Sunday, December 31, 2006

I may be wrong... but I really don't think so

Last week at my doctor's appointment, I mentioned to Dr. Bailey that our ultrasound revealed that we're having a girl. She gave me a big smirk and wrote it on my chart, and then said how much she loves recording these things for posterity just so she can watch it all fall apart when out pops a boy a little less than three months from now.

Aside from leaving me questioning her bedside manner and wondering if it's too late to switch doctors now, this did make me laugh a bit as I thought of what Chad would say if he had been there. He has also been hesitant to jump on the girlie bandwagon. (Maybe he is just holding out hope?) Every time I come home with something pink, he groans and says not to get too far ahead of myself. Such was the case a few days ago when I started working on a set of letters for #2's room. They are painted pink and decoupaged with paper in girlie patterns, and they cost a whole $3 each. I hardly think the situation will be unrecoverable should #2 indeed turn out to be a boy. Actually, several of the letters work for our boy's name, too; they could easily still be used. Well, maybe with a fresh coat of paint.

I am hanging onto receipts for that pile of pink stuff I have brought home (which so far consists of one blanket, one pack of onesies, one full outfit, one shirt and one pink crib sheet - oooooh, big spender!!). Should #2 turn out to be a boy, I will either return this stuff or pass it on to the next baby girl on the friends & family horizon. We already have a boy's name and all the boy clothes we could possibly need, so aside from some initial surprise, it will be business as usual. Whatever drama Dr. Bailey is waiting for... I don't think we'll be the ones to provide it.

(And, just to maintain a level playing field... we've also spent some major time this week working on Liam's new room. Photos of that to come soon, too.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Marching toward the Terrible Two's

Liam seems to be changing daily right now. Every day he has new words or a new way of doing things - constantly keeping us on our toes. Lately this has been coupled with some newfound independence and assertiveness, which is cute now in its infancy - but will I live to regret having said that?

About a month ago he started stage directing Chad and I. He doesn't say anything, but will stop what he's doing, come grab one of us by the hand or (more often) pant leg, and drag us to a new spot where he wants us to be. Often this has nothing to do with what he is doing or playing with at all, but he will want me to move from this chair to that chair, or from a chair to the floor. Poor Chad gets it worse than I do - he is often dragged out of the room altogether and relegated to watching from the doorway. Usually I oblige Liam but sometimes I don't; the grunting and effort he puts into getting me to move at times like these is hilarious.

In the past couple of days, his new thing has been No!!! - and really, we knew it was inevitable - what kid hasn't gone through this before? It's funny, but I don't remember him ever saying "no" before, even in a normal tone of voice; and now it's out of his mouth (at a top-of-his-lungs yell) no matter what the question. Liam, would you like some ice cream? NO!! Liam, do you want to go outside? NO!! Of course, he does want ice cream and he does want out... he just enjoys having something to say. (Loudly.)

Maybe it's just as well that he goes through this now. It can't last forever, can it? If we can get some Terrible Two-ness out of his system before the arrival of Little Miss, I think we will all be better off. I'd like to space my upheaval out rather than take it all at once, thank you very much!

Friday, December 29, 2006

A big ole' pain in the ass

This morning, Chad packed up the car and left us for a Boys Night Out. He is going to Toronto with some friends and family to see a Raptors game and kick back at a nice hotel. It's an annual thing they do and I totally don't begrudge him for going, really I don't. But in the meantime, here's what Liam and I have to contend with here: we packed up and walked down to the hospital this morning, registered in two different places, waited an interminably long time, and finally I got my second needle in as many days, the big bum shot. Sounds like fun, right? Not a big deal to some, but I'm not a fan of needles and especially not repeated needles. Gahhhh. We ran a few more errands before heading home, not that Liam minded that at all; because while I had the shots to contend with, poor Little Mister is just itching to get outside with his new sled, but as we all know, this is shaping up to be The Winter Whose Only Snowfall Came in October.

We are in the midst of the post-Christmas letdown right now. You know, when the house is a mess strewn with all those gifts you now have to find a place for, the cleaning has gone undone for far too long, and there are a million decorations to pack up and put away, which is not nearly as much fun as getting them out was. Liam is handling the letdown much better than I. He has more new toys than he knows what to do with and is thoroughly enjoying them all. I also have far more new toys than I know what to do with: I was thoroughly spoiled with photography gear this Christmas, gear that I am dying to get out to use, but I am feeling somewhat uninspired and haven't come up with plans for it yet. I also don't feel like I can get to the fun stuff until some of the cleaning up has been done. Good thing I have another week of vacation coming... I am totally not ready to head back to work as things are right now!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cousin Henry's first Christmas

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

27 weeks

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry merry

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Another generation of Farrantses for the Cooks to beat up on

Brady McKinley Farrants

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Not only can he count to 8 and rhyme off every 3rd or 4th letter of the alphabet...

... but he's a pretty decent humanitarian, too. :)(Thanks to Cindy for helping Liam write his letter!)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Getting ready

Finally, winter break! After a long day in the office yesterday - why is it that all the important stuff seems to get left to the last minute? - I am officially on holidays. Today we celebrated by sleeping in (well, a bit), making a big waffle breakfast and heading out to the pool for the parent-tot swim. We still have a flurry of last minute errands and baking and that sort of thing; right now there's a moment's rest as the first coat of floor polish is drying and we are basically barred from walking around the main floor of the house. (Feels good to finally get this done - I've been intending to do it forever!) Lots of fun stuff planned for the next several days and I'm looking forward to seeing how Liam reacts to it all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

24 hours later

The photo on the left was taken this morning as we were eating breakfast and trying to get out the door to work. (Obviously, Liam was more intent on checking out the Christmas tree than hustling.) The second photo was taken after dinner tonight. Notice a common theme? Yup, the reindeer antlers seem to be here to stay; he howls if we take them off. I think it's super cute that the antlers are actually tracings of Liam's hands. This is one craft that might have to go into the keeper box.

This afternoon Little Miss and I had our six-month checkup. Still a high heartbeat, still no problems with blood pressure or what have you, 14 pounds gained to date. Next week I have to make the trip up to the hospital for my glucose test and to get my RH- shot. Merry Christmas to me!

Chad is now officially done work for the holidays, and tomorrow is my last day. I have a crapload of stuff to get done and then it's 17 days before I am due back - looking forward to a nice long break.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reindeer games

This is how Liam looked when I got to Cindy's tonight. It was Reindeer Day at her house, and the kids made reindeer puppets and reindeer food (a mixture of oatmeal and sparkles, to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve to help guide the reindeer to our house) and read reindeer stories. And, of course, they dressed up as reindeer. Even while they were playing outside.

Far from being bothered by this, Liam loved it, and kept his costume on for a while even after we got home. I wondered why on earth he was happy today when we went through so much grief to get the Christmas card photo.

Since the last of the cards went out on the weekend and most of you have seen them by now, may I present you with an outtake from that session. The antlers lasted for all of ten seconds, and that was only after Chad begrudgingly wrestled Liam into submission.It was worth it all to get the final product. In my mind, anyway (and Liam won't even remember, right?) I think Chad has been traumatized though; next year we might have to do something a little more candid.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Close encounters of the 3rd kind

On Saturday we took Liam to see Santa for the third time this year. It wasn't intentional. He had already seen Santa at the Festival of Trees' Breakfast with Santa, then got the chance to sit on his lap the following day at our company's kids' Christmas party. But on Saturday we walked downtown to run a few errands, went into the mall, and there was Santa with a lineup of kids waiting to see him. Liam went nuts as soon as he saw the jolly old elf so we took a place in line and put down our $5 for the chance to visit with him in person again.

Liam ran right up to him and then basically froze. I don't think he even looked Santa in the face once he was on his lap. Here's the official photo with the proof; we tried and tried to get Liam to look at the camera (let alone smile) but he basically froze once he was in place.

As soon as he was back on the ground he started running around like a maniac again, playing with the decorations and petting the fake stuffed dog who's lying beside the hearth at Santa's feet and otherwise acting goofy. It's like he's got some inner wiring that launches him into a game of freeze tag; he loves Santa and is scared to death of him all at the same time. I guess that's the magic of Christmas when you're just a little dude.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

26 weeks

I warn you now: although you've convinced me that I need to keep this up, don't expect to see all of them; don't expect them all to look like this; and feed me ideas, puh-leeeeze!! This photo is along the lines of the ones I did for Liam, same concept, same backdrop, similar pose. Most of the ideas I have in mind for Little Miss are more casual, i.e. no backdrop, no set wardrobe sorts of shots. It's just that I only have 4 or 5 ideas and 13 photos to go.

In setting up this shot today, I realized that (a) I'm definitely chubbier than I was last time around (though I think I carried most of that into the pregnancy rather than being able to blame it all on Little Miss); and (b) the only way I am going to get these done is when Liam is napping, and when he is napping I don't have access to his room, which is the one room in the house that has great natural light. It figures.

Still, I do think that #2 deserves as much of what #1 has as possible. Even if the end result is less than perfect, I would still like to make the attempt (and it's hard to admit you're going to do something, already knowing you will fall short of your own expectations, when you have anal perfectionist tendencies). There is a framed shot of me pregnant with Liam on display in the house; I don't know that we will ever get there with Little Miss, but at least she will have the photos for her own perusal. And someday when I am one of those saggy apple-shaped octagenarians like you see in the changeroom at the swimming pool, I will be able to reminisce about how hot I was back in 2006. It's all relative.

Today the ticker at the bottom of the screen rolled over to double digits. 99 days and counting seems like a lot in some respects, but like nothing at all in others. I have a major project at work that needs to be finished before I take off, and after a short week coming up, I will only be back for 8 more weeks before calling it a year. Liam needs to be moved into his new room. Heck, I still need to find some way to clue Liam in as to what is going on. I think we're going to need every day we have left.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A bone of contention

Today I took Liam to get his hair cut again. It was starting to get really wild and I thought a trim in time for the holidays would make him more presentable.

It wound up going shorter than I had planned. I asked for it to be kept shaggy and over his ears, and mostly wanted to get rid of the beginnings of the rat tail in back and even it out. It is shaggy, it's still over his ears (at least when wet), the back looks good... but it's so stinkin' short!

Now that I am used to it, I like it. It both makes him look more grown up, and reminds me of when he was a baby. (How is that possible?)

Chad, on the other hand, is ready to freak, and has to keep reminding himself that it will grow back. He thinks it's too short and nerdy looking, and thinks I have gone and lopped off (a) all the curl and (b) all the red... with neither to resurface ever again.

Whatever. Like I said, I think Liam looks pretty darn cute. If you happen to see Chad in the near future, please be sensitive to the haircut issue and refrain from exclaiming over how short it is. Something tells me that next time Chad will be accompanying us on our trip to the salon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A new favourite photo

Gramma and Grampa Robinson came home from Maui last weekend, and slipped down last night for a quick visit with Liam. Although Liam was quiet for a bit when they first arrived, this was probably the first time he acted normal around them for the rest of the visit - babbling, forcing them to do puzzles and read him books, and proudly showing them his new room. I hope this is a sign of things to come as we ramp up to this year's holiday get-togethers. Last Christmas we walked into the Roberts get-together, Liam took one look at the six people who immediately came up to say hello, and promptly burst into tears. I think he has outgrown the sense of being overwhelmed by crowds and people he doesn't know, men especially. If we make sure to let him run around and play, rather than be swooped up onto someone's lap (where he will sit quietly and behave, but with a sad look on his face) then he should do fine.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


This is week #26 of having Little Miss on board, which means that if we were to flash back to the same point in time with Liam, the coming weekend would mark the first in a weekly series of maternity photos I eventually wound up taking. Since this was in my pre-knowing anything about photography days, I had originally thought I would go somewhere to have a *real* photographer do them. (Finding someone around here to do what I had in mind was going to be another task entirely; the only place I could find locally that said they’d do maternity photos had a big white muumuu nightgown that they had everyone wear for the occasion… which pretty much sent up the warning flag). I set my own camera up just to do some test shots, and then the first batch turned out pretty well. I didn’t intend for it to become a weekly thing; I thought I was going to wait another couple of months and just do one session at that time. But I had some time the following weekend so the camera came out again… and I enjoyed the practice… and, well, the rest is history.

This time around is a little bit different. For one thing, I don’t have hours of free time every week to do this. The setting up of the backdrop, camera, tripod… it all seems a little daunting to keep that up right now. I also feel like I am out of ideas for doing something fresh each time; let’s see, 14 weeks, 14 different poses or ideas… are you kidding me? Thirdly, I am also feeling a little less than photogenic these days. It was one thing to do portraits when I was faithfully attending six classes at the gym each week and running in between. These days my exercise consists mostly of hoisting Liam on and off the change table, and in and out of the car. It would be lovely if there were more hours in the day, but as it is…

So. The pressure is on. Do I keep things up come hell or high water to lessen the impact of Number Two Syndrome on Little Miss (you know, how I will never have as much time for her as I did for Liam, or go to the same lengths), or do I cut myself some slack and abandon the idea? Right now, I don’t know. I do know, looking at this photo from the other day, that I am long overdue for some highlights… which might be something to keep in mind if I am going to be in front of the camera in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Liam-Lou Who

So, I’m pleased to report that there are 19 assorted zoo animals on their way to our house today, thanks to eBay, a $13.50 bid and a 50 cent fee payable to Auction Sniper (I don’t know what I would do without that place!) I’m sure that will give us more than enough animals to be overrun with, and that when I am in the midst of picking up all 24 animals off the floor for the tenth time each day… I will be glad that at least it’s better than picking up all 26. :)

Tonight is my work Christmas party, which consists of drinks and appetizers at a local restaurant. When I was pregnant with Liam I won the icebreaker game at this party, the prize being a bottle each of Kahlua, Crown Royal and rum. There were many groans of contention that it figured that the pregnant lady would win. I think I will use this to my advantage to sit out whatever goofy activity is planned for today and just focus on the buffet table instead. Liam will be going to gramma and grampa’s house to celebrate Bruce’s birthday, which I am sure is much more exciting than a boring evening at home with mom and dad. Today Liam also turns 20 months old; that 2nd birthday is suddenly feeling awfully close. *tear*

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

O Christmas tree

Today, I have all sorts of nasty stuff I could write about - like how I have a headache for the 6th straight day, or even worse, how my cleaning lady abruptly quit on me yesterday - but instead I will focus on the merry merry and bling bling and share with you The Trimming Of The Tree. The good news is that this part of our day went much better than the actual chopping down of said tree. Thank goodness.
Liam obviously really enjoyed helping to unpack the ornaments. He was not so good at hanging them on the tree, but in his newfound love of all things Santa, he did point out which ornaments are Santa ornaments ad nauseum. Just in case Chad and I hadn't clued into who the jolly old elf is in our combined 60+ years. This is him playing with Santa on a surfboard, which is the ornament from the year we went to Hawaii. Most, but not all, of our ornaments represent places we've been or things we've done; let me know if you ever find a cool ornament from or representing Peru, because I am still looking.

(I am also trying to figure out what type of ornaments to collect for Liam. Hallmark put out a series of Curious George ornaments, one each year, so last year I got him the 2005 edition and planned to add to it each Christmas. Wouldn't you know it - last year they ended the series; there are no more Curious Georges forthcoming. Now I can't decide whether to collect monkey ornaments in general, or just eBay the ornament from last year and start over with something else entirely. I also still need to get myself to a Pier One to hopefully pick up a cute little pink heart-shaped ornament for Little Miss.)Unfortunately I left one ornament off the tree and sitting on the coffee table after our tree trimming - that one being the little salt clay handprint ornament we made at Baby Play 'n' Learn last year. I hadn't yet inscribed it with Liam's name and the date, and was waiting until I had done that to hang it. When I got out of bed Sunday morning and made it downstairs, Liam (who had already been up with Chad for a while) sheepishly presented me with the ornament, cracked clear in half. Luckily some craft glue did a good patch job, and with a new coat of paint I don't think the crack will be noticeable at all. Good thing, because his hand is so much bigger this year - that's truly one ornament that's irreplaceable.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Zoo animal update

Thanks for all your suggestions. I appreciate all the leads. Here is the bag of supplementary zoo animals that they seem to only sell in Australia (i.e. I could get it, but I would pay more for shipping than I would for the animals themselves):Here's the complete set, which sells here for $70. I bought just the zoo pieces with 5 animals instead of all 26 for $20. Surely I must be able to pick up a few more animals for less than the $50 difference?The big guy is the X-Ray fish - apparently he is hard to track down. Having said that, I found an eBay seller who's selling a lot of 19 'gently used' animals that's currently going for $9.95 US, and another seller who sells most of the individual animals for $7 US each. I will see if I can get the used set for cheap (I can Lysol these things, right?) and then fill in as needed from Mr. Extortionist Seller. (Now just cross your fingers for me that I don't get bid up by some overzealous parent who waited til the last minute to make Christmas happen for their little munchkin (gulp)). I'm not too worried about not having the complete conventional set for Liam, as long as there are lots of animals around. After all, this is the guy who likes to take the angel down from the perch above the nativity set stable, and replace him with the dog. Because, you know, the Christmas story isn't truly complete without a levitating collie.

Who wants to be my personal shopper?

I'm looking for Little People animals. Specifically, the zoo animals that you can add onto the zoo set we got Liam for Christmas. It only comes with 5 animals but there is supposedly one for every letter of the alphabet... which you can buy separately, in either tubes or boxes for $10-12 per set. I just can't seem to find any. If you've seen them anywhere please let me know, as I am obviously running out of time!!

PS - these aren't to be confused with the Little People Ark Animals, which are sold in pairs, nor with the Little People Farm Animals, which are pigs and cows instead of monkeys and kangaroos.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A good old fashioned Griswold family Christmas

We have always had a fresh Christmas tree. Starting about a month ago, Chad and I tossed around the idea of buying an artificial tree. It seemed convenient and un-messy and the idea of being able to put it up on November 1 and still have it looking good at the end of December appealed to me. Not so appealing: the price tag! In order to get something relatively natural-looking yet not spend a fortune, we decided maybe we'd be better off waiting til Boxing Day and picking something up on sale.

Thus it was on Saturday morning that we packed up, loaded into the Pilot and went out to Sloan's Tree Farm. Not only were we going to get a fresh tree again this year, but we were going to chop it down ourselves and get the entire experience. Chad had visions of Clark W. Griswold dancing through his head as he declared this to be the start of the Best Christmas Season Ever. He dreamed of us finding the perfect tree... of how the clouds would part and angels would sing when we found it:
Liam had other ideas. He was none too pleased to be tramping around out in the woods trying to find a tree; he wondered why the heck we weren't down at the corner tree lot buying it the same way we always did. As a result, we didn't spend hours searching for just the right tree; we chopped down the first one that looked decent, loaded it up, had it baled and Chad lugged it back out to the car. Liam's mood improved remarkably once we got back to the Christmas Village. For $5 a person you can spend all day there, going on pony rides and horse and wagon rides and train rides, and climbing on jungle gyms, and decorating Christmas cookies and sitting around campfires snacking on fair food like kettle corn and onion rings and sausages on a bun. Liam loved the pony rides, even though here he just looks like he's holding on for dear life: And, the petting zoo was a hit. One of Liam's favourite words today has been 'sheep'.
Still, nothing put a smile on his face like getting into the car to go home. Maybe in the future he will come to appreciate Sloan's a little more; it is really pretty impressive, and a great way to spend a day, assuming you can handle the cold. I think we will hold off on getting that artificial tree for another couple of years and give it at least one more shot.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Now & then: tree trimming edition

Today was all about the tree. First finding it and then getting the whole shebang put up and decorated. It's been a long day so the details will have to wait.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Yeah, it figures

Just when I polish off my course and finally have time to get to a ton of projects I have in mind... I think I am getting sick. I have had a headache since this time yesterday and feel a bit snuffly today as well. Of course, the number of self-medicating options you have when pregnant takes a nosedive, too, so there's no relief in sight. I am going to inhale some clementines and see if I can keep the worst of it at bay. We are heading out to Sloan's Tree Farm tomorrow, and have company coming on Sunday. Getting sick now would definitely put the kibosh on the beginnings of our holiday cheer.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In the middle of writing my exam

...while these guys get to hang out and play. No fair!! I am tempted to just email it in and be done with it...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


So, slacker that I am, I didn’t go to class last night after all. I was stuck in a conference room for three hours yesterday afternoon, and when I finally got out and made the mad dash to pick Liam up from Cindy’s - late (sigh…) – it was completely blizzarding outside. So when I got home I called my professor, left a message with him asking him to email my take home exam to me, emailed my paper to him… and planned to camp out at home for the night. Well, then I got onto the computer, and saw Jenn’s cryptic message from yesterday, saying she saw me on page 162 of her new scrapbook magazine. Wah? This led me to first assume that Jenn is having a baby, thinking she was referring to the Scrapbooks Etc. baby idea book from last spring. (Sorry Jenn!) But then I checked my copy of said baby book, and Liam is on page 151, not 162. This ate away at me for a while, so I called her (only to get her answering machine), and then it ate away at me some more, and finally I could stand it no longer – I gave Chad an excuse to give my professor for why I wasn’t sitting home snowed in in case he called, and I braved the snow and went out to 2 different stores to find out what Jenn was talking about.

It turns out that I got a cursory mention in the December 2006 issue of Creating Keepsakes. As in, a byline from one of the editors that says, I'd like to give a special shout-out to these 10 readers who also had pages that caught my eye this month! - and then there’s my name on the list. This took some thinking on my part to recall, but I do remember sending in a page about Liam’s first birthday a couple of months ago when they had a call for a birthday idea book. Unfortunately for me, the book project was cancelled, and the December issue is too full of Christmas stories to be bothered with publishing birthday pages. This super sucks because (as silly as this may sound) Creating Keepsakes is sort of the matriarch of the scrapbook magazine family – the originator, the artiest, some would say the hardest to get into, and the best paying. (Scrapbooks Etc. is more like the hip older sister.) I was that close to seeing Liam’s sweet little chocolate icing-smeared face in print, and a cheque for US $150 to boot. Instead all I got was a lousy byline, and I wouldn’t even have known about it had Jenn not had the eagle eye.

This does inspire me to submit some more. I have submitted maybe 5 or 6 pages total now, and got one publication and one honourable mention – enough that I am inspired to crank it up a notch and keep a closer eye on what calls are out for what submissions. (Unfortunately right now I think everyone is winding down for the holidays; I can’t find anything I can submit for anywhere!) After all, 3 more months of work and then I am back on the pogey… this would be a great way to bring home a little extra $$ next year, especially once I have another little subject to inspire me.

(Liam’s top loves in life seem to be going outside, books, dogs, balls, footwear, and doing chores. We capitalize on that last one as much was we can. He knows it is his responsibility to unload the clementines from the crate when we get home from the grocery store and boy, does he take this job seriously…)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shifting priorities

There are many things that I am not good at – golf and keeping my foot out of my mouth are two that immediately come to mind – but one thing I am awfully good at is reprioritizing my schedule when a new event or activity is added to it. Tonight is my last class, and I have to hand in a 29-page marketing report I wrote that extols the merits of selling Pelee Island package tours to Japanese senior citizens.Of course, writing this paper was pretty much the last thing I felt like doing during my free time for the past semester, and so the majority of the work fell into the last couple of weeks. And I did a great job of carving out blocks of time in my schedule to devote to said authorship…. I just didn’t always devote those blocks of time to the task at hand. Whenever I sit down to do schoolwork, it just seems that there is always something better to do; even those things I have been procrastinating on since forever suddenly seem much more interesting and important.
And so it was on Friday, when I had the day off, and I assumed that I would have Liam’s naptimes and a couple of hours each night all weekend to devote to writing my paper. It seemed like plenty of time. We could have fun together during the day – going to the pool, decorating our gingerbread house, Christmas party hopping – then I would buckle down and do some writing while Liam snoozed.A good enough plan, until I stopped by the paint store on the spur of the moment on our way home from the pool, and picked up paint for Liam’s big boy room. It was going to sit unopened for a few weeks, I swear, but then we had a power failure Friday afternoon just as Liam was off to bed… which meant no computer… which meant no writing. Instead, I cracked the paint open, and once I started I couldn’t stop; give me the choice between household chores and schoolwork, and the chores win, hands down. My paper went untouched all day Friday and Saturday until yesterday afternoon, when it was hastily polished off, but Liam’s room is almost fully painted. I do admit that I didn’t get around to the tidying I have spent weeks promising to do before the painting (since it used to be our spare bedroom and thus a bit of a catch-all), but Chad cut me some slack – I think he is happy to see progress of any kind, and he got in on the action too, by picking up and assembling the bed and hanging the blinds. All that’s missing now (paint-wise, anyway) is part of the trim. I hope to get to that a couple of nights this week, but I have a take home exam for this course that I have to get back to my professor by Thursday, so I’m not sure when it will happen. Then again… maybe the time crunch is all I need to make me really, really efficient.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Santa Claus is coming to town

Sunday morning was our company's children's Christmas party. In the past this event has been a breakfast with Santa that's taken place at a local hall - essentially, the very same sort of breakfast with Santa that they had at the Festival of Trees we attended yesterday. This year it was moved to our local movie theatre and the format changed. Rather than breakfast, some children's entertainers and a visit with Santa, they kept Santa on the agenda, eliminated breakfast in favour of some snack foods, and screened three different movies for our viewing pleasure.

Liam was all over Santa the minute we walked in the door, though he got a bit quieter when he actually got onto his lap. We visited with Santa, picked up our gift (a Wiggles electric guitar - gee great - something else that makes a ton of noise and sucks up batteries!), snacked on bananas and Timbits and then caught the last 20 minutes of Madagascar in one of the cinemas. I didn't think Liam would sit still, but he did; but that may only be because he was eating a banana and watching the other kids. I don't know how much of it had to do with the movie itself.

All in all it was a very successful Santa-seeing weekend - much better than 2005:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Breakfast with Santa

This morning I took Liam to have Breakfast with Santa at the local Festival of Trees. For $12 we each got one of those sugary packs of cereal that you add milk to and eat straight out of the box, 2 clementines, a Kool-Aid Jammer, a blueberry-flavoured applesauce, plus I got a danish and Liam got a goody bag. We ate while watching some singing elves, then visited with Santa, did some crafts and generally ran amok with a few hundred other kids for a couple of hours. Liam was up five times last night, and the lack of sleep plus overstimulation this morning completely wiped him out; he signalled that he was ready to go by fishing his mitts out of the diaper bag and trying to get me to put them on him. He was asleep in the car before we got home and in fact is still sleeping right now. (This last one was on our way out the door; clearly, by this point, he had had it.)