Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back, looking ahead

The last moments of 20o6 are ticking off, seemingly faster and faster today.

What an intense year this has been. Highs, lows, and everything in between. Our pregnancy, getting married, the birth of Brandon, getting a new car, reinventing ourselves throughout the year with everything from new pots and pans to a new fishtank, learning how to become parents, getting through Brandon's first (and hopefully biggest) hurdle with flying colours, to great memories with our families and friends. Then there were the times that you chaulk up to experience, the times the car broke down, how I counted down the last few days at work and wondered how I would make it through, learning how to breastfeed and persevering through the challenges, loss of a family member early in the year, creative financing and worrying about money, painting and then having to put everything back together again, getting a new kitchen floor, a new computer... damn, it seems like we spent a shitload of money this year! I look around though, and it was worth it. Besides, who can take it with them?

Last night was great - we had a houseful of dear friends and hung around talked and told stories. It was great to just shake off the last vestiges of the last few weeks and hang. Gilly is in town, and as I have said so many times this year especially, there is nothing like when you get to chill with your g'friends and just chat. It doesn't have to be about anything in particular, just to be together.

That is something else I have relearned this year. The value of girlfiends. For wisdom regarding childbirth and child rearing, for tidbits about life, for a shoulder to cry and laugh on, another complement to our life together. Even though the greater proportion of my dearest girlfriends don't live on the coast, I value our contact through email and the phone and when we get to gether in person, it is just magic.

It has been a good year for Ken and I - I wouldn't say that marriage has changed us, but what time is doing is making us more of partners. Besides all the lovey-dovey gushie stuff, I know he has my back and I have his, and now having a child together, as crazy as it is that we have a child, it feels like we have always been a unit and the next adventures seem a little cooler because we have this new set of eyes that we can see things through.

Between waxing poetic I am also waxing a bit sentimental too.

Even so, it doesn't feel lke it should be New Years. That tonight is the "big night"(I always preferred St. Paddy's Day) and tomorrow is the 1st, a brand new year and who knows what lies ahead for us. When the chips are down, we have weathered the rocky bits and pulled out farther ahead.

Here is a mighty toast from us to all y'all. May there be a good wind at your back, and a smile on your face.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Buzz

All things considered, I didn't gorge myself on turkey this year. Ken and I fall in to that category of folks who probably didn't gain any weight over the holidays. I think we have been lucky to snag 2 square meals a day for the last week.

Has it really only been a week since everything became total chaos in our household? WOW. Brandon is doing well - everything is healing, and he seems to be handling it all. Gettings our feeds in, I am watching him like a hawk, and making sure he gets all his naps. So far so good!

Christmas was good. Spent the first part of the morning together, then visited with my folks, then to Ken's side. We were surrounded by love, got a little spoiled, I was wound up with worry about wearing Brandon down with all the excitement, and in the end, everything worked out well and we called it an early night. This has been the strangest Christmas. I think I found a bit of the spirit, and definitely feel grateful for what we have, but when you get the wind knocked out of your sails but good it takes a bit to get your bearings again.

Of course there were sales galore today, and for the first time ever I made it to a Boxing Day sale and we managed to put a mighty big scorch streak on the ol' vi$a for some retail therapy. Nothing like going out and knowing you are probably going to come home with something big. Just because.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

remind me...

Remind me not to start googling shit at 2 am.

It comes to no good when you start to google information when you are tired and vulnerable. Way to easy to get caught up in an evil "what if" quagmire that means it will take many more minutes or hours to fall asleep because your brain doesn't want to turn off.

Of course, now in the light of day, with my smiling son, what they hell was I so worried about but a few hours ago?

Our tree is up, and soon we shall decorate!

Putting Life in Perspective

I am currently in the process of rediscovering my Christmas Spirit.

It officially went on a hiatus, pretty much starting about 12:15 on Monday afternoon with our follw up visit to our Pediatrician. Right now I will say everyone is ok - we had a rough spell, but we are getting through it and are better than ever.

This week has put so many things in focus for me, for my family, for the people that touch our loves. You know who you are! Hell, you are here, reading these words. This will be a loooonnnggg post. It will be long because I have a lot to say about what has happened in the last week. Yes, I know this is a dramatic build up, but it can't be helped because I am trying to figure out my own way through this and being able to stream out consciousness here is a form of processing.

Our doctor, and then our pediatrician have been concerned about Brandon's head growth (circumference) over the last several weeks. His head was growing at an exponential rate (off of the growth charts for his age and his percentile), so we were sent to Children's Hospital on Tuesday for an ultrasound. The US showed that Brandon has enlarged ventricles in the brain (the part that carries the cerebral/spinal fluid) which was creating pressure on his brain and since the bones hadn't fused yet, allowing his head to expand quickly to make room. After the US we were scheduled for an MRI at Children's on Wednesday morning at 9:30am and then set up to meet with the Neurosurgeons about possible treatment if indeed there were any blockages causing the buildup or if it was hydrocephalus.

It turns out that Brandon was indeed diagnosed with hydrocephalus and was put on the wait list to get in for surgery ASAP. We do not know what caused this, it could have been viral or one of many other causes. What I do know is that we caught it really early and there was no brain damage which has been confirmed by how Brandon was behaving and hitting milestones prior to this diagnosis, and now, a few days after, how he hasn't changed and is still interacting and behaving as before. What happens to manage hydrocephalus and the abnormal CSF build up is to install a shunt in to one of the ventricles in the brain and a tube is placed down through the body in to the belly cavity to have the excess fluid drain in to and be absorbed by the body.

We had to wait to get a room, which was surreal. We took turns making a few phone calls, going to the bathroom, watching Brandon, and just alternating between feel numb, shellshocked, scared shitless, dumbfounded, unbelieving, questioning, back to being scared shitless, and just coping. It made me so glad I had Ken with me and none of us had to walk this path alone. Once we got a room (about 3:30) then we had to wait for surgery. Our neurosurgeon figured we would get in about 8pm but since there was a degree of uncertainty about it, we couldn't feed Brandon, so the poor guy hadn't eaten since 6:30 am since he had to be sedated for the MRI. He is a total trooper and all in all was pretty awesome all things considered. It was Ken and I that seemed to take turns being the strong one while the other had a few moments where we crumpled from the incredulity of it all. Family came by to be with us during visiting hours (until 8pm) and I know I was a complete Momma Bear, it was really hard to let him go to anyone, I just wanted to hold him tight and protect him from everything and knew that I couldn't help him with what was going to happen beyond being there and giving whatever comforts my body and heart could give. That was the hardest part for Ken and I, the limitations of what we could do. Amazing how much love you can possess in your heart for your own.

We went in for surgery about 9:30, and come out after 11pm. This was time that dragged on and on. We went for a walk in the rain, and the coldness helped. We made a few more phone calls, pretty much to our parents just to connect to them and keep them in the loop. Then it was more hurry up and wait. This was worse than waiting for Brandon to come out of the sedation for the MRI I was so scared at what changes there could be after this surgery. So many unknowns. Brandon's recovery was ok - he was over tired and really hungry so it took a while to calm him down once he was awake. Truth be told, it was terrifying with all the machines going ping, and the tubes, and Brandon crying so hard it was hard to calm him down. I ended up getting wheeled in the stretcher with him back to our room. When the chips are down, I was relieved to hear his cries and see how lusty and strong he was.

This is a pretty routine procedure and the doc was happy with how things went. The surgery itself only took 40 minutes - WTF? I have had root canals take longer than this!!! I say routine because it apparently happens in 1 out of every 500 births, so this is not a rare condition (rare to us!!). There are over 180 causes of hydrocephalus, and since we caught it so early, Brandon will live a normal life so we have been assured many times.

I was able to stay the night with him on Wednesday while Ken had to go home (hospital only allows one parent to stay). It has been really tough, and there were a few scary moments Wednesday night because we had to wake Brandon up every hour and check his vital stats for 6 hours. I didn't sleep much, but I was so grateful we didn't end up having to share the room and I could sleep with Brandon in the hospital bed. It took several hours for the anaesthetic to wear off, and in the morning, he had a really good crying jaunt that got all the machines going, me going, had the nurse in, freaked me out so bad my legs were weak. Thankfully Ken arrived shortly thereafter on Thursday morning. The doc wanted to check in on us at the end of the day, and would make the decision whether or not to discharge us at that point.

The shunt is for life, but it will not impact the quality or duration of his life. He can still play sports, and it won't affect his mental abilities. We were dischared on Thursday night to come home. It felt so strange how significantly our lives had changed over the last 4 days. Was it only 4 days? The nurses and doctors were amazing, and in a time where you hear a lot of negatives about our health care, we couldn't have asked for a speedier series of events, and we felt confident that we got the best of what we needed and will receive great follow up.

He is just like before - smiling, sleeping, eating, interacting as he always has, clutching objects, recognizing people, and being himself much to our relief. The bandages covering the incisions will come off tomorrow, and on Christmas we are just going to take our visiting a little slower and more low key. This could be more for us because we haven't really slept like normal this week. Everything happened really fast and our care has been amazing. For such craziness, things are evening out and I am slowly getting less uptight about everything. There are times in the last few days I was/am so aware that I have been walking an emotional tightrope and I have been really trying not to be a wanker at times because I am so wound up. It is hard to relax, you half feel like you are in a fog of unreality because life does move on, and you move in to acceptance, and you do what you have to do, and get'er done.

So all in all we caught this really quickly, the staff at Children's was awesome, we are both shaken but well, and Brandon is already on the road to recovery.

It has been mind blowing because the process more or less started with our PED appointment on Monday, and his call to neurosurgeons here to get the ball rolling. Our pediatrician was on the phone to Chrildren's while we were actually in the original US and had a call in to the neurosurgeon so he knew what to expect and to make sure there was as little hurry up and wait as possible, nothing short of a miracle this time of the year! We are very grateful for how caring our doctors have been to get this dealt with before any of us could even breath and fully come to terms with it. Almost a good thing so we didn't have to worry about it for weeks on end and who knows what impact it would have had.

Our amazing guy - Thursday night when we got home. The pinkish-purple tint on his head is the antibacterial wash that they apply to the area where they have to make incisions. Brandon has one incision site on the left side of his head where the shunt was placed, and then a small incision to the left of his belly button where the brought the drainage tube through. Both are healing really well and the bandages will come off later on today.

Ken considers this the "does that bandage make my head look big?" picture... as you can see, not even a day out of surgery and we got smiles.

Friday is a blur. Saturday was not so much of a blur, more moments that brought more tears to our eyes because Brandon was just Brandon - full of smiles, and laughs, and cranky moments when he needed to sleep, and full of beans like any boy his age.

For us, this year, our Christmas was put in to perspective. We have a healthy family and our son is recovering. We caught what was wrong with him really quickly and these events are already moving in to the past and we are preparing for the future, as crazy and unknown it continues to be. We are surrounded by love, and that was reinforced by our family and friends reaching out to us and keeping us afloat even if it was just with words, prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, and just old fashioned love, whether in person, phone calls, emails, messages, whatever. That is what it is all about. The rest is just a bonus.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The sky is falling!

Before I launch in to my tirade for the day, I must say that our cats are affection whores. This is putting it politely. Between me being up relatively early, and perhaps the unsettled weather, both of the cats have been my perpetual shadow this morning. The kitty lovin' is kind of sweet, but one cat is draped across my arms, and the other cat is hovering. It also borders on downright irritating as the claws flex and go for skin, and when what I really want to do is enjoy a moment of relative calm solo, solo in the sense that the cats or zee wee man isn't demanding something from me. I just moved a bit, and I got the look of death from the Ripper. Screwing with his zen am I? Ah, the trials and tribulations of being so popular eh? LOL

I can't remember ever having as many back to back weather warnings as we have had in the last few weeks. First it was the rain. Then the wind and rain. Then the snow. Then the big freeze. Followed by the big melt. Now, rain, and more rain, and the winds, and a little more wind, and then back to a chance of snow tomorrow!

It has been cool being off to actually watch the flucuations in the weather. After spending the last several years in a workplace with no windows or natural light, it has been kind of novel to watch the world go by and change through the seasons.

I digress.

See, we have a cedar tree in the backyard that has been looking a little sickly. I can't remember who I made the comment too, but in the last windstorm I had remarked about how the cedar tree trunk was moving significantly in the wind and that I wasn't going to let Brandon play near the windows.

Funny how you can get an inkling of things to come. Or perhaps it is just being able to look back with 20-20 glasses. This morning we awoke to no power and a call from my bro who needed a number for that company that helps stranded motorists. Ironically enough, my dad was making a Timmy Ho's run so we scored coffee and breakie. Wandering around the outside of the house, I had to move to avoid scattered branches, and pick up my jaw when I saw the broken off cedar tree, pitched in to the neighbor's yard! We got lucky, it didn't break anything, but the living part of the tree was what went down (it was a cedar nurse tree that had 3 seperate trees coming off the main trunk) and the dead strands still stand?!!!

Obviously we have power again, but it always strikes me as somewhat funny (for lack of a better word) about how different our inside worlds feel when the power is out, the candles are lite, and you get to wander around carrying a flashlight. The same, but different.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Because it is late... or early?

Well, knocked off a few things off the old list today.

Also dropped a mitt load at the grocery store today. OMFG it adds up quick. All stuff we need, and I can't believe how much cheaper it is to buy in bulk. Whether it is for your emergency stash of chocolate chips to diapers. You have to buy in quantity to actually get a deal. Or use coupons. I am the coupon queen at this stage. I saved $50 off of our bill tonight!!! It is amazing how buying in larger quantities makes such a difference for meat, cleaning supplies, TP, and kids stuff. If you just go and buy packs of diapers you are almost paying 40 cents each... if you get the box, it brings it down to about 27 cents. You really have to be good at math or be willing to shell out a little extra or do a "big shop" to really see some savings. This is where my past history working as a cashier comes in handy. Funny how it shows up in weird dreams, organizing my money, having a coupon envelope, and searching out deals.

It is like shopping at some stores.. why bother paying full price when you know it will go on sale, or a coupon will get mailed to you? Who I am kidding, I like deals. Collecting points. Seeing some kind of savings.

I am feeling a lot less scattered, the last few weeks have continued to go by too quickly. Getting stuff done is being a bit undermined by the fact that I am having a few issues getting to sleep at a decent time. After finishing my latest pocketbook, I laid there in bed staring at the ceiling. After a half an hour of letting my drift no where fast, I decided it was time to surf.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Damn fast

Today didn't feel like a monday by any stretch of the word.

Brandon and I didn't crawl out of bed until nearly 11 o'clock!!! SCORE! I can't remember the last time I was lounging in bed for that long. I guess we both needed the sleep from the weekend? Of course, it didn't help that I didn't fall asleep until 2am, but the extra sleep was great :] it sure does make the day go really quickly though.

I really did go on a laundry strike in the last week. Or perhaps just with Brandon's stuff for some strange reason. There were two full loads of babystuff. WTF?! I guess I have been putting off washing his clothes to make sure I use all those sleepers in the drawer, and try out some different outfits rather than just the tried and true. I had him in awesome colorful pants and a red shirt yesterday and it was fun to see him like that. They were his happy pants for the day.

I got a total suprise visit tonight! Nej and the boys are in town!!! So a certain favourite person of mine came by for some baby-luvin! I never understood that until now that I have my own. One of my other friend's always thought it was funny that I wouldn't notice cute babies, they didn't even blip on my radar... well... that was another thing that changed with childbirth! I notice kids. Hell, the other day at the rink there were kids EVERYWHERE!! Strange phenom. Our visit zoomed by and we had some great laughs. Amazing to pick up where you left off from, even better when the leaving off was the last email I sent her this morning!

So, no tree up yet, but the lights did go up. It is strange getting used to the LED lights... not bad, not OMG these are the best things since sliced bread, just different. I am mulling over my baking list, and the shopping list is taking shape. It seems to come just so damn fast though. I am excited to see everyone, and the food, and the good times, and watching the whole experience through a new set of eyes.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Hockey and my Man

Puck = One, Husband = One great save

The picture describes life as a goalie. You win some, you lose some, you wear the marks of some. Of course, this little dandy occured hours after I made a comment about Ken's leg pads and learned that they actually make specialty pants just for goalies. The bruise has been many colours, and now the red flush is deepening a little, and other areas are starting to lighten up.

As well, Ken played in a tres cool charity game this afternoon. They had the mayor come out on a red carpet, the zamboni did an extra ice clear, and there was even music played in between stoppages of play. It was a great afternoon and was about giving a little something back to the community with the food bank and xmas bureau. Fairly well attended and Brandon did well until he decided enough was enough and I took him for a walk around the rink until he dropped off. It was a tight game until our team pulled away with 2 quick goals in the last minute of play to make for an interesting re-match next year!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

the 6th?

So much for getting Christmas cards out early! I will aim to get them out in a week... perhaps! I think that when you have a baby, everything is good intentions with an unknown outcome on what you do, can do, or when it will get done. I am getting better about letting go and feeling confident that things will get done in their own time and I don't have to push so hard to get them done on a manic-panic time line.

I also think I am shedding. My hair is everywhere. I know I have long hair, and can be a bit paranoid about it, but I am leaving hair everywhere. I half wonder if this is an effect of the retreat of pregnancy hormones. I know this falls under TMI but I could clean out my hairbrush daily and when I run my hands through my ponytail I am always losing a few. Doesn't seem fair. I guess I should finally break and get a haircut, seeing as it has been since before the wedding!! Now that is a true measure of how fast the time is going!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A Ramble for Today.

Well, I am figuring out this new version of Bl0gger, and at times we have gotten on well, and at other times, not so good. It is good for the ol' learning curve though and I am all about those curves!

Lots has happened in the last week, and at times it is hard to stay on top of it all because life keeps on marching forward. It has also been great because I have had the chance to catch up with most of my closest girlfriends so much so that my long distance bill is a bit scorched, and I think my cheeks hurt from talking so much! Ah the price to pay for heart warming conversations. Distance really doesn't matter, or the frequency that you actually get to see each other in person. Friendship is a state that exists in the heart and knows no bounds.

I have been learning about the "momma bear" element that I now possess. Well, perhaps I always had it because I look out for what I consider my own and it is natural to reach out and help even if it is only an ear when I can or am needed. Now that "momma bear" element is a little more focused that I have my own family.

It has also been reaffirmed for me that ultimatums don't work. Through our network of friends I have seen one couple make the next step after ten years of being together and another couple shatter because the battle lines were drawn in the sand and it was do or die in terms of taking the next step. It is a funny thing about our culture that once a couple has been together a certain amount of time, expectations start to rise exponentially. Especially when the two people aren't kids anymore (read in your early 20s). Those expectations of taking the next step are more so exposed by friends and family who are looking for a good excuse to celebrate, and occaisonally by one half of the overall equation. Most of us have been there where we have had to contemplate this, and in my own relationship, I feel that having this label or that label isn't what counts and shouldn't make a difference because in your heart of hearts, you know what you have together and shouldn't need the external validation to prove that. Of course, it is nice when you cross that line and take that next step (if it is natural and on both of your terms where a choice and a decision has been made not an ultimatum delivered) and make a public commitment but I feel it should be a natural progression of your relationship and not something that you had to do to make someone momentarily happy. Soon we will have been married a whole year and I can say that this year has been like the rest - we are partners, throwing our hats in together and what we have done is publicly affirmed that in our way and things continue to improve because we have more shared experiences, a life together, our son, and so much more of a collective history and our steps follow a parallel path of togetherness.

No one likes being backed in to a corner. At the end of the day, there are no winners. It is also why I like the barter system - both parties have the opportunity to walk away happy with something in the "hand".

Yup. I am going on a big ramble here, and talking around the bush a bit, but it is my way of just throwing a few of my own philosophies out there, as wacked out as they are or convoluted at times (my disclaimer since I know every one has their own stance on this one). Who knows if I make sense, but somewhere in here this makes sense to me!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Out and about

Yesterday was amazing - crisp and cold and lots of snow on the ground. We made it out to a local park and the lake was totally frozen! Not a sight you see here on the left coast very often! I felt giddy getting out of the house to get some shopping and banking done, and then to have some time before the next nap/feed/etc to hit the park. It was beautiful and I went a little wild with the camera. One of the advantages of being on a mat leave is that you actually get to experience all the seasons... which is different for me since I work in a box within a box, within a box in which I only know the weather when I get out of my place of work. I do not miss not having a window to look out of. It will be a rude awakening when I go back to work!

Monday, November 27, 2006


We got snow!!!!! It is beautiful, cold, and a little unreal. I can't remember the last time we got snow and it actually stuck!!!! Of course it makes driving chaos and why does snow equate with jerks in big trucks tailgating? It this a reverse evolution of the species type thing??? Hot damn it is cold!! It is hard to believe it is only the end of November, we have to figure out where the salt is for the slippery spots, and consciously thinking about warming up the car before taking off. I guess this is how the rest of Canada normally feels at this time of the year? LOL. Ken took the first pic with the "night exposure" setting on, and the second one is old school just stay as still as possible...

Friday, November 24, 2006

A prolific week

It seems I have had the occaisonal moment here and there in the chaos to actually be a somewhat regular poster this week. What a wacked out week it was.

At this point, we have heat, which is a good thing. I know now about thermal couplings thanks to my BIL whom very graciously replaced ours today after the pilot light extinguished itself again.

We have also been through 3 TPR valves. Urm. What is this language I doth speak? Temperature/Pressure Release valves that extend out of your hot water tank. Ours no longer seem to want to hold the water in, and unfortunately we have exhausted our cumulative knowledge. It is surprising how much we rely on turning on the tap and having luxurious warm water come out at will! Ah well, a learning experience and it was cool watching Ken and his bro work together as a team. I am definitely grateful Ken is mechanically inclined and not afraid to try, and work things out as best as any of us can with our knowledge logically of what could be going down.

That has been the excitement for the week. Stressing about heat and water, thinking we were in the clear, and then back to reading warranties and googling various bits of water tank lore for answers. Now I am enjoying a quiet moment, there are enough bottles done, I have a semi-interesting book to read that I suspect I will blitz through because the print is really big, and the dust bunnies have been banished back to the corners. The strong bow I had earlier tasted damn fine and the general sentiment was TGIF. On a total aside, I think I did my hibiscus plant in by not taking it in to the house soon enough when the weather started to turn and I have banished it back outside after all the leaves decided to become floor decoration.

Oddly enough, I have this great cactus that I think I have completely scared in to reproduction of the species since it is still outside and adorned with no less than 9 blooms. Sometimes it is best to not ask questions and I think I will bring it in from the cold tomorrow, before the mercury really decides to head south.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


This week has been wacked.

Last week it was the power outtages, and then the boil water advisory, and then our pilot light in our furnace went out and we needed a helping hand, and then yesterday our latest water woes started. A valve blew on the side of our hot water tank... called in our BIL again for his helping hands... before everything was said and done there were 3 trips to the local hardware store, lots of water moved, and fingers crossed. I have finally been able to have a shower and wash away a few days worth of living and we have warm water again!! YAY!

Now I guess I can get back to parenting? I feel like I have only been around with half a brain, between the worrying about the heat and the water I have felt distracted to say the least. I guess this will all make for an interesting conversation when the folks get back home... now to fill up the fish tank and deal with out water fountain which is making a weird noise and I believe our water issues for the day are done.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh the indiginity.

Last night I decided to check out the status of the well ventilated pants.

I just bought them in September (remember that successful dash across the border?) and I even bought them a size bigger so I would have some ultra comfy green cargo pants. Apparently I have a penchant for green cargos as I have owned several pairs to date.

Well, that damn rip is almost irrepairable. If I am to stitch it, it will be an obvious line from cheek to outer thigh... almost. I guess I do nothing halfway! I was pissed, those are, er were great pants and now will be great to hang about the house in. Funny though, other times when I have ripped the ass out of a pair of pants comes to mind - like the time when I was 13, wearing freshly painted on stretch jeans (remember that was the 80s and well I had the hair to match) and I was oh so cool at the PNE and as I got on a ride, out popped my ass. In my humble opinion, it seems like if your ass is going to expose itself, it will never happen in the privacy of your own home. The one thing I can say is I cared a lot less this time around than 20 years ago.

Ok, and what is up with that arsehole in the states who wants to publish a book and a TV show describing "if I was to do this....this is how I would do it?!". Anyone else wish that this certain individual would become a potential Darwin Candidate and just do himself in because there should be a category for people like him because he is just a wacked out wanker??!!! W T F is he on? 'nuff said.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spam. Spam. Spam. Green eggs and Spam.

Last week I inadvertently discovered that my email addy had a previous "owner".

Whomever this person was liberally scattered their email addy far and wide across the net because O M G do I get a lot of spam. Sure, I am a SAHM right now and getting emails is great, but when you get 30 spams in a day, and perhaps 1 0r 2 emails from real people, the thrill of the popularity quickly diminishes. I am trying to opt-out of as many as I can, and hell, I have my spam filter working overtime, but the spam keeps on breeding! I like my new email addy so I will continue to hit that delete key, but hopefully the tide will turn sooner rather than later because the spam is a royal pain in the ass.

On another note, I uttered the fateful words to my folks before they left on holidays - "if something happens while you are gone that you have no control over, we won't tell you about it until you get home". I figured that made sense, since when you are a few thousand miles away, there really isn't anything you can do at that point. Well, we realized yesterday that after about 3 days of no heating sounds, that the furnace was indeed off and even Ken was wearing socks around the house and Brandon was in a few extra layers. Thankfully my BIL rocks and was able to come over and lend a helping hand today and successfully relit our pilot light! Disaster averted!

I also seemed to spend a lot of time away from the house this weekend, paying forward a good deal to my bro and nephew, and then getting myself a new coat. I am now the proud owner of a swanky (IMHO) pea coat that actually fits! I figured that since it has been 1995 since I sprung for a new coat (rather than hand-me-downs no matter how cool they are they weren't bought with me in mind) it was time. I got to wear it out yesterday and I felt like a cool chic in my coat... that is until I bent over to put something in to the stroller and ripped the ass out of my pants. Then I was truly grateful I had a new coat because it covered my new ventilation.

Friday, November 17, 2006

worst quality?

The other day when I was filling out that form that crashed on me a few times, it asked what is your worst quality. Even doing an honest assessment, this is a hard question to answer.

I said that my worst quality is that I can be really hyper (I know what I am like when I am literally bouncing off of walls with energy and noise and lots of words). I should have said "cramming my feet in my mouth" because when I am hyper or excited I tend to talk quicker than my brain can keep up with. Then when I have verbally stepped on someone that I care about, I realize that my intended message really didn't come out and that it was lost in the rush to get the words out.

Makes me feel like a first class tool, heel, and asshole when that happens. It seems to go in spurts too , I am really good for a while and then I feel like I am 12 years old again and I should be writing lines, I should think before I speak. Damn. Funny how life can repeat itself sometimes.

Usually it isn't something awful or nasty that has been blurted out, it is something careless that makes your loved one feel like you weren't really listening, and although I am, it certainly doesn't appear that way in how the words dropped out. So, I am mentally trying to reprogram my hyper brain, I will think before I speak or, atleast take a look at that foot before it actually arrives in my mouth so I don't sound like a heel and what I am really trying to say manages to make it's way to the front rather than being pushed aside in the big panic.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Batten down the hatches!

The last 24 hours have been bizarre.
  • we are in the middle of a rain forest storm - read lots of high winds and rain. Lots of rain
  • My apple tree up and shed all it's leaves at once, scattering them across the yard - it was quite dramatic!
  • I have been a bit of an insomniac the last few nights... which wasn't all that nice when Brandon woke up at 1am (prolly from me tossing and turning) and decided to be up for over an hour. Wasn't that bad, I was up anyways, I just felt this fear in my gut he wasn't going to stay asleep and this ended up being the beginning of a really screwed up sleep night for us both!!
  • we have lost power 4 times already!
  • The house looks like somehow turned a power washer on the outside from the evil sideways rain we are having.
  • Brandon also woke up from his afternoon nap 4 times and when I figured that I wasn't getting a decent nap break, he flaked out again?!
  • Did I mention the rain??
  • was doing an online entry thingee last night and had to go through the whole process no less than 3 complete times because I skimmed over a few direction s (so much for being a multi-tasking mom!!!)
  • had a little incident in the bath with our wee one last night... lets just say that the phrase "dropping the kids off at the pool" has taken on a whole new meaning for me
  • the laundry is officially done for the week after stretching out the process over 2 complete days
  • as I finish this, my little sweetie is nestled in to my chest and I resort to one finger typing... wouldn't trade it for the world

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

cold feet

I finally had to break down and go upstairs and turn on the heat. Granted, I could solve part of my problem by putting on a pair of socks, since my feet are like ice blocks and it is cold and damp so as far as I am concerned, time to turn up the heat and perhaps raid Ken's sock drawer for some warm and fuzzy comfort socks since mine are all in the wash!

Speaking of which, I need some new socks. I got rid of all the white ones a few years ago, and just haven't seem to gotten many new ones.

At this point it takes me a few days to ruminate about a post and then steal a few minutes to bang something out. It continually amazes me that some days I am totally on my mommy-game, and other days, yeah, lets not talk about those days. I think I am getting in to the swing of things when it comes to recognizing when Brandon needs a nap. After about 2 hours, I start looking for the sleep signs and winding him back down. The last week has been rewarding and punishing all at the same time. During the day, Brandon has been all smiles, and starting to show a desire to sit up (and can even do a funny kind of solo sit with him hunched over), and is disovering his voice, which involves a lot of squealing. I am figuring out a few new ways to play with him, and have discovered something in common - we both love to have our feet rubbed! Who knew?

I figure he is in the three month growth squirt since last week he grew 2cm in a week!!! No wonder why the sizes seem to be going to the way side really quickly! The down side has been the nights, he is still sleeping for a good chunk of time, just a few more wake ups in the night for cuddles and the girls. Means a few mornings I have been staying in bed as long as I can push it since to get up any earlier would create a mommy-fog that I would really have to claw out of and isn't nice. At that point coffee barely makes a dent in the sandy eyed bleary feeling I get. Some of our best moments are those waking up moments in the morning. I just lay there looking at him, and we smile at each other, and make baby-noises, and my heart gets bigger and bigger when I look at this little guy we created from our love. I know it sounds cheesy, but it is true. It ain't *all* rosy nice and worthy of fawning about and carrying on because no one is perfect, but there are moments every day when everything else falls away and you have these stripped down moments and you can only be grateful to be walking in these shoes in this moment. Much like when you get cuddles from your sweetheart, and you don't have to say anything, just revel in the moments that are quiet and you are together.

Now my much abused and ignored cat (in his humble opinion, I can tell from the looks he gives me, like "who the hell is this hairless cat and why oh why does he get so much more attention than me! ya gotta love cats) decides to jump up and lay all over my hands. Moment is over and time to carry on with the bits and pieces that make up the day and do some tidying in these moments my little duffer sleeps.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

for something completely different

Now that my face is no longer red from my big walk, and I have fed zee baby, I decided to take a little surfin trip.

I found something way cool which was a link from another website. How does one get away from the gender stereotyping that begins right away when loved ones start to read for the blue or the pink toque? This clothing company is the answer! I am so doing a little shopping here for my lil' rebel!!! There is some really great stuff within the shopping pages!! I am rubbing my hands together with glee at the thought of some of the onesies (etc) I could get. Granted, I would probably only spring for one because I am cheap, but man, I had some good laughs imagining Brandon in some of this stuff. Once we take the plunge I will update with our selection!

Freaking awesome stuff.


It has been an introspective morning so far.

A few random thoughts as I process a few things:
  • motherhood is like gaining a whole new kind of confidence. so far it has been this rollar coaster like journey of going up and up and up, and then down then up then crash then back up again. Whether it be with breast feeding, or learning sleep cycles, or how to play with your child, or how to successfully bathe together, it is an ongoing learning curve for all of you. it is really rewarding at times, and other times, I just feel like I am stumbling along in the dark looking for illuminated corners or words or examples to go by. This has done strange things to my confidence though - I am more aware of my strengths and getting to know my weaknesses a bit better. It's just crazy the doubts you can have at times about your ability to be a mom (or a dad) when really the bottom line is love and best intentions.
  • talking to other moms has been invaluable and I have learned something from all of my friends, whether or not they have kids
  • although I am quite comfortable being at home, getting out is a big deal. I have been a bit cooped up in the last few weeks (for many reasons including the nasty weather and lack of personal motivation which is going to change, life is all about cycles you know?!) and getting out for a walk yesterday was huge. it doesn't have to be a big deal to get out anymore, it is just getting out and getting some fresh air and seeing something beyond the yard. I think this also links back to confidence. Confidence to get out of the house and be able to handle or deal with whatever gets thrown your way because this is all new to me/us. I haven't been around a lot of kids for years and I feel like a wide-eyed kid myself with lots to learn. I think that is almost a good thing because I am more of a 'tabula rosa' when it comes to all this parenthood stuff and learning by trying and doing rather than being caught up in a lot of woulda's and coulda's.
  • Ken and I are continually amazed by what Brandon can do already which I think is also a product of being curious and just seeing how things unfold rather than having all the books and how to's that are out there. I think we have the right amount of printed help material - enough to give us guideposts but not enough to have everything mapped out either
  • for someone who loves to read, I am getting more information through talking and bouncing ideas around, and perhaps the occaisonal email than I am from books when it comes to evolving in to this parenthood thing
Here's to the rain holding off for a few hours so I can get out for another walk today!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Word Verification

I suspect that I am not the only one that feels this way, and no matter how worthwhile it is to have word verification turned on is, some of the letter combinations (read complete and utter gibberish) are so damn hard to read and type - partially because as my fingers attempt to gracefully dance and jitterbug across the keys my mind seems to make the occaisonal error when transcribing the jumbled up text and relate said text unbroken to said fingers.

Talk about a fancy schmancy way to say that half the time I screw up that word verification and then I get given a new, easier, and bigger print jumbled up word. If I screw that one up, I get an even easier puzzle to sort out. Kind of funny if you ask me. Show me that you at least have a pulse and I will reward you with the word verification word you should have had to begin with instead of some crazy jumbled up shit that you can't tell the i's from the j's. So making comments isn't always the easiest thing for me to do.

Or order tickets. I get those word verification things a few times too because I make mistakes.

I guess I could pay more attention when I type, but I tend towards stream of unedited consciousness (oh really? what a surprise) and just getting my thoughts out as quickly as I can... backing up when I have made obvious mistakes and letting the rest go... that is until I re-read what I have typed and there have been a few times that I have had to go back and edit because *I* couldn't fully get the gist of what I was getting at.

Ah yes. What am I getting at today? This is post 300. A milestone of sorts. Must be a product of kissing the Blarney Stone back a few years ago.

Currently I am listening to a mixed CD and I must say that burning a CD with a few of your favourite songs is a helluva lot easier than it was back in the day. When I was a child of the 80s I remember staying up late, since I liked heavy metal at that point, and taping songs off of the radio between 11 and midnight, the so called "power hour". I got quite good at it, but you know, it pales in comparison to being able to spend a few minutes and create a CD with a few keystrokes. During some of my daytime surfing, I found out that "Dude that looks like a lady" by Aer0smith was written about Vince Neil. Who knew? But it made me laugh.

Monday, November 6, 2006


Although it looks dark and tempestuous outside, I took out the recycling and was surprised to find that it is really mild. The rain is also holding off for a few minutes. Which means that I am now giving Brandon "the look", wondering if he is down for a great long nap or if he will awaken soon, and perhaps I can bundle him up for a short walk around the block. I love the shock of how mild it is, especially when for all appearances, it is absolutely a miserable November day out there.

You know you are from the Coast when you look up at the sky and admire the various shades of gray and enjoy the fecundity of the fallen leaves. Time to finally throw out the pumpkins and tidy up around the edges. It may seem like I am a neat freak, but the reality is that I go on cleaning binges and get things looking sparkling clean, and then... all goes to hell in a hand basket for a few days until I find my motivation to keep the dust bunnies away again. That is usually monday when I catch up on all the mundane tasks I avoided throughout the weekend. Both of us are messy. We don't always pick up after ourselves, and well, when you only have so many hours together over the weekend I can't say that housekeeping ranks high as a priority.

I have a yen to hit the ice again soon. I am even dreaming about playing, past teams and friends. Even to go for some public skating, just to get out there and remind myself that I haven't forgotten how to play. Even to do some drills, take some shots, see if I can still make a pass and hit the other person's stick.. or general direction...Speaking of which, this is a great new show that is original and funny. Perhaps because I love my own goalie it tinkles my fancy but it is laugh out loud funny, especially the goalie derby in this week's episode.

Friday, November 3, 2006

When it finally decides to rain

There is already 2-3 inches of rain accumulated here. Of course, I rarely wear socks so when I ran around the house to grab today's mail, the bottom of my pant legs got wet! The rain is coming down so hard and fast that it is bouncing up before joining the puddles.

Nothing like a good rain to pummel the remaining summer flowers and to truly usher in fall! Makes me feel for my honey who has to work outside in this! Weather like this squashes any urges I had to go for a walk today and it is barely after noon and it already feels dark outside. I am not motivated to do much in the way of house tending at this point. Here we are at another weekend. Between the time and weather changes I can feel myself hunkering down and looking for projects that I can do inside. I like the idea of scrapbooking, and I have been putting together a book about Brandon, but it is more intimidating than writing on a blank page! There are so many good pictures, and stories to already be told, that it is hard to pick. I figure that the point of a scrapbook is to include memory highlights rather than the whole she-bang. That is also the up and down side of digital photos... we have many and not all of them are going to be printed out. It's weird being home all the time. For someone who spent a lot of time figuring out how to make it between hockey and school and work and visiting and figuring in sleep and eating, it is a whole new take on life. Being with Brandon is it's own reward, but I am relearning how to relax, being introspective in a different way, and organizing. Yup, when you have more time on your hands it is the natural time to catch up on all those little projects you have put off for months. I can still ramble from a rain storm to clearing the clutter projects!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en!

Departing slightly from tradition, Brandon's pumpkin is old school, but our pumpkins took a little more work. I have always been a little cynical about those pumpkin carving kits and I am now a convert. The kits are awesome. You still need at least one pumpkin with lots of teeth, but trying out a design is actually a lot of fun. Who knew? Mine is the one with the spooky trees and owl!

The month of the great orange squash is coming to an end. The month of pumpkin pies, seeds, and jack'o'lanterns is on its way out and bringing with it cold, crisp days that have me thinking about wearing socks around the house and trading my tank tops in for longer sleeved shirts. I am looking forward to dressing Brandon up tonight (and then watching Ken's hockey game, like who schedules games on holidays? don't they realize adults have kids? I am half whining about today, but it seems like if there is a holiday weekend, there is a game scheduled by the dude who says at the beginning of every season that it won't happen like that...) and taking him to my folks, and perhaps to each of the neighbours to round out the first Halloween experience.

My dreams have been bizarre this week. I wake up feeling a little disorientated and half out of sorts. Who knows if it is the time of year, or just my eating habits, or who knows what. It also feels like the weather has changed in to fall before I was ready for it. I feel like I am in a bit of a time warp. Jackets? To go out in? Cold feet? Extra blankets on the bed? Where did summer go? Being home is great, and I am finding myself in a different rhythm because my days are marked by a new routine, and then there is the unexepected shifts in Brandon's personality, and flucuations in myself too.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A quick moment

Not that you could tell, but I just had a total moment there where I logged in and realized I didn't know what the hell I intended to blog about. There have been a few moments this week where I have thought that either "that was damn funny" or "woah, that is just plain strange"

First off, I am reading this book, which is by a local author and has grabbed my attention. It is well written, with a bit of local history thrown in for good measure. I keep coming back to the crime/forensic novels at this stage of my reading career. I still find time to read - occaisonally (although not as often) when I am breast feeding, and just before sleep.

Then Nej decides to post this on her blog:

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Evil game. Mind numbing game that for some reason was absorbing way too much of my attention span today. I did make it over a 1000 points in one game.. but there are folks with 50,000 points! What the hell did they do all day to get to that score? Get a life. Look who is talking though, eh?

Halloweening is around the corner, and I keep hitting hangman references. Interesting, non? This year is different, we have a child. Which means Halloween takes on another dimension. We can dress up Brandon, we have someone else to decorate pumpkins with, we can go to the pumpkin patch. And perhaps, as the folks, we can go to one of the local "haunts" and get scared sleepless!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Gunneras are a truly amazing plant... we were out visiting my coz whom has a fabulous backyard and I can't help but stare in wonder at this behemoth right out of Jurassic Backyard!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

nostalgia - already

Brandon and I are playing dress up today out of sheer desperation.

The main drawer of clothes contains clothes ranging from birth through 9 months old. With the rapid weight gain in the last 2 months, I suspected that it was time to be putting some of the first sizes away.

I can't believe the range of emotions I feel about Brandon growing out of clothes. He is gurgling away in the crib while I try to wrap my mind around the fact that he is no longer in 3 month old clothes, he is already in 6 month old stuff. That and the range of sizes within one size. I guess the disparity in clothing starts right from birth and not just in women's clothes like I have thought for the last several decades of my life.

I look at the first clothes that he wore, and already I can feel the "oh he was so cute when he was so small." The milestones are highlights because your child is doing what they are supposed to - which is begin the process of growing up - but man, it happens even quicker than I thought it would!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

the saga continues

I am currently sitting on the floor typing this.

Ongoing evolution (or de-evolution) of our place hits round 3, or 4 is it now? I must admit, painting and reorganizing a living room is almost worse than moving in. Remember all those posts where I thought that I was getting rid of stuff. Well, my books must be like rabbits because holy shit do I have books, stuff, and do-dads.

This is the year I think I am moving away from the clutter. The ongoing process that has been beneath the wedding, pregnancy, and now parenthood. Trying to get a handle on all the things that I have held on to for decades because I had the space and I didn't really want to question why I was holding on to said objects. The decluttering and evolution has been like walking down the strip in Vega$. You cover a long block, take in the sites, and then realize that if you continue on, there are more great sites that are going to reveal themselves to you if you so choose. Ok, maybe not the best metaphor but there have been stages this year where I have been bursting at the seams with how proud I am of what I have let go. Then there is the other side of things, where I am absolutely dumbfounded about how much more there is to go through and where the hell did all this stuff come from?

There were times yesterday when I was putting things back together and I had to walk away because I didn't know what to do with everything. I am letting go of more books, and I have a box of do-dads that are being released back in to the world. I just don't need to be surrounded by so many things anymore. I guess that is a part of growing up - having fewer items around that are more meaningful and *tasteful* (like who knew?)

Now that things are put back to right in the living room, I love it. No more muddy-putty coloured walls. I am surrounded by a robin egg blue-esque colour that is so bright and clean it makes it look like we have moved in to a brand new house. The whole palate has changed since we moved in, and it is shocking what a coat of paint can achieve in a tired room(s).

We no longer have a compu-nursery. Brandon officially has his own digs. Although if there has been so much change in the other rooms, it means that this room is a disaster zone.

I am waxing poetic again. You can't stay static. Things are changing all the time (so much so my head has been spinning this year). I guess somewhere along the line I am getting a little better at dealing with the changes, and with all this de-cluttering, better at initiating some of the change. This is not saying that I haven't embraced changes in my life, this is just a different type/set of changes. Changes like learning how to be more focused on someone other than myself. Like becoming part of a marriage/partnership, you have to learn to go from thinking as one, to thinking about two. Now we think about three. The same, but different.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My little charmer

Apres bath, and looking pretty darn cute if I must say so myself!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The wall

I love being home with my son. Sometimes learning how to be a parent is a daunting task - we are blank slates when it comes to parenthood and learning everything the hard way (or so it seems some days) much like all parents do since our kids don't come with manuals and all we are doing is trying our best. Currently we are going through our first "family" cold, and I wish I could help him with his congestion as I hear him struggle with breathing through his nose. I can sympathize, I am pretty stuffed up too but at least I know how to blow "out".

I am not much of a television watcher, but when you are doing your feeds, there isn't much else you can do except for listen to music, make random phone calls, or stare off in to space if you aren't watching that evil box. I have been home for 3 months and already I am finding that my slight attention span to shows I actually like (all of course before noon when tv seems to take a real nose dive) is already starting to wane and my routines are continuing to evolve to occupy myself in different ways. I can forsee myself making a bunch of mixed CDs that I can put in to heavy rotation, and continuing to become more adept at the art of reading aloud and feeding.

Tried going down the hill first instead of up today. First off, I can't believe it is October and today was in the mid 20's! I could still get a tan!! And living in the middle of a hill should do wonders for my ass muscles by the end of maternity leave! Am also discovering the limits of what I can stuff in the bottom of the stroller. Coming up the hill, with my inside voice cheering every successful step up the hill, one stretch of the hill does not have a sidewalk. Like, WTF? As a city planner, you all of a sudden decided that for 2 blocks in the middle, who needs the sidewalk? Then after I switched sides for the 2 blocks since I was not making progress without the sidewalk in the grass and gravel pathway worn down on the one side... some idiot decided to park their pick up and RV on the other side, nicely blocking most of the sidewalk. At least my swearing under my breath and trying not to fist wave at the wankers momentarily distracted me from the uphill journey.

Successful mission - we are now the proud owners of a vaporizer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A sea of van gogh wheat

I have talked about it long enough and today I finally made good on some of that talk. Whilst my son slept, I painted like a fiend. Amazing how quickly one can paint if all the taping up has already been done and ultimately you are not tackling that big of a space. Got 'er done, so to speak. My tape job was good, but there are some smudges of the old paint that will have to be taken care of, and then next step in this region of the house will be to tape the walls so I can redo the moulding, now that they no longer appear to be white next to the inscrutable van gogh wheat colour adorning a few walls around here.

It was a strange weekend. Brandon and Ken both have colds (I am now getting my own version of said cold, version 3.2), and Friday was spent making those pies (had spares after the one family dinner which is always a mixed-bag bonus since who needs the extra calories but damn I make a fine apple pie), the Crush won Friday night, and then saturday blitzed by with Ken's side turkey dinner (which went off really well) and then Sunday staggered to a halt it felt like and my vibe was off, Ken was sicker, and when it came to going to my mom's, Brandon started to scream from his cold and needing a nap. *SIGH*. Some holidays just don't end up like you think they will. I went solo, and had a decent time, but I think I spaced out for parts of it, everything felt like it blipped off of the surface with me, no experience really penetrating that far in to my consciousness.

Didn't get off to visit my gran, but will do so this weekend on our terms (read it didn't work out to head over with my folks since there wasn't enough "room" for Brandon and I). From the feedback I got from the folks, the hospital experience is one in which your dignity gets stripped away from you and all you want to do is go home, even if you can't- so my heart breaks a little for my gran and I wished that she lived not a ferry ride away.

I also can't say that I am getting along all that famously with my mom right now. She tweaked me something fierce this weekend and I am a slow burn and it is hard to swallow. Her mouth runs off sometimes and the things that come out are brutal. She should attempt to save that for her inner monologues at some point because once certain words are out there, they are hard to take back. As well, it is like perpetually crying wolf because a few hours after a bitchy phone call, I got the "I was feeling really stressed out at that moment and I lashed out" speech. This is happening all the time and she isn't making any significant changes to her life since it is so stressful, andI am not trying to enable her by allowing that kind of behaviour any more, from the outside looking in, her life is pretty damn skookum. Ah well. Some people feel the need to manufacture stress in their lives.

I just get the urge to paint, move furniture, read, play hockey, and do crazy things to my husband and spend time with my son. Nothing like healthy sublimation to make things at least resemble right.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Book ends

Well, that was a week. I think just "off" is a good way to categorize just how this week has felt for me. Just some not so positive stuff going on around me sprinkled in with a few things that have brightened up my day.

I can't believe it is thanksgiving weekend. A year ago we were worried about our cat, wondering what to do, and now I am wondering what day I should go and visit my not-doing-so-great Gran. Not so funny how life seems to go in cycles at times. We are, or should I say, I am getting better at the sharing holidays thing. I think being at the next stage (we are married, we have our own family) makes all this easier. Both our sides have equal stakes and both sides seem to respect that more.

I am getting out for more walks - the hill I trudge up is getting slightly easier, read I am not panting at the halfway mark, and after a few moments of taking stock of things on the way back down the hill, I would have to admit I am doing pretty damn good for 10 weeks away from labour. I fit in to my clothes, and well, I guess now that I have more time to think about it, I guess I am just feeling impatient about a few things - toning up a bit, and getting some house stuff done. I am learning a new kind of patience, getting things done as they get done, not in a big rush like how I used to do things at a frenetic pace.

Fall is arriving - I also have a yen to get out there and soak up some autumn colours. I am getting out a lot more than before, but it is all within walking distance during the day, so I guess I am getting to the stage where I do want to get out more, see more. I don't necessarily need the public filled spaces, I have more yearnings to get out in the woods, or parks, or near the water more so than the urban centers. I don't feel that isolated from people at this stage. I can thank my dear friends and family for that. At some point there will be a place for parenting groups.. but so far so good.... can't wait to do water babies though!!

Monday, October 2, 2006

Woke up funny

Ever have one of those days were you just feel odd? That is me today. Am sorting through it, and who knows why, but today is one of those days that I feel like a worry wart. Worrying about my parenting style (or lack thereof) and second guessing myself a bit.

While I think it is important to be aware of what other people are doing, what the major theories of development are, and taking note of what seems to be working, I think my doctor had it right when we were talking about sleeping habits (etc) when he said that "there are many right ways" without judgment in his voice.

Ken and I do know our baby best, but it is hard not to get caught up in the different theories, or books, or philosophies on how and what is the best way to childrear. I think what is working best for us is to observe other folks, do some reading, talk about it all, figure out our attitudes, talk about what we don't like, and then see what works with Brandon. I don't think we have one particular style, in fact my attitude is much more of a blended attitude in which I am approaching parenthood much like how I approach my concept of religion - I am taking bits and pieces from a vast and diverse range of sources and with a little dash of synergy, creating something that works for me, for Brandon, and for us. With a bit of chaos tossed in for good measure since I tend to learn by doing, and then readjusting to discover what works.

On a totally different note, Brandon held his head up today, looking around and checking things out from his belly for the first time! Yes, he has held up his head and moved it side to side, or pushed up off our chests so far, but not like this! A very cool milestone!

Time to do some cleaning and putting things back to right. It is helping having less clutter, but we still aren't there yet.

Weekend blitzed by way too quickly. Saturday we got to spend the day with Gilly (where the hell did the time go, but so nice to just hang out in your pjs, do some cooking, some gossiping, and some laughing) and then went out for a fabulous night with some dear friends. It was great. Funny though that 10ish or 11 is the new "2am" for me. At least to get on the road home to complete the day cycle with Brandon.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I was at the market the other day and got in to a conversation with the teller and a mom since I was packing my groceries in the built-in shelf in the stroller and we started talking about fridges and strollers.

We are fortunate enough to have Nej's stroller which has already seen the backsides of her 2 children. So this is child #3 to experience the joys of this stroller and it is still going strong. The mom in the line up made the comment that her stroller (which was a good one to begin with) didn't even make it through one child!! HOLY SHIT!!! Then we all related that fridges and cars are not meant to last anymore. They are built to be replaced every 5-7 years (or many of them are) to encourage consumerism. This rankles me. I guess I can handle the changing nature of technology and knowing that my 3 year old computer is already dated, or a cheap pair of shoes that barely lasts it's season, but it is another thing for a fridge, or a stroller, or a car to just be done that quickly.

First off, I had no idea I could care about these things. Amazing what joining the motherhood can do to change your attitudes. Secondly, WTF?! I get that children's clothes are almost rented because they truly do grow that fast, but you should be able to buy the bigger items and feel confident about being able to pay them forward within a reasonable amount of time. BLARGH.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Sleep is never under-rated.

I can get away with a certain amount of sleep deprivation, but there reaches a point where I have crossed some magic line and the lack of decent sleep hits at a deeper level. Yesterday was one of those days. I could feel it in my edgier mood, the crankiness that crept up here and there, the lethargy, the lack of motivation, and just being ttttiiiirrrreeeeddd and unmotivated.

We switched back to our original formula and voila! Back to the Brandon we all know and love. Although it took forever and a day to get him to fall asleep. I was wondering for my sanity for a bit last night but at 11 his eyes closed and he welcomed slumber's embrace. He slept for 7 hours!!!! We got up a few times between 6-9am and I feel like a whole new person right now!!!

Back to feeling positive, and ready to tackle whatever life throws at me today.

AHHHHHHHHH. Nothing like getting a decent night's sleep!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Greaser Babies

This is a catchy tune - summer loving, infant style!!

That stroller would be a bit of an upgrade, but I think the Don would be stylin and profilin in one of those leather jackets!!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Wild Kingdom

Heard a funny noise in the backyard and with joining our two cats, we watched a mum racoon and 4 kits playing in our backyard. They play-fought as siblings do, climbed up and down the trees, stared in at us, staring back at them, and all four babies tried out our water fountain. We threw them a few apples from the tree, and perhaps that wasn't the best call since the apples didn't last that long. This would also explain the large pile of excrement in the backyard I chose to mow around yesterday.

What a fabulous weekend. I called it a "date" weekend since it has been forever. Ken played hockey late friday which was nice because it gave us a chance to have an early dinner together. Saturday we both did some puttering, I did yard work and Ken grabbed some mussels and salmon for a dinner feast. I lucked out with a man that can cook up a storm and take some culinary risks that wouldn't even blip on my radar! A few vids, Brandon cat napped here and there, and va-voom. Sunday rolls around.

I grabbed my mom and took off for a few hours stateside to do some shopping. See, I had a 40% off your entire shopping excursion at one of my fav stores and well, it was a one day thing and I couldn't ignore the siren call of new clothes. I really haven't bought many this year (thank you Sarah for the help with the maternity clothes) so I felt like a big kid in a candystore today.

I needed pants.

I scored some really cool pants.

I needed new tops. I scored two nice knit tops. I also have my eye on a few more on this side of the border. Once again, the colours that are in this year suit me. Some seasons, not so much.

Got gas. Bought cheese (such a cross border shopper there) and discovered we made it through the border with mere minutes to spare before an incident snarled them all up heading northbound. We had lucky stars shining in our corners!!!

Voila. Here we are. Had a great "date" weekend, my son is two months old today, and I have some great new duds. Brandon was fussy as hell tonight, but he peacefully sleeps now and that is all but forgotten (kind of like rain here on the coast once it is sunny out). Was good for charging my batteries. Not sure if it was the great dinner and spending time with my guys yesterday, the shopping or just heading out for a bit of a road trip in the car. Prolly a combination of the three or four to perk up my positivity again.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yankee Weathercasters

To steal an idea from Nej, I must admit that those american drug ads are scary. The side effects that they skim and rush through are almost worse than the ailment they set out to cure. Our news isn't always much better (news is generally depressing and employs scare tactics) but there are always a few "feel good" stories sprinkled through to make it more palatable. Is this a west coast thing or a canadian thing though, seeing as I don't live out East, nor have I ever. This is a totally different topic however.

One thing that provides me nothing but endless amusement about the news down south are the Weather 'Casters. I love that they send their weather folks out in to all kinds of weather. For some reason this tickles my funny bone, and I am compelled to watch these folks get blown around, rained on, caught in terrifying storms, buffeted by strong winds and nasty waves. This is great TV. Much better than watching our guys with hawaiian shirts (not that there is anything wrong with a great loud shirt) pontificating about our weather from behind closed doors. Ok, I am generalizing here but our guys don't often have to bare the inclement weather and perhaps they could do a little more of that, makes for a more interesting weather forecast in my books.


Brandon has this whole diaper changing thing down to an art form. Not only does he grace each new diaper with a fart, but the last few days, as soon as I have put a clean diaper on him, that is when he decides it is time to drop his load off. We are talking mere minutes later. Last night I went upstairs to do a load of wash, I had just changed his diaper, by the time the load was in the dryer and I had said hey to my folks, the deed was done and my eyes were watering. Unreal. Kid has timing like the rest of us!

Thanks to my aunt, we got a ****smoking**** deal on some new pots. Very shiny and pretty (who knew I could find a pot set gorgeous?) and now I have to figure out where to put them. Hence, the sorting continues. This has been the year of reinventing ourselves, getting some amazing new stuff, and letting go of the old. And the clutter. I can't get over how much cleaner all the way around things look when there is less clutter. In a sense, also how relieved I am to have more space opened up and not crammed full of things that I don't always need, want, or use. It is a different kind of awakening.

I am tired of so many of my old clothes too. The reinvention goes right in to my closet and I need new pants and casual tops. I have the blouse down to a fine art, but when I am not in the mood to wear a blouse, I don't really have a lot of other options because the blouse is a tried and true part of my wardrobe. Especially the white blouse. The easiest to match, the easiest to put on, especially since I drink my coffees on the couch and not on the way to work. Not that I am working right now but you catch my drift. I have so many pieces of clothing that I bought because they fit, not always because I really liked them or because I felt that they looked good on me. I also have a lot of really man-ish shoes. I love my docs and blundstones, but would be nice to have a more feminine pair of boots for a change. Egads. Who knew pregnancy and childbirth would really awaken the inner goddess in me?

With these new ideas for me also comes the desire to trim up a bit, which for me is always easier to plan than to execute. That said, I have some goals, and am trying to get in walks and my yoga tapes and then we will see what else I can get up to this year. I think this phase is all about Brandon and me, and also getting our house together on these new terms. Once our house is together, and Brandon is well on his was to toddler-hood, I think I can concentrate more on just getting fitter and firmer.

Now a long rambling post like this is the byproduct of not having the same amount of free time to post. Brandon sleeps, which brings on a frenzy of little bits and pieces of things that I want to get done....

Monday, September 18, 2006

The rains have come

The sun has officially been banished behind the Wet Coast clouds, hopefully to peek out on more than one occaison before spring! In honor of the change in weather, I decided that today was a great day to make a stew. I love barley, and there is nothing like the smell of a good stew permeating the house. I usually add a can of guinness, but not having any of the good stout, I went for a bud, which seems to have done the trick!

Brandon is officially outgrowing his first set of clothes. This gives me a funny feeling inside because the growth and changes are as official as they can get now that he has clothes that are too small. In the last two weeks he has changed a lot. He isn't the wee infant he was, he is growing in to his face, and stretching out, and developing some baby rolls. Smile rewards are priceless, and I can't help but smile and coo back at my wee boy.

Being at home more, I am continuing the clearing of the clutter. I thought I had already gone through stuff, but it appears I am more than ready to let go of things that collect dust, or items of clothing I might wear, and paying forward the pocket books I have already read. I also have an overwhelming urge to paint. You can also call the clutter clearing "baby proofing" but in a sense it is a transition from what I used to think looked cool to what I think looks cool now. The piles of rocks are moved from the windowsills and adorn my plants, and the now vacant nooks and crannies are getting dusted for the first time in a lonnnnnnnng time.

It is a strange stage to be in - Brandon isn't all that active yet, and I hope I am doing enough to entertain him and stimulate motor and language development. At times I think it is like the battle of my ego, letting go of doing all the things during the day that I want to and just giving my complete attention to his needs. I am not always chatty, I don't always put on a CD, sometimes I feed and read, other times my mind is set adrift, other times I am just gazing in to his eyes with a sense of wonder. It is a whole new rhythm and at times I feel a bit off balance, not sure what the new measure of my day looks like.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fall bounty

Well, my garden may not be as robust as I had hoped, but our apple tree is bursting at the seems with some fabulous tasting spartan-esque type fruit. Our rosemary, oregano, chives, and basil have kicked butt, however the lettuce and tomatoes fell victim to the summer drought and childbirthing activities...on my list of things to do today.. one would be to pick the apples before they all land on the ground. Said apples may be part of the reason we have had the wild kingdom happening in our backyard for the last few weeks...

The weather is definitely starting to turn. Summer is drawing to a close and you can feel it in the air in the mornings. I love fall - as the trees begin to change and colours abound.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cheese Cake

When the mood strikes, I love cheesecake.

I believe in our wooing stage, Ken brought me a fancy-schmancy cheese cake his talented sibling had made and it sure did go a long way to ...

Then last year, my mom asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday and I figured once in your 30's you may as well "go big or go home" with the birthday cakes and I requested a NY style cheese cake. Well, my mom was on one of her diet forays and was checking out the South Beach diet. Please note, I was not. I ended up with the SB diet cheesecake. With whipping cream lathered on the whole damn thing. I can still recall that consistency and I can feel myself cringe from the memory. Needless to say, I didn't finish my piece and refused to make any comments about it, at all. With my face, I am sure that my disappointment was telegraphed clear across the province.

So, for a dinner on saturday night, which involved great friends, some wine, lots of seafood, I had a hankering for a cheesecake. After perusing a few reliable recipe sites, I settled on one that had over 800 - 5 star reviews. It was ridiculously easy, and I started it, Brandon woke up fussy, and with some verbal help, Ken finished it. We are a damn fine team because that cheesecake was damn fine is I must say so myself. Granted we have now shared as much as possible because no one needs 1/2 a cheesecake kicking around their house... just looking at the damn thing you can feel the calories thinking about coming on..

To make a long winding story short, I like cheesecake. A lot.

Friday, September 8, 2006

All over the place

Our backyard is a menangerie of birds, cats, racoons, black and gray squirrels and now, a few skunks. The other day brought both a woodpecker, and a stellar blue jay. Both of whom happen to be some of my favourite visitors. I didn't reckon that I was the kind of gal that would love to have a few bird feeders kicking around, but I am. I value the chirps, peeps, squawks, and all manner of grasses that now seem to grow in certain areas of my yard.

Speaking of wildlife, I think the world truly lost a bright and shining star when the Cr0codile Hunter passed on in that freak accident. His spirit, his will, and his vision. What can you say about such a champion of the wild and all it's creatures great and small except that a bright light was extinguished and thankfully he left behind a rich legacy in terms of his actions and the family that he created.

My ongoing cleaning and getting rid of items still has not come to a rest. I went through a few clothes drawers, finally letting go of some of the items I will never wear again. I was surprised by a few things that didn't fit - funny how that happens when you haven't worn something for 10 years!!!! I can't believe how much of a pack rat I can be. How quickly things start to accumulate, and then how much better I feel once I have tossed a bunch of items to just create some more space. In many ways, we outgrew our space when we moved in here. Then again, this space has meant I have let go of such many things I really didn't need anymore, things that it was high time to send on their way. I find I can't handle the clutter like I used to be able to, and I am seeing things through a different lens.

Speaking of which, I like TLC. They have some great "touchy-feely" programs through the day that are palatable and keep me away from the other channels. Then again, afternoon television makes me angry so I can't say the telly is on for that period of time anyways.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Been a while..

It feels strange this week to have a moment to sit in front of the computer. My surroundings feel like chaos as I am sure every new mother feels (hell, don't we all) on occaison.

Lots has happened in the last week, and not all of it easy to articulate.

The easy stuff - Brandon is now 10 pounds 5 ounces. With a huge sigh of relief for a mom that was worrying about her son's very slow weight gain we have turned a corner and he is now thriving as he should. Granted, we have made the decision to supplement, it wasn't easy, but it felt like the right decision once it was made and seeing such a wonderful increase in weight gain, affirmed it was the only way to go. Last night was his first hockey game watching dad in his exhibition games, and it was also the first time that he discovered his thumb!

For me, I am enjoying the benefits of Brandon getting better sleeps. The cards are all finally in the mail, so that is behind me. Or wait, was that more or less done last week? Oh, those were the wedding thank yous from March, now I am also caught up on the baby shower cards. I continue to have little lists so I can keep track of the things that are hanging on my radar to do...

Last weekend was also my first solo weekend. All in all, I did ok but I really missed having Ken around to bounce ideas off of, and to just talk things through with as decisions had to be made. On the other hand, I got out for a few walks, a successful shopping excursion or two (read new ginch and new feather pillows for our bed), and fish and chips at the beach with my aunt and cousin who were in from the island so that also doubled as some fun girlie time too. The days really did blitz by and now another week is almost done and I can't help but be a little relieved that Ken is home this weekend.

Our endless summer is amazing, even if I don't get out a lot in it. I am getting out for some walks, and it is surprising to contemplate how small your world becomes around birth, and then gradually it becomes bigger and bigger again as you get in to a routine, and your child begins to grow. It is also mind blowing how much socializing you do in the first 6 weeks so far of your child's life. It is great, but I am finding that at times I am feeling a little fried or talked out, or needing that quiet time during the day when everything is silent.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

An Albatross Released

My thank you cards are done, up to date, in the mail, or at least waiting for an up to date address. This has been on my to do list for so long I have dreaded looking at the list because the thank you cards are still there. They are also hard to do all in one sitting. You wonder what to say - how do you express that kind of thanks?

At this pace, I wonder if I will get any Christmas cards out this year before New Years???? I know, I threw out that word about that holiday and no I have not started shopping, it is not close to the end of December yet!! Come on, my life has changed but I am still a last minute shopper.. or, so I think?!!

The weather is amazing today and we made what I would consider a big outing! Ken and I took Brandon to Rocky Point for a walk in the woods. It was marvelous to smell the trees and the sea, and the wind blowing a few leaves off and tossing them about. Such a highlight for me. Now the boys are both asleep, and all is quiet. I am about to hang in the yard with a good book and just chill. Perhaps I may just even sit there and take it all in. Not do a chore, or try to pick up garbage. Just be.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

post script

note: said individual does not always realize or recognize when I should ask for help. This would be whether it is from Ken, my folks, his mom, our friends, the doc or health nurse... whomever. I am also not always sure what to do with myself when I have a quiet moment.

But, it seems like this new learning curve of parenthood dictates that you make a mistake, or stumble a little, and then you are all of a sudden a lot more receptive to help and to advice. You almost have to live a little, stumble a little, reflect on it a little before you can get to the next stage, or the next question. Wait, am I talking about motherhood, or just life in general???!!!!!

An Author's Note that caught my eye

All I can say is that I heartily endorse this book. It has thoroughly entertained me over the last week, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Ireland, storytelling, or personal myth-making.

"We merge our myths with our facts according to our feelings, we tell ourselves our own story. And no matter what we are told, we choose what we believe. All 'truths' are only our truths, because we bring to the 'facts' our feelings, our experiences, our wishes. Thus, storytelling - forms a layer in the foundation of the world; and glinting in it we see the trace elements of every tribe on earth." Frank Delaney, introduction to Ireland.

This reminds me partly of the journey of motherhood: learning how to be a mom, learning when to ask for help, learning how to assess what your peers do and figure out what works for you. Asking questions, being humbled, alternating between moments of indescribeable joys and terrible lows. What is my truth - what is my story now that I am a wife and a mom, to add to all the other titles I have and do hold? It is carefully being written on the edges of my soul, colouring my experiences as the pattern of my life has changed drastically in the last year. Or has it truly? Perhaps I have only discovered in myself a latent reality that has been waiting for the right time and place to actualize itself?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Learned Something new...

A: It's Braille for "suck here".

Who knew?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Random Bits

  • Breast feeding is way harder than I imagined it to be. Definitely worth it, but not as natural as it really should be. It is definitely a learned thing.
  • Girl friends Rock.
  • The days are starting to blur together
  • Since when it is ever this nice when the PNE is on?
  • So, what happens when your son sleeps from 6pm - 11pm? what is the rest of my night going to look like and why didn't I sleep for these 5 hours?
  • Time really does fly when babies are young, and even at a month old, there are things I wish I could do have done a little differently during the first week
  • You can never get tired of peering at your sleeping babe's face
  • This summer has been amazing - even if I haven't been outside in it all that much
  • My wedding thank you cards are almost done. Only 5 months after the fact. Well, er, I have been busy. And I have been feeling guilty off and on for the last several months about the fact that said cards have been pushed to the back burner several times
  • My routine is still chaotic, and I am still learning a new set of limits. I suspect this will be an ongoing thing
  • Showering with Brandon is a lot easier than giving him a bath, not nearly the same amount of squaking. Who knew???
  • I am so not cut out to have long bangs. Every time I think about trying to grow them out, I realize how much I hate long hair in my face and off they come. Needless to say, the fringe got trimmed today (little specs of hairs all over the place) and I can see clearly again!!!