Monday, May 31, 2010

Yes No Maybe So

(Written yesterday)
Andrew has got the words ‘No’ and ‘Yeah’ down pat.

When my mom was over looking after my brother and s-i-l’s cats, I’d say to him, ‘Andrew, do you want to go visit Gramma?’ He’d reply, ‘Yeah!’

Or, ‘Andrew, did you have fun at swimming today?’

‘Yeah!’

When he started getting fussy on the way to play group I asked him ‘Andrew, do you think your girlfriend might be there today?’

He calmed right down and replied, ‘Yeah!’

This morning I was feeding him some banana bread, when a bag of Cheesies caught his eye. I said, ‘If you eat your banana bread, maybe you can have a Cheesie.’

He looked at the banana bread, back at the Cheesie bag, and got this look on his face and I said, ‘You’re not going to eat your banana bread, are you?’

He replied, ‘Nooo!’ and proceeded to hand it back to me.

LOL

I liked it when my mom asked him today, ‘You love your Momma, don’t you Andrew?’ and he got a big grin on his face, looked over at me and said, ‘Yeah!’ =)

Another fun thing lately is how much he loves to give hugs and kisses – especially kisses. Sometimes if you just plain ol’ ask for a kiss, he’ll give you one, but other times he’ll ignore your request. But he’s much more likely to give them if you’re more specific about it. ‘Andrew, can you kiss Momma’s nose?’ He comes over, leans in, and focuses to make sure he’s accurately kissing the centre of my nose! I love it when he kisses my cheek and makes a big kissy Mwaa! sound after. He also likes to first press his cheek against mine before leaning in for a kiss. Priceless!!

He had an oh baby (also known as a boo boo or in plain English, a cut!) on his knee that took a long time to heal because he kept re-scraping it on the playground or wherever. As a result, he had his first ever band-aid experience. I got him some with lions and hippos and alligators on them, and he would point to them and kiss them. There is just a tiny spot now where you can see where his oh baby was, but he still lifts his pant leg up, pulls his leg toward himself and kisses it better several times a day. LOL

He’s getting pretty good about holding my hand when we’re walking somewhere, although of course he still prefers to walk independently. He was never one of those babies who started walking by holding onto mom and dad’s hands – he just got up and started walking on his own from the get go. But there are times where I can’t let him walk if he won’t hold on, and he’s starting to understand that. Yesterday on the ferry we were walking around and I said, ‘Andrew, you’re going to have to hold Momma’s hand if you want to walk, OK?’ and he automatically reached his hand up, grabbed a hold of my index finger, and held on tight as we walked!

He is the cutest thing EVER!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I need a f*cking holiday

While of course my situation could be far worse than it is, I feel like I have enough on my plate without my m-i-l making me feel like banging my head against a wall.

It doesn’t help matters that Andrew decided not to nap AT ALL today, not even for 5 minutes, so I haven’t had a single break since getting up at 8am. I even took him swimming in the hopes it would tucker him out in the early afternoon, but it’s nearly 6pm and nadda. It’s really tough because he’s go go go to such a degree, I literally CAN’T keep up over an extended period of time. I am able to put it into perspective because I know it’s because I’m so tired but I actually started thinking I wish I would just die and then I could sleep forever. And I HATE it when it gets that bad. That’s when I start crying because I feel bad for even thinking such a thing, even if just for a fleeting moment. I can’t help it though. Sometimes, there are just days like that.

It’s hard because I have enough with just Andrew to deal with, and while usually he’s an absolute peach, he has his moments just like the rest of us. Even if he’s not ‘having a moment,’ he’s just such high energy that it’s a challenge to keep up at times.

If I just had him to contend with, that would be one thing.

But why don’t we throw my severely depressed mother into the mix?

And my psycho-lunatic mother in law who obviously has a big chunk of coal in place of a heart?

It’s so emotionally draining dealing constantly with other people’s shite. It’s truly tiresome. I don’t know what more to say.

I wrote a whole journal entry about ‘dealing with a depressed person’ but I didn’t post it. It explains one or two things of how I’m feeling, although I wasn’t satisfied with it after I wrote it because I don’t actually know how to put into words what I feel.

But here it is, anyway:

It’s hard dealing with a depressed person on a regular basis. Especially when it is someone you care so much about.

I find it really transfers onto me, onto my own life, (probably in more ways than I’m even aware) and sometimes it’s hard to shake the feeling. The feeling of being overwhelmed by their sadness, feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. Coming to terms with their seemingly eternal unhappiness is hard.

It’s hard for many reasons, some of them obvious. But one thing that has been hitting me harder and harder lately is seeing how much the depression affects our relationship. It means we can’t have the relationship I thought we once had. We can’t have the friendship that we could have. It’s not that we aren’t friends and it’s not that we don’t have a relationship, but it very much revolves around the depression. And you can only do so much with that.

You can only say certain things, and conversations generally take a negative turn. There are good times and there is laughter and happy-seeming conversation, but we all know what is at the root of it all. When all is said and done, the negativity ends up rearing its ugly head pretty much every time.

And you become almost afraid to say certain things, things you’re thinking about doing or are doing in your own life that are positive. It’s also hard sometime to tell them what you think they can or should do to make changes for the better in their lives. You get to a point where you feel like a broken record and you fall silent when you feel you should probably say something. It’s a vicious circle ALL THE TIME.

It’s so sad to watch a person you love go on this downward spiral. I feel a sense of loss constantly. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that this isn’t going to change. But I just don’t think it ever will. How can I ever be OK with that?

I take way too much on, but I have no choice. Or at least that’s how it feels. I’m not good at setting boundaries. I end up being an enabler and I also end up sort of being taken advantage of. Not on purpose, but it happens.

It’s an exhausting process, obviously more so for the depressed person. They don’t mean to do it and it’s not like I’m playing the blame game here. But it takes its toll on loved ones too.


Did I mention in there that something else that’s really hard to deal with sometimes is how the person can’t really be there for you, not in the ways you really need them to be, because of their depression? Because it’s true. It’s so hard sometimes, knowing that they can really only be there for you in more surface ways because ultimately they’re so self-focused and dwelling on their own issues that it would be impossible for them to truly be there for someone else.

Sigh.

I won’t even get into what’s upsetting me with the mother in law. I was going to, but this is long enough as it is. And Andrew has been whining for hours now and I can’t concentrate anymore. Luckily James is home and ‘dealing’ with him at the moment, but still. We have to go out in half an hour and I’m totally not prepared for that. We’re heading over to my bro and s-i-l’s to hear about their trip to Russia. I’m looking forward to hearing about it, but given they don’t do well with kids and Andrew is going to be super fuss-budgety given his lack of nap, this should make for a reeeal fun time =D

LIZZIE NEEDS SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hugs and Quiches

For a while now I’ve been meaning to post some recipes for quick and easy meal options. I don’t generally have a whole lot of time for cooking (what with Andrew pulling at my pant leg wanting all the attention on him), so I like things that are fast in prep time. I also like things that I can prepare well in advance of supper time. Like just now, while Andrew is napping, I got a quiche prepared and put in the oven for tonight’s supper. It will be easy to reheat a few minutes before James gets home, and I like it because it’s something Andrew will enjoy too. So I’ll start my recipe posting with a basic quiche recipe. (Followed by some comments about adjustments I’ve made).

Basic Quiche
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

3 eggs
1 ½ - 2 cups cream or Half and Half
½ tsp salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Gruyere cheese – about ¼ cup grated


Beat eggs, cream, and seasonings in a mixing bowl till well blended. If making vegetable quiche, seasonings can be adjusted. Thyme is excellent with vegetables and ¼ tsp will do wonders. Parboil the vegetables, especially harder ones. Drain thoroughly. If using spinach, cut very fine and squeeze out all excess water. Mix veggies with egg mixture, and when ready to bake, pour into pastry shell and put in oven. If not baking for a while, do not put into shell and let sit – this will sog the crust. Precaution against soggy pastry – pre-cook empty shell till set but not brown before putting quiche in oven. Always use the nutmeg, no matter the filling!

(Cooking times will vary depending on your oven - I cook mine on the center rack for about 35-40 minutes)

This recipe was given to me by my f-i-l’s partner, and she makes amazing quiches. This was just off the top of her head, not from a recipe book or anything - to give me the basic idea of how to make a quiche.

I have sort of taken from the recipe and made it my own. For example, while Gruyere cheese DOES taste AMAZING in a quiche, it’s a tad pricey and I only buy it once in a blue moon. I find grated cheddar (I usually use half a cup or a bit more) works just fine. When they’re on sale I’ll buy those bag o’ grated cheese, sometimes with a mixture of different cheeses, and that’s great also. But definitely the cheapest option (without compromising taste) is cheddar. I also never buy cream-o these days so I use 2% milk and it works just fine.

I have a quiche dish that I use but you can also get the tin foil type of throw away ones for cheap. I usually put some butter on the bottom to grease it, but PAM spray or whatever you have would work fine too.

Oh and while sometimes I make pastry (‘cheating’ by buying a kit where you just add water!), we actually prefer crumbled up crackers as a crust instead of actual pie crust. Toppables brand is our favourite, but whatever you have on hand will work. As I was making the quiche I remembered that we don’t have very many crackers right now, so this time it’s a mixture of cheese Ritz and Vintas! Should be tasty!

Right now I’m making a broccoli and cauliflower quiche with cheddar cheese. I also love spinach quiche (and I sauté onions usually to go in it – don’t forget to sauté them first though or they’ll stay crunchy and it’s not as good that way). I prefer getting the bag o’ spinach and just cooking it down (and remember to get as much of the water out as possible before adding it to the egg mixture!) rather than having to deal with the frozen spinach, but it’s personal preference.

There are endless possibilities for types of quiche, from plain cheese, to all varieties of veg, to even a taco quiche! I recently made one with a tortilla chip crust (although I admit it wasn’t the greatest crust ever) and used Mexican veggie ground round and salsa and cheese and onions (this is an exception where it would have been better to NOT sauté the onions, since in tacos they aren’t generally cooked) – it was really tasty! I also added a little spinach (not much) since I had some on hand and wanted something green in place of lettuce. Green pepper would have been another good addition.

It’s super easy to make quiche – Just now it took me no more than 10 minutes to fully prepare the meal and get it in the oven. You can serve it warm or cold, and it goes well with a side of salad, steamed or roasted veggies, or even Tater Tots or French Fries, whatever you feel like!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A place to call home

I’m not only disheartened but starting to get downright worried about finding a new place to live.

Not that we’re planning on moving within the next few months or anything, but I like to look at rental listings on a fairly regular basis just to keep on top of what’s out there. If something super fantabulous space- and price-wise suddenly appeared, we might consider moving sooner than later.

The thing is, we’re kind of spoiled with what we have and our location right now.

But let’s start from the beginning.

The beginning of James and me living together OFF university campus, that is. While Shell House at SFU was a great place to live when we were there (1998/99), it was pretty run down even then, and I can’t say as I’d have chosen to live there under any other circumstances! Let’s just put it this way: it wasn’t THAT long ago that we lived there…well it has since been demolished and I’d imagine there’s some sort of highrise in its place now. Which is kinda weird to think of, the place where James and I met, were neighbours, where we fell in love, is gone. But the mustard stained corkboard in the kitchen, bright orange countertops and stuffy cubby-hole bedrooms, oh and let’s not forget the moldy shower curtains!, are forever implanted in our brains!

So, yes, best to skip over that particular dwelling because arguably we didn’t really CHOOSE it but rather were placed there (and I’m glad of it since we otherwise might never have met, and what a terrible shame that would have been – I can’t even imagine it).

When we decided to move out together (much to all our friends’ chagrins – they gave us 6 months before living together would break us up – HA!) we looked at apartment listings in the newspaper (was Craigslist even around back then? If it was, I didn’t know about it!) and saw 3 that we decided to go take a look at. I don’t even know if we looked at all three, but I know we saw 2 of them for sure. We ended up going with the first one we looked at, and I don’t think it took us very long to decide it was the right fit. It was a 2 bedroom suite on the third (top) floor, with a balcony, on a tree-lined street. A fairly quiet neighbourhood surrounded by forest area and the grocery store not too far away at the nearest shopping mall. It turned out to be a fantastic find – we stayed there for 7 years.

We decided to move away from North Burnaby when we were both finished school and didn’t have any reason to be in that area anymore. Our brothers were both living downtown by this point and no one ever wanted to have to make the trek out to see us ‘all the way in Burnaby’ (and we didn’t enjoy travelling downtown and back out there) so we were starting to feel a bit isolated. Plus, it’s nice to start someplace new every now and then (though moving is a fairly big deal to me since growing up we only moved once and it was just one street away from where we’d lived before!)

We looked at a few places in the west end when we decided that was where we wanted to reside, and again went with the first place that we saw. It was newly renovated (we were the first to live in the suite since the upgrades had been made) on the 17th floor with an amazing view of the city. What sold me on the place immediately was the ‘peek-a-boo’ kitchen that overlooked the living area. I loved the openness of it and the view and being up so high. It also had the bonus of an outdoor pool, and we happened to be one of few people that really took to using it in the warmer months, so it sometimes felt as if we had it all to ourselves. It was a great place for a while – till we had an arsonist living in the building and too many fires to count. Running down all those stairs each time wasn’t fun…and when our neighbours on both sides started to get completely under my skin, it was time to move on.

Plus we were starting to talk about possibly starting a family soon, and I KNEW in my heartest of hearts that I didn’t want to have a child (or be pregnant, what with all the fire alarms and stairs to run down!) in that place.

I knew I wanted to leave there SOON but we’d only just started looking at places, and hadn’t firmly decided on when we wanted our move out month to be. We were walking around in Coal Harbour and happened upon this building and decided to have a look, although we were SURE given the newness of it and the location that we wouldn’t be able to afford a single suite in the place. But as it turned out, they took down our info and gave us a call about 2 days later to let us know that a few suites in our price range had come up for grabs.

We looked at 3 suites and by far the one we’re living in was my favourite. I knew as soon as we walked in the door that I could live here. I was immediately drawn to the openness of it, and liked the layout of the kitchen far better than the other suites. It was bright, had IN SUITE LAUNDRY, and while it faces out to a very busy street, the windows are double paned. I knew it had to be quieter than our place in the west end! I also loved that it had a concierge and 24 hour security, so I wouldn’t have the same worry factor that I did at our old place. A lot of really friendly people lived there, but a few bad seeds had ruined it for me entirely.

We took the place (obviously) and have been here now for a little over 2 years.

I’d love to stay longer but it’s just not practical. Andrew’s bedroom is the size of most people’s closets and eventually he’s going to need a bigger room AND a closet, since his room IS the closet! LOL It works for us right now and there are so many things I love about it that I will miss when we leave. But it’s so freaking small.

And when you spend as much time at home, and with a little one, as what I do, it starts to feel like the walls are caving in on you. The more and more stuff Andrew accumulates, the smaller and smaller the place feels.

James and I were talking about it the other day, and we both agreed that we wouldn’t want to get pregnant again while living in this place. So we have some time, since obviously I don’t plan on getting preggers again for another year. But the reality is, time goes by pretty darn quickly, and we’d really like to feel established somewhat wherever we’re going to be next before we throw ourselves into having another child.

It’s going to be a transition not just for us, but for Andrew, and I’d like to see him completely adjusted and enjoying his new home before I’m pregnant again and life as he knows it is changed forever!

We’re still debating where we’d like to live. Vancouver is wonderful and we’d love to stay here for the convenience factor of being close to things. Close to people, too, as both our brothers are here but also now my aunt and uncle. If we move far away, we’re even less likely than we are now to get people to babysit for us, and already it feels like we only go out once in a blue moon. These are things we really do have to think about!

But on the other hand, I honestly see us living somewhere farther out, in the suburbs, to raise our family. I don’t see Andrew going to the elementary school in the west end, which is where he’d be going if we stayed here. I can’t answer why that is, other than to say that growing up in a far smaller city myself, it seems strange this idea of going to school and having high traffic streets right near by. Like the high school on Denman, that just seems sooo strange to me!

The school near our old area in North Burnaby was in a PERFECT setting and I’d LOVE for Andrew to go there, but we’re not entirely sure if we want to live in the exact same area we were in before – although honestly I think it’s a mini-paradise there in some ways, truly. It is so serene and beautiful there, so I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. I HAVE seen postings now and then in that area for townhouses in our rental price range so it’s a possibility.

We’ve also toyed with the idea of North Van, and possibly checking out Lynn Valley (in North Van) because we’ve heard it’s very family-oriented and a little ways out so a tad cheaper than living closer to downtown.

Otherwise there are places like Port Moody, although our issue with that is how far away it is. James would have to take the West Coast Express to work and that seems like such a chore somehow. Also, going to the island to visit family would be an absolute bitch, to say the least. I’m not entirely thrilled by the idea of that.

So we’re torn and aren’t entirely sure where to even look. But I will say, what’s most worrisome is when I check Craigslist and other similar sites for listings and I see what’s out there. Most of it (anything in our price range, at least) is kind of scary. OK, a lot scary. Downright ugly and unliveable seeming.

I don’t want to live in the basement of someone’s house I’ve decided, because of the noise factor and part of me just thinks it would feel awkward somehow. Although it seems a moot point because almost no one seems to accept pets, and with two cats, that’s going to be kind of limiting for us.

Yes, I do have some criteria for where I’d be willing to set up camp, but I’m not overly picky. I just want to be realistic about our needs, since I’m hoping our next place will be somewhere we’ll stay for a good chunk of time.

I just wish it was easier to find something decent for an affordable price.

I guess I’ll keep looking. We’ve always had pretty good luck finding a place that met our needs at the time, so there’s no point thinking that it can’t happen again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spoiler Alert! Thoughts on LOST and Celebrity Apprentice finales

Last night was the finale episode of the series LOST.

It also happened to be this season’s finale of Celebrity Apprentice.

Both shows we happen to watch (of the 4 shows we watch in total) and wouldn’t you know their finales would both be airing at the same exact time.

We (mostly me) were fiends about it – had to see both shows because otherwise we’d risk finding out information we might not want to know in advance. Being that we’re old school and don’t have a DVR or any such thing, we had to record Celebrity Apprentice on my brother’s VCR (yes, VCR!!) and we watched LOST at home. Then I ran over at 11:30pm when LOST was over and picked up the tape (thank gawd they only live 2 blocks from us!) and we stayed up and watched CA. So it was a TV marathon because LOST was on from 7-11:30, then CA from midnight-2am.

By the end of it all, I felt so exhausted just from having sat and watched TV for so long. It was ridiculous and now James and I feel like we need a total break from television. Which should be easy to do given all the finales we’re interested in have taken place so there will be nothing new to woo us till the fall =)

Here’s where the spoilers come in, so don’t read any further if you’re hoping to catch LOST or CA but haven’t yet…

First of all, CA…Woot Woot!! Bret won! I was rooting for him so I was pretty excited about that. Although Holly was amazing and I really like her too, I guess I jumped on the Bret Michaels’ bandwagon. I just can’t help but love the guy! That’s all I’ll say about that show though, because really, it’s Celebrity Apprentice. ‘Nuff said. I will add though that Ellen cracked a joke a while ago about wishing it was an hour long show instead of 2 and I have to say I agree with her whole-heartedly!!!!! There is so much they could eliminate from that show. But that being said, I will most likely want to watch it again next season =P

Then there’s LOST.

Wow.

OK, so I don’t even really know what to say. Yet. Or will I ever? I’m not even sure! James and I have talked and talked about it, and we even went back just now and watched the end over again to see if we could make any more sense of it.

It was so drawn out due to the 2 hour ‘recap’ thing at the beginning (which was more the actors talking about themselves and the show than an actual recap) that I found it a bit exhausting then watching 2 ½ hours of new show. It was good, but drawn out. Yet I don’t think they could have eliminated anything because if anything there are still a lot of questions unanswered.

I’m still confused about the numbers and their significance. And why the man in black turned into a smoke monster when he went into the light tunnel, yet neither Desmond or Jack did. What was the significance of…well…any of it, really?!

I have no idea really what happened and, like I said, there is a lot left to sit and wonder about.

But I do feel that the very end of the show was so emotionally touching that I do see a message in the mix. I found it fitting that the pilot episode started with Jack opening his eyes and the final moment being them closing. I started to cry when Vincent, Walt’s dog (why didn’t we ever see Walt or Michael again, shouldn’t they have been at the church?) showed up and laid down beside Jack. He was always so adamant that ‘we live together but we die alone’ but he didn’t die alone after all. And it was touching when he saw the plane go overhead before he died, so he did not die for nothing.

His conversation with his dad at the church was also touching, and I like that they all found peace and were no longer ‘lost.’

Still a lot of questions but my heart is content with the way they ended it!

It’s impossible to put it into words, but it’ll be interesting to hear other people’s points of view over the next little while. I still can’t believe it’s OVER, it was a long journey, but I’m glad we stuck it out and saw it to the end. It was bizarre and a bit all over the map (literally!) but definitely worth it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Girls gone totally overboard

Last night, quite late, I heard quite a bit of yelling going on outside. I didn’t think too much of it at first. Although it’s fairly rare to hear people talking or yelling outside our building, after living where we did in the west end for a few years I’ve becoming kind of desensitized to that sort of noise.

But it went on for quite some time, and when I started feeling it grating my nerves a bit (it was after midnight and I have a low tolerance for people who aren’t courteous about noise level, especially late at night!!) I took a look out the window.

There were 3 girls and one guy out on the sidewalk. The ‘girls’ were young women, but I say ‘girls’ to emphasize how young they were. They couldn’t have been twenty, my guess would be more around 17-18, although of course it’s impossible to know for sure. Two of them were laying sprawled out partly on the grass, partly on the sidewalk. The other girl was pacing back and forth and the guy was yelling at the two who appeared comatose. They seriously looked dead, the way one was laying and the way the other was sitting, it didn’t look good. The guy kept yelling OH MY GOD YOU GUYS at them and was begging them to just get up and walk. But they were completely unresponsive. One of them was sitting with her legs sprawled and her head just sort of hanging near the ground. The other had vomited all over the grass and was curled up in a ball.

I thought to myself, I’ll give it another couple of minutes, then I’ll call down and see if they need help. The reason I thought I’d wait a few was because the guy was on his cell phone and it was obvious he was calling someone about their situation.

Not a minute passed and the fire truck came roaring down the street, sirens blaring. I wasn’t surprised when it pulled up and parked by the grass out front.

The firefighters mostly talked to the guy, although the girl (who was still standing) was flailing her arms around a lot and trying to talk through sobs. Soon after an ambulance arrived, along with the police.

The paramedics took the blood pressure of the two girls who were still laying on the ground, and tried to get them sitting up. But the one girl just started vomiting again, and the other laid back down. It was quite the scene! They covered them in blankets and took turns sniffing the ‘water’ bottles that the girls had with them. It seemed as though they weren’t quite sure what it was, but it was obviously not water! Shortly after the fire truck left, and fairly soon after that so did the ambulance.

I didn’t watch the whole entire time, just peeked out every so often to see if anything had changed. After a while the girl who was still flailing and sobbing attempted to light a cigarette. It was so embarrassing watching her. She could not get the thing lit no matter how hard she tried, but she was determined. She was stumbling around and just looked really trashy and while I understand her need for the cigarette, given how stressed out she was, it just seemed to add insult to injury at that point. I think it took her about 15 minutes before she successfully lit the damn thing!

I was so curious what the outcome was going to be, because it seemed SO WEIRD to me that the authorities weren’t doing more. By this point the two police officers were just standing there, a little ways away. I thought they should have probably been taken off to the drunk tank, but then part of me wonders if they were too young! Because lo and behold, 2 vehicles pull up a little while later…and it’s the girls’ parents. The mothers introduced themselves to one another, talked a bit with the police, and then with the help of one of the fathers, got the girls into their cars and off they went. The guy and the other girl each went with one of the families, and the police went off, no doubt to their next call of the evening.

It was quite the scenario. I had never personally been in a situation like that (thank gawd) so it was interesting to see how it all played out and how ultimately the parents came and collected up their children.

Hopefully the severely nasty hangover (and possible grounding by the parents, given how young the kids looked!) will be enough to prevent those girls from doing that again. It’s fun to go out and have some drinks and act silly, but there’s also a line and they crossed it times ten!

I have to say, though, that while I definitely don’t condone corruption within the police, I can understand how officers get jaded and do stupid things (the stuff you hear about in the news where they’re beating people up etc). Again, it’s not that I condone that behaviour, but just watching this whole thing play out, seeing how absolutely UNNECESSARY the whole thing was and how much money tax payers are having to pay FOR THAT, I can totally see how one would get to a point of just being bitter and angry about it.

And omg, I’m such a MOM now – I kept thinking how there is NO WAY my daughter (should I ever have one) would be leaving the house looking all tarted up the way those girls were! They looked like prostitutes and it was just sad looking at them.

The vomit and some garbage is still out there on the grass, a reminder of the chaos of Thursday night. I guess you can add ‘city workers’ to the list of people tax payers are supporting from this event, because eventually someone’s going to have to come along and clean it up!

Best backyard ever

Who says we don't have an amazing backyard? So what if we have to go down an elevator and walk a few blocks to get to it?!

Andrew had an unusally long nap yesterday, which made me concerned that he might not want to go to bed at his usual bed time in the evening. So to get some of his energies out, we took him on a walk and got him kicking his soccer ball around for a while. It was a perfect night to be out.
This scenery looks like it's out of Alice in Wonderland or something. It's absolutely stunning!
The water looked amazing, and I told James I want to try rowing sometime. I should look into that.
Always with the intense need to CLIMB!
A dad and boy moment =)
Andrew's look here is strangely similar to his 'poo face' but he wasn't doing any business - he just wanted to be out of Momma's arms and on the ground running!
Haha - best family shot I was able to capture.
B-E-A-U-TIFUL!
I love the funky flowers that are starting to pop up everywhere.
I'm so excited - spring is here and summer is literally JUST around the corner!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Siiiiiiiigh.

Blah blah blah.

I feel soooooo blah today.

I’m guessing it’s primarily due to lack of sleep. Last night was HORRIBLE. Andrew woke up right before I was going to go to bed, which is unusual for him, so rather than sit there listening to him cry I cuddled him for a while.

It was actually one of those precious moments and even though I was tired and wanting to go to bed, I sat for that little bit of extra time just holding him and watching him sleep in my arms. There really is nothing sweeter than that.

But when I finally got to sleep it was nearly 1am, and Andrew woke at 4 and seemed to want to get up already. I was so tired so I wasn’t going to give in and go get him, but it meant pressing the snooze button on the monitor every couple of minutes. This went on for nearly an hour. And the ridiculous thing is, after a while of crying he started playing instead! But the monitor still went off, because he was being vocal. And every few minutes I’d wake up once again to the sound of his Tiny Tad frog singing and Andrew talking to him. Cute, right? (But not so much when you are desperate for sleep!)

At 7 he was REALLY ready to get up so I had no choice. After nursies James got up with him but I still only got about half an hour of sleep after that.

So getting a total of maybe 4 hours of sleep but not all in a row and then still having to go go go = one sad Momma.

We went to his Thursday play group and it was good in some ways (he had fun) but he was the only toddler there – all the other babies were under a year. So there wasn’t really anyone he could play with and I think he’s getting kind of bored of the toys. He did still have fun but I just noticed he wasn’t quite as enthralled with the stuff there as he has been in previous weeks. Honestly, a lot of the toys are broken rejects that people were probably otherwise going to throw away, so they only have so much lasting power in terms of holding one’s attention!

Still, it was good to get out. Seeing all the smaller babies feeding always seems to make Andrew want to nurse though, and he just so happened to be doing so when we were doing the sing-a-long. In particular, the song where we all introduce ourselves. We got to ‘Hello ANDREW’ and he threw his head away from my breast to look at everyone as they said Hi to him. Of course that made everyone laugh. I’m telling ya, it really is time to wean this kid but I JUST DON’T KNOW HOW.

Not sure what’s in store for the rest of the day. Weather is kinda crummy, and unless I go sleep now while Andrew naps (which I might, in a few) I doubt I’ll have the energy to get up to much this afternoon. It’s only NOON and I already feel totally zonked. Not good!

Oh and Andrew broke our lamp this morning. I guess it was only a matter of time, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad bummed about it. It was one of those funky paper lamps from IKEA, only $16 BUT STILL. Luckily my mom already said she wants to go to IKEA while she’s over so we’ll be able to get a replacement, but I don’t know what would be a good kind to get since no matter what we have, the boy is going to try to destroy it one way or another. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to get used to a dark living room in the evenings!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jumping off the deep end

Who am I?

Gawd, I have no freaking idea.

Really. The question haunts me.

I now have a little boy who, as his curiosity grows and his understanding of the world around him further develops, will start to ask me questions. Obviously most of those questions won’t really be about me at all, but rather the world around us. But still, he’s going to get more and more of a sense of who ‘mom’ is and it freaks me out a little that I don’t quite know what that image will be for him.

I thought I’d have that all figured out by now, but clearly I do not.

Will I ever?

It’s not like I jumped into having a child before I felt ready. I mean, it feels as though it would be more justifiable, me feeling this way, had I had Andrew when I was, say, 18 or 20. I wouldn’t have had the chance to figure myself out at all because I’d have still been so young.

I am not old, but at 30 I am no spring chicken either. You’d think I’d know a thing or two about myself by now.

And maybe I’m just not giving myself enough (or any) credit here. Because obviously I know myself. I know a lot about what I like and what I don’t, what type of personality I have, that sort of thing.

But who am I really? What do I do? What did I do before Andrew came along? What I mean is, how would I have defined myself when I was just ME without the title of mom? WHO IS ELIZABETH AS AN INDIVIDUAL??

I don’t want to be famous. I hate being in the limelight. I’m not after fame. Fortune I could handle (ha) but fame, not so much. I don’t need world-wide recognition, but obviously I’d like it if my own child sees something in me to be proud of.

I know I’m a good mom, in that I am loving and attentive and want the very best for my child. Although sometimes my insecurities make me wonder if I really can give him the best of everything – because my personality does not put me out there as much as what other mom’s personalities would, which means he probably isn’t being enriched with as many things as what other kids are. But then again, I also know he has a far more enriching life than a great many, too, so I guess it’s all relative. And I know Andrew loves me and as long as I continue to love him and care for him and help him to learn and grow (while I learn and grow with him), he WILL look up to me.

But…I want to be somebody. Even if just for me. Even if just for how that will transfer to him. If that makes sense? I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something that I can share with him, something that will set me apart a little from other people in his life. Or something like that, I’ve never really put it into words so it’s not coming out exactly how it feels.

I know I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I HAVE done, so I’m sure I’m over-analyzing to some degree. I remember when my brother and s-i-l made the awesome slideshow for our wedding, I was astounded at what they put together. Just from a series of pictures, our lives intertwined. It made me realize just how amazing my life has been so far and showed me that I HAVE accomplished things. Everything from graduating kindergarten, to starting high school, finishing high school and going on to complete my degree in Criminology. Going on trips, and I would have to say the most important thing being that I found the love of my life, the person I would go on to have a family with. I have had and do have a very wonderful and fulfilling life…for the most part.

I guess we are always looking to change and grow, and if we’re not, that’s probably more of a problem than if we’re constantly looking for something more. It’s natural, right?

But it’s also very confusing. And I have to ask the question: where/how do I find the time to figure things out when I am so tired, have a toddler to tend to, and did I mention am so tired??! I obviously did (in my mind) a somewhat poor job of figuring out who I was before I decided to have a baby, so what makes anyone think I could possibly figure it out now that he’s running around and keeping every minute of my day busy?

I love my life being all about him but I do need a certain amount of it to also be about me, as selfish as that might sound. It’s not even really because I want me for me but because I want me to be interesting to he!!

I want my boy to think his mom is cool, at least as long as a son can possibly think such a thing about his own mother. I want to have something more to offer him than just hugs and love because those things just seem so obvious and come almost too naturally.

I know I have a spark in me, it’s alive, I just don’t quite now how to get the fire to burn. I need a direction, I want something to reel me in, but I guess that means I’m not wanting to put in the effort and just throw myself into whatever it is that I should be doing.

If I just knew what that thing was, right??!

But then, if that was the case, I’d already be doing it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Foe-bee-ahh

I am terrified of spiders.

Little spiders, big spiders, doesn’t matter. Obviously I’d choose a small one over a large one if I had to choose, but PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE because in all honestly, just thinking about it makes me feel uneasy.

I have had this fear of spiders ever since I can remember. I would say my first real ‘spider experience’ was back when I was seven years old. It was a hot day and I remember the whole family (me, my brother, parents, and 2 springer spaniels (the two we had before the two my parents have now!)) were all out spending time together in the backyard. We had a huge backyard when I was a kid! I was about to go run on the grass when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. On my arm.
Picture taken from internet
It was a small black spider with red on its back, which I later discovered is a member of the black widow family. Wouldn’t you know that my first real encounter with a spider and it’s a poisonous one!

Thank gawd it didn’t bite me, but it terrified me nonetheless. As soon as I saw it I flicked it off my arm and started crying and I don’t remember this part but I’d imagine I went inside and lost my interest in playing outside for the day!

I have had numerous ‘scary’ spider encounters over the years, mostly creepy crawly wolf spiders – For example, I went to pick up a paint stir stick once at my grandparents’ house and felt the hairiness of the back of one, which darted away as I grabbed what it was hiding under. It gave me the heebie jeebies.

I AM TERRIFIED OF SPIDERS!

I hate how they’re just suddenly there. If they want to be outside away from me, fine, I know they serve a purpose so I can let them be. Although my dream world does not include things like spiders. In my perfect utopia, we would not need spiders or pretty much any other bug or insect and we would thrive. I might keep lady bugs. Possibly even wood bugs. But certainly not spiders.

There is just something so scary about them. We used to get a lot of them in our apartment in Burnaby because we were right near a little forest area and while we lived on the top floor of the building, it was only 3 storeys high. Once we were sitting out on the balcony when suddenly I looked down and saw a HUGE spider (and even James admitted it was giant!) on my knee and I could actually feel its legs through my pants…ooooh my gaaaaawd just talking about this is making me feel as if I might need some therapy.

We rarely saw a spider in our last apartment (there was too much else going on there, even the spiders stayed away – Ha!) and I had literally never once seen a spider in our current place (we’ve been here for just over 2 years)…Until last week.

Andrew was in his high chair (which is right beside the wall where we have some pictures hung from our photo shoot when he was 5 months old). We were having our supper when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it.
If you happen to be like James was when he came home and I was telling him he had to deal with a spider for me pronto (‘WHAT spider, I can’t see a spider!’) it’s on the bottom right corner of the picture frame.

Yes, it’s a relatively small spider comparably speaking when you think of other varieties that are out there.

But it’s a spider nonetheless. And when you zoom in, it’s not such a pretty picture, is it?!
There has got to be some REASON for why spiders look so absolutely terrifying and mean and nasty, right? I mean, ladybugs look cute so they don’t seem scary but spiders have that angry glare that makes you feel like YOU are the thimble-sized one, and THEY are the giants!

I really, really, really need to try to remain calm when I see a spider, for Andrew’s sake. I did a good job this first time it happened. I was good at pretending, I mean, because inside you better believe I was trembling!! But I tried not to lose it, and I pointed it out to him and said, look at the spider Andrew, can you see a spider? And then he pointed at it too and seemed pleased to be discovering something new. Then, to ease my heebie jeebies just a bit, I sang him ‘The itsy bitsy spider.’

Then James came home from work and killed it for me.

I am a horrible person, I know!

And a total hypocrite because I don’t believe in the killing of animals for food but yet I am OK with someone senselessly killing a spider just to ease my fear a little.

It’s just that the spider kind of charged into my home and I hadn’t OK’d him setting up camp, so…

Justify it whatever way I can, right?!

The fussies

It’s cloudy, rainy, and looks generally miserable outside. I realize now that we’ve already become so spoiled by spring sunshine and warmth. I don’t know what to do with this RAIN business!

Andrew was up at 5:45 this morning and not interested in going back to sleep, so it’s no wonder he’s down for his nap ‘already’ at 10:15! It’s going to be a long day if he doesn’t nap again later. I already feel tired but I don’t particularly feel like napping, although I have a feeling I’ll regret it later that I didn’t catch the zzz’s I could have…

Swimming was a bust yesterday. I’m thinking Andrew had an ‘out of sorts’ day. In the pool he just fussed and fussed, wanted to play with the toys instead of participating with the actual class but then when he had a toy he just wanted to go on to the next thing. He’s not usually like that. He was having little tantrums and I was ready to leave about 10 minutes into the class! We stuck it out, but it wasn’t fun. Then he napped but when he woke up he wouldn’t eat, which is rare (especially when he’s offered yogurt!) Later in the day he had a total meltdown because he was sooo overtired but wouldn’t give in to sleep. Finally he did, he napped through dinner (which was great for us, I made tacos! Although I badly burned the rice I made for it, that was a tad scary). When he got up it was so cute, my mom and I were sitting on the couch and James was in the chair – Andrew suddenly came flailing out of the bedroom and ran into my arms. He wanted nursies so he latched on and fell back to sleep – he was so still that even though he was latched I actually forgot he was there and thought he was still in the bed sleeping! LOL But he was just really out of sorts and didn’t want to wake up, just cuddled into me for the longest time. I was worried about him, but then all of a sudden he woke up and was smiling and happy and back to his usual, so I don’t know what that was all about. He ended up going to bed late, not till after 10:30, but it could have been worse given his late nap.

My mom was over yesterday so I was trying to take advantage of her spending time with Andrew by getting some stuff done on my computer. They were reading together so it was working well, but then all of a sudden Andrew realized I was using the computer and he wanted to get to it. My mom, trying to distract him, said, ‘Andrew, bring me the book there!’ and kept pointing at the book on the floor, asking him to go read with her. Finally he went over, grabbed the book and went and quickly passed it to her, then ran back to get to the computer! LOL I guess you had to be there, but it was so funny! He was like, here Gramma just take the book already, read it on your own, I’ve got stuff to do!

LOST tonight…I can’t believe in a week it will be OVER COMPLETELY…

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Socializing

Andrew went down for his nap, and our neighbours are coming over in less than 15 minutes. Timing sucks sometimes, but it’s so hard (read: impossible) to predict when Andrew will take his once-daily nap.

Once and for all we’re having the neighbours over! It makes sense given their daughter is just 3 months older than Andrew. Their baby is about 5 months now and I haven’t seen him since he was 2! Apartment living is weird like that, it’s crazy how infrequently we actually run into our neighbours. There are people living on our floor that I’ve never even seen before! Gone are the days of taking a freshly baked pie next door when someone new moves in.

Which reminds me, our other neighbours are moving out and I’m just hoping and praying that we get another quiet couple in there…If they’re smokers I’m going to flip out!!! And as silly as this’ll sound, it’d be nice if they didn’t have any kids. I say this because we hear the neighbours babies crying every day, I hear Andrew enough as it is, I don’t need it coming from the room next to our bedroom too!!

I got my hair done yesterday and I’m happy with the results. Not a big change from the last cut, but a good bangs trim and general tidy and touch-up of the roots. After my appointment I texted James and he and Andy were out and about so we met up, got some Baguette Time and went to the Nelson Street park. It was great, we ate while Andrew napped, then he ran around for a while. He had so much fun chasing pigeons! Then for part of the walk home, he held my hand and walked with me. He’s a baby who does NOT like to hold hands while walking because he knows it takes away from his total freedom. But I want him to get used to the idea of hand-holding because as he gets a little older and will be walking more than being in the stroller, he’s not going to have a choice in the matter. He did pretty well with it and it was so cute, holding his little pudge-ball fingers while we walked! I just love every moment with him.

I got some bad blisters yesterday so it’s good I’m resting my feet a bit today but I can’t wait to get out a little later. Hopefully Andrew plays nice with his neighbour friend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

In the blink of an eye


OK so I’ve got the summer clothes out and washed, I did a LOT of ironing (some shirts left but I just couldn’t do any more, there was that much!), changed the sheets on our bed (will do Andrew’s tonight), and I got most of the winter stuff put away under the bed and cleared a space so I can easily get the rest under there once I’ve got them sorted. Still (always) more to do, but definitely getting there with my list!

This morning I took Andrew to the playground. It’s SO CUTE watching him run around and play and climb and smile excitedly because being out like that is one of his very favourite things. It’ll be great once he can go on everything on his own and I can just sit and watch, because right now I have to trail after him so I’m climbing all over the playground as if I’m one of the kids. It might sound fun but…it’s kinda not!!

At one point I let Andrew go down the big slide all on his own, but then instead of going down after him, I went to the stairs on the playground and thought I’d just run around and he’d be there at the bottom of the slide. WRONG! He had already raced off, away from the playground, and was trying to steal some kid’s bike! LOL It’s seriously unreal how fast a toddler can move. One second they’re right there and in the blink of an eye, I kid you not, you haven’t got a clue where they’ve gone. It’s insane!

My mom met up with us there and then we walked down to a little café on the sea wall and shared some nachos. Andrew loves nachos! He was such a good boy, he just sat there and ate and people watched. He was shovelling the nachos into his mouth and my mom and I enjoyed watching him eat.

We came back to the apartment and Andrew went down for his nap, so my mom went on her way to get a few things done. She’s coming over tonight for supper, so once the boy is up we’ll head to the store and see what we can find for din-din. I have a feeling I’m going to be tired tonight (since I already am, a coffee is in order after I write this!) so I want to get something easy. I’m thinking of either getting an assortment of things from the deli, or making a ‘big salad’ or something along those lines. A summery sort of meal, which is perfect given the weather we’re having. I am LOVING wearing flip flops and capris and not having to worry about a jacket!

Tomorrow I get my hair done so 3 hours to myself – aaahhhhhhhh =) I’m looking forward to the weekend, let’s hope this weather sticks around.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things

I’m SO tired.

I’m sipping coffee and enjoying that the only sounds are that of a) the air conditioner and b) the traffic outside. As in – no baby noises! I love the little tyke, but my gawd. This afternoon he just went bonkers and I could barely keep up with him. His new thing is climbing the stools for our dining room table. NOT GOOD. It drives me nuts pulling him off and him running back, thinking it’s a game. I put him in his crib and told him he’d have to go back there but he didn’t even care. So exhausting.

Tomorrow night James is going to a movie with his brother. All I can say is, thank gawd my mom is in town. She’s staying at my bro and s-i-l’s while they’re in Russia (yes, Russia!) for a vacation. She’ll no doubt come over tomorrow night and it will help oh so much not to be on my own entirely. 8am-10 or 11pm on your own with a toddler? Obviously doable, but equally as obviously beyond exhausting!

There is so much I need to get done and I suppose I should be doing those things instead of writing frivolous drivel that really isn’t necessary…Other than to give me some sanity by putting my thoughts somewhere and not making them just loop continuously in my head.

Blah blah blah. Well how about I get one step closer to getting things done by making a To Do list. Who doesn’t love a To Do list?!

1. Get summer clothes out from under the bed/deep in the closet

2. Wash the summer clothes

3. IRON (I have so much to iron, and no time to do it since it can’t ever be done when the boy’s around…this one’s a real challenge for me!)

4. Change sheets on bed and Andrew’s crib

5. Get rid of some of Andrew’s toys (Gasp! Not going to be easy! But has to be done)

6. Clean the kitchen TOP TO BOTTOM – inside fridge, outside cupboards, everything off counters, etc

7. Tidy wardrobe shelves (AGAIN – I always say I’m going to keep them in order but it never works out)

8. Dust – because inevitably by the time I get this far on the list, it’ll be time to dust again!

Luckily I’m on top of laundry, although of course by tomorrow night it’ll be piled high again! Oh right, I forgot about the summer clothes I have to wash. Which reminds me of something I forgot from the list:

9. Put winter clothes under the bed/deep in the closet

10. Go mentally insane because even after doing all this there will be 10,000 other chores piling up behind

11. Oh wait, I’m already there!

I keep reminding myself I ONLY HAVE ME, MY HUSBAND AND ONE CHILD. The amount I have to do could be waaay more than what it is! But it’s all relative right? RIGHT???!!

Oh and I didn’t even fit onto the list the other things I’d LIKE to do, not just the absolute essentials (although some might argue leisurely things are essential too!)

12. Read more. I started reading again recently and actually got through AN ENTIRE BOOK and was adamant I was going to start reading more habitually but…something happened to that in the past few weeks. I need to get back on track.

13. Dabble in watercolour. Did I mention that I found a great little set at Home Sense for only $16.99? It’s a great starter kit for doing watercolour – all I need (apparently) is a piece of wood to put the wet paper on…although I’m thinking I might be able to get away with using something else, like a plastic cutting board maybe? I don’t know if it might mess things up but I also don’t know when I’d be able to get to a store that sells pieces of wood…

14. Touch base with some people I was in Criminology with and see about doing some sort of project together. What on? I don’t know exactly. But I can’t lose that part of myself. I felt so driven when I was in school and loved what I was learning about. It’d be great to be doing something with that somehow.

15. I reeeally need to get going on some sort of project for my bro and s-i-l’s wedding gift.

There are actually tons of things I’d LIKE to do but since I don’t see a lot of things happening in the near future I don’t feel like listing it all. Maybe I should start a ‘bucket list.’ A lot of people seem to be doing that these days. Not just a list for the next week or two but a life time list. Maybe it would motivate me to get going on things if I saw it all written out…

What’s on YOUR To Do list?

A play date

This morning I took Andrew on a play date with a little girl who I call his girlfriend because he kissed her at playtime last week!

Her mom and I decided to take them to a different kids playtime at a place we’d never been to before. Andrew loved it, and I plan on taking him there on a semi-regular basis. They have bouncy castles and a toddler’s only play area and also time slots where the entire gym is for toddlers only. I think it could get chaotic once the bigger kids get to be there so for now we’ll stick to toddler only drop-ins!

Andrew busted down the little fence in the toddler area less than 5 minutes after we got there, but beyond that didn’t do much damage!! He had fun playing with the little toy kitchen, he even took a slice of plastic pizza and put it into the microwave – classic!

It was fun to watch him play. The kids in that age group don’t really play together but I am happy to report that Andy didn’t bully ANYONE! And I think he’s used to C, his ‘girlfriend’ – although I have to admit I don’t know how keen she is about him! He kept kissing her but she didn’t reciprocate! LOL At one point he even hugged her from behind and leaned in and kissed the back of her head. How CUTE is that?!

The one problem area at this group is mini golf. Toddlers SHOULD NOT have access to golf clubs, especially toddlers like Andrew who would no doubt swing them at people! Once he found them we had to leave because I just couldn’t let him have them and he just couldn’t stand not having them. But up until that time, we had fun!

I even had my first bouncy castle experience! LOL It would have been more fun as a kid but it was fun nonetheless =)

Such a beautiful day…We’ll probably go out again later, but first maybe I’ll sneak in a few zzz’s before the boy is done with his nap.

Let's make a deal

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I am actually PLEASED with Shaw at the moment!

I KNOW, right?!!!!!

James forwarded me our bill FOR THIS MONTH ALONE and it was $167. INSANE when you think about how much that is per year. He said enough is enough, we have to do something about this, and I agreed. So I took Andrew’s nap time as an opportunity to call Shaw. Not something I was entirely thrilled about (my ‘me time’ is sacred, after all, and calling a service provider to let them know you need to save money isn’t exactly how one would generally choose to spend their time!) Anyway, I must have picked a good time to call because I got through IMMEDIATELY and the guy I talked to was super friendly.

We have phone, internet, AND TV with Shaw, so we’re good customers. We’ve also been with them for a while (although we did go around 7 years without cable till shortly after Andrew was born). We have the most basic phone plan already so there wasn’t much we could do there. Although we’re paying $5.95 JUST for call waiting, which is ridiculous, but it’s bundled with Voicemail so that’s why it’s nearly $6 a month. We have an answering machine (I scoffed when James wanted to buy a phone with a built in answering machine because it seems barbaric but I actually LOVE it, you can hear the messages while they’re being left if you choose not to answer the phone, and you can pick up during the message if you want to! So we don’t use the Shaw voicemail but I do like having call waiting (although we are considering dropping it…) So basically I was humming and hawing over that because I wasn’t sure if we should get rid of it or not.

Then there was the internet…We have high speed internet and could maybe possibly I-dunno drop down to internet lite. It would be very s-l-o-w compared to what we have now and I know this because we tried it out for about a week last year and I got so frustrated with it that we switched back. But I thought I could suck it up and maybe just deal with it for the sake of saving some dollars. Still with the humming and hawing.

So it comes down to TV…I have a love/hate relationship with TV. I can obviously live just fine without it since as I said, we went about 7 years TV free and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything during that time. We didn’t know what people were talking about sometimes when they talked about new shows, but so what? We can always download shows if we really want them, or watch them online where that’s available. Whatevs. We really don’t watch a lot of TV. LOST is going to be finished with in a few weeks (hard to believe, but it’s true!), we watch The Middle and Modern Family – both easy to see for free, and same goes for Celebrity Apprentice. Those are literally the only shows we really like to see. But then there’s Andrew’s Treehouse Channel and I HATE to give that up because he just loves it so much and watching the same dvd’s of his fave shows (which we have) gets soooo boring for me after a while so I like the variety the channel brings.

I also like to see the news once in a while or be able to watch a show sometimes during the day if it’s a day where I’m staying home with the boy because it makes me feel like I still have some clue what’s happening in the world (although I realize I could do this online, too).

With the TV portion I was reeeally humming and hawing. I wanted to know how much it would cost to get Treehouse. Basically you have to buy 2 tiers to get it, which would put us up to almost $50/month JUST for cable. I didn’t know what to do!

So the representative puts me on hold, comes back, and let’s me know I can get a promotional offer for having been a long-term customer and because he can see we’re obviously struggling financially at the moment and need a bit of a break! So our total bill each month will be $102 for the next 6 months.

I was so relieved – it’s not often you get a deal like that just handed to you (not that it’s a deal, it’s still damned expensive, but it’s a deal of sorts! Far better than where we were at!)

It does bug me that we’ve been paying SO much and then it’s apparently so easy to get it lowered that much…but whatever, I guess that’s the way these companies operate. Because, I mean, THEY CAN. But I’m not complaining because I appreciate the deal for what it is, and I’m happy we get to keep everything but pay less.

Score!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My cheeky monkey boy


I love how huggy and kissy Andrew is these days. He even likes to cuddle more than he used to. Sometimes I’ll go to put him down and he holds on for dear life and plops his head down on my shoulder in full cuddle mode. It’s the best!

He’s really got the kissing ‘mwaaa’ sound down pat! Often if he bites me and I tell him it hurts and it’s not nice to do that, he’ll lean in and kiss the spot he just bit. I’d prefer no bites at all, but I like that he at least tries to kiss it better!

He’s such a little monkey, and practically literally. I tell him sometimes that I think he was a monkey in a past life. He likes to pick at my hair as if looking for gnats (or whatever it is that monkeys pick out of each other’s hair to eat!), and his favourite thing is to climb anything and everything.

I try to be trusting a lot of the time and let him climb – such as the couch, chairs, bed – there really isn’t anything I can do. And if he’s climbing a soft surface that’s fairly low to the ground and has carpet beneath it, well, how much damage can he do, right?

But lately he’s taken to climbing his stroller if it’s left in the front hall, and his high chair. Neither one is safe. The stroller proved itself unsafe as a jungle gym two days ago, when I suddenly heard a ka-thunk sound followed by screaming cries. Andrew had fallen off the side, hitting gawd knows what first on the tiles/concrete by the front door. Not cool.

It seemed kind of cute the first time (a few days ago) that he climbed into his high chair to ‘play’ – until I realized that the spot where his high chair sits (the only place it will fit in our small dining room) is right next to the window. He thought himself quite clever when he figured out how to open it. Luckily it locks both at the bottom and the top, but the problem is it’s the one window in the whole apartment that we like to leave open if even just a crack ALL THE TIME for a bit of air circulation. I don’t want stuffy air in here, but obviously much more importantly I don’t want my baby boy thinking it clever to climb out the window to discover a 9 storey drop below.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the bathroom sink issue, where he climbs onto the toilet, uses the toilet paper roll thingy as a step to the counter, climbs onto the counter, and goes for the sink. Sounds silly and perhaps even cute, but it wouldn’t be so cute if he were to fall off (which he’s almost done) and hit his head on the tile. Or ricochet off the toilet to hit the floor or any other horrible combination of things.

So we’re working on not allowing his climbing business to continue when it could be overly dangerous. The stroller one is relatively easy – when we get home, I fold it up and put it away in the closet. Which is what I normally would do anyway, it’s not all that often I leave it out anymore. The high chair one is a little more tricky. And so is the bathroom (I don’t like having to keep the bathroom door closed all the time, which has been our solution lately).

As of yesterday, we’ve started a new tactic that seems to be effective. If he climbs something he shouldn’t (I just remembered, add the TV unit to the list because he’s been getting up to no good on there as well!), we threaten to put him in his crib for a ‘time out.’ His dad put him in his crib several times last night when he wouldn’t stop climbing into his high chair, and he’d wail and wail for the 10-20 seconds he was left in there, then he’d go right back to doing it again. After maybe 3 times, he stopped doing it, and now all we have to say is, ‘Andrew, do you want to go in your crib?’ and he backs off from whatever he was planning to do.

The issue I have with this approach is that I don’t actually want him to think of his crib as a place of punishment, since it’s his bed! Although he went to bed just fine last night, it seems he knows it’s for night time and that’s fine, he just doesn’t want to go in there any other time – when he could be roaming free.

It’s hard to know what the right thing is to do, since this is all new to us. But so far things seem to be working. He knows what he’s not allowed to do, it’s just getting him to adhere to the rules! He’ll go to do something he KNOWS is bad, and he’ll look over at me to see my reaction, then he’ll go for it. He’s so cheeky that way! Or he’ll be just about to do something thinking I’m NOT watching and I’ll say, ‘ANDREW!’ and he just runs in the opposite direction, as if he was anticipating getting caught. Then he’ll point at something somewhere else and make a little noise, as if to say, ‘Look over there Momma, it’s far more interesting over there’ – like I’m going to just forget all about his antics.

What a boy =)

But I must say, as mischievous as he is, I sure do love his hugs and kisses!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A bit of a rift


I know that not all people want to have children. I totally get that, and I can completely respect it. To each his or her own. If I didn’t want to have children, I wouldn’t take too nicely to people telling me I should want them. But, likewise, I don’t think it’s necessary for people who don’t want children to put it in your face why you shouldn’t have them. Especially when you’ve fairly recently HAD ONE!

My brother and sister in law will never have children. I can say that with confidence. I don’t think my brother ever felt inclined to be a father because he’s never felt entirely comfortable around children. He’s also a MAJOR worry wart about EVERYTHING and just based on the amount he worried/(worries) about me, his little sister, from the moment I was born, well, it probably wouldn’t be in his best interest to have offspring of his own. Parents worry, they manage that worry but it really can’t be helped, and I think for him it would be waaay overwhelming.

That being said, I think if he was with a woman who desperately wanted kids, he would take that challenge on and make the most of it. He did date a nanny at one point and he admitted at the time that it was a redeeming quality in his girlfriend that she was so good with children. And despite his tendency to worry over everything and yet nothing all at the same time, he’s a great guy with a big heart, very very intelligent – he would have a lot to offer a child.

His girlfriend (soon to be wife and thus my sister in law come November!) hates children. Period. She doesn’t like ‘em and there is absolutely NO WAY she would have a child. She’s also 37 so it’s not like she’s young and might still consider it. She even tried to have a hysterectomy when she was in her early 20s because she knew she never ever wanted kids, but of course the doctors wouldn’t perform it since in their minds they figured she might think differently as she got older.

But time passed and if anything I’d say she just hates children even more than she did before. She has issues, obviously you’d have to to hate children THAT much. She’s very upbeat and fun to hang out with, don’t get me wrong, I love her a lot. But she’s also very jaded and VERY negative about the world. So beyond her hatred of kids because they annoy her to no end, she also sees no point in bringing people into this world that she also apparently hates. Blah blah blah.

I toyed with that thought before wanting to start a family – there is a lot of strife in the world, a lot of craziness, a type of chaos that is scarily unpredictable, and yet what can be predicted is that it will always be there. You can’t escape the negative entirely. But I did decide that the good is worth the bad and you can work around the things you don’t like, or work to help change them, or what have you. In the end, I am obviously extremely happy with my decision to have a child. I couldn’t imagine my life without Andrew, and I just see how much light and goodness he BRINGS to the world, he himself as his very own being.

But my s-i-l, and my brother, too, really…they just don’t get it. My s-i-l is the one who’s much more vocal about it. My brother is a very quiet guy by nature, whereas my s-i-l says what she thinks and perhaps at times says things for effect and doesn’t necessarily think about how it’s going to be taken by the person/people she’s talking to.

For example, we had them over last month and James decided to show them the pilot episode of Modern Family. It’s currently one of our absolute favourite shows, it’s HILARIOUS. And whether you have children or not, being a part of a family is enough to ‘get’ that show, as far as I’m concerned. It’s freaking hilariously funny and there are many dynamics to the show, it’s not JUST about children, albeit they are a big part of the goings on of it all.

Anyway, the show is undeniably funny (or so we thought). But my s-i-l wasn’t laughing so part-way through the episode James paused it and asked what they thought. My brother had chuckled a few times so I think he could have got into it, but my s-i-l shook her head and said she thought it was a very sad show. Shocked by that response, we asked why sad? And she said, ‘Because they all have children. They’ve all thrown their lives away having kids, and to me that’s not funny.’

Well, to each his or her own, I guess, but even if you don’t want kids of your own, how can you not see why someone else might want that life?

Yes, it’s true that having a baby turned my life completely upside down in the sense that it changed my lifestyle in a really big way. I can’t just throw on my jacket and walk out the door and go wherever I feel like whenever I want to. Going out is a process of getting the stroller out, making sure all the right things are packed into it, considering the destination and how Andrew will fare there, is it an appropriate place for a baby, will he get fussy, what toys should I bring if we’ll be gone long. And so on and so forth. You don’t get a good night’s sleep. EVER. You might want to watch a particular show, go have a bubble bath, paint your toenails. But your baby might have something else planned and you kind of just have to go with that. You might not ever see that show, it might be another day or two before you take that bubble bath, and you might go months without painting your nails.

But would I go back to my life of freedom to do whatever whenever? My life where Andrew wasn’t even so much as a figment of my imagination?

No way, no how! I would give up every ounce of my freedom (ok, I kind of have!) to have Andrew to love, to be loved by, to teach and learn from, to watch grow and change and just to have in my life, to know he is out there in the world living his life as he gets older. I adore him, he’s a huge part of me, he makes me laugh and smile and cry (usually good tears, sometimes not so good but the good ones outweigh the bad!!) He makes me see the world in a completely different way from how I saw it before, and it’s definitely for the better. I have this sense of purpose I never thought I could have, and a part of me that was empty before feels close to overflowing because I just love him so much and feel so complete having him in my life.

If you don’t want that for whatever reason or choose a different path from having kids, that’s totally fine by me, I just don’t like being told that I am a sad person for choosing to have a family.

It’s too bad because it creates a bit of a barrier between us. We used to get together a lot more pre-Andrew, and that kind of makes sense in a way. Having a toddler or child of any age I guess – you’re more likely going to find commonality amongst friends/family who are going through or have gone through the same things as you.

BUT I also see Andrew as their nephew and see the relationship they could have with him if they wanted it. You can have your cake and eat it too in that scenario, because you don’t actually have to have a child of your own and care for him constantly etc etc. But you can see them once every week or two or three or whatever you choose to hang out with them and get to know them as a person and enjoy them as a little one. As in, they poop and you hand them back to mommy and daddy, but when they’re smiling and happy and hanging around, you get to enjoy them. Isn’t that kind of great?!

But it’s hard with my s-i-l especially. Andrew is in a really huggy and kissy stage and she doesn’t even seem comfortable with him hugging her.

Which seems so strange to me, as even before I ever thought I’d want to have kids, if a baby came up to me and hugged me I would think that was the sweetest thing ever!

It’s a problem to me, but over all it’s not MY problem but hers/theirs. They are the ones who will miss out on the time they could spend with Andrew, although I guess it does kind of upset me that he’ll also miss out on the relationship he could have with them.

I’m not saying he doesn’t have one with them, he does see them from time to time. But maybe it’s not quite the frequency I was anticipating before he arrived? I’m not sure. All I know is, we’ve had them babysit a few times but I’m not comfortable asking them anymore, unless it was an absolute emergency. I would rather stay home and not have time out than to have them looking after him if they feel that strongly against children.

It’s kind of ridiculous, too, because my s-i-l is head over heels in love with her dog, and has oftentimes had to leave early to get home to her dog because she doesn’t like to leave her on her own for too long. Is that not similar to having a child?!

But whatevs. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just find it a little disheartening when people can’t open up their minds and hearts to a baby, especially one as easy going and lovable as our Andrew!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A perfect day

My Mother’s Day was AMAZING, better than I could have wished for!
James, Andrew and I met up with my mom in the early afternoon. We took some pictures outside, just as we did last year. Then my mom and I went and had a drink at the lounge before heading to our spa appointments.
We were finally using the gift certificates we got at Christmas. I got a Classic Swedish massage and my mom got another one that I can’t pronounce the name of. Both of them were incredibly relaxing. Afterwards we were relaxing in the little lounge area of the spa, chatting and drinking herbal tea, when two spa employees came up to us. They said Surprise! We were also booked for manicures. We hadn’t booked them so it really was a surprise, and we had no idea who had booked them for us (but we weren’t about to complain!) It felt surreal, being led to another room to have our hands taken care of. Funny, too, since we’d just been talking about how we both needed some nail-attention!

It was glorious. Neither of us wears polish on our fingernails usually, but since we were having it done I went for a light pinky/peach colour with sparkles. My nails are quite short (I find it difficult to keep them nice and long when dealing with Andrew so I tend to keep them on the shorter side) so I didn’t think the polish would look very good, but it does! It feels great actually, something a little different.
We kept going over who could have surprised us with that. My mom ruled out my dad because he wouldn’t even know the name of the spa we were going to! She said it could be James and I said I definitely think it could be, but WOULD it be?! He (and Andrew) had already given me tulips, a Tiger Lily plant, and a sweet card from the boy, so I didn’t expect he would also have my mom and I go for a manicure!
When we were leaving, there was a gift for me at the front desk – a $50 gift certificate and a spa-smelling candle and body oil – from my mom. There was also a little gift set there for my mom, which came with the gift certificate for our manicures…which it turns out James HAD organized for us!! What a husband I have!!! We felt like celebrities, it was such a special afternoon.

We hung out in my mom’s hotel room for a bit, then I went home and fed Andrew. He was getting REALLY antsy for his Momma! Desperate to nurse and sleep. It turns out he hadn’t napped all afternoon so he was exhausted. I got him to bed pretty quickly, had a shower, gave my grandma a quick Mother’s Day call and then headed back out to meet up with my mom at the hotel lounge again.

We had supper and hung out till about 10:30pm (late for me to be out these days!) Then I went home and Andrew was still asleep, James hadn’t heard a peep out of him since I’d left. We waited till 11, then watched Celebrity Apprentice, which James had taped since I was out. Spoiler alert if you watch and didn’t see it last night: I was SO worried Bret was going to be fired at the last minute, I felt like I couldn’t even breathe there for a minute! LOL But THANK GAWD, FINALLY Cyndi Lauper was fired. I can’t STAND her, or at least the persona she had on that show. She really got on my nerves from the very beginning. And since I have a teensy crush on Bret Michaels (thank goodness he’s recovering from his recent stroke, I was so shocked when I heard about that), I was happy to see him still on the show =)

All in all it was a WONDERFUL day. (Oh and Andrew slept straight through the night!)

I love being a Mom, and it’s special to have that be celebrated, and to get to celebrate it with my mom, too.

Here is a picture of me with my precious baby boy last Mother's Day:
Look at how much he's grown!:

XOXOXO

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

(This post was written yesterday but I wasn't able to get the pics uploaded till this morning, so here it all is...)

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there =)

I can’t believe I’ve been a mother for 2 mother’s days. I remember last year’s so vividly. It was a beautiful sunny day, just as it’s going to be tomorrow. Andrew was just 5 months old and as cute as a button. He’s now 16 months and even cuter!

My mom and I are celebrating by going to the spa (finally using our gift certificates from Christmas!) and having some girl time. I’m looking forward to it!

In the meantime…

Today was SO beautiful. It was a spring day on the brink of summer. It felt so warm compared to how its been this spring so far. We took full advantage, and took Andrew on the aquabus to Vanier Park. We walked around and checked out the sculptures there, then headed along to Kits Beach. Andrew had his very first Ice Cream Truck popsicle (he was hesitant at first but I swear he ate more of it than I did and he was really upset when it was all gone!) and he had a great time running around in the grass and exploring new territory. We walked to Granville Island and he fell asleep along the way, so we stopped in at a restaurant and James and I shared some pasta before heading home.

It was such a wonderful day, this post isn’t doing it justice in words, so instead here are some of the pictures I took along the way:


The boy had to stop for a feed before continuing on to the beach :S I swear, one of these days I've GOT to wean him!!!!
Already stealing from Momma's purse!! (It was rice crackers he was looking for) :DAndy LOVED the cherry/banana popsicle I got for us to share!
He was sooo upset when it was gone! He grabbed the wrapper and handed it to me, thinking maybe there might be some left in there, somewhere?!
A house we thought we could manage living in ;DOr we'd gladly take one of these! In fact, I think I'd prefer it...A Spannie!!I loved this - 'Promosapien' and then there was a thing that said 'Justin Stitches' - LOL.This one's for Trista and her little Kiwi =) Interesting, too, that the sign is on a YELLOW background...Boy or girl, no one knows, so we stick with neutral for now =D
And home again on the aquabus!


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