Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh, the possibilities!

Tomorrow Cindy is taking a day off, which means that I am, too. This is the first day off I have had in several months, and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to it. I have no idea what we're going to do yet, but I have a list of possibilities a mile long:

* Drop-in time at the Early Years Centre
* Parent-tot swim at the pool
* Christmas shopping in Windsor
* Finally put that gingerbread house together
* Get cracking on clearing out Liam’s big-boy room and prep for painting
* Get cracking on some holiday baking

We had hoped to get together with some friends and it looks like that won’t work out, but otherwise the day is ours… and I! am! so! freaking! excited! You’d think I haven’t seen a weekend all month, I’m so excited. I think it’s because if I am spending the day with Liam then we can fill it with fun stuff, and I feel no obligation to work on my paper whatsoever.

At lunch today I dropped by the library to pick up some stuff, and stumbled across a book called (something along the lines of) 365 Activities Your Toddler Will Love. I will flip through that tonight and see if there’s anything else I can add to the list before making the final selection. Liam will be going to bed early tonight so he won’t have any trouble keeping up tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Too much work

For the past week Liam has had a nose like a faucet. Last week I think he had a cold; this week I think it's Teething Round 2 that's doing it to him. It drives him crazy to have a runny nose, but he's not great at blowing; so tonight after dinner, I went looking for the nasal aspirator we used when he was a baby. He's one of those odd kids who actually likes having it used on him. Unfortunately, we tore his room apart (as well as the bathroom and the hall closet) and came up empty-handed. This incited a mild panic attack in me; I started thinking about how many newborn-era essentials there are to drag out and wash up and get ready for another go. When we were preparing for Liam, all of this stuff was new and his nursery was empty, so I would bring something home and lovingly wash it and have it all set up and ready to go from Day 1. Then Liam used it, it got a little ragged around the edges, the novelty wore off and as soon as he outgrew it, it was loaned out or stuffed in the back of a drawer somewhere or otherwise put out of sight and out of mind. We live in an old house without the luxury of neverending storage, so some of these hiding spots are not so obvious, and it's going to take some thinking to recall every last one. Right now it seems like an insurmountable task. Would it really be that crazy of me to just go out to the store and start buying stuff all over again?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How we can tell the Christmas story hasn't really sunk in

Jesus, Mary and Joseph have been booted out of the stable; the donkeys are in.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

His own personal quest to end world hunger

On Sunday Liam and I headed over to Mud Creek (what a picturesque name, eh?) to do Christmas card photos for Cory and Megan and the girls. (They didn't go so well - Evelyn and Audrey were perfectly behaved, but I am feeling rusty. Sorry guys - I hope there will be at least one keeper!) After we wrapped the session we went to see the huge numbers of ducks and geese that were hanging around, and we came across some woman who really seemed to know what she was doing feeding them. She didn't just bring some day-old bread with her, which is what we normally do; she brought an entire sack full of seed corn still on the cob, and a pair of leather gloves with which to remove the kernels. She was willing to share with us and Liam really got into it - here he is throwing a kernel of corn at a gaggle of geese with all his might.

Unfortunately, the geese are not the only ones Liam has taken to feeding. On Saturday morning we had Captain's yearly checkup at the vet, and the little bugger has gained half a pound. Not so much gain in my scheme of things (which is currently hovering around a pound a week), but on a (formerly) 10-pound cat, it's huge. I sheepishly explained to the vet that in the year since we have last seen her, Liam has graduated to table food, and there's nothing he likes better than to share it with Captain. And with Liam to keep our eyes on, we aren't exactly diligent about making sure Captain doesn't sneak away with the leftovers now and then. Well, I hope Liam had fun feeding the ducks and geese, because the cat is now strictly off-limits. I am hoping Captain drops some weight easily from the lack of table food alone, because if this doesn't work, we will also have to start rationing his kibble; and we will never get to sleep again, as we'll be kept up all night by a howling cat if that's what it comes to.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Everyone loves a parade

Last night was the Santa Claus parade in our neck of the woods. This was the first time that our city's parade has been an evening event instead of a daytime one. Last year I remember they were polling attendees on the street to ask whether we'd prefer a daytime or nighttime event, and I guess I was in the minority, because nighttime won out. It started at 7 and didn't get to where we were until almost 7:30, which is the time that Liam is normally in bed (especially on a Friday night when he has a whole week's worth of action at Cindy's to recover from). I didn't even think he'd stay awake long enough for the walk downtown. But he did, and once we got down there, there were enough kids and lights and big rig trucks festooned with lights and blowing their horns loud enough to shatter our eardrums that there was no way he was going to miss out on any of it. (We know Liam is enjoying something when he is sitting there watching with his mouth hanging open.) The highlight of the night for him was the local OSPCA entry, which consisted of about 20 people wearing Santa hats walking dogs. A close second was Santa himself. Liam is pretty good at recognizing Santa most of the time now, but he didn't catch on that Santa was Santa last night until the float had already passed him. Ah well, there's always next year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A glutton for punishment

(Liam was fascinated by the animated Santa at Canadian Tire last night, where we went to buy Girl Guide cookies from Evelyn's Sparks troup. Photo credit goes to Megan MacKay-Barr, from whose blog I lifted this. What can I say... I am short on photos these days!)

To continue from where I left off yesterday... regardless of these epidurals being available or not where I live, I had already decided early on that I didn't want one for #2, so a couple of months ago I finally got around to calling Lisa, the doula we used when Liam was born. The first time we hired her, I figured that if the epidural I so badly wanted wasn't available, I was going to arm myself with every other trick in the book to make it through labour as unscathed as possible. When I went into labour, we checked into the hospital around 6 p.m. and she showed up around 9 p.m. We probably had passed on Dr. Bailey's famous last words to her, that she expected Liam to be born before midnight. Poor Lisa didn't get to go home until 6 a.m. the following morning, since Liam's entry to the world was not so speedy after all, and she spent all that time running heating packs up and down the hall to the microwave and holding buckets for me to barf into. She certainly earned her fee.

When I called her I got her machine, and I left a message saying I hoped she remembered us and we enjoyed working with her (ha!) and wondered if she would want to hook up again in Spring 2007 to do it all over again. Then I sat back and waited... and waited... and waited... and no call came. I remembered how bedraggled she was by the time she went home on Liam's birth day, and how bad I felt for keeping her so long. The lack of a return call made me think she wanted nothing more to do with me and my extremely slow uterus, and I really couldn't blame her; when you calculated what she earned from us on an hourly basis, it didn't turn out to be all that much. I thought maybe we were stuck in her mind as a client horror story that she had taken to sharing at parties with all her doula friends.

Finally one day I got a message back from her. She did remember us, and she was happy to hear that we were expecting #2, and she was honoured that we would ask her to come back again. She sounded totally upbeat, and part of me wondered if the long night had been completely wiped from her memory. Then there was a pause on the line, and I could tell that she was trying to word something as delicately as possible. Finally she said, "And try not to worry about it too much, Carrie... it will almost definitely be shorter this time around." Yeah, I guess she remembers, too.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Yesterday, Little Miss and I went to see Dr. Kate. The novelty of these appointments is starting to wear thin, because inevitably they take five minutes - pee in a cup, check weight and blood pressure and Little Miss's heartrate, and that's it - yet they're always preceded by a wait of at least half an hour to get in. Arggh. Anyway, the good news yesterday was that the doctor has reviewed our diagnostic ultrasound and found everything to be in order. And the other news (that confirmed something I already suspected) was that I found out I have an anterior placenta. Which doesn't mean anything bad, but explains why I have felt a lot less movement from Little Miss than Little Mister.

Right before my appointment Chad reminded me of a question I'd been meaning to ask Dr. Kate for some time. So I mentioned the rumours I had been hearing of late, and confirmed with her that, right in time for the 21st century, my local hospital has joined the 20th: it now offers epidurals. They may be as much a part of life as sliced bread for many of you, but our city has had a chronic anaesthesiologist shortage for years, and as a result routine epidurals haven't been an option on the childbirth menu. Before I got pregnant with Liam I always assumed I would go elsewhere to deliver for that very reason, and I did ask about the option. Dr. Kate is a very crunchy, wholesome kind of doctor, and I expected to be given the hairy eyeball for even bringing the subject up. Not so. Instead, I found out that she is an Epidural Enabler. No sooner was the question out of my mouth than she was scribbling a referral on one of her medical pads and saying that about half of all her patients do indeed go elsewhere to deliver. In the end I stuck around, Dr. Kate delivered, and I couldn't have been happier with the outcome.

As a result, I want to do everything the second time around The Exact Same Way. So I have already told Chad that I don't want an epidural, and don't let me cave in and have one, unless I really want one, and then by all means give it to me. (How do you quantify exactly how much resistance you want those around you to provide when you are unable to think clearly on your own? - because I know it's very easy for me to say I don't want one now, but give me another 23-hour labour, and I will give you the very reason why the epidural was invented.) Maybe time will tell that I would have been better off not asking and just assuming that I couldn't have one. Maybe I will have one with Little Miss, and decide I was totally crazy for not having given myself the option to have one with Little Mister. Somehow it seemed so much easier when it wasn't even an option. Maybe I will need to find an even smaller city with an even smaller hospital to give birth in this time around, to have the matter settled for me.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The deja vu we hoped would never come

I took this photo on Saturday morning, originally just because Liam is obsessed with juice boxes and when you give him one he drains the entire thing without ever coming up for air. But the photo has another story to tell: the rosy cheeks are back. Yes, we are back into the teething. Heaven help us.

I should have been tipped off late last week, when Liam started getting inexplicably grumpy, and when the rosy cheeks popped up, and when we started going through more diapers than usual. But it didn’t fully click for me until Sunday night. Liam went to bed as usual, then woke up crying around 1:30 a.m. and didn’t sound like he was going to get back to sleep anytime soon. I went in to see him and sat up with him for half an hour in the rocking chair. I thought he was good to go, but when I tried putting him down the tears started all over again.

So we got the bright idea (ha!) of bringing him to bed with us. The tears stopped, yes, but what ensued was 4 hours of Liam tossing and turning and patting Chad’s face and twirling my hair and talking to us and playing with the remote control he found under the covers and doing logrolls over top of Chad. Somewhere in there I think he fell asleep for a half hour stretch and I did too, but essentially we had a 1:30 a.m. wakeup call on Monday morning. By last night I thought I was going to die, and even though I hadn’t been planning to go to class anyway, that cemented it – no way was I fit to spend a late night driving!

He didn’t have a great day at Cindy’s, and he was crabby with us again last night. I was so excited to pick him up and take him home, because I’d picked up a little pair of slippers for him at lunch and was looking forward to showing him his new footwear; but the slippers just made him cry some more. Eventually we abandoned dinner halfway through making it, and changed him into his PJs extra early, and tried to make things as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. A dose of Tylenol before bed meant that everyone got a blessed full night's sleep last night.

I have read that getting the second year molars is a worse experience than getting the first set of molars, and I hope some of you experienced mothers out there can refute this for me. We had a bad enough time getting the first set. I surely don’t want to go through that (or worse) again – and not over the holidays to boot.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A PSA for all Bloggers and a note for Dawn

Sunday afternoon
Double-fisted Doritos
On the weekend I switched my webpage over to the beta version of Blogger. I had put it off for a long time because I'd heard horror stories of people losing their banners or old files after making the switch. I don't know if it just took them some time to work the bugs out of the system or what, but the switch was transparent for me, and though I haven't taken a good look around at the new features yet, I do think the beta version is an improvement. Soon Blogger will require all accounts to be switched over so you will all have to do it... don't be afraid to come over to the dark side!

Having said that, I just discovered that a beta Blogger can't sign in and leave a comment on a non-beta Blogger's site. That sucks! So that's why you all have to convert... because otherwise I can't leave comments for you.

And that's why I will have to leave a comment for Dawn here: I missed the beginning of Ellen but think I saw you at the end... did Ellen go right past you on her way out of the theatre? :)

Toe jam

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Decking the halls

This is just a quickie, because Liam is napping right now, and I am trying to devote most of his naptimes from here on out to writing a monstrous paper for my course. The reason being, I want to devote the time he's awake to more fun pursuits. Today we went out to our local farm stand to pick up some greenery for the urns on the front porch. The urns are not quite finished, but we made a good start. Over the coming weeks we have the children's Christmas party sponsored by our company, the Festival of Trees has a kiddie day we might try to make it out to, the Santa Claus parade, stringing the outdoor lights with dad (tentatively scheduled for next weekend), putting together a gingerbread house with mom (Canadian Tire is selling kits - $8.99 gets you the pre-assembled house, icing mix, and candy all in one box - Chad is upset that the candy isn't really of the quality you'd want to eat as you go, but that's why we live just around the corner from Bulk Barn, right?), and getting the tree (we are considering going artifical from here on out so I would like to get out to Sloan's Tree Farm at least once to see what all the fuss is about) - all sorts of seasonal activities that mean I ought to be fitting my schoolwork into the gaps in our days when possible.

Last night we had the MacBarrs over for dinner and I am hoping Megan might send some pictures my way... she had her camera out; I was far too lazy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Well rested, but a little bit poorer

If you are a computer game superfreak, or just live anywhere remotely near civilization, you probably know that the PS3 is being released tomorrow amidst much hoopla. They retail for $659 CDN here and bids on eBay are currently over the $3000 US mark due to a shortage of units in time for the holiday season. People have been camped out front of stores all across the US since Monday for these units.... and yet, our local FutureShop, which is guaranteering a minimum stock of 10, had nobody in sight as of last night. My grand plan, formulated today at the last minute, was to wake up in the middle of the night and be at the store well before 8 a.m. in order to buy one of these consoles... then to unload it on some poor sap willing to pay a fortune. (And I would put a portion of the proceeds into the Salvation Army dude's kettle to make myself feel better about having taken advantage of the laws of supply and demand... right before buying a new camera. Or lens. Or making an uber-responsible mortgage payment.) Anyway, it was definitely too good to be true. I did a drive-by after work, and there were finally 4 tents and a couple of camping chairs set up on the sidewalk in front of the store. I would have been willing to get out of bed early, but not to actually spend all night out in the wind and rain, especially not when Little Mister needed dinner and a bath and some quality time before bed, and not when there were probably already enough people in line at 5 p.m. to buy up our city's whole allotment. Tomorrow morning I will be well-rested, but my easy money has gone *poof*.

As for Liam, he is continuing to learn new words left and right, and has started compounding a couple at a time. His new idiom for when something goes wrong? Uh-oh has been lengthened into Uh-oh damn. This thanks to a slip of the tongue of Chad's last night, and a memory that just won't quit. Hopefully that's the worst of the 4-letter words that Liam picks up at home.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back again

The past week or so has gone by in a blur. Between a trip out of town with some friends on the weekend and an exam and project due for my class both on Monday night, it feels like I have lost the last few days. Liam spent Saturday night with Grandma and Grandpa Cook, and came home referring to Grandpa as Bruce. I’m not quite sure why he’s taken this up, unless Grandpa has resorted to feeding Liam chocolate cake for breakfast in order to win him over. Lest I feel left out, Liam has also come up with a song that he sings from behind the gate at the top of the stairs when he knows I am working at the desk just out of sight below: Mom! Mom! Mom! Second verse, same as the first… I may be hearing a lot more of this song in the near future, as the next-to-last action item I have for this course is a major paper that’s due in 3 weeks, one that won’t be hard to write but will require some significant time; and after that, a take-home exam, before I’m free and clear by the first week of December. For tonight at least I am going to take a bit of a breather – some time with Liam, a yoga class, and getting started on The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which is my book club’s selection for November. Much more enjoyable reading material than a textbook.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How to make your baby grow up before your very eyes

Switch him from the super-babyish footed sleepers into the two-piece little boy pajamas... the kind with the underwearish elastic waistband. Where did my one-year-old go? I breathed a sigh of relief as I zipped the sleeper over top to wear while sleeping... at least I haven't lost him for good.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thinking pink

In the past week or two, I have been running a little amok in the shopping department (sorry Chad!); but with a Little Miss on the way to join Little Mister, there are some gaps that need to be filled. This little set of onesies helped do the trick; why is it that I am obsessed with Carter's baby clothes and find little onesies so cute, even though I consider them to be more like underwear than a proper outfit?Little Miss also needs a scrapbook, of course. I already have a stack of pages waiting to go into it. Good thing I also ordered some refill pages.
Our intentionally-unisex nursery is remaining largely unchanged - we are not repainting, buying new furniture or bedding. The bedding and rug both have some pink and purple in them (I may need some pink or purple sheets to supplement the blue and yellow we already have), and just by swapping out some of Liam's things for some of Little Miss's things, it will make it that much more girly. I found these prints and looooooooove them; maybe some of Liam's artwork (Nutbrown Hare and The Little Prince) will accompany him to his big boy room, and there will be space for this stuff after all. Finally, I don't have a photo, but there are some lamps at Winner's that I have liked for a long time (why don't they get marked down already!) and that will suit my new girly, slightly shabby nursery just fine. Maybe it's just as well that I don't have a photo to share: Megan has a penchant for buying Winner's lamps out from underneath me. :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Frog man strikes back

Lately it’s been getting more and more difficult to get Liam out the door in the morning. It’s not that he doesn’t want to go to Cindy’s; just that he has things he wants to accomplish at home first, and his timeline to get out the door doesn’t always jive with ours. He wants to play when we serve breakfast, then eat breakfast while we’re trying to hustle him into his coat and boots, for one thing. Then there is the lunch bag issue: I pack my lunch to take to work in an orange thermal lunchbag, and he is becoming very attached to it. If he spies it in the morning then he wants to carry it and doesn’t like giving it up. Last week he actually took it to Cindy’s with him, simply because I didn’t want to endure the tears that ensue when I take it away. Chad managed to get a few of the food items out for me so at least I had something to eat. Now that Halloween has come and gone, another morning rush hour slowdown has reared its ugly head: The Halloween Costume. Since Liam is no longer required to wear the frog costume, it’s all he wants to wear. This photo wasn’t from this morning, but rather bath time last night (hence the lack of accompanying pants); if he sees it then he wants to wear it, no matter what time of day. Not so bad at night, but in the morning when we are trying to get him into his boots and he wants only to get into his webbed feet… it makes for some trying times. Not to mention the fact that I want to eBay this puppy sometime, and having it smeared with peanut butter is likely to drop the price I will get for it.

(Here is an ‘after’ photo to show the haircut… not all that different at first glance, but go back to October 30th’s post and you will see a big change!)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This one takes the cake

This is what I found sitting by the back door yesterday, which threw me for a loop. It took a while to figure out what it was doing there - mail is normally delivered to our front door - I suspect it was too large to fit between the screen door and the solid door where our mail is usually left, and so was spirited to the back door for safekeeping. Then it took a bit longer to figure out what it is. Sure enough, the customs declaration tells all - it's a coconut, shipped to Liam directly from my parents in Hawaii (and making it here in just a little more than a week). His name and address are written directly on the side in black magic marker. I know how to get into a coconut from the grocery store, but this one is going to take a little more effort, with the green husk still on it. I may need to tune into Survivor this week to pick up some technique, though we really don't have a machete or protrusion of sharp rocks upon which to bash it anywhere around us. Thanks mom and dad!

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like...

In addition to hair-cutting, errand-running and boot-shopping on the weekend, we also managed a bit of a quick-change to mark the seasons. The pumpkins are off the front porch and the Christmas wreath is up. Liam is having fun with the Little People nativity (we are missing one of the donkeys already) and Captain is enjoying knocking down the entire 15' length of garland and lights off the mantle at about 3 a.m. each morning. Ah, 'tis the season...

I will post an after shot of Liam's haircut when I can get around to it. I am afraid that the curl really is pretty much gone - short length + no humidity = no curl. It hasn't come back even after a few shampoos. *sniff* Then again, as someone cursed with curly hair, I should be grateful if his turns out to not be so unruly...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Deja vu of another kind

It seems like just yesterday - well, just last month - that we were out shopping for boots for Liam, and yet that's exactly what we spent much of this weekend doing, too. On Saturday we picked up these warm & waterproof little mucker-arounders, mostly for use at Cindy's house when the snow flies; she spends about three hours a day outside with the kids in all but the worst weather. Today we picked up a pair of leather lace-up hiking boots, something a little less waterproof but a lot more stylish for jaunts around town. Liam is not always content to endure the trying-on phase in the store, but he certainly loves stomping around in his new footwear. Yay us for being proactive on this one and not having waited until there was 6" of accumulation before getting around to making the purchase.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

First haircut deja vu

I know what you're thinking... haven't we done the first haircut routine before? Well, sort of (back here). But, it was really time for The Shagmeister to get more than just a few wisps cut off. So we were up early this morning and took a walk down to First Choice Haircutters. (For Liam's last trim, we waited until Chad had an appointment with his regular stylist, and then tacked Liam onto the end of his cut; but that's the kind of place where the stylists run around getting you herbal tea refills while they cut - you know, to justify the expense - and I didn't think Liam would have liked the tea, anyway.) Our nameless, wait-in-line-and-take-a-number stylist did a great job making Liam happy, and she saved an envelope full of little red curls without me even having to ask. Then she presented us with a 'My First Haircut' certificate and - the kicker - there was no charge. Who knew that First Choice gives free first haircuts to kids? I think I like it - I will be better able to tell once it's been washed and allowed to dry curly. As it is, we stuck him in his hat for the walk home, so it's straighter than I would have thought - and please, nobody burst my bubble and tell me that that's because we just cut all his curls off and they'll never grow back again.

Friday, November 03, 2006

2 for 2

For the record, and just so I can stretch my smugness out a bit longer, here is a page I did for #2’s album after we had our last ultrasound in September around 13 weeks. At that time it was still much too early to determine the gender, but I was convinced it was a girl, and here’s the proof: the first all-pink page of the book. Even if it had/does turn out to be a boy, the page will still go into the album, to document how very wrong I was/am.

Assuming that the ultrasound tech was correct, I am now 2 for 2. There really must be such a thing as mother’s intuition (and Dr. Bailey is going to be thrilled!)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Like a king (or, in my case, queen)

From Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon:

When we discovered that the child we were going to have in Paris last fall would be a girl - we already have a boy - everybody told us that we had been blessed with the choix du roi, the king's choice. "Why, it's the choix du roi!" the technician said as she looked at the sonogram, more or less in the tone of the host on Jeopardy! announcing the Daily Double. "It's the choix du roi!" said the woman in the two-hour photo place on the rue du Bac when we told her. "A little girl coming after a little boy?" said my friend Pascal, the philosopher, with evident pleasure. "Why, then, it's the choix du roi!"

I was so fed up that I said, "Please explain it to me." It was an ironic, rhetorical question. But he didn't miss a beat.

"I will be happy to explain it," he said. "In Latin countries we have what we call Salic law, which means that only your son can inherit the throne. For your Anglo-Saxon royal families, it doesn't matter if the king has a nana or a mec." A nana is a doll, and a mec is a guy. "But you see, a French king, under Salic law, had to consolidate his hold on the throne by having a boy. And he had to have a girl, so that she could be offered in marriage to another king, and in this way the royal possessions would be expanded, since the daughter's son would be a king too. He," he said, gesturing toward Luke, "is your strong piece, to be kept in reserve, while she" - he gestured toward Martha's belly - "is your pawn to build your empire. That's why it's the king's choice: first a boy to hold the throne, then a girl to get another. Tendresse has nothing to do with it. That's why it's the choix du roi."

Looks like we are in for some changes around here. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Le choix du roi

We had the big ultrasound today, and that's your clue about the results. Stew on that for a bit while I watch Lost (last week's episode was actually good and may suck me back in) and decide what to do about telling the 60+ of you who logged on yesterday and then declined to play along and guess - spoilsports.

(PS mom and dad, feel free to call me at home tonight or work tomorrow - 800-571-UGHO).

The frog story

Back when Chad and I were young and cool and spent our disposable income on fun things like trips around the world rather than responsible things like lump-sum mortgage payments, we went to Peru. As part of our trip we spent a week in the Amazon staying at a couple of different jungle lodges. The first night at our first lodge, where we were staying in individual thatched-roof bungalows with cold running water and electricity only supplied at certain times of day by generators, things started to go bump in the night once the sun went down. Chad and I were both a wee bit sick that day, and making multiple trips back and forth to the bathroom; imagine our horror when opening the toilet lid in the middle of the night led to a flurry of bright green and orange frogs hopping out and running amok around our cabin. I mean, do you really want to be sitting on something like that and leaving yourself, um, exposed?

When the sun finally came up after a loooooong night, we went to the administrative building to ask if it was common to be swarmed by frogs swimming through the sewer system like that. (Probably it was; I don’t think this was an enclosed sewer system like we have at home – I wouldn’t have been surprised if the drain on our toilet was piped right out into the Amazon itself.) They sent a maintenance person back to our cabin with us to check things out. The maintenance guy’s solution to the problem? He started stomping on the frogs and squashing them to death. I think that part was even worse than having them in there in the first place. I mean, frogs have skeletons. The sound of their little bones cracking totally gave me the heebie-jeebies.

There is really no point to this story, except that in some way when we saw this costume we had to have it for Liam because it reminded us of some fun (???) times. By last night Liam was cool with wearing the costume, hood included. He loved handing out to the kids coming to our door. After dark, we took him over to Daylene’s to see her huge Halloween display. The streets were swarmed with kids in costume and everyone was eating candy. He totally had a look on his face that said, Now that I know what goes on after I normally go to bed… I am never sleeping again!!

(Pardon the white neck thing in this photo... yes, I know it came untucked.)