Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Without a hitch

Lately we have been chanelling our life savings into our local bike shop. In addition to each buying a new bike in the last few months, we have also picked up an infant bike seat, a helmet for Liam (well… that was a gift from Gramma & Grampa Cook), and most recently, a new bike rack. We used to have a rack that strapped onto the trunk of our car, but now that the truck is our family vehicle it was time for something different. Even without knowing about Chad’s plan to kit us out with new bikes, I had anticipated the need for a hitch-mounted rack, and started looking into it as a Christmas gift for Chad last year. I stopped looking into it when the dealership quoted me almost $500 for the hitch alone, nevermind the rack. But when Chad’s biking enthusiasm picked up in the spring I thought it would make an appropriate Father’s Day gift and bit the bullet and started calling around for hitches.

Chad has the uncanny ability to go out and buy exactly what I am thinking of getting him for the next major holiday at exactly that time, and it wasn’t long before he came home and announced that he was looking into buying a hitch-mounted rack. So much for my great idea. To make a long story short, within a few weeks we had a hitch installed and a new bike rack mounted. Luckily, the bike shop came through with a much better deal than the car dealership could muster.

Somehow, over the past few weeks, Chad started to refer to this new hitch as my birthday present. Which offended me on two levels. Number one, what kind of man gets his wife a car accessory as a birthday present? And number two, how did this go from being my gift for him, to his gift for me? Somehow, I never wind up getting credit when I come up with a good gift idea.

There is really no point to this story, except to say thanks to Chad and his family for having a few other birthday surprises up their sleeves so that I was not left trying to act excited about having just received a new hitch for my birthday. Chad, I hope you are able to muster up some excitement over it on Father’s Day, because it’s still your gift. :)

(In case you’re wondering why I am thanking Chad’s family and not my own, it’s because birthdays seem to be done entirely different in the Robinson family… sometimes not even acknowledged. You know who you are!!)

I just ran into Mark (Cindy’s husband) at the printer, and he reported to me (after speaking with Cindy at lunch) that Liam is having another rough day today. This may interfere with my plans to catch the season 2 premiere of Lost again tonight (9 p.m. Jenn!!) if I am sitting up with him all night. Well, it could be worse… it could have been an epi I’d never seen before…

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Happier days

(Back in Liam's happy, pre-teething days...)

Today is, in fact, my birthday (Jenn, you wasted no time in letting the cat out of the bag!) On this day last year, a tiny little Liam and I were puttering around the house, out for a walk, shopping downtown, and munching on a box of chocolates thoughtfully dropped off by Megan. This year, Liam is just a bit bigger, and I am at work trying to make up for the time I missed yesterday, running off-peak storage scenarios, analyzing customers’ injection patterns, and sinking deeper into the compressor fuel quagmire. The day is actually shaping up quite well, seeing as that it started out with Liam’s diaper splitting open, releasing a stream of those liquid-absorbing crystals from one end of the house to the other that I am sure we will still be cleaning up at this time next year (one more reason why I hate disposable diapers); and then for some added fun, Captain hacked up a hairball. Because, you know, if you’re going to clean up one mess, why not another one? Lucky for me, Megan came through with another box of chocolates which is already disappearing fast. (Hey, I don’t drink coffee and after a couple of sleepless nights, I need the caffeine).

I really can’t complain, because after last night’s bedtime fiasco, Liam did mostly sleep through the night (if you can count a 5 a.m. wake-up time as being normal) and seems to be in better spirits today, though still not 100%; and I did score some great birthday loot. Back in March when Chad got his new bike, I got one as well; to still make this month fun, I more recently also received a pair of Crocs, a compact camera bag, a waffle maker and a big galvanized watering can. All good stuff.

Now back to work… I don’t want to be working late today of all days.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Dental drama

The past 24 hours have not been fun ones here in Cooksville. We were up for half of the night with Liam, who had a raging fever that had us digging out our baby books past midnight to see just how high is too high. Today he went to Cindy's, but had a rough morning, and she called me to come pick him up early this afternoon when his fever started to spike and she couldn't comfort him. Proof of how miserable he was? --> He hardly ate anything all day. It is most definitely his teeth, and he seems to be getting two at once again - both sides of his lower gums have a spot that is swollen and looks ready to explode. It is hard to see someone who is normally so docile screaming and thrashing around because he hurts so much. I am off to bed now, just in case there's another midnight wakeup call.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Last night after dinner, we took Liam for a walk downtown; this weekend was Retrofest and we went to see if anything was going on. (It wasn't.) While on our walk we saw numerous limos driving up and down the strip, and it all became clear, when we saw a bunch of kids in really expensive clothes, that in addition to being Retrofest it was also prom night for one of the local high schools.

As much as I love Liam, part of me was wistful in seeing these kids, and suddenly I didn't want a job or a kid or a mortgage or anything other than a really late night out with a bunch of friends and no curfew (and Chad as a date. Oh, wait a minute, that didn't happen the first time around, either.) The idea of being 17 again had its advantages. After hitting the ATM, the prom-goers headed out to dinner and to get loaded, and Chad and I headed home, where I changed a dirty diaper and gave Liam a bath and read Goodnight Moon through twice before collapsing into bed exhausted. Who am I kidding? I couldn't stay up to make it to the end of a prom these days if I tried.

Today I woke up feeling much better about things, but as the day progressed, I wanted the high-school me back more and more. We went out to the lake and Liam was sullen and miserable all afternoon, and by the time we got home he was burning up and didn't want anything to eat and went to bed before 6 p.m., though he's been up a half dozen times since. I think he has a molar coming in, so I am in his room every 20 minutes with a sippy cup of cold water and the Baby Orajel. When I hold his sweaty little body and he finds comfort in the fact that I am doing so, there is no place in the world I'd rather be... but it sure would be cool if I could do it while wearing a killer dress and with a cold drink in hand.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Friday, May 26, 2006

Life imitates art, part 2

Not much is new in the Cook household these days. Things are picking up at work so we have been laying pretty low at night. Last night I was 15 minutes late to pick Liam up - got stuck in a meeting, and was unable to ask Chad to take on pickup duty before he left. I felt terrible to interfere with Cindy's family time and also bad for Liam, who was alone with Cindy by the time I got there (all the other moms having been on time). I remembered how he used to cry in the church nursery if he was the last kid left and was afraid that might happen again - luckily it didn't. Cindy didn't slap me with some by-the-minute penalty fee, and my boss was concerned today (or at least acted like it) about me having been late. Hopefully history will not repeat itself, but if this is the first time it's happened in three months - I think we are doing pretty well.

Today it was finally warm enough to feel like summer is here. Liam spent all day in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt; his hair was in full Afro effect from the humidity. By dinnertime he was so sticky that he spent the rest of the night topless. He reminded me of an old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon that I had to go dig out:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who will be #10,000?

Post a comment when you arrive... I'll be watching!...

Snark works

Since all has been quiet on the home front this week, I decided to take care of a few nagging issues that were bound to plague me sooner or later, considering how much online shopping I do. About a month before Liam's birthday, I ordered him this shirt: Except, of course, that it said "I am one". And I ordered it in beanstalk, a fresh shade of green that I thought would look great on him. I ordered it and paid for it in March - and here I am, three months later, still shirt-less. Numerous emails to the company were first acknowledged with friendly "We'll look into it and get back to you" replies, and then ignored altogether. Let's face it, the clock is ticking; he only has ten months left to wear that shirt now, not twelve. Finally I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in New Hampshire. Two days later... instant refund. Beware of Clever Kingdom!... their clothes are cute... they just don't materialize.

My other moment of snarkiness this week came in dealing with Bloomex. I ordered flowers from them last week. Here is what the flowers were supposed to look like:

And here is the vase, which I had to buy separately from the flowers. I upgraded from the standard vase to get a hand blown art glass vase (so they called it) - which cost $12.99:Here are the flowers that were sent. They're not exact, but they're close (ugly asparagus fern aside), and I can live with that. But check out the vase:

I mean, is this not the same ugly thing you see at the dollar store all the time? Is this thing worth $12.99? I think not. After a couple of emails to the company that were (what else?) ignored, I said I was going to contact my credit card company to contest the charges. Bingo - within an hour, a refund was granted.

Moral of the story: snark works...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


All I can say is, I can't wait for you Lost fans who are going to start watching Season 2 next week (!!!!!!) to catch up to the rest of us... because after this finale... oh my heck!!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not entirely sure who the wiggly little guy is

More of the same

I was asked to post this here as well. I still recommend following the link below if you can, to see it (a) bigger, (b) in better resolution, and (c) in its entirety - the embedded version cuts off almost 40 seconds. Oh yeah, and the soundtrack is better on the link, too. But if you can't access it... here ya go. You'll want to stop play on the video to the right first (it takes two clicks to stop).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mobile: The Sequel

Last night after Liam's bath, he was standing at the top of the stairs, chucking anything he could find over the gate; this is his new favourite game and it drives Captain crazy, because he likes to sleep on the top step and whenever he does, he is now pelted with socks and Q-tips and Weeble Wobbles and... you get the idea. I was in Liam's room in the rocking chair; Chad was out in the hall with Liam. Suddenly Liam turned and came straight at me. He made it as far as the doorway before he fell; it was a good ten steps. After some initial stunned silence, Chad started to cheer and I started to cry. Never one to disappoint an audience once he knows they're watching, Liam continued to walk back and forth across his room for another half hour, until it was time for bed. He is not particularly good at it, mind you; his knees have been taking a real beating. Look out, world... here comes trouble.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Regarding Henry

It's after midnight and I still can't figure this damn thing out. In the meantime, please follow this link and click on the screen to start. (Let me know if the music skips on you... I've heard that's a common complaint of the hosting site.)


Friday, May 19, 2006

Two steps forward, one step back

About a week ago, Liam started letting go of whatever he was holding himself up with for a few seconds at a time. He would pull up on the coffee table, make sure we were watching, and then throw his hands up in the air for a split second. I guess he enjoyed all the cheering and applause he got, because now, one week later, he can stand on his own for a good thirty seconds at a time; and I have a feeling he could go longer if his inclination to take off after something he shouldn't be touching weren't so darn strong.

Tonight he had one of his episodes where he got so completely overtired that he went berserk, appearing as if he had just downed ten espressos in quick succession. It's at times like these that he is most likely to try something new and we weren't disappointed tonight: he let go of the dumptruck that was holding him up and took two clumsy steps toward me before crashing into a pile of books on the floor. Chad and I were both there to see it, and while part of me is overjoyed and relieved (tick that milestone off the doctor's list), part of me wants to cry and trade him in for a newer model. As luck would have it, tomorrow I get the pleasure of going to see my brand spanking new nephew for the first time, which will only reaffirm every fibre of my being telling me that he is growing up too fast. It doesn't help that Chad gives him these weird after-bath old-man combover hairdos...

(What is up with the recent succession of photos in which Liam looks miserable??)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Right before I take it in the chops

Liam was up many times last night, and up for the day at 5:30 this morning. I still have not caught up on my sleep since the concert Monday night so this weekend (which starts tomorrow, with a flex day), this will be me:


Luckily, the concert was well worth it. I have a split opinion of JD Fortune as the new singer for INXS. His voice and stage presence are awesome, if he's in the middle of a number. His between-song banter, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Anyway, that's probably the last time we'll see INXS; we're thinking the rest of the band will probably retire after the current tour, and live off royalties from JD as a solo artist, since he likely signed his soul away when he won their contest.

This weekend we'll also be going to Toronto to visit Liam's new little cousin Henry. My flash batteries are charging even as I speak. Prepare for baby photo overload...



Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Quick change artist

Date & time stamp: May 17th, 4:56 p.m.
Date & time stamp: May 17th, 4:57 p.m.How do things go downhill so quickly??? (I'll tell you how... I wouldn't let him touch the camera lens, THAT'S how.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The one where I become an Aunty!!

Baby (boy) Hamilton was born by (planned) c-section at 6 p.m. today... 8 lbs, 4 oz, and still nameless!! Oh, the suspense!! Everyone is doing well and we're going to visit this weekend. I can't wait!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Blog fodder

Four jobs that I have had in my life:
1. Capacity Management Administrator
2. Assistant to/Engineer/Intermediate Engineer/Senior Engineer, Storage Planning
3. Residence don, Queen's University
4. Weekend/evening office staff at Thamesview Lodge (retirement home)

Four nicknames I've been given:
1. Care
2. CAR
3. Robs
4. Thelma/Geena

Four of my favorite books I've read in the last few years.
1. Life of Pi (still don't understand it though)
2. The Kite Runner
3. Your Baby and Child
4. The Lonely Planet - Tanzania

Four places I have lived:
1. Chatham, ON
2. Kingston, ON
3. Orangeville, ON
4. Hillsburgh, ON

Four TV shows I like to watch:
1. Lost
2. The Office
3. Project Runway
4. The Mom Show

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. France & Switzerland
2. Tanzania
3. Peru
4. Hawaii

Four things I could NOT live without:
1. My camera
2. My favourite music
3. The internet
4. Lip gloss

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Peanut butter cups
2. Strawberries
3. Filet o' Fish
4. Chocolate chip cookie dough

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At home
2. On vacation
3. Out for a walk
4. At the park with Liam

If you haven't done this before, consider yourself tagged...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Now & then

Thirteen months

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Chicago: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Originally, I thought I would have pages worth to write about Chicago; now I'm feeling lazy, so I'm going to sum it up quickly for you. We had a great time, but - but - the weather wreaked a bit of havoc with us. Our first afternoon in the windy city was warm and overcast, but from then on, it poured. And poured. And then it rained a little bit more. Our one full day was also windy as all get out, which made for a pretty miserable experience, especially for Liam; we must have spent half the day going from store to store trying to find one of those weather shields for his stroller, and nobody - not Sears, not Walgreens, not Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus - had one to sell to us. We made do with garbage bags. Poor little guy.

We still had a blast at the zoo (which we wisely visited that first, rain-free day), and the aquarium. We still stuffed ourselves with deep-dish pizza and Garrett's popcorn (wow!) and Chicago-style hot dogs. We still shopped up and down the Magnificent Mile (not a bad way to spend a rainy day) and got to visit Paper Source in person, affirming its status as My Favourite Store Ever. We rode the El and Liam did well on his first airplane.

This was probably the worst weather we've had on any of our trips. The good news was that pouring rain in the city is a lot easier to deal with than pouring rain on a mountainside would be. The bad news is that pouring rain with a baby is not as easy to deal with as pouring rain for just the two of us. In addition to the rotten weather, we also had a small run of bad luck: a wheel fell off the stroller (luckily there were 8 wheels on this model rather than 4, but sorry Megan, I won't be returning it to you in one piece!) The clasp on the diaper bag broke. Our flight home was delayed an hour. Little things that, while we enjoyed ourselves, make it good to be home again, too. We definitely hope to go back sometime; Chad is already trying to have his conference moved from May to September, so he can be wined and dined at a Bears game rather than the Cubs...

PS - yes, that's Liam checking himself out in the BHG Baby issue at Borders! Page 151.

My kind of town???

Liam in Chicago. More to come...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

One more week

...until this puppy hits newsstands. For those of you who have been asking about it, hopefully this will make it easier to find. Liam's page is in the 'Holidays and Celebrations' (or something like that) chapter. I will report back to you once I have found it to relay the page number. The bad news: I believe it's retailing for $15.95. For a magazine!! That's what happens when you get into specialty publications...

Last night I asked Cindy about the 'uh oh' that is all we seem to hear these days. As it turns out, it wasn't Cindy who said that when Liam fell - it was the other kids. At least we were right in thinking that he picked it up at daycare. Also speaking of daycare, I've mentioned how Liam has lost his morning appetite so that he can better partake of the snacks at Cindy's, right? This thought was confirmed to me when I read yesterday's entry in Liam's log book. For his morning snack he had a whole waffle, a whole banana, Cheerios, strawberries, and a glass of milk. I'm thinking maybe he is just so over the baby cereal thing. Maybe it's time to add some Eggos to our grocery list.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A future too scary to behold

Lately I have been hooked on watching The Office. I'm willing to bet that if you work in an office, you find the show to be hilarious and totally true, and if you're a teacher or a nurse or anyone else who doesn't work in an office - you probably think it's the dumbest thing ever. To each their own.

Anyhow, my favourite character on The Office would have to be Dwight Schrute: And if you have worked in an office, you know Dwight's type - the freaky, tattle-taleing, brownnosing loser. On last week's episode the company was taking photos for ID badges, and Dwight made a comment about refusing to smile for the picture because in the monkey world, to show your teeth is to show weakness. Or something to that effect. (Then Jim printed the ID badge for "Dwight Fart Schrute" instead of "Dwight Kurt Schrute", and laminated the 2x4 inch badge in a sheet of plastic that must have been at least two feet square - it was hilarious, I tell you!) Suddenly I flashed back to a phone call I had just received from Deanna, during which she said she had gone back in blog history to try to find a photo of Liam smiling and had come up nearly empty-handed.

Suddenly I panicked.

Liam is Dwight.

They even look the same. (Except that Liam's hair is cooler.)

Good thing we caught it in time. We can chart a different course for Liam. I hope it's not too late.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Seis de Mayo

Seis de Mayo is what you celebrate the day after Cinco de Mayo when said holiday was part of the work week. Yesterday we were at Darin and Jennifer's to celebrate all things Mexican, complete with fajitas and nachos and cervesas (cervezas? - whatever). We did not stay late enough to see the real festivities happen; partying with a one-year-old kind of cramps your style that way. Normally at Darin and Jennifer's parties the good times really roll once this sombrero makes its appearance. We had to drag it out early in order for Liam to try it on. I hope it stayed out and got passed around plenty.Liam takes stock of the bar area. Yes, in his jammies. Is there something improper about taking a picture like this??Hey look Deb, it's Bryce! Even though he normally runs the other way when I get the camera out, this time he actually requested that his picture be taken so that Deb would see his smiling face on Monday morning. How thoughtful is that! Too bad we had to leave so early, or I might have gotten a more incriminating picture to post... you know, sombrero and all.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I know this may be hard to believe, given that I talk here about little other than Liam; but: I have a life outside of my kid. Liam takes centre stage most of the time (and the point of this blog is more him than me), but every once in a while, other facets of this mysterious, rarely-beholded life of mine creep onto this page. On Friday, the biggest news of the day at the Cooks' was not something cute that Liam said or did, but the fact that the landscaping in front of our house was completely changed. Living in a charming old house, it is sometimes difficult to tell when charming downgrades into way past its prime. Chad made the call here this past winter, and it took me a while to come around, but I eventually agreed. The yew hedge that flanked the front porch had grown monstrous no matter how much we cut it back, and one of the junipers on the outside corners of the house, in addition to being half dead, never recovered from an ice storm last winter; it was listing at a 45 degree angle. Definitely time to make some changes. We kept the red maples that require a lot of pruning back each year, but which are a nice screen from the street for some privacy (while also allowing in as much light as possible in the winter). We kept the rocks, many of which had been swallowed whole by the hedge; it was hard to believe how many rocks we really had. We put in new junipers to replace the old, since they were the right shape and size and colour for their space (just too far gone to do anything with), some hollies, potentillas and cypress. More rocks. New mulch. And here you have it.
I would love to have a before shot for you, and had planned to take one, but while Liam and I were out riding bikes on Thursday night with Jeannine and Autum, Chad decided to get started early and chopped down the whole hedge, unbeknownst to me. So much for my 'before'. This is the only surviving before shot of our house: the real estate agent's photo, circa 2001. Try to envision this landscaping, but add another 5 years' worth of insanely-paced growth to the hedge, and a Tower of Pisa-esque look to the browned and crumbling juniper. Ah yes, and the Japanese maple died two summers ago. Overall: not much worth salvaging.

Did we do the work ourselves? Chad bagged up the old mulch and got trigger happy with the yews, but we hired landscapers to do the rest. For dinner on Friday night, we went out. Isn't that what you're always supposed to do after a long, hard day of yard work? No matter who does it? :)

The next challenge: fixing that bottom step. Chad has logged hours of phone calls to masons and cement specialists... most of whom either refuse to return his calls, or who book appointments with us and then refuse to show up. We're working on it...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Life imitates art

In the Friends episode called "The One With The Poking Device" (yes, I did have to look that up), Monica is babysitting Ross's baby Ben when he gives his head a good thump, and from then on all that Ben will say is Bang, ratting Monica out when Ross gets home. In a deja vu-ish turn of events, Liam came home from Cindy's with his goose egg on Wednesday night, and ever since he has been running around saying Uh oh! Our guess is that maybe Cindy said Uh oh! when he fell, and now we hear it about a hundred times per hour. Funny, I always thought his first words would be something along the lines of ball or Captain or You're the greatest, mom! - I guess that wasn't meant to be. I still don't know if I am supposed to count it as a true word because he says it all the time - to Captain, while lying in his crib, and also when I present him with a highchair tray full of fresh pineapple, which is his current very favourite thing to eat. If he can't discriminate when he says it then it probably should not count, but I need three words here people, and I have half a mind to let this one count as two.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The one where the child welfare people sit up and take notice

I didn't do it to him. He did it to himself. I got to Cindy's to pick him up, and she was holding him, this side facing away from me. She said, "Liam had an accident today", and then turned him around so I could see. Ouch. Seems that he had a run-in with her exterior brick wall while he was busy pushing a toy tractor around. I'm sure he is fine, but on our way home from Cindy's house we had to stop at the vet's to get cat food. There were 4 or 5 girls working at the desk when we went in, and they all gave me the poor baby! song and dance. I could feel them judging me: How is it that you will spend $80 on premium cat food while your child is so obviously neglected? Oy...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Date night

No sooner do we come back from Chicago than Chad and I have something else to look forward to. We just landed a pair of tickets to see INXS at the JLC in London. This gets me all misty-eyed and nostalgic, as it will be 13 years ago almost to the day that Chad and I went to see INXS together in Detroit. I admit I was not an INXS fan at the time; it was what you could call an attempt by me to win him over. (Which may not have worked in the short term, as he went on to take someone else to prom, but in the long term I guess I got the last laugh). Chad saw the band (or at least a few members of it) once more, doing an on-air interview at CFNY in Toronto, though he didn’t see them play. The band’s lead singer died unexpectedly several years ago, and Chad went into mourning, thinking he’d never see his beloved INXS again. Leave it to Mark Burnett (the production genius behind Survivor, Eco-Challenge, and Martha Stewart Apprentice (well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad)) to then come up with Rock Star INXS – a (what else?) reality show with the purpose of finding a new lead singer for the 5 remaining members of INXS. I thought Chad would be horrified by the idea, and he never did get into watching it, but we both have to admit that the new singer is pretty awesome and the band sounds almost as good as ever. So we’re off to see INXS with new frontman J.D. Fortune in a couple of weeks. Liam will be at home with Gramma, hopefully eating his dinner and playing nicely and doing this thumb-sucking, hair-twirling routine on her shoulder before going to bed without complaint.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ready for the PGA

This is the Arnold Palmer inspired outfit that I mentioned earlier; a natty pair of plaid pants to go with the monkey sweater. It’s a super cute outfit and something that I want Liam to have the opportunity to wear as much as possible before he outgrows it. But I must admit that when I picked up the pants, I was not thinking. Now that the weather is improving, Liam is outside all the time; Cindy spends more time outdoors with the kids than indoors whenever she can. No longer content to sit in the stroller and watch the other kids, Liam has to be in the thick of things himself, even if they are running and he is crawling. You’d think that this means he has grass stains on his knees from chasing them around, right? Wrong. He doesn’t spend his time on the grass; he much prefers the pavement – the patio in the back yard and the driveway in the first yard. I’m surprised his hands aren’t covered with giant calluses, as it doesn’t faze him in the least to crawl around on what you’d expect to be some mighty uncomfortable surfaces. This has only really been going on over the last couple of weeks, since the weather has really turned, but Liam’s jeans are already almost worn through at the knees from the workout he’s giving them, and I am sure that his other pants (that he wears less often) are about to meet a similar wear-n-tear fate. The plaid pants are much lighter weight than denim; I don’t give them any hope of one day making it to hand-me-down status. I can only hope that Liam learns to walk before shorts weather hits, because otherwise he’s going to have some badly skinned knees going at this rate.

Monday, May 01, 2006

By request - part deux

The photos we had done at Sears came in and I promised I would share. (Forgive the poor scan; the picture really is better IRL). I wasn't completely thrilled with them, because they are a little grainy and the colour seems a bit off - is it just me, or does Liam's hair not even look red? But I don't have a giant number one tucked away in a closet like Sears does, so they were able to do the birthday shot that I wasn't. (And, let's face it, if this picture were my piece of work, Liam would be looking at the floor...)

Who, me?

On the weekend I spread five bags of mulch on the garden, and refilled those five bags with weeds I dug out of the areas that I did not get mulched before Liam was born last year. I moved a couple of plants around and took out a few others that have never quite cut it. There’s a daphne that I put into a three-foot-wide space several years ago, that is currently at least five feet wide and still going strong; it’s starting to bloom, and as soon as it’s finished and its wonderful fragrance is gone, I’m going to rip it out and replace it with some other shrub that promises to behave better. There is a nice view into the yard from our kitchen window again. Life is good.

Two things surprised me about doing this work. Number one, I was surprised by how much I was able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time (working on things only while Liam was napping). Number two, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Even the weeding, which is typically my most-dreaded outdoor chore, was fun. It occurred to me, as I was having too much fun excavating thistle roots that went at least six inches deep, how much I missed my garden last year; how I loved those early months with Liam, but how having time for the garden again this year is going to be good for me. Not to mention how good it’s going to be for Chad, who I think was close to abandoning any hope that the time and money we’d spent on backyard landscaping after we moved in was worthwhile.

Which brings me to a new tenet of this mothering thing, which I knew was going to be inevitable sooner or later, but I admit I was expecting it later rather than sooner: remembering me. Making time for myself and for things I like to do, regardless of Liam. It’s wonderful to try to work my interests around his schedule, but it’s not always possible; and now that he is a bit older, a bit more independent, I’m starting to feel better about spending more time tending to myself. I will still try to work weeding sessions to coincide with his naps, though I hope the day comes soon when he can be outside puttering around the yard with me. But along the same vein, I am thinking of returning to my Monday night Pump class. I miss it. I was at the gym on Friday morning while a Pump class was taking place, and I was watching through the aerobics studio windows and realized how much I missed going. The morning classes’ timing doesn’t work for me, but I am thinking of going back one night a week, something that will still let me be around for dinner time and maybe (if I really shake a leg) even let me catch some cuddle time with Liam before he goes to bed. Monday nights also work well because I will be coming off my weekend fix of spending time with him. Now if only I could rope Megan into going with me instead of trying her new class for the next couple of months… it might almost be a sure thing. :)