Friday, June 29, 2007

48 hours

Always eatingGoofing aroundLunch at the parkBurning off some steamYes, I'm that mom who insists on taking a picture of every different expression Tummy time - working on building up that back strength!Early morning - watching Treehouse togetherA walk on the beach

Liam's with Gramma and Grampa today

Thursday, June 28, 2007

We're nutritionally corrupting him, but we're too darn hot to care

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Heavens to Betsy... steer clear of Etsy!

I have a new vice in life, and it's Etsy. Honestly, I understand that I am not making any money while on maternity leave and I am not purposely looking for stuff to buy... but this place has me totally reeled in.

For those who haven't heard and aren't afraid of getting hooked - Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods. Meaning, anyone can set up a storefront there and sell their wares, but the point of it is supposed to be that it supports artists. Well, let me tell you... there are some very talented, very clever people out there.

First off I discovered Emily Martin. Where have I been that I didn't know about her before? I love every single one of her paintings. I ordered these Little Bandits prints to hang in the kids' playroom:And also this one, called The Cupcake Peddlers, for Mallory's room:I couldn't resist the red hair on the girl, nor the cute little hedgehog sidekick. These prints are totally reasonably priced, but even the artist's original paintings are affordable. I am totally keeping an eye on her storefront. She sometimes takes on commissioned work - I would love to someday have her do something with a little redheaded pair!

Also tagged as my 'Favorites':
I totally want this outfit for Mallory - so, so cute! And some sweet little felt hairclips like this:Is this quilt not gorgeous?OK... deep breath... step away from the computer!! No more surfing! Thou shalt not covet... thou shalt not covet... right???

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not biased at all

I'll preface this by stating two things.

1. I do not normally watch Canadian Idol. No, really, I don't.
2. When my maternity leave started, before Mal was born, I spent many hours watching A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby and other such shows - kind of like the highschool football team listening to We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions before the big game. In seeing so many new little babies, I was struck by how many Asian families were naming their little ones Liam. What's the connection between an Irish name and an Asian background? Beats me.

Anyway, I saw this on Canadian Idol last night, and my prediction is for this guy, Liam Styles Chang, to win. He was pretty good. Check him out.

Celestial alignment

Yesterday we were out at Mitchell's Bay again. Yes, I am a little bit afraid of becoming known as The Entertainment Committee at our house, and worry about the mutiny that will ensue when there is no entertainment scheduled someday... but on the other hand, who wants to sit home on a stinking hot day with nothing to do? Not me.

We have been to this place several times now this year, and every time I have brought my camera. I now have literally hundreds of shots of Liam running back and forth on this splash pad. They are totally interchangeable photos - he is wearing the same thing in each one, the background is the same, etc. And yet, none have turned out so well as the ones from yesterday. As a mom you are looking for a certain expression on your child's face or jaunt to their walk that makes a photo a keeper. Yesterday, I got that in spades.To keep things fair... here is one of Mallory from a few days ago. The skirt is a gift from Aunty Amy and the top is a gift from Aunty Steph. Both are making their debut in this photo. This is the kind of bohemian chic I see in Mallory's future (for as long as I get to call the shots, anyway!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Backyard entertainment

Yes, that is me you hear asking, "What is the significant?" instead of "What is the significance?" Sheesh, I need to work on my narration skills!

video

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My new housecleaning help

This shot was not set up, I swear. Liam just really, really likes vacuuming these days. And who am I to argue with that? :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Family time

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chain mail that works!

Yesterday was an exciting day for Liam. Besides getting sheared like a sheep (it is always so dramatic to see him go from full-out Afro to barely-there hair), he got two packages in the mail thanks to the Sticker Swap that Dawn invited us to join. I don't think I have ever forwarded on a piece of chain mail in my life, but this one seemed worthwhile: send a pack of stickers to the #1 kid on the list, bump the #2 kid up to the #1 position, and add your own kid as #2. Forward the email to 6 people and presto - your kid should get 36 packs of stickers in the mail within the next few weeks.

We dutifully sent off a pack of Spiderman stickers last week, and lo and behold we got that one pack and then some back yesterday. The only problem is not even knowing who some of the stickers came from. Whoever you are... thank you! Liam's favourite thing to do with his stickers? Put them on his forehead and walk around the house laughing at himself. Goofball.

And if anyone wants in on this sticker swap, I still need to forward the email on because I had a couple of people back out... so let me know if you're interested and I will hook you up. I would hate to be the one to break the chain now!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Bonk!

A few weeks ago, Dawn was saying that her little guy Gavin was getting clumsier and clumsier and then one day - pop! - his eardrum burst from a stewing infection and the mystery was solved. I am half wondering if we are heading down that same path. Liam has never had an ear infection in his life, but lately he has been falling all over the place. Yesterday he was at Cindy's and when I went to pick him up at the end of the day, he came running down the driveway to see me... at least, he tried to... instead, he tripped over his own feet, and wound up doing a massive faceplant on the concrete. Today he fell flat on his face and cracked his nose on the hardwood floors at least twice. I was surprised both times that there was no blood after hearing the noise it made. Yegads. I thought we were through with the daily injuries a year ago, and here they are cropping up again...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Calling all cloth-diapering mamas

OK, one more post from me today, and then I swear I will leave well enough alone. Yesterday I got a decluttering itch, and so I listed a bunch of cloth diapering paraphernalia on eBay. Some of it was stuff that I just didn't like and never wound up using with Liam - cloth diapers vary widely from brand to brand, and certain things just seemed to work better for me than others. And some was stuff that I used extensively with both Liam and Mallory but it's newborn-size and she no longer fits into it. I am not ready to give away my beautiful little baby clothes and admit that we are done having kids yet... the diaper stuff seems a lot more noncommittal... I can always run out for a pack of Pampers if need be, right?

Anyway, a few hours later I got notice from eBay that they had cancelled most of my auctions because I violated their terms of use agreement. It seems they no longer deal in used underwear, and that includes cloth diapers. It was just a few months ago that I last listed some stuff and it sold without incident, so this is a new restriction. (Believe it or not, there is a huge resale market for used cloth diapers. Maybe because cloth-diapering mamas tend to be on the crunchy side, and would rather see something reused than go to landfill prematurely??) I do admit, I understand where eBay is coming from on this one. I can only imagine some of the used underwear auctions that must have been posted in the past. Ewwwwwww.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in some gently used stuff, let me know. I have some Bummis super whisper wraps in the newborn size that are in great condition. These are my absolute favourite diaper covers! I also have a couple of Kushies covers in Infant size (10-22 lbs) that were only used a few times - they just never suited me that well. There are also about 4 or 5 double-thick terry liners for overnight use that are brand new. It's all yours if you want it.

Or, if nobody wants it... any suggestions on where else I can look to sell it or give it away? Do you think the Women's Centre wants cloth diaper stuff??

Ticked at Thomas

There are greater tragedies in the world than this Thomas train recall, but still... what a mess. I mean, in this day and age, how does such a large and well-reputed company make a boneheaded mistake like that? And it's not like their toys are cheap, either. This morning I got out to the post office to send back our offensive car. After spending $1.39 on the bubble mailer and $7.82 to mail it, I will get a replacement for our $10 toy in about 2 or 3 months. I'm a sucker, right? - should have just thrown it away.

These photos are from yesterday, when it hit 34C or 40C if you're one of those people who factor in the Humidex. We filled up Liam's pool and let him have at it. However, I didn't fill it early enough in the day, and he still thought the water was too cold to get in for more than a couple of minutes at a time - and forget about actually sitting down in it!! Instead he played with his water wheel and filled up the watering can and dumptruck a bunch of times. Poor Mal had to watch from the sidelines, though Liam was kind enough to occasionally cart a toy over to show to her.

Ten weeks

Where does the time go?... For this week's photo, I popped Mallory into her Bumbo chair. Just a couple of weeks ago she was pretty wobbly in this thing - now it seems to suit her well. She also started rolling over last week. She's a-growin'!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Meh.

Not feeling so chatty today. Chad was away this weekend and I still need to catch up on my rest as a result. :) Went for a swim at Megan's on Saturday (which was fun but nerve-wracking - Liam has graduated to that stage of being fearless and thinking he's invincible, and not always giving me warning when he decides he wants to jump into the pool and have me catch him!) Yesterday I went to my mom and dad's for the day and met up with Steph, Mike, Henry and Katrina there. Pulled up behind Chad on the highway last night so we got to enjoy the drive home together. :) So much for Father's Day though - we didn't get to spend a lot of time together. We will make it up to you Chad!

Some pics from yesterday: Henry getting a kick out of the rainwater bucket.Henry and Steph. The colour went wacky on this one, so B&W was my only option! Sometimes they look an awful lot alike to me... this is one of those times.Mallory hanging out with Grampa.

Most of my pics of Liam are blurry. He is quick on his feet these days. :)

ETA... found a good one!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hitting newsstands soon

This is the 2007 Scrapbook Trends baby issue... available for preorder on the magazine's website right now, and hitting newsstands sometime in the next month or so. I have two 2-page spreads in this issue, both featuring Liam. One is his one-month summary (paper) and the other is his nine-month summary (digital).
I think I told some people that the other page I have publishing soon is in this issue (July) of Scrapbooks Etc., which just hit newsstands this week. I was wrong... it's in next month's issue (August/September). It's part of an article called "Inspired by Songs" and it, too, features Liam. (If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might remember it... because before it was picked up by Scrapbooks, Etc., it was picked up by that Taiwanese college student and posted on her website... remember? Ha ha ha...) I'll post a shot of the magazine cover as soon as it comes out.

With Liam in the news so much these days... looks like I'll have to start submitting some Mallory pages soon, too!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Berry season

The key to enjoying a maternity leave, in my opinion, is - aside from producing the cutest kids known to humankind :) - to do all the fun things that you can't do when you are stuck behind a desk at work. Liam is old enough now that I can do things with him that I enjoyed doing as a kid. One of those things, which we got a chance to do yesterday, is pick strawberries. We always went to a local pick-your-own farm when I was little, and I loved it. Loved it. I honestly don't know what the attraction was, but I thought that when I was old enough, I would get a summer job picking strawberries. Instead, my first summer job was selling vacuum cleaners - really! - so perhaps I am perpetually trying to make up for that disappointment.

Regardless, we live in a small town surrounded by farmland, and there are berry picking farms all around. On Tuesday night I asked Liam if he'd like to go pick strawberries and the answer was a resounding yes. So as soon as we were all up and fed and showered, off we went. The point of the trip from the outset was not so much to bring home a lot of fruit as it was to have some fun. And it's a good thing my expectations were low.

Mallory was supposed to sleep in her carseat, but she didn't. And she didn't enjoy being cooped up in it, either. I didn't want to pick her up because we were out in the full sun, and even with her hat on, her arms and legs would be exposed. That didn't matter too much though, because Liam just ate everything in sight and as soon as his belly could fit no more, he decided it was time to go home. He did put a couple of berries in his basket early on, but he ate those too and when we left his basket did not have a single berry in it. I rushed to finish filling the last basket that I had started, and we went to pay - it was $3.75 for enough berries to cost us $9 at the grocery store. I had no idea that so much of the cost of strawberries is in the labour.

So our trip was brief, but it got us out of the house for the morning, and that's enough to make me happy. We have enough berries to maybe make some shortcake with, which makes me even happier. The drive out was nice - the farm is on the river, and Liam enjoyed looking at the water and all the expensive real estate. I suppose Mallory is the one who got screwed on this outing; stuck with us out in the hot sun in her car seat, and we wouldn't even let her have a taste.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A PSA for moms of other Thomas-obsessed kids

Thomas the Tank Engine Toy Recall - lead paint

Damn. Looks like we need a Mail Car replacement.

Ooops!... I did it again

When Liam was a baby, we received a ton of beautiful clothes for him as baby gifts, and of course I spent many happy hours shopping for him while I was pregnant. The closet was stuffed by the time he came home. I had everything in there arranged by size and couldn't wait to put some of it on him. I'm sure you know what happened next - I rotated him through the same handful of outfits day after day, either wanting to keep some of the good stuff for special occasions (that never materialized) or else not realizing just how quickly he was growing and not getting him into it enough while it still fit. There is a boy outfit hanging in the closet right now with the tags still attached that I never got to use at all. With #2, I vowed it would be different.

And yet here we are with #2, and the same thing has very nearly happened again. A few weeks ago I was all out of newborn onesies, in serious need of doing some wash, and out of desperation I reached for a six-month size onesie... and it fit. And it fit well. It made me realize that the newborn stuff is actually getting too tight on Mallory - that the pinched-crotch look is really not that becoming. So with the next load of baby laundry, I threw in a ton of other six-month size stuff too, and I've been making a point of having her wear it this week. Things like this:
and this:and this:
...all of which fit very well right now... and probably won't for much longer. In other words, it's high time I start using them!!

The matching shirts that Liam and Mallory are wearing in the top photo were a gift from my cousin Kelly and her family. I had been looking for something like that for quite a while before Mallory was born and, unable to find a set I liked, settled on just getting a 'big brother' shirt for Liam (one that probably still fits him, but it's long sleeved, and so we're not getting much use out of it now!) I loved them when I saw them and I have just been waiting for Mallory to grow into the onesie so I could snap a photo of the two of them together. Up until now, Liam has been wearing the t-shirt on his own, but I'm glad he's been getting that use out of it - because now it's getting tight, and I have a feeling that he could outgrow his shirt before Mallory outgrows hers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Someone got her shots today...