Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just some photos to share, because next time I post, there'll be a whole huge new batch

Friday, July 27, 2007

If you go down to the woods today...

Over the past week or two, Liam has developed a big time love for his teddy bears. It's the first time I have really seen him doing the imaginative play thing. You know, they have to sit at the table with us when we eat, and he takes them for walks around the back yard. They get propped in front of the TV when Treehouse is on. They sit in Mallory's car seat or the bassinette.And, when we go out for groceries, they are well taken care of... left with a book to read to occupy them til we're back.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oh yeah...

This is out now, too!


This morning we were out, and saw some Halloween stuff, which prompted a big Halloween discussion between Liam and I. You know - when is Halloween, what is it, etc. So there I am telling Liam that Halloween is a day when you can dress up to be anything you want. And I ask him, what would you like to be this year, Liam? And you know what he says?

A frog.

Am I the ONLY ONE who remembers this from last year, and how much he hated it???

I am putting the finishing touches on the executive summary of my term paper right now, and might be heading out to the mailbox with it soon. I just got my mark back for my last assingnment, which was a B. Much more along the lines of where I was hoping and expecting to be. Maybe it's made me a little lax in effort on the term paper though - right now I am just trying to plow through and get it off my to-do list.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lovin' my serious little dude, but still not able to fully grasp the smiliness of my little dudette

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

15 weeks, and wishing I had figured this out 6 weeks ago

For almost a week now, Mallory has been down for the night between 8 - 8:30 p.m. And it's been awesome. It might only be a half hour to an hour earlier on some nights, but man, what a difference. I am chalking this development up to two changes we've made recently. Number one, she now gets a bath every single night. She may not need one, but if it helps to signal BED to her then it's worth it to go to the trouble. And number two, I no longer try to feed her and get her to sleep in our bed, which is what I used to do. We do a whole pre-bed routine for Liam in our room, which involves reading books in mom and dad's bed and cuddling there before he goes off to his own room. And I have finally clued in that watching and listening to Liam is just way too entertaining for Mallory. This week I started feeding her in the boring confines of her own room, with nobody but me for company - and she falls right asleep. I must be great fun to hang out with. :)

Monday, July 23, 2007


So, one thing I like to do with the kids is make sure I get a photo of them in pretty much every outfit - especially if said outfit is a gift. Way, way back in March, before Mallory was even a blip on the radar, I got a package in the mail from Cafe Press. I had ordered from them before, but not recently, so I was a little puzzled until I opened the package and saw that it was a baby gift from Dawn consisting of a pair of matching tees emblazoned with: BLOG FODDER. Get it? I thought they were so cute, and while I have several shots of Liam wearing his over the past few months, I have been hiding them and waiting to get a shot of both kids in them together to post. First I had to wait for Mallory to grow into hers a bit - and then the real struggle began...

Let's just say that getting a two year old and a three month old both in the same shot looking good, well, it's darn near impossible. Add to that the fact that I was trying to keep their clothes looking good, i.e. shirts smoothed out enough to be read. Ummm... not so easy! I went through 78 shots on Friday trying to accomplish this (and I wonder when my camera dies after only 3 years???) And there weren't really any keepers in the bunch... certainly not any that looked as I'd envisioned when I started. I think, ladies and gentlemen, that this is as good as it gets these days. (Yeah, here's a couple cute ones of Liam... but only because Mallory, who is looking ridiculous, has been cropped out of the picture!)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Too hasty

Yesterday morning, we took a leisurely walk down to the library. We didn't have books due back or something on hold to pick up, but I was desperate to get out of the house and have some adult conversation - even if it was just a thirty-second chat with a librarian!

We did end up with some new books for Liam (in addition to crafting him a glittered pharoah's crown and colouring a scarab beetle for a chance to win a prize - methinks it's Egypt Week at the library), which he would normally dive into the moment we're in the door from our trip. Not yesterday, though. Yesterday we walked in the door, and he immediately started asking where his lawnmower book was. I racked my brain trying to think of what book of his has lawnmowers in it, and then I remembered something Chad told me once: the lawnmower book is the Sears catalogue (summer edition only), or even the Canadian Tire catalogue. Anything with pictures of lawnmowers in it. I found a satisfactory catalogue and Liam then spent nearly an hour looking through it. The new library books are still untouched.

I wish I had known about the lawnmower book when I did this page for Liam's scrapbook. Sadly, it's already been printed and shipped and inserted into the album. I think the idea of the lawnmower book is a funny little detail to the story. Perhaps there'll need to be an addendum someday.

Here are a few more recent pages.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The artist formerly known as Liam

Chad is out of town again on another vacation, er, business trip. This time he's in Chicago. (It's the same trip that Liam and I tagged along on last year, and we did consider doing so again; but let's face it, I had trouble rounding up enough garbage bags to keep Liam dry last time - the thought of gathering twice as many to take care of Mallory too, well, it's mind-boggling.)

So, here we are. Yesterday morning was a wet one, so I took the kids down to the OEYC to get us out of the house. Liam does enough running around like a chicken with its head cut off while we're there to tire him out for a good afternoon nap. (So much to do; so little ability to stay put and partake in one activity when he might be missing out on something across the room.) Unfortunately I can't say the same for Mal, and she not only put off her afternoon nap until Liam was almost up, but she then stayed up til nearly 11 p.m. last night. So do you think I got any work done? Yeah, not so much.


And just to stick it to me a little more, sometime in the last three days, Cogeco took Marie Antoinette off the Video On Demand menu. Because it just figures that I would have planned days ago to put my feet up last night and order it as a little Chad's away treat, only to be denied. Instead, I stayed up well past midnight to finish my book, and was then treated to a 5:39 a.m. wakeup call from Liam this morning. Naptime cannot come soon enough today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

14 weeks

As I was saying, Mallory doesn't usually go to bed until about 10 p.m., which is far too late for my taste. She has a quick half hour or so snooze after dinner each night and is then up for a couple more hours before going down for good. On Monday night she went down for said nap, but then slept and slept and slept... finally I woke her up to change her cloth diaper (she wears a disposable overnight) and take off her skirt. The cute orange ruffled top stayed on, because even a diaper change was not enough to rouse her. I put her back in the crib and even though I feared she would be up and raring to go at about 2 a.m., she made it clear through the night, from 7 to 7, just up for a quick 3 a.m. feed as usual.

The only casualties in the whole process were my poor boobs, which, denied their usual evening feeding, were mighty sore by about midnight.

I had hoped this was the start of an earlier bedtime for her... but last night she was up until 10:30 again. *sigh* Liam was sleeping 7-7 by 4 months... I don't think she's going to follow suit. Which is too bad, because right now I could really be using the time in the evenings to finish off my course work. I have a term paper to get out the door, and my final exam to prep for. I got a C+ on my last assignment. Not good! On par with the class average, but still... not good. I have a lot of making up to do in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In a manner of speaking

Liam may be cute but man, his manners suck. Right now I am trying really, really hard to get him to say 'please' and 'thank you', and it's like pulling teeth. Last night he came up to me and said, "I want milk mom, give me milk." And I said, "You need to say please when you ask for something, Liam. I want milk please. Can you say that?" And he gets this silly little smile on his face and says, "Nooooooo," in this Aren't I cute? way. Except that it's not cute, and we have been going through this for weeks now and I'm not getting anywhere with him. And as for thank yous, well, forget it. They simply don't exist to him.
I know he's only 2, but if he can talk intelligently about fire trucks and peacocks and what day of the week it is, then surely to goodness he can say please and thank you.

(Insert sound of head banging against brick wall here.)

(Here he is telling me to suck it after one of our little manners discussions!!)

Monday, July 16, 2007


Straight out of camera. No cropping, no colour adjustments, nothing. Perhaps not a conventional portrait... but a new favourite.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Three months

Miss Mallory, you are three months old already! And although it’s hard to remember what life was like as a family of just 3, I still can’t believe that much time has already passed.

Shortly after you hit the two-month mark, you rolled over for the first time. You then did it non-stop for 48 hours before abruptly quitting. Seriously – I don’t think I saw you do it again until today, when I put you on your tummy, propped up on your elbows, and you expressed your displeasure at being so manipulated by flipping over. Well, at least we know you can still do it. It’s funny, you rarely express displeasure at anything… you are so calm, and so easygoing. Liam was a good baby, and overall a quiet baby, but if he didn’t like something (which, come to think of it, happened a lot) then by gum, he let you know it. You, on the other hand, put up with all sorts of crap, like Liam rubbing your head like a genie’s lamp every time he gets tired (i.e. about three times each day). I’m surprised you don’t have a big old bald spot on top by now. At three months old, you are just now starting to be able to pick things up, and it’s inevitable that they get shoved in your mouth. This is something I have been waiting for. You can entertain yourself now. Not that it necessarily means I am dumping you in the corner and leaving you to fend for yourself – I don’t mean it in a “yahoo!” way like that – it’s just nice that there is now stuff you can do, things that interest you, and learning going on. A couple of weeks ago we dusted off the exersaucer, which you love, and you really enjoy being put in there with some toys on the tray to pick up and suck on and check out. It’s the start of you playing, and it’s so cute to see. This month, being the best part of summer, we got out and about – a lot. We made a couple of trips to Stratford, went to the zoo and went strawberry picking, and visited Mitchell’s Bay several times. I played in a bocce ball tournament with you strapped onto my chest. You went to your first wedding. We are a lot more confident in taking you out with us than we were with Liam, and it’s a good thing, because we are that much busier now, on account of him.

You’ve settled into a groove I really enjoy: you are awake for most of the morning, stealing a few 20-minute catnaps here and there, and then after lunch you go down for a solid 3-hour sleep that almost always coincides with Liam’s nap. I rather like the predictability, and the break this affords me each afternoon! – because your night time sleeping habits are something else altogether, and I still often need a nap each day myself. You are usually up just once at night now, but you rarely go to bed before 10 p.m. This is one thing I hope DOES change by this time next month, because your father and I sort of forget what it’s like to be married right now. A few hours of adults-only time each day would be nice for us. See what you can do about that, OK? You took your 2-month shots like a champ, screaming bloody murder, to be sure, but returning to your normal happy state quickly thereafter. Today I had you weighed and attempted to measure you, and you clock in at 12 pounds 12 ounces and 24.5 inches. You are not a little pork chop baby; you have a cute amount of baby chub, but overall you’re a delicate little thing. All of your hair that fell out is starting to grow back in, and the hair you never lost is several inches long now, and arranges itself into a sweet little pompadour at the crown of your head. Your eyes are darker, but still have a twinge of grey/green that stop them just short of being brown. You are full of delightful baby noises now, coos and squeals and laughs – especially when Chad makes cooing noises back at you. You’re such a sweetheart, Miss Mal – I can’t believe I ever thought I would make it through life without a baby girl to love. You really do fill the empty spot in my heart I never knew existed. I’m so proud of you – I want to go ringing doorbells in the middle of the night to show you off. Instead I will just have to make do with taking a thousand and one pictures of you, and trying to remember all these moments as they pass oh so quickly.


A 'trash the dress' session of my own

Dawn's latest trash the dress adventure got me thinking about a photo I took a while ago and have yet to post. This one is from back in May - I think Mallory is about six weeks old here and yes, that's my wedding dress she's lying on top of. Back when Liam was approaching his first birthday, I thought it would be cool to find some sort of shot I could take of him every year to mark how he grows. I never did find an idea all that great, and no, I didn't get around to repeating it this year (though having a 4-day-old baby to contend with at the time might have had something to do with it). I like the wedding dress idea much more. Number one, you don't have to leave home to do it, and number two, it's much more meaningful than the cannon! As for the dress, it has very little sentimental value to me (a few weeks after the wedding it was more like, "What was I thinking?", but that's another story altogether). So if she spits on it or worse, it's not the end of the world. I think it will be super cute in a few years' time to have a photo of her playing dress-up in it. I'd rather get some use out of it than leave it gathering dust in a box for the next 50 years.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

5:42 a.m. (subtitle: how on earth is this fair?)

Last week, before Chad took off for Cowtown, he mentioned in passing that he had been invited to a Bon Jovi concert taking place there this week. I instantly went gaga and gushed about how lucky he was. Jon Bon Jovi is probably the hottest man on earth; and though I don't love him in an I-own-every-CD-he's-ever-released way, I do love him in an if-I-had-the-opportunity-to-feel-the-love-in-person-then-you-bet-I-would way. (Although I think my 14-year-old, The Cure-listening, black-wearing self just had a hernia, admitting that - I am a relative newcomer to the Bon Jovi worshipping scene.) Anyway, I told Chad he was making a grave mistake in passing up the opportunity, and left it at that. This afternoon Chad called to ask me help him make a decision: he's now been invited to an INXS concert in Calgary as well, but the problem is that the concerts run simultaneously. Should he go to Bon Jovi or INXS? Chad is a lifelong INXS fan, which one would think would sway him in that direction; but he has seen INXS play live many times - two with me, anyway - and Bon Jovi would be something new and fun. (And, something to rub in to me.)

I told him not to mind if I couldn't help him make his decision, because after all, Liam was up for the day at 5:42 a.m. this morning, and it didn't take long for Mallory to hear him and get up, too. So my head is a little foggy today, and not necessarily in top decision-making mode. I ask you: how is this fair??

Chad is taking the red-eye home tonight and will be back tomorrow morning, ready to dive back into our life of domestic bliss with renewed enthusiasm (or so you'd think). Anyway, back to the weekend, and a few photos to upload before I forget all about having them: on Sunday morning as Chad was preparing to high-tail it to Calgary, I loaded the kids up and headed to Stratford to see my parents. Partly to visit with them, and partly because I knew I could take advantage of their babysitting services to give myself a welcome break. What I really wanted to do was leave Mallory with my mom for a bit so I could spend some one on one time with Liam. I spend a crazy number of hours with him these days, but I feel like I am constantly shushing him so he doesn't wake the baby, or slowing him down so I can bring Mal along with us, or otherwise cramping his style. So after lunch on Sunday, I took Liam out for some quality time.First up, we rented a pedal boat, since he got a kick out of seeing them out on Lake Victoria last time we were there. I thought ahead and brought his life jacket, and we took a walk down to the boathouse to rent one out. The minimum rental was an hour. We got about 15 minutes into it before Liam got a panicked look on his face and said he wanted out of the boat. I tried distracting him by pointing out all the ducks and swans and pedalled like mad back to the boathouse; and of course by the time we got there, he wanted to stay in. We did wind up getting out after about half an hour, but the boatkeeper was a nice guy and gave us a credit for another half hour trip next time we're in town. Next up on the list: a trip to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a big caramel apple, which they will slice up for you on the spot to make the eating a bit easier. Liam wanted one of the red candy apples and I wanted a caramel apple; he agreed only on the basis that we got one coated in Smarties. It was yummy! On the way home we stopped to feed the ducks and seagulls, and admire the baby swans. And when we got home, Mallory was having a fun time with my parents, as evidenced here, so there were no, er, fewer guilty feelings about leaving her behind.Stratford also has a wonderful new Lion's community pool with a wader end and splash pad facilities - so on Monday, I took Liam to a family swim there for a while before having lunch and heading home. The one on one time with him was great. It was a nice break for both of us to have me not constantly telling him to slow down or speed up or stop rubbing Mallory's head like a genie bottle. Just the two of us... kind of like the good old days.

PS Dawn - it would totally make my day if you could add a comment along the lines of "Oh yeah, I dated Jon in high school" here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

O happy day!

Today the FedEx man paid a visit. The Scrapbook Trends 'Babies 2007' idea book is out! I have two pages in this book, one paper and one digital. ST does not pay for publications - instead, they ship 'goodie boxes' of product. I was pleasantly surprised by (a) how full it was and (b) how current the stuff is (I was a bit worried it might just be full of Precious Moments stickers...) It's a good thing I have a girl now, because there is plenty of pink in it, including a large baby girl page kit. In total there are about 4 page kits (though when I say 'page kit' they contain about ten papers each... i.e. enough for far more than just one page), several sets of stamps and an acrylic block to mount them, a large pack of rubons, lots of stickers, two different chipboard sets, lots of ribbon (how did they know I like orange??)...
My only gripe? I was paid $40 worth of product for my paper submission and only $20 worth for the digital one. What, are digital pages inferior somehow? :)
Also, I'd hoped to get 4 copies of the idea book, since you get 2 copies when you are published... but they only sent 2 in total. So I don't have as many freebies to hand out as I thought I would. Sorry!!

Starting at the beginning....

No sooner had I hit 'publish' last night than I heard the wailing start upstairs. Liam was up... and he was up until well after midnight. Refused to go back to his bed. Finally I caved and let him sleep with me, which was kind of a catch 22. It meant I could finally go to bed... but it meant I didn't sleep well... since he kicks and turns and thrashes all night long! Ah well. Daddy's away and maybe that's what was bothering him? Both kids were then up before 6 a.m. today. Where do they get the energy????So, back to Friday, where I left off. Chad's cousin Jeff got married Friday night so that was our big outing for the day. Chad decided to turn it into some father-son bonding time by taking Liam up to London on the train (since Via is running a 'kids ride free' promo for the summer.) Liam was pretty excited to go to the train station and wait for it to pull in. I wised up this time, and left Mallory sleeping in the car; last time we were at the train station to pick Chad up, the noise the train made pulling in freaked her right out.I can't tell you what transpired on the train, since it was a No Girls Allowed event and Mallory and I had to drive up to London to meet them. I do know that it involved several new dollar store toys and some snacks. That kid is spoiled rotten!We went for lunch and then napped in our hotel room, then got ready for the big event. I got these two shots before the ceremony started, as well as our family pictures. That was pretty much it for the picture taking though. Mallory needed to be soothed to sleep and Liam needed to be corralled. Seriously.Ah yes, another one of the family shots I like. Credit goes to Megan for this one.Remember how I said Liam needed to be corralled? Outdoor weddings in parklike settings are beautiful, but they seem to make Liam think it's time to run. The kid had a lot of energy to burn. Luckily I managed to keep him away from the 'I dos' and although I didn't see much of the ceremony, I think most of the other guests DID.This last one came off the MacBarr camera, though I think credit goes to Cory this time around. This shot pretty much sums up Friday night for Liam.