Friday, August 28, 2009


My damn cat just hit the backspace key and I lost a really good post.

Have I mentioned what it is like that as soon as I stop moving, and the kids are settled, that immediately the cats will seek me out? Yes, I lurve them. Do I always need their clingy desire for my attention the moment I have a moment for me?

My book club is reading My Sister's Keeper this month. I will admit, it was all I could do to get through the first 100 pages of this novel. I had to look at the end, just to see if it would draw to a predictable end, just to help gauge whether or not I would finish the book. I did finish it, but, did I enjoy it? Would I recommend it? Even now, a few weeks later (yes, I love the magic of being able to manipulate the dates, kind of needed when you have two young children), I am still struggling to say that it was a good read.

What comes to mind is a conversation with a girlfriend about this book. She labeled it as manipulative writing. That term hadn't crossed my mind when she tossed it out there - but when the shoe fits, she nailed it. JP style is to throw as much family drama in to a book, shake it up, throw in some nice prose, maybe a twist, and viola! Okay, I am generalizing from one book, but I have generally avoided these kinds of books in the past because I don't really feel the need to go for the family tear jerkers as my reading. My time is precious enough to try to depress myself. I figure (my) life can be dramatic enough at times rather than feel the need to go out and chase it.

Having had a child go through some medical issues, yes, JP does a good job at times describing what the reality can be like. Yes, life does throw you curve balls all at once, and doesn't space them out in a manner where you can deal with them one by one, but this book had it all - and the characters in a way felt really stereotyped. I could not connect with the mom - I feel so grateful for both of my boys, and am trying to spend quality time with each, and am concerned with each and helping them both be all that they can be, that this novel didn't really ring true for me in many parts. Too much of everything - too much disintegration as the mother figure focused everything on one child at the cost of the others. Yes, maybe that is the point, but for all the serious topics delved in to in this book, was it a deep, profound, prolific novel? Nope. Pretty much after we talk about it at book club, I can't say that I will seek out another JP novel. Not my cup of tea.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Toilet Training - Recap.

A week ago I wondered how we would get Brandon out of diapers for 90% of the time.

We're there. I had my doubts Monday and Tuesday, but then things magically seemed to start coming together, and he has not had an accident since Thursday, pretty much knows when he needs to go, and is really, really proud of himself. He even managed to do it standing up at the grandfolks place today! I am really proud of him.

It has been a week though - it is a bit draining. Back and forth to the toilet. Back and forth. Not always successful. One of the last trips in, Brandon got a mohawk. It's amazing how much can change in a week - from tears to shouts of joy. From cajoling to him being able to strip himself pretty much with so much less help. It is a huge step to independence (gulp). Some moments where I think patience wore thin, and times I just wanted to slap a diaper back on. It's worth it. Hopefully in a few weeks, no more diapers for naps.. and then we will see when we can jettison the night diapers.

Shopping yesterday, it was so nice to bypass the big box of size 6's that pretty much don't fit. Ya hoo!! That saves a little money... will aim to train Connor before 3... I am sure second child has more motivation to stop wearing diapers with a "big kid" in the house...

A week. You really need the week where all your energy is focused on this thing called toilet training. Persevere. Stick in there. Have bribery goods for your dear child, and for myself, strongbows really helped out a few nights. I am sure there will be accident, but it is so cool he isn't in diapers anymore, and watching him bloom just a little more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 4

It has been quite the week. Between the two younguns I have puked on, pissed on, and at one point, there were a few cling-ons from the big dude because everything didn't hit the water before he sat on my leg.


Yesterday, just about at my breaking point, we had a breakthrough. First pee in the toilet. If I was a cryer, I would have cried with relief. Of course, it was purely coincidental it happened at that moment (I didn't think anything was going to happen, just caught him before putting him down for a nap) but it was a start. He knows when he has to go... still seems to hold it for hours... but since then, we seemed to have turned a corner.

My daycare lady Sue said you needed a week to make it happen - and I am seeing truth in this. A weekend wouldn't cut it, now at Day 4, it seems like I can see a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. I know there will be mishaps, I know we will have to pack a few changes of clothes... but we are on the road to no more diapers! I will worry about night times... later.

So what do people do after training has started and you are out and about??? Hover your kid over the public toilet? Carry your kid's ring in a backpack?? That is today's mystery.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 3 - Yes we can.

After too many changes of clothes to count, we are slowly getting there. I believe these pants could be prophetic of times to come. "Yes We Can". Yes, I can't wait. I can't wait to not be buying big boxes of diapers anymore. Wait, we still have junior... but he is still wee, so it isn't so bad.

Toilet training is a much harder journey than I anticipated. I didn't really have a concept of what it would be like, but we are getting there. Patience. Patience. Lots of patience. Ken bought me chocolate. And licorice. It is helping. Although not my waistline according to my Fit.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 2

Well, I guess I should be thankful we have 9 pairs of boys underwear that fit.

Brandon - 1
Toilet Training - 1
Me - Done (thankfully they are both sleeping and it gives me a few minutes).
Dirty underwears so far today? - 5

We had one success this morning, as farts were followed by a movement, and it has given me hope. This whole toilet training thing is about as difficult to navigate as I expected. Especially when one is ready to go, and one is on the boob, or crying. They have both had really good naps this afternoon, which I am grateful for, a few moments for me, and I think Connor was getting a bit over-tired, so the sleep is good.

I am waiting for that first pee to just "happen" on the toilet and not in his pants so we can go from there - build on it as a positive experience. I can see that the whole week is going to be close to home, and our toilet. We have a routine, and are getting really close to hitting it just right, just not yet. I guess it is day 2, and we have had some good chats while he sits there with his legs dangling, and it is a rite of passage. I guess deep down I know we don't turn back now, but for something everyone does, I think it as much a rite of passage for the parents as it for the kid. Like breastfeeding, you have no idea what it is going to be like until you walk down that path, encounter a few hurdles, and continue on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Toilet Training - Day 1

Smarties to bribe son for sitting on the throne. Check.

Hallowe'en type treats for when a number two happens, on the throne. Check.

Really cool boy underwear. Check.

Portable step. Check.

Ring around the throne for three year old bum. Check.

As Brandon naps, we are on outfit number three, lots of trying, and no successful movements on the throne. He is keen on trying, and I am sure things will come together ... but no action today yet. I am going to continue with diapers for naps and then underjams for night time, but no more diapers during the day.

He peed once outside, and then inside, well, I figured it was time to take him to the throne, but was squeezing a feed for youngest in, and well, missed the window. This is the aim of the week. Concentrated training.

I figured the weather is good, we can be outside (somewhat, although not all that often with a newborn), and the time is nigh. He is a big boy, a smart boy (hey, doesn't this sound like a song?), and knows what is up. We went from being shy to trying, to now trying seems pretty cool, especially when he gets to pick what colour smartie he gets for trying. Yes, he will get 3 for a successful pee, 1 for trying... a bit pavlovian, but, fingers crossed, it works, and will be a short-term reward system...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Special X,

Sounds intriguing doesn't it?

Sadly enough, I have now read all of Slade's books. *SIGH*.

Write, dammit, write!!! I have to wait until January 2009 for the next book comes out, and I hope that it won't be the new upstart character and instead a continuation of the Special X crew..

The upside is that I will be seeing him at the Sunshine Coast Writer's festival this weekend. I am gleeful - Ken and I both get to attend since we are bringing along some friends to watch the boys for an hour... I am really excited - about the day trip, about hearing what Slade has to say, maybe getting a book (or two) signed, going to the local craft fair (which is awesome, or has been in past years in a very coastal type way), and puttering around the coast with some great friends. Can't ask for a better day.

The downside, which is really another upside, is that I read the Slade novels out of order. I just finished the first book, Headhunter, and well, it was continued in another book, so it was a bit of a trip going back in time, so to speak to pick up the original threads. Slade's books are tight, well written, perhaps a bit macabre at times, but very well researched. I must say, I do like the dark, intellectual crime suspense novels - they balance out the literature that I read..

Ah yes, and to top it off, we bought the last Slade book to add to my collection at a used bookstore just off Hastings... and they take trade ins! So, as it seems I am still able to read with two kids.. who knew??? (okay, I read before I fall asleep, and sometimes when I b'feed) I am still blitzing through books.

Am definitely open to any suggestions of some good reads... literary or not!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growth spurts

Six weeks old, and 3 years old.

Gotta love when the kids go through growth spurts, you have no idea what you are going to get. Between Brandon's get green gobs of goo, and Connor being a bit off (okay, it was really only for two days) it's been a little different. Granted, maybe it was me too. I have been feeling a bit antisocial this week. I made myself a list of things to do, and well, there are still many lines on it. I think I made some headway, but having kids and being at home also means you have to learn how to let go, and not be on a rigid time line, and just go with the flow.

These are some fun pics of the boys, trying out their mugs.

Monday, August 10, 2009

6 weeks

It's funny, when you are pregnant, the weeks start going up and up, and you can't wait to hit milestone after milestone.

Then you have your babe, and your life gets tossed about. New person to learn about, new routines, adjustments, other people's are affected, and then wait and see.

You start measuring time, and a different body again. Watching the numbers go up again, starting with days, and then weeks, then months, and finally years.

Now we are already six weeks in and I can't remember a life without Connor.

I figure that people must think I have been on happy pills, but I feel grateful I have my family, and my boys are who they are. Between the four of us, things are cool. Each day brings new adventures, and I look to the horizon, and I can't help but look forward to what else time will bring. Connor is off the growth charts, so I have a thriving babe. Over 13 pounds already, and we are officially out of the three month size. I also exchanged the box of size 1 diapers for size 2 today... the 1's are starting to look like baby speedos. I am not sure what colour his hair will end up, it seems every time I wash it, it gets lighter. His eyebrows are also growing in, and they too are light, and big bright blue eyes.

Some people see more of Ken, other people see more of me, some people see more of a resemblance to Brandon... of course, he is all Connor, but in all of us, it is amazing to see the echoes of who we came from.

Week 5 saw the reward of true smiles (and not gas bubbles as every one says). His smiles disarm me as quickly as the tinkling sound of Brandon's laughter, or that look from my hubby. Yes, I sound like a smitten new mother.

It's funny, the weeks around Brandon's b'day were crazy - and then last week I laid low (made pickles though!) and now this week seems to be the same. Not quite antisocial, but not quite not antisocial either. B has a cold - the weather sucks (yes, we need the rain), and it is nice to just settle in a bit. I seem to go one way and then the next - lots of socializing, and then not much at all and content to be at home, or just do my own thing for a spell, and then back the other way... back and forth like a crazy pendulum.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have made my first attempt at dill pickles. Apparently we have to wait 8 weeks before we crack a jar.. I found what looked like a decent recipe on my favorite recipes site and away I went. 30 pounds of cukes, lots of fresh ingredients, and viola!

We won't talk about the jar with the blue garlic.