Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sick day

Chad is back to work today, Liam is showing no further signs of illness, and I feel OK too (or at least I would, if I had gotten enough sleep last night). Having Chad home for the day is normally fun, but all that happened yesterday was he took a long series of 2-hour naps, interrupted only by the worst hacking cough you've ever heard. No offense dear, but we'd rather ship you off to work when you're like that! As a result of his being home, I also appear in a photo alongside Liam for once (taken during one of his resurfacings):
I am busy trying to get my second assignment, which is due tomorrow, shipped off; I'm not so on the ball this week. This wretched course is nothing but math. I don't know what's happened to me - I used to be good at this stuff, and now it is all Greek to me. Must be the Mommy Brain kicking in again.

This afternoon we're off to playgroup, which will seem strangely empty without Jeannine and Autum there; and then it's another hour of homework for me while Liam naps. As much as this sucks, I am very glad I'm knocking off this course now, rather than having waited until I was back at work to take it...

Monday, January 30, 2006

1 Samuel 1: 27-28

I asked the Lord to give me this child, and he has given me my request. Now I am giving him back to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.

Liam was baptised on Sunday, which went wonderfully well. Despite looking a little grumpy here, he behaved beautifully and to everyone's suprise, didn't cry - not even when he was walked to the back of the church to meet the congregation. Last fall we started shopping around for a new church and after trying a few, we landed at Sprucedale United, where the baptism took place. After the service, we went to brunch with the family. We've been meaning to get out and try this brunch for some time - and it was OK, but a buffet is still a buffet, and I think next time I will stick to one of my tried-and-true restaurants (none of which seem to be open on Sunday).

To everyone who came yesterday - thanks for coming, and if you have any good photos you are willing to email my way, please do so - I had a really hard time with the church lighting with my camera...

Following brunch we went home where Liam had a few gifts to open - spoiled again! I particularly like this photo of him opening a gift from Steph and Mike. It's a silver keepsake box, and he can see his reflection in the lid - that's why he's laughing.

Unfortunately... Chad woke up Sunday morning not feeling well, and by Sunday night he was full-blown fo' shizzle sick. And so was Liam - by the time he woke up from his afternoon nap he was acting like a space cadet and really burning up. I put him to bed without his fleece sleeper on and he was still radiating heat. Not surprisingly, he was up at least a dozen times last night. (Not helping the matter, on Saturday he finally figured out how to get from a lying down position into a sitting position all by himself; and now it seems that whenever he fusses at night, he sits up, thereby eliminating any possibility of him falling back to sleep on his own.) I think the longest stretch of sleep I got was about an hour and a half. I gave him some infant Tylenol and today he seems right as rain, but it was a wretched night. Chad is off work today, still sick - I am trying to sleep while Liam does because I am feeling kind of run down myself.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Open to suggestions

Having alluded to this yesterday... I am open to suggestions re: Activities To Do With An Almost Ten Month Old. I have the next four weeks to spend full time with the little man, and I want to make them count. We enjoy swimming and playgroups and going for walks but let's face it - even those things can become routine. What can we do to cram some fun into our last month of nonstop togetherness? I'm looking for ideas - things to do at home, road trips, what have you. Make me a good suggestion - maybe there'll be something in it for you. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006


There is really nothing new to report, Liam-wise. This morning we went for our swim - before and after we played with blocks, cleared out the bookshelf - the usual. As much as I love being home with Liam, there is a certain degree of monotony that comes with a baby at this age. He is very into repeating things over and over again, which is how he learns, but sometimes it doesn't surprise me that I have such a raging case of Mommy Brain because this isn't always that stimulating for me. This is him playing with a magnet from his activity box - it was enough to entertain him for at least 20 minutes. It's the simple things...

And so, I will provide a dissertation on Lost, since I am thoroughly intrigued and it has become one of the highlights of my week - and also because I feel that we got cheated out of a real episode this week. Did you notice when they were doing their laundry that Hurley and Libby were talking about how the washer and dryer seemed like they were too new to match the rest of the place? I'm sure that this will mean something, as will the fact that Hurley remembers Libby from someplace. Libby says he stepped on her foot when he got on the plane, but she's a tailie - she was at the back of the plane, and he was at the front (not to mention he was the last one on). Let's not forget that Libby was at the back of the pack with Cindy when the Others supposedly got Cindy - maybe it was with Libby's help?

I also think that the amount of time they spent on that Geronimo Jackson record last week means something, but of course I have no idea what.

And, from the pilot episode, Charlie can't swim... but he was swimming in his dream last night.

I wouldn't even need to watch this show if someone would just explain this stuff away. I only watch because I need to know how it all fits together! I think there are only a few episodes left this season - we will probably be without several weeks' worth of shows due to the Olympics, etc., and it seems like they're starting a buildup to the finale with next week's episode (Hurley hearing something on the transmitter + Sun being kidnapped = a lot more action than your typical episode).

Oh yeah... and where the hell is Desmond when all this is going on??

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Worst. Lost. Episode. EVER.

And just for the record:

No, we did not pick Liam's name because of Liam.
And no, Liam is not being baptised this weekend because of this episode.

Sensory overload

Tuesday at playgroup we had a sensory activity. These are messy fun things we do maybe once a month, aimed at the older babies in the group. The goal of a sensory activity is to encourage the little ones to make some mess. Apparently, if a kiddo doesn't get enough chance to make a mess when they're this little, they grow up with a sort of OCDish compulsion to always be clean, and will get really freaked out by sticky fingers or a runny nose in later life. Who knew??

Anyway, this week's activity (and I use the word activity quite loosely) was to give each of the babies a mound of whipped cream to play with. The younger kids sat at one table and Liam, Autum and Ryan, who is just a week younger than Liam, sat at the other. The coordinator gave Liam and Autum each a pile of whipped cream (the kind you squirt from a can) before we sat down. Autum took the first crack at it - Jeannine stuck her fingers in the pile right away, and Autum started screaming at the top of her lungs. Tears, the whole works. As Jeannine tried to calm Autum down, Ryan joined us, and the coordinator squirted out his whipped cream. The sound of the nozzle on the can scared the bejeesus out of him, and he started crying, too. Liam hadn't dabbled more than a single finger in his whipped cream yet (see above) and was just watching the other two - but when both of them turned into sobbing wrecks, he joined in for a good sympathy cry, and soon we had a table full of three screaming babies. Autum and Ryan left the table completely - I was able to calm Liam down again, but by then his whipped cream had melted into nothing more than a sticky pool of milk. Not so much fun to play with.

At least we had a fun learning experience in the morning - we were trapped indoors with bad weather, so I introduced Liam to the Tupperware drawer a little earlier than planned. He is very much into a sorting phase right now - he likes to pick something up from his left side and put it down on the right, build a new pile there, and then move it back. So he was quite happy to empty the drawer, piece by piece, and then look to me to refill it before starting all over again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Election day

Yesterday afternoon I took Liam down to our polling station to vote. To be honest, I don't even know if I would have gone, were it not for the good weather and a nice chance to go for a walk. I am not very politically minded and don't really feel like a change in government will affect my life. (Yes, family, I hear your boos and hisses coming from the peanut gallery!) Here Liam is checking out my registration card before we set off...

I'm cutting it short here today so I can go get some homework done - I have fallen a bit behind in my course, and intend to get right back at it. Peace out.

Monday, January 23, 2006

He is his mother's child

At our doctor's appointment last week, we were given free reign in the food department. Dr. Kate had originally given us a list of things she didn't recommend for little guys but since he was handling everything well, she lifted the restrictions - including berries. That's all I needed to hear - I came home and cut him up some strawberries, which he absolutely devoured. This doesn't surprise me - when I was pregnant I probably went through a one pound box of strawberries a day. They're one of my favourite foods, so no wonder it rubbed off on him. I didn't realize just how much he liked them until Saturday morning though - he had just finished eating a snack of his own when I sat down on the floor with a bowl of strawberries for myself- and when he saw them, he shimmied across the floor to me, crawled up into my lap, and grabbed what I was eating out of my hand. We finished the rest of the bowl together. I guess he had a little room to spare after all.

(Yes, that is bagel on his cheek and carrots around his mouth.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The business of being Liam

Liam very much enjoys playing with his toys - especially the fun new stuff he got for Christmas - but at 9+ months old, he is ready to get a little more serious. These days he spends a lot of his time engaged not in play, but in work. This means that he is out there exploring and discovering and trying to learn about as much as he can about the world around him.

When you boil it down, what this really means (at least for Chad and I) is that he is into absolutely everything. It's not as bad as it could be, because he isn't crawling yet and so is still easy to keep tabs on - but he is at his happiest when he is pulling everything he can off the shelves, or emptying out the wastepaper basket (the one pictured above is in the office - luckily it's got scrap paper in it, but nothing else), or rummaging through the clean laundry. He has not yet discovered the Tupperware drawer in the kitchen, but I don't imagine that's too far off. This is definitely the kind of baby activity I pictured in my mind before we had him, and I am glad to see him becoming more engaged in the world around him - but one of these days I am sure I will scream if I have to put the books back on the shelf one more time.

We have been calling him Monkey for some time, but I think a more appropriate name now would be Curious George...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pearly whites

This is the first picture I think I've gotten where you can really see the dude's new choppers. Long ago, I imagined I'd have a sweet little picture for his baby book, him with a big smile on his face and a single bottom tooth poking out on its own. Of course, then I actually had Liam, and realized how hard it was to get him to smile on cue, and also realized that instead of there being a single bottom tooth to photograph, there was going to be a weird assortment of uppers (possibly even just fangs) and lowers all jumbled together before I could get a picture.

If he is sitting below my eye level and smiles, I can totally see his four bottom teeth now, too. I will try for a shot of that someday, but bear with me and don't be surprised if it takes awhile.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Liam's turn to be proud of me

OK, this is going to sound ridiculously petty to most of the world, but you know what? I don't care. Remember that digital scrapbook page that I posted last month? Don't go back looking for it, I had to take it down... because... a magazine contacted me and asked if they could publish it! Yeah baby! Liam in all his Christmas tree decorating glory will be featured in the upcoming Scrapbooks Etc. Baby Book, under the 'Special Events' chapter. This makes me wish that I had submitted many, many more pages to them, because - let's face it - I have lots. Not bad for my first attempt at a digital page - I think I will have to keep it up in the future.

My efforts are paid more in bragging rights (if you consider being a published scrapbooker something to brag about) than monetary compensation, but I do get a free magazine and $100 US. I'm thinking it might be time to finally order the camera bag that I've been eyeing...

How big do you think I am?

This morning we made a trip to see Dr. Kate for Liam's 9-month checkup. She is the greatest doctor ever - I love her for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is that she makes every patient feel like her number one patient. I am sure that she ooohs and ahhhs over everyone, and tells all the moms that their babies are the cutest she's ever seen, but I still don't mind hearing those words come out of her mouth.

There is a downside to this, of course - she is immensely popular (as are all doctors in the province these days, right?) and we had to wait 45 minutes to get in to see her. This is the first wait I've had in ages. Not one of my prenatal appointments or Liam's earlier checkups were late. Nonetheless, it took long enough today that we didn't have enough time left to make it out to Blenheim to go swimming.

We did, however, find out that Liam has put on 1.5 pounds and 1.25 inches in the last month, enough to bring him up to 19.5 pounds and 29 inches long. I was surprised to hear those numbers; I knew he was big, but not that big. Dr. Kate once again reiterated that I will need a second job to pay our grocery bill in about 10 or 12 years' time before she bid us adieu.

On the next visit, Liam is not likely to take to her so kindly. Starting next time (12 months) he gets a couple of shots every 3 months until he looks like a pincushion. My goodness, I'm glad I'm not in his shoes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Unannounced drop-in on potential daycare provider A (general spying, investigating what's for lunch & headcount)

Another call to potential daycare provider B (she probably thinks I'm a stalker)

A call to a friend to ask about potential daycare provider C

Getting really sick of this whole daycare thing, and thinking nobody will ever take good enough care of my little mister

A trip to the library to get some new books

Picked up a flyer from the spa - Chad treated me to a GC for Christmas and I have some pampering in store

Thinking about vacations

Getting ready for Lost tonight - so excited! (Does it make me a loser that I'm already looking forward to it six hours ahead of time??)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Deer in the headlights

Yesterday was a very good day indeed. We had Autum and Jeannine over for a while. Jeannine goes back to work next week - we're still trying to cram as much action-packed fun as we can into her maternity leave. We'll see them again this afternoon at our playgroup.

Some other reasons to be happy today, too:
  • We're expecting a call from Janice, our #1 choice of daycare provider - I think she's decided to give us a place. I won't let out my breath until after she's called and after we've met with her to discuss everything, but if this works out it will be exactly how I had hoped it would - and obviously not a moment too soon!
  • I finished my first assignment for my class three days before it's due. This is unheard of for me. The balance thing, so far, is working.

Monday, January 16, 2006

9 months (and a couple of days)

Liam, at six months old I bemoaned the fact that when it came time to take your monthly picture, I couldn’t get you to look at the camera. In hindsight, at least I was able to keep you sitting still. Now, at nine months, no sooner do I set you down than you are rolling over (still your preferred mode of transportation) and off to explore some corner of the room; no sooner do I hand you the teddy bear that goes into each month’s shot, than you are throwing it away in favour of a different toy (these days, anything that makes noise or rolls around). This shot had to wait until your dad was home from work so that we could tag-team you into holding onto the bear for more than a split second. You’re becoming more wilful and independent every day. I was hoping to continue doing these shots at least until twelve months, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen.

The past month with you would have been a total delight if it weren’t for two things: the teething and the cold. Over the course of 30 days, you put in 8 teeth. No wonder you had your cranky moments! First came your fangs – the top two outside of the middle ones – and then they started filling in, a bottom one here, a top one there, until there were 2 lines of 4 little white specks jutting out of your gums. How long is it going to take before they actually look like teeth? Even the ones that have been in for more than a month now are scarcely any bigger than the day we found them. You don’t just have to pop them through, you know; you have to grow them all the way out. You also caught your first cold in the midst of this teething mess. You had never been sick before, and you were pretty miserable with your plugged-up nose and sneezing fits. We’re very lucky that you’re generally a healthy little guy, because I’d hate to live like that (or worse) on a daily basis.
Celebrating Christmas with you, however, was awesome – even if you were not entirely up for all the sociability. It was a hoot to have you help decorate and shop, to go to the parade and family get-togethers with you, and to see you on Christmas morning wearing your little holiday pajamas, opening your stocking and gifts. You had no clue what was going on, obviously, but you just being here made it a lot of fun for us.
You eat like a real person now – bagels, cheese, peaches, corn kernels – things that I eat too. You would still rather eat a Cheerio than just about anything else though. Sometimes when I lay you down to change your diaper, Cheerios will start to rain down from your shirtsleeves or pants pockets or wherever it is you’re hiding them, and if you see it happen you will make a mad scramble to get to them before I do so you can pop them in your mouth. You never let a Cheerio go to waste. You are down to nursing just three times per day.
You are on the brink of crawling, though you have been on this brink for at least a month now, and seem to be stalled there. You manage to get around a lot, but it’s all by way of rolling and squirming and shimmying. Your favourite thing to do is spin on your stomach – you will pivot and pivot and pivot, spinning from one toy to the next. A couple of days ago you pulled up on the coffee table for the first time. Perhaps you’ll be one of those kids who skips crawling altogether and goes straight to a walk. More and more these days, we are getting ready to settle into an entirely new routine once I go back to work – even though we still have no daycare provider for you, we’re already working on setting up a gradual introduction process for the two of you, whoever she may be. The start of weaning is part of this, and we have also had to get you reaccustomed to falling asleep for naps on your own (something we let lapse while you were sick and teething). In a couple of weeks, Jeannine goes back to work, and she and Autum will no longer be at our playgroup; just a week after that, Julie-Anne and Emma will be gone, too. You’ll be the oldest kid left, and our time will be up soon, too.
Because of that, I am really trying to enjoy these last few weeks we have together. Making an effort to get out the door and do things with you – to go for those walks on sunny days, to go to the pool even when I’d rather stay in my PJs – and to do things with you at home, too, even if it’s just rolling around on the floor, playing peek-a-boo or watching you empty your diaper basket over and over again. These are the moments that, one day soon, I will miss.

At nine months old, you weigh XX pounds XX ounces and are XX inches long [to be confirmed at Dr. Bailey’s later this week]. Love you, little guy!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


We picked up this outfit for Liam at Old Navy when we were in Windsor a couple of weeks ago. There's a totally retro, polyester jacket - kind of like a warm-up suit - and then we found matching track pants for five bucks in the clearance bin.

The thing is, though, that this outfit seems more befitting of, I don't know, soccer, maybe? - and it seems that what Liam has a passion for is wrestling. Over the last couple of days we have discovered that he really enjoys being thrown around and jumped on and pile driven (???). This surprises me, that he enjoys such rough play when he's normally a quiet little guy. But if he likes it, he likes it, and we are only too happy to oblige when he is screaming with laughter. Here's one from the other day - I think Chad is about to grab Liam by the ankles and dangle him upside down. (Okay, I'm kidding, we're not that rough... yet.)

Friday, January 13, 2006

O Sleep, I hardly knew ye

About two weeks ago, Liam started sleeping through the night again, and the change was immediately noticeable: I wasn't tired and bitchy by about 10 a.m. anymore. I was sure that this was the end of my sleepless nights - the kiss of death, right, assuming that anything was a sure thing. After a week of him sleeping through, I decided last weekend to cut out one of his nursing sessions each day, and replace it with a snack. I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but after two days of that, he has been up every night again, demanding to be fed. (Even before he started sleeping through, the wakings had progressed from feeding wakings to simple rocking-back-to-sleep wakings). I have been trying to stuff as much food down his throat as I can during the day to compensate, and I have to believe that a bowl full of applesauce and many handfuls of goldfish crackers are more filling than a quick snack on the boob; but apparently, I may be wrong.

(Yes, I'm aware that today is his nine-month birthday and I should be doing the monthly update; but seeing as I have not written anything yet, and this is the only photo I have of him so far today, that's going to have to wait at least until tomorrow.)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Shades of gray

Last night we had our first official interview with a potential daycare provider. I'm surprised that it took this long to meet someone in person, but to be honest, nobody else has sold themselves well enough over the phone to warrant the in-person visit. While everyone says not to just hire the first person you meet, I think it's safe to say that I am most assuredly being picky enough about this process.

Having said that, I am quite stumped by last night's meeting. I expected to walk out either saying you're hired or we're just not interested, and instead, I don't know what to think. I figured that nobody would ever be a perfect match and that I would just have to pick someone who came close enough, and whose shortcomings were things I could live with. But every shortcoming seems like a major shortcoming when your child is involved. Don't get me wrong, I think this person would take excellent care of Liam. I just don't have that a-ha! feeling about her. But to be fair, I don't know if I'll have that feeling about anyone.

One of the biggest issues for me to wrap my head around is the number of children under her care. I seem to run into this issue a lot: the daycare provider who has cobbled together a clientele composed of many part-time charges. So she may have twelve kids total under her care, but normally, she stays under the legal limit of five. Notice how I said normally and not always: it never seems to fail that there will be more than the 'allowable' number of kids at certain times of day (i.e. before school) or maybe one day of the week when her schedule is a little heavier than normal.

To make things even more complicated, the legal limit is five, but you can also care for all of your own kids in addition to that five. The woman we met with last night has one pre-schooler of her own (plus a daughter who is over the age of 10, so she doesn't legally count in the numbers game). So while I'd like to be a stickler and find someone who follows the letter of the law, I also think, who's worse: someone with the legal number of paying customers (5) but six of her own pre-school age children, or someone who occasionally has an extra paying customer, but only one child of her own?

In most other ways, this daycare seems ideal. Outdoor playtime is really highly stressed. There are circle times and crafts and field trips, with all the kids wearing customized X Daycare t-shirts. You walk downstairs to see the main daycare area, and there is a neat little row of coat hooks with the kids' names and photos above; there are letters and numbers posted on the walls, a bulletin board with all the kids' birthdays, photos of the kids enjoying their activities. Though she doesn't drive with the kids often, she does carry extra liability insurance, just in case (thanks Kelly!) The current customer who referred me raved about the food, assuring me it is so healthy; I did freak a little when she included fish sticks and french fries in her list of typical lunches, but that was also alongside things like spaghetti and vegetable soup and sandwiches, and I know I can't keep Liam away from the good stuff forever. :)

The woman we met with last night comes really highly recommended by someone who has been enlisting her services on a full-time basis for the past three years. At the end of our meeting, I asked for more references, and I plan to call those three families tonight with some really pointed questions to find out how much of an issue my concerns really are. I hope to have a much more definite feeling after those conversations. Even if I decide that she's not right for us, at least a decision will have been made.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I've created a monster

Yesterday morning, after the usual breakfast ritual, I took Liam into the living room and plopped him down on the rug to play while I dismantled the last of the Christmas decorations. (Yeah, I know, finally!...) We don't normally play in the living room, since it hasn't been baby-proofed and the only part of the floor covered by a rug is also mostly covered by a big coffee table with a dangerously hard edge. Well, I think Liam will want to play there every day from now on: he took one look at the coffee table, hooked his little mitts around it, and pulled himself up perfectly into a standing position. While he's gotten himself onto his knees in his crib by hanging from the rails there, this is the first time that he's executed a full pull-up. I plonked him back down on the ground and he repeated the feat several times. Of course, we tried to show Chad before he left for work this morning, and it didn't go so well. Liam's trying to make a liar out of me...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

He's got sole but he's not a soldier

These days, I am really enjoying one of those so-mundane-it-puts-the-rest-of-the-world-to-sleep, but-I'm-his-mom-and-I-love-it things: Liam learning to eat. He's already good at shoving things in his mouth - what I mean is him eating real grown-up food, discovering new things that he loves, things that he will still be eating 20 or 50 or 100 years from now (God willing). I find it hilarious to see him munching on a bagel or a piece of cheese or green peas (and every time he does, I quote Seinfeld: "He eats his peas one at a time!!" - a reason Jerry once used to dump someone), looking as if he has always eaten this way, and sometimes I need to pinch myself to remember the six months he spent on an all-liquid diet. We are now trying to move past the purees and get him onto as much regular family food as possible. On Monday night I made one of my all-time favourite dinners, a fish fry, and I left a piece of sole unbreaded for him and then watched with delight as he gobbled it up (and no, I did not let him actually accompany it with the tartar sauce, though I'm sure KFC Gravy Mom would have).

I'm also trying to get him more onto regular foods because on the weekend I cut him down to 3 nursing sessions per day. This is in anticipation of soon returning to work. I know a year sounds like an awfully long time to be away from the office, but it certainly doesn't feel like it, and I think I know why. You might get a year off, but there are just so freaking many constant reminders that the year won't last forever. You see people drop out of playgroup one by one, you start calling around for daycare at six months, you slowly start weaning at nine months, and everything just points to the day when you will no longer be together with your little munchkin. If you could block out all thoughts, I mean all of them, of returning back to work until the night before it happened... I think the year would pass in a much more leisurely manner.

And speaking of leisure... as of Monday he had another new tooth, his 8th, so that's it: we're on a Teething Break. I hope. He grew all 8 teeth inside of a month: surely he deserves a rest now.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Back to school

Today marks the first day of my first term back to school since having Liam. This is going to be another subject that falls under that finding balance resolution thing. I take courses toward my B. Comm via correspondence, and those who know me well know that I am unavailable for anything - anything - in the two weeks leading up to the exam, because generally speaking I do not even crack open the textbook until that time. And then, I spend two frantic weeks staying up late, reading madly and convinced that I am going to fail (and failure = no tuition reimbursement, which would suck). This term, obviously, I do not have two weeks to devote all waking non-work hours (because yes, I will be back to work full time by then) to cramming in the area of Operations Management. So my big goal is to keep on top of this course. Do the weekly readings - get this - weekly. Doesn't sound like much, but it's a completely different approach than what I'm used to taking. The upshot, I hope, is that the recurring dream I often have (the one in which I am back at Queen's, and it's the end of term, and I realize that I was supposed to have taken a chemistry course but I never attended even one class, and now I am going to have to pass the final (in addition to the other 5 finals I'm preparing for) or else not graduate - I have this dream all the time when an exam approaches) will not materialize for once - and maybe I will finally, at the age of 30, have developed some good study habits by the time all is said and done.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Life's rough when you're pushing 9 months

As of today (or possibly as of earlier - but only known to us as of today), Liam has another new tooth. That makes 7 teeth in less than a month. Go hard or go home seems to be his motto these days. After he gets one more we will supposedly have a break before he starts the next round, which will include the molars and make what we've gone through so far seem like a cakewalk (or so I'm told).

Yesterday we saw an article from our local paper that profiled the family that won the spot on the Code Green show that we applied to. As we predicted, it was indeed the family with 9 kids, half of them being foster kids. The family also has a 50-year-old furnace so I am no longer quite so bitter - we just weren't able to compete (1 kid versus 9 and a 5-year-old furnace versus 50: the numbers are against us).

We are just taking it easy today and resting up for a busy week ahead of us. We were out at a party last night, which always seems like a great idea at the time, but it sure is different doing stuff like this with kids. There's the question of who will babysit (thanks, Aunt Deb!), not wanting to stay out too late because you have to get home to the babysitter, but still being exhausted the next day even if you didn't stay out that late, because the kiddo is up before dawn as usual anyhow. So now, I'm off to take a nap. Sleep while the baby sleeps, right?

Friday, January 06, 2006

When you're having fun

The last time I was at the gym before Christmas, one of the women in my Pump class came up to me and asked me when I had had my baby? - phrasing the question and using a tone of voice that indicated she thought he must be a brand-spanking newborn. This is a question I got a lot last April/May/even June, but she was the first one in six months to pose the question. This got me thinking, first, that I really have not been to the gym enough lately: she's a class regular, I'm a class regular, why did Liam have to hit the 8 month mark before we had this conversation? But after I thought about it for a while, I decided that I really can't blame her. Last year moved at warp speed for me - maybe it did for her too.

We spent Thursday afternoon over at Autum's house, trying to cram in some more quality playtime before Jeannine and Autum's first year together comes to a close. Jeannine goes back to work on January 25th, and Autum turns 1 a couple of weeks later. We spent a lot of time looking through Autum's photo album and agreeing that it seemed like just yesterday that we were wearing awful hospital gowns and letting the entire world view our crotches and really not caring because it hurt so darn much. I honestly remember Liam's birth day like it was yesterday. (Not the 23 hours leading up to it, mind you; I have likely blocked that out as some sort of biological reassurance that I will decide to have another kid someday.) I can tell you what the weather was like and what my doctor was wearing and what month-old issue of Us magazine, left behind by another patient, I read when I set Liam down in his bassinette because I'd heard that the nurses always laugh at first-time parents who never set the baby down, and I didn't want them to laugh at me - even though I was dying to pick him up and look at him some more. Most of the time, I can't remember people I met yesterday, or what the difference between DP and BT customers is at work even though it's been explained to me ten times (going back is going to be a huge learning curve all over again). That I can remember so many details about a single, sleep-deprived day from almost a year ago both astounds me and makes me very grateful. And, it makes it feel like it was yesterday.

Right now I am starting to think about Liam's birthday, which will be here all too soon. I'd like to have a party, probably something very, very small and very, very simple, but with a cake and some balloons and a theme that I already have in mind. It's still three months away, but time flies, and it will be here before I know it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy days are here again

The title of this post does not refer to the fact that Chad went back to work today (in fact, we miss him already). Nor does it refer to the fact that Chad pointed out this morning that in about eight weeks, I will be going back to work along with him. (Thanks a lot.) No, instead it refers to something that's been sweeping through our house like a breath of fresh air for the last couple of days. December was an all-around off month for Liam. Between the teething, and his cold, and the people who were in and out of the house... it was a lot for him. The last few days he has been such a happy little guy, and it's only now that he's like this that I can see how off he had been for the past few weeks. He's sleeping through the night again - not always, but getting more and more consistent. He's going to sleep on his own again. He's being a pleasant little dude at (almost) all times while he's awake. We're going through a very fun time right now.

To make matters even better, I just got a very good lead on a daycare provider, and have an appointment to go see her next week. She is an associate of Megan's daycare provider, the one I am in love with, and runs the same program with her kids. Her home sounds like the kind of place I would really like to send Liam to - and if this works out, that will be one less thing on my mind. Happy, happy days.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A sort of homecoming

Yesterday we drove down to Windsor to be at the train station when Darin and Jennifer rolled back into town after a 4+ month stint in South Korea. As luck would have it, they were the very last ones off the train, letting the crowd who had gathered to see them think that it was some kind of practical joke on their part. But they did eventually get off - looking very similar to how they looked before they left in August, except for the big parkas. They try to tell us that it's colder in South Korea than it is here. While I believe that's probably true right now, I still find it hard to believe on a normal January day - and if so then why aren't the South Koreans the ones who have to live with stereotypes of igloos and snowmobiles??
Liam was poker faced, as usual, and if he recognized them or missed them or was glad to have them back, then he certainly didn't let on. He did find the train a bit too noisy for his liking when it pulled into the station, so Chad had to take him inside for a few minutes to let him adjust. I thought he would miss seeing them de-train as a result, but like I already said - there was plenty of time for that! We decided that if we were going to make a trip to Windsor, we'd might as well go a couple of hours early and wander around a real shopping mall for a bit. We didn't really have anything on the agenda, but managed to come home with some purchases nonetheless. It was actually pretty disappointing to go shopping at this time of year - I think we were a week too late. There's lots of good sales, but unless you're a size 2 or a size 20, odds are that you won't find your size, and you'll just be mad that you missed out on such a good buy. Nonetheless, Chad bought a couple of pairs of pants and I got the first non-striped shirt I think I have bought in years. All that time spent watching What Not To Wear must finally be paying off.
When we got home, though, we realized that one of our shopping bags had gone missing - one from The Children's Place, with some great loot for Liam inside. After fruitlessly searching the car about six times, I finally started calling around to stores at Devonshire to see if anyone had found it. One of them referred me to the customer service kiosk at the mall and - lucky us - someone had indeed turned it in, loot intact. I'd be willing to bet that I left it behind in the family restroom, where I had taken Liam to feed him and change him, not knowing how much of a chaotic pit of running, screaming kids it would be. I was kicking myself for having lost something brand new like that, but I suppose it could have been worse. You hear stories all the time about people who pack up the car after a shopping trip and then drive away without their kid. Now, had that been the case, I don't think we could arrange for Jennifer's family to pick him up and wait until the weekend when we see them again to get him back. :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cleaning out the fridge

As most people do as the calendar rolls over, I have spent a lot of time over the past few days cleaning out the fridge. First, there was the issue of Christmas leftovers; despite having had a menu and assigned dishes for everyone to bring, we wound up with way too much food, and Chad and I ate as much of the leftovers as we could before we wound up chucking the rest. Then, there is all the crap that accumulates over the holidays. I'd be lying if I said there weren't at least a few meals last week that consisted of some combo of chips + candy or candy + crackers or crackers + cookies... I think my entire trans fat quota for 2006 was used up during the last week of 2005 alone. We did our best to clear that out too (one way or another - wink wink) before January and the whole slate-is-clean-let's-be-healthy thing.

During this stock-taking of the contents of our fridge and cupboards, it also came time to update what's on the menu for Liam. I am actually kind of shocked at how quickly this has happened. It seems like only yesterday I was spooning ultra-runny rice cereal into him, and nothing else. These days, his meals are consisting more and more of real people food. For lunch today, he had a bagel, some marble cheese, some pears (admittedly, they were cooked - but not pureed) and then of course the requisite Cheerios that he seems unable to live without as a lunchtime staple. I still have ice cube trays full of homemade baby food purees, but he is showing less and less interest in goopy, mucky foods and more interest in the hardcore stuff that requires chewing - even if his teeth, all six of them, are still nothing more than little nubs. So, for the next couple of weeks I am going to make a point of using up all the babyish baby foods we have in the house - I didn't peel and chop and steam all those carrots for nothing - before he dives whole-hog into the real grownup stuff. Each week's grocery shopping trips include more and more real foods just for him. This week it's the cheese and grape juice and unsalted rice cakes - I bet he can hardly wait.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Finding balance

We spent New Year's Eve as we spend most nights, with a fun-filled dinner (on the menu: squished peas, chicken, cereal, and prunes), a rousing rendition of Naked Playtime, a bath and then bed (around 7:30 for Liam and about 12:01 for Chad and I). This morning I took Liam out for a walk, and as we walked I was thinking about New Year's Eve from a few years ago, when we met up with two other couples in Ottawa for a raucous night of fun. Times have changed; all of us had babies in 2005, and I'd be willing to bet that their nights were just as quiet (or nearly so) as ours.

Liam decided to celebrate New Year's Day by popping a new tooth: top right front, the sixth tooth to come through in three weeks. He's been a busy little guy.

Normally I don't fall into making resolutions, but this year I have decided to. For me, 2006 is going to be all about finding balance. I could list a dozen goals here, but if I can just find balance in my life, then I think they will all fall into place. I would like to be able to say that this year, I finished each day having spent the appropriate amount of time and energy on each facet of my life - family, work, self, whatever - that circumstances require. Finding balance is an awfully succinct way to sum up what I'm sure will amount to a major challenge. But it's a new year - I think I'm up for it.