Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005: a year in review

What a long, strange trip it's been...
but wonderful in every way.
Happy New Year everyone - wishing you all a fabulous 2006.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Giving Randy Quaid a run for his money

I have just had a devil of a time getting Liam down for his afternoon nap. Yesterday we had friends over for the inaugural Winter Nicholls Challenge. The Summer Challenge involves golf; the Winter Challenge involves golf on an X-Box, and it takes longer to get through 18 holes than you'd think. Liam is past the point of being able to sleep through anything and now when there is something going on, he is determined to be a part of it; and I think we are suffering the consequences today.

Of course, it may just be that there's a lot else going on in his life these days. He has another new tooth today, the second bottom middle tooth (that was supposed to arrive before any of the top 3 that he already has). That's 5 teeth in a matter of just a couple of weeks. Last night he slept through the night for the first time in months (and I could not stop kissing him in gratitude this morning when he finally woke up). I cut out his night feedings earlier this week, with no objection (for once) on his part; maybe he has just decided it's not worth it to wake up if there's no snacking in it for him. He is so close to crawling; he's not quite there on a flat floor, but put him on the bed, on some pillows, on your lap - anything with some varied terrain that he can tackle, and he is up and down and all over the place. Sniff, sniff - time keeps marching on.

Earlier today we took him out for a walk (one nice thing about the snow being melted now - it's good weather to get him outside). We went downtown to get me some new glasses - doing that end-of-year benefits assessment thing and making the appropriate purchases. I had some frames picked out but wanted a second opinion, and after Chad's input I came away with something very similar but slightly different than what I had picked out on my own. Chad is good that way at helping me whittle down the details and making the final decision. (But if you think they look funny when you see them on me, it is all Chad's fault.) We also got Liam a new sleeper (since he outgrows these footed things at a rate you wouldn't believe) and some cute windpants, courtesy of Boxing Week sales.

To answer your questions about yesterday's photo - I had the camera set up on the tripod and fired off multiple shots so that they all had the exact same background. Then I layered the photos together (I use PSE, but any imaging software will work) and erased the top layers so that the Liams underneath would show through. The easy thing of it is that because the backgrounds are identical, you can do this as a very rough cut; you don't need to precisely outline the image. I wish he had crept forward to the front of the frame a little more, but that's just another obsessive thing I will have to overcome!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


He may not be crawling yet, but Liam certainly gets around. I guess this stage is what they refer to as creeping, and is the precursor to crawling, which then leads to cruising... who comes up with this stuff? Anyway, these shots were taken over the course of about ten minutes of Naked Playtime to illustrate that he is indeed mobile. If they ever make a sequel to Multiplicity we might need to march him down to Hollywood for an audition.

(Stay tuned for an update on the digital scrapbooking thing in the future!...)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I've been tagged by Mandy, meaning, I've got to tell you five things about myself. Sorry it's taken so long to play along, but here you go.

1. I'm a total perfectionist. This explains why it's taken me so long to get around to doing this: I totally procrastinate on things when I think the outcome will be less than perfect. I've spent several days trying to think up the perfect things to tell you about myself, and can't decide. Should I tell you things that my friends and family know, or obscure things that nobody knows? Should I tell you things about my past or my present? I am really trying to get over this obsession, because who wants to feel like crying just because you had to put a couple extra holes in the wall in order to hang a picture in exactly the right spot? (It helps to tell myself we will move one day and leave the holes with a new owner.)

2. Along that same OCD line, when I do something, I tend to do it whole hog. Any project or hobby I get into, I really get into. In our house we have cupboards full of stained glass supplies, gardening gear, sports equipment... Hopefully this photography thing lasts, because it's definitely my most expensive venture thus far.

3. Speaking of hobbies, I have recently discovered digital scrapbooking. I tried a few pages for Liam's album this month and am totally hooked (you shouldn't expect any less after reading #2). It's great because you can use the latest-n-greatest products immediately (a big plus for someone whose local scrapbook stores are often months behind on the trends), you can try different things out without committing to cutting your last sheet of paper or gluing down your favourite photo in the wrong place, and there's no mess to clean up afterwards. This is my first attempt:

{Removed for publication!}

4. In less than a month, two of Liam's best three friends at playgroup won't be coming anymore (their mothers will be back to work). Liam will be the oldest one left in the group. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and it makes me sad!

5. I like to think of myself as open-minded, but I know that I'm not. I'm so set in my ways. For example, I'm a totally picky eater. I worry sometimes that Liam will grow up wondering why his friends get to try all the cool stuff and he's stuck with the same old, same old all the time. But frankly, the thought of cooking him lamb, or mushrooms, or eggs... yuck. My current rule is if I don't eat it, I don't cook it, but I might have to revisit this one for his sake.

And now, to try to break out of my mold a little, I'm going to tag the blogger I know the least well, rather than the one I know the best (which is what you're expecting, right?) - so Gillian, consider yourself tagged!...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Keeping busy

Lots of cool new stuff to tinker with. Chad and I escaped the clicking, clacking, whistling, singing, beeping fray this afternoon to play broomball with some friends for a couple of hours. In broomball, you run around on the ice wearing normal running shoes. We are both walking a bit like penguins now. (Having just watched March of the Penguins yesterday, I feel this is the best possible simile.)

Monday, December 26, 2005

If you're on dialup, you'd might as well quit now while you're ahead

I probably don't need to say it, but: I am *so* relieved to have recovered the Christmas photos! I've never lost any before, and it figures that my first scare would come with something as significant as baby's first Christmas, rather than some random rainy November day when I'm just messing around...

Anyway, here's a few - who's kidding who, I mean many - photos to share from our celebrations. First off: Christmas Eve, and the wait for Santa (although the monkey in the background mysteriously seems to indicate that he has already come!) The second one is from Christmas morning itself. Liam was, of course, the first one to wake up: this is him checking out the loot under the tree before we all dive into it.
Then there's the stocking opening: isn't that how everyone starts out? Liam's stocking wound up being not too shabby after all. He got the babyproofing gear and bib mentioned earlier, but also a CD, some pool passes for our swims, tub toys and some Roll Arounds that seemed to be a real hit. He got enough stocking stuff to necessitate use of 2 out of his 3 stockings. Thank you so much to the Hamiltons for this awesome personalized stocking - we will use it for many, many years!

By this stage of the game it was time for Nap #1. Liam had a wonderfully happy and social Christmas Day (maybe if we give him this much loot all the time, he'll be a more social little guy?) But the extra commotion definitely tired him out more, and he needed a break before diving into The Big Stuff. When the time came, he was totally spoiled by everyone - he certainly has enough toys to last us a while. Here he's opening a new little rugby shirt from Aunty Steph and Uncle Monkey (it seems that the simian thing runs in the family...)

We also had some fun trying to keep a hat on his head, which he wasn't thrilled about. The Santa hat can only be used for a few days each year and will probably be too small next year, so we had to use it while we could. The other cap, a cool little Cousin Eddie lookalike that came all the way from Korea, will work its way into our daily rotation. Thanks, Uncle Darin and Aunt Jenn!

As is usually the case in our house, Liam wasn't the only one spoiled on Christmas - I was, too. Chad knows me inside and out. Without even asking for it, I got lots of stuff I would have picked out for myself in a heartbeat: among it, a scrapbook store gift certificate, a tshirt that says So many pictures, so little time, and an awesome flash for my camera that will provide hours of enjoyment and comes at exactly the right time, when lighting conditions are at their absolute worst (i.e. mid-winter). Chad, I will make it up to you for your birthday! Liam gave me some totally un-hokey children's CDs to listen to with him - we have spent today listening to Manamana being performed by Cake and The Rainbow Connection by Sarah McLachlan. (There is even a children's song by Jack Johnson to keep me happy. I'm glad you like it too Brenda - gives me an idea of what sorts of things to work into the video rotation!) Our family drew names this year, and Uncle Monkey (who drew mine) gave me a gift card to Henry's - which came in super handy today, when I ordered a new camera bag to tote the extra gear. It was 25% off and will come to my doorstep - what could be better than that??

Today, the last of our family left shortly after noon. I would say that it's eerie how quiet it is again after having guests for the past 4 days, but who am I kidding? - we have enough battery-operated stuff, with music and bells and whistles, to drown out any such thoughts. We even have the Jungle Treehouse Roll-Arounds setup which (you were right Kelly) seems to exist solely for the purpose of making noise. Why else would those things spin around and knock the balls into each other like that?

I know this won't be news to anyone out there who already has kids, but Baby's First Christmas is totally all it's cracked up to be. I honestly have not been excited like this for a holiday, even Christmas, since I was about twelve. It completely drives home that it's better to give than receive when you see your little guy having a ball; you'd give to him a thousand times over rather than have anything yourself if you could. All day I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky we are to have Liam, and how much he enriches our lives. I'm already looking forward to next year, when it will mean that much more to him. And now I will get off my soapbox, before I get all nostalgic and weepy - because you know that is not my style. :)

*I need to add here that I've been tagged by
Mandy and totally promise to play along - just as soon as things calm down a bit on the home front. :)

A (hopefully minor) glitch

As I write this, I am scanning my hard drive for about 200 Christmas photos taken yesterday, which seem to have mysteriously disappeared. I don't think they are permanently gone, but I'll tell you - Baby's First Christmas photos are not the photos you want to be losing. Hopefully I'll find them and post some tonight.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Another new tooth (top left - so that makes top left, bottom right, and the fangs - boy, is he going to look funny once these things are big enough to really see).
Getting reacquainted with Aunt Amy.
Eating more Cheerios than you'd think is humanly possible.
Two more sleeps til Santa.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

While we're on the subject

This is the family photo I was commissioned to do for the MacBarrs' Christmas card. (I got mine in the mail several weeks ago, so I assume they have all gone out and I am not spoiling anyone's surprise. Also, since I own the copyright on the photo, I am allowed to do with it as I please, including posting it here. :) ) I quite liked the concept of the shot, though you can't please everyone and I wasn't surprised to hear some backlash from it; namely that moving a sofa out onto the lawn is hard and pretty unneccessary work (thanks for obliging, Cory) and that it makes the MacBarrs look like they are homeless (I gotta say, I never considered that point of view before). Anyway, while the camera was out, and to save me from going home and asking Chad to move our sofa out onto the lawn to recreate the scene, I asked Megan to take this for me. I must admit that it doesn't work nearly as well for a family of 3 as it does for a family of 4. You really need the bodies to fill up that sofa, so I'm glad the MacBarrs were willing to go along with the idea. This was taken with my kit lens, which I am hoping to replace soon with some better glass; if nothing else, maybe launching a business will help fund an expensive hobby (that is assuming it doesn't bomb and drain our life savings instead).

Today, in addition to the parent-tot swim which Chad has promised to come to (the selling point, I think, being use of the hot tub while Liam and I paddle), the first of the family arrives to celebrate the holidays. I warn you now, things are still pretty dishevelled around here. I have yet to tackle even one of my sewing projects, let alone both; still need the Christmas groceries; and have some cleaning left to do. Yesterday I did manage to get the handmade Christmas gifts finished and wrapped, which allowed me to clear off the dining room table for the first time in weeks: now that is progress.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Almost there

I have written before about the trick I sometimes use to get stuff done while upstairs, like drying my hair; I sometimes stick Liam in his crib, sitting up, with toys, and he will happily amuse himself for at least ten minutes or so, long enough to get a few tasks done. Well, yesterday I tried this trick, then returned to find him like so. He may not be crawling yet, but he is starting to pull up in his crib. While this is a developmental milestone that deserves a big cheer, it's also going to make my life a lot more difficult, and I will soon need to bring the exersaucer up from the basement and barricade him in the bathroom with me in order to accomplish such things as showering. Plus, the crib mattress needs to be lowered.

Chad is now off work for two weeks, and available to trade off with me, so this doesn't need to be done immediately. He is looking forward to seeing what our weekday routine is like these days. I am trying to convince him that he will not be the only daddy at the parent-tot swim on Thursday. Note that it is parent-tot, not mommy-tot. And even if he is the only daddy there, he is still at least allowed to be there. I wish I could talk him into coming to playgroup next week, as some daddys have been known to do; it is such a kick, just a massive free for all of babies and toys and so much fun. Alas, playgroup is on hiatus over the holidays.

In terms of who wants what pictures taken when (since I noticed a side discussion a-brewin'), I am available to anyone and everyone right now. I honestly might look into this as a side project in the future; maybe 2006 is the year to launch an entrepreneurial venture. Any portfolio-building I do now can only do me good. So far my client roster has only included the MacBarrs, but I am scheduled to do family photos for another friend in a few weeks... maybe this is the start of something.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All is forgiven

Houston, we have another tooth! Bottom right front, exactly where I thought it was in the middle of the night the other day. And, the top left front gum has a big white lump under it. There's a dental explosion occurring here, folks... which may be bad news for those of you coming this weekend. Better get your rest now while you can.


If you have not received a Christmas card from us yet, odds are that you're not on the list. All but about three cards went out a couple of weeks ago. (Darin and Jenn, yours went out several weeks ago, but it remains to be seen whether it reaches you in time.) And if you're not on the list, then why not? - drop me a line and we'll change that for next year. :)

I have been hit & miss with cards in the past, not always sending them out, but with a baby picture to include this year - how could I not? In my head, I knew exactly what I wanted the card to look like. Translating that into a tangible thing was another story entirely. First there was the matter of finding the outfit for Liam to wear. The touque required a special trip to Windsor (thank goodness we have been getting everyday use out of it, thereby justifying the trip!) With the outfit in place, it came time to take the photo. I wanted Liam holding a snowflake and smiling at the camera. Of course, I was forgetting that out of about 9,000 photos I've taken of him since he was born, there are about 3 with a nice smile... the rest are looking at the ground. I dressed Liam up (kicking & screaming) and hauled out the backdrop on 3 separate occasions. Out of probably close to 200 shots, there was no perfect smile. OK... looking at the ground is the next best thing...

Before embarking on all this, I had done my research and was going to order flat panel cards from Winkflash, who just started shipping to Canada. So I designed the card to their specs and then went to their website to upload it, only to find that that service was erroneously listed on their Canadian site - they don't do flat panel cards in Canada after all. After much editing, and some settling on my part, I ordered the postcards from Snapfish. I ordered in two lots (which, mysteriously, was cheaper than one large order). When the cards arrived I was happy with one lot - the others had white text that actually came out pink. I was ticked alright, but by this time I had invested more time and energy into these cards than I had ever thought possible. It was time to move on. I guess I can live with pink as a new holiday colour...

I am already on to next year... next year will be different! Next year, I will abide by KISS (keep it simple, stupid), and either get my cards printed locally or maybe just stick a photo into a regular card. Much less fuss that way, and I am learning that with a baby in tow, much less fuss is key.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Merry Ho Ho Part Deux*

I am relieved to report that Christmas Part Deux went much better than Christmas Part Une. Thanks to an all-new Christmas Miracle, Liam went down for a nap shortly after we arrived at the Kent Club, and when he woke up his mood was very much improved. He still played shy, but by the end of the day he was whooping it up with his first cousin once removed (??????), Shane. Shane introduced Liam to the idea of Hot Wheels cars. I think I see a lot of clutter in my future. It's probably cruel of me to post such an unflattering photo of the two of them, but here you go anyway.

Santa visited Liam again at the Kent Club, bringing him some cool new books and some PJs that he is wearing even as I write. This Santa thing, as Liam is finding out, is pretty cool.

On our way out the door, we all witnessed what might have been Liam's first wave bye-bye. However, I haven't been able to get him to repeat it, so for now I will have to consider it a fluke until I receive further confirmation. (I couldn't not post a photo of Liam's great-aunt Deb, since she is one of his biggest fans. :))

That will have to be it for today - Liam is sitting on my lap as I write this, and is struggling to wrestle the mouse away from me and take some creative control of his website.

*To quote Darin.

**Yes, Liam is wearing the same shirt here as he wore for Christmas Part Une. It's his Official Christmas Shirt - you will likely be seeing much more of it...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

How the Grinch stole Christmas

Yesterday we had our family Christmas with the Cooks, and as you can probably tell by the title of this post, Liam was not on his best behaviour. We were off to a bad start when he was a little grouchpot at home yesterday morning. We left for Sarnia at 1:30, trying to time our drive to coordinate with his nap. However, Bruce and Dana drove with us, and Liam forced himself to stay awake for half of the trip in order to keep an eye on the suspicious characters in the backseat. So by the time we got to Bob and Brenda's, he was already overtired.

Layer onto that a house full of 20-odd people and a lot of noise, and it was enough to put him over the edge. I thought he would play shy at the beginning but then warm up to everyone. Not so much!...

Santa paid Liam an early visit at Bob and Brenda's, and brought him a set of Mega Blocks. This made my greedy little engineer's heart go pitter-patter, envisioning us whiling away the time by building lots of super cool structures, Liam already starting down an illustrious career path. Some other highlights of the day (besides seeing our family, of course) included Fluffster, The Cat Who Will Let You Do Anything To Him Including Dressing Him Up As Santa, and also the singing, dancing, Christmas version of Homer Simpson, who Liam thought was a hoot.After the requisite amount of screaming that normally accompanies getting Liam into his coat, he was quiet and slept most of the way home. He was up his normal amount last night. In the middle of the night I thought I felt another tooth coming through, this time one of the bottom middle ones like it's supposed to be, and I briefly thought I could forgive the little dude for giving us all so much grief yesterday. This morning the tooth is nowhere to be seen though, so I think I was probably just hallucinating it on account of how damn tired I am these days.

This afternoon we have a get together with Chad's other side of the family, the Robertses. My apologies go out to these people in advance. It's bad enough when Liam is a monster one day, but two days running... I fear they will suffer his wrath today, and it might be enough to shake the very foundation of the Kent Club and crumble its brick exterior.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Baby, it's cold outside

Here in Canada's Banana Belt, it is normally still raining at this time of year. We very rarely have a white Christmas and in fact normally only get a couple of good snowfalls each year.

This year, for some crazy reason, it started snowing during the third week of November and hasn't stopped since. We haven't seen our grass in more than a month. There will probably be some cruel twist of fate that sees this snow all melting right before Christmas, just so we don't get the benefit of it over the holidays; but with 9 days to go, we have about 8 inches on the ground (and on the roof of our back porch, which I'm certain is going to collapse at any minute).

So yesterday, in the midst of the latest storm, Liam and I decided to head outside. It seems that it's never as cold while it's snowing as it is on those sunny winter days that look nice, but are deceptively frigid. The temperature yesterday was hovering right around the freezing mark. So we went outside for an hour, and this is what we accomplished.

Although the prospect of bundling Liam up and getting him out there didn't thrill me, and I waffled on it for most of the afternoon before finally doing it, I am so glad that I did. Because getting him into his snowsuit, I am learning, is not nearly as difficult as getting him into his winter coat. And because Liam, the kid who is normally so serious that he borders on surly, laughed his head off the entire time I was building this snowman. Despite being under the weather, he had a ball. (Not that I was able to catch him smiling on film... as usual.) The only downfall to this whole deal is that I built the snowman right outside our back door, and it gave me a spook more than once last night when I passed by the kitchen window and was certain someone was lurking in our back yard, momentarily forgetting that the spook was one we had built ourselves.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Under the weather

Poor little man is still under the weather today. We decided not to go swimming and stayed in. We are literally under the weather as well - there has been quite the snowstorm all day, so even if he weren't sick, I don't think we'd be digging out and chancing it on the roads. Normally I am willing to work with winter weather but today was something else!...

Not much to report as a result of our hibernation. We did watch an episode of Bringing Home Baby that made me laugh. This show is one of TLC's new offerings: it follows families around for the first 36 hours after they come home from the hospital with a new baby. Who would want to be on this show? Who wants the world to see you at your worst like that? Anyway, the father in the show put on a pair of rubber medical gloves every time he changed his kid's diaper. I didn't get it - if he'd been a new dad that would have been one thing, but this was his third kid. Then I caught them saying that the family had only been in the US for a couple of years, and that they had had a live-in nanny with their first two kids in their native country. The wife kept moaning about how hard it was to get up every couple of hours to (bottle) feed her baby, because normally the nanny would be doing that, and with that kind of attitude on her, it was pretty easy to figure out that this guy hadn't changed many diapers before...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Double whammy

Eight months and zero days. That's how long Liam lasted before getting sick. Not so much as a vaccine reaction until now, and now, well, he is officially sick. I haven't heard breathing noises like this since The Snurgle, and he can blow snot bubbles the size of jawbreakers with his right nostril.

Just to make things a little bit more fun around here, the illness has arrived smack in the middle of the teething. Liam only slept for about three hours last night before waking up and proceeding to scream for the next three hours, and nothing seemed to help - not teething rings, cold compresses,Tylenol, walking, rocking, feeding... He was then up on and off for the remainder of the night, up for the day at 6:30, and barely slept a wink all day today. I managed one 20-minute nap this morning during Liam's longest nap of the day, which lasted about half an hour.

I'm officially a zombie, which has made it a lot of fun today trying to do things such as calling Rogers and explaining to them that the four phone calls to Estonia on our bill this month, which total $50 mind you, are fraudulent and not our calls; I wouldn't even know how to call Estonia, nor would I know what to say when someone picked up on the other end. (The guy at the phone company just talked to me like I'm some Neanderthal who was just magically thawed out in modern-day society, explaining to me that if I have a phone line in my house, then I have to pay for the calls made on it even if I did not make them myself, even giving me an oh-so-helpful example that say your friend comes over and places that call, we don't charge your friend for it, we charge you. I tried explaining to him that these calls were made at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, at which time I am in bed and there are no friends in my house; I think this is a case of someone accessing our account remotely. And he did not seem to get that - so you tell me who is the Neanderthal??)

Chad has it pretty rough too; I may be up with Liam, but I guarantee you Chad is not sleeping either when The Dude is crying like that, and then he has to go into work for the day - where he still is now, trying to put together a presentation for tomorrow because He Works Too Hard But Really Has No Choice.

That's all for today - I am officially going to bed now, or at least I will be in bed before 8 p.m. tonight, and let it be said here and now that if there are any phone calls made from our house to Estonia after 8 p.m. tonight while I am officially in bed - well, this is my declaration of innocence, and that had better be good enough for the Rogers guy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

8 months

Liam, three days ago you finally produced a tooth. Make that teeth. Yes, two at once! Suddenly, it became much easier to forgive you for morphing into a monster these last few weeks. These teeth aren’t the bottom front teeth that are 'supposed' to come first; they’re uppers, and spaced widely enough at this time that I am pretty sure they’re not the middle ones. (Who knows, they may even be fangs.) They’re still just tiny sharp nubbins right now, definitely not fully emerged yet; I can’t wait to see your first toothy smile. In the meantime, you are busy making goofy faces by moving your tongue around to try to figure out what is going on in that mouth of yours. I know you are getting sick of me sticking my finger in there and I promise I will quit it sometime soon… just as soon as the novelty wears off.

You still eat everything in sight, having now moved on to finger foods: Cheerios (which you couldn’t get into your mouth just a couple of weeks ago, but are now able to shovel in… one at a time), Baby Mum-Mums, shredded cheese and Mini-Gos. You have even started eating carrots, much to my delight. You don’t make quite such terrible faces when we feed you chicken any more, though I am reluctant to try the beef again after such a bad reaction last time.

You continue to find new ways to entertain us. Lately it’s been by producing a series of fake coughs that you know will get our attention. You’d better be careful; I worry that you are The Boy Who Coughed Wolf, and that one of these days you will truly be choking on something and we will (horrors!) ignore you. You are starting to form true syllables when you flex your vocal cords, saying ma-ba-da-wa rather than just unintelligible nonsense (as if this were any more decipherable); though you also have discovered the joy of screaming just to hear your own voice.

In various attempts to entertain you, I have taken you out in the snow to make snow angels; arranged one-on-one playdates with Autum; and started to make use of the Children’s Room at the library. Of course, owing to the time of year, we also seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time shopping. Thank goodness for your short memory, because I have bought most of your Christmas presents with you in tow.

As Christmas approaches we have had fun sharing our traditions with you, decorating the tree (while trying not to let you break anything), wrapping gifts (while trying to keep the paper out of your mouth), and taking you to sit on Santa’s lap (while trying to stop the tears long enough to get just one picture!) I am so excited about the holidays this year. You will have no clue what’s going on, but I am beside myself to see how you react to the festivities. Will you remember your far-flung family who are returning home? Will you get a kick out of the presents we chose for you? Will you will yourself to stay awake as long as there’s a party going on, or will you shut down and go to sleep once it all becomes too much to handle? The coming weeks will tell.

Today, at 8 months old, you woke up at 7 a.m. You had wheat cereal with fruit and apple juice for breakfast, drinking from your sippy cup with almost no help from me. You wore your dark rinse jeans and a snowboarding graphic tee, with your basketball Robeez (and, of course, your bear hat and coat when we went outside). Your first nap was at 9 a.m., exactly on schedule, for about 75 minutes. After your nap I took you into the office; it turned into a long trip, as we had to stop and see grandma, my old department, my new department, Chad’s department, and miscellaneous coworkers throughout the building. You did cry a bit during this visit, when the crowd became too large and the strangers tried to hold you; but you settled quickly when you came back to me. For lunch you enjoyed Cheerios, a Mini-Go, and half a banana: a perfect meal of all your favourite foods! Next we went to the mall and got you weighed at Imagination Ink: 17 pounds 15 ounces. From the mall we went to playgroup. Your favourite toys today were the Fisher-Price fish bowl and anything that would make noise when you shook it. You also went after the other kids’ hair. We made a handprint Christmas ornament from salt clay, and then you fell asleep right as Circle Time was coming to an end. You napped at home for another 75 minutes, waking up just as Chad came home. We tried playing with you for a while before dinner, but it was becoming evident that you have caught your first cold, and you weren’t really in the mood. For dinner you had peas, rice and banana cereal and applesauce, though you didn’t eat as much as you normally do. We measured you after dinner – 27.75 inches. You still enjoyed naked playtime and a bath, and nursing (for the 4th time today) before bed, but your bedtime was definitely fussier and more prolonged than usual. You were finally in bed at 7:30, with the vaporizer running and the infant Tylenol at the ready in case you need it later tonight.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ornament thieves

The usual suspect:

The new accomplice:

Look at him - the one in his hand isn't enough for him - he's going in again. At least Captain has backed off the tree this year. It used to be that the minute we were in bed, we heard the tree shaking and ornaments dropping, then being rolled around the living room floor all night. (Unbreakable ornaments may be kind of ugly, but they're worth it at times like these. Luckily, he only seems to like the unbreakable balls, not the breakable blown glass ornaments; and so far, no breakables have been broken). I think last night was the first time it happened this year, but he only knocked off one and then let it be. I wish I could say the same for the garland that's on the mantel and on top of the armoire. I put ornaments in it too, but Captain can't leave it alone. There are ten ornaments on the mantel and six on top of the armoire. One night I listened to him knock all ten of them down off the mantel in succession before finally getting out of bed (this is around 3 a.m. mind you) and going downstairs to kick his ass. By the time I got there he had moved to the top of the armoire and was poised to knock off the remaining six. Now, all sixteen ornaments are sitting in a basket on the living room floor, and they stay there until a few minutes before we have company over, when (if I remember to) I put them all up again and then hopefully remember to take them back down before going to bed for the night.