Sunday, January 30, 2011

A new space to decorate

I’m verrrry tired and I think it might be in my best interest to just veg for a while tonight. So I’ll keep this post short.

But suffice it to say, our trip out to Ikea today went well! We got a duvet cover (that also came with a toddler-sized pillow case, HOW CUTE IS THAT?!) and matching curtains for Andrew’s new bedroom in an animal theme. It wasn’t the theme I originally wanted, but seeing the car one ‘in person’ as opposed to online totally made me change my opinion on it. Then we both decided we liked this other theme, but it turned out they were ‘oversold’ on that one…So we picked this animal one which actually I think is the cutest of all for Andrew. I showed it to him when we got home and he was going, ‘Ooooh!’ and said, ‘OPEN!’ but I told him we have to wait till we move.

I’m really excited about having his room all nice. He’s inheriting the furniture my brother had in his room when he was a little boy. Which doesn’t go at all with his bed, since his bed is white and the other furniture is a dark-ish wood colour…Quite dated but still very cute, and in amazing condition (my brother always kept his stuff really nice!) I might paint or stain it down the line but that isn’t likely to happen for some time, and in some ways I’m thinking it might be nice to just keep it as is…Maybe find him a bed that will match it rather than the other way around. Because once baby #2 comes along, he or she will need the crib bed and Andrew will need a bigger boy bed anyway!

But I’m getting ahead of myself – and waaaay ahead of myself, let me clarify: I am not preggers with baby #2! LOL No way jose! Not ready for that yet. I am hoping all will fall into place as planned – the plan being that we move, get settled into our new place for several months before the word ‘conception’ enters my uterus’ vocabulary, and we go from there! =D

Anyway…what else did we get from Ikea…We got a cool new lamp for our bedroom, and a bunch of baby hangers for Andy since he will finally HAVE HIS OWN CLOSET (imagine that!!) Otherwise just a few odds and ends like a new toilet brush and that sort of thing. Nothing too exciting, although I am excited about it all just because I can’t help myself. After Ikea we stopped by Home Outfitters next door and while James took a little nap in the car, I went in and found us a new shower caddy. So it was a successful shopping trip for sure.

We were looking for a new tv stand (we want a corner unit and something MUCH smaller than our current one) and also looked at desks (we will have enough space in our bedroom for a desk, which is awesome). But we decided against purchasing any of these bigger ticket items because we want to get all the stuff we already have into the new place and see how it all fits before we go ahead with filling it further. It was nice to just get an idea of what we want (or would compromise on…!) I think we’ll also want to get a bigger rug for the living room once we’re in there but that’s another thing for once we know the space better. And I didn’t see anything I liked rug-wise at Ikea so I think we’d want to look elsewhere for that.

Anyway, from there we had a nice visit with my aunt and uncle (who lent us their car for the trip out to Coquitlam) and then hung out with the mil for a short while before bringing the boy home. And he went night night shortly thereafter which was AWESOME because it allowed me time to get some laundry in, clean the kitchen, even pack a box, and get some things tidied. Not ‘fun’ stuff I know, but things I really wanted to accomplish before going to bed tonight!

Issues with the mil are nothing to speak of at the moment, which is good. She has been on her best behaviour and even though I’m sure I’ll always have issues with her, and might never be able to totally get over some of the issues from the past, I’d say so far things are going surprisingly well with her being here. I think my dad having the heart attack and all the stuff that’s been going on lately, I am just drained and don’t have the energy to hold a grudge right now. Or something to that effect! She has been really good with taking Andrew for me when I’ve needed her to, and she is good with him, and ultimately that’s all that matters to me. I haven’t spent much time with her myself, but when I have it really hasn’t been so bad. I’m not saying I’m not always aware that things could change for the worse at a moment’s notice, but I do think things have improved a lot, so far, from how they were, so that’s good.

Anyway….this ended up being a far longer post than I had planned on, so I’m going to go eat an Ikea cinnamon bun and chillax. Goodnight!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trying to scale back...

(I wrote this last night but then forgot to post it, so I thought I'd post it now before I write something new!)

Does anyone have any superly amazing organizational tips?

Moving is the perfect opportunity to really purge, and not only that but organize all that is being kept. Some of the stuff I’ve held onto since our last move, I was just shaking my head at myself while going through it today. What was I thinking?! Obviously I was getting tired of going through things and just dumped a whole bunch of stuff into a bin.

You mark my words, that is not happening this time around! I want to clear the clutter as much as possible. I won’t lie, there is still going to be a lot of stuff held onto, but I’m doing my best to organize it.

I had greeting cards from over the past probably 10 years in various places, so one thing I did was put all greeting cards into one particular bin. I’ve also got one container for loose pictures…But beyond that, the little momentos and things are hard to keep organized. I want to hold on to these things, but they’re just kind of piled into a couple of bins and I don’t think there’s much more I can do with it.

It’s really not that bad, we don’t have toooo much stuff – how can you in under 600 sq ft, right?! But still, it makes sense to get organized when the time presents itself. I think I will actually feel a lot better once we’re into the new place because I will know that I’ve gone through literally everything we own and I will only be keeping things that I want kept. Sounds obvious enough, but it often becomes more complicated than that with the accumulation of more stuff over time.

I’ve already thrown out several full garbage bags and I have two bags of stuff to go to goodwill. And yet I feel like I’ve still barely scratched the surface for what needs to be done!

That being said, I’m soooo excited to go out shopping tomorrow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Packing up

A lot’s been happening, but not a whole lot I feel like talking about. Mostly all-consuming very emotionally draining stuff. I’ll spare you the details.

On a lighter subject, James and I are borrowing my aunt and uncle’s car tomorrow, and leaving the boy with his Nana, while we go do a little bit of shopping for our new place. I’m so excited, just to get out the two of us, doing something we don’t normally do together. It’ll just be nice to clear our heads for a few and relax.

Andrew is really starting to string words together now. Sometimes he’ll say 3 words together, usually it’s two. But for him that’s progress. Little girls his age often seem to be saying full sentences, boys tend to be a little behind with talking. Which is actually fine with me, as great as it will be when he can communicate fully, I am relishing this time where we can’t spill the beans on all the secrets or little white lies that might be out there! LOL I have to be sooooo careful what I say in front of him!

One funny thing is that when he says ‘sit’ or ‘shirt’ it sounds like ‘shit.’ So he’ll just yell over and over, ‘Mommy, shit! Shit! Couch! SHIT!’ And what he’s really saying, of course, is Mommy pretty please won’t you come sit on the couch with me and watch Yo Gabba Gabba for the four thousandth time today?!’ But it comes across to people that don’t know his language that he’s pooped all over the couch and Mommy needs to come clean it up!!

He is also starting the stage (I know it’ll go on for years) where he says, ‘Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY, Mommy, Mommy, MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!’ over and over and over till I pay attention to whatever he’s doing, saying, or wants me to do or say!

Let the games begin!!!

He’s so cute and fun though. I just love him to bits. He gives me hugs and kisses all the time. Oh, the other day when the stress of everything around me was getting to be too much, my body just couldn’t take it anymore and I became physically ill. I ended up throwing up and Andrew had to be right there practically sticking his head in the toilet to watch me throw up (Mom’s get ZERO privacy!) He kept saying, ‘Oooh, Mommy, booboo. Mommy, siiiiick!’ And then when I finished throwing up he patted my leg and said, ‘Mommy, sick’ and gave me a kiss. He’s so cute and adorable and it’s so sweet to see him genuinely concerned and wanting me to feel better.

James taught him to say, ‘Suuuuuckaaaaa’ like he’s some sort of gangsta and it’s the funniest thing ever. He actually used it appropriately once the other day when James was teasing me about something! But I one-upped him because I say to Andrew, ‘Andrew, what does daddy’s bum sound like?’ and Andrew does a funny farting noise! Hahahahaha =)

It’s going to be hard fully getting Andrew adjusted to the idea of moving – he has no idea truly what it’s going to mean. I foresee us getting to the new place and him wandering around the first several days at least saying, ‘Home’ – and he’s going to be thinking about our current apartment, wanting to be back here. It’ll break my heart a little, knowing we will never be back here again. BUT I think he will adjust before we know it and will love our new home. I was so worried about him getting comfortable with me packing up our stuff – well, he still gets upset about it, but I make a big deal about how fun it is to go down to the recycle room to look for boxes, which he helps carry upstairs. Then I say in an excited voice, ‘Andrew, what should we pack up today?!’ (We’ve only packed a few boxes since it’s still early days given we’re not moving till mid February, but since I’ll be in Nanaimo soon for about a week, it makes sense to get some done now). Today he decided we could pack up all his little kitchen toys so he actually helped me get all that stuff into a big box. So there is hope that the packing will go better than anticipated.

I honestly just wish I could flash forward and we could be in our new place, getting settled. Not much longer though! And lots to get done in the meantime.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think you have the wrong number...

This morning the phone rang, and when I answered a guy said to me:

Hi, is Andrew there?

I was a bit taken aback. People call often enough to ask us how Andrew’s doing (I’m talking grandparents, aunts and uncles…) But really, he’s taking calls at the age of TWO?!

I asked:

Who’s calling?

And he replied:

Actually, my name is Andrew, too!

Me:

What is this regarding?!

Phone-Andrew:

I’m just returning his call.

Me:

Ummm…well the thing is, my son’s name IS Andrew…but he’s only two, so I’m thinking you’ve got the wrong number!!

LOL

He thought it was a strange coincidence also. I mean seriously, what are the chances?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My cutie-pie

Andrew got a toddler-sized backpack for his birthday from his cousins.  He likes to wear it around the house.  He fills it up with toys and then walks all hunched over because depending on what he fills it with, he has a hard time carrying it around!  
I kept asking him to smile for the camera, and his faces just got sillier and sillier!
Then, out of nowhere, came this little gem.  Can you see why I'm sometimes apprehensive about taking him to the playground?!  He looks so sweet and innocent most of the time, but watch out for Little Mister Bully - he is always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce when you least expect it!
And then he gets all cozy in his pj's on the couch and clasps his hands together while watching Caillou, or one of his other favourite-shows-of-the-moment.  It's so cute how he does this - I used to always clasp my hands together when I was a little girl.  It's interesting the little traits that seem to be inherited when they don't seem like they'd be inheritable traits!
Here he is taking an afternoon nap the other day.  So precious with those chubby cheeks!  I just wanted to kiss them.  I'm pretty sure I did!  (I do a lot!)
Finger paints.  Awesome gift idea from his aunt and uncle...And I know he WILL love using them in time...But he's still in his Ican'tstandhavingdirtyhands phase that started pretty much since day one.  It's so funny, here I thought we could while away AT LEAST half an hour painting with our hands - instead it was maaaybe two minutes painting, followed by 45 of Andrew splashing in the kitchen sink after getting washed.  (His baths are of course primarily in the tub, but I let him splash around in the kitchen sink from time to time just for fun!)

Flash back to a couple of weeks ago at my parents' house - he's telling me about the gash on his chin that he got when he fell right into the hearth of the fireplace.  Youch!  It was only a matter of time though, I'm just glad he didn't crack any teeth!!
This would have been an awesome pic of the two of us...That is, if my cheek didn't decide to squish his eye shut!  Oh well, it's still kinda cute!
I am sooo grateful for my little sweetums.  He may drive me up the wall at times, but ultimately he is what keeps me sane!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Papa G and the Twilight Turtle

Instead of writing about the stuff that’s kind of eating me up inside, I thought I would distract myself by documenting what we did on Sunday.

James’ biological dad and half sister (gawd families are complicated!) were set to come over at noon for a visit. Bio dad lives in Ontario and we see him once a year, sometimes more but often less. Sis lives in Victoria and we’ve seen more of her since Andrew’s come along but we don’t see her aaall that often. So it was great to be getting together for a visit.

I was a bit thrown off because James woke me up at 20 to 9 to say they’d be at a nearby restaurant for breakfast in under half an hour and we were asked to join. I had planned on getting a bit of sleep (since it had been a pretty bad night sleep-wise due to Andrew ripping my hair out and stealing my pillow) and then doing some chores before they arrived. But since they decided to catch an earlier ferry, the plans were completely changed. Which is OK, but I’d be lying if I said changing plans like that doesn’t throw me off a bit and make me wonder why the plan couldn’t have been changed with advanced warning!

That being said, while I was given the option to go back to sleep or stay home and hang out after breakfast, I decided to go along. It would seem awkward to me somehow if they had all their conversation-y stuff happen BEFORE I actually saw them – then I’d just be asking them the same questions James would have already been given answers to. Like I said, Awwwkwaaaard!

I’m really glad I went because we had a nice visit at the restaurant, and then from there we headed out to Granville Island.

G Island is usually sooooo busy when we go, and I realized it’s because James and I really only go (rarely) in the summer time. So it was a bonus when it was seemingly busy to other people, but actually seemed really quiet to us. It was fun to look around, especially at the Kid’s Market for Andrew’s sake!

Papa G (Andy’s bio grandpa on daddy’s side) doesn’t have a whole lot to do with his one and only grandbaby…so when he comes to town he likes to spoil the boy a little! He ended up buying him a few building/connecting type toys. Then we went to another store and I mentioned that I wanted to look for a night light for Andrew’s new bedroom. Right away Papa G jumped on that – even though I had every intention of buying the night light myself, I wasn’t at all hinting that he should get him one. It turned out they had the exact one I had been wanting to find in-store – it’s called Twilight Turtle. It has 3 colour settings and basically it displays constellations on the ceiling through a light in the turtle’s shell (sounds bizarre and it sort of is, but it’s also totally cool!) I had read about it and thought it would be ‘just the thing’ for Andy’s room when we move. It might help him feel cozy in his new bedroom, and not afraid of the dark, and it would give him something to focus on when aiming for sleep.

But then I looked at the price tag and forgot – of course it would be Granville Island pricing! It was $45. I decided not to buy it because I didn’t feel we could justify dropping that kind of coin on a night light!

Well, right away Papa G was like, ‘Every little boy needs a glowing turtle in his room!’ and that was that, he bought it.

No, it’s totally not right for someone to enter your life and buy you presents as if to replace quality time spent together. But he was having fun spoiling his grandson, it was not my place to tell him not to! And I was pretty excited for Andrew to get this particular toy since I thought it also served an important function (helping the boy enter la-la land!)

Anyway, after G Island we drove to Stanley Park and went for a nice walk there before coming back to our place for a short visit before they had to be on their way. It was a really nice visit and they think Andrew is the bees knees (which happens to be a saying I taught Andy the other day and it sounds soooo cute when he says it!!)

Tonight, instead of putting the tv on to whatever show Andrew demanded (tonight he wanted it to be ‘Caillou’) I turned out all the lights, James put on some relaxing music, and I brought out the Twilight Turtle.

At first Andrew just wanted to look at the stars, and he even pointed out and said, ‘Moon!’ Then he played with the turtle, even gave him a kiss and said, ‘Nit nit’ (which means Night night) but was too interested in figuring out how it worked to allow it to lull him to sleep.

Finally, he did put it down and just stared at the stars, said what colour they were, and eventually he dozed off (while also playing with my hair and me tickling his belly!)

I put him in his bed ( he fell asleep on the couch), then a few hours later he came flying out of his bedroom back to the couch and as soon as he laid down he pointed up to the ceiling and said, ‘Stars.’ I would say the twilight turtle is proving to be a success already! In fact, he just woke up yet again and I put the stars back on and as soon as he saw them he closed his eyes again and went back to sleep. I hope it provides the comfort he needs, especially when adjusting to our new house!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I should probably go help James with the boy since he’s been on his own with him for a while and I’ve been on the phone…Andy is extra energetic tonight, if that’s even possible…so I’m kinda being a little selfish and maximizing on the time here before I have to take over, or at the very least help out! LOL

So it looks like we are moving back to the ‘burbs…I was thinking it seems so quick and omg what are we doing and is this the right decision – but we were hoping to move before our next rent increase, which happens March 1st…This would mean signing a new lease Feb 15th and having to pay half a month’s rent at the new place which kind of sucks in terms of the money issue…But it’s only a couple of weeks before we were hoping to move, so really everything seems to be falling right into place. We’ve always (all 3 moves before this one) taken the first place we looked at (sometimes looking at more than one but always going back to the first) and it has always proven to be a good decision, so…

The woman who owns the place has to get back to me still, but I’d be pretty surprised if we didn’t get it.

I’m so excited! Nervous, a little apprehensive just because there’s already so much going on right now…and it IS way out in the boonies in comparison to where we are now – I mean SERIOUSLY. BUT I figure for one thing, maybe this will actually be a really good distraction for me from all the negative stuff going on, and I’ll get used to how far out of the way we’ll be. In fact, I am really looking forward to how quiet and serene the area is. Here we face busy Georgia St, aaaalways hearing the light hum (often loud roar) of heavy traffic. There’s a fire station close by and we constantly hear the sirens…It’s a very noisy spot, and with buildings across from us, there are lights shining in our windows 24/7. The new place opens to a greenbelt and basically means we’ll be looking out to our backyard. We will also, for the first time EVER in James and my living together, have windows on TWO sides of our suite, not just one, AND we even have a back door! That leads out to…wait for it! Our very own little yard space!!! It’s not fenced, and I’ve asked if it might be possible for us to add one, but even if we can’t I think it’s OK, because going up two steps you end up at a grassy area that will be perfect for Andrew to play. No fence obviously means no unsupervised outdoor time, not even for one minute, but I can live with that. It will just be the coolest thing ever to be able to walk right outside with him from our own door, and if he wants to do something like kick a soccer ball around, we don’t have to load up all our stuff for a big outing and head to the park. The trade off, of course, being that we WILL have to load up AND take a bus to almost anywhere we want to go – which is something I’ve gotten so used to NOT having to worry about. I’ll adjust though. One saving grace is that there’s a grocery store that’s only about a 5 minute walk away.

It’s a pretty awesome place, apparently about 850 sq ft. It seems a bit smaller than that to us, but the people who own it have bigger furniture than us, so I think it’ll seem bigger with our stuff in it. It’s fairly open and has a little peek-a-boo thing in the kitchen which I LOVE and it circles around so Andy can run around from the kitchen to dining room to living room and will just in general have more room to move around in. He will also have a proper bedroom, not a storage closet that ‘works’ as a bedroom, complete with his very own closet – full sized, too, might I add!

The master bedroom has a sliding glass door that goes to the outdoor space and while it’s not a huge room either, it will fit all the stuff we have in it now PLUS I’ll finally be able to put the cedar chest at the end of the bed again, AND there will be more room to move around than we have now. Awesome!!

There’s one extra closet from what we have now, plus all the 3 closets are bigger than ours. AND there is a large storage unit near the underground parking – which will end up freeing up soooo much space in the suite since there are quite a few things we might need later but don’t right now. Super awesome!

I love love love it. I will totally miss our place here and this area for sure, but we can always make day trips, and honestly we’ll totally grow to love our new area because that’s what happens when you settle into a new home! I just can’t wait to have more space. And omg I can’t believe I forgot to mention this sooner – it has a fireplace!!!!!!! Wood burning, and with being a condo with a strata, it’s checked every year so we know it’s safe to use. I will most likely though (for when I am lighting a fire) get those 3 hour burning logs that you just plop in and light on both ends! It’s going to be soooo cozy and perfect, I am already imagining organizing all our stuff in there.

AND they allow cats so we don’t have to worry about hiding Moogs and Fifi! The only thing I WILL worry about is making sure they never escape, because they’re indoor kitties and that’s the way I want to keep it!

Ooooh this is exciting. Scary, big changes, and a serious money sucker in terms of moving costing a lot to begin with, then throw in the added half months rent…but I think we can recoup our loss in some ways, especially without much in the area, we certainly won’t be spending money on eating out much!

I have to admit, I’m a little over the moon about this. It better work out, I hope the woman doesn’t call tomorrow and crush my dreams. Although as sad as I’d be, I’d force myself to remember that the location isn’t the most awesomest ever – although I actually think it might be, once we get to know the area better.

I knew 2011 would be a year of change, it has already proven to be both good and bad. For sanity’s sake, I have to take a little time to focus on this goody!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it time to move on?

Tomorrow James and I are going to look at an apartment for us to potentially move to…in Burnaby. I’m excited by the prospect of having a place that’s 850 sq ft…That costs a hundred dollars less that what we pay here – although we wouldn’t actually be saving any money since James would have to get a 2 zone bus pass. There are pros and cons. Let’s face it, we’re going to HAVE to move relatively soon, our goal was within the next 3 months tops. So it would be 1-2 months on the early side of when we really want to. But maybe it’s a good idea? I don’t want to get ahead of myself – we haven’t seen the place yet. But it sounds kind of promising, and the owner of it seems really nice based on a bit of an email dialogue we had. So we’ll see.

So far, for me the pros are that it’s much larger than what we currently have, it’s on the ground floor with a little outdoor space (although it’s not fenced in – I would have to find out if we could put up some sort of little fence to keep Andrew in, then he’d have his own outdoor area!) It has in suite laundry and is in a quiet area. It’s close to a grocery store apparently – although looking it up online, it’s faaaaar away compared to how close we are to a grocery store here! Which brings me to the cons…

It’s in Burnaby. Which is better than Coquitlam or Surrey…but I am going to be SO SAD (read: sobbing) to have to leave our area. I LOVE THIS AREA!! I know one can grow to love whatever area they move to – before we moved from Burnaby to the west end, I was adamant I would not fit in there and would hate it but I ended up loving it! Still, it’s tough because we’re right near James’ office and close to absolutely everything here. There, I would probably find myself having to bus a lot. Which is worrisome too if we truly are planning to have another baby in a little over a year. Things I do have to consider…

The location isn’t maybe my first choice…I think that’s probably what the cons list boils down to! It’ll take a LOT longer to go visit my parents, too, and that extra travel time with one or two children makes me a little freaked out. Then again, most likely my parents are not going to be living where they are currently for much longer so…I probably shouldn’t be deciding where to live based on that.

The thing is, ‘right now’ is perhaps not the greatest time for us to move, I feel like my head is already so full of all the stuff that’s going on in my family, is this a good idea? But again, there I go getting ahead of myself when I said I wasn’t going to do that. My aunt is babysitting the boy tomorrow, so James and I can make that trip out there and decide if it’s right for us or not. I think I’ll just focus on the excitement aspect of it, I mean I wouldn’t have looked at the listing OR contacted the person if there wasn’t a part of me that thought it might be right for us!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Gawd my blog seems grim these days...

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts since the new year, you’ll know that in almost, if not all posts I have mentioned my dad having a heart attack on January 1st.

I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record. Although at the same time, I guess I’m not sorry. Because in fact, I kind of wish I could have it written on my forehead for the world to see.

MY DAD HAD A HEART ATTACK.

I don’t know why I feel that way. Is it because I wish people just knew so they’d leave me alone? I don’t necessarily think I want everyone out there to know I’m hurting inside, because why would they need to – and if anything, I tend to like to hide how I’m feeling if what’s inside is negative. I’m good at putting on a front to make it seem I’m happy and maybe even a bit cheerful! So I’m not sure why I feel this desire to have it be known, but maybe it’s just that it was such a huge event for me, and it would somehow comfort me to be able to wear it on my sleeve (or forehead, although now the sleeve is sounding like a better fit!!)

Sigh. I probably sound totally over dramatic. My dad had a heart attack that he had surgery for that made his heart better. So why am I so freaked out now, over 2 entire weeks later??

Mind you, it’s not just my dad I’m worried about. In fact, despite how drastically this event has changed his life (from go go go constantly to slowly puttering about making him tired), I think he has the right frame of mind – that he has to adjust and make changes but it’s another chance. Whereas it’s my mom who is spiralling further and further out of control with each passing minute.

I really don’t want to get into it all, it’s very complicated and it’s hurting me so badly that I don’t think I’m ready to put it into words, at least not into writing. A lot of people are worried about her, it’s not just me going through this. Although of course I am one at the frontlines, given that she is my mom, and I would say I am (or have been, at least) the closest person to her for years.

A lot is at stake here and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid for her life. I’m also very concerned about what all of this is doing and is going to do to my dad. It’s serious, and when I try to think in my head what the outcome will be, my mind just fogs right up. I have no idea what to do and I think my hands are tied. As a family we’re working on a solution, but is there one? A person HAS to want help in order for positive change to take place. When the person insists on hiding their head and trying to pretend it’s not happening by over-medicating or whatever the case may be, it becomes impossible to get through to them.

I know this has been a long time coming, this isn’t new behaviour in the least. But at the same time, you would think almost losing your husband might change your mindset at least a little bit. This could have been, and should be, a new beginning, a second chance, the change that has been needed for a long time finally within arm’s reach. But instead, it will all backfire and spiral until it’s beyond control entirely. Why is it going in that direction? Why does this have to be happening?

It’s so sad and impossible for me to wrap my head around. I have always been very close with my family, as in really, really tight knit. I do have a strong support network around me, but my parents are my go-to people. I know I’m almost 31 and obviously I’m a capable, responsible adult. Yes, I can take care of myself. You can call me a big baby if you want to, but I need my mommy and daddy still! Thank goodness I do still have my dad in my life, I am going to be thankful for that every single day moving forward. But it is killing me a little that it seems as though my mom has already checked out. She’s not even the one who had the heart attack, yet this seems to all come down to her issues. All of this is so sad, and seems so unnecessary, but it’s happening. And I have to figure out how to face it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Making healthy changes starts now

So just BLAH, really. That’s probably where I should leave this, but then it wouldn’t be much of a post, would it?

We went to my bro and sil’s tonight, and although stressful things were discussed, we did share some laughs. James got kind of drunk, which is always a good time. My bro and sil love to laugh at (er, I mean WITH!) him when he gets the way he does when he’s had a few! I just had a coffee and later on a hot buttered rum. I wish I could pound ‘em back the way I once could, but it just isn’t worth it to me these days. Ever since Andrew came along (well, since the pregnancy, obviously!) I just haven’t felt inclined. Which actually is probably a good thing, given drinking isn’t exactly good for one’s health, at least not in excess.

I keep fighting myself on whether or not to write about what’s going on deep down. I want to, and when I open the Word document I intend to, but then I just sigh and think blargh, why don’t I try to focus on something at least remotely positive? I just don’t want to go there, I guess. I need to, and I will, eventually. But right now, I just don’t know.

One thing that I think is reeeeally important to focus on is the prevention of heart disease and other potential health issues for myself and my family (as in Andrew and James). I am susceptible to heart related issues since it runs in my family, obviously directly from my dad but also from many other people on his side of the family (most men on his side have died, and quite young, due to heart attacks). Therefore, Andrew is at risk, and James is too just given that anyone is if they don’t take proper care of themselves.

I don’t actually think we have to do that much to get on the best track. James is active insofar as he rides his bike every day to and from work, and typically we walk everywhere we need to go as opposed to taking the bus (which we only take once in a while or if it’s a really long trip we obviously would). James is certainly not overweight. I could stand to lose a few pounds, and it’s something I’m working on. I do walk everywhere and when I walk I am FAST, I do get my heart rate up and I sweat! So that’s good, although of course there is always more I can do. I want to start getting an exercise plan in place – we even have a gym in our building so there are absolutely no excuses!

Eating healthier is the number one thing I’m focusing on right away though. I’m cutting out a lot of the pre-packaged and processed foods that we’ve sort of started relying on just out of convenience. I’m not saying we’ll NEVER eat something from the frozen foods section again, or that I won’t ever indulge in chocolate or even French fries. But I just want to be making much healthier choices on a daily basis. We did a shop today and got lots of fruits and vegetables, and I guess we always get those things, given we’re vegetarian! We actually do eat fairly well and balanced most of the time. But what we didn’t get was boxes of crackers and frozen foods or snack items that would be really high in fat or cholesterol or other such things. I want to avoid the saturated and trans fats as much as possible, think before I add salt and sugar to things. I’m going to make a huge effort to explore new recipes and meal options and get creative with healthy ingredients!

I wanted to do that as a new year’s resolution. Who knew that my dad would have a heart attack and really force me to take action immediately! This is a time where my resolution HAS to happen, because if ever there was a sign that change is needed, his new year’s day heart attack was it!

Another date, if you can call it that!

Our plan today was to just go for a coffee, not spend too much. Although for what we ended up getting, it didn’t cost as much as it could have…We ended up at Olympia on Denman where we shared some yummy Greek food. It turned out to be a perfect little outing. After lunch we hit up the library – yes, wearethemostexcitingcoupleonearth! I wanted to check out the dvd’s, as sad as that sounds, I mean it’s not that I’m not into reading but I’ve always been curious what you can get for free from the library movie-wise. It was a little crowded in that section so I went and checked out the kids corner and lo and behold they had a row of dvds just for kids! AND I hit pay dirt when I discovered THERE IS A BUZZ LIGHTYEAR DVD! Andrew is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear, so how did I not know there is a Buzz dvd?! SCORE ONE FOR MOMMY!! He is out with his uncle at the moment, but when Andrew gets home and sees what we found he is going to be one excited boy!

And no, it’s not all about the dvds for me – I plan on taking him to the library to read books. I took him to storytime when he was really little but then steered clear for a while since he was at an age where he couldn’t just sit and be good about listening…and I was also concerned he would rip apart and/or eat the books, so…He’s still at a ripping stage but if I can keep him entertained enough reading, he might be ok with it! We will have to see.

I haven’t really been on my own for a full day with Andrew since before Christmas, since we were on the island and then my parents were over here and then due to my dad’s heart attack, we were back on the island. So tomorrow is going to prove interesting – it will be just me and the boy…read: me entertaining the boy every waking moment! It will be tiring but definitely fun! I am already thinking of a few activities for us to do over the next few days – finger painting (a gift from his Uncle N and Auntie M for his bday), another painting project, the library, possibly the aquarium. There are certainly things for us to do, it’s just a matter of me finding the energy to do them all – Ha!

We’re going to my bro and sil’s tonight, mostly to discuss the issues going on in the family right now – stressful stuff. But it will be nice to reunite Andrew with his bulldog cousins. Now that they’re living farther away (only a 15 minute bus ride but somehow it ends up that we don’t get together nearly as often, at least not to pop in at their place). He is going to be SO THRILLED to see the pups, and truth be told so will I! They are such delights to visit with! I always thought we’d have a dog as soon as we had a child because I want my kid(s) to grow up loving dogs like I always have. BUT this is the best of both worlds, I think, because we can vicariously have dogs but we don’t have to get up at 5am and get dressed and go outside and take them for walks!!! Not having a yard, that’s how it would be, and I would go mentally insane from it, I just know it. So this works out perfectly, AND Andrew has loved dogs since day 1 as he and Maude met when he was just a week or two old, so I have no worries there.

Anyhoo, waiting on the bil to bring the boy home. They must have gone to the park. This time has been a bonus because when we came home (did a grocery shop after the library, whoa boy is our life brimming with excitement!! LOL) we had anticipated them being here so by now bil would have gone home and we’d be lacking on the free-time-to-do-as-we-please.

It has been a good weekend in terms of having some us time and getting a few things done and whatnot. I sure wish I could shake these blues I’m feeling though. I did cry a bit last night, just all of a sudden the waterworks turned on, and then afterwards I had a splitting headache and felt like I was going to throw up. I think all the stress is really getting to me. It’s not just my dad’s heart attack, but rather a lot of other issues that are all linked to one another that are very complicated and difficult to deal with. Not stuff for the blog, but suffice it to say it’s just not an easy time right now. And it spirals my brain out of control sometimes thinking about all the what ifs and worries.

It’s stupid because all I want to do is relish in the fact that my dad is still alive and he’s showing major signs of improvement and as far as anyone can tell, he should actually be a lot healthier as a result of this procedure he had and all that…So why is it that my brain takes me to bad places? Last night as I struggled to fall asleep even though I was absolutely exhausted, suddenly we’re back at the hotel when we were deciding if my dad SHOULD go to the hospital due to his pains, only in this scenario he collapsed before we could get him there and it was a struggle to be at his side but at the same time call 911. I don’t know why my mind works the way it does sometimes. There are just a lot of what ifs, and I think I am just going over it all in my head like that because it was such a scary thing and we are sooooo lucky that we went to the hospital when we did and that ‘all’ it took was a stent to ‘fix’ the problem. I do want to just focus on that but it is impossible not to feel so sad from this, even though it has all worked out for the best. I am working on it, and perhaps should do more writing like this about it, in hopes that it might help clear some of it up for me. But not right now, I think I’ll go make some tea and wait for my boy to get home so I can give him a great big hug.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow days in Nanaimo

While on the island, we had a few days of snow.  I wish I'd known it was in the forecast going over - Andrew has yet to try out his first ever snowsuit, which of course I left at home in Vancouver.  But there is time yet for winter weather here, so I'm not too concerned (and if he never needs to wear it, I won't be crying either!!)

It was fun taking him out in the backyard to play, although it only lasted maybe 10 minutes each time because he got too cold and also didn't like walking around in the snow very much!
Emma joined in on the fun :)
The first day this is my truly sad attempt at a snowman.  It's tiny and sort of challenged looking (I mean no offense in saying that!)  Even Andrew is looking at it like, 'Something isn't quite right about this...!'
Back in the house, warm and in his swing, it's snack time!  He really looks like my brother as a little boy in this picture - as in, like some of the pictures of my bro at his age.  Strange how the family ties show through like that, but they do!
OK, a few days later Mommy gets a far higher grade for this snowman!  My dad brought me the carrot for the nose, which really makes the snowman complete.  Andrew was quite pleased with it (and happy I put socks on his hands for mitts this time around!)  A few seconds after this picture was taken, Andrew pushed poor ol' snowman over and that was the end of it.  But at least we got a couple of pictures of him first!
This last pic was submitted to the morning news and made it on the air!  That's twice now he's had his picture on the news - I'm tellin' ya, this kid is going places!

Just the two of us


James and I had some much needed date time today.  We hadn’t seen each other for nearly a week, and with all that’s been happening lately, it’s been probably more than 2 weeks since we really spent much time together.  We dropped Andrew off with his nana (I haven’t had ‘issues’ with her since she got here, I’ve barely spent any time with her myself, and even though I still do HAVE issues with her, it really has helped me out that she’s been available to take Andrew from time to time).  Then we went to Milestone’s for lunch where I enjoyed 2 mimosas – one a white grape, and the other a mimosa Kiss.  Since I rarely drink alcoholic, it gave me a nice buzz, something I felt very much in need of!

We stayed there for quite a while and then hit up London Drugs for a new blowdryer.  Mine was really on the fritz – you know it’s bad when I’m just putting up with the strange noises it’s making but JAMES mentions to me that it sounds like I need a new one!!  So finally we took care of that.  The one I got is awesome (I haven’t actually used it yet, but I’m positive it’s going to deliver!) because it has this feature where you press a button and the cord goes up into the handle.  Genius!!  No more tangled up cord, it seriously is something that bugs me so this should be just the thing.

Then we went to Denman Street and hit up Ten Thousand Villages to get a birthday prezzie for sil M.  We got this cool little bowl that was made out of old posters, a nice soap, and a little bag of chocolates.

We came home and had lots of quality time together, which was so nice, and I was able to keep from thinking about everything at least for a bit here and there.  James has just gone to get the boy and bring him home, so keep your fingers crossed he doesn’t nap on the way home so he’ll go to bed at a decent time!!

Then tomorrow bil N is going to babysit him for us so we can go out, although I’m not sure where we’ll go as I really don’t want to be spending more money if we can help it.  But I guess it wouldn’t cost too much to go to for a coffee somewhere or something.  Just being out together will be nice!  It’s just really important to me that James and I are getting a little time together to just be a couple and sort of reconnect.  Not that we were totally disconnected, but given Andrew and I were on the island all week, we’ve been missing each other.

Which is not to say we don’t also want to spend time as a family with Andrew!  I’m enjoying the quiet here at the moment, but I’m also looking forward to him coming home and telling me all about what he was up to today!

I’m feeling kind of depressed still, but spending a bit of time not thinking about that fact was good for me today.  I think it helped, even if only a little bit.  And you know what they say, ‘Every little bit counts!’

Friday, January 14, 2011

I still can't believe that my 'baby' is two

Here are some of Andrew's birthday pictures, new year's eve 2010 party extravaganza!  I swear it was impossible to get him actually SMILING in any of the pictures, but I assure you he had a WONDERFUL time at his party!

First off, the day before his party he and I went to Safeway and I got him this balloon.  I know it blends the whole birthday/new year's eve thing, but I think that's OK when it comes to a balloon, especially when it's the absolute coolest one in the whole store!  He was so pleased when I told him we were getting it because it was going to be his birthday.
 Also the night before his big day, I made his birthday cake!  Here is a sneak preview...It's a vanilla/chocolate marble guitar cake with icing I made with a hint of eggnog - given the season, I thought why not!
 The day of, waiting for guests to arrive (we hosted the party at the hotel where my parents were staying).  All done up in his little bowtie!
 The theme, of course, was A Wiggly Party!
 This happened shortly before the guests arrived...LOL
 I was so excited about my boy turning two!
 Time for PRESENTS!!  Last year we had the prezzies piled up on the table but this year he knew aaallllll about present-opening so he had the meltdown as pictured above when I wouldn't let him start opening things before it was time...We had to pile the gifts up on the bed, and as soon as I said, 'Andrew do you want to open a present?' he immediately yelled YEEEAH! and ran to the bed to get one! 

 His last gift was from Gramma and Grampa...his very first tryke!  What a lucky boy.
 Here is the cake...I was quite proud of it!  The icing went a bit crackly in transport, because it was freezing out when I had to carry it to the hotel, but I was just relieved that it made it in one piece!  I can't wait to make him all sorts of 'fun' cakes for future birthdays, I can see myself really getting into it.
 With the candles...
 He might be growing up fast but he's still got those adorable chubby cheeks that I love to kiss kiss kiss!!! - Notice he's sans bowtie by this point!  He ripped it off and said, 'Done!'
 Andrew LOVED his cake, I showed it to him before I decorated it so at least the icing part would be a surprised.  He just kept going on about his 'tar cake and how it was blue...But after we ate it, he furrowed his brow and said, 'Broken!'  He enjoyed eating it but he didn't like that it no longer resembled a guitar!
 Here he is with one of his uncles (my bil, I had to post this pic because Andrew looks so hilarious in it!!)  He does 'The Hulk' or 'Muscle Man'...I will write a post just about this topic some other time...
 Silly boy!
 Mr. Cool with his new bike!
A family photo...with the most beautiful backdrop.  That's where I took my rowing lessons last summer!
Another attempt at getting Anders to look at the camera...
And here he is the next day, doesn't he look like a tough little man?!  Welcome to the 'terrible twos'!!!
The love of my life!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sick and tired...what more can I say?

Why don’t we just add insult to injury here:  I have come down with a really bad cold.  James got it first, I started showing signs of it the day after he got it, my mom came down with it the day after me, and last night by dad started showing signs.  JUST what he needs, out of all of us, right now. 

It honestly seems as though anything that can go wrong right now, is.  Or has.  It’s doom and gloom here, what can I say.

I’m trying really hard to see the positive.  I do see it, and I am clear-headed enough to think about a lot of the things that need dealing with.  But a lot of it is out of my hands, I can only suggest or offer to help in certain ways, but a lot of this isn’t up to me or anything I can do.  So to say I’m feeling a tad helpless would be an understatement.

Blargh.

I desperately need a GOOD night’s sleep (haha, not gonna happen I know, but I can still say I NEED it!), some time to just reflect on things and try to get a better grasp of the situation.  I don’t even really know what I need, but it’s something.  Probably a good cry should be tossed in there somewhere along the way, but I’m so bottled up at this point, I don’t know when that will happen.

I don’t even know what to say anymore, so I’ll end this post.

Christmas pictures...Better late than never!

Shortly before Christmas, I made a tree out of a magazine for fun:
Here's me and the boy sharing a Christmas Eve smooch by the fire at James' dad's house!
Cutest boy ever!
Andrew opening his stocking Xmas morning - people thought it was silly that Santa brought him bracelets, but I think it's cool that Santa knew he enjoys dress up!
Daddy and Andy checking out the new laptop we got him for Christmas.  Yes, they make laptops for two year olds!!
Family portrait...not quite sure why James has his hand on his hip LOL I think he'd had a couple of drinks by this point!
Sooo pleased that Santa brought him a Molly doll (from Big Comfy Couch!)
BFFs!
His aunt E got him a suit but he refused to wear the tie...or the pants!
Just minutes after getting Buzz Lightyear from GG (well, Santa left it at her house), he was snoozing with him in his swing! (Chocolate face and all!!)
Watching Toy Story, wearing his new Canucks pajamas (the shirt says Luongo on the back!)
More BFFs!
Just love this face!
I took waaay more pics than this, and this might seem like a strange set to share, but it's the best I can do right now.  I don't like to post pics of other people given they don't get to OK having their pics be on the net, so that's why there aren't any pictures of the fam.  We really did enjoy Christmas, both with James' family and with mine, it's just hard to think about right now with everything else that's going on.  But the point of this post was not to get into that, and instead focus on the cuteness that was Andrew at Christmas!

Next up (tomorrow, hopefully): Andy's 2nd birthday party!  Stay tuned :)

Oh and a little side note: Still working on the template changes, but have to wait for my husband's computer expertise this weekend before I continue...

Monday, January 10, 2011

New year, new design

Please stand by while I make some changes to the ol' blog :)

Before Christmas

Whether it be on FB or my blog (forget flickr as I have almost a year's worth of pictures to upload on there...Will it ever happen at this point?!), I haven't posted pictures since a while before Christmas. I had planned to do a Christmas/Andrew's birthday new year's eve post with pictures galore on January 1st, but other things came up and here I am, 10 days later and still no pics.

So here are a few from a few days before the holidays, to tied you over till I have time to do a giant picture post:
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I especially love this last one, it's his Yo Gabba Gabba 'Funny Face' :)
Stay tuned...I'm also planning on doing some template changes, it might help keep my mind off things.


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