, and I definitely don’t want to have to be made-up with layers of make-up to make me look presentable. When I die I want to be cremated but I don’t want any friends or family there for the event. I don’t even want anyone in my family to collect the ashes and spread them somewhere. I would prefer the cremator get rid of my ashes, I suppose just by tossing them in the trash. I wouldn’t see that as disrespect because by that point in time, I am already gone. I told James that for me, it is enough to feel that my spirit and energy have lifted and are ‘out there’ in the world – but me without my mind and me as just ashes is no longer me.

Ugh just thinking about it is too much for me. I really do have issues with death. But I don’t see how I couldn’t. This whole event is proof that someone young and seemingly healthy can die suddenly of natural causes – there really is nothing that can be done sometimes. We are all at risk. How can that not freak me out? I do want to do my best to live my life to the fullest every day, to the best of my ability…V did that, and that is one saving grace that we can know he did his best to enjoy his life while he was living. I suppose that is the best we can all hope and strive for.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Kids say the darndest things!

Still very blah, especially knowing that right this minute (11:15am) V’s memorial is taking place. I’ve been doing my best to keep busy with cleaning and playing with Andrew. If I sit idle for any length of time, I just get fixated on the fact that V is dead and I can’t focus on anything else. I am constantly shaking my head, asking why. I still can’t believe it.

But anyway, I know I have to mush on and so I will.

On a lighter note, here are a few tidbits of Andrew’s cuteness:

Yesterday James and I were sitting on our bed talking about stuff and Andrew was playing with some of his toys that I put in my cedar chest in the bedroom. He pulled out a Christmas box (not a toy, but was in amongst his things) and I was watching him play as James and I talked. He was babbling away to the box, then he pointed at Santa Claus and said, ‘Ho Ho Ho!’ It was SO cute! My mom had taught him to say Ho Ho Ho when asked what Santa says, but she hadn’t shown him a picture of Santa or anything. So I have no idea how he knew it was Santa…Yes, he did have his picture taken with Santa, but that was in November and I KNOW he didn’t know who he was.

I asked him the other day, ‘Andrew, what does Momma say?’ and his reply was: ‘Uh oh!’ LOL Yes, I do say that to him quite a bit, given all the mischief he gets up to. I just thought it was so funny that he associated ‘Momma’ with saying ‘Uh oh!’

He also does a meow noise when asked what the kitty cats do, and now he has taken to seeing a picture of a cat or a cat on TV and he does the same thing. My aunt has quite a few cat pictures and do-dads and he was going around at her place the other day pointing and meowing at everything cat-related!

He is just way too cute, if I do say so myself ;)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

It feels like our world is turned upside down

It has been tough around here the past few days. This morning we got out for a bit of a walk, picked James up the world’s smallest tube of toothpaste so he wouldn’t have to check his bag for his trip. We’re still in total disbelief. If you’d told me a week ago that James would be flying to California for his boss’ funeral this weekend, I wouldn’t have believed it for a second.

I am totally in denial, I keep thinking he’s going to call and everything will go back to normal. James spent many a day on the phone to him, hours and hours talking to him. It’s so hard to believe they will never speak again.

It’s the lack of closure in not ever getting the chance to say goodbye. One minute chatting about what work needs done for when, then never hearing from him again. It’s SO SAD. There’s no way around that, or this feeling of loss and mourning.

I wish I could have gone with James, just to be his moral support. If I feel this sad, I can only imagine how it is for him, since he was so much closer to V. I wish I could hug James and hold him and remind him every second how much I love him. I did that before he left and do that often anyway just because I really do love him so much and I know he knows it…but I hate that he is hurting and having to go there on his own to the memorial. At least he’s back tomorrow night. I just wish there was some way to turn this all around, go back in time and make V be alive again. How can he not be alive? He was only 10 years older than us. He seemed so healthy. How could this happen? WHY did it have to happen? I hate not having the answers to these questions.

My mom is here helping me out with Andrew till James gets home. I’m glad she came over because I think I would feel way too overwhelmed on my own right now. Too much on my mind.

I feel so tired and so BLAH. James said V really wouldn’t want me to feel sad, but I think he should expect it! I just can’t believe this. I imagined we’d make a trip to California someday with Andrew and meet up with him, it feels strange to know that that’s not a possibility anymore. He was such a good person and I don’t understand why it had to be his time to go.

Here is an excerpt from an email V sent me in reply to a thank you I sent him for sending us on a getaway for our wedding present:

I also wanted to show my appreciation for everything James has done and continues to do for us. I trust him, I respect him and I enjoy working with him, although it has been less and less lately with me being busy with many other things. I am sure he draws inspiration from you and that shows in most aspects of his work.


V saw James much in the same light as what I see him, in terms of his work ethic and abilities. I guess that’s one of the reasons this hurts me so much. Obviously just the life lost in general creates sadness, but the fact that it was someone who was such a part of James’ life and who knew him so well. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just such a loss.

I know I did complain about V at times. He got on my nerves, I won’t deny it. When a person dies, they become idolized, placed on a pedestal as if they hadn’t a single fault. My issue with V was overworking James, though ultimately I know that that’s just the way James is – he would put in the hours he does regardless of who his boss was. It’s normal for a person to get annoyed by their spouse’s boss at times…but overall I was really amazed at how well V treated us. He did a lot for us over the 4 ½ years James has worked for the company so far. I hope he knew how much we appreciated the way he took care of us. I hope he knew how highly so many people thought of him, and how much he will be missed.

A little bit of 'us' time

My bro and s-i-l did a great job looking after the boy last night so James and I could go out. We were out for 2 hours, maybe slightly longer. Doesn’t sound like a long time but when you’re not used to looking after a toddler, it can seem long. They had a good time though and Andrew was very well behaved for them. In fact, anyone who ever looks after him says he’s a little gem who, if he’s doing something wrong and they say no in a gentle voice, he stops doing it. We’re beginning to wonder who this little Tasmanian devil is that WE see and why he isn’t that way when we’re not around?! Because gentle or yelling or anything in between – he doesn’t listen when WE say no!

James and I were in a very sombre mood but we made the most of our time to just sit and reflect together. We just can’t think about anything other than V. Still reeling. HOW CAN HE BE DEAD? It just isn’t right, it doesn’t make sense, it can’t be. But it is, and we’re trying to deal with it however we can. I honestly wouldn’t have thought I’d be this affected but I’m going about doing something and then it just hits me and I’m stunned all over again. Maybe I didn’t realize how much a presence he had in our lives, but I’m realizing it now.

James and I went to a dessert place on Denman, which is mediocre at best. I had been once before and wasn’t impressed and this time was no different. The desserts we had were tasty but there’s no presentation, and for the price I think there should be. And the service sucked just as much this time as the first time. Only this time was maybe slightly worse, and became so when our waiter asked James if he wanted change. He had paid with a credit card.

But, it was still a decent place to sit and talk. I enjoyed the drink called ‘Vancouver Fog’ which consisted of Earl Grey tea, vanilla syrup (which there was just a hint of, maybe) and steamed milk.

After that we didn’t want to go home just yet, but it was so cold out and we weren’t wearing heavy enough jackets so we stopped by the hotel nearby and I used the washroom. We gave my bro and s-i-l a call to see how things were going, and since all was well we went to the lounge for a drink before heading home. It was nice and quiet and we were sort of relaxing, although still sighing a lot! But then these 3 women came in and sat across from us and they were dressed kind of slutty and they didn’t look good that way but they seemed to think they did. And they were talking SO LOUD, I wanted to just move since the rest of the place was pretty much empty, but we were almost done so we just finished up our drinks and went home.

Had a visit with the bro and s-i-l, Andrew nursed and fell fast asleep. It was so nice to get out just for a few hours, I am so in need of being able to do that on a more regular basis. I mean, that was the first time we’d been out just the two of us in quite some time, it just never happens. I’ve always got the boy attached to me, and most of the time that’s OK but it really is important to have time away once in a while too. Especially when we really need to collect our thoughts and even just sit in silence for a minute or two. Not an easy task with a rambunctious baby boy in tow!

James flies to San Francisco today, the memorial is tomorrow. Very short notice, it’s all happening way too fast. I’m still at the stage where I don’t want to believe it to be true.


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