Thursday, March 31, 2011

Date night conversation

James and I had a date night tonight, thanks to my aunt and uncle for babysitting Andrew. It was so cute – when I mentioned he was going to see his great aunt and uncle today, he was sooo excited! He kept saying the funny things that he and them say together (such as ‘geez louise!’) It was great that he wanted to go see them so badly. In fact, when he was having a freak out on the skytrain and started hitting me (never fun), I said, ‘If you don’t stop this, we’re turning around and going home and you won’t see them at all.’ He stopped right away. He got it! The scary part for me was knowing that if he DIDN’T respond to that as I hoped, I really would have had to turn around and take him home, and James and I would have had to forego our date. I know we will have things like that happen in the future, but I do think it’s important to follow through on those ‘threats.’ Otherwise, if he figures they’re just empty threats, it won’t ever be effective in getting him to change his behaviour. But PHEW, lucky for us he DID behave from there on in for our trip downtown.

Andy had a gift card to Chapters that he got for Christmas so I thought we could use that before heading to my aunt and uncle’s. Well, that proved to be a less than fun experience!! He was so hell bent on getting another Toy Story book, but I looked at them and after a while they are all EXACTLY the same…so I didn’t want to encourage it. Then he finally settled on a book and seemed happy so we went to pay for it and he freaked out and decided NO he did NOT want that book NOOOOOOOOOO! So back to the drawing board. It’s so frustrating as the parent because I see all these really great books that I KNOW we would have so much fun reading, but he’s being picky and ultimately it’s for him so he should choose…And I can’t blame him as I can recall instances where I did the EXACT same thing to my mom when I was a few years older than him! Anyway, to make a long story short he didn’t get a book at all, but rather settled on a puppet of one of the characters from Fraggle Rock!

So fast-forward a bit to my date with James. Our plan was to go to Cactus Club to use a gift card we got for Xmas (all about the gift cards today it would seem!) But we hadn’t realized it was a hockey game night so it would’ve been an hour wait to get a table at the one we planned to go to. We didn’t want to wait for an hour and then be in a place where it would be super loud and all about hockey (we’re proud of the Canucks and don’t hate hockey altogether, but we wanted a date night where we could talk to each other!) So we ended up at Sala Thai (We need to branch out more, I know, but we wanted to go somewhere that we knew we’d enjoy!) It was a great meal, and I’m really glad we chose to go there.

But what I want to talk about in relation to that is something I saw while there that sparked a conversation between James and me. I noticed there was a family sitting at the table across from us. The little boy was probably around 5 or 6, and I noticed he was playing with some sort of hand held game console. I’m not on the up and up with these things, but it would have been similar to if I had been playing my Gameboy at the dinner table back in the day.

And I have to say, it would have been a no go. I was taught that you don’t do such things at the dinner table. So as soon as I saw this kid playing like that my initial internal response was to frown upon it. Didn’t this child have any manners whatsoever? Aren’t there things that a person just shouldn’t do at the dinner table?

Then I noticed that while he played quietly, his parents were enjoying each other’s company and chatting and I felt myself nodding inside, like, yes, I get it. I see the temptation to let these things slide because he’s quiet and you’re getting to enjoy your dinner.

I asked James what he thought of this scenario and we discussed it. We both agreed that while we totally do get the temptation there – it would be ‘easy’ to just plug Andrew into a game or what have you and have more adult conversation at the dinner table. BUT we want to promote dinner time as a family time, anyway, so Andrew SHOULD be involved. And ultimately we do want to teach him that there is a time and a place for things, and gaming at the dinner table is not the time nor the place! So we’re planning on making a point of that in the future, when that becomes an issue for us (sorry Andrew, I’m sure you’ll be most displeased, but we think it’s for the best and hopefully in the long run you’ll understand why!)

Then James mentioned where do you draw the line – literally, in the sense that he brought up that we DO let him colour at the dinner table, and in fact encourage it when at restaurants. But I said that I think it’s more creative, and even more than that, it’s something we are more interactive with him about. We all inevitably end up with crayons in our hands and contribute to the picture in some way. I don’t have a problem with that. I realize it could seem hypocritical, but I do personally think a game console is completely different than a piece of paper and some crayons.

What do you think?

I was taught proper table etiquette at a very young age – and actually recall trying to go under the table ONCE and we were immediately taken home, it was a pretty strict ordeal to teach us that acting up at a restaurant (or dinner table in general) is not tolerated. That might sound harsh but I actually think it was a really good thing my parents did, and we plan to be that way with Andrew. Because it won’t be long before he gets it and acts accordingly, so we CAN have family meals out without worrying about what kind of scene he’s going to cause!

Not that I’m saying the little boy at the table next to us was causing a scene, in fact he was silent given he was plugged into his console. It just doesn’t sit well with me that in reality he may as well have not even been there with his parents, because essential two completely separate things were taking place at that table. As tempting as it might be at times to do something like that, I really do want us to make an effort to remember that meal times are a special family time, to be cherished.

Is two really better than one?

To have a second child or to let Andrew be a singleton…that is the question!

I think deep down I really would like to have two kids. So there is a good chance we will be having a baby sometime next year *gulp!*

But it’s not for sure yet, as I’m sure you can tell I have perhaps a few reservations.

James is fine either way – he sometimes thinks it would be great to be done with just one as financially it’s obviously a lot cheaper, and we’ll ‘have our lives back’ so to speak a lot sooner!! Sometimes we’re both so exhausted and practically ripping our hair out with just one – the idea of throwing a baby into the mix sometimes overwhelms us. On the other hand, he, like me, loves the idea of having another baby…Having 2 kids…I mean, we did such an amazing job on the first one (read: perfection!!) so we sort of owe it to the world to have another one, don’t we?! Haha, I know, I’m obviously biased in saying that, but seriously, he’s such a delight!

I can’t imagine never having another pregnancy – although it’s strange I would say that given I was so sick during my first one…Average up-chucks being 5 times a day for 3 months straight, every single day pretty much…Then tapering to the point that if I only threw up a couple times in a day, I thought I was doing amazing! Not really looking forward to the risk of that happening again (and I have a very strong feeling it’s likely to happen again…Diclectin will be my best friend once more – it helped a LOT even though I was still as sick as I was!!) But despite the sickness aspect - which will be hard when also taking care of a toddler…who by the way, the maybe 2 times I’ve barfed in the past year – he has been RIGHT IN THERE with half his head in the toilet with me wanting to be a part of it all…That should be interesting!! Although the last time I remember him consoling me and rubbing my arm so who knows, maybe he’ll become my caretaker! LOL But anyway, despite the sickness part, there are some really wonderful and magical aspects to being pregnant that I look forward to. Knowing I’m growing our little baby in there, feeling all the kicks and squirms, wondering who ‘he or she’ is.

Although even just saying that, it seems so foreign to me somehow, even though I’ve been through it with Andrew. I didn’t want to have another baby close together to his age (for numerous reasons, but…) largely because I want to shower all my love on HIM and the idea of sharing that love with another child just doesn’t sit well with me. I know it happens, and obviously I will love our second baby as much as Andrew, just in different ways. But it still seems hard to imagine somehow. It makes me feel sad, the idea of not putting 100% toward my boy when he has become accustomed to that. I know it will be good for him on many levels, but I still just love him SO MUCH and want to be able to give him my all without sharing!!

I do think Andrew will be at a good age for being a sibling though. I know it’s a personal choice (or sometimes not) and some people like to have their kids close together…For me, I prefer a bit of an age difference. There are some really trying times at any age, but for example my cousin just had her second baby last week and her first is 4 months younger than Andrew. The first babe is still so young that he really doesn’t understand the concept of having a sibling. He’s angry because he wants to go play outside with his toys and do all the things he would normally get to do. It’s difficult to reason with Andrew sometimes, but even more so with a child that’s still under the age of 2. I think by close to, if not, 3 1/2, Andrew will be more able to help out. I am sure he will take issue with his sibling for a time and I expect he will be crying out for Mommy’s attention, which is only natural. But I think I’ll (we’ll) be able to talk to him about it and he’ll get that he is still loved just as much. We can pump it up that he’s so LUCKY to be a big brother and whatnot – and if he’s anything like how he is now, he’ll be pretty pleased with himself when it comes down to it. He will enjoy helping take care of his little brother or sister and I think ultimately will take great pride in being a big brother. I’m not saying he’ll get to that state over night, but it’ll be a far easier transition than if both kids were essentially babies at the same time.

There’s a 3 year and 1 month (to the day!) age difference between me and my brother, with my brother being the eldest. We always found it to be a good age difference. Not close enough in age to be super competitive with each other, and as I’m expecting with Andrew, my parents found my brother to be helpful from quite early on when I was born. He went through some stress type issues while my mom was pregnant because he got a sense of something changing and he was worried, but they resolved themselves as soon as he saw me – apparently he was just thrilled to bits and loved me immediately. I think if Andrew was to have a sibling RIGHT NOW, he would want to bully him or her…Whereas I’m hoping a year and a bit from now or whenever it should happen (if it’s going to happen) he will be over that phase and he’ll get that his sibling is someone to take good care of.

Sometimes when I think about having 2 children (especially when they’re really young – although the teenage years will bring many headaches too come to think of it!!) I want to bawl my eyes out because I worry about how difficult it will be. Time management is already a major issue, we don’t get much time together just James and me, we don’t get enough time just to ourselves – and that’s with just one. I know we made this choice to essential ‘put our lives on hold’ (at least to some degree) by having a child, but we now have to make the choice as to whether or not we want to complicate that further. Part of me is concerned I don’t have the patience, but then there’s the part of me that thinks if I did it once, I can do it again, and for all the extra challenges there will also be extra delights.

Watching Andrew interact with his sibling, knowing they will have each other to care for, to look out for, to be friends with. I want to give Andrew that same opportunity with his sibling as I was given with my brother. My bro and I might not get together as often as maybe we could or should, but I always know that if it comes right down to it he’s got my back, and he knows I’ve got his. And when things are stressing us out due to family issues or what have you, it’s great to have that support person, someone who totally gets the situation because they see it from your same point of view. I know people don’t tend to miss something they never knew, so if Andrew doesn’t end up with a brother or sister he’ll do just fine as an only child. But I think the pros of having a sibling – and of us having 2 children – far outweigh the cons…

I just don’t want to make that major life-altering decision until I’m CERTAIN of it…Certain of it for us, at least.

A lot to think about in the next few months!

It’s hard to believe we’re already at that stage of thinking about this. In some ways it still feels as though Andrew was just born…I guess I’m just so him-focused and even though he’s my ‘big boy’ he’s still my ‘baby’, too, and I’m not ready yet for that to change.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My hour is up!

It’s just about 8pm – James gave me an hour of ‘me time’ and I’m realizing how ridiculously fast it has passed by. Sucks! Not that I don’t want to go spend time with my boys but…I’m sooo tired tonight, totally just want to veg.

I haven’t been getting much sleep AT ALL lately and am seriously thinking it’s about time I took the plunge and start ‘forcing’ Andrew to sleep in his room at night.

I’m not looking forward to it.

It has been really hard for me because there is a big part of me that just loves knowing he’s close when we’re sleeping. I do enjoy his presence and cuddling up to him. BUT there is also that part of me that wishes I could actually get some decent rest at night, and that simply can’t happen when someone is either pulling my hair (it’s his security blanket, I’m not kidding), stealing my entire pillow, hogging the bed to the point if I moved over an inch further I’d be on the floor, and head butting me randomly (my lip was so badly injured from middle-of-the-night-head-butt last week that I couldn’t kiss James for 3 days for the pain!) It makes for a long night, each and every night.

The other issue I have is that we can’t have our bedroom door open at night. During this time where we do let Andrew come to our bed in the middle of the night when he wakes up and realizes he’s in his own…He runs to our door and then just bangs on it till we go open it, and it sounds like a SWAT team is working at breaking down the door. I wake up terrified because even though I know to expect it at some time in the night, when you’re in the middle of a dream and that’s the way you’re woken from it – it’s panic city. Not to mention that I worry about what our upstairs neighbour thinks of that noise at 2 or 3 in the morning. Granted, he seems to be a night owl and I’ve been waking up a LOT lately to what I believe is the bass and other noise from his TV…but that’s beside the point – ‘Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you’ so I don’t want to be creating unnecessary night time noise!

(BTW I did teach Andrew how to open the door himself, although he has some trouble with it because he has to reach up SO high to get to the doorknob that it makes it difficult for him to turn it).

Anyway…I just think it’s time, even though it is ‘easier’ to just let him sleep with us and continue on with our regular routine, I think it is something we need to fix to some degree. Having gone through the early stages with a baby, I’ve concluded that I like to have more of an approach where I don’t fret so much about every little thing, because it will all work itself out in due time. And there WILL come a day where I’ll wish so badly that we could go back to this time of cuddles and Andrew using my hair as his security blanket! So I don’t like to come across that I want this time over and done with so I can wipe my hands of it. I will miss it. But there are logistics to think of – I do want him to feel comfortable sleeping on his own, in his own room, for the majority of the night. If we are to introduce a second child to the family, I would prefer if he was sleeping solo for some time beforehand so he’s used to that and not feeling ‘replaced’ when another baby has taken his spot in our bed. And in general, it really would be nice if I could sleep through the night more often than not without so much interruption!

I also have to completely cut out his nightly Yops. My boy is hooked on Yop and drinks at least one THROUGH THE NIGHT and I KNOOOOOW that’s not a good routine to be in. So that has to stop. I will most likely knock it down to some milk for a couple of nights, then water, then…well, he can have water by his bed, that’s not a problem – but he shouldn’t need to ‘Yop’ through the night time hours!!

Ahhhhh so what does all of this mean REALLY? It means Lizzie isn’t going to be getting much rest AT ALL for the next little while. And it kind of sucks royally because I have felt totally zombie-fied lately. Soooo freeeeaking tiiiiiiired. Beside myself by about 2 in the afternoon, so desperate for sleep but of course not getting it. So it’s going to be a huge challenge to go through this, because I’m on my own through the days 5 days a week and of course James ‘helps’ on the weekend but there still isn’t much opportunity for me to catch up on sleep (aside from maybe an extra hour or so in the morning since I basically make it clear James is getting up with the boy!!)

Fun times ahead. Watch it take nothing at all and be easy peasy and I’ll be kicking myself for not doing it sooner! If that’s the case, well I won’t complain! But I have a strange suspicion it’s not going to go quiiiite that smooth.

Wish me luck, I’m gonna need it!!!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's be frank, shall we

And now for a more serious post…

2011 so far seems to be screaming out to me and my family that it’s the year of major change.

January 1st truly got the ball rolling with my dad having a heart attack. From there, my dad was forced to walk away from his work as he couldn’t perform manual labour the way he’d been doing previous to the attack. With zero income, it’s hard to keep afloat for long, and so my parents were basically forced to decide to change their lives in pretty much every way possible. They will be moving to the mainland within the next couple of months, tops, and my dad will be looking for work this side of the water. Not in the same type of position he was in before, it’s going to have to be something completely different. Not an easy feat when you’re close to the age most people are at when they’re retiring, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.

I’m happy that my parents will be living closer – it will be such a relief not to do that super long trek to the ferry, the stupid ferry ride, and then all over again a few days later. I will not miss riding the BC Ferries AT ALL. Sure, we’ll still go over once in a while to visit other family that will still be there, but I’m guessing it’ll be fairly few and far between that we’ll go there anymore. Which is weird, I mean I’m basically losing the house I grew up in from the age of 8-18, my hometown, my roots in a way. It is sad on many levels and I haven’t quite figured out yet how it’s all affecting me, or how it will affect me once it has all been said and done. It’s a tough time for sure, but I want to see it as a new beginning for my parents, a fresh start, which is something that has been a long time coming so this is actually going to be a very good thing if we can see past all the scary and negative parts of it.

It’s just all happening at once, and there are many MANY layers to it that I don't think a person could fully understand unless they had gone through it. One of the things that has been difficult for my parents is what to do about Emma, their black and white Springer Spaniel. She’s 13, and there’s absolutely NO WAY she’d be able to manage a move at her age. She’s never lived anywhere but that house, and is a total homebody and very set in her ways. After Tessa died last year, she’s never been quite the same and if she was to be uprooted, I would say she wouldn’t last longer than a few weeks. So there really is no other option than to have her put down. Still, even when you’re forced into doing something like that (my parents don’t have any other options here, or they’d have explored them for sure) it’s the hardest thing in the world to have to do. I’ve been feeling really bad about it inside, thinking about what this move is going to mean for her, but I think I am starting to come to terms with it now.

For the past numerous times I’ve gone to visit, she won’t let me get close to her AT ALL. If I try to go anywhere near her, she leaps backwards and runs away. Which, if you knew Emma all her life, you’d know is completely not her AT ALL. She has epilepsy and I think since Tessa died, between her grief over losing her big sister and the seizures she’s had on occasion since, her brain has gone wonky. She’s not herself at all, and she used to go through bouts of being a bit weird but then she’d bounce back. There has been no bouncing back, only progressively getting worse. She has gotten so bad that tonight when my dad was trying to groom her (something he’s done every few months for her whole life without any problems) she bit him so badly that he had to go to the doctor. He got a tetanus shot and needed stitches but apparently dog bites are considered ‘dirty bites’ so they didn’t want to stitch it for the risk of infection. It won’t stop bleeding because my dad’s on blood thinners after the heart attack, so it’s basically an absolute disaster. My dad used to be a guy who got cuts and things all the time it seemed at work, he was always coming home with SOMETHING having happened, and he always just shook it off as if it didn’t bother him for half a second even. With this bite from Emma, he nearly fainted. He’s in a weakened state compared to how he used to be, though I’d say that goes hand in hand with having gone through the trauma he has.

Anyway, so I think I’m beginning to realize that while it’s one of the saddest things EVER, Emma is slowing down and, in some ways, is already gone, so I don’t think my parents are going to have to make the decision in a harsh way to have her put down ‘before her time’ as was feared initially. Unfortunately, I think it IS her time, and even though it is going to be so sad to have to go on without her because she is seriously one of the greatest dogs ever to have lived (I’m not just saying that because she’s my ‘sister’, she truly was, up until she basically lost her mind this past year, the bestest girl!), under the circumstances I hope it’s not wrong for me to say that it’s at least a relief that she’s basically going ‘naturally’ and things won’t be hastened as I thought might be the case. It’s tragic nonetheless, and I’ve come to realize as with any situation, I really can’t react to it fully until it actually happens. I’m probably never going to see her again at this point, and that hurts, but I am also reminding myself that she’s actually been gone for some time, because as I said every time I’ve gone over for the past several months she’s totally standoffish with me.

Suffice it to say, major changes taking place. Oh, and James is looking for a new job as well, so there’ll be big changes for us too – but more on that some other time.

Arts and crafts and even a cake!

Andrew is a go go go little man and needs constant entertainment. He can definitely amuse himself for periods of time and enjoys playing on his own (he’s getting more and more interactive with his toys these days, too!) But he gets restless, and it helps if I can come up with fun little projects and things to suggest to him when he starts to get antsy.

Since he loooves to work in the kitchen, today I suggested that we make a banana loaf. Of course, he was game. Instead of using the typical loaf pan, seeing as how we bought a bunt pan recently to make my dad’s birthday (angel food) cake, I thought why not bake it in there instead. It was so cute, as soon as I pulled the bunt pan out from the cupboard, Andrew smiled and said, ‘Papa’s birthday!’

So we baked the loaf in there, which I guess turns it into a cake rather than a loaf?! Anyway, I let Andrew sprinkle some chocolate chips on the top before putting it in the oven and I have to say that was a really nice addition! The cake turned out AMAZING, it’s the best banana loaf/cake I have ever made – and I’m certain it’s because of the love that went into it, not just from me but from my little baker boy =)

We are actually running out of things like flour and sugar, and it used to take AGES to go through that stuff, but we’re baking a lot more these days. It’s so much fun, I really look forward to our baking sessions and I know Andrew does too!

Another thing we did today, although I think it’s something Andrew will get more enjoyment out of when he’s maybe a year or two older, was from an idea in the latest issue of Today’s Parent (which we subscribe to). I cut a cardboard toilet paper roll into 4 pieces, then we painted each piece a different colour. Once they were dry – the magazine recommends letting your child do a thumb print in yellow on each one – I got Andrew to help me to colour yellow circles on each one with a crayon, and then I used a black felt to make them look like baby chicks. Then I painted each one with some glue for a bit of a glossy finish and voila – we have ourselves four festive Easter napkin holders! It’s a cute and fun idea, and I think once he’s a bit older it’ll be fun to make that sort of thing as gifts for family.

We’re also in the process of making a Paper Mache cat, although it’s still in development and maybe isn’t going to turn out quite as I had hoped! LOL I made one in grade one and still have it so I thought it’d be fun for us to make one together, but for one thing perhaps there’s a reason we were making them at age 6 and not age 2…and also we didn’t have the right type of paints and whatnot. But still, it doesn’t necessarily matter what the end result is, it’s more about exploring different mediums and having fun with it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SNOOPY SUNDAY

Trista came up with the awesome idea of Snoopy Sundays – basically having readers leave questions in comments through the week and then one is picked at random and answered on Sundays. Since there are only a few of you readers out there who ever comment here, I don’t know how well this will take off, BUT since Trista asked me a question, and it’s still Sunday, I thought I’d get the ball rolling and get on board with SNOOPY SUNDAYS. So here goes!

Trista asked: What is the ONE absolute BEST thing about becoming a mama?

And my reply is…while of course there are many MANY wonderful things about becoming a mama…I’ve got to go with the answer that came to me immediately following reading the question.

Ultimately, the love I have for Andrew and the love he returns to me feels like the greatest gift on earth. All the love love LOVE! Loving Andrew and wanting what’s best for him has changed my outlook on the world in such a huge way. I make more of an effort to be positive in situations where I might not have been before. I make more of an effort at a lot of things because I’m not just looking out for myself, but for a whole other human being whose life is more precious to me than anything else in the universe.

I obviously knew going into this (becoming a mama) that I would love my child, but I don’t think I truly understood what the magnitude of that love would be. It’s completely off the charts! I remember when he was just a few weeks old, I was cuddling him and I gave him some kisses on his chubby little cheeks and realized (while he’s a baby at least) I can kiss these cheeks any time I want to! As many times as I want to! And what mama doesn’t want to (in the nicest way possible) smother her adorable baby in kiss kiss kisses?!

I know that one day it won’t be quite the same – don’t get me wrong, I’ll ALWAYS love my boy more and more each day! But he’ll come to a point (and I can’t really blame him) where he’d be embarrassed if I so much as kissed him on the cheek, and I certainly won’t get to cuddle him anymore. There must be a reason why that transition takes some time – because it needs to be gradual for us mamas in order to endure that realization that they’re all grown up!! BUT for now, I get to enjoy all the love and cuddles and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world.

I always felt like I had a lot of love to give. If you were to see my journals from grade one and two, for example – in just about every entry I drew pictures of my friends with hearts around them and wrote silly little poems about how much I loved them. I happened to have 3 friends whose names all rhymed so it was perfect for poetry-making!! But the point is, from an early age I remember feeling this sense of love and needing to share it, and having Andrew has been the perfect way for me to express it!

I love (just about!) everything about being a mama (sleep-deprivation not being one of them, ha!) – but there really isn’t anything quite like a mother’s love =)

And another thing...

I’ve had the afternoon to myself and even though I’ve spent more than half of it doing chores, it has been glorious having some quiet time around here. I got a few groceries, swept/vacuumed/AND washed all the floors, cleaned the kitchen really well, did a load of laundry, tidied, and made a homemade Mediterranean pizza for supper when the boys get home.

Now I’ve got a mug of tea beside me, a fire log going and all I can hear is the light roar of that and an airplane flying a little distance away. Aaaahhhhh. I love how quiet it is here, I still haven’t gotten over that having put up with serious traffic and people noise for 5 years. Last night James and I were watching The King’s Speech (great movie, btw, we both loved it) and there was a group of rowdy teenagers (or at least they sounded like teenagers) hanging out outside near our place and I found my blood rising to boiling level listening to it. I admit, I don’t have a whole lot of patience for such behaviour, especially later at night, but amidst my anger I chuckled to myself just a little, because even THAT noise was soooo quiet compared to what I so often put up with in the past several years. Already I’m becoming spoiled by the silence here!

Anyway…so much I want to write about but the first thing I want to share with you is a Smoothie recipe I am slightly in love with. It’s verrrry simple and inexpensive and so healthy and filling – you just can’t go wrong with it. I am always in a snack mood and I’m really wanting to curb a lot of my unhealthy snacking habits – well I found making this smoothie the other night totally did the trick. It satisfied my sweet tooth (even though it’s the healthy kind of sweet) and filled me up enough that I wasn’t thinking about what to consume next (lol).

I made a double batch and it made a little too much even for the 3 of us (although Andrew barely ate any so that could be why…I think he’d like it but it was close to his bedtime and he was wanting Yop instead…!)

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Handful of fresh or frozen strawberries (I used frozen since they’re not really in season)
1 banana
1 cup ice
Splash of orange juice

Blend till smooth and enjoy!

It was perfection, and will definitely be a yummy treat on a hot day when summer time is here.

Anyway…

So I even told James to look at my recent blog post because the other night he got on my nerves soooo baaaaad with his ‘inability to multi task’…ie not cleaning properly, doing a half-assed job so I felt like I might as well have just done the whole thing myself…Anyhoo, I don’t think he’s read it or he’d have probably mentioned so or commented. (He rarely ever looks at my blog – figures what’s the point since he ‘knows everything I’d say anyway’ – ha, whatevs!) Well then last night, my gawd it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I didn’t freak out at him or anything, but inside I had a few choice words for him. I just don’t get why it has to be so IMPOSSIBLE to just do a proper job of things. I had mentioned in my blog post about how things don’t QUITE get back to their rightful spot, right? Well, lo and behold, I knew he’d had a bowl of cereal because the cereal container was on the middle of the counter. All he’d have to do is push it back against the wall of the counter and it would be ‘home’ again. But no, just leave it in the middle of the friggin’ counter. Grrrrr! That one I did mention to him, and his reply? ‘Oh, did I leave it there? I thought I put it back’. Double grrrrrrr!

And I’ve asked him very nicely that when he puts the tea towel back on the handle for the oven, don’t scrunch it up and shove it on there so it looks like a giant messy heap, but rather fold it in half and place it on. Takes literally one to two seconds and it’s done AND looks nice. Not so a big deal in my books, but do you think he can grasp the concept of it? I mentioned that one to him, too, and he said, ‘I never told you I would do it that way just because you asked!’ I seriously wonder sometimes why I didn’t go the lesbian route. Seriously, sure I ‘love me a man’ (haha) but gaaaaaawd it would be nice to be understood – that there really is something to be said about keeping a nice house!

Anyway, what more can I say about that. I’ve exhausted the subject. I wonder why men tend to suck at these things in comparison to women – as Lojo pointed out in the comments of my last post about this, the guys at her work tend to be slower and less productive than the women there. I’ve seen that in the places I’ve worked, too. What’s up with that – and seriously, why HAVEN’T we women taken over the world yet?! It’s going to happen. Oh yes, it will be ours.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not to generalize, but come on now!

I have a great husband who, when it comes right down to it, would do absolutely anything for me. We have a happy, loving relationship, and we’re best friends. I can’t complain much about him, and so usually I don’t. But for the love of gawd why is it that men sometimes (sorry to generalize here) seem completely incapable of multi-tasking?!

Seriously, I don’t get it. I sometimes wonder how it is that men think women manage to get everything done. Or, perhaps the problem is that they don’t really think about it and perhaps even take it for granted just a teensy bit?

I know I am a stay-at-home mom at this point in time, and I expect that part of being at home is maintaining the household. Although I must say that even when I was working full time outside of the home, I was the primary household maintainer! And I’m fine with that, I enjoy doing it, it comes more naturally to me (whether that be because of stereotypical gender roles or because truly I do enjoy cleaning, decorating, organizing). But there are times when I just can’t play superwoman and do it ALL.

I find in general I have to ask James to do things around the house or he seriously wouldn’t think to until it was so disgustingly nasty that he had no choice. Because he honestly just doesn’t seem to notice! How you can not notice that the garbage is heaping so full in its bin that one more thing in there and it will spill over is beyond me…Or how you could not notice the stench wafting from the litter box if it’s not cleaned out on a regular basis…

I go through bouts where I just really don’t care that I have to ask, to then being annoyed that it’s all always up to me. Like I should be kicking myself if I ‘forgot’ to tell James the recycle needed taken care of. (Which is not to say I can’t just do it myself, but there are only 2 things James does – garbage and recycle – typically, at least, so come on people, cut me some slack, I shouldn’t have to do those things given how few things he has to take care of!) (And for the record, although not that I’m tallying this up – haha – I have lately found myself getting the garbage together and then all James has to do is take it out the next morning before he heads to work).

Anyway…Something that bugs me, for example, is when I ask James to clean the kitchen (or he tells me, ‘Don’t worry about that babe, I’ll do it!’) but then it’s hours and hours later and it’s still not done. When you tell me you’re going to do it, I’m expecting within an hour of dinner preferably (in particular where leftovers needing to be put away are involved). I hate it when Andrew fiiiinally goes to sleep and it’s late and I’m tired and all I want to do is veg and then CRASH BANG *insert sound of tap running* - I can’t even hear myself think.

What’s more is – and I think the gist of what I wanted to vent here tonight – is how difficult it appears for men (or at least in my experience!) to truly multi-task when it comes to looking after a child AND getting things done around the house. I swear, if it were up to husbands to stay home and care take, every family would be at risk of ending up on A&E’s HOARDERS or something of the like. Everything would just pile up because, you know, I was looking after the kid so how was I supposed to get such n’ such cleaned up?!

What happened tonight was that I went to get a few groceries after dinner so I could go sans Andrew, since it’s a lot faster to shop without him (although 99% of the time he’s with me when I go!) James said he would clean the kitchen, but we seemed to have our wires crossed because I was anticipating getting home with the groceries and having space on the counters to put them while I sorted for putting them away. But, no, the kitchen had yet to be done because, after all, he was playing with the boy while I was out.

So just how is it that I function on both fronts – taking care of the boy AND the house – simultaneously?!

Sometimes Andrew will amuse himself while I do the dishes, other times (most times) he likes to help – so he passes me things and I put them away (and quickly, first, put away the stuff that might be dangerous for him). When I make meals, Andy is right in there ‘helping.’ Andrew enjoys our cleaning process, and in fact this morning when I said, ‘OK, Andrew, we have some cleaning to do today!’ his reply was, ‘Yes! Cleaning party, Mommy, Andrew!’ I’m not kidding. We pumped up the music, danced a little, and got to work. He even ‘helped’ me scrub the bathtub. Perhaps it ends up being a little more work at times because I might have to fix something he does or whatever, but it’s all part of the fun of it. You get a system going and alas it works! You CAN look after a child AND clean. Of course there are times when things happen and you just can’t get something done, and ultimately spending time with your little one is far more important than doing chores, so it’s OK for stuff to take a backseat sometimes. But when it’s every time, it starts to show as a pattern and one starts to wonder – why is this seemingly so hard for you when it’s so natural for me?!

While I'm at it - another thing that really irks me is how things often don't quiiite make it back to their rightful place. Containers that are in a certain spot on the counter for example. If you want some cereal, not a problem, but why can't you just put the container back where it belongs, rather than halfway there? Because when you do that with 10 objects, think of the unnecessary extra work I'm having to do to make up for it. You like being able to go and find whatever you want, you expect it to be in that place, but you don't seem to think you're responsible for keeping it there! Arrrrgghhh!!

Anyway, just a little vent. It’s really nothing major, it’s not like I’m fuming with resentment over it or anything. It’s perhaps even mildly amusing, but I also can’t help but feel that it’s somewhat annoying. Mainly because I don’t think it’s truly understood all that is done in a day just to keep things orderly. And it’s not like I’m totally obsessive about it, it’s just normal stuff that has to be done in order to keep things relatively clean. In some ways I think it would be interesting to take part in that show, I can’t remember what it was called but where the mom leaves the dad on his own with the kids and leaves him with a list of things to do that she would do on any given day, and see how he manages. I’m not saying James isn’t capable because he totally is, and he’s a wonderful husband, the greatest father to Andrew, I really haven’t got a whole lot to complain about. But honestly, multi-tasking seems like such a no brainer and I just have to wonder sometimes…I just have to wonder…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's time for counting sheep

I feel like I’ve been doing a really poor job so far this year of properly documenting all the cute things Andrew is doing. Which is a shame, because I’m probably going to make a book about his life again at the end of the year and while everything he’s doing these days is fresh in my mind while it’s happening, I know in the coming months he’ll change and my brain won’t easily pinpoint what he was doing when back when he was doing it! Phew, how’s that for a run on sentence?!

So…what’s my boy up to these days…Let me think…

He’s obsessed with Toy Story, although he hasn’t been watching the movies much lately. He’s just obsessed with his toys. He’s got pretty much everything Toy Story that’s out there. OK, not everything, because you could pretty much furnish and decorate an entire HOUSE, and a big house at that, solely in Toy Story merchandise. It’s insane what’s out there. I’ve seen Toy Story eau de toilette for boys – I’m not even kidding – and NO Andrew does NOT have it!! LOL Then today at Zellers Andrew was whining, BUZZ BUZZ and when I looked to see what he was desperately reaching for I couldn’t help but scoff and say out loud, ‘What toddler on earth needs THEIR OWN WATER COOLER, SEEEERIOUSLY?!’ It’s ridiculous what’s out there, and it’s horrific the way toys are marketed. At the grocery store there’s a section of the frozen foods isle I have to rush past when Andrew is there with me because they have CHICKEN NUGGETS with the Toy Story gang on the packaging. Nothing whatsoever do these poor bits of dead chicken have to do with Toy Story, but lo and behold they are there on the package to make kids HAVE TO HAVE THEM. Of course, with Andy being a veggie boy, I don’t want him freaking because he doesn’t understand why he can’t have those. Although I have to say, while he will occasionally throw a mini tantrum, he is pretty good about it when I say things like, ‘That is a cool Buzz toy, but it’s for older kids, it wouldn’t be a good one for you.’

Suffice it to say, he’s got Buzz (and Woody) clothes, shoes that light up (which he LOVES), band aids (that he constantly wants to put on when he doesn’t have a boo boo, they’re more like a fashion statement), the big Buzz and Woody talking dolls, miniature ones, maaany books that tell the story in various forms, a magnetic drawing board thing…the list goes on! Oh and today we got a placemat and some stickers.

All this to say he LOVES Buzz and Woody. In the past few days especially I’ve noticed he’s taken to playing with them more in depth, even whooshing Buzz up in the air and making noises like he’s flying.
He also loves his stickers – lately his favourite is his Spiderman book. Oh yes, he also loves Spiderman, even though he hasn’t really watched much of the actual cartoon, other than a couple of times when I put it on through Youtube for him, since it’s the only place I could find it. I don’t even remember what got him onto Spiderman in the first place given he hadn’t seen the show but he loves him!
He loves colouring. He was in his bedroom the other day and was being so quiet so I went to check on him, and he had actually got up on his desk chair, turned his desk lamp on, and was colouring away! It was the cutest thing ever.

Andrew also enjoys watching his Cookie Monster dvd. He likes to talk about how Cookie Monster needs to have ‘patience’ when waiting for his cookies to bake!

He also loves to cook and bake, basically anything he can help with in the kitchen he’s on it! We bring his desk chair into the kitchen at mealtimes and he helps me prepare stuff. It’s really sweet, and whiles away quite a bit of time for us these days. We made pancakes from scratch the other morning, he helped me make the quesadillas that we had for supper yesterday (which turned out sooo yummy I must say!) and he likes to help with muffins, cookies, and any and all meals.

He’s eating a liiiittle better lately…He eats but never much at a time, and some days will only eat a few things and just doesn’t seem hungry otherwise, which the doctor told me (and I read it) is totally normal for his age. But I’m finding there are ways to coax him into eating now. For example, even though I knew he LIKED all the stuff on his plate tonight at supper, he just wasn’t interested in eating. So first James made a game out of it, saying, ‘Andrew, can Daddy have a piece of carrot?’ then Andrew would pretend like he was going to give it to him but then he’d eat it himself and laugh about the joke. When the fun of that seemed to wear off, I was able to get him to eat every last bite on his plate by saying first I was feeding some to Buzz on his place mat, then it was Andrew’s turn for a bite, then Woody, then Andrew again, and so on. He loved it and when he thought he was sharing with his friends from Toy Story, the food seemed that much more appealing to him.

I also find it super cute when he really likes something and asks for more. A while before dinner tonight when I was making the stuff, I had made garlic mashed potatoes and let him try a bite and he kept saying ‘More tatoes, more tatoes!’ and I loved that he obviously enjoyed what I had made.
Andrew LOVES to go the park, although he’s still a little apprehensive about playing with other kids. His wanting to hit people (people in general, not just kids but adults too…) is definitely a problem, and although people tell us it’s ‘normal’ it is embarrassing and I sometimes still hesitate before taking him places because of it. BUT he is getting better. Last weekend when the weather was fairly decent we took him to the park several days in a row and he was totally fine happily playing with several children the first day, then the second day he did smack an older kid but then apologized when he was told it wasn’t OK and then he played nicely. It seems like he just needs an introduction and gets his little smacking business over with and then all is well, or at least for the most part! It’s still hard for us sometimes but I do see an improvement so there is hope!!

We have some great parks in our area reeeally close by so it’s awesome that way. And now he is obsessed with ‘gardening’ even though we’ve only done it once!! The other day when we got home from the park (the hell on earth day I wrote about…lol) and went to our little outdoor area to do some clean up while he played in the dirt – he obviously loved it because several times a day he mentions gardening to me now. It’s been raining the past couple of days and not nice enough to be out there but the next sunny day (hopefully tomorrow) we’ll be able to get out there again. I look forward to having our furniture and stuff out there once my parents move takes place and we inherit a bunch of stuff. It’ll be nice once the weather is better and we can spend a lot more time out there.

Oh Andrew also loves Curious George – he’s watching the movie right now. And the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. It’s such a sweet book, it makes me feel teary when I read it. He loves it and seems to find it quite soothing. On days when I DO want him to nap these days, I find reading that one is good for getting him snoozy. He also loves Fox in Socks, and one we had to just return to the library called Jumpy Jack and Googily.

He says lots of words now and strings sentences together. He’s pretty good at telling me what he wants! And just chattering away in general. He loves stories about our lives and will go on and on about the same stories for ages. He likes to talk about a ‘terrible fall’ my mom had years ago, and about my dad getting his hair cut and the ‘cape’ he wore to have it done and how the hair had to be swept up! Out of the blue he’ll just start retelling stories he’s been told which is so cute and funny because then we know he was thinking about them. He loves to say, ‘Mommy, Daddy, married!’ He’ll even mention we got married on a boat. He likes me to show him different trinkets and things around the house – some I let him hold, others not. The ones he holds usually ARE breakable but I tell him how fragile they are (he loves the word fragile) and he is good about not breaking things (for the most part!) A few days ago when I was tidying up in our bedroom and he was in there with me, I found a few jewelry items I didn’t mind giving him and a little container thing for a plant that James gave me for our last anniversary from our first kiss. Andrew put the jewels in the container and now each morning he likes to take them all out and talk about them and put them back in. He tells me how the container is fragile and puts it back on the night table.

Andrew also loves to dance. Last week we were watching an old Michael Jackson clip from 1989 and Andrew decided MJ was a robot…So every now and then he’ll ask to hear the ‘robot song’! So funny!! He LOVES MJ though, as soon as his music comes on he’s dancing, or if he happens to be sitting at the time he’ll start grooving with his arms. It’s hilarious!

Oh and I must say to him quite a bit, ‘Trust me!’ because he says that to me a lot now. When I’m totally exhausted from watching HIS shows and just want to veg watching something else, I’ll put Friends on, because it’s a show I can watch around him. Well at one point I’d said to him when he protested me putting it on, ‘It’s funny, TRUST ME!’ Well, yesterday he pointed to the Friends dvd and said, ‘Friends! Funny show, trust me!’ Hahaha!

I have introduced ‘counting sheep’ in the last few days for trying to help him get to sleep at night. For example tonight, he only just went to sleep in between me writing this (and it’s nearly midnight – damn that two hour nap he had this afternoon!!) and even though I read him 5 or 6 different books and laid down with him, nothing was getting him where he needed to be for sleep. But when I played the ‘counting sheep’ card it seemed to do the trick pretty quickly! I said we close our eyes, count to five sheep, and then we go to sleep. So he closed his eyes and I said, ‘One sheep’ and then he whispered back, ‘One sheep’, and onward to five. He still wasn’t totally sold on the part about ‘going to sleep’ so I said One sheep through to five again, and then I whispered him a story about how now all the sheep are in the field and they’ve all laid down to go to sleep. They’re so warm and cozy in their wool sweaters and they’re sleepy because it’s late and time for night nights. So they all close their eyes and drift off to sleep…’ and I could tell by his breathing he, like the sheep, had drifted off =)
There are so many little details about him that I want to jot down, just for my own personal keepsake, or for him to look back on one day to know what he was up to way back when. I’ll leave it at this for now since it’s long enough as it is, but don’t say I didn’t warn you – I hope to keep up on posts like this and get these tidbits out while they’re fresh in my mind!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Sunday from Hell


Today we decided to take Andrew to Deer Lake.  We hadn’t been there for quite a few years, I think the last time was for a Jack Johnson concert (which was awesome).  We used to go there from time to time when we lived in Burnaby before.  Anyway, I was super stoked thinking what a great day it would be.  First day of spring, the sun was shining, a new park for Andrew to explore.  I put together a little picnic lunch for us and we hopped on the bus.

And then my vision of what the day held began to crumble.  Andrew was so fussy!  He started having a tantrum right before we got on the bus actually, so I had to take him out of his stroller as soon as we got on – just to try to quiet him down for the sake of everyone around us.  I think he hates being in a stroller now because when we’re just going short distances in the area (our usual days) we don’t use one anymore.  We took the big stroller and he absolutely hated being in it!  When we got to the park he was sort of okay for a bit but just wanted to keep throwing rocks and things in the water.  Which was fine expect he was insisting on walking onto this little dock by himself, which obviously was NOT a good plan for a two year old so we had to stop him.  And he freaked so badly…We sat for a few to have the picnic but it was cold where we were sitting and Andrew didn’t want to be there longer than about 5 minutes.  Then back to the water and a seeeerious tantrum so we just decided to go home.  Then he freaked out for most of the way home.  He insisted on sitting in his own seat on the bus but was just jacking around and I was having to hold him so awkwardly that my back was aching.  Fun times!

Finally we got home and as we closed the door behind us, James and I both gave a sigh of relief to just be home.  It was kind of hellish.  James would say it wasn’t THAT bad but to me it was, and I know he didn’t enjoy it either!

Instead of succumbing to it all and just going completely insane right then and there, I decided to distract the boy by taking him out to our little outdoor area to do some ‘gardening.’  I wanted to sweep up some pine needles and things out there, and also wash a few of the windows.  We took his bucket and shovel and some of his little dump truck toys out and he was pleased as punch when I said he could put dirt in his bucket!  He ‘helped’ me sweep a little bit but mostly was content to fill his bucket up with dirt.  He wasn’t loving how dirty his hands got, but he had a lot of fun and it was nice that he stayed in one spot and played and didn’t try to take off, since our outside area isn’t fenced off.  I look forward to getting some of his outdoor toys from my parents’ house and putting them out there for him to enjoy.  So at least there was one little saving grace for the day…

But I have to say, over all it was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, this Sunday.  I guess I always have somewhat high hopes for the weekends because even though Andy and I of course have great times during the week, when we have a few days for family time to enjoy together, I want things to go right.  But I think Andrew would have been happier to have just stayed home and maybe gone to the park near our place for a bit but otherwise just hung out.  Too bad mommy and daddy wanted to actually see a little bit of the outside world for a change…

Oh well.  Maybe next time!  I guess you just never know, day to day, what’s in store!

I will say, though, that the boy is leaning more and more toward being an only child with this type of behaviour!!!  Actually just in general…we’re still debating…to have or not to have ‘the second child.’  More on this in a future post!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My time is not my own

Things have gone from bad to worse around here with the stuff that’s been going on. But I don’t care to elaborate on that…Suffice it to say, I’m stressed, but working through it the best I can.

That aside, I’m having a bit of a ‘me’ night tonight. James told me yesterday he was planning to go to his brother’s tonight, and I have to be honest, when he first told me I was a bit frustrated because with everything that’s happening right now, it just seemed like really poor timing to tell me I’d be on my own all day/night. But I went with it, because I know there has to be give and take. It was a really long day today, in particular because lately Andrew has shown signs of really needing naps in the afternoons…But then of course goes to bed at all hours of the night…So while I often give in and let him sleep (I think ultimately when a growing child needs to sleep, they should!), I made sure he didn’t nap today so he’d go to bed at a decent time. The idea being I’d have a little time to myself. Which has actually worked out this time!! Although I still stand by the fact that ‘my time isn’t really my own’…I’ll get to that momentarily.

We had a pretty good day, although with recent events in my family I am finding myself VERY exhausted, beyond my norm, and in generally feeling a tad on the blah side. But we managed to do a lot for an indoor day – we watched a few shows (I even managed to get him watching Friends…It was so funny, he loves that show and repeats words they say, and says, ‘Friends, funny show!’ LOL), we made peanut butter rice krispie squares, he had a tub sink (a tub in the sink but he calls it a tub sink!). We read books, listened to music, played with his toys, coloured, jumped on the bed (him, not me!), lots of laundry…Productive and for the most part fun activities (minus the laundry maybe!) Last night Andrew hurt his wrist a bit while playing with his dad (not James’ fault or anything, just happened) and he re-hurt it tonight when I went to pick him up from tickling him. I felt so bad because he wanted to play so we had Buzz and Woody and were playing games but he just held his right arm/hand so still and refused to try to play using that hand. I got him to wriggle his fingers and he could do that but I’m guessing it’s a bit of a sprain. He cried and said, ‘Medicine! Throat!’ (He saw me use a throat lozenge the other day when I said I had a booboo in my throat so he thinks all medicine means it’s for a sore throat!) Poor guy. I gave him just a little bit of infant Tylenol and he fell asleep soon after from absolute exhaustion after being go go go all day. He’s tucked into his bed now, sound asleep, has been since 7pm and it’s almost 9:30.

Which leads me to the ‘my time isn’t really my own’ part. I have had a bit of time to relax and I’m not minimizing that. I put a fire on, have enjoyed the silence, watched an episode of Prison Break to just veg. But I guess because of the stressful things I’m dealing with, I find my mind always wanders back or is somehow subconsciously caught up in not totally being able to let me relax. Plus I am always sort of on guard that Andrew could need me so, for example, when I took a bath earlier it probably could be the next Guiness Book World Record for Shortest Bath because I felt like I shouldn’t be in there if Andy suddenly needed me, especially with his arm being sore. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret having a child even though ultimately he is the main reason for my time not really being mine anymore. Especially as ‘the mom’, more so, I believe, than ‘the dad’, I take on that I am at his beck and call because A BOY NEEDS HIS MOM. At least at this stage of the game! So perhaps it’s my own doing but still…Like I said, I love being there for him and wouldn’t trade all the time in the world for my little guy but…Even if it’s not him demanding my attention (after all, he’s been asleep this entire time) I feel like I am trying to do ten thousand things in my brain because there is so much going on. Too much to handle. I need a break and I need it now, and I don’t mean just a couple of hours to listen to the fire crackle or see what happens next in the intensely awesome show Prison Break! It is becoming a theme for me to say it perhaps but I really do need to get out of my head for a bit.

Anyway, I am doing OK but just blaaaah and in need of some down time to work through it. I wish everyone could just be happy and we could all go about our lives as smoothly as possible, but it just doesn’t seem to be the way of it.

More later…for now, I will end this on a far happier note with a few St. Patty’s Day pictures  (Oh yes!  Add 'photo shoot' to the list of things we did today!)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is there any such thing as a simple life?

It’s not going to happen – we have no money, for starters! – but I feel like I’m in serious need of a vacation. The thing is, I think it’s just my mind’s way of saying I need a break from life entirely, which even a vacation couldn’t help with. I don’t mean I want to die and then come back to life, I don’t mean a vacation from ‘life’ altogether! I just wish I could get right out of my head for a little while.

I wish my life could be simple. It would sound to people that it is, I mean, ‘What do you do?’ and my reply is, ‘Stay at home mom.’ How hard can it be, right?! Which is not to say being a stay at home parent isn’t hard because it can be extremely challenging, and spending the entire day with a bouncing two year old with endless energy and eagerness to DO THINGS, well it’s not exactly a cake walk. But it SHOULD be able to be ‘simple’ in some sense of the word. I should be able to get up in the morning with him, sip a coffee while we watch his favourite show of the moment, go for an excursion in the neighbourhood, come home for lunch and maybe bake some muffins or cookies…Read books, play with toys, make up stories, play dress up, have him help me make supper. Of course there are chores in there, too, but I’m always puttering about so my boy is used to ‘cleaning’ being something we do together every day! We can make the most of it all. We do all of the above things, but where life’s ‘simpleness’ is stripped away is where other people’s problems and lives become interlinked with mine.

If someone I am very close to is going through something extremely difficult, and they’re relying on me for support, I can’t exactly shut that worry off. I carry it around with me everywhere I go. And while I think I do a pretty good job of not letting it interfere with what we do throughout the day, it has to have an effect. I have a shorter level of patience than if I was just living my life and not having to worry SO MUCH about what’s going on with everyone else.

I have come to see that in my family, I am the person everyone goes to to confide in, to seek answers, to get help from. In some ways I have to say it’s probably a good thing that I’m somewhat disconnected from a lot of my family! Because if I was really close with everyone, I’d be afraid to think what might fall on my shoulders. I’ve been called the ‘rock’ or the glue that holds the family together by more than one family member, although I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. I do take a lot on, though, and while I feel it’s my duty to do so and in a lot of ways it’s just who I am – I can’t just stand on the sidelines and watch people getting hurt or hurting themselves and not step in in some way or other…But…I have to learn to set boundaries because I’m coming to realize that taking so much on is ultimately hurting me, more than what I usually let on.

I just think it’s a lot easier for people to tell me to just try to be more selfish and live my life and ignore the texts and the phone calls etc, than what it is to put that into practice. I hear what they are saying and do appreciate that they’re telling me it’s OK to do things for me and for my own little family (James and Andrew) and put other people’s problems on the back burner sometimes, because I can’t do everything and I can’t be everything to everyone. But creating those boundaries and actually implementing them is so hard to do, something I’ve made wee little steps toward but haven’t had the guts to fully put into practice.

I am happy in a lot of ways, and being really close to someone who IS seriously depressed, I know that despite my occasional sadness, I am definitely NOT depressed. I get sad over typical things to get sad over, but I don’t feel like the world is out to get me and everything’s the shits. Life can be hard sometimes and it seems this year so far has handed my family a LOT of lemons. It can be hard to muster up the energy sometimes to make lemonade, even with all the lemons in the world! But it’s important to at least try, and I know that…

Anyway. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say, other than that I have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to enjoy, I just wish it was easier to practice the full enjoyment part of life without SO MUCH pain around me. Without taking so much of it on, feeling the weight of it on my shoulders and in my heart.

So I guess a vacation – while it would be awesome, obviously! – isn’t going to cut it. I need to figure out how to just ‘be’ and not feel guilty for that. I just want a little time to enjoy without anything getting in the way.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Naps and Buzz Lightyear

Andrew’s napping, which is a blessing because I’m so tired and also I was able to get a few things done that would have been more difficult with him bugging at me…But I feel like crying at the same time, because this nap is going to mean a really late night. Which means James and I will have zero time together just the two of us tonight. Maybe when he wakes up I’ll force myself to find the energy to take him outside, run him around and get him tuckered out again so he’ll still want to go to bed at a decent hour!

As I was writing that, he half fell off the couch, so I figured he’d wake up and that would be nap time over – but, no, even tho he was partially standing up with just his head still on the couch, he went back to sleep like that! LOL Oh, to sleep like a child!

Bit by bit I’m getting things organized how I want them, but it’s SO HARD finding just the right spot for things. I need TIME and ENERGY to get er done! I’ve been contemplating in my head this idea that maybe one weekend James could take Andrew to Victoria to visit his dad, and I could stay home…It would just be for one night, and literally only 24 hours…But I could do so much, AND (hopefully) get my very first FULL night of sleep in over 2 years! I still hesitate to even suggest it because…the only night in Andrew’s life so far we’ve spent apart was when my dad was having the heart attack and I stayed at the hotel with my mom – but because I was staying just a few blocks away, I was able to see him late at night to say night-night and tuck him into bed. We’ve never *really* spent a whole night apart. Even though I know it’s totally OK for us to, it’s hard to imagine not having my boy with me for that length of time, even though I know that sounds crazy because it’s only one day! But in some ways I think it would be good for both of us, and especially me because I could not only go on a blitz around here getting stuff I usually only have time to putter about on a little bit, and the idea that I could get HOURS of sleep in a row is something that I am slightly desperate for at this point. So perhaps that is something to consider in the relatively near future…

Anyway…

This morning we went to the mall to exchange a Buzz Lightyear book. It came with this little ‘gadgets’ watch thing where you press the buttons that correspond with little pictures in the book. Anyway, it stopped working about 10 minutes after we got it home yesterday, so rather than just ‘let it go’ I decided to get a new one. It was $12 – if it was like $2 or something I might not care but Andy loved this thing!! So we did that, and I ended up getting him some new pj’s as well (Toy Story 3, surprise, surprise!!) He looks beyond adorable in them. He wanted to put them on as soon as we got in the door!

After some lunch we made homemade from scratch muffins together. Oatmeal Banana. Andrew’s fave thing these days is helping in the kitchen, and he gets so excited when I tell him he can pour whatever into the bowl and whatnot. He really takes it seriously that he is getting to help! And the muffins turned out AMAZING, I sort of forgot how yummy muffins can really be, since I usually buy the supermarket ones! Tsk, tsk, I know. It actually didn’t take all that long to make them from scratch, and they’re so much healthier this way, so I’m going to make an effort to make my own more often (with my boy’s help, of course!) He also helped me make hummus yesterday, so he’s getting to be quite the little chef these days.

He tuckers me out, but he’s at such a fun age. There continues to be more and more things we can do together as he gets a little older. I just wish his bullying issue would once and for all come to an end…But that’s a topic for another day =S

Sunday, March 06, 2011

About our days

Andrew and I got back from the island on Friday night, and before heading home from downtown we met up with James and went to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Andrew loooves ‘sghetti’ and was sooo excited to go there! I didn’t enjoy my experience there when I went for lunch a few years back with my then co-workers, but this time made me totally want to go back. It’s a great family restaurant for sure.

Yesterday I got a few more things done around here and am slowly (or maybe quickly, since we’ve only lived here for 2 weeks and 2 days now!!) getting things organized to how I want them. It’s a time consuming process because I’ll put things in a certain place and then the more I look at it or think about its functionality, I realize it needs to be moved/changed and then I have to start over. But who am I kidding, I love the process of it! I just wish that absolutely EVERYTHING had a perfect place to be, I would love to have things perfectly organized at all times – but maybe that’s something I just have to overcome, because it’s not possible, most especially where a toddler is concerned!

Today my fil and his partner came over to see our new place. They really seemed impressed. I think everyone sees how much more of a ‘home’ this place is, and it’s so perfect for us. I can’t say enough nice things about living here because I am totally in love with it right now! And it’s so nice to have people over and feel like it’s a cozy space to entertain in.

After our visit James got to talking about his latest obsession again: Buying a new tv. We’ve actually never bought a tv before, we always had a hand-me-down either from my parents, or more recently my sil. Big tube tv’s that weigh about 100 pounds. Nothing wrong with them per se, just not very current! When we moved, we noticed our tv being very static-y and not working as well as it used to – hence James’ obsession with replacing it. He gets really excited about electronics, while I find I do enjoy them but don’t care one iota about the process of getting them set up and learning about them etc. Whatever it is, I just want to be able to turn it on and use it and not think about it! So listening to James’ television ‘research’ wasn’t going to make for a thrilling afternoon! I suggested we hit up the mall and see what they have and decide from there, so we did. And we ended up purchasing a 32 inch Samsung that is the perfect fit for our living room. I find it shocking that 32 inches is considered ‘small’ and if anything, they will largely be phased out because people are wanting bigger and bigger tv’s. If we got anything bigger, our living room would be completely taken over by the tv, and to us that is ridiculous. We are happier to have our fireplace be the focal point. Not to mention we didn’t want to pay the exorbitant amount for anything bigger! I think we’ll be quite happy with this one we got. I like that the buttons are on the side so we don’t have to have duct tape all over the front to keep Andrew’s curious fingers away from them!

We got rid of cable when we moved to save a bit of money and because cable sucks we came to realize. Well, we obviously knew it before since we got rid of it for about 6-7 years before! I enjoyed having it when I was stuck to the couch breastfeeding Andrew for the first 18 months but then tv just became totally depressing. And the novelty of Treehouse wore off even for Andrew! LOL He has lots of shows he loves to watch and I just ordered a bunch of new ones to help mix up the selection a bit, but he doesn’t need what Treehouse provides, so there just wasn’t any point in keeping cable going. It’s kind of nice finding other things to do instead of sit around watching tv anyway…although I have to admit, I have a current obsession with the show Prison Break! I had bought James season 1 for Xmas or his bday a year or so ago, but never watched it. I started on it a few weeks ago and became instantly hooked. But I can of course only watch it when Andy’s asleep since it’s not at all appropriate for little ones, so it’ll take a while to get through!

Oh, which reminds me – omg is he ever picking up on things! He’s talking more and more and stringing sentences together. He doesn’t tend to use words such as ‘the’ ‘on’ etc yet though. One of his fave things lately is, ‘No monkeys jump bed!’ of course meaning, ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed!’ But the thing that reeeally made me realize how much he’s truly taking in when we’re talking around him happened the other day at my parents’ house. My dad was telling me and my mom about how this man had been shot and killed by police on the King George Highway because he had a rifle in the car (and it was believed he’d shot at the police first). He told us the news story and then we started talking about something altogether different, not really thinking anything of it. Then a few minutes later Andrew motioned to my mom, like he had something to tell her, then he furrowed his brow and said, ‘Car. Shot!’ It kind of freaked me out a bit!! I’m thinking he has no idea what it actually meant that the guy was shot and killed…but still, just that he’s saying that and seemed to realize that it would carry a certain emotions – it’s crazy how much little ones understand and can verbalize even when they can’t fully speak yet!

It’s so cute listening to his little ‘accent’ when he talks! Sometimes I swear he’s got an Australian accent – and if he does, we have The Wiggles to thank! LOL

James does this magic trick stuff with him where Andrew puts something (like a necklace or small toy) under a pillow and then James gets him to say HOCUS POCUS and then James quickly removes the item from under the pillow before Andrew lifts the pillow and sees that the item is gone. Andy LOVES this game, and I adore listening to the way he says ‘Hocus pocus’ – which sounds more like hocush pocush! Sooo adorable.

He’s obsessed lately with putting bandaids on even when he doesn’t have a booboo, and my mom had got him some Wiggles bandaids. Well he was tired of those ones because he went to my mom and said, ‘Gommy (that’s how he says Gramma!), Wiggles, DONE! BUZZ ITEYEAR BANDAIDS!’ It was hilarious, he even had a hand gesture for DONE and was serious about wanting to replace the Wiggles bandages with Buzz Lightyear ones. He’s too much!!

I could go on and on, and perhaps I should, in a not-too-distant-future post, because it’s so great to have all these little things about Andrew recorded for future reference. He changes so much, so fast, and does so many cute things in the process. I want to remember them all!

I can’t believe the weekend is almost over. I hate that. I think James should take a 3 day weekend sometime soon. I guess waiting till the nicer spring/summer weather would make more sense. I can’t wait till it’s super nice out and we can do all sorts of fun outdoorsy stuff. So much fun to be had!


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